TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Marathon PGM Corporation ("Marathon" or
"the Company") is pleased to announce that it has signed a Letter Agreement to
enter into an Option and Joint Venture Agreement ("OJVA") with Benton
Resources Corp., ("Benton", BTC:TSX.V) on the Bamoos - Claw Lake - Four Dam
Property ("the BCF Property"), adjacent to the Marathon PGM-Cu Property in
northwestern Ontario. The OJVA will be completed and signed as soon as
practicable. Benton owns these properties 100%, subject to a 2% NSR on part of
the property and a 1% NSR on the balance.
The BCF Property covers 2,248 hectares and is located on the northern
margin of the Marathon PGM-Cu Property. The addition of the BCF Property,
extends the strike length being explored by Marathon to 17 km. The Letter
Agreement was approved between Benton and Marathon on January 24th, 2008. The
OJVA enables Marathon to earn a 60% interest of the BCF Property through work,
cash and share based payments to Benton. The agreement is important for
Marathon as the Main Zone extends on to the Bamoos lease by at least 200 m. It
also eliminates the boundary pillar, which would have prevented total
extraction of the Main Zone on Marathon's ground. In addition, there is
potential of adding more resources which would extend the time that the
planned operation would be producing a high rate of metal.
Agreement Terms on the BCF Property
Under the terms of the OJVA, Marathon has the option to earn a 60%
participating interest in the BCF Property by (i) issuing Benton
120,000 common shares on signing of the OJVA, subject to regulatory approval;
(ii) work expenditures of $1.5 million per year during the first four years of
the OJVA and an additional $2 million on or before the fifth anniversary and;
(iii) making cash payments of $500,000 per year on or before the anniversary
date of the OJVA for the first three years (for a total $1.5 million). During
the earn-in period, all work will be supervised and carried out by Marathon.
After Marathon has issued the 120,000 shares, made the $1.5 million cash
payments and spent the $8 million, Marathon will "earn in" to 60% of the JV.
During the earn-in period Marathon may mine up to 200 metres north of its
property into the BCF Property. If Marathon mines any part of the BCF Property
prior to the JV, Marathon will receive all revenue and (i) pay all costs, (ii)
pay all royalties due from the BCF Property, and (iii) pay an additional 2%
NSR royalty to Benton.
After the JV is formed, Marathon will be operator and any ore that is
discovered on the BCF property will be mined and processed by Marathon at its
facilities. Under the JV agreement, Marathon will charge the JV for all
direct, indirect and overhead costs including a charge to recover its capital
costs as well as a 4% management fee.
"The opportunity to expand resources and extend minelife will assist
Marathon's continued growth. Acquiring nearby resource opportunities is a
calculated and strategic decision. Working with Benton will provide benefit to
all, as we realize the potential for the Marathon area to evolve into a
significant PGM and copper mining district," said Phillip Walford, P.Geo.,
President and CEO of Marathon.
Marathon's Exploration Program
The 2008 campaign at the Marathon deposit started in January, with a
budget of 20,000 metres of exploration, definition and condemnation drilling.
The primary goals of the 2008 campaign are improvement of resource categories,
resource expansion and subsequent incorporation into the Definitive
The Bamoos - Claw Lake - Four Dams Property
Prior drilling by Benton identified mineralization at Claw Lake and Four
Dams. The Top Zone is a recently identified area of mineralization that
straddles the Benton-Marathon property boundary. Marathon will focus on
developing a 43-101 compliant resource on the Main Zone extension on the
Bamoos property during the 2008 exploration campaign. The Main Zone extension
has been explored by Benton through drilling and trenching, as well as by
Anaconda Canada who previously worked the property in the 1960's. Marathon has
all the detailed data and drill core from the Anaconda program. Marathon will
commence work on the BCF property in late April.
"I am confident that we can rapidly develop resources on the Bamoos
lease, considering the amount of data already available to us. The data fits
our geological model very well, which will make for efficient exploration,"
said David Good, P.Geo., VP Exploration.
All exploration work is being performed under the guidance and
supervision of Phillip C. Walford, P.Geo., President and Chief Executive
Officer of the Marathon. Mr. Walford has approved the contents of this press
(To see a map of the Marathon Project, go to
About Marathon PGM Corporation
Marathon has a 100% interest in the Marathon Project, located about
10 kilometers north of Marathon, Ont. The project is currently undergoing a
definitive feasibility study, which Marathon expects to be complete in Q2. As
announced in November 2007, the Company has completed an NI43-101 compliant
resource estimate showing a measured resource of 45.9 million tonnes
containing 1.79 million ounces of PGM and gold and 314 million pounds of
copper, and an indicated resource of 35.5 million tonnes containing
1.39 million ounces of PGM and gold and 211 million pounds of copper. An
additional low-grade resource was also identified in the November 2007
resource estimate completed by P&E Mining Consultants Inc.
As part of its growth strategy, Marathon entered into agreements with
Gossan Resources and Bird River Mines Inc., on the Bird River Project, located
in southeastern Manitoba. Prospecting and data compilation completed in 2007
yielded several targets that Marathon started to drill in January 2008.
In August 2007, Marathon acquired the Steel Mountain Project in western
Newfoundland and Labrador and has completed the initial phase of exploration
on this 227.5 km(2) property. The Company holds a 100% interest in the Steel
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION Except for
statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information
contained herein constitutes "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking
statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect,"
"project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate" and other similar words, or
statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur.
Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of
management at the date the statements are made and are subject to a variety of
risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or
results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking
statements. 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, 2006. Circumstances or management's estimates or opinions
could change, and management disclaims any obligation to revise or update
forward-looking statements, whether for new information, future events or
otherwise. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (905)
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