Mawson Resources (TSX: MAW) CEO Michael Hudson on Excitement Surrounding Preparations to Drill the High-Grade Redcastle Gold Project in Victoria, Australia
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the Chairman and CEO of Mawson Resources (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF), Mr. Michael Hudson. Mike, how are you today?
Michael Hudson: I'm fantastic. Thanks, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking through your most recent release that you just announced. It's got a lot of words that I really like. High-grade gold, Australia, drilling, Fosterville. There's a lot to like here, I'm not going to do it justice. So I'm going to let you provide the context, because I believe you are on the cusp of another company-making project. You already have one, obviously, and maybe several. But again, I'm not going to do this release justice. So I'm going to let you provide a bit of context and flavor.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo. Well, we put out a release momentarily ago on a project called Redcastle, which is in the Victorian Goldfields. Just as a background, of course we've got the Finnish projects, and that's where we're building up a substantial resource there. We closed this deal in Australia only at the end of March. We've got three projects. Two we're joint venturing into, one we bought outright, and we've got the right of first refusal on the largest land package in the state 3,600 kilometers, largest contiguous land package. So that's the background.
Redcastle is one of the joint venture properties. We've got the right to earn up to 70% in this property, by spending only $1 million over the next 5 years. I think we'll do that in short shrift by obtaining our earn in by the way this project's panning out. We also have 10% of the company we did the joint venture with. In effect we've got 77% once we earn into this project.
Now, what is this project? It's an epizonal gold system. Epizonal gold systems are what Fosterville is, one of the two different end-member styles of gold in Victoria. Victoria is a supersonic orogenic system. It's produced 80 million ounces. But with the epizonal systems being relatively new, and I've been saying that nobody cared about Victoria until Fosterville in the last three years made that significant discovery at the Swan Zone, which made it one of the highest grade and most profitable mines in the world today.
The irony is Redcastle was one of these epizonal uber-high-grade systems mined in the 1860s. As we pull together data, literally from the 1860s to the 1890s, we found that these systems produced hundreds of grams. From the first 6 years they produced 20,000 ounces, which was quite a lot in the day from one mine, at 255 grams per tonne, just amazingly high grades. The incredible thing is that these thinner zones, they're 0.5 meter to 2 meter thick reefs, made up of perhaps skinnier zones within those, and multiple structures forming across the strike. These extend over 17 kilometers within the joint venture tenure that we've obtained. So a big long system. Incredibly, this is immediately along strike, 5 or 6 kilometers from Costerfield, which is a million-ounce-plus system, another epizonal system, and 25 kilometers east of Fosterville.
Redcastle was mined 30 years before Fosterville was even looked at it. It was mined a decade or so in front of Costerfield, because the old timers went after the grade. That's what we've got. It's never been tested below those mines, which only go down to 50 to 70 meters to the water table. So never a drill hole underneath into this search space.
Gerardo Del Real: Again, I think that point is so important. They're 17 kilometers of high-grade vein strike that has never been tested below the water table. How does that happen, Mike?
Michael Hudson: It's incredible, isn't it, Gerardo? I've spent my life exploring. The conventional wisdom is that the easy things have been found. Only 4 or 5 years ago, we found outcrops in the middle of some swamps in Finland that went very high grades. We're subsequently drilling out a system there that nobody knew about until relatively recently. So that was sticking out of the surface.
In a way, this is sticking out of the surface, but 50 meters down, if you like. We've got very good evidence from the old timer's records. There's a lot of detail here. There's never been any geophysics of note, only a small magnetic survey in the '80s, never any electrical geophysics. We think we can see these systems have got enough pyrite in them to see it. We've got approximately 50% cover where the old timers couldn't get through and mine. It wasn't sticking out of the surface. So 50% of the tenement is essentially unexplored also, despite all this 17 kilometers of where they trace these vein structures over such an extensive zone in the outcropping areas.
Nobody cared about Victoria since World War I, basically is the answer to your question, nobody cared. The majority of ounces came out in the 1850s and '60s. Up until World War I, it was one of the key areas here in Australia, but then everyone went west and Victoria was forgotten. It's really only the last three years where the geological opportunity has become amazingly apparent to everybody, thanks to the great work that the guys at Fosterville have done.
Gerardo Del Real: There's a quote in the release from Forbes and Murray from 1885 that says, "It seems incredible that such a field should have been left so long neglected." Neglected no longer, Mike. What are the next steps? Because I understand that you're looking to put a drill in there within the next couple of months.
Michael Hudson: Yeah. We're going to go and collect some systematic data. Obviously, we've been out there and started exploring. But systematic geophysical data, that will start this month in July. Then we have a rig booked for late August. We'll start putting holes under that for the first time since, well, ever. But since that quote, since 1885, right? So it's taken a while for Forbes and Murray to be proven correct in their statement. That statement still holds today. It is incredible.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, I'm looking forward to it. I know there's a lot more details to come. Is there anything else that you'd like to add, Mike? I know we're still eagerly expecting a resource update out of Finland. How is that coming along?
Michael Hudson: All coming along as planned. We said in August we'd have an update, and that's what we will have, an update in resource. The only thing is here that we've got essentially one of these uber-high-grade epizonal systems at surface, over an extensive zone, never drill tested in the shadow of the headframe of Fosterville. You couldn't ask for more. This has been contiguously held since 1985, this tenement. It's an opportunity for us, and we're really looking forward to drilling those holes.
Gerardo Del Real: As am I, and I know shareholders are as well. Thank you for that update, Mike. I get the sense that we're going to be doing a lot more of these updates as the weeks and months progress.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you.