Mawson Resources (TSE:MAW) says it has discovered a new gold prospect, named Kaita, in the first month of field work at its Rompas project in Finland as the company updated investors on its summer exploration season Wednesday.
The Kaita prospect, it said, is located just 900 metres from the South Rompas drill area, and is made up of 26 surface mineralized sites, of which 11 have visible gold, discovered over a zone striking 415 metres.
Mawson's plan is to maintain its momentum in the exploration program so far, with a company-wide budget of $2.5 million planned for this year. It said 10 local Finnish geologists are currently active in the field.
"We consider Rompas to be one of the most exciting, near surface, high-grade, grassroots gold discoveries," said president and CEO Michael Hudson in a statement Wednesday. "Already, we have seen a great start to our 2013 summer work with another visible gold-bearing surface discovery at Kaita over a 415 metre strike extent, located south and parallel to the known Rompas trend."
The company said that the Kaita discovery, which was made after sampling and laser imaging detection, has not seen surface prospecting on a majority of the area, which extends the Rompas vein trend to at least 6.5 kilometres. According to Mawson's statement, channel sampling has already started at Kaita, with results awaited.
"The continued success in defining gold from surface, outside of the original Rompas discovery zone gives the company great confidence," said Hudson.
"Rompas has the potential, attributes and scale to develop into a significant business and our plan is to maintain exploration momentum towards discovery, with prudent spending to achieve our key aims. With C$5M cash we are in an enviable position to do so and we look forward to continued success over the summer."
The company said Kaita, which Mawson will prioritize to define drill targets over the coming months, is located outside the Natura 2000 biodiversity areas, and has been confirmed by a biologist to contain "low value forest and no significant plant species".
Roughly 80 per cent of Mawson's highest priority targets at Rompas are within European Union-defined biodiversity areas, the company said, where it is not yet permitted to drill. Natura 2000 defined areas cover 30 per cent of Northern Finland, according to the company's release.
The company will not be able to drill in these areas that it holds until Finnish authorities grant a modification of the claim decision. A recent report commissioned by Mawson concluded that at this stage of exploration, a managed program will have no significant environmental effects on the area. Mawson also said that an investigation, expected to concluded at the end of the year, is underway by environmental authorities with respect to its 2010 and 2011 work programs.
"The company has been working with all authorities in a transparent and open manner and strongly believes that all allegations against the company will be refuted when the facts emerge at the end of the investigation, believed to be at the end of 2013," said Mawson on Wednesday.
Mawson's summer work program at Rompas will include an 827 line-km helicopter-borne survey, soil and geochemical sampling, bedrock sampling, metallurgical test work and drilling, which is planned toward the end of the summer after geophyscial and geochemical programs have wrapped up.
The Scandinavian exploration company is entirely focused on its flagship Rompas-Rajapalot gold project in Finland, where drilling has returned an intercept of 6 metres at 600 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
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