Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) and NovaGold Resources (NYSEMKT:NG), the owners of Donlin Gold LLC, are pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Cole as General Manager of the Donlin Gold project in Alaska. The owners express their sincere gratitude to Stan Foo, the outgoing General Manager, for his service and dedication to Donlin Gold during his 12-year tenure at the project.

Mr. Cole has more than 20 years of experience in permitting, building and operating major gold mines in North America. He comes to Donlin Gold from Barrick where he was most recently Executive Director, U.S.A. responsible for permitting, energy, communications, community relations and corporate social responsibility. Prior to that position, he served in a variety of senior operating roles, including General Manager of both the Goldstrike mine, one of Barrick’s largest operations, and the Ruby Hill mine, both located in Nevada. Mr. Cole is well known for his active involvement in local campus and mining education programs and serves on the advisory boards of a number of university engineering and mining programs. Mr. Cole has an engineering degree and a Master of Business Administration. As General Manager of Donlin Gold, he will be relocating to Anchorage, Alaska, and will report directly to the Board of Donlin Gold LLC, equally represented by the owners, Barrick and NOVAGOLD.

“Advancing through permitting and preparing for the development of a unique asset like Donlin Gold is a rare opportunity and I’m excited to take on this role,” said Mr. Cole. “The project has a track record of engineering excellence and a strong culture of safety, environmental stewardship and community engagement, all values that will remain constant. We believe Donlin Gold can be a model of responsible mine development with the potential to generate meaningful benefits for our Native Corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, and communities throughout Alaska for many decades to come.”

“Andy’s extensive experience and expertise make him an ideal candidate to take this project forward, building on the progress we have made under Stan Foo’s strong leadership at Donlin Gold,” said Kelvin Dushnisky, President of Barrick. “As we advance through the permitting process, we look forward to working with NOVAGOLD and Andy’s team to optimize Donlin Gold, with a focus on maximizing the long-term value of the project for all stakeholders.”

“Congratulations to Andy Cole on his new appointment and a heartfelt thanks to Stan Foo for the direction he provided in building a solid foundation on which to advance a model project,” said Greg Lang, NOVAGOLD’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “As we move through permitting, Donlin Gold’s path up the value chain will shift toward engineering and, potentially, the development of what is arguably the most important gold project in the world today. My team and I have known and worked with Andy for years, and we can’t think of a better person to take this project through the next phases of value maximization. Andy’s breadth and depth of experience and talent is well suited to unlock the potential of Donlin Gold for its owners, and continue to build on the strong partnerships we enjoy with the Native Corporations and other stakeholders.

The Path Forward

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”), Donlin Gold’s lead Federal permitting agency, is now reviewing the comment submittals received during the Donlin Gold public comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in preparation for completing the final EIS. Concurrent with these and other permitting activities, the owners are studying ways to further enhance the project’s value and lessen initial capital, such as modular construction techniques, more selective mining methods, automation of certain mining activities and additional value accretive scenarios. These studies have identified opportunities that, in combination with changes in prices of most major input costs, have the potential to increase the overall value of Donlin Gold as the owners consider updates to the project feasibility study completed in 2011. (Original Source)

Shares of Barrick Gold closed today at $14.64, down $0.19 or -1.28%. ABX has a 1-year high of $23.47 and a 1-year low of $6.90. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $16.53 and its 200-day moving average is $19.08.

On the ratings front, ABX has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 31, Mackie analyst Barry Allan upgraded ABX to Hold. Separately, on October 17, BMO’s Andrew Kaip maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $25.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Barry Allan and Andrew Kaip have a yearly average loss of 1.1% and 11.2% respectively. Allan has a success rate of 44% and is ranked #2834 out of 4209 analysts, while Kaip has a success rate of 15% and is ranked #3929.

Barrick Gold Corp. mines and explores for gold, copper and nickel. It operates through its projects in Canada, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Zambia, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. The company’s gold operating units are: Cortez, Goldstrike, Pueblo Viejo, Lagunas Norte, Veladero, North-America other and Australia Pacific.