Marathon PGM-Cu Project Receives Positive Metallurgical Testing Results

    TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Marathon PGM Corporation ("Marathon" or "the
Company") is pleased to report the results from an extensive metallurgical
test program (see Table 1). The testwork was undertaken at SGS Mineral
Services, Lakefield, Ontario, ("SGS") under the direction of Hans Raabe,
Senior Metallurgist at SGS. Richard Gowans P.Eng., Vice President and Senior
Metallurgist with Micon International Limited ("Micon"), is the independent
qualified person (QP).
    Ray Mason, Marathon's VP of Operations, formerly General Manager of North
American Palladium's Lac Des Iles ("LDI") mine, noted "The metallurgical work
completed to date has confirmed that the unmetamorphosed rocks of the Marathon
deposit exhibit palladium recoveries equal to the LDI ore body. This is
remarkable given that the palladium head grades are a lower grade of PGM and
there is much more copper at a higher recovery in the Marathon deposit."
    The objectives of the SGS metallurgical program were to provide process
optimization and metallurgical input data for the Marathon PGM-Cu Project
Feasibility Study. The comprehensive metallurgical program was designed to
complement the 2004 work also conducted at SGS, which produced good results.
The flowsheet developed in the 2004 test program was confirmed during the
recent testwork program and the flotation conditions were optimized. The
estimated metallurgical recoveries based on the recent test program are
presented in Table 1. These data are compared to the June 2006 Preliminary
Economic Assessment report issued by P&E Mining Consultants (P&E) and the
North American Palladium's Lac des Iles Mine operating results reported in the
Canadian Mining Journal's 2007 Mining Sourcebook.

    Table 1

    Estimated Metallurgical Recoveries
                           2008             P&E Technical        NAP Lac
                        SGS Results           Report(4)         des Iles(5)
                                   Reco-            Reco-
                          Head    very(3)    Head   very(4)   Head   Recovery
    Element        Unit  Grade(1)   (%)      Grade   (%)      Grade     (%)
    Copper (Cu)      %     0.28      91       0.31    87      0.069      77
    Gold (Au)       g/t    0.11      73       0.09    60       0.19      68
    Platinum (Pt)   g/t    0.23      63       0.25    76       0.20      58
    Palladium (Pd)  g/t    0.87      77       0.91    80       2.14      77
     (Ni)(1)(2)      %    0.021      24      0.037    35      0.087      35
     (Ag)(1)(2)     g/t    1.60      77                           -       -
     (Rh)(1)(2)     g/t    0.020     46                           -       -
    (1) The head grades reported for Cu, Au, Pt and Pd are the average
        calculated heads from the locked cycle tests used to estimate the
        flotation performance. The head grades stated for Ni, Ag and Rh are
        the average analyses for the metallurgical composites used in the
        metallurgical program.
    (2) The 2008 SGS recoveries for Ni, Ag and Rh are calculated using the
        concentrate grade and the metallurgical composite feed assays.
    (3) The recovery data are based on the analysis of 10 locked cycle
        flotation tests. From these tests, the relationships between
        concentrate grade and recovery were determined for Cu, Au, Pt and Pd.
        The target concentrate grade was 22% Cu.
    (4) The average life of mine metal recovery used in the P&E June 2006
        NI43-101 Technical Report assumed a target concentrate grade
        of 25% Cu.
    (5) North American Palladium results are from the Canadian Mining
        Journal's 2007 Mining Sourcebook.

    Representative material from drill holes located throughout the resource
(table 2) were carefully composited for the metallurgical testing program to
give the grades and ore types that characterize the Marathon deposit. The
lower Cu grade material tested in the recent program gave better results, in
terms of Cu recovery, compared to that projected in the 2006 P&E Technical

    Table 2
    Resource above $13.50/tonne NSR Cut-Off(1)

                   P&E Nov 2007 Resource, All Zones within Pit Shell
                            Tonnes   Pd     Pt     Au     Cu     Ag     Rh
    Category                (10(6))  g/t    g/t    g/t     %     g/t    g/t
    Measured                  45.9   0.87   0.24   0.09   0.31   1.59   0.01
    Indicated                 35.5   0.84   0.28   0.09   0.27   1.89   0.01
    Measured + Indicated      81.4   0.86   0.26   0.09   0.29   1.72   0.01

