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Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘NovaGold Resources Inc. (NG)’

MOU offers Americans scrutiny over B.C. mining projects

November 25th, 2015

by Greg Klein | November 25, 2015

British Columbians and Alaskans will seek involvement in each other’s mining proposals following a memorandum of understanding signed November 25. The MOU calls for governments and natives to take part in environmental assessment and permitting processes in their neighbour’s jurisdiction. But with an emphasis on trans-boundary waters, which mostly would consist of rivers and streams originating in B.C., Canadian projects might get more scrutiny than those next door.

B.C.-Alaska MOU pledges cross-border co-operation on mining and environment

The memo follows visits by B.C. mines minister Bill Bennett and Alaska lieutenant-governor Byron Mallott to each other’s turf. Bennett’s trips, following the tailings dam collapse at Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Mount Polley mine, tried to reassure Alaskans about B.C. environmental practices.

In August 2014, just weeks after the disaster, Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources asked Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency for participation in the approval process for Seabridge Gold’s (TSX:SEA) KSM gold-copper project near the state border. Provincial approval had already been granted the previous month. The federal permit came through last December.

Other prominent projects in B.C.’s northwestern corner include:

  • Galore Creek, a NovaGold Resources TSX:NG/Teck Resources TSX:TCK.A and TCK.B copper-gold-silver project that reached pre-feasibility in 2011

  • Schaft Creek, a Copper Fox Metals TSXV:CUU/Teck copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project that achieved feasibility in 2013

  • Chieftain Metals’ (TSXV:CFB) Tulsequah Chief zinc-copper-gold project, now permitted for construction

  • Pretium Resources’ (TSX:PVG) Brucejack gold-silver project, slated for 2017 commercial production

  • Imperial’s Red Chris copper mine, which achieved commercial production in July

The MOU sets no timeframe for achieving its goals. Money for the cross-border initiative would come from existing government budgets, with the possibility of additional “alternate public or private sector funding.”

NovaGold, Teck report BC Assays of 1.29% Copper, 0.51 g/t Gold over 184.9m

March 5th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningNovaGold Resources Inc TSX:NG and Teck Resources Ltd TSX:TCK.B announced results from their Galore Creek Property in northwest BC. Highlight include

1.29% copper, 0.51 g/t gold and 9.5 g/t silver over 184.9 metres
0.69% copper, 0.3 g/t gold and 6.1 g/t silver over 273.9 metres
0.78% copper, 0.3 g/t gold and 6.2 g/t silver over 282.4 metres
1.09% copper, 0.54 g/t gold and 8.1 g/t silver over 161.7 metres
0.9% copper, 0.42 g/t gold and 7.7 g/t silver over 176.5 metres
1.25% copper, 0.81 g/t gold and 10 g/t silver over 108.4 metres

The property is held by a partnership owned equally by wholly-owned subsidiaries of NovaGold and Teck and managed by Galore Creek Mining Corp. In November 2011, NovaGold retained RBC Capital Markets and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as financial advisers for the sale of all or part of its interest in the project.

View Company Profile

NovaGold Resources Inc
Neil MacRae
IR Director
or Ariadna D. Peretz
IR Analyst

Teck Resources Ltd

by Greg Klein

Marifil, NovaGold report Argentina Gold Assays as high as 2.27 g/t over 35m

February 14th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningMarifil Mines Limited TSXV:MFM in joint venture with NovaGold Resources Inc TSX:NG announced drill results from the San Roque gold prospect in Rio Negro province, Argentina. Highlights include

1.28 g/t gold and 16.49 g/t silver over 33 metres
51.69 g/t silver over 10 metres
1.45 g/t gold over 16.2 metres
0.93 g/t gold and 19.05 g/t silver over 52.2 metres
1.72 g/t gold and 32.22 g/t silver over 13.5 metres
22.91 g/t silver over 20.4 metres
48.42 g/t silver over 15 metres
50.35 g/t silver over 18.6 metres
0.85 g/t gold over 81 metres
2.27 g/t gold and 42.62 g/t silver over 35 metres
1.12 g/t gold and 15.3 g/t silver over 37.5 metres

Marifil Executive VP Richard Walters commented, “San Roque has evolved through six successive drilling programs into a very valuable asset for Marifil. It is now a substantial mineral deposit discovery that may well prove to be an ore body as work continues.”

NovaGold has earned a 49% interest in San Roque and has the right to increase its ownership to 70%. It is the project operator.

