NOVAGOLD Refutes False and Misleading Statements in Law Firm Solicitation Release
The law firm release, published July 8, 2020 in an attempt to solicit clients, is based entirely on a fundamentally flawed “report” issued by J Capital Research (JCAP) that reiterates numerous false and misleading statements published by the short seller on May 28, 2020 about the positions and expertise of two of the most professional and experienced mining teams in the world – NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (“NOVAGOLD” or “the Company”) and Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”); andShareholders should rely on NOVAGOLD’s comprehensive rebuttals, which were issued on June 8, 2020 and include a media release, Chairman’s letter to shareholders, and line-by-line Fact Matrix countering each of the short sellers’ false and misleading statements.VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (“NOVAGOLD” or “the Company”) (NYSE American, TSX: NG) today responds to the misconceived effort by a law firm, Hagens Berman (the “law firm”), to solicit clients and continue the spread of malicious and false information regarding the Company, following the defamatory attack perpetrated by a short seller against the Company and its flagship Donlin Gold project in Alaska on May 28, 2020.NOVAGOLD RESPONDS TO LAW FIRM’S FOUR INACCURATE STATEMENTSNOVAGOLD responds to the four misrepresentations below that were included in the law firm’s solicitation release distributed July 8, 2020:1. MISREPRESENTATION: “the company’s co-owner, Barrick, told investors it does not even include Donlin in its 10-year plan”NOVAGOLD and BARRICK: A DEDICATED AND ALIGNED PARTNERSHIP IN DONLIN GOLD LLCFirstly, Barrick is not NOVAGOLD’s co-owner. It is the Company’s partner in the project. Secondly, this statement by JCAP is cherry-picked and out of context in a deliberately distortive manner for the purpose of misleading investors and injuring its shareholders. The elementary reason Barrick ‘hasn’t included Donlin Gold in its new 10-year plan’ is because the partners, Barrick and NOVAGOLD, are fully aligned in working toward a construction decision at a time when both the project optimization is complete and market conditions are favorable for their shareholders. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to creating negative news where none exists. In actual fact, during the same fourth quarter 2019 earnings conference 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 price across multiple gold price cycles in an excellent jurisdiction” and said that the partners are working on a phased program this year to validate updated geological and resource models which have identified areas of higher grade that could improve returns for the overall project. With four drill rigs presently on site in furtherance of this strategy, we look forward to testing these new geological concepts within what is already exceptionally high grade for a large open-pit gold mining project. Indeed, spending at Donlin Gold in 2020 is projected at its highest level since 2011.In addition, Barrick provided an update on Donlin Gold, during their first quarter 2020 earnings results webcast presentation on May 6, 20202, that reinforces these points, as shown in FIGURE 1: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/308dade6-65ee-4d4c-9a06-e785a65e1f862. MISREPRESENTATION: “A deposit so remote and technologically challenging that the mine will never be built.”Objective technical work by NOVAGOLD, Barrick, and a number of the most reputable contractors and engineering firms in the mining industry over nearly two decades have determined that the deposit is most definitely “not so remote and technically challenging that it will never be built”. Suggesting the contrary is indeed nonsense. These experts have determined that Donlin Gold can be built and, in the right market conditions, should be built.JCAP’s grossly misleading statement about Donlin Gold’s future is particularly groundless given the fact that in August 2018, Donlin Gold was issued a Record of Decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, marking successful completion of the multi-year comprehensive federal environmental review and permitting process. Furthermore, the project has now received a number of key Alaska State permits that would be required to advance Donlin Gold towards construction. And last but not least, over the last two decades, NOVAGOLD and Barrick have carried out extensive environmental, technical, and social studies on various aspects of the project. These studies were conducted by reputable firms in partnership with our Native Corporation partners and local stakeholders to secure support from a variety of project stakeholders and to ensure the longevity and viable development of such an important deposit in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.Those are only some of Donlin Gold’s relative advantages. To our knowledge, rarely has a project commenced operations with a gold deposit3 of approximately 39 million ounces of gold in the measured and indicated mineral resource categories, inclusive of proven and probable mineral reserves (541 million tonnes at an average grade of approximately 2.24 grams per tonne in the measured and indicated resource categories on a 100% basis) 4, defined with approximately 1,400 drill holes totaling over 339,000 meters.