TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marathon Gold Corporation (“Marathon” or the “Company”) (MOZ.TO) today announces its financial results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2019 and provides an update on the Company’s activities.
Matt Manson, President and CEO stated: “Marathon made significant progress during the quarter in advancing the Valentine Gold Project in central Newfoundland. We completed a successful infill drill program in support of an updated Mineral Resource estimate, expected prior to year end. We initiated our Pre-Feasibility Study with Ausenco as lead consultant and progressed our environmental assessment work under guidelines now issued by the federal and provincial regulators. Finally, we finished the quarter with $34 million in cash following a successful equity financing in September. We anticipate that this will be sufficient to fund our upcoming engineering and assessment work under our new leadership team, as well as allowing us to continue our drilling and discovery success on the 20-kilometer long trend of gold mineralisation at Valentine.”
Through 2019 Marathon has made a number of changes to its leadership team as the Company transitions from being predominantly exploration oriented to now being focused on engineering, environmental assessment and mine development. The changes include:
- Matthew Manson appointed as President & CEO in August 2019;
- Hannes Portmann appointed as Chief Financial Officer in October 2019; and
- Jamie Powell appointed as Director, Environment and Stakeholder Engagement in January 2019
Subsequent to the quarter end, additional appointments have been made in the areas of stakeholder engagement, environmental assessment management, and financial control and treasury.
2019 Infill Drilling Program
The Company’s 2019 infill drilling program at the Valentine Gold Project focused on the main mineralized corridors of the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits with two concurrent objectives:
- To further confirm Marathon’s geological models for the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits by demonstrating the lateral continuity of the QTP-gold veining along and across strike as well as to the depth of the resource pit shells within the mineralized corridors of each deposit; and
- To upgrade existing inferred resources in each deposit into the measured and indicated categories and increase the inferred resources associated with the Leprechaun and Marathon deposits.
Based on the success of the infill program through the summer of 2019, Marathon increased the scope of the infill drilling program by 14,000 meters from 44,800 meters to a total of 58,800 meters. Through September 30, 2019, Marathon had completed 195 holes covering 54,212 meters in the two deposits, representing over 90% of the expanded 2019 infill drilling program.
The infill program was completed in October and the results will be incorporated into an updated Mineral Resource estimate for the project, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.
In September 2019 Marathon appointed Ausenco Engineering Canada (“Ausenco”) as the lead consultant for the Valentine Gold Project Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”). As lead consultant, Ausenco will undertake a trade-off study designed to assess the optimal scope, value, and execution strategy for the Project. This will incorporate an updated production schedule, facilities design, operating and capital cost estimates, and process design based on ongoing metallurgical studies. The PFS will be based upon the updated Mineral Resource estimate currently under preparation and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.
Environment and Stakeholder Engagement
On April 5, 2019, Marathon submitted the Environmental Assessment Registration/Project Description to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (“CEAA”) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment (“NLDMAE”), the agencies regulating the project at the federal and provincial levels. Following a period of public consultation and review of the document by CEAA and NLDMAE, in June 2019, Marathon was advised that it would be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”), a result that was in line with the Company’s expectations. CEAA published finalized guidelines for the EIS in July 2019, while the NLDMAE released draft guidelines for a 40-day public review process in October 2019, with final guidelines expected in December 2019.
Marathon commenced formal stakeholder engagement in March 2019, beginning with public meetings in the closest communities to the Project, including: Buchans, Millertown and Grand Falls-Windsor, to brief residents, municipal governments, and other local stakeholders on the status of the Project and Marathon’s plans. In May and July 2019, Marathon also commenced consultation with the Qalipu and Miawpukek (Conne River) First Nations and other stakeholders of the Valentine Gold Project. Further community meetings were held subsequent to the end of the third quarter and this process of engagement and consultation with stakeholders, including provincial and federal government agencies and affected community groups, will continue throughout the EIS and permitting processes and over the life of the project.
