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PK:MWSNF

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.

FAQ FINLAND

Is Mawson OY a mining company?

No, we are an exploration company with advanced exploration precious metal interests in Finland. We have had over 16 years exploring in the Nordic Countries. The company's flagship property is the Rajapalot gold-cobalt project in Ylitornio and Rovaniemi municipalities. The parent company, Mawson Gold Ltd is publically listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:MAW).

At what stage is the project?

On 18 December 2020 the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (“ELY”) arranged by the request of Mawson a preliminary consultation in accordance with the EIA Procedures Act, which defines projects whose environmental impact must always be assessed. This triggered the commencement of the preparation stage of the EIA ("Environmental Impact Assessment") for the Rajapalot gold-cobalt project. In Finland, the potential impacts of a project are assessed at the report stage of the EIA process which follows the EIA preparation stage.

Mawson considers stakeholder engagement and collaboration to be a critical part of the potential development of the Rajapalot project, and social aspects will be a key part of the EIA preparation process. The EIA is a project planning tool, and its results must be taken into account when granting permits for projects.

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, formally decided to start the sub-area Local Master land use planning processes. Both municipalities 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.

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.

Given you have started the EIA, have you a mine, will it be underground or open pit, and how long will it be before a mine is opened?

Mawson operates an advanced stage exploration project and does not have a mining operation. It has not yet conducted any external economic evaluations and therefore the economics and technical viability of the Rajapalot Project have not been demonstrated at this time, and our data is too preliminary in nature to do so at this stage.

The EIA preparation stage allows Mawson to discuss all various options of the impacts of a potential mine in the local region at a very high level with stakeholders. This includes potential open pit ("OP"), underground ("UG") and “do nothing” scenarios without any economic criteria being applied nor studied. The second reporting stage of the EIA will require economic analysis and will incorporate feedback from the preparation stage into consideration during initial economic analysis. These studies are likely to occur over the next 18 months to 3 years. The path to mining is a long term proposition and at this stage we cannot say whether a mine is certain, nor provide specific timeframes.

Mawson considers stakeholder engagement and collaboration to be a critical part of the potential development of the Rajapalot project, and social aspects will be a key part of the EIA preparation process. The EIA is a project planning tool, and its results must be taken into account when granting permits for projects.

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, formally decided to start the sub-area Local Master land use planning processes. Both municipalities 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.

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.

How does exploration differ from mining?

Exploration is the process of searching for mineral deposits, based on the earth sciences. We explore over large areas, initially using satellite and airborne information and slowly narrow down our search to drill 30-60mm diameter drill holes to test the rocks. It can be as simple as analyzing rock types and soil characteristics across large areas of land. Exploration is not mining and does not guarantee that mining will occur in the area being explored.

Exploration is therefore a research-scale activity that takes place over large areas, and mining is an industrial-scale activity that takes place over small areas. We need to explore 1000's of prospects to find the one that could potentially become a mine.

In Finland, several permits or permissions, are required for mining. These include:

  • Environmental impact assessment (ELY Centre)
  • Environmental permit, water permit (Regional State Administrative Agency)
  • Mining safety permit (TUKES)
  • Regional land use plan (Regional Council),
  • Local master plan and local detailed plan (Municipalities)
  • Building permits (Municipalities)
  • Other permits

Some people say you have uranium, what are the amounts in Rajapalot?

Rajapalot is gold-cobalt project. Mawson analyses drill core and surface samples for up to 50 elements to determine if any of these elements may be of economic benefit to Finland. Slight enrichments of some metals occur with the gold and cobalt. Concentrations of other metals range from parts per million (ppm) up to percent levels (%). Grams per tonne (g/t) and parts per million (ppm) are equivalent – gold and silver tend to be reported in g/t, and many other rare elements as ppm.

With more than 50,000 individual drill and rock chip samples, with assays on generally 50 individual elements, that Mawson has obtained over many years, it is can be easily demonstrated that uranium is not of economic interest at Rajapalot. Finnish bedrock is naturally slightly enriched in uranium (see map below sourced from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Radiation-and-Health/Naturally-Occurring-Radioactive-Materials-NORM/. At Rajapalot, the average uranium grades (7.4 ppm) in the resource are lower than the average content of many Finnish granites around Helsinki.

