NovaGold Resources Inc.
AMEX : NG
TSX : NG

NovaGold Resources Inc.

December 18, 2007 09:27 ET

NovaGold Reports Results from Donlin Creek Drill Campaigns

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2007) - NovaGold Resources Inc. (TSX:NG)(AMEX:NG) today released final drill results from the 2006 Donlin Creek infill drill program and the majority of results from the 2007 program. These results continue to indicate resource expansion potential beyond the 2006 Preliminary Economic Assessment pit limits, highlighting the district-scale potential of this world-class property. These drill results will be included in a resource update and a final feasibility study for the project, and are expected to convert a significant amount of the previously reported inferred resources to the measured and indicated category.

Highlights

- Results of 100% of 2006 and over 90% of 2007 drill programs now reviewed

- Drill holes average 67 meters of mineralization grading 3.61 g/t gold

- Continuity of in-pit inferred resources confirmed, with the expectation that a majority will convert to the measured and indicated categories

- Deposit open to expansion laterally and at depth

Over the next few weeks, technical teams from NovaGold and Barrick Gold Corporation will be working to assess the project's manpower requirements and develop a detailed project schedule and work plan for mine planning activities. In addition, the teams will review the geologic and gold grade models in detail to prepare a new resource estimate for the project in the first half of 2008.

"Few ore bodies of this size and quality exist in the world," said Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, President and CEO of NovaGold, "and these drill results further confirm the potential of the Donlin Creek project. We look forward to advancing this world-class gold project to production under our new 50/50 agreement with Barrick."

Donlin Creek 2006-2007 Drill Results

Assay results from 2006 and 2007 continue to show excellent property-wide results with holes averaging 67 meters of mineralization grading 3.61 grams per tonne (g/t) gold. Over 82,000 meters of drilling was completed at Donlin Creek in 2006, with more than 70,000 meters drilled in 2007. A compilation of all the 2006 and 2007 drilling results received to date is available in the attached Appendix.

Drilling in 2006 and 2007 focused primarily on infill drilling to enable completion of a feasibility level study and initiation of the permitting process. Additional drilling was focused on geotechnical and metallurgical studies, engineering design work and facilities location. Some resource expansion drilling was also completed to further test areas of new mineralization down dip in the main Acma and Lewis deposits, as well as in the new East Acma discovery area that was originally drilled in mid-2006.

Drill hole DH-1144, which was drilled early last summer in the East Acma target area, intersected 198 meters of 3.65 g/t gold extending well beyond the current pit limit at depth and to the east of the main Acma deposit. The interval was particularly significant because it potentially represented the discovery of a new important structural intersection between the ore-hosting intrusive dikes and sills, similar to the settings that host the main Acma and Lewis deposits.

Follow-up drilling completed in 2007 revealed two of the best intersections ever drilled on the property. DH-1556 intersected a total of 299 meters grading 5.26 g/t gold, a grade thickness of over 1,500 gram-meters. In the same area, DH-1564 intersected a total of 308 meters grading 4.60 g/t gold, a grade thickness of over 1,400 gram-meters. These three intersections project beyond the current pit model boundaries and may represent potential to significantly expand the pit model to the southeast. This area remains open to further expansion laterally and at depth. The other major deposits at Donlin that host the majority of the resources also remain open to further expansion (see Map 1 and Figures 1 to 4).

Map 1, a grade thickness map of the 2006-2007 drilling, shows the property-wide success of the focused infill drilling undertaken at the property and demonstrates continued potential for resource expansion, particularly in the East Acma area. Holes with assay results still pending are shown as green triangles and historical drill holes are shown as small gray circles. Appendix 1 provides details of the drill holes shown in Map 1. Figures 1 to 4 are geologic sections showing the main Acma and Lewis area deposits and drill holes, highlighting the holes completed in 2006 and 2007. These cross sections, showing the pit outlines and intrusive boundaries, highlight that the deposits remain open to further expansion with additional drilling.

The 2006 and 2007 drill program and sampling protocol was managed by Barrick. All drill samples were analyzed by fire assay at ALS Chemex Labs in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Assay quality control and quality assurance standards were overseen by Barrick. Kevin Francis, P.Geo., Resource Manager for NovaGold, and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed the results of Barrick's 2006 and 2007 drill program and confirmed that all procedures, protocols and methodologies used in the drill program conform to industry standards. True widths in Lewis exceed 90% of the reported length and in Acma are thought to be equal to the reported length.

Drill Highlights

Lewis Area

- DC06-1182 with 6 mineralized intervals totaling 132 meters grading 4.04 g/t gold

- DC06-1282 with 8 mineralized intervals totaling 130 meters grading 3.90 g/t gold

- DC06-1284 with 12 mineralized intervals totaling 101 meters grading 5.07 g/t gold

- DC06-1342 with 12 mineralized intervals totaling 225 meters grading 3.87 g/t gold

- DC06-1371 with 11 mineralized intervals totaling 193 meters grading 5.26 g/t gold

- DC06-1396 with 7 mineralized intervals totaling 124 meters grading 3.43 g/t gold

- DC06-1407 with 3 mineralized intervals totaling 18 meters grading 12.12 g/t gold

- DC06-1412 with 12 mineralized intervals totaling 176 meters grading 3.39 g/t gold

