Marathon Reviews Progress of 2007 and Plans for 2008
TORONTO, Dec. 12 – Marathon PGM Corporation (“Marathon” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide a review of progress made during 2007 and also to describe the Company’s exploration and development plans for 2008.
“Exceptional progress was made this year, and we will continue to deliver as we gear up for 2008,” said Phillip Walford, President and CEO of Marathon. “A review of Marathon’s continued growth in 2007 reflects that we are a growing company, and 2008 should see as much progress on all fronts.” Marathon Project Feasibility Study
Ray Mason, VP of Operations, is overseeing the Feasibility Study for the Marathon Project. Extensive metallurgical work has been done throughout 2007, with steady progress being made. The process plant design for the Marathon Project is expected to be finalized in Q1 of 2008. Environmental baseline studies, archaeological studies and geotechnical studies have been conducted throughout 2007. Preliminary test work was initiated to determine if HPGR (high-pressure grinding rolls) can be used as a cost-effective substitute for SAG (Semi-Autogenous Grinding) milling. The process of obtaining provincial work permits was started in Q4 of 2007.
Marathon Project Exploration and Resource Development
In January of 2007, a 40,000 metre drilling campaign was initiated to expand the Marathon resource and provide information for mine planning. A new geological interpretation identified the high-grade W horizon as having potential to rapidly add metals to the resource. A total of 180 holes were completed and subsequently incorporated into the resource database. The drilling campaign significantly expanded the PGM and Au and copper resources. The overall platinum resource climbed rapidly, due to the platinum rich nature of the W horizon.
Drilling the SG and WD zones provided promising preliminary results. Considering the SG and WD zones are situated to the south and are well outside the resource shell, it will provide further opportunity to find additional resources with the resumption of drilling in January.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) was delivered to Marathon in February of 2007, and given the positive results of the PEA, the Company commissioned a Definitive Feasibility Study in April, and is anticipated complete in Q2 of 2008. Marathon announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pic River First Nation in October.
Drilling is set to resume at the Marathon project in January of 2008. Marathon has allocated approximately $3.8 million for the 2008 campaign, which will be comprised of infill and condemnation drilling and is designed to improve resources and define new resources outside of the current resource
Bird River Project
The Bird River Project was optioned from Gossan Resources in April and a letter of understanding was signed for the adjacent Ore Fault property from Bird River Mines Inc., in November. Work completed this year has focused on confirming anomalous PGM and base metal values, locating historical drill holes and expanding sampling coverage area. Results from sampling to date confirmed historical values and, at the Coppermine and Page Zones, extended surface strike lengths of mineralization. Prospecting and assays from grab samples has extended the strike length of mineralization northeast of the Coppermine Zone to 800 m. Marathon initially reported this mineralization (MAR release 11-Jun-07) at the west end of the Coppermine Zone, with reported values of up to 0.21% nickel, 0.44% copper, 1.21 g/t platinum and 1.39 g/t palladium. A single hole located at the east end of the Coppermine Zone drilled by Canex Placer Ltd in 1973 (assessment file report 91832, Manitoba Mining District) contained an intersection grading 0.24% nickel, 0.42% copper, 1.02 g/t platinum and 1.19 g/t palladium over 12.2 m. The extension of mineralization on surface, when combined with anomalous values from sampling – provide the justification of drilling the Coppermine Zone.
Prospecting by Marathon confirmed the extension of Page Zone mineralization at the footwall of the Bird River Sill by a distance of 130 m to the east. The best assays from grab samples include 0.90% copper, 0.09% nickel and 0.73 g/t platinum plus palladium in sample C377551 and 0.11% copper, 0.42% nickel and 0.58 g/t platinum plus palladium in sample C377552. Intersections in the Page zone include drill hole BR-05-02 intersecting 13.5 m grading 0.73 g/t palladium, 0.27 g/t platinum, 1.08% nickel and 0.50% copper. Included in that intersection was 4.75 m grading 1.11 g/t palladium, 0.40 g/t platinum, 2.14 % nickel and 0.44% copper. Marathon will drill the Page Zone as a consequence of finding the extension of mineralization on surface and confirming anomalous values on surface from sampling. A second PGM zone was discovered 100 m south of the Page Zone, which has never been drilled.
Grid cutting is currently underway at Bird River for a planned geophysical survey over the targets. A drilling campaign of approximately 8,000 m is planned for the Page, Galaxy, Ore Fault and Coppermine Zones, which will commence in January of 2008.
Marathon has allocated a budget of approximately $1.4 million for this campaign, which is designed to build NI43-101 compliant resources. Marathon has been fortunate to amass the largest single land holding in the history of the Bird River district.
Steel Mountain Project
In August, Marathon acquired the Steel Mountain Project, located in western Newfoundland and Labrador. Anomalous PGM and base metal values initially attracted Marathon to this largely unexplored area. Grab samples collected by Marathon in 2007 from the Lower Sheep Brook showing returned assays of up to 2.72g/t Pt, 4.3g/t Pd, 17.7% Cu, 0.15% Co, 1.88% Ni, 2.88% Pb and 2.58% Zn. Preliminary results from prospecting and sampling outlined multiple areas of coincident geochemical anomalies.
Marathon has allocated a budget of approximately $750,000 for 2008, in order to determine the origin of the geochemical anomalies, expand sampling coverage and conduct an airborne geophysical survey. Marathon is also currently evaluating other exploration properties within the province.
All exploration work is being performed under the guidance and supervision of David Good, Ph.D., P.Geo, VP of Exploration of Marathon, and Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Dr. Good has approved the contents of this press release.
About Marathon PGM Corporation
The Company has a 100-per-cent interest in the Marathon Project, located about 10 kilometers north of Marathon, Ont. The project is currently undergoing a definitive feasibility study and a 40,000 m drill campaign was completed in September 2007. As announced previously, the Company has completed a revised preliminary economic assessment in compliance with the provisions of National Instrument 43-101, showing a measured resource of 39.2 million tonnes containing 1.6 million ounces of PGM and gold and 285 million pounds of copper, and an indicated resource of 28.9 million tonnes containing 1.1 million ounces of PGM and gold and 178 million pounds of copper. An additional low-grade resource was also identified in the report completed by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. and filed on SEDAR on April 5, 2007.
As part of its growth strategy, in April 2007, Marathon entered into an option agreement with Gossan Resources on the Bird River Project, located in southeastern Manitoba. Prospecting and data compilation of the Bird River Project is focused over several key areas, including the Coppermine, Page East, Page West and Galaxy Zones. Marathon can earn-in up to a total 70% interest by completing a definitive feasibility study and arranging project financing. In October 2007, Marathon entered into an agreement with Bird River Mines Inc on the Ore Fault and Lotus Properties, located on the eastern margin of Marathon’s Bird River Project.
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 Mountain Project.
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 forward-looking statements.
On Behalf of Marathon PGM:
“Phillip C. Walford”
Phillip C. Walford, P.Geo.
President, Chief Executive Officer
For further information: David Leng, P.Geo: firstname.lastname@example.org, (905) 537-5377, Fax: (416) 861-1925; For media inquiries, please contact: Vanessa Napoli, email@example.com, (514) 939-3989