Generation Mining (TSX: GENM) is moving forward as operator and 80% owner of the Marathon palladium-copper project 10 km north of Marathon, Ontario. Joint venture partner Sibanye-Stillwater has elected not to exercise its right to take up 51% ownership of the project.
The feasibility study produced by Generation Mining in March estimated that at $1,725 per oz. palladium and $3.20 per lb. copper, the mine has an after-tax net present value (6% discount) of approximately C$1.07 billion and an internal rate of return of 29.7%.
With up front capital costs of C$665 million, the payback period will be 2.3 years. It could produce 1.9 million oz. of palladium and 467 million tonnes of copper as well as platinum, gold and silver over a 13-year mine life. An open pit, truck and shovel mine is planned with three pits.
The mineral processing plant will feature a SAG mill and pebble crusher followed by a ball mill (SABC). Ground ore will pass through a flotation circuit with rougher flotation, concentrate regrind, and three stages of cleaning. After the initial construction phase, a PGM-scavenger circuit will be added.
The mine would produce an estimated 245,000 palladium equivalent ounces per year.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)