Final EIS Filed for Donlin Gold Project

NovaGold Resources reported in late April that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the lead federal permitting agency on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Donlin gold project in southwest Alaska, has filed the final EIS notice of availability for the project. The Donlin project is based on one of the world’s most prospective known gold deposits, with approximately 39 million ounces (oz) of gold in measured and indicated resources, inclusive of proven and probable reserves.

Donlin Gold LLC is an Alaska-based company owned equally by subsidiaries of NovaGold and Barrick Gold. With a 27-year mine life, current planning calls for production of 1.1 million oz per year (oz/y) of gold and does not include the project’s exceptional exploration potential. The planned pits occupy only 3 kilometers (km) of an 8-km mineralized belt that could further extend the mine life.

The next steps in the permitting process will include the Corps preparing a Record of Decision, documenting the process used to determine whether or not to issue a wetlands permit. Prior to a decision to issue the permit, the Corps must send the draft permit to the state of Alaska, which must certify that the approved activities comply with state water-quality standards. Other key federal and state permits and approvals are anticipated to be finalized throughout the remainder of 2018.

In addition to permitting, Donlin Gold is advancing project optimization efforts, including incorporating data from the 2017 drill program and identifying ideas for potential reduction of initial capital expenditures. Once the optimization efforts and financial analyses are completed, the owners will evaluate the path forward for the project.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 06 -