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NovaGold beats Barrick

Section: Daily Dispatches

Barrick Seeks to Sell Shares
in Former Takeover Target

By Canadian Press
via Yahoo News
Thursday, April 5, 2007

TORONTO -- Barrick Gold Corp., the world's largest gold producer, says it intends to sell its shares in failed takeover target NovaGold Resources Inc., a stake worth nearly $273 million at the latest stock price.

Toronto-based Barrick said late Thursday it "intends to explore opportunities to dispose of all or a portion" of the 13.6 million NovaGold shares the company acquired last year in its failed bid to take over the Vancouver junior gold explorer.

Barrick had wanted to acquire NovaGold's Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project in northwestern British Columbia, where construction is expected to begin this spring at a projected cost of US$1.8 billion.

In addition to Galore Creek, NovaGold owns a 70 percent stake in Donlin Creek, a promising Alaska gold project described as one of the largest undeveloped gold resources in the world. Barrick holds the remaining 30 percent.

NovaGold had urged shareholders to spurn Barrick's hostile US$1.7 billion offer, calling it inadequate and opportunistic.

At the end of Barrick's failed bidding attempt last December, the company had acquired only 13.6 million shares, making it NovaGold's largest single shareholder with 14.8 percent of the stock.

At Thursday's closing NovaGold share price, the Barrick stake has a current market value of $272.7 million.

Earlier this year, NovaGold said it expects to begin Phase 1 construction, building access road, tunnel, and power lines soon and have the Galore Creek project completed by 2009 with production beginning in 2011-2012.

Galore Creek will be developed as an open-pit mine at a 65,000 tonnes-per-day processing rate over a minimum 20-year mine life.

In trading Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, NovaGold shares fell six cents to close at $20.05, while Barrick stock fell 27 cents to $33.71 in trading of more than 2.5 million shares.

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