Mawson Gold (TSX: MAW) has received key planning and regulatory decisions related to its Rajapalot gold-cobalt project in the Lapland region of Finland.
The decisions were handed down by the Lapin Liitto, the regional council of Lapland. The council voted 42-6 in favour of developing the deposit. The body also approved the participation and evaluation plan, which sets out the regional stakeholder engagement process.
“This is a watershed moment in Rajapalot’s journey from discovery to potential mine development,” said Mawson CEO Ivan Fairhall in a release. “On the ground, Mawson continues the important project definition work to support this transparent process to rezone the project area for mining.”
Certain parts of the Rajapalot property are covered by the European Union’s Natura 2000 network that is in place to conserve nature’s diversity across the continent.
“The overwhelming support for development of mineral deposits in Natura 2000, by the highest decision-making authority in Lapland, makes it crystal clear that Natura 2000 designation is not to be misconstrued as a constraint in the sustainable development of these strategically important assets,” Fairhall added.
Mawson acquired 100% of the Rajapalot project from Areva in 2010 for €1 million along with Areva’s other exploration properties in Finland. Gold and cobalt occur in two different host rocks, either iron-magnesium or potassic-iron types.
Inferred resources as calculated last August are 10.9 million tonnes grading 2.5 g/t gold and 443 ppm cobalt (3 g/t gold-equivalent). In terms of contained metals that is 887,284 oz. of gold and 4,836 tonnes of cobalt (1 million oz. gold-equivalent). The portion recoverable by open pit methods is 2.2 million tonnes grading 1.6 g/t gold and 396 ppm cobalt, and the underground portion is 8.7 million tonnes at 2.5 g/t gold and 443 ppm cobalt.
The most recent resource estimate has a 19% higher gold grade and 47% more contained ounces than the previous estimate released in September 2020.
The Rajapalot project includes eight distinct zones, and the growth potential remains strong, according to Mawson. Drilling has so far covered only 20% of the Rajapalot property, which itself is only 5% of the 100-sq.-km land package owned by Mawson in Finland.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)