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Rompas-Rajapalot Gold-Cobalt Project

Mawson Gold - Building Resources

Mawson’s flagship is the 100%-owned Rajapalot gold-cobalt project, located just south of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland.At Rajapalot the Company has made a significant greenfield discovery and on 26 August 2021 published an updated Inferred Mineral Resource. an updated resource estimation was completed by Eemeli Rantala, AFRY – P.Geo, Ville-Matti Seppä, AFRY – EurGeol of Finland and Craig Brown, Mining Associates Pty Ltd – FAusIMM of Australia. All authors are independent “qualified persons” as defined by NI 43-101. The NI 43-101 technical report is entitled “Mineral Resource Estimate NI 43-101 Technical Report — Rajapalot Property” (the “Updated Technical Report”).

The August 2021 base case open pit and underground constrained Inferred Mineral Resource was estimated at 10,907,000 tonnes @ 2.5 g/t gold (“Au”), 443 ppm cobalt (“Co”), which equates to 3.0 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq”) for 887,000 ounces (“oz”) Au or 1,041,980 oz AuEq. The AuEq value was calculated using the following formula: AuEq g/t = Au g/t + (Co ppm/1005) and using a gold price of US$1,590 per ounce and a cobalt price of US$23.07/lb. Mineral Resources are stated at a 0.3 g/t AuEq open pit cut-off and 1.1 g/t AuEq underground cut-off from five block models comprising 8 prospects.

The 2021 base case resource increases gold grade by 19% (AuEq grade by 12%) and contained gold ounces by 47% (contained gold equivalent ounces by 35%) as compared to the previous Rajapalot resource estimation published on September 14, 2020.

The Rajapalot mineral resource update covers eight prospect areas (The Hut, Terry's Hammer, Rumajärvi, Palokas, South Palokas, Raja, Uusisaari and Joki East). The 2020/21 drill program delivered more economic grade/width intersections than ever before and led to the discovery of two new gold-cobalt zones, delineated significant extensions to four more prospects with defined resources and added two further prospects suitable for wireframing and resource estimation.

Approximately 80% of the Rajapalot area, or 20 kilometres of mineralization-host package remains untested by drilling. Rajapalot forms a smaller part of Mawson’s larger 100 square kilometre Rompas-Rajapalot Finnish project area owned 100% by Mawson.

At the completion of the 2021 winter drill program, a total of 84,507 metres has been drilled at Rajapalot with the average depth now 155 metres. A total of 330 holes for 72.8 kilometres and an average depth of 250 metres were used in the upgraded August 2021 resource estimation. Whereas a total of 257 holes for 53.8 kilometres metres and an average depth of 209 metres were used the upgraded September 2020 resource estimation and a total of 178 holes for 24.0 kilometres with an average depth of 135 metres were used within the December 2018 maiden resource estimation.

From November 10, 2020, to August 23, 2021, the Company announced a series of drill results from the 76 hole, 19,422 metre 2020/2021 drill program at Rajapalot.

Drill success has continually increased through recognition of strong linear late structural controls to high-grade gold-cobalt mineralization and a strong correlation with electromagnetic conductors that provide a large potential for increasing mineral resources in future drill campaigns. Key results from the program are outlined below:

Joki East

Joki East is a blind discovery from 150 metres depth made by Mawson this drill season. Mineralization is thin but very high grade and extends over 225 metres down-plunge and 30-40 metres across strike. The mineralization is in an all-season drill area and remains open and untested up- and down-plunge. Mise-a-la-masse geophysics undertaken at Joki East has confirmed the shape and extent of the sulphidic gold-bearing body up plunge and demonstrated that mineralization shows good connectivity between drill holes. Key results included:

