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We Care

Our People

A long-term view that creates mutually-beneficial relationships with communities, employees, partners, and shareholders.

NOVAGOLD is committed to developing a strong local workforce while providing an environment where every employee goes home safe each and every day. The Company is dedicated to empowering individuals and communities, working together to ensure a brighter future for everyone.

Developing a Strong Workforce

NOVAGOLD hires locally whenever possible and encourages its affiliate companies, which operate NOVAGOLD’s project sites, to do the same.  NOVAGOLD and its affiliates support training programs to develop a skilled pool of employees in the project communities and provide ongoing opportunities for employees to improve their skills. Understanding the local cultures, environments, and social sensitivities allows NOVAGOLD to operate more efficiently and holistically.

There are many barriers to education and employment opportunities in remote regions like Southwest Alaska, and employees often start as seasonal workers with little to no mining-related skills. Through mentorship and formal and informal education programs, dedicated workers are able to develop the skills they need to play effective roles, both at work and in the economic and social lives of their communities. Training typically focuses on four key areas: health and safety, emergency response, environmental issues, and skill improvement. Depending on the subject, programs are frequently offered to contractors and employees alike.

To prepare for the potential construction and operational phases of a mine at Donlin Gold, a proactive workforce development program was initiated in 2012. Donlin Gold representatives visit schools to highlight the different types of jobs available in mining, and describe the skills that will be required for these positions. Students are reminded that all jobs are expected to require a high school diploma. The program involves working collaboratively with the State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, school districts and regional training facilities as well as with local residents. To that end, Donlin Gold developed a Jobs Brochure to further educate the future potential workforce of the types of employment opportunities which Donlin Gold would offer as well as education and experience needed to prepare for such opportunities. This brochure has been widely distributed throughout the region.

A related project is the Talent Bank on Donlin Gold’s website that helps tailor the workforce development plan to the needs of residents in the region. Participants are invited to submit work history information not for a job application, but to help Donlin Gold plan for future local workforce development needs. The project’s workforce development plan will direct residents to the programs and training resources available that will support them in applying for and gaining employment.

To learn more about Donlin Gold’s workforce development plan, please visit

Safety is a Way of Life

The health and safety of employees, contractors, and the communities in which we work is of paramount importance. Committed to providing a working environment where every employee is safe at the end of each workday, safety becomes ingrained in the culture at the project sites. When a safety message is woven into the morning meeting, it sets the tone at the start of every day and continues to influence every task. From senior leaders to employees, everyone receives extensive safety training and is encouraged to challenge unsafe behavior and practices.

NOVAGOLD and its affiliated companies aim for zero fatalities, zero lost-time incidents and zero workplace health issues. This goal is pursued by promoting awareness, investing in camp infrastructure that provides a safe, healthy environment, with top-of-the-line safety equipment, continually training employees and contractors, and making employees accountable for safety performance.

When near-misses do occur, response is swift. The incidents are fully investigated. Lessons learned from these incidents are used to assess risks in other areas, and to remind everyone about safety procedures.

The local management team is accountable for project safety, and employees have a responsibility to themselves and to their co-workers, families and friends to work and behave safely.  Safety equipment is provided for the entire workforce, including contractors and visitors, and employees' actions are guided by an all-encompassing safety policy developed for each mine site.

Donlin Gold recorded its tenth consecutive year without a lost-time incident. This record received special recognition from regulators, as well as from the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals. 


Open Pit
Mining Method
(NOVAGOLD/Barrick Gold Corporation)
27 Years
Estimated Mine Life
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50%-owned, flagship asset
Donlin Gold
Alaska Video
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