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 papa doesn’t play poker
LLast November, Greg Lang, Mélanie Hennessey, and I embarked on an “informational roadshow” in Europe. It
was our first time meeting existing and prospective shareholders since the advent of several events significant
to NOVAGOLD: the sale of our half interest in Galore Creek to Newmont Mining Corporation, the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD) for Donlin Gold, and the merger of our partner, Barrick Gold Corporation, with Randgold Resources Limited. Each was a positive development for us; combined, they constituted a possible game-changing catalyst for NOVAGOLD – once sentiment rewards the sector in general, and, in particular, gives the premium valuations to those few reliable “unicorns” that have had unalloyed good news to report.
There was a bit of déjà vu about the experience, as fund managers newer to the story asked about the genesis of our personal engagements with NOVAGOLD – and why our team had acquired such a fine reputation for doing everything that we said we were going to do. On more than one occasion, we found ourselves highlighting a philosophy of management, including investor relations, that revolved around the importance of credibility and keeping faith with all of our stakeholders. As I said in the quote I contributed to our press release when we made the Galore deal with Newmont:
This transaction is a win win for all parties. For NOVAGOLD’s shareholders, it is the continuation of a laser- focused strategy of unlocking the value of its assets and transforming the Company into a pure play on Donlin Gold, which we believe is the most important gold development story in the industry. Beginning in 2012 with the successful spin-off of NovaCopper (now Trilogy Metals) so that our shareholders could benefit from a rare high- grade copper asset in a premier jurisdiction, to the disciplined and unhurried sale of our interest in Galore Creek to a first-rate acquirer, the Board and management are proud of the fact that their commitments to investors have been scrupulously kept.
NOVAGOLD is expected to end this year with over $150 million in cash, with a further $100 million of guaranteed payments to follow over the next five years. Should Galore Creek proceed to a construction decision, NOVAGOLD will receive an additional $75 million. The owners of our shares should be delighted by the fact that to implement its business strategy, our Company does not expect to raise more money until a construction decision is made on Donlin Gold.
Reminding ourselves of our consistent refrain that such a decision, in turn, is expected to be taken at a point when gold is apparently resuming its long-term bull market trajectory which should imply much, much higher share prices. For those who believe as we do, that there comes a time when the shares are more precious than the metal itself, this set of circumstances should be seen for what it is: a very rare case of a mining company continuing every day, month, and year to honor its promises to do the right thing for its shareholders.
Dr. Thomas Kaplan | Chairman, Board of Directors

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