  • PAL0241 intersected 1.6 metres @ 28.3 g/t Au and 1,190ppm Co, 29.2 g/t AuEq from 168.6 metres;
  • PAL0242 returned 1.6 metres @ 19.2 g/t Au and 1,478ppm Co, 20.3 g/t AuEq from 155.0 metres;
  • PAL0245 intersected 1.3 metres @ 25.3 g/t Au and 2,327 ppm Co, 26.9 g/t AuEq from 177.1 metres,
  • PAL0246 returned 0.6 metres @ 10.3 g/t Au and 725ppm Co, 10.8 g/t AuEq from 188.6 metres,
  • PAL0247 is the deepest hole at Joki East with encouraging thickness and continuity of grade developing down-plunge returned 5.5 metres @ 6.9 g/t Au and 732 ppm Co, 7.4 g/t AuEq from 220.9 metres

The Hut

At the Hut, a new drill discovery in PAL0259 delivered the thickest mineralized zone drilled to date at Rajapalot intersecting 70.3 metres @ 0.9 g/t Au, 828 ppm Co, 1.6 g/t AuEq from 95.8 metres (no lower cut-off applied):

  • Including 23.3 metres @ 1.2 g/t Au, 1,035 ppm Co, 2.1 g/t AuEq from 100.7 metres;
  • Including 14.4 metres @ 0.6 g/t Au, 1,531 ppm Co, 1.9 g/t AuEq from 126.3 metres;
  • Including 2.4 metres @ 3.9 g/t Au, 747 ppm Co, 4.6 g/t AuEq from 143.3 metres;
  • Including 7.0 metres @ 1.1 g/t Au, 31 ppm Co, 1.2 g/t AuEq from 159.0 metres;

South Palokas

At South Palokas significant extensions of high-grade gold mineralization were intersected at depth. In combination, PAL0303 and PAL0235, both drilled this season, extend high-grade mineralization at South Palokas down-plunge by 290 metres, which remains open. Highlights included:

  • PAL0235 intersected 15.3 metres @ 3.0 g/t Au, 998 ppm Co, 3.9 g/t AuEq from 439.5 metres including 2.0 metres @ 11.2 g/t Au, 1,019 ppm Co, 12.0 g/t AuEq from 447.5 metres.
  • PAL0303 was drilled 120 metres down-plunge from PAL0235 and intersected 30.8 metres @ 3.9 g/t Au, 1,403 ppm Co, 5.1 g/t AuEq from 553.2 metres; including:
    • 1.0 metre @ 8.9 g/t Au, 2,164 ppm Co, 10.7 g/t AuEq from 563.9 metres;
    • 7.0 metres @ 8.2 g/t Au, 2,020 ppm Co, 9.9 g/t AuEq from 566.9 metres;
    • 1.0 metre @ 8.9 g/t Au, 1,036 ppm Co, 9.8 g/t AuEq from 575.0 metres;
    • 4.0 metres @ 6.9 g/t Au, 1,460 ppm Co, 8.1 g/t AuEq from 578.0 metres

Raja

At Raja, holes drilled on a 90-metre-wide cross section at the prospect were targeted to test an undrilled shallow area. These results more than double the grade and thickness of the shallow parts of the Raja prospect. The holes are located 250 metres up-plunge from PAL0093 that intersected 33.6 metres @ 8.0 g/t Au and 823 ppm Co from 243.0 metres (press release of June 27, 2018).

  • Drill hole PAL0297 intersected 20.7 metres @ 7.4 g/t Au, 111 ppm Co, 7.5 g/t AuEq from 74.0 metres, including:
    • 2.2 metres @ 32.6 g/t Au, 91 ppm Co, 32.7 g/t AuEq from 75.0 metres;
    • 3.0 metres @ 19.4 g/t Au, 181 ppm Co, 19.5 g/t AuEq from 90.7 metres;
  • Drill hole PAL0295 intersected 15.7 metres @ 3.8 g/t Au, 783 ppm Co, 4.5 g/t AuEq from 53.3 metres;
    • including 6.0 metres at 8.5 g/t Au, 344 ppm Co, 8.8 g/t AuEq from 63.0 metres;
  • Drill hole PAL0302 intersected 2.0 metres @ 7.1 g/t Au, 96 ppm Co, 7.2 g/t AuEq from 97.4 metres.

