Mawson Resources is a junior miner focused on exploration at their flagship gold project in Finland. The company has 105M shares outstanding with 125M fully diluted. The market cap is currently $44M. As of March 3, 2017, the company has $7M cash and no debt. Find more at their website here.
Mickey has covered Mawson for several years and knows it well. His most recent report from October 2016 is available here. You can find his report from September 2016, where he resumed coverage on the company here.
I am new to the Mawson story, but I like what I see.
Back in 2007, AREVA was searching for uranium in this area of Northern Finland and they found bonanza grade gold (+373 oz/ton) associated with high grade uranium (24.9%), as reported in Mawson's 2014 Progress Report available on SEDAR. AREVA decided to leave Finland and Mawson bought the property for 1M euro cash and 4.7M shares, which it still owns. This was an exciting start to a big exploration story that is still unfolding.
In our interview, Mickey told me that Dr. Erkki Vanhanen, Mawson's Chief Geologist, was actually on the ground prospecting with AREVA when those initial discoveries were made back in 2007. In fact, Erkki left AREVA to join Mawson! That is a great little bit of info that speaks to how committed Mawson's core team are to advancing this project. Listen to my interview with Mickey to catch that and other nuggets of wisdom.
The exploration story at Mawson evolved over time and shifted from the bonanza grade gold veins, which are hard to test by core drilling and require more expensive bulk sampling, towards a disseminated gold occurrence 8KM away. Despite the distance, both areas are contained in Mawson's large landholdings, which are now approximately 200KM squared. In our interview, Mickey told me that the company continues to find new types of mineralization and I will be curious to see if they can tie it all together.
After conducting some of their early exploration work, Mawson encountered significant environmental resistance. This turned into a nasty battle that lasted for years until, ultimately, the Supreme Administrate Court of Finland determined that the company was in the right. Mawson has a greenlight to get to work and the first major winter drilling campaign in several years is wrapping up now.
In the face of the delays, Mawson kept busy by studying the geology of the project. I am not a geologist, but am very intrigued by the rich dataset that Mawson has for the project with soil sampling, geophysics, base of till sampling, and core drilling. They seem to have the sort of multi-dimensional dataset that I've only heard about the majors putting together "back in the day"!
Mickey and I discussed all of this in our interview and he explained how the company may actually end up better off because of the delays. As Mickey put it: "Mawson may understand this area better than any other exploration-stage project in the world right now". Check out the interview to hear it for yourself.
One thing that stuck with me was Mickey's comment that "it's like there is gold everywhere!" Mawson has found gold in several types of alteration and structural settings. For me, the fact that these rocks are ~2 billion years old and have been subject to multiple mineralizing events fascinates me to no end.
What's more, Mawson has kept a fairly tight share structure over all these years. Mickey pointed out to me that was due to their limited drilling activity during the bear market in resources, which may turn out to a blessing in disguise. Mickey also pointed out that 2/3 of the shares are held by institutions and insiders! These owners have been committed to keeping the company intact.
Mawson currently trade around the share price for the last private placement, which actually comes free-trading in the first week of April 2017.
Discoveries made at the end of one market cycle can suffer in the next ones for a variety of reasons. Some could see Mawson as an old exploration story as we move forward, but my sense is that Mawson is positioned to produce exploration results that will answer some outstanding questions and raise new ones about the area. The joys of exploration!
As I said before, results from the first winter season are being prepared now and the summer exploration season is just around the corner.
Mickey has drawn some attention to it with his reports in the past and I have found that the more I dig into it, the more interesting it gets! It was my pleasure to talk with Mickey about Mawson and hope you enjoy it, too. From Peter Bell.