A major partner can be the determining factor in the success of a new mine, and this junior gold miner has two big contributors.
This stock has two projects with big potential, with Barrick Gold holding a 50% stake in one and Teck Resources 50% of the other. But there is still a long and expensive process ahead before these mines reach production.
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NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (symbol NG on Toronto; www.novagold.com) hopes to bring into production its 50% Donlin gold project in the Kuskokwim Gold Belt in Alaska and its 50%-held Galore Creek copper/gold project in northwestern B.C.
NovaGold’s main focus is the Donlin project. The company recently issued its final 2017 results, in which it stated that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is finalizing the Donlin Environmental Impact Statement and that permitting is due to be completed in 2018.
For the year, NovaGold reported a net loss of $39.0 million, or $0.11 a share, higher than a loss of $33.1 million, or $0.12 a share, in 2016. The company holds $84.0 million in cash—sufficient, it believes, to conclude the permitting process.
With as much as 45 million ounces of gold, Donlin has huge potential. The same applies to Galore Creek, which contains as much as 9 billion pounds of copper, 8 million ounces of gold and 136 million ounces of silver.
Building a mine at Donlin could cost NovaGold and its partner in excess of $7 billion. A mine at Galore Creek could run higher than $5 billion.
Barrick Gold (symbol ABX on Toronto) owns the other 50% of Donlin, and Teck Resources (symbol TECK.B on Toronto) holds the other half of Galore Creek.
NovaGold needs continued high gold and copper prices to make its mining plans viable. The price of gold has risen about $5US an ounce during the stock market’s recent decline. The price of copper is up over the past six months. NovaGold also needs to raise substantial funds to build those proposed mines. That may prove difficult.
However, the company benefits from having strong partners in Barrick Gold and Teck Resources.
TSI Network recommendation: NovaGold is okay to hold, but only for highly aggressive investors.
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