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Spinoff of copper assets lifts Novagold out of the red

A Novagold Resources Inc. drill site in the Arctic is shown in this aerial photo.

Cal Craig

Novagold Resources Inc. says the spinoff of its copper assets last year and other factors resulted in a $67.6-million net profit for the 2012 financial year.

That amounted to about nine cents per share after dilution and contrasted with a loss of $57.4-million or 24 cents per share in Novagold's fiscal 2011.

The Vancouver-based company, which is in the development phase and not producing sales revenue, had $253-million in cash and equivalents when the 2012 financial year ended Nov. 30 – up from $60.6-million a year earlier.

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Novagold received $316.4-million in net proceeds from an equity financing in February 2012.

That was partially offset by $88.4-million of cash used in operating activities and $40.4-million used to fund the spinoff of NovaCopper to the company's shareholders.

Novagold has a market cap of about $1.4-billion while NovaCopper is worth about $100-million.

Novagold said Tuesday plans to significantly reduce spending this year, to a total budget of $41-million, including $15-million (U.S.) for its half of the cost at the Donlin gold project in Alaska, a joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp.

It also plans to spend $8-million (Canadian) for its half of the $16-million budget for Galore Creek copper and gold project in British Columbia, a joint venture with Teck Resources Inc.

In a separate announcement, NovaCopper reported a $31-million loss for the year ended Nov. 30, or 67 cents per diluted common share. That followed a restated loss of $11.3-million or 44 cents per share in the year-earlier period, before it was spun off from Novagold in April 2012.

The year-to-year increase included expanded exploration of the company's Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects in the Ambler mining district of northwest Alaska.

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