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A NovaGold drill site.

Canadian miner NovaGold Resources Inc. said on Wednesday it has begun the process of trying to sell its 50-per-cent stake in the Galore Creek copper-gold project in British Columbia so that it can focus fully on its flagship Donlin gold project in Alaska.

The company, which outlined the plan late last year, said it has begun talking with potential buyers and that it expects a sale by the end of the year.

The other 50 percent of Galore Creek is held by diversified Canadian miner Teck Resources. Galore could become the largest copper mine in Canada, and one of the lowest-cost mines on an operating basis.

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The project is forecast to produce 6.2 billion pounds of copper, 4.0 million ounces of gold and 65.8 million ounces of silver over an approximate 18-year mine life.

Novagold owns Donlin jointly with Barrick Gold.

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