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Obviously, I am not the only one to detect this paradigm shift in gold. There is no doubt that consciously and subconsciously
the investment climate has changed in the bulls’ favor. The gold narrative is far more well-received now than it was a couple
of years ago, and the expansion and quality of gold’s list of advocates has been beautiful to behold. So it has been with the crypto phenomenon mirroring this pivot, and with its passionate adherents who are presenting precious metals with a new pool in which to wade. If crypto multiplies, precious metals will prosper for their own merits and for their arbitrage opportunities as people seek value amidst the alt-currencies. If crypto does not do well for whatever reason, or faces increased regulation, gold’s time-tested reliability will let it continue to shine for all the reasons I have highlighted for years.
25.7% Electrum Strategic Resources LP & affiliates 7.5% Fidelity Management & Research Company 6.7% Paulson & Co. Inc.
6.4% BlackRock Institutional Trust & affiliates 4.9% Saudi Public Investment Fund
3.6% Van Eck Associates Corporation 3.0% First Eagle Investment Management 2.4% The Vanguard Group, Inc.
2.0% EXOR Investments (UK) LLP
1.3% State Street Global Advisors (US)
* Market Capitalization based on 331.3 million shares issued and outstanding and NOVAGOLD share price of $9.31 as of April 1, 2021. Shareholder positions are based on the latest 13-D, 13-F or 13-G filings as of December 31, 2020.
It is still early days in this story, however. At this juncture, I am yet again reminded of the wise words of John Hathaway, whom I regard as the Dean of the Gold Bulls: “A cursory inspection of the U.S. fiscal situation suggests that the U.S. dollar deserves to rank high on the endangered species list. We believe that now is the time to start layering in gold exposure, not when the rest of the world tries to do so.”
If John is right, and if I am right, the place to be in order to benefit from a legitimate revaluation (dare I say “bubble”?) remains the precious metals miners. The massive dividend streams to
which I referred, coupled with the multiple expansion of those companies with long-lived Tier One assets in Tier One jurisdictions, could allow these companies to outshine everything else but some groundbreaking tech and biotech stocks – and yes, even crypto. We live in a world in flux. Empires are rising, empires are declining. Gold may or may not be the biggest winner. But a winner it will be. And that bodes well for me and the shareholders of NOVAGOLD.
I have evoked Fortune quite a few times in this piece. Those readers who know me understand it is no throwaway expression
in my book. Rather, an appreciation for the inherent fickleness of life constitutes part and parcel of a deep affinity for certain classical values of acknowledgment best evoked by Cicero, who put it so perfectly: “Gratitude is the greatest of the virtues and the mother of all the others.” I believe with all my heart and mind in the absolute truthfulness of this sentiment. And at no time in my adult life than during this past year have I felt more grateful for all those that I have around me and in my various ecosystems.
To all those who are making the Donlin Gold project advance so gracefully and helping the NOVAGOLD story shine so brightly, you have my deepest appreciation. The year 2020 clearly would not have been the success it turned out to be without the wisdom and fidelity of all our allies and collaborators: our Alaska Native partners – Calista and TKC – and our joint-venture partner Barrick; the State of Alaska and the federal government; our board of directors; the management personnel in Salt Lake City, Vancouver, and at Donlin in Alaska; and all our contractors and professional advisors. As
that owner who lives above the store, and knowing what it is to
be a long-term investor, my gratitude for our fellow shareholders knows no bounds. From the more modest retail investors all the way through to the most highly acclaimed fund managers and shrewdest sovereign wealth funds, we feel blessed with a trust
that NOVAGOLD holds sacred.
Thank you all once again for that trust. Please stay safe. And may you and your loved ones experience a healthy and prosperous 2021.
Dr. Thomas Kaplan
Chairman, Board of Directors
April 7, 2021
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