Mawson looks to grow gold-cobalt zones at Rompas-Rajapalot

After finishing a 16,000-metre winter drill program in April, Mawson Resources (TSX: MAW; US-OTC: MWSNF) is getting ready for a 12-month exploration program at its flagship Rompas gold property and Rajapalot gold-cobalt property, just south of the Arctic Circle in Finland’s Lapland.

The program is set to begin in June with base-of-till, regional drilling. It will then break into a mid-year drill program and a year-end drill program. Mawson will target different areas seasonally based on permitting restrictions. The only month it can’t get much work done is May, when melting snow creates poor conditions.

The company has 13 exploration permits in Finland, each with its own limitations. Rajapalot, for example, is part of a biodiversity program that limits drilling to the winter, unless it’s hand portable.

As a result, upcoming exploration at Raja, a target on Rajapalot, will not include drilling, but a ground-based, electromagnetic survey instead. The company has drilled the prospect as far as 400 metres downhole, but says it’s visible down to 900 metres on an airborne geophysics survey.

“The obvious thing to do is really nail that down so we can target it with much greater accuracy, come December,” Mawson president and CEO Michael Hudson says in an interview with The Northern Miner.

The summer program will run from August to November and cover as much as 5,000 metres on Rompas’ Hirvimaa and Mannisto targets. The company then says it will “ramp it up again” for the winter program, which starts in December, and runs until April. Targets for the winter drill program will come in part from work done this summer.

The company is also in the midst of a 3,000-sample cobalt assay program that could run until August. So far, only three of the 16 holes at Raja have been assayed for cobalt, including hole 75, which graded 1,299 parts per million cobalt and 6.2 grams gold over 10.8 metres, from 8.7 metres downhole.

“Gold may be more variable, but the cobalt looks consistent,” Hudson says. “It might also work very well politically for the project.”

Finland hosts the world’s largest cobalt refinery, Freeport Cobalt, 400 km south of Rajapalot in Kokkola. According to Mawson, the country refines half of the world’s cobalt supply outside of China. However, it mines just 650 tonnes, or 0.5%.

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