Palokas

At the Palokas prospect, drilling to extend mineralization beyond the current southern resource boundary included:

  • PAL0283 intersected 1.0 metre @ 8.2 g/t Au, 52 ppm Co, 8.3 g/t AuEq from 222.8 metres;and
  • PAL0293 intersected 7.1 metres @ 1.7 g/t Au, 466 ppm Co, 2.1 g/t AuEq from 260.2 metres and 13.8 metres @ 1.0 g/t Au, 899 ppm Co, 1.7 g/t AuEq from 274.2 metres.

New earlier stage targets

Early stage drilling also defined new high-grade gold-cobalt intersections with electromagnetic conductors that will provide upside for increasing the resource base in future drill campaigns.

  • At Terry’s Hammer prospect PAL0273 drilled 9.3 metres @ 1.5 g/t Au, 422 ppm Co, 1.9 g/t AuEq from 14.6 metres;and
  • At the Rumajärvi prospect PAL0258 drilled 3.0 metres @ 8.3 g/t Au, 283 ppm Co, 8.6 g/t AuEq from 66.9 metres and PAL0267 drilled 27.5 metres @ 0.7 g/t Au, 443 ppm Co, 1.0 g/t AuEq from 30.3 metres.

Current Resource Calculation

On August 26, 2021, an updated resource estimation was completed by Eemeli Rantala, AFRY – P.Geo, Ville-Matti Seppä, AFRY – EurGeol of Finland and Craig Brown, Mining Associates Pty Ltd – FAusIMM of Australia.All authors are independent “qualified persons” as defined by NI 43-101. The NI 43-101 technical report is entitled “Mineral Resource Estimate NI 43-101 Technical Report — Rajapalot Property” (the “Updated Technical Report”). The estimate was completed by AFRY Finland Oy, a European leader in engineering, design, and advisory services. Mineral Resources are calculated using a gold price of $1,590/oz and a cobalt price of US$23.07/lb and using 0.3 g/t Gold equivalent “AuEq” open pit cut-off and 1.1 g/t AuEq underground cut-off (Table 1). AuEq values calculated using the following formula: AuEq g/t = Au g/t + (Co ppm/1005).

Key Points: 

1.Base case Mineral Resource estimate 10.91 Mt @ 3.0 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq”), 2.5 g/t gold (“Au”), 443 ppm cobalt (“Co”) for 887 koz Au, 4.8 kt Co equating to 1.04 Moz AuEq in the inferred category;

2.Compared to the previous Rajapalot resource estimation published on September 14, 2020:

(i) Increases gold grade by 19% (AuEq grade by 12%); and

(ii) Increases contained gold ounces by 47% (contained gold equivalent ounces by 35%).

3.Gold camp now comprises 8 distinct prospects, doubling the 4 previously contained in the 2020 Rajapalot Inferred Mineral Resource estimate.

4.Substantial increases in existing resources demonstrate continuity within the deposits and expansion potential at depth and along strike.All resource areas remain open to depth and the Company has developed a strong geological and exploration model to target mineralization.

5.Growth potential remains strong:

(i) Drilling covers only 20% of the mineralization-host package at Rajapalot;and

(ii) Rajapalot camp represents only 5% of 100 square kilometre Rompas-Rajapalot Finnish project area owned 100% by Mawson.

Table 1: Total Inferred Mineral Resources estimate as of August 26, 2021, at the listed cut-offs for constrained open pit and underground resources at Rajapalot.

Zone

Cut-off
 (AuEq)

Tonnes
 (kt)

Au
 (g/t)

Co

(ppm)

AuEq (g/t)

Au
 (oz)

Co (tonnes)

AuEq
 (oz)

Palokas Pit

0.3

1,228

2.2

382

2.5

85,513

469

100,511

Palokas UG

1.1

4,878

2.7

501

3.2

427,797

2,443

505,941

Palokas total

6,106

2.6

477

3.1

513,310

2,911

606,451

Raja Pit

0.3

485

1.3

289

1.6

19,722

140

24,206

Raja UG

1.1

2,492

3.2

401

3.6

254,600

999

286,574

Raja total

2,977

2.9

383

3.2

274,322

1,140

310,780

East Joki (no pit)