To put it all into hard numbers. The average grade of the 2020 unconstrained inferred mineral resource at Rajapalot is approximately 1.6 g/t gold, 480 ppm Co, and 7.4 ppm U (cutoff grade of 0.3 g/t AuEq). At the current prices (all as US dollars, March 2021), gold is valued at $54 per gram ($1700 per ounce), cobalt $0.0528 per gram ($52,790 per tonne) and uranium is $0.0523 per gram ($28 per pound quoted as U3O8 – equivalent to $23.74 per pound U). Therefore, if we look at the insitu value “in the ground”, we multiply the average grade times the price. Gold - $54 per gram x 1.6 g/t = $86.40 per tonne; cobalt - $0.0528 per gram x 480 ppm = $25.34 per tonne; uranium $0.0523 per gram x 7.4 ppm = $0.39 per tonne. Clearly, uranium does not form any economic interest at Rajapalot and is worth less than one third of one percent of the insitu value of gold and cobalt combined.

The company believes in transparency in all aspects of its work and always shares and discusses information related to the company's exploration permits with all stakeholders. All results are reported in public domain.

Mawson is a foreign company, who finances your activities and where does all the money go?

Finland has a strong national mineral policy and the Finnish minerals cluster employs 87,400 people. The industry is one of the mainstays of the Finnish economy, yet Finland today is a net importer of metals. The country aims to be globally competitive and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

Even though Finland has vast resource potential, like most smaller economies, it is unable to fund the exploration and development of its abundant land and natural resources through domestic savings alone.

The funding of Mawson, which specializes in the high risk/high reward business of exploration, is suitable to a small group of global specialized investors who understand the risk-return profile that a company like Mawson presents. To date, Mawson has spent almost €30 M at Rajapalot, and will not earn a cent unless the project develops into a mine. This is of course not certain, but even if it does, it could be 7 years away. Investors generally make money in junior exploration companies when a discovery is made, or as the project is de-risked through drilling to learn more about the mineral deposit the exploration company has found. Further reduction in risk for the value of the project may occur as permits for development are put in place. These “pre-mining” higher-risk stages are costly and funded by the investors of Mawson Gold Ltd, but critically all support the local economy.

All Mawson OY’s management is Finnish and we have Noora Ahola, a Finn with an environmental background who sits on the Board of Directors of the parent company, Mawson Gold Limited.

Do all the profits of the company go out of country? How much money do you make?

Approximately 100% of exploration money spent by Mawson remains in Finland. Geology and exploration jobs cannot be exported and importantly, Mawson creates an option for Finland's growth and well-being. Knowledge is accumulated by Mawson's research in Finland and remains for future generations. Should a mine be found by Mawson, economic studies suggest that 90% of mining investments stay in Finland as part of a mine's life cycle. Clearly foreign direct investments in Finland create local wealth for generations to benefit.

Money invested into the Company is mainly used in Finland -- employees are Finnish taxpayers and all the possible services and purchases are made from the locals or from the region. So far the company has spent approximately €30M in the Ylitornio and Rovaniemi municipalities and Finland.

What's the co-operation with local people like?

Neighbouring village associations to Mawson's project and the local Ylitornio and Rovaniemi municipalities have demonstrated long term and strong support for Mawson's exploration work.

The Company organizes public events for the locals, and maintains regular contact with many of them. The co-operation has been very transparent, spontaneous and interactive.

Some of your exploration activities are located in Natura 2000 protection areas. How do you make sure that the natural values are not harmed?

Approximately 18% of our exploration permits are located inside Natura 2000 areas. Finland has very strict Environmental legislation. Working even partially inside Natura 2000 means that in addition to Mining and Environmental legislation, both EU regulation and EU's Habitat and Birds Directives apply and steer all our practices. At the moment we are working in Mustiaapa-Kaattasjärvi Natura 2000 area. All planned exploration activities and their impacts in different nature values areas are assessed before permitting can take place. Permitting process involves all crucial authorities, landowners and stakeholder groups.

In all that Mawson does, the Company aims to prevent negative impacts of its work programs on the natural environment. Implementation of research programs are always carefully planned and mitigation measures incorporated at each step. Below are some examples how Mawson is preventing and mitigating negative impacts on nature values in Natura 2000 areas:

