Marathon signs deal with six communities for Valentine

Valentine Lake drill site Credit: Marathon Gold

Co-operation agreements covering the Valentine gold project have been signed by Marathon Gold Corp. (TSX: MOZ) and six nearby central Newfoundland communities. Agreements have been signed with Buchans, Buchans Junction, Millertown, Badger, Grand Falls-Windsor, and Bishop’s Falls.

These communities will benefit from the anticipated socio-economic impact of the Valentine project. They will be offered employment, business opportunities, community investment, and environmental protection opportunities.

Peak employment will be more than 400 persons over the life of the mine

“We are very pleased to have entered into these six separate agreements, which reflect our commitment to prioritize local economic development, employment, and community well-being in what will be Atlantic Canada’s largest gold development project. We regard these agreements as an important step in our continuing and meaningful engagement with the communities of central Newfoundland, Marathon president and CEO Matt Manson said in a news release.

The Toronto-based company completed a pre-feasibility study for the Valentine development in April 2020. Peak employment will be more than 400 persons over the life of the mine. Construction could begin in 2022 on the $272-million build.

The Valentine project includes several gold deposits along a 20-km trend. Open pit mining and conventional milling is planned over a 12-year mine life with a 36% after-tax rate of return and an average production of 175,000 oz. gold per year for the first nine years.

An independent assessment by Strategic Concepts Inc. estimates the project will generate C$400 million to the provincial treasury and C$292 million to the federal government over 15 years of construction and operation. Workers are expected to earn a total of C$1.3 billion in income, and C$750 million of that will go to workers and businesses in the province. The project will contribute C$3.6 billion to Canada’s GDP, including C$2.9 billion to the provincial GDP.

The deposits at Valentine have proven and probable reserves of 1.87 million oz. gold in 41.05 million tonnes at a grade of 1.41 grams gold per tonne. and Total measured and indicated resources (including reserves)) of 3.09 million oz. at 54.9 tonnes at 1.75 grams gold. Additional inferred resources are 0.96 million oz. in 16.77 million tonnes at 1.78 grams gold.

Marathon shares were trading at C$2.83, within the daily average of C$2.86-C$2.81 at the time of writing.

(This article first appeared in The Northern Miner)