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Marifil Mines Ltd
John Hite

or NovaGold Resources Inc
Neil MacRae
Director, Investor Relations

by Ted Niles

The Proof’s In The Porphyry

February 13th, 2012

Northern Freegold Drills Yukon Gold, Silver, Copper, Moly

By Greg Klein

Northern Freegold’s TSXV:NFR January 18 inferred resource estimate was, as President/CEO/Director John Burges says, another milestone in its rapidly advancing Freegold Mountain Project in central Yukon. The Revenue Deposit’s initial 43-101 came in addition to the adjacent Nucleus Deposit’s existing resource of 1.39 million gold-equivalent ounces indicated and 898,000 gold-equivalent ounces inferred.

The boost of 3.66 million gold-equivalent ounces prompted analysts Michael Fowler and Leonie Soltay of Loewen Ondaatje McCutcheon to rate Northern Freegold a speculative buy with a target of $1.44—a steep hike from its January 18 high of $0.30.

Northern Freegold Drills Yukon Gold, Silver, Copper, Moly

That helps explain why Burges, a Northern Freegold newcomer as of November 1, “would want to move from a pretty comfortable Wall Street role covering the resource and commodities sector to a junior exploration company in the middle of a financial maelstrom.”

After being approached by Director Greg Johnson, the first thing Burges noticed was the company’s valuation. “It was trading at about a third to a quarter of its peers,” he says. “So the company’s cheap. But companies are sometimes cheap for fundamental reasons. I then went through the basics. The Yukon’s a great place to be mining, and the region has good infrastructure. But did the company have the ability to scale up its resource? This latest announcement shows we can do just that, and do so rapidly.”

With a gold-equivalent cutoff of 0.5 grams per tonne, Revenue’s January 18 inferred resource estimates 101 million tonnes grading

  • 0.34 g/t gold for 1.12 million gold ounces
  • 3.14 g/t silver for 10.19 million silver ounces
  • 0.13% copper for 286.87 million copper pounds
  • 0.04% molybdenum for 89.61 million molybdenum pounds
  • 1.08 g/t gold-equivalent for 3.66 million gold-equivalent ounces

The adjacent Nucleus Deposit has a February 2011 indicated resource estimating 48.5 million tonnes with a gold-equivalent cutoff of 0.4 g/t grading

  • 0.7 g/t gold for 1.1 million gold ounces
  • 0.9 g/t silver for 1.4 million silver ounces
  • 0.06% copper for 67.75 million copper pounds
  • 0.89 g/t gold-equivalent for 1.39 million gold-equivalent ounces

The Nucleus inferred resource estimates 41.45 million tonnes with a gold-equivalent cutoff of 0.4 g/t grading

  • 0.47 g/t gold for 627,000 gold ounces
  • 0.98 g/t silver for 1.31 million silver ounces
  • 0.07% copper for 62.03 million copper pounds
  • 0.67 g/t gold-equivalent for 898,000 gold-equivalent ounces

“Last season we drilled 27 holes, 12,375 metres, all of it in Revenue. We spent $4 million on exploration and converted that to over 3.6 million gold-equivalent ounces, an incredibly low finding cost,” Burges points out. “Part of that comes from having a porphyry asset. When you have a pretty good sense of the overall structure, you can scale up the size with relatively low-risk, low-cost drilling.

“We have an eight-kilometre geophysical anomaly running from Nucleus to the Stoddart Zone,” he adds. “Revenue is in between and that’s probably where the porphyry is centred. When you compare that geophysical anomaly to the soil geochemistry, where we have extremely strong copper and gold showing across a four-kilometre strike zone that crosses about the middle of that geophysical anomaly, it’s easy to become convinced that it’s a single porphyry system. It’s one of the largest geophysical anomalies you’ll see and probably comparable to some of the largest porphyry projects in the world. That’s the potential—obviously we haven’t proved that yet. We have to work at that every drill season.

“Revenue is open laterally in all directions and at depth. This coming season we think we’ll have very similar results as we drill the western side of the deposit.”

We spent $4 million on exploration and converted that to over 3.6 million gold-equivalent ounces, an incredibly low finding cost —John Burges

This year the company also plans to drill Nucleus below its current depth of about 300 metres and to explore some of the project’s prospective targets. The drill season usually runs from April to October.

As for infrastructure, “We have a government-maintained road leading to the main highway, a key advantage over companies that have to helicopter everything in. A high-voltage transmission line is about 30 kilometres away. We are on Crown land, but we maintain strong relationships with the local communities.”

Those relationships are enhanced by Founder/Director Bill Harris, a second-generation Yukon prospector who knows the territory’s people as well as its geology. “He not only found the deposit but was able to amalgamate a very fragmented land package,” Burges notes.