  • No drilling or any other machinery sampling around bird or otter nesting periods (meaning spring and summer months);
  • Deep drilling is implemented only during winter months when there is sufficient amount of snow and ice to cover and protect the vegetation and habitat types;
  • All drill cuttings (soija) are collected and removed from the area to prevent any damage to vegetation;
  • Planning of tracks and sampling sites is done with special care and attention to confirm that all the sensitive areas can be avoided;
  • Tracks and sampling sites are located so that vulnerable habitats and threatened species are secured;
  • Reusing the same drill pads where ever possible to minimize the need for movements;
  • Using quiet 4-stroke snowmobiles for moving in the area;
  • Using biodegradable lubricants and oils:
  • Absorbent matting is used under all mechanical equipment.
  • Species, vegetation and habitat inventories are always completed as a part of the exploration planning and locating of sampling sites. All exploration activities are planned to ensure that no threats occur to species and habitats.
  • Vegetation monitoring sites have been established for tracks and drilling sites to monitor potential impacts.
  • An extensive ground and surface baseline water study has been completed. An ongoing monitoring program for surface and ground waters is planned for approximately 30 different sites. These monitoring sites are located in natural waterways¸ however there are also few wells included in the program. All changes are easy to monitor because of the extensive baseline survey.
  • The Company uses new techniques and modern environmentally friendly drill rigs and equipment which are developing all the time. Mawson works with the contractors and manufacturers to design systems that minimise the impacts of exploration.

Can you open a mine in a Natura 2000 area?

Yes, there are a number of mining operations in Europe that have been opened in Natura 2000 areas.

Certain areas of the Rompas-Rajapalot areas (namely claim Kairamaat 2-3, Uusi Rumavuoma and Rompas) are defined as EU Natura 2000 designated areas. Natura 2000 sites cover about 14.6% of Finland and over 30% of Northern Finland. Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature and biodiversity policy. It is an EU-wide ecological network of nearly 27,800 sites in the 27 EU countries, established under the 1992 Habitats Directive. In total, these sites cover a substantial area; almost a fifth of Europe’s land area and nearly 10% of the surrounding seas. This makes it the largest coordinated network of conservation areas anywhere in the world.

The aim of the 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. Whereas the network will certainly include nature reserves, most of the land is likely to continue to be privately-owned and the emphasis will be on ensuring that future management is sustainable, both ecologically and economically.

In 2014 the Finnish Government updated the Guide to Exploration in protected areas, the Sámi homeland and the reindeer managing area.

On 04 October 2010 the EU published a guidance document and related press release for new guidelines to clarify rules for extractive industries working in Natura 2000 areas.

In 2010 Euromines (http://www.euromines.org/) published "Natura 2000: A Guide to the Guide" as an Industry Commentary to the European Commission Guidance on Non-energy mineral extraction and Natura 2000. For more information follow this link.

In 2019, the EU published Case Studies for Non-Energy Mineral Extraction in Relation to Natura 2000 .

How many people do you employ? How many people could you employ if the project advances to mining?

In Finland, Mawson has a permanent workforce of 10-15 people during summer. During the main winter drill season, with contractors we employ up to 70 people directly on our exploration project.

As described earlier, at this stage it is too early to say whether a mine will exist at Rajapalot in the future. However mining can have a large and positive impact on a local community. The Kittilä mine, Europe’s largest gold mine, operated by Agnico Eagle and located 150km north of Rajapalot contributes to the social and economic development in northern Finland in many ways. It is one of the largest employers in Lapland, employing more than 800 permanent employees and subcontractors’ employees. Over 50% of the employees of the mine live in Kittilä with their families, with more than 90% of the personnel hailing from Lapland.

In accordance with Agnico Eagle’s Sustainable Development Policy, the Kittilä mine strives to purchase all the services and products it needs as near as possible to the mine site location. On average, the Kittilä mine purchases about 27% of all materials and supplies locally for a value of about Euro 47.7 million annually. The goal is to foster the development of the community and boost local businesses.

Have you found any gold?

Yes. Rajapalot is developing into a significant gold and cobalt resource for Finland. An open pit and underground constrained Inferred Mineral Resource was estimated in September 2020 at 9.0 million tonnes @ 2.1 g/t gold (“Au”), 570 ppm cobalt (“Co”), which equates to 2.5 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq”) for 600,000 ounces (“oz”) Au or 716,000 oz AuEq. The AuEq value was calculated using the following formula: AuEq g/t = Au g/t + (Co ppm/1430) and using a gold price of US$1,694 per ounce and a cobalt price of US$17.28/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 three resource areas: Raja, “Palokas” (incorporating both and Palokas and South Palokas) and Rumajärvi.

What other minerals are there in your exploration areas?

Gold and cobalt are the economic minerals of interest.

How much cobalt is there and how important is it?

Cobalt forms 10-15% insitu value of the Rajapalot resource. 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. 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.

Where can I find more information?

If you cannot find the information on this website feel free to write to us at info@mawsongold.com or contact one of our staff members whose details are located at https://mawsongold.com/contact/contact-us.