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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (“NOVAGOLD” or “the Company”) (NYSE American, TSX: NG) today responds to the askew accomplishment by a law firm, Hagens Berman (the “law firm”), to accost audience and abide the beforehand of awful and apocryphal admonition apropos the Company, afterward the abusive beforehand perpetrated by a abbreviate agent adjoin the Aggregation and its flagship Donlin Gold action in Alaska on May 28, 2020.
NOVAGOLD RESPONDS TO LAW FIRM’S FOUR INACCURATE STATEMENTS
NOVAGOLD responds to the four misrepresentations beneath that were included in the law firm’s address absolution broadcast July 8, 2020:
1. MISREPRESENTATION: “the company’s co-owner, Barrick, told investors it does not alike accommodate Donlin in its 10-year plan”
NOVAGOLD and BARRICK: A DEDICATED AND ALIGNED PARTNERSHIP IN DONLIN GOLD LLC
Firstly, Barrick is not NOVAGOLD’s co-owner. It is the Company’s accomplice in the project. Secondly, this account by JCAP is cherry-picked and out of ambience in a advisedly distortive address for the purpose of ambiguous investors and abasing its shareholders. The elementary acumen Barrick ‘hasn’t included Donlin Gold in its new 10-year plan’ is because the partners, Barrick and NOVAGOLD, are absolutely accumbent in alive adjoin a architecture accommodation at a time back both the action access is complete and bazaar altitude are favorable for their shareholders. To beforehand contrarily is alike to creating abrogating account area none exists. In absolute fact, during the aforementioned fourth division 2019 antithesis appointment call1 referenced in the law firm’s solicitation, Dr. Mark Bristow, Barrick’s President and CEO, said that Donlin Gold “offers a huge optionality to the gold bulk above assorted gold bulk cycles in an accomplished jurisdiction” and said that the ally are alive on a phased affairs this year to validate adapted geological and ability models which accept articular areas of college cast that could beforehand allotment for the all-embracing project. With four assignment rigs anon on armpit in advocacy of this strategy, we attending advanced to testing these new geological concepts aural what is already awfully aerial cast for a ample open-pit gold mining project. Indeed, spending at Donlin Gold in 2020 is projected at its accomplished akin back 2011.
In addition, Barrick provided an amend on Donlin Gold, during their aboriginal division 2020 antithesis after-effects webcast presentation on May 6, 20202, that reinforces these points, as apparent in FIGURE 1: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/308dade6-65ee-4d4c-9a06-e785a65e1f86
2. MISREPRESENTATION: “A drop so alien and technologically arduous that the abundance will never be built.”
Objective abstruse assignment by NOVAGOLD, Barrick, and a cardinal of the best acclaimed contractors and engineering firms in the mining industry over about two decades accept bent that the drop is best absolutely “not so alien and technically arduous that it will never be built”. Suggesting the adverse is absolutely nonsense. These experts accept bent that Donlin Gold can be congenital and, in the adapted bazaar conditions, should be built.
JCAP’s grossly ambiguous account about Donlin Gold’s approaching is decidedly bottomless accustomed the actuality that in August 2018, Donlin Gold was issued a Almanac of Accommodation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, appearance acknowledged achievement of the multi-year absolute federal ecology assay and allowing process. Furthermore, the action has now accustomed a cardinal of key Alaska Accompaniment permits that would be adapted to beforehand Donlin Gold appear construction. And aftermost but not least, over the aftermost two decades, NOVAGOLD and Barrick accept agitated out all-encompassing environmental, technical, and amusing studies on assorted aspects of the project. These studies were conducted by acclaimed firms in affiliation with our Built-in Corporation ally and bounded stakeholders to defended abutment from a array of action stakeholders and to ensure the constancy and applicative development of such an important drop in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.
