Mawson Resources (TSE:MAW) has unveiled first drill results from its winter 2013 drill program at its North Rompas prospect in northern Finland, sending shares higher Thursday as investors were encouraged by high gold grades.
The best intersection from 20 of 29 holes at North Rompas returned thus far is 0.4 metres at 395 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.41% uranium oxide, from 41 metres depth in hole ROM0052.
The hole is the most southern of the program, the company said today. Meanwhile, hole ROM0053 also returned 1.1 metres of 9.8 g/t gold and 0.16% uranium oxide from 78.5 metres.
The drill program is the first drill test of the North Rompas project area, with exploration still at an early stage, Mawson said, as just 120 metres of strike was tested from the 1 km strike of known geochemical anomalies, at an average vertical depth of 60 metres.
"These latest drill results, which include 0.4 metres at 395 g/t gold at a shallow depth, are located more than 5 kilometres along strike from previous drilling at South Rompas where 6 metres at 617 g/t gold and 697 ppm U3O8 was discovered in hole ROM0011," said president and CEO Michael Hudson.
"The results further demonstrate the scale and grade that can develop within the Rompas vein-zone system," he said, adding that it is important to note that it remains early days for the Rompas-Rajaplot property given the company now has indications of a high grade gold system in an area approaching 10 km by 10 km.
The campaign, which started in December, forms the major part of a C$3.2 million company-wide 2013 winter exploration program through to the end of June.
The company says that another 80% of the highest priority targets on the Rompas-Rajapalot project remain, within areas where Mawson is not yet permitted to drill. This includes the mineralization discovered last year at Rajapalot.
The North Rompas prospect lies eight kilometres west of Rajapalot, from where 80 grab samples averaged 152.0 g/t gold and 3,248 ppm uranium.
Although Mawson holds the mineral rights within these areas, drilling is not permitted until the company completes an environmental program and after a modified claim decision is granted by the Finnish authorities.
"It remains critical to the development of the Rompas-Rajapalot project that we work in conjunction with the Finnish authorities to gain drilling access to our best exploration targets in the shortest possible timeframes," said Hudson.
To date, 51 holes have been completed this winter at the Rompas-Rajapalot site, with 29 holes at North Rompas, 14 holes at South Rompas, and eight holes at North Palokas. Results for 30 holes are still pending.
Ocean Equities took note of the North Rompas results in a broker note today: "Today's results reflect the early exploration stage of Mawson's Rompas-Rajapalot project. This is the first real drilling campaign that Mawson has conducted on a high priority target; the results are good in so far as they confirm that high grade gold is abundant within the system.
"However, they suggest that the mineralisation is complex, and we are not surprised that results do not live up to the standout earlier results from trenching (where channel sample results included 1.40m at 2,529 g/t gold and 5.1% uranium oxide) due to the nuggetty nature of the gold distribution."
Mawson remains well funded, the broker added, with C$6.5m cash in the bank, "more than sufficient" to fund several additional drilling campaigns.
"Provided Mawson receives permission to conduct exploration activities within Natura 2000 areas it will have a much greater chance of replicating the trenching results as it will be able to drill test the higher priority exploration targets."
Shares of the company rose over 4% to $1.28 in early afternoon trade Thursday.
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