Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF) CEO Michael Hudson on Major Milestone at Flagship Rajapalot Gold-Cobalt Project, Finland, Plus Update on Australian Gold Projects
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Mawson Gold — Mr. Michael Hudson. Mike, how are you today?
Michael Hudson: Top of the world Down Under, Gerardo!
Gerardo Del Real: I am glad to have you on! You had some news today that I think most speculators won't really appreciate. I would love for you to provide some context in regards to the commencement of the EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] and land use planning for your flagship gold-cobalt project in Finland.
This is an important step. Can you explain to us why it's important, what this does, and what comes next?
Michael Hudson: Gerardo, this is probably the most important aspect for the project since the discovery hole, and the details will certainly be lost on most people. But this is the pivoting of the project further from an exploration project to a potential mine project. And that's what is happening now, internally, in Finland where we're starting the planning processes for a potential mining operation.
Now, I'm not obliged to talk about any of the economics and what that may look like because we've had no economic studies on this project to-date; only resources. But internally in Finland, this is now being dealt with and legislated as a potential future mining project.
And basically, we've got the local people who've initiated the land use planning mechanism in conjunction with the Environmental Impact Assessment that we've started. And we're working hand-in-hand to not only socialize the project – which is a very important aspect to make sure all stakeholders are on board with any future operation and what that may look like – but also de-risking the project from the land use point of view.
By a couple of years' time, we should have a runway that looks a much clearer pathway towards a potential mining operation that coincides with our initial Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Gerardo Del Real: Mike, I've been reading through earnings reports of mid-tiers and major gold producers, and I can't help but notice healthy balance sheets at a time where gold reserves are dwindling. And so I've got to believe that the derisking – this step that's happening, this further de-risking – makes the project a lot more appealing to a potential suitor if one was so inclined to want to buy a quality gold-cobalt deposit in this part of the world. Would that be accurate?
Michael Hudson: I think that's a very accurate statement, Gerardo. All we do in our business is derisk from an idea that has a lot of risk to the initial discovery that proves the concept and is a great value creator — and then you've got to make that discovery stack up.
We've certainly done that and we're still doing that so that this is going to get bigger and bigger. We've got four rigs going 24/7 until mid-April here making this project bigger. But of course in a modern world, we need to have permits, and permits are very valuable aspects of a project that goes way beyond the rocks, okay? And it's no good having the good rocks without those permits.
So this is a huge potential value-adding step and a huge derisking and, of course, makes this project more valuable and more attractive.
Gerardo Del Real: Drilling continues; I believe there's four active rigs, as you mentioned, 24/7, correct?
Michael Hudson: Absolutely. News will start to flow from that project. We started three weeks ago, something like that. We'll be drilling right through to mid-August as part of a larger 20-kilometer drill program. And we'll start to see in the next week or two, I'd say, probably two weeks, the initial results coming out of that program.
Gerardo Del Real: Pivoting a bit, talk to me about Australia. How are things coming along there? Lots of news flow, obviously, here in the coming weeks and months. How are things progressing there, Mike?
Michael Hudson: Very nicely for Sunday Creek. In fact, our last news was a great expansion on a number of drill holes we put out on that system, and we're continuing to drill there. Drilling is a little slower than I would have hoped through weather, and hot weather, and we don't drill during fire ban days. And then we've had rains that have flooded the site. So it's just been an interesting few weeks.
But outside of that sort of minor management issue, we're going gangbusters there. I just spent yesterday on site at Redcastle. We're finally going to get all of our drill results in just shortly and you'll see an update on that project as well. And then, collected a lot of geophysical data and the LIDAR and the like that nobody has actually had a chance to see yet… and we're pulling al of that together.
So absolutely, I'd say that from a Victorian perspective, we're one of those few companies in the Canadian space that has continued to deliver results and gold hits and a project that looks like it has a real opportunity to go down the similar pathway that where we were a number of years ago in Finland. So it's a true second tier to our portfolio.
Gerardo Del Real: The recent consolidation in the gold space has led to what I believe is a season of bargain shopping that has become available and, frankly, valuations I didn't think we would see again. I am thrilled!
My contrarian heart smiles because of the opportunities in the market. Obviously, we all love to wake up and see the stocks we own higher. But I will say that the valuation given to Mawson right now is pretty compelling to say the least. And I encourage everybody out there to do a bit of due diligence on the multiple gold projects that Mawson is working on. Anything to add to that, Mike?
Michael Hudson: Yeah, the multiple gold projects that we're working and drilling, we've got five rigs turning as we speak, and that will create lots of news flow, ideally, lots of value-add and lots of gold in the ground. So it really is the sweet spot for us right at this moment in terms of our activity.
And yeah, do your due diligence, as you say. It's a company that all behind the scenes is working well even though the gold trade is not there for us today.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, we know it's a cyclical business. It'll be back. I firmly believe that. And I think here in a couple of months, we're going to look back and kind of laugh and shake our heads at the valuations that are being assigned to even the better companies in the space like Mawson.
Mike, I suspect we'll be chatting frequently with the assays that are pending and the rigs that are turning. Thanks again for your time today.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo. It's always a pleasure.