                                    Contained Metal
                             Pd oz  Pt oz  Au oz  Cu lb  Ag oz  Rh oz
    Category                 (000)  (000)  (000)  (10(6)) (000)  (000)
    Measured                 1,284    354    133    314  2,346     15
    Indicated                  958    320    103    211  2,157     11
    Measured + Indicated     2,242    674    236    525  4,503     26

    (1) Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have
        demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources
        may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal,
        title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues.
    (2) The quantity and grade of reported inferred resources in this
        estimation are conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient
        exploration to define these inferred resources as an indicated or
        measured mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration
        will result in upgrading them to an indicated or measured mineral
        resource category.

    Multi-element analyses of the final concentrate suggest that the quality
of the final flotation concentrate is good and does not contain any
significant quantities of deleterious constituents that may reduce its
marketability. Of particular interest are the final concentrate values of
Total S = 24.1% and MgO = 3.64%.
    The final flowsheet developed during the test program was used for the
locked cycle tests (LCT). This flowsheet comprises a split rougher circuit.
The first stage recovers fast floating minerals (mainly copper) and the second
stage floats the slower floating minerals. The flowsheet is based on producing
a single concentrate for sale to a copper smelter. A concentrate grade of 22%
Cu is assumed to be acceptable to the market considering the significant Au
and PGM values. This target grade was used to predict the elemental
recoveries. A simplified version of the flowsheet developed by SGS is
illustrated in Figure 1.
    (To view the Simplified Flowsheet of the Marathon PGM-Cu Project, please
click on the following link
    Of note is that the reagent additions used in the final flotation circuit
protocol are comparatively low, which reduces the cost of processing as well
as resulting in an "operator friendly" processing facility.
    To assess the variability of recovery with the head grade, four
additional composites containing varying high and low Cu and PGM grades were
selected from drill core that was used for the main metallurgical test sample
and tested using the standard flotation conditions. In addition, a High-PGM
sample was tested by SGS. These results suggest that the Cu recovery is
relatively unaffected by the head grade, however, the Pd and Au recoveries
tended to increase with higher head grade samples. Of special interest is that
the High-PGM mineralization follows the overall trend. The Pt recovery appears
to be primarily affected by the final concentrate grade, Pt recoveries tended
to increase with decreasing copper concentrate grades.
    Work undertaken to assess the relationship between grind size and rougher
recovery suggests that the recovery of the copper and palladium from the
Marathon mill feed appear relatively unaffected by the primary grind. The data
for gold and platinum do not provide a definitive correlation between grind
and rougher recovery, based on the work completed so far. Based on these data,
a primary grind of 80% passing (K80) = 110 micron was selected for the process
design. This grind is coarser than that used in the 2004 test program and will
result in a relative reduction in capital and operating costs for the grinding
    As part of the metallurgical program, a low-grade concentrate was tested
using the hydrometallurgical PLATSOL(R) leaching process to extract Cu, Au and
PGMs. The results from this non-optimized test were encouraging with
extractions of Cu, Au, Ag, Pt and Pd of 99%, 46%, 52%, 95% and 80%,
    Marathon is continuing with metallurgical testing with the main objective
to enhance project economics.
    Richard Gowans, P.Eng., Vice President and Senior Metallurgist with Micon
International Limited ("Micon"), is the independent qualified person (QP) in
compliance with National Instrument 43-101 with respect to this release. Mr.
Gowans has reviewed the contents for accuracy and has approved this press
release on behalf of Micon.
    Phillip Walford, P.Geo., Marathon's 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 is in the process of completing a definitive feasibility study
on the Marathon PGM-Cu deposit. Marathon also has development and exploration
stage properties in southeastern Manitoba and western Newfoundland and
Labrador. Marathon's management plans to build on this focus through the
advancement of its properties, focusing on resource development and by
examining other strategic PGM and base metal opportunities within Canada.

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
forward-looking statements.

    On Behalf of Marathon PGM:
    "Phillip C. Walford"

    %SEDAR: 00020574E

For further information:

For further information: Phillip C. Walford, P.Geo., President, Chief
Executive Officer, Tel: (416) 987-0711,; David Leng,
P.Geo, Tel: (416) 849-3432, Fax: (416) 861-1925,

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890