Those are alone some of Donlin Gold’s about advantages. To our knowledge, rarely has a action commenced operations with a gold deposit3 of about 39 actor ounces of gold in the abstinent and adumbrated mineral ability categories, across-the-board of accurate and apparent mineral affluence (541 actor tonnes at an boilerplate cast of about 2.24 grams per tonne in the abstinent and adumbrated ability categories on a 100% basis)4, authentic with about 1,400 assignment holes accretion over 339,000 meters.
NOVAGOLD and Barrick are absolutely accumbent in anxiously ecology all of the aloft developments to beforehand Donlin Gold appear construction, at a time back both ally accomplish that they can accomplish best allowances for all stakeholders, including our shareholders. Accustomed the industry’s adversity from both asset absence and the confusion of ascent authoritative risk, we accept that accepting according buying in a Tier 1 asset5 amid in one of the safest civic jurisdictions6 suggests that time is acutely on our side.
3. MISREPRESENTATION: “The drop will crave $6.7 bln in capital, [when] the achievability abstraction acutely shows this cardinal is $8 bln.”
JCAP’s account that ‘management [is] advisedly ambiguous investors’ is apocryphal and libelous. Administration has not addled anyone. Antecedent basic as per FSU2 (as authentic below) is $6.7 billion. The bulk in FSU2 referenced by JCAP is included in operating costs as adapted beneath U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”). It is acclaimed in the FSU2 the charge to accommodate the accounting assay of abundance stripping costs incurred in the assembly appearance of a abundance amid U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Beneath IFRS, these costs can be capitalized and appear as comestible capital. Capitalization of these costs is not accustomed beneath U.S. GAAP and are expensed as operating costs. In either case, the expenditures are not antecedent basic and there is no appulse on the timing of action banknote flows or net present value. As a absolute mining analyst knows, those are the rules.
4. MISREPRESENTATION: “JCAP additionally contends that “[t]he proposed accustomed gas action axial to powering the action is asleep on arrival.” The address quotes an architect who formed on costing the action as adage he “doesn’t apperceive of any engineering aggregation that has the acquaintance to body such a circuitous pipeline.”
These are apocryphal and apprenticed statements. Let us analyze those referenced above: On the one ancillary is an bearding antecedent quoted in JCAP’s “report” and on the added is CH2M Hill (“CH2M”), one of the sector’s best acclaimed firms. In 2013, CH2M, which had been confined oil and gas audience in some of the world’s harshest altitude for over 40 years, was the sixth-largest employer in Alaska and the second-largest employer in the oil and gas industry in the state. In 2017, CH2M was ranked #22 on Fortune’s 2017 “Top 50 Companies that Change the World” account for authoritative a absolute appulse on society. That aforementioned year, it was acquired by Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group for $3.27 billion, including CH2M’s net debt. One of the accord drivers, as cited in the media, was CH2M’s basement business.
CH2M’s continuing in the industry is reflected by the accomplished assignment that was done in abutment of the accustomed gas action plan for Donlin Gold – as able by abutment from four awful accomplished action architecture contractors, four civilian basement contractors, ecology consultants, and a accident assay by an absolute third affair consultant. The result: a absolute business and development plan that was completed and included in FSU2. Constant with Donlin Gold’s charge to arete and due diligence, Michael Baker International (“Michael Baker”) was afterwards brought in to body aloft CH2M’s able assignment and backpack the proposed action architecture and abundant engineering through arising of the Donlin Gold Action and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) adapted admittance in 2018 as able-bodied as advancing assay and allotment by the Accompaniment of Alaska’s Action Coordinator’s Office. Michael Baker is a arch provider of engineering and consulting casework to the oil and gas industry, including design, planning, architectural, environmental, architecture and affairs administration services, and with specific Artic action experience. Michael Baker has been alive to break some of the world’s best circuitous basement challenges for about 80 years.
Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan, Chairman of NOVAGOLD, added the afterward statement:
“That a law close attempted to accost NOVAGOLD shareholders based absolutely on a fundamentally awry “report” issued by JCAP – one that the Aggregation has systematically apparent to be abounding with apace falsehoods and ambiguous admonition – is par for the beforehand in this bedraggled game. Alike with NOVAGOLD’s line-by-line absolute acknowledgment accessible to them, the law close did annihilation added than echo a brief admixture of errors of fact, falsehoods, and discredited assertions. The timing of this address is analytical – advancing the day afterwards NOVAGOLD’s advertisement of the filing of its accusation for aspersion adjoin JCAP in affiliation with its “short and distort” arrangement – a clothing that we absolutely accept NOVAGOLD will win.
We shall not be arising responses to every bound aimed at us. We seek to highlight Hagens Berman’s columnist release, however, because it is emblematic of the amateurishness and abject benightedness of the accessible statements fabricated afresh about NOVAGOLD by JCAP and now again by others. To the admeasurement that any of our shareholders accept they accept been damaged, I animate them to seek admonition about whether any redress is accessible to them from the absolute perpetrator of wrongs: JCAP. Those who are absorbed should appraise NOVAGOLD’s acknowledgment to JCAP’s carpeting of ambidexterity to accept the accuracy abaft the falsehoods. I am absolutely abiding that any anxious assay will accomplish that, adverse to Hagens Berman’s narrative, JCAP is the one peddling the falsehoods and misrepresentations. I additionally beforehand that the beforehand accessible brace their compassionate of the beforehand case for NOVAGOLD, for Donlin absolutely is altered in its aggregate of attributes. There is a acumen why NOVAGOLD – a authentic comedy on what we accept to be the best development-stage asset in gold – so outperformed the averages such that we were acutely causing affliction to abbreviate sellers.
The affidavit are straightforward. Donlin Gold is a “category killer” that, we are confident, will not alone be congenital if gold does what we apprehend it will do but, if anything, acceptable would be one of the alone big mines congenital during the abutting balderdash bazaar in gold. In an era characterized by asset absence and abbreviating authoritative options for miners, it is NOVAGOLD’s altercation that Donlin Gold may able-bodied be – yes – unique. We are not acquainted of any added development-stage gold asset in the apple that enjoys Donlin Gold’s attenuate aggregate of ability size, aerial cast for an accessible pit, adorable operating costs, accessible analysis potential, decades-long abundance life, pro forma assembly contour (it has the abeyant to become the better authentic gold bearing abundance in the world) – and to be so in Alaska, the second-largest gold bearing Accompaniment in one of the safest civic jurisdictions in the world. Amid this amazing asset and a administration aggregation with an ceaseless almanac of success – led by the aloft President of Barrick Gold North America, Greg Lang – it is absolutely no admiration that NOVAGOLD has done so well.
We are assured that abreast investors will see the applesauce of JCAP’s alleged analysts whose acquaintance in the area is so antic back compared to that of NOVAGOLD’s administration and broker base. To our knowledge, JCAP has no accepted acquaintance in mining, added than two accomplished recommendations: namely, a abbreviate on Fortescue Metals Group, which afterwards about trebled in value, and a bullish attitude on Mongolian Mining Corporation. That banal has back collapsed 99% in value.
Ultimately, investors should not be bamboozled by JCAP and see this exercise for what it is: a scam, a break-in if you will, that now represents an befalling to new investors at the bulk of the absolute ones. The beforehand case, however, charcoal stronger than ever. As we accept declared assorted times, it is our close acceptance that the absence of high-quality assets in safe jurisdictions will cede NOVAGOLD a “go-to” banal in the gold development space. As a authentic comedy on the Donlin Gold cast that we ahead will anon be apparent as Alaska’s “Carlin Trend”, our company’s outperformance in the barter apparently became of abundant affair to abbreviate sellers who had alone to attending at the bulk archive to accept that NOVAGOLD represents an amazing agent for gold investors. In this at least, they are right.”
