Generation Mining owns a 51% interest (with an option to earn up to an 80% interest) in the Marathon PGM deposit located near Marathon, Ontario (the “Property”). The 220 square-km Property covers nearly the entire Coldwell Complex. The Company’s property hosts three known PGM-Copper deposits, which contain a resource of 8,668,000 palladium equivalent ounces in the Measured and Indicated categories, and an additional 915,000 PdEq ounces in the Inferred category. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT
A Preliminary Economic Assessment was prepared by P&E Mining Consultants and released by Generation Mining on January 7, 2020. The study provides a compelling base case assessment for the development of the Marathon Palladium Mineral Resource by open pit mining. At two-year trailing metal prices, it estimated that for an upfront capital cost of C$431 million, it would have an after tax internal rate of return of 30%, a net present value (5% discount) of C$871 million, and an after-tax payback of 2.5 years.
Several metallurgical studies have been conducted over the past 60 years, including a study in 2014. These showed that by standard crushing, grinding and flotation methods, 82.9% of the palladium and 89.7% of the copper can be recovered, along with meaningful amounts of the platinum, gold and silver contained in the deposit. Additional studies will be undertaken this year in an attempt to improve this, which would further enhance the economics.
The Property was developed from 1985 to 2010 by various companies and was eventually owned by Marathon PGM Corporation. American mining company Stillwater Mining Company acquired Marathon PGM Corporation in 2010 for US$118 million. In 2017, the Property was acquired by Sibanye-Stillwater of South Africa when it purchased Stillwater.
More than 200,000 metres of drilling in over 1000 holes have been drilled to date on the Property, which has been the subject of feasibility studies and numerous mineral resource estimates. The portion of the Property that hosts the Main Marathon deposit has no outstanding royalties.
The Property is located in north-western Ontario approximately 215 km east of Thunder Bay and 8 km north of Marathon, Ontario. The Marathon Deposit has a total north-south strike length of approximately 3km and dips 30° to 40° toward the west. The mineralisation has a true thickness ranging from 4m to over 100m. Other deposits are the Geordie and Sally, located 10 km west and 15 km northwest, respectively, of the Marathon Deposit.
The Property is located in close proximity to excellent infrastructure. The Trans-Canada highway runs through the Property, while the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railroad runs nearby. The new 230 kilovolt power line from Wawa to Thunder Bay, currently under construction, will also cross the property. The town of Marathon, where many of the employees of the nearby Hemlo gold mine reside, offers an excellent staging point for any future mine construction.