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NovaGold Files Replacement Preliminary Base Shelf Prospectus

December 16, 2011 - Vancouver, British Columbia - NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSE-AMEX, TSX: NG), consistent with normal market practice, is moving to replace its current short form base shelf prospectus originally filed on December 30, 2009, and which expires on January 30, 2012. As such, it has today filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus with the securities commissions in each of the provinces of Canada, except Quebec, and a corresponding registration statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The shelf prospectus, when made final, will enable the Company to make offerings of debt securities ("Debt Securities”), preferred shares and common shares ("Equity Securities”), warrants to purchase Equity Securities and warrants to purchase Debt Securities, share purchase contracts and share purchase or equity units (collectively, the "Securities”) or any combination thereof up to an aggregate initial offering price of US$500 million during the 25-month period that the final short form base shelf prospectus remains effective. Securities may be offered separately or together, in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined based on market conditions at the time of sale and as set forth in an accompanying shelf prospectus supplement and, subject to applicable regulations, may include, public offerings, at-the-market transactions, private transactions, or strategic investments. Each prospectus supplement will contain specific information concerning the use of proceeds from that sale of Securities.

A registration statement relating to these Securities has been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These Securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these Securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

A copy of the preliminary short form base shelf prospectus and any shelf prospectus supplements that may be filed in the future may be obtained from the Company's Corporate Secretary by emailing info@novagold.net or directing a request to NovaGold at Suite 2300, 200 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C 1S4, telephone 1-866-669-6227, Attn: Corporate Secretary.

About NovaGold

NovaGold is a precious metals company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral properties primarily in Alaska, U.S.A. and British Columbia, Canada. The Company is focused on advancing its flagship property, Donlin Gold and offers superior leverage to gold with one of the largest reserve/resource bases of any junior or mid-tier gold exploration company. The Company is also committed to maximizing the value of its non-core assets, including its interest in the Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project. NovaGold has a strong track record of expanding deposits through exploration success and forging collaborative partnerships, both with local communities and with major mining companies. The Donlin Gold project in Alaska, one of the world's largest known undeveloped gold deposits, is held by a limited liability company owned equally by wholly-owned subsidiaries of NovaGold and Barrick Gold Corporation. The Galore Creek project in British Columbia, a large copper-gold-silver deposit, is held by a partnership owned equally by wholly-owned subsidiaries of NovaGold and Teck Resources Limited. NovaGold, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NovaCopper Inc., also owns a 100% interest in the high-grade Ambler copper-zinc-gold-silver deposit in northern Alaska and has other earlier-stage exploration properties. NovaGold trades on the TSX and NYSE-AMEX under the symbol NG.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain "forward-looking information” and "forward-looking statements” (collectively "forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, statements relating to plans for or intentions with respect to the offering of Securities and the Company's use of proceeds from the sale of Securities are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "expects”, "anticipates”, "believes”, "intends”, "estimates”, "potential”, "possible”, and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results "will”, "may”, "could”, or "should” occur or be achieved. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding perceived merit of properties; exploration results and budgets; mineral reserves and resource estimates; work programs; capital expenditures; timelines; strategic plans; completion of transactions; market prices for precious and base metals; or other statements that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from NovaGold's expectations include the uncertainties involving the need for additional financing to explore and develop properties and availability of financing in the debt and capital markets; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of drilling results and geological tests and the estimation of reserves and resources; the need for continued cooperation with Barrick Gold and Teck Corporation for the continued exploration and development of the Donlin Gold and Galore Creek properties; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the development and operation of properties; the need to obtain permits and governmental approvals; risks of construction and mining projects such as accidents, equipment breakdowns, bad weather, non-compliance with environmental and permit requirements, unanticipated variation in geological structures, ore grades or recovery rates; unexpected cost increases, which could include significant increases in estimated capital and operating costs; fluctuations in metal prices and currency exchange rates; failure to satisfy one or more of the conditions to the Plan including failure to obtain required court, shareholder or regulatory approval for the Plan; and other risk and uncertainties disclosed in NovaGold's Annual Information Form for the year-ended November 30, 2010, filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, and NovaGold's annual report on Form 40-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and in other NovaGold reports and documents filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time. NovaGold's forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made. NovaGold assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

 

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