- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2023– Marathon Gold Corporation (“Marathon” or the “Company”; TSX: MOZ) is pleased to provide an update on progress at its 100% owned Valentine Gold Project located in central Newfoundland (the “Project”) for the quarter ended September 30, 2023. Highlights include:
Matt Manson, President and CEO, commented: “The summer construction season has seen rapid progress at the Valentine Gold Project. We completed earthworks at our Process Plant, and since August have been preparing concrete foundations and footings for mill equipment and the mill building. Enclosing of the grinding building is on schedule for completion before the end of the year. We have been particularly encouraged by the progress achieved at our Tailings Management Facility, the most important earthworks element of the Project. Mining of construction materials is comfortably supporting TMF progress, and we are consistently achieving all requisite engineering and geotechnical standards. Our cost and schedule-to-complete estimates remain consistent with our previous reporting, and our procurement and detailed engineering are approaching completion. Most importantly, we are able to report a consistently safe and environmentally protected work site after one full year of construction.”
A video showing 12 months of construction at the Project is available at https://vimeo.com/870829907?share=copy.
Figure 1: Valentine Process Plant Site, Looking West, October 2023.
Figure 2: Construction of the Tailings Management Facility, Looking West. October 2023
Site Progress Report
Process Plant Site Preparation and Foundations
During the third quarter, earthworks excavations were completed at the location of the SAG and Ball mills, the CIL tank farm, the tailings thickener, and the crushed ore stockpile and reclaim area. All load bearing sites successfully achieved geotechnical specifications for foundations, and the first foundation concrete pours commenced in July. By September 30, 2023, all foundations had been completed, concrete work for the SAG and Ball mill’s sloped piers was well advanced (Figure 3), and concrete pours for the grinding building’s footings and piers was ongoing. To date, approximately 5,500 m3 of concrete has been poured at the Project.
During the quarter, pads were also completed at the Mine Maintenance Facility site, the ROM stockpile, and the conveyor alignment. Earthworks excavation of the primary crusher location was completed, and construction of the crusher’s Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) retaining wall with gabion baskets had commenced (Figure 3).
Ongoing civils works at the process plant site through the fourth quarter will include the completion of the SAG and Ball mill’s piers, completion of the grinding building wall footings, completion of the MSE wall, and the pouring of lean concrete and foundations for the primary crusher pad. Structural steel for the grinding building’s exterior frame has been delivered to site, with enclosing of the building scheduled for the end of the year.
Figure 3: Concrete Pedestals for the SAG and Ball Mills and Grinding Building Steel Work (left). Gabion Basket Installation for MSE Wall at Crusher Location (right). October 2023
Mining during the Project’s construction period is ongoing to generate rock for haul roads, pads and the TMF. During the third quarter, overburden removal and mining was transferred to the Marathon Pit due to its close proximity to the TMF. Overburden stripped was consistent with forecast, and pioneer mining proceeded quickly to the establishment of the first mining benches. During the third quarter, a total of 1.56 Mtonnes of material was moved, representing an average daily mining volume of 17,000 tonnes/day. Project-to-date, 3.4 Mtonnes of waste rock construction material and 481 ktonnes of overburden material had been mined, slightly exceeding forecast targets. Project to date, cumulative mining costs are C$5.44/tonne compared to a budget C$5.32/tonne. Mining costs are trending lower as high productivities are achieved consistently, and averaged C$4.93/tonne during the third quarter.
Tailings Management Facility (TMF)
The Project’s TMF will be a thickened tailings facility with a capacity of 31.6 Mtonnes. It is formed by constructing a perimeter zoned rockfill embankment dam, which will be raised in 6 phases during the first 10 years of the Project. The upstream face of the dam will be lined with a geomembrane which is anchored into low-permeability foundation till, and which will extend approximately 100m upstream of the dam toe and overlay granular crushed rock filter layers.
Construction of the Phase 1 main dam commenced in July with preparation of the till and bedrock foundation, and subsequent placement of mine waste rock (“Zone 6” material with 600 mm minus sizing). As of September 30, 2023, 98% of the main dam footprint had been excavated, and 96% of the Zone 6 rockfill had been placed, having achieved geotechnical subgrade approval.
Production and placement of the upstream filter layers which consists of two zones of crushed rock (“Zone 1” material at 25 mm minus, and “Zone 2” material at 75 mm minus) commenced in late August. As of September 30, 2023, 90% of the subgrade material underlying the upstream filter layer had been excavated, and 27% of the Zone 1 and Zone 2 crushed granular fill had been placed (Figure 4).
Geomembrane liner deliveries commenced during the quarter, with installation scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2024.