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Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF) CEO Michael Hudson on Expeditiously Bringing a Large Batch of Positive Drill Results Into a Resource Upgrade at Flagship Rajapalot Gold-Cobalt Project in Finland
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the chairman & CEO of Mawson Gold — Mr. Michael Hudson. Mike, how are you today?
Michael Hudson: I just joked off camera but I may as well use it again, Gerardo. All well and good, locked down Down Under!
Gerardo Del Real: Well, tell me about that a bit before we get into the excellent numbers and the exciting catalyst that's coming up for Mawson Gold here in just a bit.
You just reported the final 36 drill holes. We'll get into the highlight number here in a bit. We'll talk resource update, which we're all excited about. But tell me about the lockdown and how things are progressing in your part of the world.
Michael Hudson: Well, it's a very different outcome than what I see working in the North American markets and with many friends and colleagues over in North America. You're enjoying a very different experience over there, which will come our way, no doubt, but we're a little bit behind the times.
We went through an eradication strategy, essentially, and had a pretty nice life for the last year for the most part — for most parts of Australia, not consistently across. But we're still with that mentality of locking down and eradicating or controlling it to very few cases. We still track individual cases here in Australia. And until we're vaccinated, that's going to be the case.
So because we didn't have a COVID issue and because of some of the vaccine supplies and hesitancy, we're lower down the curve on our vaccination rates, which are picking up. And I think half of the country has at least got, or of eligible people, have now got at least a first shot, and a quarter have been fully vaccinated. So that's our way out as it has been your way out — and we've probably got until the rest of the year for that to play out.
Gerardo Del Real: Well said. Let's get into the headline number. The headline number reads:
Mawson drills 3.6 meters at 7.4 grams per tonne gold and 2,290 ppm cobalt at The Hut Prospect in Finland.
You announced drill results from the final 36 drill holes totaling 8,756.5 meters from the company's 76-hole, 19,422-meter 2020-21 drill program. Most, if not all, of the results announced today will be worked into the resource estimate, which I understand is due within the next couple of weeks.
I know that's a big catalyst for the company and for shareholders. Can you speak to the numbers? And let's talk resource update here in a bit.
Michael Hudson: Yeah, there's a bevy of results in this release, and they're really held in the back tables. If anyone really wants to go and have a look, we pulled out some of the highlights. We've got multiple prospects. I think we've drilled five different prospects in this release over 2.6 kilometers. All bread and butter results is the way that I'd explain them. All good results that will feed into the resource.
We had some of our highlight results out in news flow over the last months. There's no spectacular single result here. The sum of the parts is more powerful than any individual result here. So good solid results to round out, and, of course, we had all of these results come to us. And now, our focus, very much, is pivoting towards the resource as all of the results are in. And, as you say, that's over the next couple of weeks — we'll put that resource upgrade out.
And our aim has always been to go north of a million ounces here; remembering a year ago, this project only had 300-odd-thousand ounces gold equivalent in resource. So it's been on a fast-track, and this drill season has seen more economic-grade intersections than ever before on the property. So we've got high hopes.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, high hopes indeed. We've chatted pretty openly about the hope that the resource is near a million gold ounces equivalent across all categories, right? It makes for a headline target. But I think lost in that expectation is the more important outcome of this drill program with the grade and the thickness that you were able to establish — the continuity and the discovery of two new resource areas and the extension of four other resource areas.
All of that to me — and this is me not being a geologist getting ahead of myself — but all of that to me looks like it's moving this project towards what eventually will be a mine with a multi-million ounce gold resource. Am I wrong for thinking in those terms?
Michael Hudson: You're not wrong. The grade is something to focus on; we've certainly been. The more we drill these high-grade, structurally controlled systems here in Finland, the more we understand about the grade distribution — the more successful we are at hitting it.
And I'd like you to focus — when we speak on the resource upgrade — as to the grade and how it's playing out. We've only tested 5% to 10% of our host horizon across this property. So this is a very small part of the larger upside. So this will become a multi-million ounce field in my mind. Of course, we've got a lot of work to demonstrate that. But every single one of these resource bodies is open. Nothing has been closed off, and there's still a lot of upside here to go.
That being said, we now have something that looks and feels quite substantial. We know from a mining point of view in Finland that that takes time. So we've already started those early-stage permitting steps. The EIA has started; the land use rezoning. We see where this is going, and we're preparing for that pivot.
Now it's still, I suppose, that the strategy for Mawson now is to make this bigger, without a doubt; add value by making it bigger. And that's the value proposition. But equally, create value by de-risking ounces by engineering and permitting. So that's the three-fold outcome of this project as it's on its fast-track to becoming a significant gold and cobalt resource and eventual mine in Europe.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, and I've said this in the past and I believe it, I believe that this project is eventually going to be bought out. I think that the geologists who are indeed geologists, right, again unlike myself, can see the writing on the wall as to the direction and the potential of the project.
And there's several players in this part of the world that I am sure would love to have a project with this type of grade, with this type of exploration upside, and with the type of goodwill that you and the team at Mawson have been able to develop over the years. A lot of quality work, right?
Michael Hudson: Well, let's say our game plan is very much to advance this project and create the resource of scale and de-risk it and make it a desirable product. Essentially, it’s our job and we're well and truly on that pathway.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, it sounds like the next time we'll chat, we'll be chatting resource update. Can I ask about Australia before I let you go?
Michael Hudson: Very much. Drilling ongoing; discovery is continuing there. You'll see some more results. We've had to focus on Finland over the last few months as we've had this huge amount of drilling to report but we've been working behind the scenes.
We still discuss openly that we're reviewing opportunities to spin those assets out into their own company here in Australia. And that decision hasn't formally been made but we're not shying away from that. It’s a strategy that we're reviewing and making sure that that is a possibility. And it’s very clear that the path of Australia is somewhat different to the path for Finland. And the sum of the parts, individually, we think will be worth a lot more than together.
Gerardo Del Real: Mr. Hudson, well said as always. Anything else to add to that?
Michael Hudson: No. Thanks again, Gerardo. You take care.
Gerardo Del Real: Same. Thank you, Mike. We'll chat soon.
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