Marathon Gold is a junior gold Resource development company with projects in Newfoundland, Idaho, and Oregon. Its two main projects are the Valentine Lake Project, Newfoundland and the Golden Chest Mine, Idaho. Headquartered in Toronto, Marathon Gold is the product of gold assets spun out from Marathon PGM, which was purchased by Stillwater in the Fall of 2010.
“We took gold assets and some other assets and six million dollars and went onto form Marathon Gold,” says Marathon Gold President and CEO, Phillip Walford, who has an extensive background in mining geology and over 30 years of experience in precious metal, base metal and PGM mining and exploration.
On May 24, 2012, Marathon Gold signed and Arrangement Agreement to acquire 100% of its flagship Valentine Lake Project from its Joint Venture partners Mountain Lake Resources. The transaction is scheduled to close July 2012. The Valentine Lake Project covers over 20,000 hectares. Extensive drilling and exploration in the area reveal an abundance of gold. The Valentine Lake Project boasts a NI 43-101compliant Resource Estimate on its Leprechaun Gold Deposit of 6 450 000 tonnes grades at 2.05 g/t for a total estimated 424 000 ounces of gold. A new discovery was made during the 2011 25,250 meter drill program and has been named the J. Frank Zone. This new zone of interest stretches 850 meters in length and 250 meters in width. High-grade samples of gold were discovered, with assays of up to 581.88 Au, 287.95 g/t Au, 152.75 g/t Au and 88.60 g/t Au.
A total of 40,000 meters of drilling is planned for this year at the Valentine Lake Project and summer drilling has commenced. In an effort to conserve capital, the
The Golden Chest Mine is located in the historic Coeur d’Alene Mining District, which experienced a gold rush in the late 1800’s.Two drills have been turning at the Golden Chest Mine since last year and a total of 20, 000 meters of drilling is planned for this year, which is double last year’s program . Marathon Gold has a 50 per cent interest in the property, partnered with the New Jersey Mining Corporation. Walford predicts production will take place in three years or more but there is much to do before a full scale mine can be brought into production.
“However, there is a caveat to that. We have the ability to mine hybrid material and ship it to our partner’s mill in Kellog, Idaho, which is about 30 miles away and we have the ability to ship high-grades from the mine to that mill,” he says. It’s not a plan that is set in stone, but Walford says that option is available to the Joint Venture partners due to the mine’s convenient and accessible location. “We want to put a mill onsite and utilize the open-pit material that we have.”
Marathon Gold is primarily focused on properties in Canada and the US and are located in good mining jurisdictions with strong infrastructure, so that land can be easily converted into mines. “We have road access to all of them and there’s power and people. A lot of that cuts your costs down considerably if you’re looking at operating a mine,” said Walford.
One of the main reasons that Marathon Gold has not ventured overseas for exploration and mining is its shareholders. “Bottom line: we want to reduce the number of risks as much as we can for shareholders,” says Walford. He goes onto explain that Marathon Gold primarily focuses on a few priority projects. This allows the Company to focus on developing efficient exploration techniques and quality mines. “We want to keep our focus and build up Resources to get the next mine going, and the next one,” Walford says. “We act in the best interests of our shareholders. It’s got to make sense and be profitable to the shareholders.”
Walford admits that it is difficult to predict where Marathon Gold will be five to ten years from now. But rest assured, the relatively small company will continue to grow across the continent, developing its prolific and well-endowed mining districts to ensure top-quality, high-grade gold is produced.