East Joki UG

1.1

299

4.5

363

4.9

43,378

109

46,859

East Joki total

299

4.5

363

4.9

43,378

109

46,859

Hut Pit

0.3

61

0.1

874

1.0

214

54

1,928

Hut UG

1.1

816

1.4

411

1.8

35,943

336

46,682

Hut total

877

1.3

444

1.7

36,157

389

48,610

Rumajärvi Pit

0.3

401

0.6

496

1.1

8,107

199

14,467

Rumajärvi UG

1.1

246

1.5

356

1.9

12,009

88

14,813

Rumajärvi total

647

1.0

443

1.4

20,116

286

29,279

Total Pit

0.3

2,175

1.6

396

2.0

113,556

861

141,112

Total UG

1.1

8,732

2.7

455

3.2

773,728

3,974

900,868

Total

10,907

2.5

443

3.0

887,284

4,836

1,041,980

CIM Definition Standards (2014) were used for Mineral Resource classifications. AuEq=Au+Co/1,005 based on assumed prices of Co US$23.07/lb and Au US$1,590/oz. Rounding of grades and tonnes may introduce apparent errors in averages and contained metals. Drilling results to 20 June 2021. These are Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability

Resource Methodology

  • Mineral Resource estimation reporting follows the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum ("CIM") definitions standards (2014) for mineral resources and reserves and have been completed in accordance with the Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
  • Reported tonnage and grade figures have been rounded from raw estimates to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate. Minor variations may occur during the addition of rounded number.
  • Constrained Resources are presented undiluted and in-situ and are considered to have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The Qualified Person considers that the reported Mineral Resource has reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction by the open pit and underground mining method at the specified cut-off grades. An assessment of whether the project as a whole is economically viable has not been made under this analysis. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Whittle software (version 4.7.3) was used in the optimization on Palokas, South Palokas, Raja, Hut, Rumajärvi, Uusisaari, Terry’s Hammer and Joki prospect wireframes to define the mineralization falling within the confines of an open pit (demonstrating reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction, “RPEEE”). Five block models were created covering the eight prospects. Mineralization falling outside these pits above the cut-off grade of 1.1 g/t AuEq was then defined as underground resources with RPEEE.
  • Optimized open pit constrained resources are reported at a cut-off grade of 0.3 g/t AuEq. Underground resources are reported at a cut-off grade of 1.1 g/t AuEq. The cut-off grades used for reporting were based on up to date third party metal price research, forecasting of long-term gold and cobalt prices, and a cost structure from benching marking Finnish mining, metallurgical and G&A operational costs. Costs include mining, processing and general and administration (“G&A”). Net Smelter Return (“NSR”) includes metallurgical recoveries and selling costs inclusive government royalties. Gold equivalent “AuEq” = Au+(Co/1005) based on assumed prices of cobalt US $23.07/lb and gold US $1,590/oz.

The optimization process was conducted considering three scenarios:

  • The first using Whittle optimization for a pit of Revenue Factor 1 (Rev-F-1);
  • The second optimization utilised the changeover from open cut (OC) to underground (UG) based on the estimated differential operating expenses of OC and UG (model termed OC-UG or “base case”);
  • The third was an underground scenario where a depth of 20 metres below the base of solid rock was regarded as the near-surface limit of potential mining (UG only).

These three scenarios were developed to allow consideration of reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction (RPEEE). Without further consideration of economic viability (“reserves”), the second optimization (OC-UG) is regarded as the most reasonable. The Pit Optimization section provides details of the three scenarios considered.