JUNE 8, 2020 STATEMENTS IN RESPONSE TO THE SHORT AND DISTORT REPORT
NOVAGOLD provided a absolute acknowledgment to the JCAP “report” countering anniversary apocryphal and ambiguous statement. These acknowledgment statements were all broadcast on June 8, 2020, as follows:
As appear on July 7, 2020, the Aggregation has served JCAP with a civilian action accusation for aspersion in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and is aggressively advancing redress. NOVAGOLD will abide to agilely avert itself adjoin bottomless attempts to dispense its allotment price.
Furthermore, as NOVAGOLD has apparent repeatedly, it believes that JCAP is overextension apocryphal and ambiguous admonition about the Aggregation and is the perpetrator of wrongs. The Aggregation encourages anyone who is absorbed to apprehend the abstracts referenced aloft to see the truth.
NOVAGOLD is a well-financed adored metals aggregation focused on the development of its 50%-owned Donlin Gold action in Alaska, one of the safest mining jurisdictions in the world. With about 39 actor ounces of gold in the abstinent and adumbrated mineral ability categories, across-the-board of accurate and apparent mineral affluence (541 actor tonnes at an boilerplate cast of about 2.24 grams per tonne in the abstinent and adumbrated ability categories on a 100% basis),7 Donlin Gold is admired to be one of the largest, highest-grade, and best -to-be accepted accessible pit gold deposits in the world. According to the Second Adapted Achievability Abstraction (as authentic below), already in production, Donlin Gold is accepted to aftermath an boilerplate of added than one actor ounces per year over a 27-year abundance action on a 100% basis. The Donlin Gold action has abundant analysis abeyant above the advised brand which currently covers three kilometers of an about eight-kilometer connected gold-bearing trend. Accepted activities at Donlin Gold are focused on accompaniment permitting, access work, association beat and workforce development in alertness for the architecture and operation of this project. With a able antithesis sheet, NOVAGOLD is well-positioned to armamentarium its allotment of allowing and access beforehand efforts at the Donlin Gold project.
Scientific and Abstruse Information
Some accurate and abstruse admonition absolute herein with account to the Donlin Gold action is acquired from the “Donlin Creek Gold Action Alaska, USA NI 43-101 Abstruse Address on Second Adapted Achievability Study” able by AMEC with an able date of November 18, 2011, as adapted January 20, 2012 (the “Second Adapted Achievability Study” or FSU2). Kirk Hanson, P.E., Abstruse Director, Accessible Pit Mining, North America, (AMEC, Reno), and Gordon Seibel, R.M. SME, Principal Geologist, (AMEC, Reno) are the Qualified Persons amenable for the alertness of the absolute abstruse report, anniversary of whom are absolute “qualified persons” as authentic by NI 43-101.
Clifford Krall, P.E., who is the Abundance Engineering Manager for NOVAGOLD and a “qualified person” beneath NI 43-101, has accustomed and absolute the accurate and abstruse admonition accompanying to the Donlin Gold action absolute in this media release.
NOVAGOLD Contacts:Mélanie HennesseyVice President, Corporate Communications
Jason MercierManager, Broker Relations
604-669-6227 or 1-866-669-6227
Cautionary Note Apropos Forward-Looking Statements
This media absolution includes assertive “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking statements”) aural the acceptation of applicative balance legislation, including the United States Private Balance Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Advanced statements are frequently, but not always, articular by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “potential”, “possible”, and agnate expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or after-effects “will”, “may”, “could”, “would” or “should” action or be achieved. Advanced statements are necessarily based on several opinions, estimates and assumptions that administration of NOVAGOLD advised adapted and reasonable as of the date such statements are made, are accountable to accepted and alien risks, uncertainties, assumptions and added factors that may account the absolute results, activity, achievement or achievements to be materially altered from those bidding or adumbrated by such advanced statements. All statements, added than statements of absolute fact, included herein are advanced statements. These advanced statements accommodate statements apropos the acknowledgment of the Aggregation to the JCAP report; the abeyant development and architecture of Donlin Gold; the capability of funds to abide to beforehand development of Donlin Gold; perceived arete of properties; mineral assets and ability estimates; and approaching allotment bulk achievement of NOVAGOLD. In addition, any statements that accredit to expectations, intentions, projections or added characterizations of approaching contest or affairs are advanced statements. Advanced statements are not absolute facts but instead represent NOVAGOLD’s administration expectations, estimates and projections apropos approaching contest or affairs on the date the statements are made.
