A significant and strategic regional scale gold-cobalt discovery in mining friendly Finland
Resource on flagship Rajapalot-Rompas project represents just 20% of the 4km trend so potential to expand
Experienced management and fully financed for this season's work
What the company does:
Mining group Mawson (TSE:MAW) was incorporated in 2004 and the flagship property is the Rajapalot project in Finnish Lapland, a few kilometers south of the arctic circle, where both high-grade gold and cobalt have been discovered over a camp-scale area of more than 10 sq km.
A milestone was reached in December last year, when the company announced a maiden inferred (lower confidence) gold-cobalt estimate for the Raja and Palokas prospects.
The pit and underground constrained inferred resource was put at 424,000 ounces of gold at 3.1 grams/ton gold equivalent, while the combined inferred mineral inventory in the Palokas and Raja prospects was 482,000 ounces of gold equivalent at a grade of 2.4 g/t.
According to the company, the unconstrained maiden inventory puts Rajapalot as one of Finland’s current top three gold projects by grade and contained ounces. It is also one of only a small group of NI 43 101 cobalt resources. Currently, Mawson is focused on increasing gold and cobalt resources at Rajapalot.
It is worth noting that Finland refines half the world’s cobalt outside China, while the globe's largest cobalt refinery lies 400km to the south of Rajapalot.
Finland becoming mining hotspot
Agnico Eagle's (NYSE:AEM) Kittila mine in the country is the largest primary gold producer in Europe and is just north of Mawson's ground and there are several other firms exploring in the area.
Kittila has a mine-life estimated through to 2035 and has proven and probable mineral reserves of 4.4 million ounces gold (31 million tonnes at 4.50 g/t gold) as of December 31, 2018.
The country jumped to the Number One spot in the Fraser Institute’s 2017 ranking of investment attractiveness for mining jurisdictions, up from fifth in 2016.
How the firm's doing:
Drilling results from the group's winter drilling have been highly encouraging and underlined the potential to grow the resource at Rajapalot. In May, Mawson unveiled a new discovery after drilling revealed shallow gold-cobalt mineralization at the Rumajärvi prospect. One intercept showed an impressive 7.4 metres at 4.4 grams per ton gold equivalent and 597 parts per million cobalt from around 86 metres.
"Our exploration success at Rumajärvi provides encouragement of continued growth of the Rajapalot mineral system," CEO Michael Hudson has said, adding that the discovery of these new gold-cobalt zones at Rumajärvi clearly demonstrates the potential to increase the project's gold-cobalt resources.
In June, the company said drilling had extended the South Palokas prospect, while in July, drill assays from the Raja prospect continued to extend mineralization beyond the current resource boundaries.
The latest positive drilling result has been the discovery of the fifth prospect drilled this year, called 'The Hut', underlining the potential of the project for growing the resource Highlight assays included 3 metres (m) at a grade of 7.6 grams per ton (g/t) gold equivalent (AuEq), 6.4 g/t gold and 722 parts per million 9ppm) cobalt from 138.4 metres.
What the boss says:
Speaking to Proactive Investors from Finland in May, Michael Hudson said of winter drilling. "A main focus was to extend known resources but a secondary focus for us during the winter was to try and find new areas and build them out for drilling seasons to come so we'll be going back into these areas at the end of the year when we get the freeze again and we can get out into the wetter areas."
Hudson said around $2 million was left in the bank having spent $5 million over the last four or five months on exploration, so if the firm wants to do a big drill campiagn this coming winter, the firm would need to go back to the market.
"We're not in a hurry necessarily. The market is pretty dour at the moment so we'll get all our results out," he said, adding that Mawson wanted to get a strong end to the season out to the public before planning its next steps.