Positive heap leach test results lift Marathon Gold’s shares
Test results from Marathon Gold’s (TSX: MOZ) Leprechaun and Marathon deposits at the company’s Valentine Lake gold camp in Newfoundland and Labrador demonstrate they are amenable to heap leaching.
Selected intervals of mineralized material were shipped to SGS Canada last fall and highlights from the tests released today show a 72% gold extraction average for -25 mm crush size from the Leprechaun deposit after 160 days of leaching and 65% for the same crush size from the Marathon deposit.
Final gold recoveries are expected to be about 2% less after processing losses are considered. The latest results are more favorable than the 59% gold recovery used in a preliminary economic assessment completed in October 2018.
“Heap leaching of low-grade gold material is a potential enhancement for the project in recovering gold that may otherwise go on a stockpile or waste dump,” Phillip Walford, Marathon’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The PEA showed that traditional milling is expected to produce more than 85% of the gold for the project with the balance from the heap leach. These very good heap leach test results more than justify the consideration of heap leaching in our development plan and have improved the project economics.”
The Valentine Lake camp hosts four near-surface, mainly pit-shell constrained deposits with measured and indicated resources of 2.69 million ounces (45.15 million tonnes grading 1.85 grams gold per tonne) and inferred resources of 1.53 million ounces (26.86 million tonnes grading 1.77 grams gold per tonne).
The majority of the resources occur in the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits, both of which also have resources below the current pit shell and are open at depth and on strike.
Gold mineralization has been traced down almost a vertical kilometer at Marathon and over 350 metres at Leprechaun.
The four deposits occur over a 20-km-long system of gold-bearing veins and much of the 24,000-hectare property has had little exploration.
News of the heap leach test results lifted Marathon’s shares 6.8% to C$0.94 in mid-morning trading.
Over the last year the company’s shares have traded in a range of C$0.65 and C$1.20.
Marathon has 161 million common shares outstanding for a market cap of about C$151.6 million.
(This article first appeared in The Northern Miner)