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It is impossible to review 2020 without acknowledging the cloud of the global COVID-19 pandemic that continues to affect
us all. NOVAGOLD had to go beyond the call of duty to practice extraordinary care, discipline, focus, and professionalism to ensure the safety and well-being of its workforce and that of Donlin Gold. We recognized very early on that extensive preventive measures had to be put in place immediately to protect employees. We also knew that communities near the Donlin Gold project in Alaska needed urgent help with transportation, food, and supplies.
Donlin Gold was one of the first mining companies in Alaska to respond to the pandemic. Along with its Native Corporation partners, the company rapidly engaged to provide much-needed assistance to the remote and small villages in the region by partnering with tribal councils to coordinate food collection
and delivery of supplies. Donlin also collaborated with tribal administrators to produce face masks for Elders and other people highly susceptible to COVID-19, and shipped 1,400 mask-making kits to 56 Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) villages. A partnership was also established with the Bethel Community Services Foundation to support the Y-K Delta COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as with Covenant House Alaska for homeless and at-risk youth services in Bethel. Supplies were provided to hundreds of families – and meals served to thousands of individuals – through the Elders and Youth program. Donlin Gold donated thousands of pounds of food to shelters when the project camp temporarily closed in April due to the pandemic, and delivered food to every home in eight middle
Kuskokwim villages. As many communities found themselves cut off from winter transportation when the regional airline declared bankruptcy, Donlin stepped in to help coordinate essential deliveries to those remote communities without regular air service, one of the primary means of transportation in Western Alaska.
The Donlin Gold 2020 drill program commenced as planned
in February and continued through March. It was temporarily paused near the end of that month, however, when COVID-19 reached Alaska. Our most important objective was to secure the health and safety of the workforce and partners. To minimize the risk posed by the virus when the drill program began again in late May, NOVAGOLD, in conjunction with its joint-venture partner Barrick Gold Corporation, implemented strict protocols to protect the Donlin Gold workforce, resulting in zero COVID-19 cases on site and no lost-time incidents during 2020. In addition to regular safety meetings conducted at camp with personal protective equipment provided to all site employees and contractors, instructions about good hygiene and sanitation practices were added – all in an effort to ensure that everyone remains healthy and makes it home safely every day.
We are proud of the active response in meeting urgent needs in the Y-K communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donlin Gold’s partnership with Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC) in ongoing community engagement also played a critical role in the implementation of environmental management, safety, and educational programs, as well as health and cultural initiatives, in these very difficult circumstances.
The majority of NOVAGOLD employees have been working remotely since the start of the pandemic and have not missed
a beat. To the contrary, we endeavored to stay connected and increased communications with our key stakeholders, shareholders, and investors to maintain momentum and share progress on our stated strategy of advancing Donlin Gold, one of the largest and highest-grade known open-pit deposits in the world in one of the safest mining jurisdictions, Alaska.
As we continue to deal with COVID-19 and its impact on the health of our communities, great comfort can be derived from the multi-decade partnerships that unite us in the common goal of advancing Donlin Gold for the benefit of its stakeholders. The project’s Native Corporation partners, Calista and TKC, as well as Barrick, share our vision of building value for future generations. Calista and TKC have been our partners since 1995. As the owners
    Gregory A. Lang President and CEO

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