2019 Third Quarter and Year to Date Financial Highlights
Results of Operations
The results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018 are summarized below.
|Three months ended |
|Nine months ended |
|General and administrative expenses||734,011||1,123,354||2,079,489||1,985,299|
|Other income – royalties related to gold sales by the Golden Chest mine||(39,575||)||(15,307||)||(93,926||)||(33,548||)|
|Other finance expense||146,744||47,626||146,744||47,626|
|Foreign exchange gain||(11,110||)||(7,984||)||(17,609||)||(3,077||)|
|Loss before tax||794,560||1,169,503||1,982,743||2,018,114|
|Income tax (recovery) expense||(176,784||)||226,293||16,171||90,545|
|Loss for the period||617,776||1,395,796||1,998,914||2,108,659|
Financing and Liquidity
On September 30, 2019, Marathon closed a bought deal private placement which generated aggregate net proceeds of $24.0 million through the issuance of the following securities:
- 11,570,000 common share units at a price of $1.32 per unit, with each unit consisting of one common share and one-half of one warrant. Each whole warrant is exercisable at a price of $1.60 per share and expires on September 30, 2021; and
- 5,420,000 flow through units at a price of $1.85 per unit, with each unit consisting of one flow-through share and one-half of one warrant, with each whole warrant bearing the same terms as those contained within the common share units.
The successful financing resulted in the Company having $34.0 million in cash at September 30, 2019.
Marathon acknowledges the financial support of the Junior Exploration Assistance Program, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Disclosure of a scientific or technical nature in this news release was prepared under the supervision of Robbert Borst, Marathon’s Chief Operating Officer and Sherry Dunsworth, MSc., P.Geo. (NL), Marathon’s Senior Vice President of Exploration. Mr. Borst and Ms. Dunsworth are Qualified Persons under National Instrument (“NI”) 43-101.
Marathon is a Toronto based gold company rapidly advancing its 100%-owned Valentine Gold Project located in central Newfoundland, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world. The Valentine Gold Project comprises a series of mineralised deposits along a 20-kilometer system of gold bearing Quartz-Tourmaline-Pyrite veins. The project is accessible by year-round road and is in close proximity to the provincial electrical grid. To date, four gold deposits at Valentine have been delineated, including the large Leprechaun and Marathon deposits. An October 2018 Preliminary Economic Assessment showed the project to be amenable to open pit mining and conventional milling over a twelve-year mine life. Total Mineral Resources currently comprise Measured Mineral Resources of 16.6 million tonnes at a grade of 2.18 g/t containing 1,166,500 oz. of gold, Indicated Mineral Resources of 28.5 million tonnes at a grade of 1.66 g/t containing 1,524,900 oz. of gold and Inferred Mineral Resources of 26.9 million tonnes at a grade of 1.77 g/t containing 1,531,600 oz. of gold. For more information, readers are referred to the technical report prepared in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101 dated October 30, 2018 for further details and assumptions relating to the project.
For more information, please contact:
|Matt Manson |
President & CEO
Tel: 416 987-0711
|Hannes Portmann |
CFO & Business Dev.
Tel: 416 855-8200
|Christopher Haldane |
Tel: 416 987-0714
To find out more information on Marathon Gold Corporation and the Valentine Gold Project, please visit www.marathon-gold.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, which address events, results, outcomes or developments that Marathon expects to occur are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "believes", "estimates", "considers", "intends", "targets", or negative versions thereof and other similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as "may", "will", "should", "would" and "could". More particularly and without restriction, this press release contains forward-looking statements and information about future exploration plans, objectives and expectations of Marathon, future mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates and updates and the expected impact of exploration drilling on mineral resource estimates, future pre-feasibility and feasibility studies and environmental impact statements and the timetable for completion and content thereof and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, the matters and activities contemplated in this news release.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. In respect of the forward-looking statements and information concerning the interpretation of exploration results and the impact on the project’s mineral resource estimate, Marathon has provided such statements and information in reliance on certain assumptions it believes are reasonable at this time, including assumptions as to the continuity of mineralization between drill holes. A mineral resource that is classified as "inferred" or "indicated" has a great amount of uncertainty as to its existence and economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that any or part of an "indicated mineral resource" or "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category of mineral resource. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into proven and probable mineral reserves.
By its nature, this information is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific and which give rise to the possibility that expectations, forecasts, predictions, projections or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that assumptions may not be correct and that objectives, strategic goals and priorities will not be achieved. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability of the current exploration program to identify and expand mineral resources, operational risks in exploration and development for gold, delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral resources, changes in commodity and power prices, changes in interest and currency exchange rates, inaccurate geological and metallurgical assumptions (including with respect to the size, grade and recoverability of mineral resources), changes in development or mining plans due to changes in logistical, technical or other factors, cost escalation, changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets. delays and other risks described in Marathon’s documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in Marathon’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2018 and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. Other than as specifically required by law, Marathon undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, whether as a result of new information, future events or results otherwise.