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Our Approach

NOVAGOLD is currently updating the 2021 sustainability data on its website. Please view the PDF version of NOVAGOLD’s 2021 Sustainability report here

NOVAGOLD is committed to responsible mining, protection of human life, encouragement of good health, good stewardship of the environment, and adding value to the communities in which we operate. We believe that mines can be developed in collaboration with people who have the local knowledge to help minimize environmental impacts while benefiting from economic activity. We’re committed to the principles of sustainable development, including the conservation and preservation of natural resources and of the environment. We strive to achieve the highest possible standards through our workforce performance, actions, and conduct.

NOVAGOLD has thus far approached the disclosure of our environment, social, and governance (ESG) performance pragmatically as a development-stage company, disclosing benchmarks the company believes are the most relevant measurements of our performance.

The completion of federal permitting of the Donlin Gold project in 2018 marked a development milestone that has led to the next phase in the evolution of NOVAGOLD’s ESG reporting against a backdrop of increasing interest from all stakeholders. The time is appropriate to increase transparency, accountability, and enhance the suite of ESG metrics the company discloses to stakeholders. We’re committed to providing stage-appropriate and relevant information about ESG performance in alignment with the Donlin Gold project partner Barrick for all stakeholders. NOVAGOLD is working with Barrick to implement international best practice and industry standards at Donlin Gold and plans to expand disclosure as the project eventually moves toward construction and into operation.

Figure 1 - Our Approach The coastal village of Kongiganak is located approximately 220 miles from the Donlin Gold project. The 430-person village is one of the 56 villages in the Y-K region that Donlin Gold engages with.

We are strong proponents of ongoing engagement and consultation with stakeholders through the entire development process. Our commitment to enhancing and improving social capital in the communities of the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) region has been integral to the Donlin Gold project from the outset. Additional training, hiring, and bidders’ preference included in the life-of-mine agreements with our Native Corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), date back to the mid-1990s and provide economic benefits to the Native Corporations and their Shareholders.

At the project level, Donlin Gold LLC has clearly defined responsibilities and commitments that align with NOVAGOLD and Barrick policies, standards, and management systems. Donlin Gold is not only committed to social responsibility, strong partnerships with local communities, and leaving a positive, sustainable legacy in the Y-K region; it’s also focused on sustainable development that provides benefits over the long term through opportunities for direct and indirect employment, local procurement, and community development projects. As we advance the Donlin Gold project toward a construction decision, NOVAGOLD will continue to focus on ESG in all areas, but particularly on enhanced reporting of activities and key metrics; improving crisis emergency preparedness; continuing engagement with all local, regional, and state stakeholders with a focus on environmental improvement; launching local regional advisory committees to provide perspective and local knowledge on issues specific to the project; and partnering with more local organizations in the Y-K region to build on sustainable initiatives that will support environmental projects, education, and health and safety initiatives.

The first of the regional advisory committees has been formed under the Donlin Advisory Technical Review and Oversight Committee (DATROC). DATROC is a committee of Donlin Gold, Calista, and TKC representatives who monitor and provide oversight to the Donlin Gold project. The committee discusses environmental protection, cultural resources, subsistence uses, reclamation, and potential impacts on communities. Other advisory committees to be formed will include Environment, Transportation & Infrastructure, and Social & Cultural Responsibility.

NOVAGOLD welcomes comments, questions, or suggestions about this report and related information. Please send your feedback to ESG data tables will be published soon. Additional information and details about goal-setting methodology, practices, and measurement can be found in the 2021 Management Information Circular dated March 25, 2021 and available on,, and


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