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Review panel announced for Marathon palladium project

Various companies have investigated the property since the mid-1980s.
Generation PGM is the latest company looking to develop a mine just north of Marathon, Ontario (Tbnewswatch file)

MARATHON, Ont. — The federal and Ontario governments have announced the establishment of a joint review panel to resume the environmental assessment for a proposed palladium mine about eight kilometres north of Marathon.

The three-member panel will be chaired by provincial representative Debra Sikora, formerly an assistant deputy minister with the Ontario environment ministry.

The panel will determine whether the proposed open-pit mine would cause significant adverse environmental effects, and will consider mitigation measures.

It will also identify any required follow-up programs.

Generation Mining is currently conducting a feasibility study which it expects to complete in early 2021.

It has described its Marathon venture as the largest undeveloped platinum group metals project in North America.

The property covers an area of about 220 square kilometeres.

Generation Mining acquired a 51 per cent interest in the project from Sibanye Stillwater in 2019, and can increase its interest to 80 per cent by spending $10 million over a period of four years.

A preliminary economic assessment in January 2020 estimated the property could produce 107,000 ounces of palladium from three pits over its 14-year production life, not including some copper, platinum, gold and silver.

It's estimated the project would create about 300 mining jobs.

Environmental assessment for the project was initiated years ago, but was put on hold in 2014.

The property was developed from 1985 to 2010 by various companies and was eventually owned by Marathon PGM Corporation.

U.S.-based Stillwater Mining acquired Marathon PGM in 2010, and three years later the property was acquired by Sibanye-Stillwater of South Africa when it purchased Stillwater.



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