The prediction comes after Marathon released what it described as “excellent results” from infill drill holes that were strategically located between existing, strongly mineralized drill holes in the open pit portion of the property’s Marathon deposit.
The Valentine Gold Camp currently hosts four near-surface, mainly pit-shell constrained, deposits.
The company recently said it had outlined a measured and indicated resource of 45.1 million tonnes, grading 1.854 grams per tonne or 2.7 million ounces. On top of that is an inferred resource of 26.8 million tonnes, grading 1.774 grams per tonne, or 1.53 million ounces of gold.
The majority of the resources occur in the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits, which also have resources below the pit shell. Both deposits are open at depth and on strike.
Gold mineralization has been traced down over 350 metres vertically at Leprechaun and almost a kilometre at Marathon.
The four deposits outlined to date occur in a 30-kilometre gold trend on the 24,000-hectare property, which remains relatively unexplored.
The intent of the infill drill program is to further confirm Marathon’s geological model by demonstrating the extensive lateral continuity of the QTP-Au veining into adjacent drill holes both along and across a more than 140 metre strike that has been infill drill tested so far.
The company said it also wants to continue to upgrade inferred resource material into the measured and indicated resource categories.
Highlights from drilling results released on Wednesday include 13 metres of 12.49 g/t gold, 12 metres of 4.19 g/t gold, and 15 metres of 3.73 g/t.
“The continued success of the infill drilling campaign at the Marathon Deposit is very important as we not only continue to build economic gold resources focused on open-pit mining of the Marathon Deposit, but also continue to further validate our geological model with each drill hole that intersects the new VG and wide intervals of high-grade gold between previous adjacent drill holes,” said Marathon President and CEO Phillip Walford.
“The very positive drilling results are expected to lead to a significant upgrade of inferred and measured and indicated resources while also adding additional inferred material,” he said. “Assays are pending on more drill holes with wide intervals of VG-bearing QTP veining.”
The Valentine Lake Gold Camp is accessible by year-round roads and is located in close proximity to Newfoundland’s electrical grid. Marathon maintains a 50-person all-season camp at the property.
A preliminary economic assessment study, based on an initial 12-year mine life, forsees average annual production of 225,1000 ounces of gold at a life of mine all in sustaining cost of US$665 an ounce.
Pre-production capital is estimated at $355 million, the company has said.
On Wednesday, Marathon shares were unchanged at $1. They trade in a range of $1.20 and 65 cents.