Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW) CEO Michael Hudson on Company Name Change & Addition of a Fourth 2020 Drill Program with JV of Western USA Gold Project in Oregon
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF), Mr. Michael Hudson. Mike, Mawson Gold, no longer Mawson Resources.
Michael Hudson: Yeah, it was a change that reflects the core business focus for the company. It was suggested to us by many people over quite a long time when the gold market started to tick. We announced it on the day gold broke $2,000. So you can't really pick good timing as much as that. But yeah, small change. No change to anything other than the website and the name. There's a lot of new people in the gold space and I was told that Mawson Resources just didn't identify us as the gold company we were. So, hence the change.
Gerardo Del Real: A lot of gold, a lot of projects. To your credit, you and the team at Mawson were able to use the bear market to bring in multiple district-scale land packages. So the last time you and I spoke we chatted about how exciting it was to have exposure to multiple drilling programs this year. Last time we chatted it stood at three. Here we are a few days later, a week later or so, and now it stands at four. You joint ventured a gold project here in the USA. Can you give us some details?
Michael Hudson: Yeah. Just picking up on that, we'll have four drill programs in four different jurisdictions for gold and silver for the rest of the year. So pretty exciting times. Three in our own right and now with a new partner here in Oregon. Aguila American is the company we've joint ventured this project to now.
The Oregon project, which we call the Western USA project, came to us maybe two and a half or three years ago. We put close to $1 million dollars in the ground since we took hold of that project. Made a drill discovery, an epithermal gold drill discovery. Lots of smoke, lots of stream sediment anomalies. This is a big project area over a significant portion of a caldera complex, a volcanic set of rocks that you just don't get in the US.
It's a very nice land package for Aguila to explore. They've got drill permits ready to go. We had permits there to follow up on that drill discovery. Why did we joint venture it, I suppose, is the key question. It's just because we're just focused on our key projects in Finland and Australia and we really weren't going to give this project the attention it needed. So we decided to share the risk. They've got to spend some cash to become an owner, and then we're free carried 20% to production if they put $1.2 million in the ground plus some drilling in the very short term. We wanted to see that. The landholder, who is one of the larger landholders in the US, also wanted to see that. So that met everybody's aims.
Gerardo Del Real: I like the fact that Aguila has to drill at least 600 meters during calendar 2020 to earn a 51% interest in the project, as well as of course invest the $200,000 required to do so.
Mike, what are you going to do with all these gold projects? I mean, look, Gold's at $2,064 dollars an ounce. Silver is flirting with $30 as we speak. How do you prioritize moving forward? I know the answer, but I also know that Mawson Gold is attracting a lot of new attention. For people that may be new to the Mawson Gold story, can you paint a picture and set the table about what the rest of the year looks like?
Michael Hudson: Well, as I mentioned, it will be drill, drill, drill, drill, and drill. We've got our projects in Finland, our key project there, which is a resource project. We'll be coming out with a resource upgrade in August. Maybe a few weeks later than the mid-August that I initially flagged, but that's on path. We've got our QP working on that and so that's imminent. We've got drilling starting there in September in Finland with one rig. Then we've got five rigs coming to the table by December to drill and increase that resource. It's a multimillion ounce discovery in the making there, and it's all go. We've got five rigs booked.
We've got a rig turning up in Australia – the first drilling we've done in Victoria – next week. We'll be drilling at Sunday Creek and then at Red Castle. We've got lots of geophysics ongoing at Red Castle at the moment. Then those crews, we've got IP, gravity and magnetics, will move on to Sunday Creek after that. We've got fully-funded drill hole by the Queensland government up along strike from one of the world's largest silver deposits up in Mt Isa. That's a big wildcat hole, an 800-meter hole fully funded. Now we've got this drilling to be done in Oregon in this epithermal gold project. So lots happening.
You're hinting at do they all make sense together or do you split off some of these assets in this market? Well, as I just said to somebody else before I was talking to you, "Watch this space." Certainly there's a thesis that projects together don't attract the valuation when they're not always in the same jurisdiction and have the same synergies, as perhaps Finland and Australia don't. They're both gold projects, but very different parts of the world at different stages of development. So maybe they'll be worth more apart than together. But very much together at the moment and shareholders can keep an eye on our news flow and how we take those assets together or apart. There's still a discussion ongoing.
Gerardo Del Real: Mike, you've seen several bull cycles. I believe in the gold space this is going to be a historic one when it's all said and done. You mentioned something in that very, very thorough summary of the plan moving forward. You've already booked five rigs. Was that correct?
Michael Hudson: Correct.
Gerardo Del Real: I believe – and we'll see in a couple of months if I'm correct – but I believe we're going to see the differentiation between quality, experienced management teams that have the foresight to go book five rigs and newbies that come into this space. Maybe lithium companies that become gold companies that were crypto companies that were cannabis companies, and don't have the foresight to do what you're supposed to do in a bull market. I think there's going to be a shortage of equipment, of talented technical expertise. Luckily for Mawson shareholders you have all of that. So kudos to you and the team for that.
Michael Hudson: Thank you, Gerardo. We are industry professionals and don't know anything else. So we're suckers here for the bad cycles and the good cycles and we love discovery. Actually there's five rigs in Finland but when we do the math, there's one coming next week to Victoria and another one to Mt Isa. So we have seven rigs booked is the truth.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, there you go. Mike, anything else you'd like to add?
Michael Hudson: All good, Gerardo. A lot's happening and we're very excited. Only true way to make discovery is to drill. I'll leave you with that.
Gerardo Del Real: Mawsongold.com is the new website, everyone. I strongly encourage anybody that wants to speculate in quality exploration, quality resources, quality teams to go check out mawsongold.com. Mike, thank you very much. Appreciate your time.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo.