This weeks ‘Project of the Week’ takes on the plural form. I chatted to Mike Hudson, CEO of Mawson Gold, about their recently acquired Australian projects. Mawson began their exploration in Finland and have had success with Rompas-Rajapalot which is now NI 43-101 complaint and the most advanced Gold-Cobalt project in Finland. They expanded their gold assets into the USA, and now Australia.
At the end of March of this year, Mawson acquired 3 projects in Victoria in a pioneering step into a new old world. Redcastle and Doctor’s Gully are both joint venture with Nagambie Resource’s while Sunday Creek has been purchased in its entirety. They also have Right of First Refusal (ROFR) on 3600km2 of Nagambie’s land near their current properties (Figure 1) (Further details can be found in the resources below).
Following the success of upgrading the Fosterville mine (Kirkland Lake Gold. TSX: KL, AUS: KLA, NYSE: KL) in 2016 via discovery of the ‘Swan Zone’ (Figure 2), Mawson’s attention was turned to the epizonal, orogenic gold deposits, termed ‘Fosterville-style’ deposits that have previously been overlooked.
Simply put, epizonal and mesozonal orogenic gold deposits both exist in Victoria. Mesozonal has been favoured. The Swan Zone showed the value of epizonal deposits, and now there is a whole new avenue of exploration to…well…explore. The deposit type is specific to this area of Victoria which spans 2 distinct regions named the Melbourne and Bendigo Zones.
Despite the size and grade of the Fosterville deposit following its upgrade and the plethora of historic mining sites in Victoria, attention only recently being paid to targeting these deposits. Mawson’s ROFR land is the largest contiguous group of tenements prospective for Fosterville-style deposits in Victoria and so represents a significant portion of interest, and potential.
Victoria has produced over 80Moz gold in its past and is a safe jurisdiction. Geological understanding of the deposit type is still developing. Although technically orogenic, Fosterville-style gold deposits share some characteristics with epithermal deposits and there is work to be done yet in elucidating a comprehensive understanding. Something that Mawson’s work will no doubt contribute to.
That being said, like any orogenic gold deposits crustal- to small-scale structural controls are recognisable and there has been success ascertaining drill targets from such controls by other operators in the area. Mawson’s two JV properties are in fact targeting structures parallel to those mineralised at Fosterville. Location above the Archean Selwyn block coinciding with N-S trending secondary structures as fluid flow pathways have been recognised as important parameters for prospectivity. It is also observed that the gold is in association with stibnite and present in the wall-rock.
I’ve referenced a nice paper below for all the geology-folk to sink their teeth in to.
Mawson are currently active at 2 of the 3 properties: Redcastle and Sunday Creek.
Redcastle has experienced some historic mining to around 14m depth but has never been drilled. This alone isn’t very promising, but when you factor in that the property is 25km from Fosterville and 17km strike of target structures it gets interesting. Oh, and historic mining extracted an approximate 35,000oz at 33g/t Au. Active exploration includes Induced Polarisation, Gravity and Magnetic surveys alongside a Lidar survey to identify sites of old mining.
Sunday Creek has some historic drill records from the 1990s to early 2000’s, and again historic surface mining is present. A 2km strike trend has been identified for its potential to host a deposit based on associated with the same dykes occurring in Redcastle. While smaller than Redcastle, Sunday Creek is ‘easy pickings’ according to Mike, and so a priority for this year’s exploration.
As mining jurisdictions go Australia is ‘safe’ and while Victoria itself has only relatively recently warmed up to the industry, Mawson are putting their best foot forward with their policies on Indigenous Peoples and the environment.
Mawson have recognised early on the potential in this area, and I’m certainly going to be keeping tabs on their progress. Both as a proxy of the proliferation of the Fosterville hype and for their own successes.
For further information:
Mawson Gold: https://www.resourcestockdigest.com/archives/interviews/mawson-resources-tsx-maw-ceo-michael-hudson-on-entry-into-tier-1-goldfields-in-central-victoria-australia-via-agreement-with-nagambie-resources-were-in-the-heart-of-the-hottest-ground-in-the-world/
Nagambie Resources: https://www.nagambieresources.com.au/ Geology: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08120090903552726