Table 2: Grade/tonnage relationships for alternate constraining models for Rajapalot

Model

Tonnes (kt)

Au (g/t)

Co (ppm)

AuEq (g/t)

AuEq (oz)

RF= 1 Whittle

13,395

2.1

423

2.5

1,094,125

Base Case

10,907

2.5

443

3.0

1,041,980

All UG

9,780

2.8

441

3.2

1,004,732

A gold top cut of 50 g/t Au was used for the gold domains. A cobalt top cut was not applied.
  • Bulk density values were calculated for each block within the wireframes based on 3,345 density measurements (linear relationship of iron oxide to density was used to make an Ordinary Kriged estimate of density for each wireframe).
  • The three-dimensional wireframe models were generated using gold and cobalt shells separately. Forty-eight separate gold and cobalt wireframes were constructed in Leapfrog Geo and grade distributions independently estimated using Ordinary Kriging in Leapfrog Edge.
  • Sub-block triggers in each case were created using the gold and cobalt wireframes, the base of till and lidar surface wireframes were also used to control the density model for “air” and till blocks (till density is set to 2 t/m3. Parent blocks were used in all cases for grade estimation. A range of parent block sizes was tested with an optimal 12 m x 12 m x 4 m size determined (>20% of the drill hole spacing) as suitable. Sub-blocking down to 4 m x 4 m x 0.5 m was optimal for geologic control on volumes, thinner and moderately dipping wireframes (testing of options up to the parent block size showed less than 5% overall variation in the Mineral Resource estimate).
  • AFRY created the Rajapalot Mineral Resource estimate using the drill results available to 20 June, 2021.
  • Addition metals were estimated using ordinary kriging in the resource base case.The average contents of these metals were arsenic (234 ppm), copper (198 ppm), iron oxide (11.0%), nickel (108 ppm), sulphur (2.2%), uranium (31 ppm) and tungsten (100 ppm). From a resource efficiency point of view, it appears that only gold (2.5 g/t) and cobalt (443 ppm) have the potential to be extracted economically, considering the low background values of the other metals. Certain environmental opportunities potentially exist to extract and capture some of the other metals to produce a cleaner tailings product.

For creation of the SMU model for pit optimization, the sub-block model was copied and controlled to regular 5 m x 5 m x 2.5 m blocks. There was less than 0.5% difference in the total Mineral Resource estimate created during the change to regularized blocks.

A National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report has been concurrently filed on SEDAR.

Diamond Drilling

Mawson completed 76 holes for 19,422 metres during the 2020/21 winter drill season. At the completion of the 2020/21 winter drill program a total of 544 drillholes for 84,507 metres had been drilled at the Rajapalot project with an average depth of 155 metres. Key results from the program are outlined below. The 100% owned gold-cobalt Rajapalot discovery hosts numerous hydrothermal gold-cobalt prospects drilled between 2013 and April 2020 within a 3 by 4 kilometre area. A total of 76,155 drilling metres (90% of total) has been completed since 2017. A total of 330 holes for 72.8 kilometres and an average depth of 250 metres were used in the upgraded August 2021 resource estimation. In comparison, a total of 257 holes for 53.8 km and an average depth of 209 metres were used the upgraded September 2020 resource estimation and a total of 178 holes for 24.0 km with an average depth of 135 metres were used within the December 2018 maiden resource estimation.

Geology

The host sequence comprises a polydeformed, isoclinally folded package of amphibolite facies metamorphosed Paleoproterozoic supracrustal rocks of the Peräpohja belt. The Paleoproterozoic of northern Finland are highly prospective for gold and cobalt, and include the Europe’s largest gold mine, Kittilä, operated by Agnico Eagle Finland Oy.

Stratabound gold-cobalt mineralization occurs near the boundary of the Kivalo and Paakkola groups with two contrasting host rocks, either iron-magnesium or potassic-iron types. Multi-stage development of the mineralization is evident, with early-formed cobalt and a post-tectonic hydrothermal gold event.

Prospects with high-grade gold and cobalt at Rajapalot occur across 3 km (east-west) by 2 km (north-south) area within the larger Rajapalot project exploration area measuring 4 km by 4 km with multiple mineralized boulders, base-of-till (BOT) and rare outcrops. High-grade Au-Co mineralization at Rajapalot has been drilled to 540 metres deep at Raja and South Palokas prospects but is not closed out at depth in any prospect. The only surface exposure of mineralization is at Palokas, however except for East Joki, all mineralization comes to the top of the bedrock below the till, less than 6 metres below the surface. East Joki is 110 metres from the surface at its shallowest but is not drilled yet in the up-dip direction.

