Marathon Gold Corporation (TSX: MOZ) is pleased to report fire assay data from the final fifteen drill holes completed as part of the 2020 exploration program at the Valentine Gold Project, central Newfoundland. These latest results are all derived from within the 1.5 kilometre long Berry Zone. Highlights include:
All quoted intersections comprise uncut gold assays in core lengths. All significant assay intervals are reported in Table 1.
With these final 2020 results, a total of 42,000 metres of drilling in 212 holes is now available for use in the maiden mineral resource estimation for Berry. Consistent with previous practice, the Berry mineral resource estimate will be based on the results of metallic screening samples that have been submitted for all 1m core intervals grading above the mineral resource cut-off of 0.3 g/t Au after fire assay. The Berry mineral resource estimate is expected to be completed prior to the end of the first quarter of this year.
In addition to today’s drill results, Marathon reports that the Company’s Board of Directors has approved a 2021 Exploration Program comprising 52,000 metres of drilling at a budget of C$10.5 million. These expenditures will be fully funded from existing cash resources. The 2021 Exploration Program will include:
The 2021 Exploration Program will be managed and operated by Marathon’s team of exploration staff and contractors, all of whom are resident within Newfoundland and Labrador.
Matt Manson, President & CEO commented: “Today’s results represent the final batch of drill holes completed prior to our seasonal shutdown at the end of November. Our 2020 Exploration Program, including the Berry Infill Drill Program added mid-year, has been successful in delineating an important new area of gold mineralization at the Valentine Gold Project. The first mineral resource estimate for Berry based on this initial round of drilling is expected by the end of this quarter. Whereas our 2020 exploration work was discovery oriented, our 2021 Exploration Program is designed to add ounces, with up to 30,000 metres of additional in-fill drilling planned for the Berry Zone over its full 1.5 kilometre length. We also plan to return to the Victory and Sprite Deposits, with up to 8,000 metres of drilling in each area. Modest quantities of mineral resources have been previously estimated at each of Victory and Sprite based on limited drilling completed prior to 2015. The new drill program will be designed to test for the tightly concentrated “Main Zone” type mineralization located immediately proximal to the Valentine Lake Shear Zone in the style seen at the Leprechaun Deposit, and now also at Berry, and which may have been missed by previous drilling patterns. Neither Victory nor Sprite are included in the current Valentine Gold Project mine planning. Finally, up to 6,000 metres of drilling will be reserved for greenfield initiatives within the 20 kilometres of shear zone geology contained within the Valentine Lake Property. All of this exploration activity will proceed in parallel with our ongoing environmental assessment and engineering activities. Drilling with three rigs at site has already commenced.”
Figure 1: Location Map, Valentine Gold Project
Gold mineralization at the Valentine Gold Project is contained predominantly within shallowly southwest dipping, en-echelon stacked Quartz-Tourmaline-Pyrite-Gold veins. At the Leprechaun and Marathon Deposits, as well as at the new Berry Zone, these QTP-Au veins form densely stacked and northwest plunging “Main Zone” envelopes within intrusive host rocks on the hanging wall (northwest) side of the Valentine Lake Shear Zone. The extent of mineralization appears related to the size and frequency of sheared mafic dykes which extend northeast-southwest within the hanging wall, parallel to the shear zone. Exploration drilling is generally undertaken in two orientations: down steeply towards the northwest at a high angle to the individual veins and down-plunge of the Main Zone stacking, or obliquely towards the southeast sub-parallel to the individual veins and across the strike of Main Zone mineralization.
The results released today are derived from nine drillholes located within or adjacent to the Berry infill drilling area between sections 13540E and 13860E, and an additional six drillholes in the Frozen Ear Pond Road area between sections 14650E and 14800E (Figure 2).
Seven of the fifteen holes were oriented steeply down to the northwest testing for Main Zone type stacked QTP-Au mineralization close to the Valentine Lake Shear Zone (VL-20-942, 945, 947, 948, 949, 950, and 951). Six holes were oriented steeply down to the northwest within hanging wall rocks but at a greater distance from the shear zone contact (VL-20-938, 939, 940, 944, 946, and 952). Two holes were oriented to the southeast from the hanging wall toward the footwall contact (VL-20-941 and 943).
Thirteen of the fifteen drillholes returned “significant” drill intercepts of greater than 0.7 g/t Au (Table 1), and each drillhole returned additional intercepts with gold grades above the 0.3 g/t Au cut-off used in the January 2020 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Project.
Figure 2: Location of Berry Zone Exploration Drill Hole Collars VL-20-938 to VL-20-952
Table 1: Significant Assay Intervals, Berry Zone, Valentine Gold Project
|Gold g/t||Gold g/t
Notes on the Calculation of Assay Intervals
Disclosure of a scientific or technical nature in this news release was prepared under the supervision of Nicholas Capps, P.Geo. (NL), Exploration Manager for the Valentine Gold Project. Exploration data quality assurance and control for Marathon is under the supervision of Jessica Borysenko, P.Geo. (NL), GIS Manager for Marathon Gold Corporation. Both Mr. Capps and Ms. Borysenko are qualified persons under National Instrument 43-101.
Quality Assurance-Quality Control
QA/QC protocols followed at the Valentine Gold Project include the insertion of blanks and standards at regular intervals in each sample batch. Drill core is cut in half with one half retained at site, the other half tagged and sent to Eastern Analytical Limited in Springdale, NL. All reported core samples are analyzed for Au by fire assay (30g) with AA finish. All samples above 0.30 g/t Au in economically interesting intervals are further assayed using metallic screen to mitigate the presence of coarse gold. Significant mineralized intervals are reported in Table 1 as core lengths and estimated true thickness (70 – 95% of core length), and reported with and without a top-cut of 30 g/t Au applied.
Marathon acknowledges the financial support of the Junior Exploration Assistance Program, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Marathon is a Toronto based gold company advancing its 100%-owned Valentine Gold Project located in the central region of Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world. The Project comprises a series of four mineralized deposits along a 20-kilometre system. An April 2020 Pre-Feasibility Study outlined an open pit mining and conventional milling operation over a twelve-year mine life with a 36% after-tax rate of return. The Project has estimated Proven Mineral Reserves of 1.3 Moz (26.3 Mt at 1.52 g/t) and Probable Mineral Reserves of 0.6 Moz (14.8 Mt at 1.23 g/t). Total Measured Mineral Resources (inclusive of the Mineral Reserves) comprise 1.9 Moz (31.7 Mt at 1.86 g/t) with Indicated Mineral Resources (inclusive of the Mineral Reserves) of 1.19 Moz (23.2 Mt at 1.60 g/t). Additional Inferred Mineral Resources are 0.96 Moz (16.77 Mt at 1.78 g/t Au). Please see the Technical Report dated April 21, 2020 for further details and assumptions relating to the Valentine Gold Project.
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We acknowledge the [financial] support of the Government of Canada.