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Donlin Gold Affirms Its Strong Support for ADEC Commissioner’s Upholding of Section 401 Certification

Press Release

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 28, 2021 — Donlin Gold LLC (“Donlin Gold”), owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”) (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) and NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (“NOVAGOLD”) (TSX, NYSE American: NG), today provided an update relating to the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification (the “401 Certification”) of their Donlin Gold project. An appeal has been filed against the decision by the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) in May 2021 to uphold the 401 Certification. It is being appealed in Alaska’s Superior Court by Earthjustice, a San Francisco-based activist law firm on behalf of the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC), the Tribal Council for Bethel, a village in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

Earthjustice’s original administrative appeal of the 401 Certification to the ADEC Commissioner followed several previous requests for informal review made by ONC of the issued 401 Certification in 2019 and 2020 which were granted by ADEC. We believe those informal reviews served to strengthen ADEC’s basis for their original decision. Having exhausted all administrative appeal options, Earthjustice filed an appeal in Alaska Superior Court on June 28, 2021, challenging the ADEC Commissioner’s decision to uphold the 401 Certification.

Donlin Gold strongly believes that the Commissioner’s decision to uphold the 401 Certification validates the project stakeholders’ commitment to advance the Donlin Gold project in a safe and environmentally responsible manner for the benefit of all Alaskans. Over a six-year period, Donlin Gold conducted an extensive, transparent, and independently reviewed scientific evaluation that included significant community participation and scrutiny, and consistently demonstrated that the project fully complies with the Clean Water Act, the Alaska Water Quality Standards, Anti-degradation analysis and other applicable State and Federal laws. The process culminated with the issuance of the 401 Certification by ADEC in 2018. The 401 Certification clearly demonstrates that the project fully complies with the high standards of environmental protection imposed by the State of Alaska and the appropriate agencies of the Federal government of the United States. Furthermore, ADEC’s findings, reflected in the 401 Certification, have provided the stakeholders of the Donlin Gold project with an extensive body of comprehensive information about aquatic life in Crooked Creek and the Kuskokwim River to ensure that the wellbeing of the people dependent upon a healthy eco-system is protected.

Of equal importance, Donlin Gold operates pursuant to the terms of a subsurface minerals and surface land lease with Calista Corporation (“Calista”) and a surface land use agreement with The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC). Donlin Gold is being developed on private land that was selected by Calista and TKC at the direction of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region Elders in the 1970s. These agreements include a revenue-sharing structure, established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA) of 1971, which resolved Alaska Native land claims, allotting 44 million acres of land for use by Alaska Native corporations. This land was selected by the people of the region, who are looking forward to the responsible and sustainable development of the Donlin Gold project.

About Donlin Gold

Donlin Gold LLC is an Alaska-based company owned equally by Barrick Gold U.S. Inc. and NovaGold Resources Alaska, Inc., which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Barrick and NOVAGOLD, respectively. Alaska is the second largest gold-producing State in the U.S. With approximately 39 million ounces of gold grading 2.24 grams per tonne in the measured and indicated resource categories (100 percent basis) 1 , Donlin Gold hosts one of the largest and highest-grade undeveloped open-pit gold endowments in the world. The planned pits in which the existing resources are sited occupy only three kilometers of an eight-kilometer mineralized belt, which itself is located on less than 5% of Donlin Gold’s land position. Current activities at Donlin Gold are focused on the drill program, optimization efforts, and community outreach.

Donlin Gold is a committed partner to the Alaska Native communities both surrounding the project and within the State as a whole. Our long-term commitment to economic development is exemplified by Donlin Gold’s support of TKC’s initiative to launch energy and infrastructure projects in Middle Kuskokwim villages. These partnerships, activities, and programs are illustrative of the commitment to the sustainable and responsible development of the Donlin Gold project for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Scientific and Technical Information

Certain scientific and technical information contained herein with respect to the Donlin Gold project is derived from the “Donlin Creek Gold Project Alaska, USA NI 43-101 Technical Report on Second Updated Feasibility Study” prepared by AMEC with an effective date of November 18, 2011, as amended January 20, 2012 (the “Second Updated Feasibility Study”). Kirk Hanson, P.E., Technical Director, Open Pit Mining, North America, (AMEC, Reno) is the Qualified Person responsible for the preparation of the independent technical report, and an independent “qualified person” as defined by NI 43-101. Wood Canada Limited (“Wood” formerly AMEC Americas Limited) is currently updating all sections of the Second Updated Feasibility Study with updated costs, economic assessment, permitting information, and technical information related to permitting, generated on the Donlin Gold project since 2011, which is anticipated to be finalized and filed during 2021. Based on that cost review, Wood determined that updating the Second Updated Feasibility Study using 2020 costs and new gold price guidance results in no material change to the mineral resources or mineral reserves. The economic assessment in the updated study may be materially different than in the 2011 study.

Barrick Contacts:
Kathy du Plessis
Investor and Media Relations
+44 20 7557 7738
Email: [email protected]

Catherine Raw
COO, North America
Tel: +1 416 307 5157
Email: [email protected]

NOVAGOLD Contacts:

Mélanie Hennessey
Vice President, Corporate Communications

Jason Mercier
Manager, Investor Relations

Tel: +1 604-669-6227 or 1-866-669-6227

Donlin Gold Contact:

Kristina Woolston
External Affairs Manager

Tel: +1 907-569-0349


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