Important factors that could account absolute after-effects to alter materially from expectations accommodate the charge to access added permits and authoritative approvals; the timing and likelihood of permits; the charge for added costs to analyze and advance backdrop and availability of costs in the debt and basic markets; the alpha of the coronavirus all-around communicable (COVID-19); uncertainties complex in the admiration of assignment after-effects and geological tests and the admiration of affluence and resources; the charge for connected cooperation amid NOVAGOLD and Barrick Gold Corp. for the connected exploration, and development and closing architecture of the Donlin Gold property; the charge for cooperation of government agencies and built-in groups in the development and operation of properties; risks of architecture and mining projects such as accidents, accessories breakdowns, bad weather, ache pandemics, non-compliance with ecology and admittance requirements, hasty aberration in geological structures, ore grades or accretion rates; abrupt bulk increases, which could accommodate cogent increases in estimated basic and operating costs; fluctuations in metal prices and bill barter rates; whether a absolute architecture accommodation will be fabricated apropos Donlin Gold or Galore Creek; and added risks and uncertainties appear in NOVAGOLD’s best contempo letters on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, decidedly the “Risk Factors” sections of those letters and added abstracts filed by NOVAGOLD with applicative balance authoritative authorities from time to time. Copies of these filings may be acquired by visiting our Broker Relations website at www.novagold.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or at www.sedar.com. The advanced statements absolute herein reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections of NOVAGOLD on the date the statements are made. NOVAGOLD assumes no obligation to amend the advanced statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or added factors, should they change, except as adapted by law.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors
This media absolution has been able in accordance with the requirements of the balance laws in aftereffect in Canada, which alter from the requirements of U.S. balance laws. Unless contrarily indicated, all ability and assets estimates included in this media releasehave been able in accordance with Canadian Civic Instrument 43-101 Standards of Acknowledgment for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)—CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Assets and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council, as adapted (“CIM Definition Standards”). NI 43-101 is a aphorism developed by the Canadian Balance Administrators which establishes standards for all accessible acknowledgment an issuer makes of accurate and abstruse admonition apropos mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, alter decidedly from the requirements of the United States Balance and Barter Commission (SEC) Industry Guide 7 (“SEC Industry Guide 7”), and ability and assets admonition absolute herein may not be commensurable to agnate admonition appear by U.S. companies. NOVAGOLD’s acknowledgment apropos Assets & Assets Estimates charcoal constant with NI 43-101. Beneath SEC Industry Guide 7, mineralization may not be classified as a “reserve” unless the assurance has been fabricated that the mineralization could be economically and accurately produced or extracted at the time the assets assurance is made. SEC Industry Guide 7 commonly does not admittance the admittance of admonition apropos “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” or “inferred mineral resources” or added descriptions of the bulk of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not aggregate “reserves” beneath SEC Industry Guide 7 in abstracts filed with the SEC. Investors should additionally accept that “inferred mineral resources” accept a abundant bulk of ambiguity as to their actuality and abundant ambiguity as to their bread-and-butter and acknowledged feasibility. Beneath Canadian rules, estimated “inferred mineral resources” may not anatomy the abject of achievability or pre-feasibility studies except in attenuate cases. Acknowledgment of “contained ounces” in a ability is acceptable acknowledgment beneath Canadian regulations; however, the SEC commonly alone permits issuers to address mineralization that does not aggregate “reserves” beneath SEC Industry Guide 7 as in-place burden and cast afterwards advertence to assemblage measures. The requirements of NI 43-101 for identification of “reserves” are additionally not the aforementioned as those of SEC Industry Guide 7, and affluence appear by NOVAGOLD in acquiescence with NI 43-101 may not authorize as “reserves” beneath SEC Industry Guide 7. Donlin Gold does not accept accepted reserves, as authentic beneath SEC Industry Guide 7. Accordingly, admonition apropos mineral deposits set alternating herein may not be commensurable with admonition fabricated accessible by companies that address in accordance with SEC Industry Guide 7.
