Stillwater Mining reported on September 2 that Stillwater Canada is scaling back activities associated with the Marathon platinum group metals/copper project in northwest Ontario. Limited exploration activities will continue for the current field season and continuation will be dependent on positive results. The permitting process for the project was suspended in January.

Stillwater Canada is owned 75% by Stillwater Mining and 25% by Mitsubishi Corp. The Marathon project is located about 10 km north of the town of Marathon, Ontario, near the north shore of Lake Superior.

Stillwater Canada has been reviewing ways to improve the economics of the project. “While several alternatives under review have the potential to enhancethe project’s economic performance, in today’s markets these options do not provide an acceptable economic return on the project,” the Stillwater statement said.

Stillwater Canada plans to maintain tenure on the Marathon property and look for opportunities to realize value from the project in the future, while fostering relationships that have been formed with local aboriginal communities and municipalities.

As a result of the reduction in activities at Marathon, Stillwater Canada expenditures for 2014 are expected to be in the range of $4 million to $6 million. Going forward, the company anticipates project costs will be in the range of $1 million to $3 million per year, depending on the level of exploration activity.

Stillwater Mining owns and operates the Stillwater and East Boulder platinum group metals mines and concentrators in southern Montana. The mines produced 97,700 oz of palladium and 28,700 oz of platinum, and a recycling operation recovered 73,900 oz of palladium, 50,300 oz of platinum, and 10,100 oz of rhodium during the second quarter of 2014.