Director Greg Johnson is President/CEO of South American Silver TSX:SAC and a co-founder of NovaGold TSX:NG who helped push three projects through to feasibility as the company’s market cap rose from $50 million to over $2 billion.

Tim Termuende is President/CEO/Co-founder of Eagle Plains Resources TSXV:EPL, which Burges describes as “a serial incubator of assets which they spin out, the most recent example being Copper Canyon Resources, which NovaGold acquired last year.”

VP of Exploration Al Armitage is a 25-year geologist with extensive experience in North American porphyry assets, says Burges. “With his colleagues Al Sexton and Joe Campbell, they’ve really driven the exploration side of the company.”

The company had $3.6 million cash as of December, Burges says. “The cheapest capital would come from exercise warrants. We now have 29.8 million warrants at a 45-cent exercise price.”

He concludes, “We have the kind of asset that intermediate producers like—low-cost, open-pittable bulk-tonnage projects. And having a project like this in a low-risk jurisdiction with good infrastructure makes it even more valuable. I believe Freegold is going to be huge, and we’re rapidly working towards that.”

At press time Northern Freegold had 111.5 million shares trading at $0.29 for a market cap of $32.4 million.

NovaGold increases Private Placement to $332.5M

February 3rd, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningNovaGold Resources Inc TSX:NG announced that it has increased its previously announced bought-deal private placement from approximately US$250.8 million to approximately US$332.5 million. The offering consists of 35 million at US$9.50 per share. The financing will be used towards permitting and development at the company’s Donlin gold project, exploration and engineering at its Galore Creek project, exploration at its Ambler project, closure activities at its Rock Creek Mine, and for general working capital.

NovaGold is a precious metals company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral properties primarily in Alaska and BC. Its Donlin gold project in Alaska is one of the world’s largest known undeveloped gold deposits.

View Company Profile

Elaine Sanders
Vice President/CFO

or Neil MacRae
Director, Investor Relations

by Ted Niles

NovaGold reports Alaska Results up to 3.89% Copper over 178m

November 10th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningNovaGold Resources Inc TSX:NG announced assays from its Upper Kobuk Mineral Property in the Ambler Mining District of northwestern Alaska. Results include

3.89% copper over 178 metres
(including 11.38% copper over 34.7 metres)
4.36% copper over 36.3 metres
(including 8.35% copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 8.8 g/t silver and 0.09% cobalt over 17.6 metres)
5.41% copper over 31.9 metres
(including 28.5% copper, 0.44 g/t gold, 30.9 g/t silver and 0.44% cobalt over 5.5 metres)
6.73% copper over 26.3 metres
(including 24.47% copper, 0.57 g/t gold, 21 g/t silver and 0.14% cobalt over 6.8 metres)
1.85% copper over 77.3 metres
(including 3.43% copper over 18.9 metres)
1.87% copper over 27.2 metres

President/CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse stated, “DDH RC11-187 constitutes the best hole drilled to date on Bornite. The fact that it is a step-out makes it even more encouraging. While further work is necessary to assess the extent of the Bornite deposit, these initial results continue to demonstrate the exceptionally high-grade nature of this important and evolving mineral district. Given the level of previous exploration in the district, we are confident that we can continue to identify high-grade mineralization with additional exploration drilling. Simply put, this project has the potential to evolve into one of the richest and most valuable polymetallic districts in the world.”

View Company Profile

Neil MacRae
IR Director

by Greg Klein

A $26 Per Oz Bargain

October 25th, 2011

Seabridge Shares Are Cheap at the Price

By Ted Niles

Rudi Fronk believes Seabridge Gold Inc TSX:SEA is one of the cheapest gold stocks in the world. A glance at the numbers would seem to support this. At a market cap of roughly $1 billion, with proven and probable reserves at its KSM project in BC of 38.5 million ounces gold, Seabridge stock is now trading at approximately $26 per ounce. And that’s ignoring considerable additional reserves at the project, including 10 billion pounds copper.

The President and CEO notes that the nearest comparable company, NovaGold Resources Inc TSX:NG—with advanced-stage projects in Alaska and BC—is “trading at five to six times our valuation on a reserve basis.” He explains the inconsistency, “The big difference between NovaGold and Seabridge is they already have sponsorship in their projects with big joint venture partners [i.e. Barrick Gold Corporation ABX:CA and Teck Resources Limited TSX:TCK.B]; we don’t yet. When we get that sponsorship through joint ventures, we would expect to see a pretty significant re-rating in our share price. I’d say we’re getting close to that point now.”

