The comprehensive review will include the mill as well as heap leach options, and the anticipated goal is to further identify the recovery methods as the company prepares for the site's pre-feasibility study (PFS). Increased recoveries, Marathon added, will help it improve the economies of the project.
Marathon is currently drilling HQ core specifically for the heap leach program, about 2,000kg of which will be used for Bond crusher work index tests, bottle roll leach tests and column leach tests.
An additional 2,000kg of stored NQ half-core will be made available for comminution tests and gravity, flotation and cyanidation test work, the company added, while bulk flotation work will create the concentrate needed for further testing.
All obtained results will be used in Valentine Lake's PFS set for completion next year.
Currently, the project has four near-surface deposits with resources totalling 2,137,100 ounces (measured and indicated) at 1.99 grams per tonne and inferred resources of 1,104,800 ounces at 1.99 g/t - mostly at the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits.