Mr. Michael Hudson, President & CEO, announces that the Company has signed a contract with a private landholder to diamond drill at Rompas.
Key points include:
Contract entitles Mawson to diamond drill on private land that incorporates +500 metres of strike potential at South Rompas;
Diamond drill contractor has been identified and who will mobilize a drill rig to site in early March 2012.
The agreement covers two areas at South Rompas. The southern area (18.9 hectares) encompasses a 280m trend of the southern extensions of the known mineralized zone. The northern area (24.8 hectares) covers an area of 240m strike in the central zone of the South Rompas project area (Figure 1). According to discussions with landholders, Mawson will commence drilling in the southern area first. The agreement has been made according to the Finnish Mining Act which allows for private agreements to be reached between explorers and landholders. Mawson will specifically drill for and target gold.
Mawson has also identified a diamond drill contractor to mobilize a drill rig to site in early March. An initial 3,000 metre drill program has been planned. The average depth of drill holes will be 100 metres. Further information regarding the details of the program will be released when they are available.
Mr Hudson states: “This is a landmark moment for the Rompas project. The first deep drill hole program has been awaited for some time and although the permitted areas do not contain the highest priority drill targets, the results are expected to significantly enhance our understanding of the mineral system. We shall apply world’s best environmental practice as we conduct this first drill program at Rompas.”
Mawson holds 833 claims and claim applications for 75,340 hectares at the Rompas Project. A total of 110 exploration claims that cover a surface area of 10,580 hectares and form the core claims at Rompas were granted on October 31, 2010 but do not come into legal force until after a standard appeal process. A key decision point on the appeal process is expected late Q1 2012. The known footprint of mineralization at Rompas is 6 km by up to 270 m wide.
With the permits to drill on private land, we should soon know what’s going on below surface to account for the extremely high grade gold and uranium values that have been encountered in grab and channel samples on Mawson’s Rompas project in Finland. We first looked at the company during the summer of 2010 with the shares around 40 cents but realized then that the first drills wouldn’t hit the ground for probably a couple of years so we didn’t think there was a hurry to own the shares. Well, along came some reco’s including by Mickey Fulp that got the share price way up and we didn’t get the chance to buy the deal cheap … but the last year or so the stock has been languishing in the $1.50 to $2.00 range and that is still a pretty good value given the raw possibilities of what the drill bit could encounter in short order. I grant that the imminent drilling on private property will not test the most prospective targets but there is still a very good chance of coming up with something. And possibly the claims will be fully vested in Mawson’s name during the first half of this year, which could lead to a more extensive drill campaign that tests a large portion of the 6+ kilometer strike of the system.
The “something” at Rompas has few analogies in the world — perhaps just the Matoush project of Strateco and the Lavoie/Epsilon properties of Abitex in the Otish Mountains of Central Quebec. Gold and uranium mineralization there appear to be associated with a granitoid intrusion into Proterozoic (really old!) sedimentary carbonate and volcanic rocks followed by possible remobilization of the gold and uranium values during subsequent intrusive and metamorphic events in a tectonically active setting. At Rompas, extremely high values of uranium in uraninite (a uranium oxide mineral often formed in hydrothermal settings) and native gold has been encountered in grab, chip and channel sampling including of presumptive veins and stockworks zones with similarities to the Au-U deposits in Quebec. The sheer size of the potential mineralized area at Rompas, however, dwarfs anything that has been found in the Otish Mountains to date.
There are a number of possibilities for the gold and uranium occurrence at Rompas. A bad one would be that it consists of a superficial varnish of mineralization deposited in flat horizontal layers along permissive rock strata (or in a supergene zone at the water table) during regional metamorphism. This could be bad because a primary horizontal geometry to the mineralization would limit the tonnage and thus might mean Rompas is really just a modest Au-U deposit despite the large footprint and high grades encountered in surface samples. Possible signs of a primary horizontal orientation to the mineralization might be: (1) the spatial relationship of Rompas to nearby mineralizing sources, which might make sills (horizontal magmatic flows) vs. dykes (vertical magmatic flows) the main intrusive features within the project area; (2) the extremely high grade and oxidized nature of the mineralization could indicate precipitation at a strong redox boundary (e.g. water table) or metasomatic contact (skarn in carbonate rock); and (3) lack of apparent geometry to the mineralization (not surprising given few outcrops).
On the other hand, the geophysics indicates the mineralization is associated with a system that may have a substantial vertical extent and the high grade gold at least might be explained in part by remobilization and concentration in classic highly strained fabrics in ductile rocks (e.g., boudins) with uraninite crystals forming in brittle rocks (e.g. fracture filling and stockworks). A substantial vertical extent of such rocks may be preserved at Rompas especially since there doesn’t appear to be a major radioactive boulder train or scree that resulted from the glaciation that scraped the land flat. In addition, the geophysics also indicates that magnetic and chargeable features repeat as parallel anomalies along north-south trends and these could be associated with structural features such as shears or folds that again might inpart a significant vertical component to the mineralization. Finally, the possibility that hydrothermal veins also exist at Rompas cannot be ruled out and if so then things are going to get very exciting when the drill bit gets turning.
With the initial drilling, we might expect hit-and-miss results because at least one component of the mineralization appears to be related to localization in shear zones. Thus it means very little if a particular hole does not encounter significant mineralization. What matters is the geology (let’s hope the dominant intrusives are not sills and the mineralization is not a metasomatic contact crust or thin supergene layer) and more importantly that at least some of the holes do intercept the same type of bonanza gold-uranium mineralization at depth that has been found at surface.
When considering everything, the possibility that there is a substantial vertical extent to the high grade mineralization appears good although drilling is bound to generate variable results … unless the source of the bonanza grab samples at surface is a major structurally controlled hydrothermal system. In that case, Mawson will be easily a ten bagger.