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NOVAGOLD Reports Second Quarter 2024 Financial Results

Determined to Advance Donlin Gold to an Updated Feasibility Decision Unlocking Value Through Ongoing Technical Work, Comprehensive Engagement and Proactive Social Outreach Efforts Robust Treasury of $113 Million in Cash and Term Deposits VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 26, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. ("NOVAGOLD" or "the Company") ((NYSE American, TSX:NG) today released its 2024 second quarter financial results and an update on its Tier One1 gold development project, Donlin Gold, which NOVAGOLD owns equally with Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick"). Details of the financial results for the quarter ended May 31, 2024, are presented in the consolidated financial statements and quarterly report filed on Form 10-Q on June 26, 2024, that is available on the Company's website at, on SEDAR+ at, and on EDGAR at All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. In the second quarter of 2024, the following milestones were achieved: Donlin Gold activities included: Advancement of metallurgical test work (pilot plant) to confirm proposed optimizations to the flowsheet; The preliminary design packages for the Dam Safety Certification were submitted on June 17, 2024; Progression of regional infrastructure support planning to narrow the scope of work and advance regional energy partnership opportunities; Incorporation of recent Donlin Gold field data in geosciences and hydrology to update the groundwater model and surface water model, and continuation of data collection to update geochemical characteristics for closure planning; and Ongoing resource modelling by a third-party consultant. In collaboration with Calista Corporation ("Calista") and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), Donlin Gold achieved significant milestones in education, health and safety, cultural preservation, and environmental initiatives: Finalized an additional Shared Values Statement in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) region near the project, increasing the total to 17; Held the third Subsistence Community Advisory Committee (SCAC) meeting in Aniak; Identified and began planning for specific project opportunities aimed at monitoring, evaluating, and enhancing the health of salmon populations throughout the Y-K region; Participated in a three-day Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA) conference in Anchorage, presenting on revenue sharing and addressing questions on funding and rural Alaska opportunities; Sponsored the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) March Madness Alaska basketball tournament; and Financially supported various educational initiatives and programs, including the Lower Kuskokwim School District's annual college and career fair. Joined the Crooked Creek Traditional Council on a visit to Washington, D.C. to voice their support for the Donlin Gold project in meetings with the U.S. Department of Justice and Alaska Congressional Delegation; Received continued support from U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and U.S. Representative Mary Peltola, who jointly submitted an amicus brief in Federal court, referring to Donlin Gold as one of the State's "most important and necessary economic development projects"; and NOVAGOLD extends its sincere appreciation to David Ottewell, its long-serving Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and wishes him well on his upcoming retirement. The Company would also like to welcome and congratulate Peter Adamek, who will replace Mr. Ottewell as CFO effective July 15, 2024. President's Message Continued Technical Efforts Enhancing Donlin Gold's Project Development As NOVAGOLD advanced its Donlin Gold work in the second quarter, the Company maintained its steadfast commitment to moving the project forward through a collaborative and inclusive approach to benefit all shareholders and stakeholders. Key activities included ongoing resource modelling by a third-party consultant to further enhance and update the resource model; metallurgical test work with a pilot plant in Ontario, Canada to confirm proposed optimizations to the flowsheet, which is expected to be completed in 2024; updating of the groundwater and surface water models by incorporating recent Donlin Gold field data from geosciences and hydrology, while continually collecting data to update geochemical characteristics for closure planning; and further progression of regional support infrastructure planning to narrow the scope of work and advance regional energy partnership opportunities. In addition, significant outreach endeavors were conducted in Alaska, particularly in the Y-K region, as well as in Washington, D.C. These efforts aimed to support community engagement and permitting initiatives to reinforce the project's social license. We deeply appreciate the diligent and highly effective contributions made by the Donlin Gold team, our partners, and broader stakeholders in that regard. Since NOVAGOLD's restructuring in 2012, our primary objective has been crystal clear: namely, to propel the development of Donlin Gold, our prized asset in Alaska, to its fullest potential. With unyielding determination, we have remained fully committed to the pursuit of this mission. The next logical and critical step is now to update the feasibility study, with the aim of positioning Donlin Gold favorably for a construction decision. Our dedication to advancing this flagship project underscores our unwavering loyalty to our stakeholders and long-term shareholders, ensuring that their trust and investment are met with tangible progress and value creation. Fostering Relationships with Local Communities Bolstered by Alaska Native Corporation Partnerships and Government Backing Supported by decades of consistent community outreach with our partners in the project's region, NOVAGOLD is committed to meaningful engagement throughout Alaska. The project, situated on private land designated by law for mining activities under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), enjoys strong Native Corporation participation and ownership, which facilitates comprehensive local stakeholder outreach as well as government engagement efforts in both Alaska and Washington, D.C. During the second quarter, an additional Shared Values Statement was finalized with a Y-K region community by Donlin Gold, increasing the total to 17. This achievement emphasizes our long-standing dedication to sustained engagement with local communities. These documents formalize our current engagement with key local communities, builds upon established long-term relationships, and addresses tangible issues such as water, sewer, and solid waste projects; the ice road linking remote villages in the Y-K region; studies on salmon and other aquatic life; and initiatives including suicide prevention advocacy and public safety. Donlin Gold, Calista, and TKC also conducted their third SCAC meeting, which took place in Aniak. This committee reflects the ongoing commitment to establishing a structured process for communication, dialogue, problem-solving, and gathering input from the broader community on subsistence matters. In addition, together with Calista, Donlin Gold