Marathon Gold Corp. [MOZ-TSX; MGDPF-OTCQX] on Thursday July 11 released more impressive results from the 100%-owned Valentine Gold Camp in central Newfoundland.
The Valentine Gold Camp currently hosts four near-surface, mainly pit-shell constrained, deposits. 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-km gold trend on the property, with much of the 24,000-hectare property having had little detailed exploration activity to date.
On Thursday, Marathon said the latest results are from drilling along the Main corridor of the Leprechaun deposit.
Highlights include 4.24 g/t gold over 74 metres, 6.94 g/t gold over 24 metres and 10.03 g/t gold over 19 metres, the company said.
These drill holes, as well as the previously released 2019 drill holes collared along the upper edge of the Main Zone corridor are part of a series of planned infill drill holes that will cover a more than 800-metre strike length of the Main Zone corridor.
Marathon Gold shares advanced on the news, rising 4.35% or $0.05 to $1.20. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 65 cents and $1.23.
“These new wide intervals of high-grade gold at Leprechaun continue to expand the size and grade of the high-grade Main Zone while the lower grades in the hanging wall will assist in reducing the overall strip ratio of the Leprechaun open pit,” said Marathon President and CEO Phillip Walford.
“The 2019 Leprechaun drilling campaign, which is nearing completion, has succeeded in stitching together the high grade areas of the Main Zone,” Walford said. “Drilling has commenced at the Marathon deposit and we look forward to the new Leprechaun Deposit resource estimation due in September.”
Marathon has so far defined a global resource of 4 million ounces of gold at Valentine Lake. The company recently added two years of mine life and 827,000 ounces of gold to the mix in an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment [PEA] of the project. It benefitted from 20,000 metres of additional drilling since February 2018, 9,000 historical screen assays on historical drill core since the last PEA resource, and an internal review of the project,” the company said.
The updated PEA is based on an initial 12-year mine life and foresees average annual production of 225,100 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 said.
The updated PEA increased the measured and indicated resource tonnes by 35% to 45.1 million tonnes, the grade declined by 7% to 1.854 grams/tonne and the total contained ounces of gold increased by 26% to 2.7 million ounces. Meanwhile, the inferred resource tonnes increased by 55% to 26.8 million tonnes, the grade decreased by 11% to 1.774 grams/tonne and the contained ounces of gold increased by 30% to 1.53 million ounces of gold.
The company has said drilling in 2019 will focus on extending the higher-grade zones in the pit shells as well as infilling open material to move inferred resources into indicated and measured resources.
The Valentine Gold Camp is accessible by road on a year-round basis and is in close proximity to the provincial electrical grid. Marathon is maintaining a 50-person all-season camp at the property.