TORONTO, ONTARIO, Sep 26, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX)(TSX: ABX)(LSE: BGD)(SWX: ABX) announced today that its offer to acquire the outstanding shares of NovaGold Resources Inc. for US$14.50 per share will be extended to 9:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on October 12, 2006.
"We are pleased that NovaGold's Board of Directors has, not surprisingly, allowed their shareholders the opportunity to now decide for themselves on our Offer. NovaGold has produced a series of project related updates over the past two months, has run a full auction and has failed to produce any alternative offers. This highlights what we have been saying all along; that our offer is both attractive and fair to NovaGold shareholders. Surely if there were greater value in NovaGold, a better offer would have surfaced by now."
In addition to waiving their poison pill yesterday, NovaGold also released a preliminary economic assessment for Donlin Creek. Barrick is currently reviewing this document; however, on a preliminary basis, Barrick views the assumptions used to be very optimistic and likely unrealistic. In addition, Barrick has seen nothing in the economic assessment that has changed its view of the Donlin Creek Project or created additional value.
Mr. Wilkins continued "Barrick believes that NovaGold's waiver of their poison pill, the release of NovaGold's Donlin Creek economic assessment and the apparent lack of alternative offers will require shareholders to carefully digest and evaluate these new developments. Therefore, Barrick has extended its offer to allow NovaGold shareholders additional time to consider such developments as they may relate to our Offer."
The Circular for NovaGold is available on Barrick's website at www.barrick.com, from the Canadian System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at www.sedar.com or the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Barrick is making the offer to acquire NovaGold 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. For purposes of U.S. tender offer rules, Barrick discloses that 103,548 NovaGold common shares have been validly tendered to date to the offer.
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 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 www.sec.gov. 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.
Certain information included in this press release, including any information as to our future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance, constitute "forward-looking statements." The words "expect", "will", "intend", "estimate" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The Company cautions the reader that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual financial results, performance or achievements of Barrick to be materially different from the Company's estimated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to: changes in the worldwide price of gold or certain other commodities (such as copper, silver, fuel and electricity) and currencies; changes in U.S. dollar interest rates or gold lease rates; risks arising from holding derivative instruments; ability to successfully integrate acquired assets; legislative, political or economic developments in the jurisdictions in which the Company carries on business; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; employee relations; the speculative nature of gold exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; adverse changes in our credit rating; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business. These factors are discussed in greater detail in the Company's most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities.
The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Vice President, Investor Relations
Barrick Gold Corporation
Mary Ellen Thorburn
Director, Investor Relations
Barrick Gold Corporation
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
SOURCE: Barrick Gold Corporation