On October 31, 2018, the SEC adopted a final aphorism (“New Final Rule”) that will alter SEC Industry Guide 7 with new acknowledgment requirements that are added carefully accumbent with accepted industry and all-around authoritative practices and standards, including NI 43-101. Companies charge accede with the New Final Aphorism for the Company’s aboriginal budgetary year alpha on or afterwards January 1, 2021, which for NOVAGOLD would be the budgetary year alpha December 1, 2021. The New Final Aphorism provides that SEC Industry Guide 7 will abide able until all registrants are adapted to accede with the New Final Rule, at which time SEC Industry Guide 7 will be rescinded. While aboriginal autonomous acquiescence with the New Final Aphorism is permitted, NOVAGOLD has not adopted to accede with the New Final Aphorism at this time.
1 Barrick Gold Corp. Q4 2019 Antithesis Appointment Call February 12, 2020 11:00 AM ET: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4323647-barrick-gold-corp-gold-ceo-dennis-bristow-on-q4-2019-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single 2 Slide 20, Barrick Gold “Results for Q1 2020…” webcast presentation, May 6, 2020: https://barrick.q4cdn.com/788666289/files/presentation/2020/Barrick-Q1-2020-Results-Presentation.pdf 3 S&P All-around Intelligence, analysis of assets with gold as the primary article and akin of assets above-mentioned to aboriginal production, 1990-2020.4 Donlin Gold abstracts as per the Second Adapted Achievability Abstraction (as authentic herein). Donlin Gold abstinent assets of about 8 Mt allocation 2.52 g/t and adumbrated assets of about 534 Mt allocation 2.24 g/t, anniversary on a 100% abject and across-the-board of mineral reserves. Mineral assets accept been estimated in accordance with NI 43-101.5 Barrick Gold defines a Tier 1 gold asset as a abundance with a declared abundance action in balance of 10 years with anniversary assembly of at atomic bristles hundred thousand ounces of gold and absolute banknote bulk per ounce aural the basal bisected of Wood Mackenzie’s bulk ambit accoutrement (excluding state-owned and abreast endemic mines); https://www.barrick.com/English/news/news-details/2019/Nevada-Gold-Mines-Launched-Best-Assets-Best-people-Will-Deliver-Best-Value/default.aspx#:~:text=A Tier One gold asset is a abundance with a,owned and abreast endemic mines.6 Fraser Institute Anniversary Survey of Mining Companies 2019, Beforehand Attractiveness Index, area Alaska ranks #4 in the apple (behind Western Australia, Finland, and Nevada).https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/annual-survey-of-mining-companies-2019.pdf7 Donlin Gold abstracts as per the Second Adapted Achievability Abstraction (as authentic herein). Donlin Gold abstinent assets of about 8 Mt allocation 2.52 g/t and adumbrated assets of about 534 Mt allocation 2.24 g/t, anniversary on a 100% abject and across-the-board of mineral reserves. Mineral assets accept been estimated in accordance with NI 43-101.
Donlin Gold JV – Provides Gold Bulk Optionality
There are four assignment rigs anon axis at the Donlin Gold action armpit in the better assignment affairs in 12 years. Donlin Gold “offers a huge optionality to the gold bulk above assorted gold bulk cycles in an accomplished jurisdiction,” said Mark Bristow, Barrick Gold CEO. The ally are alive on a phased affairs this year to validate adapted geological and ability models which accept articular areas of college cast that could beforehand allotment for the all-embracing project.
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