Marathon Gold Corp. [MOZ-TSX] has released additional drill results from recent exploration drilling at the 100%-owned Valentine gold project in central Newfoundland. These latest results represent fire assay data from 16 drill holes located in the high priority Berry zone area and northeastward along an 850-metre strike length toward the Frozen Ear Pond Road. These were the last exploration holes completed prior to the COVID-19-related closure of the exploration camp on March 14, 2020.
Highlights: Drill hole VL-20-806 returned 8.06 g/t gold over 14.0 metres, including 21.94 g/t gold over 3.0 metres and 13.61 g/t gold over 1.0 metre. Hole VL-20-813 intersected 8.03 g/t gold over 12.0 metres, including 16.90 g/t gold over 2.0 metres and 36.11 g/t gold over 1.0 metre. Hole VL-20-804 intersected 2.44 g/t gold over 24.0 metres, including 10.79 g/t gold over 3.0 metres. Hole VL-20-803 intersected 13.32 g/t gold over 5.0 metres, including 31.90 g/t gold over 2.0 metres, and 2.58 g/t gold over 5.0 metres, and 2.26 g/t gold over 6.0 metres.
Exploration drilling in the 6-km long Sprite corridor between the Leprechaun and Marathon deposits is continuing to outline Main zone-type mineralization of a type characteristic of the Valentine gold project, with shallowly southwest-dipping, en echelon stacked quartz-tourmaline-pyrite-gold (QTP-Au) veins contained within steeply northwest-dipping envelopes in the hangingwall of the Valentine Lake shear zone.
In the new Berry Zone, the mineralized envelope appears bound on the northwest side by sheared mafic dikes, is up to 40 metres wide, extends from surface to a depth of over 200 metres and has now been drilled on multiple sections over more than 350 metres of strike extent.
Matt Manson, President and CEO, said, “We are again encouraged by the latest drill results from the Sprite corridor, and at the developing Berry zone in particular. When our camp was closed on March 14, 2020, we had completed 5,007 metres in 24 drill holes in the Sprite corridor. Our 2020 drill program includes a drill budget of up to 32,000 metres, comprising broad exploration stepouts from the Berry zone through the Frozen Ear Pond Road and ultimately to the limit of the Marathon deposit, which remains open on the southwestern side. This is a total strike length of approximately three kilometres of high exploration potential. Completing this plan will be our priority when we return to drilling. However, additional infill drilling at the Berry zone to confirm the continuity of mineralization and, potentially, the area’s first mineral resource, is now warranted.”
The Valentine gold project comprises a series of mineralized deposits along a 20-km system of gold-bearing quartz-tourmaline-pyrite veins. The project is accessible by year-round road and is in close proximity to the provincial electrical grid. To date, four gold deposits at Valentine have been delineated, including the large Leprechaun and Marathon deposits.
An April 2020 Pre-Feasibility Study outlined an open pit mining and conventional milling operation over a 12-year mine life with a 36% after-tax rate of return. The project has estimated Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves of 1.87 Moz (41.05 Mt at 1.41 g/t gold) and Total Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources (inclusive of the Mineral Reserves) of 3.09 Moz (54.9 Mt at 1.75 g/t gold). Additional Inferred Mineral Resources are 0.96 Moz (16.77 Mt at 1.78 g/t gold).