Mawson’s primary target type across the whole Rajapalot-Rompas area is the disseminated Au-Co style, with Mawson’s geological team in Finland devoted to uncovering more prospects based on their increased understanding of the host sequence.

Two distinct styles of gold mineralization dominate the Rajapalot area. The first, is a variably sulphidic magnesian-iron host, previously referred to internally as “Palokas” style. The magnesian-iron host is most likely an ultramafic volcanic (komatiitic) and occurs within approximately 100 vertical metres of the inferred Kivalo-Paakkola boundary (that is, near the incoming of pelites, calc-pelites and quartz muscovite rocks). A largely retrograde mineral alteration assemblage includes chlorite, Fe-Mg amphiboles (anthophyllite and cummingtonite series), tourmaline and pyrrhotite commonly associated with quartz-veining. Subordinate almandine garnet, magnetite and pyrite occur with bismuth tellurides, scheelite, ilmenite and gold, cobalt pentlandite and cobaltite. Metallurgical testing at Palokas reveals the gold to be non-refractory and 95% pure (with minor Ag and Cu) with excellent recoveries by gravitational circuit with conventional cyanidation and/or flotation. QEMSCAN studies also show that the gold occurs as native grains, found both on grain boundaries and within minerals. Detailed work by Jukka Pekka Ranta of the University of Oulu (plus co-workers) on fluid inclusions and the host rocks to the Fe-Mg mineralization at Palokas indicates weakly saline, methane-bearing fluids at depths as shallow as 5 km and temperatures of approximately 250 degrees were responsible for deposition of the gold.

The second style of gold-cobalt mineralization at Rajapalot, a potassic-iron (K-Fe) style (formerly referred to internally as “Rumajärvi” type) is characteristically associated with muscovite and / or biotite and chlorite in a diverse range of fabrics. Gold grades of more than 1 g/t Au are associated with pyrrhotite and contained within muscovite-biotite schists, muscovite and biotite‑bearing albitic granofels and brecciated, variably micaceous albitic rocks. Magnetite is a common mineral, but not a necessity for anomalous gold grades. The host rocks are grey to white owing to their reduced nature and may be enclosed by light pink to red calcsilicate-bearing albitites. To date, the K-Fe gold-cobalt mineralization style has been intersected near the muscovite-bearing quartzite at Raja and Rumajärvi, but as other rock types are also mineralized and the clear strong structural control on grade, stratigraphic constraints may locally not be relevant.

Exploration for Palokas and Rumajärvi style gold prospects is not restricted to the Rajapalot area. Recognition of the host stratigraphic package (near the boundary of the Kivalo-Paakkola Group boundary) enclosing the 6 km long vein-hosted Rompas Au-U system increases the search space for the pyrrhotite-Au-Co systems to cover Mawson’s full permit area. The geochemical characteristics of the ultramafic volcanics and related intrusives are not only present in the southern drill section at South Rompas but have more than 50 km of strike length in Rompas-Rajapalot. It is the interaction of this reactive rock package with late gold-bearing hydrothermal systems driven by ca. 1.8 Ga granitoids, that now form the most highly prospective targets away from the Rajapalot area. The cobalt component of the system is largely stratabound and formed much earlier, most likely from oxidized saline basinal fluids interacting with reduced strata.

Metallurgy

Preliminary metallurgical testing on drill core from the Rajapalot prospect demonstrate excellent gold extraction results of between 95% and 99% (average 97%) by a combination of gravity separation and conventional cyanidation and or/flotation. Metallurgical test work indicates gold recovery and processing are potentially amenable to conventional industry standards with a viable flowsheet which could include crushing and grinding, gravity recovery, and cyanide leaching with gold recovery via a carbon-in-pulp circuit for production of onsite gold doré. Further metallurgical test work is currently underway, with Mawson a participant of Finland’s BATCircle consortium, a program designed to value-add to the Finnish battery metals circular economy. Initial indications suggest the cobalt minerals present (cobaltite and linnaeite) can float or be separated by magnetic separation methods.

