"Today's news comes slightly more than three years since the start of formal environmental assessment of the Valentine Gold Project," Marathon president and CEO Matt Manson said.
Canaccord Genuity Capital Markets analyst Michael Fairbairn said CG viewed the federal EA as the most significant outstanding step in Marathon's permitting process.
"With this approval, the company can now proceed with site-specific permitting in support of early works and project financing," he said.
Marathon noted that permitting for initial construction activities, such as tree clearing, quarrying, earthworks, accommodation camp installation, road upgrades and culvert installations, is ongoing.
The federal EA allows these permits to be acquired.
"We forecast Valentine achieving commercial production in 2025 and producing ~180,000 ounces annually at US$761/oz cash costs and US$990/oz AISC over a 14-year mine life," Fairbairn said.
"We estimate total go-forward initial capital of C$450 million (US$347.40 million) for the Valentine project, which we expect will be funded through a combination of debt, equity, and cash on hand," he said, noting that Marathon ended the second quarter with C$62 million in cash and no debt.
CG expects that a remaining financing gap will be filled with a C$260 million equity raise at C$1.53/share.
Marathon's share price was C$1.74 on 24 August. The company has a market capitalisation of C$447.08 million.
CG has a price target of C$3.75 for Marathon.