Marathon Gold has appointed Ausenco Engineering Canada as the lead consultant for the prefeasibility study (PFS) on the Valentine gold project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
As lead consultant in the PFS, Ausenco will undertake a tradeoff study designed to assess the optimum scope, value, and execution strategy for the project, and will incorporate an updated production schedule, facilities design, operating and capital cost estimates, and process design based on ongoing metallurgical studies.
Ausenco will be assisted by Moose Mountain Technical Services in the areas of mineral reserve estimation and mine design. The PFS will also incorporate the results of work currently being conducted at the Valentine project by Terrane Geoscience Inc in the area of geotechnical drilling and pit slope design, by Gemtec for hydrogeology, by Stantec for environmental assessment, and John T Boyd Company for an updated mineral resource estimate.
An October 2018 preliminary economic assessment on Marathon showed the project to be amenable to open pit mining and conventional milling over a 12-year mine life. Average annual production was pegged at 225,100 oz at an all-in sustaining cost of $666/oz. Total mineral resources currently comprise 16.6 Mt of material at a grade of 2.18 g/t containing 1.17 Moz gold in the measured category, 28.5 Mt at 1.66 g/t containing 1.52 Moz of gold in the indicated category, and 26.9 Mt at 1.77 g/t containing 1.53 Moz of gold in the inferred category.
Matt Manson, Marathon President and CEO, said of the news: “Ausenco’s Canadian based engineering team has a broad range of mine development expertise well suited to the Valentine gold project. In particular, they bring the most recent direct experience in the development of a large open-pit gold project in the Maritimes as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor at the successful Moose River gold mine (pictured) developed by Atlantic Gold Corp (now St Barbara Ltd).
“They will join an existing team of specialised sub-contractors already working with Marathon’s owner’s team to develop the best overall project configuration for subsequent feasibility study, permitting and financing.”
The PFS is expected to take around six months to complete, with results expected early in the June quarter of 2020.