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Sustainability

Health & Safety

NOVAGOLD is committed to the safety, health, and welfare of our employees and their families, our contractors, and our visitors, as well as the safety and well-being of the communities in which we work. NOVAGOLD's management is committed to providing leadership in health and safety. All team members take accountability for their personal safety and that of others working around them. We create a corporate culture that promotes safe work practices through individual and group employee motivation, safety achievement rewards, and safety performance recognition both in the workplace and in our local communities. Our practices reflect the objectives that are codified in our Health and Safety Policy.

NOVAGOLD, Donlin Gold, and our partners are committed to providing an environment in which all our people make it home safely every day and empowering individuals and communities to work together to ensure a bright future for everyone. This means:

Figure 1 - Health & Safety Twenty-eight community partners collaborated on the Donlin Gold Backhaul Hazardous Waste Removal project in 2020 to collect and remove 45,000 pounds of household hazardous materials. This event is built on three previous occasions during 2018 and 2019 when more than 140,000 pounds of household hazardous materials were removed from 15 villages.

At the project level, Donlin Gold continued high standards of health and safety performance with a zero Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate1 in 2020. The Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate2 in 2020 was 1.2, better than our goal of a maximum rate of 1.5. In 2020, Donlin Gold employees and contractors received more than 550 hours of health, safety, and emergency response training. Donlin Gold employees and contractors have worked more than 2.7 million hours over more than a decade without a Lost Time Incident (LTI) or fatality. Trained medical staff are based at the project site for response to and treatment of any injuries and any other employee health concerns. For seven consecutive years, Donlin Gold has been honored with the Barrick Gold Merit of Safety Award, a distinction that recognizes 365 consecutive days of zero LTIs. Winning this safety award is an example of Donlin Gold’s commitment to providing an injury-free workplace for all employees and contractors.

Figure 2 - Health & Safety Statistics

* Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate (TRIFR) is defined as an incidence rate of loss time injuries, fatalities, and medical incidents and is computed using the formula: (Number of injuries and illnesses X 200,000) / Employee hours worked = TRIFR. Note: ‘200,000’ represents the number of hours 100 employees work based on 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, and provides the standard base for calculating incidence rate for an entire year.

Our commitment to health and safety extends beyond the Donlin Gold project and into the communities in the Y-K region. Donlin Gold purchased 1,400 face mask kits from a local supplier that were shipped to 56 Y-K villages as well as to every student and staff member in the Kuspuk School District, home to more than 350 students over a 12,000 square-mile area. Donlin Gold coordinated with Tribal administrators to identify community members who could assemble the masks for Elders and people at greater risk of contracting COVID. Recognizing additional need in Bethel, the largest community in the region, Donlin Gold provided financial support to the Y-K Delta COVID-19 Response Fund and the Bethel Community Services Foundation’s vulnerable youth services fund.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Donlin Gold also continued to work with our Native Corporation partners on major community health and safety investments throughout the region.

Applicable Corporate Policies can be found at https://www.novagold.com/company/governance/ including Environmental Policy; Code of Business Conduct and Ethics; Anti-Corruption, Anti-Bribery, Anti-Fraud; Health and Safety; Human Rights Policy; and Social License and Sustainable Development.

1 Loss Time Incident Frequency Rate is defined using the calculation of number of lost time injuries per one million employee hours worked.

2 Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate (TRIFR) is defined as an incidence rate of loss time injuries, fatalities, and medical incidents and is computed using the formula: (Number of injuries and illnesses X 200,000) / Employee hours worked = TRIFR. Note: ‘200,000’ represents the number of hours 100 employees work based on 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, and provides the standard base for calculating incidence rate for an entire year.

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