Seabridge Shares Are Cheap at the Price

KSM is located 65 kilometres northwest of Stewart, BC and about 20 kilometres southeast of the past-producing Eskay Creek Mine. The project consists of four deposits—Kerr, Sulphurets, Mitchell and Iron Cap—and, in addition to the 38.5 million ounces gold and 10 billion pounds copper already mentioned, it has silver reserves of 214 million ounces and molybdenum reserves of 257 million pounds. Fronk declares, “KSM is the largest undeveloped gold-copper project in the world today in terms of reserves.”

The company is in the midst of a 12,000-metre infill drill program at the Sulphurets deposit to upgrade roughly three million ounces of inferred resources to reserves. October 20 assays include

  • 1.03 g/t gold and 0.1% copper over 182 metres
  • 0.96 g/t gold and 0.1% copper over 150 metres
  • 0.93 g/t gold and 0.51% copper over 143 metres
  • 0.74 g/t gold and 0.3% copper over 105 metres
  • 0.8 g/t gold and 0.47% copper over 86.5 metres
  • 0.38 g/t gold and 0.27% copper over 152 metres
  • 1.57 g/t gold and 0.04% copper over 36.6 metres

Fronk comments that the results “are better than what was expected. In addition to the inferred level, we’re also finding unclassified blocks that we’ll move up to higher categories as well. So I think our objective of three million ounces in addition to reserves is easily going to be achieved there.”

Calculated using a gold price of $1,069 per ounce, Seabridge’s May 2011 updated prefeasibility study gives a base case net present value (at a 5% discount rate) for the KSM project of $2.6 billion, an internal rate of return of 9.2% and a payback period of 6.6 years. The mine life is estimated to be 52 years with average life-of-mine cash operating costs of $231 per ounce of gold after base metal credits.

In addition to updating inferred resources at Sulphurets, Seabridge is also currently testing the Mitchell deposit for underground potential. “Mitchell is the largest of the four deposits—in fact it’s the largest gold deposit ever found in Canada,” Fronk says. “It now has more than a 40-year mine life on an open-pit basis, but there’s a lot of material down dip that is still there as resources. Our thought is, at some point in the Mitchell open-pit life, to move to a block-cave operation to reduce the amount of strip you have to do and continue going well beyond 40 years at Mitchell. We’ve engaged a consulting firm that’s very top-level in terms of block caving, and we did six deep holes for geotechnical purposes at Mitchell this year. One of the holes intersected 810 metres of continuous mineralization from the surface.” In other words, “This ore body is unbelievable.”

When we get that sponsorship through joint ventures, we would expect to see a pretty significant re-rating in our share price —Rudi Fronk

The next major step for Seabridge is permit applications. Fronk reports, “Best-case scenario is you’re looking at 2012 and 2013 for completing the permitting process, then probably a four to five year construction period for this project.”

In spite of its relative remoteness, the KSM project has certain logistical advantages over other major projects in northern BC; namely, it is the closest project of its size to existing roads, to BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line (expected to be completed by late 2013) and to Stewart’s year-round, ice-free port. In addition, Seabridge finds itself in the advantageous position of being fully funded after the June 30 closing of a $30 million private placement with Royal Gold Inc TSX:RGL. (Royal Gold was also granted the option to acquire a 1.25% net smelter royalty on all gold and silver production sales from KSM for $100 million.)

Seabridge’s other major project—Courageous Lake, comprising 85% of the Courageous Lake Greenstone Belt in the Northwest Territories—is, according to Fronk, approximately a year and a half behind the KSM project. It has a mineral resource estimate of 6.8 million ounces gold measured and indicated, and 4.5 million ounces inferred. Seabridge is spending $16 million on the project this year and expects to have a prefeasibility study completed by 2Q 2012. “We’ll have more time and more resources to spend on it after we get the deal done on KSM,” Fronk says.

Fronk sums up, “[KSM] is a project—of scale now—that really few companies in the world have the technical and financial capabilities to build. We’re not one of them. We’ve had a very open-door policy with the big gold mining and base metal companies over the last several years with a view to, at some point, partnering up. We’ve done all the work that we should be doing, and it’s almost time to hand it over to a major in some sort of transaction. Our preferred structure is a joint venture, where we stay in the deal, but they do all the heavy lifting going forward.”

Seabridge has 42.4 million shares trading at $24.61 for a market cap of $1.04 billion. Its other projects include the Grassy Mountain and Quartz Mountain properties in Oregon, the Red Mountain project in BC and the Castle-Black Rock project in Nevada.

