Stillwater Mining announced on July 2, 2012, that it has submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Marathon platinum group metals-copper project in northwest Ontario to a joint Canadian federal and Ontario provincial review panel. The project is located near the north shore of Lake Superior about 10 km north of the town of Marathon. Stillwater owns 75% of the project; Mitsubishi Corp. owns the remaining 25%.
Once approved, the Marathon project would include development of an open-pit mine and milling operation, with one primary pit and several smaller satellite pits. Concentrates produced at Marathon would be transported to a third-party smelter and refinery for final processing. Initial projections suggest the mine would produce about 200,000 oz/y of platinum group metals (mostly palladium) and 37 million lb/y of copper over a mine life of about 11.5 years.
Pre-production capital cost of the Marathon project is estimated at between $550 million and $650 million, with first production in about 2016, subject to orderly receipt of approvals. Outside of amounts provided through project financing, Stillwater and Mitsubishi will be responsible for separately funding their respective interests in the project.
Stillwater Chairman and CEO Frank McAllister said, “Submission of the EIS for the Marathon project is an important early milestone in the development of this attractive PGM-copper resource. We appreciate the extensive efforts of the numerous consulting groups and environmental scientists who have contributed to the development of the EIS document. The joint federal-provincial review panel will now coordinate consultations among the various communities and governmental interests affected by the Marathon project in a process designed to balance the concerns of all the parties involved. We look forward to participating with these groups as the process moves forward.”