Marathon Environmental Impact Statement Accepted into Formal Review Process
TORONTO, Nov. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Marathon Gold Corporation (“Marathon” or the “Company”; TSX: MOZ) is pleased to report that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Valentine Gold Project (the “Project”) located in the Central Region of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) has been determined to be conforming with federal EIS guidelines issued in July 2019 by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC). As a result, the EIS has been accepted into IAAC’s formal review process, marking a significant milestone in the overall Environmental Assessment (EA) process for the Project.
The EIS was submitted to IAAC and the NL Department of Environment, Climate Change and Municipalities (NLDECCM) on September 29, 2020. The EA for the Valentine Gold Project commenced in April 2019 with the filing of a Project Description and a Project Registration to the federal and provincial regulators respectively. The EA is being conducted pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and the NL Environmental Protection Act.Now that the EIS has been determined to be conforming with the 2019 guidelines, federal and provincial technical review processes will begin, overseen by IAAC and a provincial Environmental Assessment Committee established under the auspices of NLDECCM. These reviews are expected to occur over a period of approximately 12 months and include information requests and submittals, as well as public consultations. Permitting for site-specific activities related to the Project’s construction and operation would be expected to commence following successful release from the EA process.The EIS has been authored by Marathon and Stantec of St. John’s, NL, and utilizes extensive environmental baseline data collected at the Project site by Marathon and its consultants starting in 2011. It incorporates the results of a Current Land Use and Traditional Knowledge Study completed by the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, and an independent economic assessment of the Project completed by Strategic Concepts Inc. of St. Johns, NL. Starting in March 2019, and continuing through to the summer of 2020, a series of public meetings, engagements and information sessions on the Project were conducted with the Qalipu and the Miawpukek First Nations, the communities of Millertown, Buchans, Buchans Junction, Badger, Grand Falls-Windsor and Bishop’s Falls, and regional civil society groups. Feedback received from these sessions has been incorporated into the Project’s planning and design process.The EIS assesses the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the Project in fifteen separate areas of study, including water and air quality, wildlife, vegetation and wetlands, fish and fish habitat, communities, Indigenous groups, and the regional and provincial economies. A particular focus of study has been delineating potential effects on water quality and fish habitat through the placement of the Project’s infrastructure and facilities, and potential effects on the nearby Victoria Lake hydroelectric reservoir and dam. The EIS also describes the potential effects on migration of the Buchans caribou herd, one of several herds located in the Central Region of NL, which is known to transit seasonally through the area of the Project. In each of the fifteen areas of study, the EIS assesses and characterises the potential effects from the Project’s development, and the mitigation measures to be adopted with the aim of reducing the Project’s environmental footprint.The Valentine Gold Project EIS will be made available online by Marathon at https://marathon-gold.com/valentine-gold-project/environmental-impact-statement/, by IAAC at https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80169, and by NLDECCM at https://www.gov.nl.ca/eccm/projects/project-2015. Hard copies of the EIS will also be made available at designated viewing locations in St. John’s, Corner Brook, Buchans and Grand Falls-Windsor.Qualified PersonDisclosure of a scientific or technical nature in this news release was prepared under the supervision of James Powell, P.Eng (NL), Marathon’s Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs, and a qualified person under National Instrument (NI) 43-101.About MarathonMarathon (TSX:MOZ) is a Toronto based gold company advancing its 100%-owned Valentine Gold Project located in the Central Region of Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world. The Project comprises a series of four mineralized deposits along a 20-kilometre system. An April 2020 Pre-Feasibility Study outlined an open pit mining and conventional milling operation over a twelve-year mine life with a 36% after-tax rate of return utilizing a US#1350/oz gold price assumption. The Project has estimated Proven Mineral Reserves of 1.3 Moz (26.3 Mt at 1.52 g/t) and Probable Mineral Reserves of 0.6 Moz (14.8 Mt at 1.23 g/t). Total Measured Mineral Resources (inclusive of the Mineral Reserves) comprise 1.9 Moz (31.7 Mt at 1.86 g/t) with Indicated Mineral Resources (inclusive of the Mineral Reserves) of 1.19 Moz (23.2 Mt at 1.60 g/t). Additional Inferred Mineral Resources are 0.96 Moz (16.77 Mt at 1.78 g/t Au). Please see the Technical Report dated April 21, 2020 for further details and assumptions relating to the Valentine Gold Project.For more information, please contact: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 InformationCertain 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”. We provide forward-looking statements for the purpose of conveying information about our current expectations and plans relating to the future, and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. More particularly and without restriction, this news release contains forward-looking statements and information about Marathon’s intention to complete the Offering and the timing thereof, economic analyses for the Valentine Gold Project, capital and operating costs, processing and recovery estimates and strategies, future exploration and mine plans, objectives and expectations and corporate planning of Marathon, future 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. 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 receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, completion of all conditions to closing of the Offering, availability of financing to fund Marathon’s exploration and development activities, the ability of the current exploration program to identify and expand mineral resources, operational risks in exploration and development for gold, Marathon’s ability to realize the pre-feasibility study, 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, the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, 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, title defects, government approvals and permits, cost escalation, changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets, environmental regulation, operating hazards and risks, delays, taxation rules, competition, public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and other uninsurable risks, liquidity risk, share price volatility, dilution and future sales of common shares, aboriginal claims and consultation, cybersecurity threats, climate change, 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 Amended and Restated Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2019 and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities 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.