General Precious Metals
Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF) CEO Michael Hudson on Latest High-Grade Gold Intercepts from Sunday Creek Project in Victoria, Australia
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining us from the field is the CEO of Mawson Gold — Mr. Michael Hudson. Michael, you're either in the jungle or out finding more gold. Which is it?
Michael Hudson: I'm in the Victorian Goldfields; a little place called Nagambie at our core shed… and you can probably hear the birds singing! It's just poured down rain here, which is an unusual-ish event during the summer here — and all amongst the gold that's sitting with us in the drill core, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Talk about that gold in the drill core. The headline today was Mawson drills 7 meters at 6 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 3.4 meters at 9.7 g/t gold at Sunday Creek in Victoria.
More excellent numbers! You announced five holes today. I would love your take on the results.
Michael Hudson: Sunday Creek is delivering and continues to deliver from what we've seen earlier. I mean, I think this is our third batch of results now, if I'm not wrong, from this project.
We've put results out for 10 holes. We've drilled 12; drilled about 2,000 meters. And at each point, we're seeing the system develop. I really do like it, Gerardo. It doesn't always work in a straight line in exploration, but so far so good, absolutely, with Sunday Creek.
It's an 800 meter long mineralized horizon that was mined by the old timers in the 1800s. They tested it down to 180 meters at maximum depth but really, on average, only down to 40 or 50 meters. And we've been initially drilling in and around that mineralization mined by the old timers, and we've seen grades of sort of 10 to 20 meters at three to four grams.
And this is more now; the grades are a little better here in these holes that we put out. And now we're just starting to move towards depth below these; what the old timers mined.
So in and around meant that ‘what was left by the old timers’ because they didn't mine anything less than half an ounce or 15 g/t. So they left the low-hanging fruit on the table. And now we're starting to see these better grades develop at-depth.
And that's where the program is going for us. We're going deeper and deeper into the system. And we're going to start testing some of the grades that were mined by the old timers, which was… it's very hard to get the true grades… but we know that they recovered something like 15 grams gold; something like that; free gold. And that was probably 50% recovery. So they were probably mining around an ounce or better in those days. So we're now hoping to see that repeat at-depth.
And the other key point is that each time we put results out from this project, it's from different mineralized structures. So it's a sheeted vein system, like a stack of cards, if you like, and each vein has its own characteristics. And so we put out results here from an area called Gladys, which is a few hundred meters away from, well, not even that far, maybe 100-150 meters away from Apollo, which was a previous one.
And then in between that, there's the Central Zone. So these are different structures, and they're all developing. So that's the key point too. And then there's a hell of a lot left untested and yet to drill — so we've got a drill rig turning and we're not stopping.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent! You mentioned the strike potential that remains untested over 500 meters between and below the historic mines. And you mentioned wanting to make sure that you fully understand and explore that before stepping out into the 11-kilometer historic mine trend.
Can you explain the approach with the drill moving forward here in the near term?
Michael Hudson: Well, we're hitting gold and continuing to step out. We're stepping out at sort of 50 to 70 meters from the old mines, or drilling that we've done, or where there was some earlier drilling in this project. And as we do that, we're gaining a complete understanding of the controls.
And I think we can say confidently now that we're really starting to understand the controls on mineralization here which developed over the last few months. And that makes us more, well, it de-risks the project. We can start targeting gold with more confidence. And I think you've seen that in the results to-date, and I hope you'll see that going forward also.
Now, we'll continue to go to depth. We'll take bigger step-outs as we're getting more confident and demonstrate the scale of this system. So it's already developing and we're seeing these multiple horizons develop over hundreds of meters. But there's a lot of the old mining area that still needs to be tested and that's the 500 meters — and we'll be kept busy doing that.
But there's a lot of geophysics we've done in and around the old mines and beyond, and you'll see information come up from those programs soon. And we've got some that'll generate targets along strike. And then, as you mentioned, 11 kilometers is really the strike length of this system as it stands within our mineral tenure. And the old timers mined along that strike and with a similar style of mineralization.
So we're derisking. We're making it bigger and taking baby steps, initially, where we prove the concept that was maybe last year. And now we're starting to take some bolder steps by drilling bigger spacings, and you'll see us even take bigger spacings to prove the scale of this system. And certainly the grade and the continuity looks like it's there — so it's developing nicely.
Gerardo Del Real: One heck of a start! You reference antimony results in this release. You also are waiting for more antimony results. How important is the antimony to understanding what's going on as far as the mineralization goes?
Michael Hudson: Oh, these systems are gold-antimony systems, and that's the different style of system than traditionally has come out of Victoria. So 80 million ounces has been mined in Victoria, historically, and most of that is an earlier style of mineralization that we call mesozonal.
These gold antimony systems are epizonal. And the two great examples of those; there's one at Fosterville that is, of course, the second highest grade gold mine on earth at the moment. And we know that the extremely high grades can form within these epizonal systems. And then also the Costerfield Mine, which is run by Mandalay Resources, which gains about 40% of its revenue from the antimony and the rest from gold.
So antimony is a strategic metal. It's in short supply. It's used for many things including fire retardant. Most things that are fire retardant are treated with antimony products as it's used in the modern world in batteries and the like at small levels.
So it is very much a future-looking metal. And we're not quite sure how it all stacks up but certainly these mines that I referenced before, historic mines, were at times just antimony mines, especially during the World War periods where antimony was the perfect war metal. It made, very sadly I suppose, reflecting back, but it makes lead very hard — so it made for good bullets. And that fire retardancy was even understood in the World War I days… and so all the soldiers' uniforms and the like.
So they were the only mines, actually, that kept going here in Victoria, were the antimony mines to support the war efforts. And people just threw away the gold, essentially, at that time!
But the gold mines were sort of an earlier period, 1850s, right through to that period. So it has a role to play here. It's very much intimately associated with the gold and may form a potential byproduct here for us.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent! You're drilling all over the place and hitting all over the place. Elsewhere, where are the drills turning and how are things coming along?
Michael Hudson: Five drill rigs turning around the world; four in Finland, which is really the main area that we're drilling at the moment, looking to expand our 716,000 ounce resource there significantly. And the first drill results from there should start to flow over the next couple of weeks.
It's game on there and that really is the main game in many respects. And then with the other one rig here turning at Sunday Creek in Australia, which, I think, it will not stop, right, as we're continuing to find gold.
And we're fully funded; fully permitted. It's two systems developing nicely. We've already done it in Finland, and that's a project that's going to get a lot bigger and derisked. And we're looking to do it again, lock and reload here in Victoria, and take the Sunday Creek Project on the same path as we're taking Finland.
Gerardo Del Real: The market of late is not giving you much credit for the discoveries and the advancement and the derisking of these projects. It will. We know that this business is extremely cyclical and it carries short attention spans for a lot of speculators.
But I suspect that once we hit all-time highs in gold, Mawson is going to look like it was an absolute bargain. I encourage everyone to go to the website and dig a little deeper into the company. A lot to like here. Mike, anything else that you'd like to add to that?
Michael Hudson: The only way to create value is to hit gold with the drill string, and we're doing that in ample amounts.
Gerardo Del Real: Keep it up! Thanks, Mike. Appreciate it.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo.Click here to see more from Mawson Gold Ltd.