Marathon PGM: Better Metallurgy and Economics



    TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - Marathon PGM Corporation ("Marathon" or "the
Company", MAR-TSX) is pleased to announce the metallurgical results of a mini
pilot plant ("MPP") run using representative samples from its 100% owned
Marathon PGM-Cu Project (the "Project") located 10 km north of Marathon,
Ontario. The metallurgical program was undertaken by Xstrata Process Support
("XPS") under the guidance of Micon International Limited ("Micon").

    
    Highlights

    -   metallurgical recoveries improved - Au up 7 %, Pt up 8 % and
        Pd up 3 %
    -   potential basis for revising DFS - reduced mine related costs and
        improved recoveries
    -   NPV increased by 47% after tax to C$113 m
    -   payback reduced by 1.5 years
    -   IRR increased by 16% to 14.4%
    -   life of mine production increased - Pd up 4.5%, Pt up 12.1%,
        Au up 9.8%
    

    Marathon's President and CEO, Phillip Walford noted, "These improved
recoveries strengthen the value of the Marathon Project. We have met and
successfully overcome many hurdles as the Project has advanced, which is the
result of hard work from our exceptional team."

    XPS Testing Program

    The XPS metallurgical testing program was initiated to optimize the
metallurgical flowsheet, specifically the reagent addition rates and addition
points and complement the extensive metallurgical work completed by SGS
Lakefield in 2008 that supported the Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") that
was issued in December 2008. The XPS metallurgical test program comprised a
number of bench scale open circuit and locked cycle tests ("LCT"), and a
continuous 5-day MPP campaign which processed about 2,000 kg of crushed
sample.
    The results of the final locked cycle test, as well as the upper quartile
results from the MPP when it was operating in steady state with no upset
conditions, are compared to the DFS results, in the table below.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Concentrate Grade                 Recovery
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Test           Cu %  Au g/t  Pt g/t  Pd g/t   Cu %   Au %   Pt %   Pd %
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LCT 4(1)       21.7    6.0    15.5    56.7    90.5   83.0   77.3   81.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MPP(1,3,4)     22.6    4.3    10.6    53.5    90.7   79.9   71.0   79.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Feasibility
     Study(2)      22.0    5.3    13.3    52.9    91.0   73.0   63.0   77.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) The metallurgical sample grade was Cu 0.32 %, Pt 0.19 g/t, Pd 0.88
        g/t, Au 0.07 g/t
    (2) The life of mine reserve grade was Cu 0.27 %, Pt 0.23 g/t, Pd 0.76
        g/t, Au 0.08 g/t
    (3) The upper quartile MPP concentrate also contained Rh 0.68 g/t, Ag 72
        g/t and MgO 3.3 %
    (4) The average results achieved for the whole MPP test period were
        recoveries of 92.5%, 71.1%, 80.3% and 79.0% for Cu, Pt, Pd and Au,
        respectively, with a final average final copper concentrate grade of
        18.7%

    The MPP upper quartile results show an improvement in the recoveries of
gold, platinum and palladium compared to the feasibility study of
approximately 7%, 8% and 3%, respectively. Copper recovery of around 91% was
consistently achieved in all cases. This improvement in the recoveries of
these metals greatly enhances the economic viability of the Marathon PGM-Cu
project.

    The flowsheet improvements developed by XPS include:

    -   longer flotation retention times required to optimize precious metal
    -   optimized collector and frother reagent selection, addition rates and
        addition points
    -   selection of a more affective gangue depressant reagent
    -   recycle of the scavenger cleaner tailings stream
    

    Although the average recoveries achieved for the entire MPP test period
were comparable to the upper quartile results, the average concentrate grade
was slightly lower. It is noted that the upper quartile concentrate grade was
similar to that achieved in the LCT and therefore these results have been
included in the project economic evaluation. Rerunning the cash flows in the
DSF and changing only the recoveries shown in the above table for the MPP test
results, the after tax discounted cash flow (DCF) and internal rate of return
(IRR) would change as shown in the following table using the same Three Year
Trailing Price, as of August, 2008 (US$3.12/lb Cu; US$345/oz Pd; US$1,340/oz
Pt; US$688/oz Au, US$13.00/oz Ag, CAD$/US$ exchange rate = 1.092).

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Production Rate
    @ 22,000 tpd                 DFS               MPP         Difference
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NPV @ 8% (after tax)   CAD$77 million    CAD$113 million         +47%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IRR (after tax)                    12.4%              14.4%         +16%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Payback Period                 4.7 years          3.2 years   -1.5 years
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Cu Produced LOM  404.9 million lbs  403.6 million lbs        -0.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Pd Produced LOM       1,375,000 Oz       1,427,000 Oz        +4.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Pt Produced LOM         330,000 Oz         372,000 Oz       +12.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Au Produced LOM         133,000 Oz         146,000 Oz        +9.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Marathon is considering revising the DFS to encompass the revised
metallurgical flowsheet and these new recovery data. In light of the recent
decline in costs of most of the materials used in construction and operation
of the proposed mine, Marathon also believes that this is an opportune time to
review both the project capital and operating cost estimates.

    Qualified Person

    The Marathon DFS was prepared by Micon International under the
supervision of Richard Gowans P.Eng., the independent qualified person (QP).
Mr. Gowans is President and Principal Metallurgist with Micon International
Limited ("Micon"). Mr. Phillip Walford, P.Geo., President and CEO for
Marathon, is the Company's designated QP for the purposes of the DFS. Mr.
Gowans and Mr. Walford have reviewed and approved the contents of this press
release.

    About Marathon PGM Corporation:

    Marathon completed a definitive feasibility study on the Marathon PGM-Cu
deposit in December of 2008. Marathon also has development and exploration
stage properties in southeastern Manitoba and western Newfoundland,
respectively. Marathon's management plans to build on its experience through
the advancement of its properties and by examining other strategic
opportunities.

    CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

    Except for statements of historical fact relating to Marathon, certain
information contained herein constitutes "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", "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. 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.
These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to those identified
and reported in Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended
December 31, 2008.
    Other than as specifically required by law, we undertake 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.

    
    On Behalf of Marathon PGM:

    "Phillip C. Walford"

    Phillip C. Walford, P.Geo.
    President, Chief Executive Officer
    Tel: (416) 987.0711
    gen@marathonpgm.com;
    

    %SEDAR: 00020574E




For further information:

For further information: David Leng, P.Geo., Tel: (416) 849-3432, Fax:
(416) 861-1925, dleng@marathonpgm.com

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MARATHON PGM CORPORATION

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