Mawson Receives Favourable Administrative Court Ruling in Finland
Hallinto-oikeudelta Mawsonin kannalta myönteinen päätös
Vancouver, Canada - Mawson Resources Limited ("Mawson") or (the "Company") (TSX:MAW) (Frankfurt:MXR) (PINKSHEETS: MWSNF) announces that the Northern Finland Administrative Court has rejected all claims made by a non-governmental organization ("NGO") in an appeal against an exploration permit granted by the Finnish Mining Authority ("TUKES").
- The Northern Finland Administrative Court (the "Court") has rejected an appeal by an NGO group against the exploration permit decision that entitles Mawson deeper drill rig access within Natura 2000 biodiversity areas during winter conditions and hand portable rig access during summer conditions;
- The court decision validated the earlier exploration permit decision and conditions set out by the mining and environmental administration;
- Mawson's exploration permit will not come into legal force until the end of a re-appeal window of time, which closes on June 22, 2015. Under current Finnish Law, a final level appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court is possible;
- The court decision also ratified the Company's current work plans, which includes drilling from August 1, 2015 at the Palokas gold discovery with the Company's Winkie hand portable drill rig, which has produced results including 19.6m @ 7.5 g/t gold from 18.1 metres (see Mawson Press Release May 19 2015). This work program is not subject to re-appeal.
Mr Michael Hudson, President & CEO states, "With this decision, the Court has unequivocally endorsed the permit granted to Mawson by the mining authority, which was fully supported by all environmental authorities, to allow deeper drilling at the highly prospective Palokas gold project. The local population continues to show overwhelming support for the project. We believe the NGO should now respect the wishes of the local people and allow Mawson to continue its work, in an environmentally sound way, without further delay. Continued co-operation between all stakeholders will lead to the best outcome for the environment, and importantly, the best outcome for the Ylitornio and Lapland community."
On June 26, 2014, the Finnish Mining Authority, TUKES granted Mawson a modified and renewed exploration permit (Kairamaat 2 and 3) that covers a surface area of 1,462 hectares at Mawson's Palokas gold project in northern Finland (see Mawson Press Release July 02, 2014). Among other rights, the permit entitles Mawson deep drill access during winter conditions within Natura 2000 biodiversity areas. In late July 2014, TUKES' decision was appealed by the NGO to the Northern Finland Administrative Court through a standard public appeal process (see Mawson Press Release July 30, 2014).
On May 21, 2015 the Administrative Court rejected all aspects of the appeal. However, the exploration permit will not come into legal force until the re-appeal period expires on June 22, 2015. Under current Finnish Law, a final level appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court is possible. Over the last year, four administrative bodies representing the mining and environmental authorities and the Court have now found that Mawson's exploration work, carried out as permitted, does not present any significant risks to nature, environment, animals, other livelihoods, or people in Palokas area or its vicinity. In addition, the Court found that the NGO could not present nor substantiate any unclear regulations in the exploration permit. Neighbouring village associations and the local municipality have long demonstrated tangible support for Mawson's exploration work. These groups want to see the project progress meaningfully and appropriately, to provide a potential future employment base for these declining population areas in regional Lapland. A recent communique from the Meltosjärvi Village Association, in Finnish, outlines this rationale. Despite the overwhelming backing from all sections of Finnish civil society, the Company has recently become aware during meetings with the NGO group, that the NGO may file an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court. While too late for this current legal process, the recently elected Finnish Government's New Governmental Coalition Program, announced over the last few weeks, looks to remedy these instances where third parties can delay the permitting process. The program includes limiting access to the Supreme Administrative Court in environmental and construction matters, while fees for appeals will be increased in order to deter individuals without a strong legal case, from appealing to delay the permitting process.
Subject to the exploration permit coming into legal force when the re-appeal process period expires, Mawson plans to undertake a substantial winter deep diamond drilling program at the Palokas prospect. After gaining legal force, the exploration permit will be valid for a period of 3 years, the maximum time allowable under the Mining Act. An application to extend this period can be made in 3-year intervals, up to a maximum of 15 years.
The court decision also ratified the Company's current work plans, which includes drilling from August 1, 2015 at the Palokas gold discovery with the Company's Winkie hand portable drill rig which has produced results including 19.6m @ 7.5 g/t gold from 18.1 metres (see Mawson Press Release May 19 2015). This work program is not subject to re-appeal and is planned to restart drilling at Palokas on August 1, 2015 after an EU-directive bird nesting exclusion period. As is standard Company practice, an inventory of habitats and vegetation mapping of the planned drill sites will be recorded for monitoring and assessment of exploration impacts.
About Mawson Resources Limited (TSX:MAW, FRANKFURT:MXR, PINKSHEETS:MWSNF)
Mawson Resources Limited is an exploration and development company. Mawson has distinguished itself as a leading Nordic Arctic exploration company with a focus on the flagship Rompas and Rajapalot gold projects in Finland.
The qualified person for Mawson's Finnish projects, Mr. Michael Hudson, President & CEO for Mawson and Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining Metallurgy has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.
On behalf of the Board,
Michael Hudson, President & CEO
1305 -- 1090 West Georgia St., Vancouver, BC, V6E 3V7
Mariana Bermudez +1 (604) 685 9316
This news release contains forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Although Mawson believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate, and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. Mawson cautions investors that any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, capital and other costs varying significantly from estimates, changes in world metal markets, changes in equity markets, planned drill programs and results varying from expectations, delays in obtaining results, equipment failure, unexpected geological conditions, local community relations, dealings with non-governmental organizations, delays in operations due to permit grants, environmental and safety risks, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Mawson's most recent Annual Information Form filed on www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Mawson disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise.