Zero-Risk Drilling in Australia’s Famed Silver District
by Mike Fagan
Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF) – currently trading around C$0.35 per share – has announced results from its F11 target hole at Mount Isa in Queensland, Australia.
This no-risk, exploratory drill hole was fully funded via a grant by the Queensland government (AUS$200,000) in an effort to test a gravity anomaly approximately 1,000 to 1,500 meters below surface.
The F11 target is situated approximately 50 km to the south of the prolific Cannington Mine – formerly the world’s largest silver-lead producing mine – in the Mount Isa district of Queensland, Australia.
South32’s Cannington Mine: Previously the largest and lowest-cost silver-lead mine on the planet.
Mount Isa is one of the world’s most metal-endowed areas — containing 5% of the world’s silver resources, 1.7% of the world’s copper resources, 21.2% of the world’s lead resources, and 11% of the world’s zinc resources within numerous world-class mines.
The idea behind this government backed exploratory drilling is true “Big-Game Hunting.” In essence, the Queensland government is searching for other Cannington-style mineral deposits hidden under the cover of overburden.
And they chose Mawson Gold for this particular exploratory drill hole, which is in an area where no drilling has been conducted within a 10 km radius.
Drilling is now complete and the drill core has been photographed, logged and sent to the lab for assaying. Mawson chairman & CEO, Michael Hudson, commented via press release:
“This government-backed and fully funded drill test of a large, combined gravity and magnetic target in Mount Isa has tested true elephant country. We look forward to receiving assays and building on our exploration model for this poorly known part of one of the most prospective base metal terranes in the world.”
Meanwhile, at the company’s flagship Rajapalot Gold Project in Finland, Mawson just announced a drill intercept of 1.3 meters at 25.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold at the Joki East target. The company expects to have four rigs turning at Rajapalot by early-2021.
And in Victoria – Mawson’s primary area of focus in Australia – the company recently announced a drill intercept of 21 meters at 3.4 g/t gold at the Sunday Creek project. Mawson currently has one rig drilling at Sunday Creek and a second rig drilling at the Redcastle project to the north.
Needless to say… lots happening for Mawson Gold by way of the drill-bit with plenty of assays from multiple projects on the way.
Our own Gerardo Del Real of Junior Resource Monthly sat down with Mawson CEO, Michael Hudson, for a recap of the F11 target from Queensland, Australia — plus a look at the company’s core gold projects in Victoria, Australia, and Rajapalot, Finland.
Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW)(OTC: MWSNF) CEO, Michael Hudson, on Fully-Funded Mount Isa Drill Target — Queensland, 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, how are you?
Michael Hudson: I'm good. Thanks, Gerardo. Very well. Nice to be back.
GDR: Thanks for coming on, on such short notice. Stock was down a little bit today, which I thought was a bit silly, given the fact that you announced a technical success on what was essentially a free hole.
It was a government funded exploration hole that there's actually a lot to like about, given that you are exploring in elephant country. You do a much more elegant and accurate job of explaining the details and providing the context, but would you care to comment on today's news, the drilling at F11 Target in Australia?
MH: Sure. First up, it's in Queensland, which is 2,500 kilometers away from Victoria. Australia is a big place, and this is a very separate project to Victoria, if people are confusing the two.
Where we have been drilling and on two projects down in Victoria consistently, and there's a lot more results that are in the lab at the moment that we'll see more of soon. This was a separate project in Mount Isa. Mount Isa is located in Queensland. It's produced 5-10% of the world's base metals, as an area. It's huge.
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It extends undercover, as far as it outcrops, and it hasn't been explored undercover beyond very shallow, and when I say "shallow," 50-80 meter thickness of cover, so a vast majority of this block that's produced a majority of the world's base metals and silver and that included, and some gold, has been essentially unexplored.
We were funded for $200,000 Australian by the Queensland government to test a big gravity anomaly undercover, that was around 300 meters undercover, that hadn't had a drill hole within 10 kilometers of this area. This was the government looking to gain new information and hopefully make a discovery based on that new information.
We put out news today on that drill hole. It was fully funded, a free roll of the dice on a big, big high-risk target for Mawson shareholders. We put out the geology and some of the description, and there's a link in the press release to our chief geologist giving an explanation of the rocks.
I think the way you stated it, Gerardo, is very fair. It is a technical success. Certainly in the information we gave, it's not the next Ernest Henry or Olympic Dam, the next big iron oxide, copper gold deposit that, that we can see in the hole, but that being said, there was interesting rocks that had sulfides, including a little bit of copper, through the hole in the right alteration.
Exploration is a business that you piece bits of information together, little bits of information, and create a story to lead you to the target, and that story is scientifically driven. We like what we see in this hole, and whether we drill, need to drill more holes into this or we joint venture it out, we'll see.
We've already got universities involved to study this, so we've got theses being written on this one drill hole, because it is so unique. We'll see where it goes, but let's see where the assays are in the new year. Then we'll make some decisions.
GDR: Excellent. You referenced Victoria and your, the main focus in Australia right now. How are things coming along on that front, in regards to the assay labs and the assays that are pending in the drill program?
MH: Yeah, the assay labs are a little slower than what we were told and what we saw earlier on, so we've actually only put whole results out from three holes, but there's a swag of holes. We've had two rigs operating for the last few months, and Sunday Creek is certainly delivering. We've seen that in the first three holes, and we've got many more holes that we're anticipating the results will be released soon, so that will have more results.
Redcastle's a bit more of a head-scratcher for us, and we'll put out a whole series of results there in one batch, because the initial drilling is seeing interesting rocks, but we're still working out exactly where to point the drill rig, and we're still drilling, and we're still collecting all that geophysical information.
By the end of the year, we'll have all that information, that early drilling, the geophysical information, and become very predictive about where we want to go with the drill rig in the new year. We're actually extremely well-placed in there, and I know that it's been a month or two of a lack of news flow from Victoria, but never fear. We have lots of results imminent, and while that's been happening, we made another discovery in Finland, of course. If you look at our news flow, it's been gold, gold, gold, gold. Hopefully, we can continue that trend.
GDR: Well, not only gold, it should be said, high grade gold and often at surface.
MH: Exactly, exactly. It is actually a good thing to have: fully permitted, fully funded, finding gold in a gold bull market.
GDR: Well said, Mr. Hudson. Anything else you'd like to add?
MH: That's a good way to leave it.
GDR: Fantastic. Thanks again for the update. It's appreciated.
MH: Thanks, Gerardo.
Mike Fagan has mining in his blood. As a teenager he staked countless gold and silver properties in Nevada alongside his dad, Brian Fagan, who created the Prospect Generator model that’s still widely used today in the resource space. One of those staking projects was put into production by a major Canadian mining company — a truly rare and profitable experience. That background uniquely qualifies him as a mining stock speculator. One of the most well-known names in the business, Mike is now putting that experience to use for the benefit of Resource Stock Digest and Hard Asset Digest readers.