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NovaGold: a drill site from this past field season, showing engineering drilling being done on the Arctic deposit and the helicopter is transporting core in its sling line back to the Bornite camp for logging.

Cal Craig

NovaGold Resources Inc. said Thursday it earned a second-quarter profit of $94.2-million as it spun off its Ambler project in Alaska to a new company called NovaCopper.

The company said the increase was due mostly to a gain of $71.6-million realized on the transfer of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Project in the Ambler district as a result of the NovaCopper spin-out.

NovaGold said the profit for the three months ended May 31 totalled 26 cents per diluted share compared with a profit of $24.6-million or a loss of a penny per diluted share a year ago.

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At May 31,the company, which has projects in development, had $301.2-million in cash and cash equivalents.

Last month, NovaGold signed a deal to sell its troubled Rock Creek property in Nome, Alaska, to Bering Straits Native Corp.

NovaGold didn't disclose the sale price but said it expects to save about $14-million (U.S.) that it had budgeted in 2012 for closure expenditures related to the Rock Creek project.

The Vancouver-based company has been focusing on its Donlin Gold project in Alaska – jointly owned with Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. – and has been selling or spinning off its other projects.

NovaGold spun off its Ambler project into a company called NovaCopper earlier this year and announced plans to sell its stake in the Galore Creek project in B.C., that it has been developing with Teck Resources.

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