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Sprott raises stake in NovaGold; Barrick confident of keeping Donlin Creek
12:19a ET Friday, August 18, 2006
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Sprott Asset Management Inc. of Toronto reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it has acquired another 421,800 shares of NovaGold, worth about $7 million, and raised its percentage of ownership of the company from 4.65 percent to more than 5 percent:
Thus Sprott thinks little of Barrick Gold's offer to purchase NovaGold for $14.50 per share and may be assumed to have joined the campaign to oppose Barrick's acquisition of NovaGold until Barrick closes its gold short position and helps to liberate the price of gold.
Meanwhile Barrick has issued a statement calling "unfounded" NovaGold's lawsuit against Barrick over the acquisition of Pioneer Metals Corp. and expressing confidence in Barrick's claim to a 70 percent interest in its joint venture with NovaGold at the Donlin Creek property in Alaska. Barrick's statement is appended.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
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Barrick Gold Press Release
via Market Wire
Thursday, August 17, 2006
TORONTO -- Barrick Gold Corp. announced today that it believes the lawsuit filed by NovaGold Resources Inc. in connection with Barrick's offer to acquire Pioneer Metals Corp. is unfounded. Barrick has reviewed the complaint and denies that it used confidential information belonging to NovaGold as alleged by NovaGold. The lawsuit was filed on the same day as NovaGold issued its Directors' Circular in response to Barrick's offer to acquire the outstanding shares of NovaGold.
"The lawsuit appears to be a defensive tactic and should NovaGold actually try to advance the case, Barrick will vigorously defend this proceeding," said Greg Wilkins, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Barrick considers that it conducted itself in a thoroughly professional manner and will continue to do so.
Mr. Wilkins noted: "The statements in NovaGold's Directors' Circular regarding the insignificance of Pioneer's claims to the Galore Creek project were inconsistent and contradictory to NovaGold's actions."
Mr. Wilkins added that Barrick remains confident in its ability to earn its 70 per cent interest in the Donlin Creek project: "Despite NovaGold's protestations to the contrary, Barrick is the operator of the joint venture and is actively managing the project to ensure it remains on track in order to meet the terms and milestones as required by the joint venture agreement. In the event that any party deems it advisable to contest our interest, we will not hesitate to protect our legal rights."
Barrick continues to believe that its offer reflects full and fair value to NovaGold's shareholders. The Company is making the offer in order to consolidate its interest in the Donlin Creek project in Alaska, USA, and acquire 100 per cent of the Galore Creek project in British Columbia, Canada. The proposed transaction is valued at approximately US$1.3 billion (or approximately US$1.5 billion on a fully diluted basis). The all-cash offer of US$14.50 per share represents a premium of 24 per cent over the July 21, 2006 closing price of NovaGold's shares on the AMEX, and a premium of 23 per cent over the equity offering of US$11.75 completed by NovaGold in February 2006.
Copies of the Circulars for NovaGold and Pioneer Metals Corporation are available on Barrick's website at --
-- from the Canadian System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at --
-- or the SEC's website at --
Barrick's financial advisor is CIBC World Markets Inc. and its legal advisors are Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Lawson Lundell LLP in Canada and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in the US.
Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner. Barrick's shares are traded on the Toronto, New York, London, Euronext-Paris and Swiss stock exchanges.
On August 4, 2006, Barrick Gold Corporation filed a tender offer statement related to its tender offer for the outstanding common shares of NovaGold Resources Inc. Investors and security holders of NovaGold are urged to read the tender offer statement, because it contains important information. Investors and security holders of NovaGold may obtain a free copy of the tender offer statement and other documents filed by Barrick Gold Corporation with the SEC at the SEC's website at --
The tender offer statement may also be obtained for free from Barrick Gold Corporation on its website or by directing a request to Barrick Gold Corporation's investor relations department.