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Thor Mining PLC - QUARTERLY REPORT APRIL TO JUNE 2020

RNS Number : 5900U
Thor Mining PLC
30 July 2020
 

30 July 2020

THOR MINING PLC

("THOR" OR THE "COMPANY")

QUARTERLY REPORT APRIL TO JUNE 2020

Highlights

Outlook for September Quarter 2020

 

COPPER

 

Kapunda, SA Australia

·     Further successful borehole pump testing

·     Successfully demonstrated technical feasibility of copper production

·     Conditions indicated for low cost production environment

·     Strong copper price recovery

 

·   Additional borehole hydrogeological testing

·   Large scale column leach testing

·   Gold and geotechnical drilling

·   Site Environmental Lixiviant Test (SELT) preparation

 

 

 

URANIUM & VANADIUM USA

·      Option agreement to acquire Uranium & Vanadium interests in Colorado & Utah USA

·      Field sampling of Colorado prospects show high grade uranium & vanadium

·      Due diligence activities successfully completed 

 

 

·      Complete project acquisition

·      Permitting for drilling

 

 

TUNGSTEN & MULTI COMMODITIES

Molyhil, NT Australia

·  Molyhil granted Major Project Status with NT government

 

 

 

 

·  Ongoing discussions with Australian government agencies mandated to assist Australian critical minerals projects.

·  Continued discussions with potential Molyhil project financiers and off-take partners.

 

 

Pilot Mountain, Nevada USA

·  Ongoing discussions with various US parties aimed at securing specific investment to progress this project.

 

 

·    Continuing discussions with US parties to secure project investment.

 

 

 

GOLD & OTHER COMMODITIES

Pilbara Gold, WA Australia


 

·  Follow-up ground sampling over areas of gold, nickel, & chromium prospectivity.

 

·      Gold, nickel, & chrome assays from field sampling

·      Drill program planning & permitting

 


CORPORATE & FINANCE

·      Placement raises A$970,000 before expenses

·      A$1.0million Spring Hill gold royalty sale agreement executed.

 

Mr Mick Billing, Executive Chairman, commented:

"A particularly busy period for Thor with significant progress on a variety of projects."

"Our ISR copper investments continue to develop value with excellent outcomes from testwork at Kapunda. We look forward to the next phase of work where we aim to confirm and extend known gold mineralisation, along with field SELT trials for further technical feasibility".

"Our Pilbara gold project is moving forward following easing of COVID19 access restrictions, and we anticipate results from the current phase of work shortly ".

"Our uranium and vanadium venture in the USA is exciting.  We are pleased to have completed due diligence work, and we look forward to completing the acquisition, and proceeding with initial drilling."

COPPER PROJECTS

Copper Price Movements

The global copper price suffered a significant setback with the decline in economic activity following COVID19 onset, then recovered strongly.  At the time of writing, copper is quoted at US$6,400/tonne

KAPUNDA and MOONTA COPPER PROJECTS - SA

Thor holds a 25% equity interest in private Australian company, EnviroCopper Limited ("ECL"), along with rights to acquire a further 5% interest via investment of an additional A$0.4million, of which A$0.1million has been advanced.  In turn ECL has entered into an agreement to earn, in two stages, up to 75% of the rights over metals which may be recovered via in-situ recovery ("ISR") contained in the Kapunda deposit from Australian listed company, Terramin Australia Limited ("Terramin" ASX: "TZN"), and rights to 75% of Moonta copper project comprising the northern portion of exploration licence EL5984 held by Andromeda Metals Limited (ASX:ADN).

Information about EnviroCopper Limited and its projects can be found on the EnviroCopper website:

https://www.envirocopper.com.au/

KAPUNDA

During 2018, the Australian Government Ministry for Science, Jobs and Innovation announced an offer to ECR for research funding of A$2,851,303, over a 30 month period, for the Kapunda In-Situ Copper and Gold Recovery Trial.  Funds from this grant are expected to cover the major portion of costs of the program scheduled for the balance of work in 2020.

During the June 2019 quarter the Company advised of successful gold recovery from Kapunda core, in addition to copper recovery, using a CSIRO developed thiosulphate product, instead of, the more normal, cyanide.  As reported (www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/asx-announcements/20182019/20190403-isr-gold-recovery---proof-of-concept-kapunda-copper-project.pdf), gold has been intersected in a number of holes at Kapunda, within the existing copper resource, and results for 28 surface & drill core samples historically reported to range from 0.6 to 5.54 dwts /ton (approx 0.93 to 8.58 g/t), with best results of 95.1 metres @ 3.06g/t gold from 2.4metres depth.

Hydrogeologic testing

Three holes were drilled south of the Kapunda mine site in late 2019. Their purpose was to establish an array of wells for pump testing to determine aquifer properties, and tracer testing to determine fracture connectivity between wells.

Tracer Test

A tracer test was undertaken with the aim of determining the connectivity of fractures between the two test production bores. The test comprised injection of a sodium bromide tracer into one well 03 and simultaneous extraction of groundwater from 02. Samples were taken every 15 minutes and a selection of samples were analysed for bromide concentration. Breakthrough of the bromide tracer occurs at approximately 150 minutes.

