Canadian Mining Journal

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LAW: Court rejects NGO appeal, Mawson plans substantial drill program



VANCOUVER:  Mawson Resources Limited announces the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland has comprehensively rejected an appeal by the Finnish Nature Conservation Association which now allows Mawson the right to actively explore the Kairamaat 2 and 3 exploration permits, which cover the Rajapalot and Palokas prospects in Northern Finland. The decision is non-appealable and the exploration permits gain immediate legal force.

Key Points:

  • The Finland Supreme Administrative Court (the “Court“) has rejected an appeal by an NGO group against the exploration permit decision that entitles Mawson to drill up to 123 deep diamond drill holes within Natura 2000 biodiversity areas during winter conditions and hand portable rig access during summer conditions;
  • This is the first time the Company has gained full drill access to test the gold mineralized system across the Rajapalot area.
  • Mawson now plans to undertake a substantial winter deep diamond drilling program of 10,000 metres, amongst other work programs, at the Palokas prospect and broader Rajapalot project area.

Mr Hudson, the Company’s President & CEO, states, “The Supreme Administrative Court has unequivocally endorsed the permit granted to Mawson by the mining authority in July 2014 which was fully supported by all environmental authorities, to allow deeper drilling at the highly prospective Rajapalot gold project.  Among other rights, the decision allows the Company to deep drill up to 123 diamond drill holes in Natura 2000 biodiversity areas amongst other work programs, and is the key milestone we have been essentially awaiting since the first permits were applied for in October 2009. We understand the responsibility granted to us by this decision and look forward to working with the mining and environmental authorities to ensure our work is conducted according to global best practice methods.”

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 Rajapalot and Palokas gold project in northern Finland. In late July 2014, TUKES’ decision was appealed by the NGO to the Northern Finland Administrative Court through a standard public appeal process. On May 21, 2015 the Administrative Court rejected all aspects of the appeal. On June 18, 2015, the NGO appealed the Regional Administrative Court’s decision to the Supreme Administrative Court and on September 20, 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the lower court decision.

Over the last year, four administrative bodies representing the mining and environmental authorities and both the Regional and Supreme Administrative Courts have 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 the Rajapalot area or its vicinity. The exploration permits are valid for a period of 3 years, the maximum time allowable under the Finnish Mining Act. The Company has been working under an enforcement order granted in October 2014 and an application to extend the permits can be made in 3-year intervals, up to a maximum of 15 years.  The next renewal is in October 2017.