Strategic Cobalt

Rajapalot is a significant and strategic gold-cobalt resource and one of Finland’s largest gold resources by grade and contained ounces and one of a small group of cobalt resources prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 policy within Europe.Rajapalot is already the 7th largest European cobalt resource by size and expanding (cobalt is a potential by-product with 14% insitu value compared to the gold content in the 2020 resource). Finland refines half the world’s cobalt outside China.The world’s largest cobalt refinery is located 400 kilometres south of Rajapalot, where CRU estimates annual refining of 22,734 tonnes of cobalt (approximately 18% of world refined cobalt production), 90% of which was sourced from Chinese-owned mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Finland mines only 650 tonnes or 0.5% of the world's cobalt per year.The Rajapalot resource has the potential to support Finland’s desire to source ethical and sustainable cobalt.

Mawson is a member of the European Raw Material Alliance (“ERMA”). The ERMA aims to make Europe economically more resilient by diversifying its supply chains, creating jobs, attracting investments to the raw materials value chain, fostering innovation, training young talent and contributing to the best enabling framework for raw materials and the Circular Economy worldwide.

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)

Mawson acknowledges that Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") forms a comprehensive framework for our Company to successfully navigate and balance the benefits of our projects to the planet, people and profit. Mawson has had an active ESG program operating for many years, and we are constantly developing and adding to it as our projects grow and develop.

The Company complies with The Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining “Standard for Sustainable Exploration”. The standard is comprised of Guiding Principles and three Protocols, which cover the entire lifecycle of exploration activities. The Protocols include community relationships, environment and safety. Mawson applies The Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining assessment to follow and further develop our exploration methods and practices, stakeholder engagement, techniques and activities. This assessment is implemented annually and is externally verified every third year.

Mawson is a member of FIBS, the largest corporate responsibility network not only in Finland but also in the Nordic countries. FIBS’ goal is to inspire increasing numbers of Finnish companies to start developing productive solutions to local and global problems in cooperation with other companies and organizations, so that they can rise to the top of sustainable business globally.

Mawson appreciates the overwhelmingly strong support it receives from local stakeholders. The Ylitornio municipality, which hosts the Rajapalot project, is a sparsely populated area with a decreasing population. The Rajapalot project could create many opportunities for both the current population and those in the future who settle within the area.

In combination with the EIA, the two municipal areas where the Rajapalot gold-cobalt project is located, the City of Rovaniemi and Municipality of Ylitornio, at the request of Mawson, have formally decided to start the sub-area Local Master land use planning processes. Both municipalities have made decisions to propose to the Regional Council of Lapland (“Lapin Liitto”) to start the phased provincial land use plan for the Rajapalot gold-cobalt project.

A similar process in Finland has been undertaken for other pre-development stage mining projects including the Suhanko (“Arctic Platinum”) project of CD Capital Natural Resources Fund III L.P., the Sokli project of The Finnish Minerals Group, and the Sakatti project of Anglo American. Land use planning in Finland is defined by the Land Use and Building Act. The regional land use plans set out the principles of land use and the community structure. The phased provincial land use plan is a long-term plan and a guideline for the municipalities when drawing up and amending local master plans and local detailed plans. Mawson will be responsible for the costs of the EIA and land use planning, as well as the studies to be prepared for them and any measures that require compensation.

Finland has rigorous regulatory processes with strict environmental standards and Mawson is committed to work with the regional and national authorities and broader stakeholder groups to develop the project in a responsible way. Mawson has completed ten years of flora, fauna and water base line studies and nature assessments at Rompas-Rajapalot. The Company looks forward to continuing to work closely with both the mining and environmental authorities and other stakeholders over the coming years to ensure our work is conducted according to sustainable and global best practice methods.

During late 2020, Mawson Oy, Mawson’s 100%-owned subsidiary in Finland, requested the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (“ELY”) to arrange a preliminary consultation in accordance with section 8 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) Procedure Act. The EIA procedure identifies, assesses, and describes the significant environmental effects of a project and subsequently allows Mawson to consult with the authorities and those whose conditions or interests may be affected by the project. The EIA procedure is not a permit procedure but provides information on the environmental effects of a project that will subsequently be taken into account by official authorities during mine permitting. The EIA program is expected to be completed in 2023. Mawson has also proposed to the regional municipality of Ylitornio and the city of Rovaniemi that these bodies request the Regional Lapland Council (“Lapin Liitto”) to initiate regional land use planning for the Rajapalot project.

Mawson carries out its exploration activities in large areas, including 16% of its permit or permit application areas in Finland within EU-defined Natura biodiversity conservation areas (Kairamaat 2/3 exploration permit and Rompas permit application areas).The aim of the Natura 2000 network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats. Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves where all human activities are excluded and forms 18% of the EU landmass. Development in Natura is defined by clear rules and the emphasis is on ensuring that future management is sustainable, both ecologically and economically. Eighty-two percent of the Rompas-Rajapalot project lies outside of Natura areas. Mawson is permitted to complete all exploration at Rajapalot inside and outside Natura zones. The next major permitting step required will come at the mining stage where biodiversity offsets for Natura areas will most probably be required. There are mining projects that have been permitted and are in production in Natura 2000 areas within Europe, including Ada Tepe (gold mine Bulgaria), Prosper Haniel (coal mine in Germany) and Mechelse Heide Zuid (sand mine in Belgium). Anglo American is currently permitting the Sakatti Ni-Cu-PGE project for mining in Finland.

For diamond drilling programs at Rajapalot, Mawson completed biological mapping of all areas where drilling took place and worked together with all authorities to minimize impact, including capturing all drill cuttings, reduction in total machine weight and the careful preparation of compressed snow roads for use by skidoo, Bandvagn and drill rigs. The same process takes place for each winter drill season.

Permits

Permit Type

Name

Mining Registry Number

Area (hectares)

Exploration Permit

Raja*

ML2014:0061-01

883

Exploration Permit

Männistö

ML2016:0046-01

2,141

Exploration Permit 

Korkiakoivikko

ML2012:0168-01

232

Exploration Permit 

Kairamaat 2/3#

ML2013:0041-02

1,462

Exploration Permit 

Hirvimaa

ML2014:0033

1,007

Sub-Total

5,725

Exploration Permit Application

Rompas

ML2014:0060-01

265

Exploration Permit Application

Vatsa

ML2015:0017

371

Exploration Permit Application

Kultamaat

ML2015:0005-01

529

Exploration Permit Application

Karsimaat

Ml2014:0075-01

2,777

Exploration Permit Application

Uusi Rumavuoma

ML2015:0042-01

1,283

Exploration Permit Application

Kaitajärvi E-M-W

Ml2014:0100-01

802

Exploration Permit Application

Mäntylaenokka N -S

ML2015:0054-01

398

Exploration Permit Application

Kuusivaara

ML2014:0077-01

4,565

Exploration Permit Application

Petäjävaara

ML2014:0074

1,645

Total

18,360

Note: *under statutory renewal process for a 3-year period and # under enforcement

The Rompas-Rajapalot property consists of 5 granted exploration permits for 5,725 hectares and 8 exploration permit applications for a combined total of 17,989 hectares. Exploration permits are granted for up to 15 years with standard two or three yearly renewals. The Rajapalot resource reported here occurs within two granted tenements (Kairamaat 2/3 and Hirvimaa). According to the Finnish Mining Act, after the first permit period of up to 4 years, all exploration permits in Finland can be renewed in 3-year maximum intervals, for a combined total of 15 years. Reservations are valid for 2 years. The Raja extension permit is under a statutory renewal process for a 3-year period, and expected to come in legal force in late September.According to the Finnish Mining Act exploration work cannot take place until the renewal has been accepted and completed. The 1,462 hectare Kairamaat 2/3 exploration permit is granted, but not in legal force and Mawson is permitted to explore according to an enforcement order granted by TUKES (the Finnish Mining Authority). 

There are no underlying royalties (except a statutory Finnish mining royalty of 0.15 % of the value of the exploited mineral / metal payable to the landowner), back-in rights or other underlying agreements or encumbrances over the property.