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6 Junior Miner Stocks to Watch

2. NovaGold Resources (NG), a precious metals company, explores and develops mineral properties through its subsidiaries, partnerships and joint ventures in Alaska, the U.S., British Columbia and Canada.

With a major focus on gold properties, NovaGold holds interests in copper, silver and zinc resources and a few exploration-stage properties. The company's portfolio of assets includes 50% interests in two undeveloped gold and copper-gold projects, Donlin Creek and Galore Creek, and 100% of the Ambler copper-zinc-gold-silver deposit located in North America.

Teck Resources (TCK) and NovaGold recently announced significant progress of the prefeasibility study on their Galore Creek copper-gold project in northwest British Columbia, with completion expected by the end of July.

NovaGold will also complete further, environmental and engineering works in preparation for feasibility level studies on the property. The Galore Creek project contains measured and indicated resources of 8.9-billion pounds of copper, 7.3-million ounces of gold and 123 million ounces of silver.

The net loss for the second quarter of 2011 narrowed to $10.6 million, or 3 cents per share, from $16.8 million, or 7 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. The company recorded cash and cash equivalents of $111.6 million and working capital of $108.0 million, as of May 31.

Looking ahead, the company expects to release the Galore Creek pre-feasibility report by the end of July, while the Donlin Gold feasibility study would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Exploration plans for 2011 include drilling at the Ambler and Galore Creek projects. Initial drilling has started at the San Roque project in Argentina, and Phase II drilling is expected to start later in 2011.

For the third quarter of 2011, the Donlin Gold project has an approved budget of $7.3 million, while NovaGalore expects to spend $8.3 million at the Galore Creek. Similarly, Ambler and Rock Creek projects have budgets of $4.6 million and $3.9 million, respectively.

Of the four analysts covering the stock, two rate it a buy, and two rate it a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On average, analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock rise 80% to $18.63 in the coming 12 months.
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