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Marathon mine builder waits on government go-ahead

Environment review panel submits final report to Ottawa, Queen's Park on Generation Mining's palladium project
Gen Mining landscape photo 1
(Generation Mining photo)

Generation Mining expects to receive good news in three months on its plans to press ahead with construction of an open-pit palladium mine, just outside Marathon and near the north shore of Lake Superior. 

The final report of a special environmental panel on the proposed mine project has been submitted to both the federal and provincial environment ministers to review.

The Toronto mine builder said in a news release that it expects a decision from both ministers within 120 days. The filed report spells out recommendations for the company and government to mitigate or minimize any adverse effects of a mine.

The mine project site is 10 kilometres north of the town of Marathon.

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The joint panel review, comprised of three government-appointed experts, posed technical questions to the company while also allowing the public, Indigenous communities, and government officials to have their say on the environmental and socio-economic impacts of a mine.

In a statement, Gen Mining president-CEO Jamie Levy is hopeful of a positive outcome as the report filing puts them further down the path to production.

“We will carefully review the panel’s recommendations and look forward to working with the affected stakeholders to continue advancing the Marathon Project while we await final government decisions.

“We look forward to receiving positive decisions from the federal and provincial governments in due course.” 

Gen Mining’s development proposal comprises a three-pit operation over a 12.7-year mining life, with an on-site ore processing plant, and a facility to store tailings and other mine rock waste. Access roads will be constructed, along a transmission line, explosives storage, water management facilities and various buildings associated with a mine. 

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The mining rate is calculated at 5,200 tonnes of ore per day. Annual palladium production would be 245,000 ounces.

Gen Mining holds about 220 square kilometres of exploration ground around the town of Marathon. The company has high hopes of finding more discoveries. 

In May, a company official said should they get government approval later this year, construction could start in early 2023 with commercial production kicking off 20 to 24 months later. The mine figures to be a huge economic boost to the town of Marathon, creating about 1,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent mine jobs.

The upfront capital costs to build the mine and order all the equipment needed comes in at $665 million. Gen Mining has had some success in a substantial amount of the project financing.