participated in a three-day ANVCA conference in Anchorage. The Company's presentation focused on revenue sharing among Native Corporations in Alaska and addressed inquiries regarding statewide funding and rural opportunities. Moreover, Donlin Gold traveled with the Crooked Creek Traditional Council to Washington, D.C., voicing their support of the Donlin Gold project directly to the U.S. Department of Justice and Alaska Congressional Delegation. In April, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and U.S. Representative Mary Peltola, submitted a joint amicus brief in Federal Court referring to Donlin Gold as one of the State's "most important and necessary economic development projects" in "one of the most impoverished regions in Alaska". These efforts, combined with the bipartisan outreach campaign and support from the U.S. Department of Justice, along with the receipt of the Federal Record of Decision and 404 permit that was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management in 2018, help further solidify the importance of engagement and preparedness throughout the rigorous permitting process.   Devoted Support to Environmental and Social Initiatives in the Y-K Region NOVAGOLD prioritizes community and social responsibility, ensuring shared values are upheld at both the Donlin Gold project site and within the Y-K communities. Through initiatives focused on education, community wellness, cultural preservation, and environmental stewardship, Donlin Gold supports a broad range of activities, grants, and projects. From an environmental standpoint, the conditions and management of salmon fisheries in the Kuskokwim and Yukon River watersheds have been monitored and assessed since 2023. Our focus with local tribes centered on identifying specific project opportunities to enhance salmon population health. This involved collaborating closely with our Alaska Native Corporation partners to plan and initiate a juvenile salmon monitoring project in the George River, a major tributary of the Kuskokwim River. Donlin Gold proudly continues to support the annual "Clean-Up Green-Up" program, aimed at collecting and properly disposing of winter trash from the tundra, roads, public areas, and beaches in the Y-K region. This initiative assists 47 communities throughout the region. Donlin Gold's Community Development Coordinator, Rebecca Wilmarth, and Interim General Manager, Enric Fernandez, were honored to witness the Iditarod Sled Dog Race finish and personally extend their congratulations to Donlin Gold employee, Pete Kaiser, on obtaining his ninth top 10 finish in the race. NOVAGOLD is dedicated to advancing educational opportunities in Alaska, actively promoting learning through collaborative efforts and serving as a key component of Donlin Gold's broader community engagement initiatives. In March, Donlin Gold continued its collaboration with the ASAA, participating in their March Madness Alaska basketball tournament — one of the State's largest high school championship events. Donlin Gold also sponsored the Lower Kuskokwim School District's annual college and career fair. Pete Kaiser, who is actively involved in community youth engagement and suicide prevention advocacy, served as the event's keynote speaker. Furthermore, Donlin Gold provided financial assistance to Carry the Cure's 15th annual Iditarod outreach suicide prevention event in March. This gathering, held in local Y-K villages including Tununak, Toksook Bay, Nightmute, and Kasigluk, underscores Donlin Gold's commitment to addressing the high suicide rates prevailing among teens in Western Alaska by providing crucial messaging and support. Sustained Collaboration to Uphold Active Permits and Secure Remaining State Permits Donlin Gold works closely with Calista and TKC to support Federal and State agencies in defending the project's permits from appeals. All Donlin Gold permit appeals have been unsuccessful to date, highlighting the importance of thorough permitting processes. Permitting in the United States and Alaska constitutes a rigorous endeavor, requiring years of dedicated efforts to ensure diligence, transparency, and inclusivity in engaging all stakeholders, including those from the Y-K region. At this time, work on the Dam Safety Certification continues to progress. Donlin Gold, Calista and TKC met with the Independent Technical Review Board in May to discuss the preliminary design packages, which were submitted to the ADNR on June 17, 2024. In State litigation, after unsuccessful appeals to the ADNR Commissioner and Alaska Superior Court regarding Donlin Gold's water rights permits, Earthjustice submitted their opening brief to the Alaska Supreme Court in January. The State of Alaska, Calista, and Donlin Gold filed their response briefs in the second quarter. Earthjustice filed its opening brief in its appeal of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) Commissioner's decision affirming the 401 Water Quality Certification with the Alaska Superior Court in January, while the State of Alaska, Calista, and Donlin Gold filed their briefs in April. Briefing is now complete and oral argument has been scheduled for August 30, 2024. In the Federal litigation challenging the Donlin Gold Joint Record of Decision and 404 permit, Earthjustice filed their opening brief in February and the U.S. Department of Justice, the State of Alaska, Calista, and Donlin Gold filed their response briefs in the second quarter. Oral arguments were held on June 24, 2024. A decision is anticipated by early 2025. With a comprehensive understanding of the project's permitting and regulatory procedures, Donlin Gold, alongside Calista and TKC, remains committed to supporting Federal and State agencies in defending the permits and securing the remaining state-level permits and certificates crucial for the project's advancement. Unyielding Dedication to Maximizing the Value of the Donlin Gold Project for All Stakeholders and Shareholders With resolute confidence, NOVAGOLD views the Donlin Gold project as a prime investment opportunity in the gold market, particularly given the scarcity of good quality assets in safe jurisdictions. Located in Alaska, a secure and proven mining destination and the second largest gold-producing state in the United States2, the project holds unparalleled potential, compounded by our sustained commitment to guiding this remarkable asset through its progression up the value chain in a responsible manner. Donlin Gold stands out as one of the top development assets in the industry, boasting approximately 39 million ounces of gold with a grade of 2.24 grams per tonne in Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources (100% basis)3. Additionally, exploration opportunities extend beyond the current resource areas which cover only a fraction of the project's extensive land package. With a truly exceptional profile as a low-cost, open-pit, million-ounce producer for decades, Donlin Gold also enjoys outstanding exploration upside. Testament to the rigor of our strategy, the Company consistently elevated Donlin Gold's value without requiring additional equity issuances since 2012, with treasury standing at $113 million as of May 31, 2024. Appreciative of our shareholders' staunch support and valuable guidance, we remain committed to enhancing shareholder and stakeholder value ...