Donlin Gold Pleased with 2022 Assay Results
Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget
“As a successful 2022 drill program comes to a close, we are now well positioned to begin our 2023 work, which will consist of reviewing a series of key trade-off studies, assessing mining scenarios, and continuing with permitting and regulatory engagement, along with our community partners,” says Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow.
Donlin Gold completed its 2022 drill program in September with 141 holes drilled for a total of 42,331 meters of core samples. The company says the program finished ahead of schedule and under budget and found multiple high-grade gold intercepts, which reconcile favorably with the modeled resource.
“The 2022 drill campaign was a resounding success in which all involved can take great pride,” says Donlin Gold General Manager Dan Graham. He adds that workers ended the field season without any lost-time incidents.
With an increased appreciation of the geology of the Placer Dome area near the village of Crooked Creek, Donlin Gold will update its resource model and complete its trade-off studies.
“With this highly successful exercise behind us, followed by the completion of the resource model and trade-off studies, the owners look forward to supporting the Donlin Gold team and its partners,” says NOVAGOLD President and CEO Gregory Lang, “positioning the project for the next steps in taking Donlin Gold up the value chain for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
In 1996, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, which represents ten villages along the middle Kuskokwim River, struck an agreement for mining rights with Placer Dome, which has since been purchased by Barrick Gold. Today, Donlin Gold is equally owned by Barrick Gold and NOVAGOLD, both Canadian companies.
As part of its community engagement, Donlin Gold has signed eleven “shared value statements,” which address specific community needs, such as water, sewer, and solid waste projects; the ice road that connects remote villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim; salmon and other aquatic life studies; and suicide prevention and public safety programs. Local hires from the 2022 drill program continue to support Donlin Gold’s engagement efforts through the Community Liaison Program in five Yukon-Kuskokwim villages.
Toward a Decision
Current activities at Donlin Gold are focused on the drill program, optimization efforts, community outreach, and advancing the remaining state permits. Donlin Gold renewed air and water permits in 2022 while moving toward an updated feasibility study decision.
The planned pits in which the existing resources are sited occupy three kilometers of an eight-kilometer mineralized belt, which itself is located on less than 5 percent of Donlin Gold’s land position.
“We could not be happier with the outcome of this season’s drill program, Donlin Gold’s largest campaign in fifteen years,” says Lang. “From the earliest to the very last results, the assay labs returned some of the best intercepts since the project’s inception—and indeed among open-pit gold projects.”
As of January 20, gold was trading at 1,928.30 per troy ounce with a 52-week high of $2,043.30 and a low of $1,633.40.