Marathon Gold’s latest resource update for the Valentine project features measured and indicated resources of 54.9 million tonnes grading 1.75 g/t gold for a total of 3.1 million oz. and inferred resources of 16.8 million tonnes at 1.78 g/t for a total of 1 million oz of gold.
While the total global resource figures have not changed greatly, the updated numbers upgrade 9.7 million tonnes of inferred mineralized material for an additional 400,000 oz. in the measured and indicated category.
The majority of the upgraded resource growth is from the Leprechaun deposit, the second-largest of four deposits at Valentine.
“Refined geological models and mineralized domains, as well as more restrictive capping on the highest grade assays, have yielded the best constrained estimate achieved at the project to date, particularly in the definition of in-pit, high grade material,” Matt Manson, the company’s president and CEO, said in a release.
As previously, the updated resource features underground and open pit resource subdivisions. The open pit portion is now categorized into high-grade and low-grade subsets. The high-grade, open-pit material makes up the bulk of current resources and would be processed first in the mine plan. The low-grade material would be stockpiled and processed later on in the mine life.
In the measured and indicated category, updated high-grade open-pit resources total 30.6 million tonnes at 2.62 g/t gold and the low-grade portion stands at 22.9 million tonnes at 0.47 g/t gold.
A pre-feasibility for the Valentine project is underway; trade-off studies looking at the optimal project scope and development plan are now complete. The study, expected in the second quarter, will examine the option of a single ore stream from the Leprechaun and Marathon deposits feeding a conventional mill.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)