Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW) CEO Michael Hudson on Latest High-Grade Gold Intercepts from Australia
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, Happy New Year to you! How are you?
Michael Hudson: Hi, I'm pretty good! Thanks, Gerardo. Yourself?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. Thank you for asking. It's a new year. But very, very similar results from Australia and Mawson Gold. The headline today reads Mawson drills 11.5 meters at 3.3 grams per tonne gold and 4.2 meters at 3.4 grams per tonne gold at Sunday Creek in Victoria, Australia.
You announced two results from two further drill holes from Sunday Creek. Can you provide some context? I know there's a lot of technical detail in the release that I'm sure you want to provide some color and context to.
Michael Hudson: Yeah, it's the story developing essentially. Similar results, like you say, we've put out 10 to 20 meters at 3 to 4 grams consistently from this project in the first round of drilling. So that has been in two campaigns from August, when we put the first three holes in, and then we went back in late-October and drilled November, December.
These are some of the first results from that second campaign. We've still got a number of results to come to the table and we're still drilling there. So it's a work-in-progress without a doubt but the project is building out nicely. I mean, we put this one hole that we're talking about (hole 5) underneath one of the old mining areas. We know they mined it down to about… this was one of the deeper areas… about 100 meters down.
We put a hole beside it and just underneath it. And we found a 47 meter wide zone that went 1.3 grams with those higher grades that you quoted, now over 3 grams per tonne, over 4 to 11 meters in multiple zones. So we know the old timers left mineralization but it's encouraging to see that they left while the system develops over such wide widths and it continues, right?
It's open, especially at depth and then also along strike. This has seen no drilling either side or below where we need to go next. And a lot of visible gold… a lot of thinner, higher grade zones that we've seen too with grades at 10 centimeters to 30 centimeters averaging 45 to 50 grams a tonne. And those things can blow out too.
And remember that we drilled here beside an old mine and just underneath it. So we probably missed what they mined, which would have been those very, very high grades. And they left many behind. So it's growing. We put one other hole out and it didn't miss... it just hit the old workings and had a little bit of low-grade either side of it. So we don't have the full records of where the old workings are. So that other hole we put out has potential to extend beneath those old workings. But that needs another hole.
But this is an 800 meter wide zone… multiple veins now stacking up. Each hole we've put out – and it's maybe not evident to everybody – is that we're drilling different mineralized veins at every point we put out a new hole. So they're not following up from earlier holes. So it's a stacked vein system — 800 meters long.
We've drilled over a few hundred meters to-date — 300 or 400 meters. And it's open and we're building up tonnes in grade essentially. And then it's a part of a bigger system that's open over 10 or 11 kilometers. So that's the next stage. So it's a nicely developing project.
Gerardo Del Real: You answered my next question. I was going to ask you about the relevance of it being a multiple stacked vein system. It's important to note that, and for people to understand, why that's important.
Can you give a brief primer on these types of systems and why the type of grade and the widths that you're getting is important within those types of systems?
Michael Hudson: Yeah. So we're not drilling one single structure here. It's multiple structures that are parallel and on echelon to each other in a few orientations. We've got a much better handle now on the structural orientations having oriented this drill core so we know what's happening underground.
We put together a lot of the old data as it relates to the old mining. So these are multiple systems… multiple vein systems. It's like you see at the other epizonal deposits through Victoria like Costerield or Fosterville; it's an interaction between bedding and structure. And that interaction forms these mineralized bodies.
Now, it's too “early days” to talk about mineability. But now our challenge is to find the continuity between these grades and start developing them at a scale that we can start to think about them being mineable, I suppose. So we need continuity and we do see that. But further drilling will prove that and build that out.
So nice grades. We'd like to see some of the higher grades become thicker. We know that the old timers found that. They mined meters at very good grades — meters width. So we know that that is probably ahead of us. But let's drill it and drill a lot more into the system. The drill rig is not stopping. It's continuing.
