TORONTO, April 9 /CNW/ - (MAR:TSX): Marathon PGM Corporation ("Marathon")
today announced its project development plans for the remainder of 2009.
Marathon has a strong balance sheet, an advanced project pipeline and is
making continued progress through prudent use of finances.
Phillip Walford, President and CEO stated "We have a strong balance sheet
and no debt because our management and board grew concerned about the
deteriorating financial environment shortly after the successful completion of
a $20 million financing in April 2008."
Mr. Walford further noted, "We are committed to maintaining progress on
the Marathon Project through prudent use of our cash. Our exploration and
development activities have been significantly curtailed, with programs
undergoing planned reductions as the year progresses. Expenditures are being
reviewed on a quarterly basis in order to preserve our cash. We have
demonstrated repeatedly that our focus on building resources and reserves is
creating real value for our shareholders and we will continue to do so with
lower cost and effective work programs. Our goal is to exit this year with the
majority of our treasury intact so that we can be in business beyond 2011 with
the money we have."
- planned expenditures on Marathon and Bird River Projects are low
cost, enabling Marathon to exit 2009 with a large cash position and
no debt, giving more than two years of operation with current cash
- exploration and development work for both the Marathon and Bird River
Projects will consist of low-cost programs that have been successful
in defining new zones of mineralization
- planned expenditures and assessment work will assist in keeping land
positions in good standing until 2012 for both the Marathon and Bird
- purchase of Bamoos property saves Marathon several million dollars
from previous earn-in agreement
Marathon PGM-Cu Project
The Marathon Project is Canada's largest undeveloped PGM-Cu resource,
which has the potential to become one of the largest primary producers of PGM
in North America. Platinum, palladium and copper prices are rebounding from
their lows, which is encouraging. Purchase of the Bamoos property from Benton
Resources was part of the capital conservation program, saving Marathon
several millions of dollars from the previous earn-in agreement, while also
gaining a strategic property.
The Bamoos property is the key to completely extracting all the ore in
the Main Zone and without control of this property, several million tonnes of
ore on Marathon's claims would have been tied up in boundary pillars. Marathon
is not required to do any further work on the property. The only work planned
on the property is geological mapping that is low cost and has played a key
role in Marathon's understanding of this mineral system and success in
continuing to expand the resource.
Metallurgical recoveries of platinum and palladium used in the
feasibility study were lower than had been achieved in testing in 2005.
Improvement in recoveries of these metals will have a significant positive
impact on the economics of the project. A series of tests by Xstrata Process
Services in Sudbury are underway, and initial results have been very
promising. The final test results on a mini-pilot plant run are expected in
the second quarter of 2009. Marathon plans to update the project feasibility
study and economics upon receipt of the final results.
The Environmental Assessment Study needed for mine permitting is underway
this year. As it requires several years of observations, it was judged to be
important to complete the first year.
Bird River Project
Marathon owns approximately 54% of the joint venture with Gossan
Resources Ltd ("Gossan"). The Project covers over 20 km of the highly
prospective Bird River Sill, which is host to two past producing mines and
numerous mineralized zones of base and precious metals. Marathon has only
explored the eastern 3 km of strike on the Bird River Sill with drilling in
the Page Zone and Ore Fault Zone, with both zones now have resources estimated
on the nickel-copper-pgm mineralization. The Ore Fault also has a
copper-zinc-silver zone. A modest drilling program in the first quarter of
2009 confirmed the presence of better metal grades in both the Page and Ore
Fault Zones. A small drilling program is planned for the west end of the
property near Coppermine Bay, where good PGM and base metal values were
discovered in 2007.
The planned work is a required part of the assessment process. Additional
work planned for the remainder of the year consists of geological mapping and
data compilation, both of which are low cost. Marathon has access to a
considerable amount of data from previous operators, much of which is yielding
new showings for ground follow-up.
Phillip Walford, P.Geo., President and CEO, is Marathon's Qualified
Person in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 with respect to this
release. Mr. Walford has reviewed the contents for accuracy and has approved
this press release on behalf of Marathon.
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
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
On Behalf of Marathon PGM:
"Phillip C. Walford"
Phillip C. Walford, P.Geo.
President, Chief Executive Officer
For further information:
For further information: David Leng, P.Geo., Tel: (416) 849-3432, Fax:
(416) 861-1925, firstname.lastname@example.org