Cariboo Gold Rush Revisited

August 8th, 2011

Spanish Mountain Moves Toward Prefeasibility

By Greg Klein

As BC’s 1858 Fraser Valley Gold Rush waned, some prospectors struck it rich in the Cariboo, sparking an even bigger stampede. Once again, the region is thriving with mining activity, from the humblest diggers to producing mines. “We have active placer operations right close by our Spanish Mountain Project,” says Spanish Mountain President/CEO Brian Groves. “It’s interesting to see evidence of the Cariboo Gold Rush and the placer operation still going today, which speaks to the vitality of the industry, I guess—and the price of gold.”

Ah yes, the price of gold. It’s been good news indeed for explorers like Spanish Mountain. As Groves and his team guide the project, located 70 kilometres north-east of Williams Lake, toward a September 2011 prefeasibility study, their projections grow more optimistic.

“Currently we’ve completed all the drilling in the Main Zone, which is the main deposit area of the Spanish Mountain Gold Project, and we’ve just started drilling one of the peripheral targets approximately three kilometres away. It’s a gold-in-soil geochemical anomaly which had not been previously tested by the owners of the piece of property which we acquired in mid-2010. It’s basically contiguous with our Spanish Mountain Project. We have two drills turning on that target at the present time. We need to outline that before we actually move too aggressively into the prefeasibility phase, but at the current time we know that the Main Zone at Spanish Mountain can support quite a nice operation with quite good net present value and payback and so on.”

Spanish Mountain Moves Toward Prefeasibility

Assays released July 28 show 0.65 grams per tonne gold over 321.6 metres (including 1.03 g/t over 50 metres), 0.5 g/t over 284.5 metres (including 1.35 g/t over 66.5 metres), 0.55 g/t over 214.3 metres (including 16.9 g/t over 1.5 metres) and 0.91 g/t over 123 metres (including 106 g/t over 0.75 metres).

June 2 assays include 0.46 g/t over 204.3 metres (including 1.26 g/t over 20.4 metres), 0.64 g/t over 62.5 metres (including 1.14 g/t over 15 metres), 0.51 g/t over 127 metres (including 1.06 g/t over 9.8 metres) and 0.38 g/t over 210 metres (including 0.53 g/t over 58 metres).

Groves comments on the July 28 results, “I think these are some of the longest intercepts we’ve seen on the property, and there are a lot of market watchers who are becoming very, very bullish on the future gold price. Even at the current level around about $1,600, we see a lot of upside on the overall pit design. Our PEA used a fairly conservative $950 US gold price for the pit design.”

Based on that price, the company’s December 2010 PEA included a resource estimate showing 1.37 million ounces measured and indicated, and 611,100 ounces inferred.

Groves explains, “Even without the drilling that we just completed, we know that if we were to design a $1,100 gold pit, we would have probably somewhere in the range of 2.8 million recoverable ounces. Again, that’s before the infill drilling.”

Gold’s increasing value will cut operating costs, he emphasizes. “We won’t be moving as much waste as we had originally planned. That’s because we now see more mineralized material in those areas, and again we think that with a $1,100 gold-price assumption, which some people think is still fairly conservative, we think the cut-off grade will probably fall to about 0.2 grams per tonne or less.”

Groves adds, “I suspect that when we come to update the resource model some time in the fall, once we have all the assay results from the Main Zone drilling, we’ll have achieved our goal of moving a lot of ounces into the M and I categories, as well as potentially expanding the resource.” He expects to have the full feasibility study complete by the end of 2012.

We know that if we were to design a $1,100 gold pit we would have probably somewhere in the range of 2.8 million recoverable ounces. Again, that’s before the infill drilling —Brian Groves

Local infrastructure includes a road, high-voltage power and proximity to a mill capable of “maybe 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes a day,” Groves says. “Infrastructure is a crucial point because we’ve seen all these big projects blow up on the CAPEX side—Barrick and NovaGold especially.”

Earlier this month, Spanish Mountain entered the pre-application phase with the provincial and federal environmental agencies. “We’ve spent a lot of time dealing with communities and First Nations, so we’re quite advanced in our community relations, and that’s a pretty positive aspect, for any project in BC, especially,” Groves says.

The company plans to go into production itself, but Groves admits, “We’re practical guys, and we realize that if someone does come along and wants to partner with us, it’ll be the board that ultimately decides what happens, and we’ll put it to the shareholders.”

Spanish Mountain owns three early stage projects: Prince George and Manson Creek in northwestern BC and Thunder Ridge in the Cariboo. The company is also exploring a gold-and-copper target in the Cedar Creek area of the Spanish Mountain Project.

“At the moment we have that nice balance between a development story and exploration upside, which I think is something that a lot of people might be looking for,” Groves says.

At press time Spanish Mountain had 164.9 million shares outstanding at $0.60 a share for a market cap of 98.9 million. As of July 2011 the company had $20 million cash on hand.