And then we need to go to stage two, which is extending it beyond the limits of the known historic mines. And we've run some geophysics. And you'll see some information about that come out over the next month or so where that's given us further targets. And then beyond with that sort of the kilometers-of scale-around this.
And when we know that these historic areas extend over 10 to 15 kilometers within our ground holdings. And then we've run some LiDAR laser imaging that has mapped all these old mines in minute detail. So we've got a very good handle on where they are, and we can start to extend from and beyond those areas. So it's looking very encouraging.
Gerardo Del Real: You've drilled 10 holes and there's one in-progress at Sunday Creek, correct?
Michael Hudson: We have. There's the 11th hole that was in-progress. So I mean, only 1,500 meters, right? So it's really “early days” but it's one of the faster projects that I've worked on in terms of building it out from the get-go. And that's because the old timers gave us a great start and information base and left a lot behind.
Because it's key to know that, in the 1850s, when the gold rush started here, one-ounce dirt was considered the sort of limit or the low grade cutoff. By the time this project was mined – it was mined in the 1870s through to the 1920s – it was more like half an ounce.
So anything less than half an ounce really wasn't looked at — and that's well and truly within our range. And then they just had depth limitations and they just focused… they didn't have drilling to push them out. They just had to follow their nose. So they've left a lot behind but given us a good start.
Gerardo Del Real: I encourage everyone to go through the release and scroll to the bottom and look at the picture of just some of the prettiest rock you'll see. It's a really, really beautiful picture that was included there, Mike.
Along with the 11 holes at Sunday Creek, you've also completed 15, I believe, at the Red Castle project. And I know we're anticipating assays out of that project as well. What's that looking like, Mike?
Michael Hudson: Now, we've drilled more holes at Red Castle than we have at Sunday Creek. We've now taken a hiatus. We've drilled 15 holes for over 2,800 meters thereabouts. And we'll be putting those results out shortly. We thought it was best to batch those results.
It's been a bit more of a head-scratcher — Red Castle. There's certainly a lot of gold that was mined historically. And we're really trying to work out what the next moves are there.
So the first drill program, a lot of geophysics, a lot of LiDAR. I mean, there's been 40,000 historic workings that we've identified in a 5 by 6 kilometer area at Red Castle and it's a work-in-progress.
The drill holes will come out, and the first batch will come out over the next weeks. And we'll no doubt talk about that. But I can't really preceed that. But we just started to receive… probably got half those results just starting to flow back in.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Before I let you go, Mike, can you give us an update on the project in Finland, which, of course, recently has had some spectacular results as well?
Michael Hudson: Yeah, we've got a big program – a 20 kilometer drill program – planned for Finland this season, which the season is the winter season, which is our main drill season. It's been very warm up in Finland… and that's not a good thing for us because it has delayed, by a few weeks, the full start to our program.
We have one rig drilling there at our Joki East discovery that took a break over the Christmas period. But it was mobilized just before Christmas. And they've restarted again on Monday the 4th. So that's one returning up there. But we've got another three rigs anticipated to move in when we get enough snow cover and the ground is frozen.
And it was six degrees positive up there, Celsius, over the Christmas period, so that didn't do us any help. So what was going to be all the rigs moving in this week will probably be another week or two away, I suspect, depending on how nature plays out.
Gerardo Del Real: Gold is once again flirting with $2,000 per ounce in US dollar terms. I suspect it's heading higher. You keep finding lots of it seemingly everywhere. Mike, congratulations on an excellent 2020. And I’ve got to believe that shareholders, such as myself, are excited about 2021!
Michael Hudson: Well, we've got the cash in the bank. We've got the permits. We've got the drill rigs turning. And we've got some good projects that are all at different stages. And yeah, that's how you make your money… by advancing projects like this in a good market. So we're certainly very excited about what this year holds for us.
Gerardo Del Real: Keep up the good work, Mike! Thank you again.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo!