Marathon completes federal EA for Valentine Project, Newfoundland

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Marathon Gold Corp. [MOZ-TSX; MGDPF-OTCQX] reported that a positive decision statement in the federal environmental assessment for its 100%-owned Valentine gold project in central Newfoundland has been issued by Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada. The Valentine gold project has now been fully released from environmental assessment in both the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and federally, allowing development to proceed based on applicable permitting.

Matt Manson, president and CEO, commented: “Today’s news comes slightly more than three years since the start of formal environmental assessment of the Valentine gold project. During that time, the company has conducted extensive environmental and social impact studies, and undertaken comprehensive community and stakeholder engagement, all designed to support a successful and sustainable gold mining operation at the Valentine Lake area of Central Newfoundland. We are grateful for the diligence and professionalism shown by both provincial and federal regulators during this process, and the support the project has received from community members, stakeholder groups and all levels of government. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Marathon permitting team led by Jamie Powell, [vice-president], regulatory and government affairs; Tara Oak, manager of environmental assessment; and Mary Hatherly, manager of stakeholder engagement; and including our partners at Stantec Consulting Ltd. The completion of environmental assessment for an important new mine like Valentine is a significant milestone, and we now look forward to advancing the project towards construction and mining.”

Marathon has previously reported the issuance of the project’s mining and surface leases by the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Industry, Energy and Technology. Permitting is continuing for initial construction activities, such as tree clearing, quarrying, earthworks, accommodation camp installation, road upgrades and culvert installations. The completion of the federal environmental assessment now allows permits to be acquired for on-site activities pertaining to federal jurisdiction.

As is customary for all mining projects released from the federal environmental assessment process, the decision statement includes certain conditions with which Marathon must comply during the conduct of the project. The conditions principally reflect the implementation of certain monitoring and mitigation programs previously outlined in the project’s environmental impact statement and are designed to address potential environmental effects in areas such as water quality, fish and fish habitat, birds and fauna, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Marathon is also mandated to maintain its continuing engagement with indigenous groups, stakeholders and relevant authorities on its management plans for social and environmental protection, and to develop and implement follow-up and monitoring programs to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment, including as it pertains to project-related changes to the quality of air, water and country foods on the health of indigenous peoples, and the effectiveness of mitigation measures.

The Valentine gold project comprises a series of five mineralized deposits along a 20-km system. An April, 2021, feasibility study outlined an open-pit mining and conventional milling operation over a 13-year mine life with a 31.5% after-tax rate of return. The project has estimated proven mineral reserves of 1.40 million ounces (29.68 million tonnes at 1.46 g/t) and probable mineral reserves of 650,000 ounces (17.38 Mt at 1.17 g/t).

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