About Mawson Gold

Mawson Gold (MAW) is an exploration and development company with 1 million gold equivalent ounces at its 100% owned flagship Rajapalot gold-cobalt project in Finland. Rajapalot is a grass roots discovery, and the recent PEA over the project shows it is a development opportunity with a manageable capex and good operating margins.

It has low geopolitical risk and access to relevant skills and infrastructure. Its European location and cobalt by-product places it to benefit from the EU’s push for low carbon and critical minerals self-sufficiency. If in production today, Rajapalot would be the EU’s 6th largest gold mine anlargest cobalt mine.

The PEA articulated not only the opportunities around the current resource, but highlighted the value of the exploration that remains on its project. Mawson’s intention is to demonstrate potential for resource expansion - both through down-plunge drilling of the open-at-depth Rajapalot deposits, and across its 18,000 ha land package where other significant prospects have demonstrated wide spread mineralisation including Rompas (6m at 617 g/t).

Mawson also owns 60% of ASX listed Southern Cross Gold (SXG), following its spin out via IPO in May 2022. Southern Cross is advancing high-grade Victorian gold projects, most notably its Sunday Creek gold project. Mawson’s stake in SXG is worth approximately C$30m (escrowed until May 2024).

The Company is also earning in up to 85% into the earlier stage Skelleftea North gold project in northern Sweden. A maiden 6 hole program included high gold grades intercepts such as 0.4m at 132 g/t gold.

Summary

Mawson has an experienced team with a track record of making gold discoveries, and the ability to raise capital. This is evidenced by SXG, which made a grassroots discovery and was spun out on the ASX all within 2 years, leaving Mawson’s residual stake valued at C$30m today with considerable geological upside in a self-funded vehicle. The SXG stake provides optionality to Mawson.

Despite delivering the PEA on Rajapalot, there is value dislocation. Its stock is trading at an EV/NPV multiple of 0.02x (ascribing zero value to the exploration at Rajapalot and Skelleftea). The ability to demonstrate resource growth potential could add significant value to the project, with little to no increase in capital expenditure.

This would appear a sensible ‘bang for buck’ strategy whilst equity markets are depressed.

Thesis

Mawson is trading at a discount to its fundamental value. Long running peer average multiples for development stage assets in Tier 1 jurisdictions are closer to 0.3x, which highlights a significant re-rate potential from Mawson’s current 0.02x multiple based on Rajapalot alone.

Continued exploration success, particularly regional potential for Rajapalot ’repeats’, further compounds the potential. Peers such as Rupert Resources (TSXV:RUP) show the scale of the potential of the Nordics – a jurisdiction comparatively underexplored from a global perspective.

The strategic nature of EU-sourced cobalt, produced ethically from renewable power, and with fewer transport emissions to feed local auto battery makers, provides both political and potential financing support, on top of its economic contribution to the Rajapalot project.

Investors also benefit indirectly from the continued success of SXG.

Exploration

The Rajapalot project is located in the Perapohja Greenstone belt, separated only by a granite intrusion, to the northern Central Lapland Greenstone belt which hosts Europe’s largest gold mine (Agnico’s Kitilla) and the Rupert’s Ikkari 4moz maiden resource.

The majority of the inferred resource was drilled out between 2018-2021 and has been the sole focus for Mawson in Finland during that period. Earlier discoveries, however, included the Rompas trend, which is 8km to the west of Rajapalot, and where high grades were observed which included 6m at 617 g/t Au.

This potentially demonstrates the tenor of gold mineralization across a 100 sq km and asks the question ‘where else has gold accumulated’ across the 100% owned land package.

Mawson has recently completed a detailed magnetic survey which highlighted structurally favourable locations for gold mineralization in the central part of the property, centred between Rompas and Rajapalot, and coincident with a large surface geochemical soil anomaly.

The target structures, dated the same age as the regional mineralising event, create ideal conditions which show commonality with other large gold discoveries in Finland. Given the area is almost completely blanketed in till, Mawson has initiated a low cost systematic till geochemical sampling and base of till drilling program over the 30+ targets which have been identified, prior to deeper diamond drilling.

Additionally, the deposits that make up the Rajapalot project are all open at depth. By way of example, the Palokas deposit has 30.8 metres at 5.1 g/t AuEq as its deepest intersection. The prospect for resource growth of the existing deposits remains high.

PEA

Mawson’s recently completed PEA has successfully demonstrated the value of the discovery at Rajapalot (US$211m NPV5 post tax). With an initial capex of US$191m and post-tax IRR of 27%, the project is financeable – particularly considering the low jurisdictional risk of Finland.

One of the key takeaways from the PEA is the low all-in sustaining cost of US$824/oz Au. This is driven by productive underground mining conditions, simple metallurgy with high recoveries, cheap renewable grid power and a skilled but relatively inexpensive workforce. Importantly the PEA benchmarks well against costs of other similar, and nearby, operating mines.

The project configuration is conventional, with limited infrastructure needs given its location 30 minutes outside of Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. This not only reduces capital and operating costs, but also execution risk.

By designing an underground operation only and placing the infrastructure outside of more sensitive environmental areas (Natura 2000), the Company is factoring in up-front a configuration which is intended to be deemed ‘no significant impact’ in the EIA, which is the simplest (but not sole) permitting pathway.

Risks

Geological risk is present on all resource projects, and the existing resource is only at inferred category. Management has experience in defining economic deposits, and there is exploration upside.

Permitting of a project in Natura 2000 will require the Company to execute its project design and assessment to a high standard. Other EU mines have been developed in these areas and the Company has been exploring successfully in this area for over 10 years, so therefore has a track record, staff and knowledge base to manage this process.

Funding for pre-production projects means a reliance on the equity markets. The dilutionary impact of raising capital in difficult markets presents a risk to the valuation per share. 

Project timelines are not well defined at this point with further exploration planned that may necessitate augmentation of the PEA base case. The Company has started its EIA and the PEA allows it to move the permitting process forward.

Conclusion

The Rajapalot PEA appears robust and based on realistic assumptions. SXG is a widely traded stock with significant upside from an industry-leading discovery in Australia. The discount being applied by the market to this asset base is very out of line on almost any metric which is a strong re-rate signal when markets normalise.

FAQs
Become a better investor
What is Crux Investor?
Crux Investor an app that provides monthly stock recommendations from world-class analysts in quick, easy-to-understand Memos. The truth is – everyone wants to invest, but it's almost impossible to know what to invest in unless you’re a professional. Crux fills the gap and makes building a long-term investing portfolio effortless.
Continue
You might also like
Analyst's Notes: Skeena Resources
November 29, 2022
Canada Nickel - Company Note
November 14, 2022
Uranium’s Compelling Investment Case
November 11, 2022
Copper for Contrarians
November 9, 2022
Contrarian Investors Piling into Gold
November 8, 2022
Become an investing expert
Invest like a professional with the top long-term stock pick every month, from WSJ "Best On The Street" winning analysts.
Continue