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Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF) CEO Ivan Fairhall on Advancing & Growing the Rajapalot Gold-Cobalt Project, Finland in 2022
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Mawson Gold, Mr. Ivan Fairhall. Ivan happy new year to you. I don't think it's out of line to still say happy new year, I'm going to do that for another week or so. How are you doing?
Ivan Fairhall: Good, Gerardo. Happy new year to you. Great to be back on the line and talking about the project this year in 2022.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's get right into it. You just had a pretty significant news release, which I think coincides with a pretty significant opportunity given the pullback in the share price the last quarter of 2021. I said off the air and I'll say it on the record that I think 2022 is going to be an exciting year for Mawson Gold and shareholders. A lot going on in Australia. The focus right now with the most recent release is out of Finland and a pretty, pretty significant milestone achieved for the Mawson team. I will let you provide the context.
Ivan Fairhall: Sure. Yeah. Look, thanks for that introduction. It absolutely fantastic news. To be honest, from our perspective and for a lot of your listeners who have been following closely, this actually isn't anything new. Mawson's been operating with the industry best practices in this Natura type environment for years now, and we've earned the respect and the support of our local and regional communities. But it is really great to see this issue so specifically defined and comprehensively supported by that regional administrative group in voting through that decision and making it unequivocally clear that Natura is not this conspiracy against mining projects. There're mines all over Europe that have been developed in Natura sites and they've all followed the rigorous and transparent permitting processes that we will follow and that's actually what you are seeing started here.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. How is the project coming along? Obviously there's a pretty considerable cobalt credit there and contributor to the economics of this project. Gold of course, being the primary medal. And we know where we believe at the very least that geologically and structurally, this project has a potential to host, not just a million ounces of gold, but multimillion ounce deposits, right?
Ivan Fairhall: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's interesting you should bring that up because drilling is starting imminently actually on the project. We are going to do another eight to 10,000 meter program, winter’s the time that people will remember that when we do the most drilling on the project and that process is about to commence. So there'll be lots of news flow to come. And this year we really are focusing on what is that regional scale opportunity. We've got those gold and cobalt markers all over our 18,000 hectare project. And we've really only focused attention recently on a postage stamp that we drilled out to define that million ounce resource. And this year we're taking a little bit of a step back and following up those exploration markets. The base of till, the gold anomalies, boulders with up to 500 grams a tonne gold that we've released in news release last year about EM targets, which were instrumental in helping us grow our million ounce resource at Rajapalot.
We're putting all that information together and picking the best targets that are away from those existing resources to demonstrate exactly what you just mentioned, which is how to move the project from 1 million ounces to the 2, 3, 4, that you sort of see these systems developed much like you see Agnico's Kittila mine. Started life small, million ounce sort of thing and has grown now to eight to 10 million ounces, and now Europe's largest gold mine. And we've got the same type of rocks and we plan to drill them in the same way.
Gerardo Del Real: I mentioned at the cobalt credit there. Cobalt's been identified by the EU as a critical raw material. I've been following this part of the story since 2016 and it seems like a lot of attention and fancy words and fancy proposals were supposedly going to be imminent back in 2016. That's taking a little bit longer to play out, but here we are in 2022 and the past several months, you've really seen the EU ramp up, not just the rhetoric, but actual capital, right? Actual dollars and real proposals, as it relates to establishing critical raw materials, supply chains that are independent of China, right? We know that Rajapalot is already Europe's seventh largest cobalt resource. I have to believe that you're fielding some phone calls for that aspect of the project.
Ivan Fairhall: Ah, absolutely. Cobalt's the incredibly interesting part of the project and that's one of the real reasons we're getting big support from the project. We are getting this sort of administrative push to develop these critical minerals that Europe have in the country. Finland actually refines 50% of the world's cobalt outside of China, but they don't mine... Well, less than one, but they want less than 1% of it in the country and so they have endowments, including our project that they'd like to see developed and built into that supply chain. We are also getting funding, hard dollar funding from the EU to study parts of our project. We've had over a million dollars of funding from the EU for to study the metallurgy and the exploration techniques. And they're desperate to see us find more and make the most of the precious cobalt resource that we have in our portfolio.
Gerardo Del Real: You have a significant gold cobalt project, you have community support, you'll be drilling, and it sounds like exploration drilling a lot of it in 2022. We didn't even touch on Australia and the excellent gold assets there. We'll leave that for another conversation. Congrats on this announcement and congrats to you, Ivan. Thank you for your time.
Ivan Fairhall: Thank you, Gerardo. Thanks for having me on.
Gerardo Del Real: All right. We'll chat soon.Click here to see more from Mawson Gold Ltd.