Mr. Phillip Walford reports
MARATHON GOLD ANNOUNCES 2017 FINANCIAL RESULTS
Marathon Gold Corp. has released its financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017.
- At Dec. 31, 2017, Marathon had $7.1-million in cash and cash equivalents compared with $8.5-million at Dec. 31, 2016.
Marathon completed the following activities in the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, and subsequently to the date of this press release:
Mineral resource estimate: In November, 2017, Marathon released an updated mineral resource estimate and the supporting National Instrument 43-101 technical report for the Valentine Lake property. This report incorporated the results of drilling on the property through the third quarter of 2017 and the remodelling of the Leprechaun deposit, which was undertaken to better reflect the revised geological model for this deposit. This updated estimate was the second resource estimate undertaken in 2017 and is serving as the foundation for the preliminary economic assessment (PEA), which is currently under way. With completion of the November, 2017, resource estimate, the Valentine Lake property hosts a total measured and indicated resource of 1.8 million ounces of gold at a grade of 1.88 grams per tonne and an additional inferred resource of 1.0 million ounces at a grade of 1.65 grams per tonne. Between March, 2015, and November, 2017, the global measured and indicated resource increased by 700,000 ounces or 74 per cent, while the global inferred resource increased by 800,000 ounces or 409 per cent.
Buyback of net smelter return royalty: On Nov. 14, 2017, Marathon bought back a net smelter return royalty on the Valentine Lake property, which consisted of a 3-per-cent royalty on precious metal production and a 2-per-cent royalty on base metal production and which covered a land package that includes all of the current resources associated with the Valentine Lake project, for cash consideration of $8.7-million (U.S.), or $11.2-million. The royalty buyback was a one-time opportunity that management expects will have a significant positive impact on the value of the Valentine Lake project.
- Financings: On May 25, 2017, Marathon closed a bought deal prospectus financing underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets. Marathon issued a total of 6.9 million common shares at a price of $1.03 per common share and 9.2 million flow-through shares at a price of $1.25 per flow-through share, for aggregate gross proceeds of $18.6-million. In addition, on Dec. 21, 2017, Marathon closed a private placement underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity Corp., issuing a total of 4,066,000 flow-through shares at a price of $1.23 for gross proceeds of $5.0-million.
The proceeds from these financings continue to finance Marathon's winter drilling exploration program in the Marathon deposit and the boggy areas of the property between the Marathon and Sprite zones; environmental studies which will be used in permitting; and the preliminary economic assessment on the Valentine Lake property, which is under way at the date this press release with completion expected in the second quarter of 2018.
In addition, Marathon obtained proceeds of $2.8-million from the exercise of warrants and stock options during the year ended Dec. 31, 2017.
Drilling: Drill programs, which ran from January to March and June to December, 2016, January to March and May to November, 2017, and January, 2018, to date, focused on expanding and upgrading the Marathon and Leprechaun deposit resources. Currently, two drills are operating at Valentine Lake exploring to the southwest and northeast of the Marathon deposit, and an additional drill is deployed in the 3.5-kilometre boggy area between the Sprite and Marathon deposits, where Marathon is carrying out a series of widely spaced exploration holes near the Sprite deposit. Since May 22, 2017, Marathon has completed a total of 133 new holes and extended 16 drill holes covering 56,311 metres out of a planned program of 60,000 metres of infill, extension and exploration drilling at Leprechaun and Marathon, of which a total of 124 holes covering 53,791 metres have been assayed and reported.
The results of operations for the three- and 12-month periods ended Dec. 31, 2017, and 2016, are summarized herein. The 2017 results reflect increases in staff compensation costs and director fees following an independent benchmarking review of Marathon's compensation practices; a performance bonus awarded to management and employees driven by the sharp increase in mineral resources at the Valentine Lake gold camp; stock options issued in the second and third quarter of 2017; and professional and other fees associated with changes to Marathon's shareholder rights plan, stock option plan, and corporate governance practices and policies.
Three months ended Dec. 31, Year ended Dec. 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Exploration expenses $961 $954 $109,650 $22,527
General and administrative expenses 423,502 799,773 2,516,676 1,564,313
Other finance expense 50,651 195,766 162,240 202,507
Interest income (12,710) (1,566) (79,369) (6,171)
Foreign exchange (gain) loss (7,069) (5,430) (2,656) 15,580
Loss before tax 455,335 989,497 2,706,541 1,798,756
Income tax (recovery) 3,400,849 162,367 1,304,362 (252,784)
Loss for the period attributable to
Marathon Gold shareholders 3,855,824 1,151,864 4,010,903 1,545,972
This press release should be read in conjunction with Marathon's consolidated financial statements for the years ended Dec. 31, 2017, and 2016, and the related management's discussion and analysis, both of which are available on SEDAR.
About Marathon Gold Corp.
Marathon is a Toronto-based gold exploration company rapidly advancing its 100-per-cent-owned Valentine Lake gold camp, located in Newfoundland, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world. The Valentine Lake gold camp currently hosts four near-surface, mainly pit-shell-constrained deposits with measured and indicated resources totalling 1,846,500 ounces of gold at 1.88 grams per tonne and inferred resources totalling 1,011,700 oz of gold at 1.65 g/t. The majority of the resources occurs in the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits, which also have resources below the pit shell. Drilling in winter 2018 is continuing to focus on expanding the Marathon deposit at surface and to depth, as well as exploration drilling along the boggy covered area between the Marathon and Sprite deposits.
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