Mawson Resources acquires Orrbacken nickel project
2010-02-22 17:39 ET - News Release
Mr. Michael Hudson reports
MAWSON ACQUIRES WINNING MINERAL HUNT PROJECT
Mawson Resources Ltd. has signed an option agreement to explore the Orrbacken nickel project, which won the annual Swedish Mineral Hunt Competition for 2009. Subsequent to this option agreement, Mawson has entered a joint venture agreement with Independence Group (IGO), a nickel mining and exploration company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, that provides IGO with the right to explore and advance the project.
"Mawson continues to review global multicommodity exploration opportunities, while in parallel pursuing its European uranium strategy. In this case, Mawson has chosen to partner with Independence Group, a technically strong and nickel-focused mining company who will rapidly advance the Orrbacken project," said Michael Hudson, president and chief executive officer.
The Swedish National Mineraljakten (or Mineral Hunt) has been contested since 1967, and gives members of the public the opportunity to submit mineralized rock samples with the Swedish Geological Survey (SGU) for assessment. The SGU allocates points based on the grade, context and significance of the rocks submitted, and selects an annual winner. The winning project from 2009 was the Orrbacken nickel project, discovered by father and son team Kurt Lofroth and Kristoffer Lofroth. Orrbacken is located 10 kilometres south of the town of Skelleftea in northern Sweden, and comprises three exploration permits totalling 461 hectares held by Mawson via an option agreement with Kurt Lofroth and Kristoffer Lofroth, and one exploration application of 5,160 hectares held directly by Mawson.
Orrbacken is a new nickel discovery which shows promising chemistry, scale and position in relation to gravity and magnetic data sets. The discovery consists of approximately 80 gabbroic boulders that form a 1.5-kilometre-long boulder train, 25 of which are mineralized and interpreted to be close to source. Four boulder samples were taken by the Swedish Geological Survey from the Orrbacken discovery. Nickel ranged from 1.9 per cent to 0.6 per cent and averaged 1.0 per cent, cobalt ranged from 0.21 per cent to 0.05 per cent and averaged 0.1 per cent, and copper ranged from 0.7 per cent to 0.1 per cent and averaged 0.3 per cent. The boulder train is associated with a magnetic feature that is of a similar scale to mafic intrusives that host economic deposits elsewhere. IGO plans to fly airborne magnetics over the coming months with fieldwork scheduled for June, 2010. With encouraging results, airborne and ground electromagnetic surveys are planned with follow-up diamond drilling during winter 2010/2011.
The option agreement with Kurt Lofroth and Kristoffer Lofroth provides Mawson a four-year period to purchase a 90-per-cent interest in Orrbacken, with a further right to purchase the outstanding 10-per-cent interest for five million Swedish kronor. The four-year option agreement is maintained by Mawson paying to the mineral hunters 200,000 Swedish kronor on signing, 200,000 Swedish kronor on the first anniversary, 300,000 Swedish kronor on the second anniversary, 400,000 Swedish kronor on the third anniversary and 500,000 Swedish kronor on the fourth anniversary.
The joint venture agreement with IGO provides IGO the right to earn a 70-per-cent interest in Mawson's interest in the Orrbacken project by financing expenditures of $2-million (Australian) over five years. Upon transfer of the 70-per-cent interest, IGO must pay Mawson $300,000 (Australian). IGO must spend a minimum of $80,000 (Australian) within 12 months before it may withdraw from the joint venture. If either party elects not to contribute then standard industry dilution formulas will apply down to a 5-per-cent interest, at which point the interest would convert to a 1-per-cent net smelter return (NSR) royalty. IGO retains the right to purchase the outstanding Lofroth 10-per-cent interest.
SGU samples were analyzed by ME-ICP41 and PGM-ICP23 techniques by ALS Chemex Ltd.'s laboratories in Pitea, Sweden, and Vancouver, Canada. The qualified person for the Orrbacken project, Mark Saxon, director and vice-president of exploration for Mawson, and a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.