- DC06-1418 with 15 mineralized intervals totaling 219 meters grading 3.24 g/t gold

- DC06-1424 with 7 mineralized intervals totaling 153 meters grading 3.83 g/t gold

- DC06-1429 with 6 mineralized intervals totaling 89 meters grading 4.54 g/t gold

- DC06-1621 with 9 mineralized intervals totaling 129 meters grading 5.06 g/t gold

Acma Area

- DC07-1499 with 11 mineralized intervals totaling 219 meters grading 3.14 g/t gold

- DC07-1515 with 9 mineralized intervals totaling 108 meters grading 4.24 g/t gold

- DC07-1541 with 8 mineralized intervals totaling 172 meters grading 5.06 g/t gold

- DC07-1548 with 6 mineralized intervals totaling 100 meters grading 4.97 g/t gold

- DC07-1550 with 6 mineralized intervals totaling 112 meters grading 7.19 g/t gold

- DC07-1556 with 14 mineralized intervals totaling 299 meters grading 5.26 g/t gold

- DC07-1564 with 18 mineralized intervals totaling 308 meters grading 4.60 g/t gold

- DC07-1575 with 8 mineralized intervals totaling 146 meters grading 4.07 g/t gold

- DC07-1589 with 10 mineralized intervals totaling 138 meters grading 4.06 g/t gold

- DC07-1593 with 8 mineralized intervals totaling 107 meters grading 4.79 g/t gold

- DC07-1595 with 2 mineralized intervals totaling 18 meters grading 11.18 g/t gold

- DC07-1598 with 6 mineralized intervals totaling 115 meters grading 5.93 g/t gold

- DC07-1639 with 11 mineralized intervals totaling 190 meters grading 4.07 g/t gold

Note: Mineralized intervals exceed 3 meters in length above a cutoff grade of 1 g/t. A maximum of 4 meters of continuous dilution is permitted.

The Donlin Creek Project

NovaGold owns a 50% interest in the Donlin Creek deposit in an agreement with Barrick (50%). Located in southwestern Alaska, Donlin Creek is one of the world's largest undeveloped gold deposits. As currently envisioned, the mine would be developed as a high-tonnage open-pit operation that would produce over 1 million ounces of gold per year. NovaGold and Barrick are moving forward cooperatively to maximize the value of the Donlin Creek deposit by advancing the project through feasibility and permitting while bringing sustainable economic benefits to the Native Alaskan Corporations and local communities in the region.

Work in the first half of 2008 will focus on completing a series of optimizing studies for power, logistics, processing and production levels, and will integrate all data from the 2007 drilling program into a final feasibility study. Once the final feasibility study is completed, it is anticipated that the permitting process will be initiated in cooperation with Native Alaskan Corporations, local communities and Alaska State and US Federal regulators. Further exploration on the project will in part focus on resource expansion and fully testing newly identified targets adjacent to the main Acma and Lewis deposits. The 2006 and 2007 drill results will form the basis for an updated resource estimate on the project in 2008.

About NovaGold

NovaGold is a gold and copper company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral properties in Alaska and Western Canada. The Company is rapidly moving to production at its 100%-owned Nome Operations in Alaska, which includes Rock Creek, Big Hurrah and Nome Gold. The Company owns 50% of the world-class Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project in British Columbia in partnership with Teck Cominco. NovaGold and Barrick each own 50% of the Donlin Creek gold project in Alaska, one of the world's largest gold deposits. Also in Alaska, NovaGold is earning a 51% interest as manager of the high-grade Ambler copper-zinc-silver-gold project in partnership with Rio Tinto. NovaGold has one of the largest resource bases of any exploration or development-stage precious metals company. NovaGold trades on the TSX and AMEX under the symbol NG. More information is available online at www.novagold.net or by e-mail at info@novagold.net.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation; anticipated dates for receipt of permits and approvals, construction and production, and other milestones; anticipated results of drilling programs, feasibility studies and other analyses; anticipated availability and terms of future financing; estimated timing and amounts of future expenditures, and NovaGold's future production, operating and capital costs, operating or financial performance, are forward-looking statements. Information concerning mineral resource estimates also may be deemed to be forward-looking statements in that it reflects a prediction of the mineralization that would be encountered if a mineral deposit were developed and mined. 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 fluctuations in gold and other commodity prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, recovery rates, production estimates and estimated economic return; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the exploration and development of properties and the issuance of required permits; the need to obtain additional financing to develop properties and uncertainty as to the availability and terms of future financing; the possibility of delay in exploration or development programs or in construction projects and uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones; uncertainty as to timely availability of permits and other governmental approvals; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in NovaGold's Annual Information Form for the year ended November 30, 2006, filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, NovaGold's annual report on Form 40-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and other information released by NovaGold and filed with the appropriate regulatory agencies.

To view Map 1 please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/ng1218b.pdf

To view Appendix 1 please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/ng1218a.pdf

To view Figures 1 to 4 please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/ng1218c.pdf

Contact Information

  • NovaGold Resources Inc.
    Greg Johnson, Vice President
    Corporate Communications and Strategic Development
    (604) 669-6227 or 1-866-669-6227
    or
    NovaGold Resources Inc.
    Rhylin Bailie
    Manager, Corporate & Investor Relations
    (604) 669-6227 or 1-866-669-6227
    Email: info@novagold.net
    Website: www.novagold.net