Novagold FY 2Q15 Earnings Call Notes

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18 years to permit an average mine

Although it may seem lengthy a permitting timeline of about five years is reasonable for an asset that will produce for over three decades in one of the world’s safest jurisdictions. The reality of today’s environment is that mining projects now take an average of 18 years to reach production after discovery. We have invested time and resources into this process, which will pay dividends as we near the home stretch in the permitting of Donlin Gold.

Many pieces of the permitting puzzle have come together

many pieces in the puzzle in permitting Donlin have come together in the last quarter. The corps of engineers were primarily focused on the preliminary draft to EIS which is a key driver in the permitting schedule. The Corp has addressed comments from the cooperating agencies, the State of Alaska and the native corporations and issued a preliminary draft to EIS for inter-agency review. The release of the preliminary draft to EIS is a major step in the process leading to the publication of the draft EIS for public comment.

Expect to spend 14m this year to fund projects

We spent $3.9 million to fund our share of Donlin Gold and Galore Creek in the second quarter. For the full year, we expect to spend a total of $14.2 million on our projects.

Unexpiring option on 39m ounces of gold

Our largest shareholders view NOVAGOLD as one of the best ways to get exposure to the richest gold deposit in the industry, an unexpiring option on 39 million ounces of gold.

We’ve been progressing like the tortoise and the hare. In two years’ time we’ll be able to make a decision

Reminiscent of the tortoise and the hare we and our partners have been advancing Donlin Gold steadily and without interruption. In less than two years’ time, market and gold price dependent, the owners will be in a position to make a decision on one of the gold industry’s most vital assets in the next generation of mines.

Two years left in permitting

we’ve still got two years left in permitting, so we’re really not in a position to make any adjustments to the current project that we’re working so hard to get over the line.

It’s a big undertaking. We want everyone to be informed

the EIS is approaching 3,000 pages now. Yeah we’re permitting a mine, two ports [ph], the gas pipeline and a power plant. So it’s really a massive undertaking. And there have been numerous in-depth studies along the way on every aspect of the impacts of the project, from barging on the river, quality and so on. So it’s a very well scrutinized project which is, what we want. We want the project to be fully understood by all of our stakeholders. And I think with an undertaking like this, yes it does take time.

No one likes to see their share price drop but that’s not our concern

Nobody likes to see their share price drop. But we’re not really concerned by that. I mean the main decision for NOVAGOLD is two years out into the future, that’s a lifetime in the gold industry, particularly as tumultuous as its been the last four months