 

Lixiviant Testing

Laboratory work has seen the completion of the first three phases of work:

·      Phase 1 Mineralogical characterisation,

·      Phase 2 Lixiviant system screening

·      Phase 3 Mini column leach test work.

Phase 4, the large particle saturated column leach test work was interrupted by the COVID 19 issue but work has resumed. Samples from the previous drilling program will be run through standard column leach procedures. The first drill chip samples chosen (not considered optimal) were run initially to fine tune the procedure but still showed reasonable recovery grades with a peak grade around 800 mg/l

 

Initial Metal Recovery Testing

As part of the next stage of the project, initial scoping studies were carried out to see if any significant issues (chemical or physical) may exclude a particular method of copper production. Each of these processes, Ion Exchange, Cementation, and Electro Winning, demonstrated successful copper recovery.

 

Moonta

During the September 2019 quarter the Company advised that EnviroCopper Limited, on behalf of Environmental Metals Recovery, had completed a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) on several of the deposits at Moonta, based on substantial historical drilling.  The results of this study was an Inferred Resource estimate of 66.1 million tonnes (MT) grading 0.17% copper (Cu), containing 114,000 tonnes of contained copper, at a cutoff grade of 0.05%Cu.

The full details of the resource announcement may be accessed via the following link:

https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190815/pdf/447hw9dbbkg94b.pdf 

The Company is not aware of any new information or data which would materially affect the Mineral Resource, and all assumptions and key technical parameters relevant to the estimate remain unchanged. 

TUNGSTEN PROJECTS

Tungsten and Molybdenum Price Trends

During March and April, global tungsten and molybdenum prices dipped in response to weaker manufacturing and infrastructure demand, brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the date of this report, the price of tungsten, per mtu of APT (Ammonium Para Tungstate) sits between US$195/mtu and US$205/mtu, while the molybdenum price sits at US$7.07/lb. 

Industry discussion continues to forecast tight supply conditions for tungsten concentrates and downstream products, with dominant global supplier, China, enforcing improved environmental standards, and restricting the issue of new mine production licences .  This implies a recovery in tungsten pricing when the global economy commences an upturn.

 

MOLYHIL TUNGSTEN PROJECT - NT (100% Thor)

During the quarter, Thor continued discussions with various potential partners who have expressed interest, in either off-take, joint venture or debt finance arrangements.  It is hoped that, on the back of improved global markets, a favourable arrangement can be finalised in the near term.

Adjacent to Molyhil, the Bonya tenements, in which Thor holds a 40% interest, host outcropping tungsten deposits, a copper resource and a vanadium deposit.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter the Northern Territory government announced that the Molyhil project had been awarded Major Project Status.

A full background on the project is available on the Thor Mining website www.thormining.com/projects.

During the December quarter, on 10 October 2019, the Company reported an updated Mineral resource estimate for the Molyhil deposit comprising Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources of 4.7 million tonnes at 0.28% WO₃ (Tungsten trioxide), 0.14% Mo (Molybdenum), 0.05% Cu (Copper), and 18.0% Fe (Iron) above a cut-off grade of 0.12% WO equivalent.

The revised resource estimate increased contained WO₃ by 1.5%, and contained Mo by 9.3% compared with the previous estimate, and includes copper, which had not previously been reported since 2006.

An update to the Open Cut Ore Reserve, and the Definitive feasibility Study (DFS) has not been commissioned at this stage, however the directors may elect to revisit these with any improvement in the Bonya deposits resources classification beyond Inferred status.

Table A: Molyhil Summary JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimate - Reported 10 October, 2019

Classification

'000

Tonnes

WO3

Mo

Cu

Fe


Grade %

Tonnes

Grade %

Tonnes

Grade %

Tonnes

Grade %

Indicated

3,780

0.29

11,000

0.14

5,400

0.05

1,800

18.7

Inferred

930

0.25

2,300

0.15

1,400

0.04

300

15.2

Total

4,710

0.28

13,300

0.14

6,800

0.05

2,200

18.0

Notes:

· Thor Mining PLC holds 100% equity interest in this project.

· The Mineral Resource is reported at 0.12% WO3 equivalent cut-off and above 200mRL only on a dry, in-situ basis

· The Company is not aware of any information or data which would materially affect the Mineral Resource, and all assumptions and key technical parameters relevant to the previous estimate remain unchanged.

 

Details of the resource announcement may be accessed via the following link:

https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20191011/pdf/449d2szw7y7hzy.pdf 

The Company is in discussion with several Australian Commonwealth government agencies each of which are mandated to assist companies with projects to develop and produce critical minerals, which includes tungsten.  These agencies include; Export Finance Australia, Defence Export Facility, Critical Minerals Facilitation Office and the North Australian Infrastructure Facility. Further announcements will be made as appropriate.

 

Bonya (Tungsten, Copper, Vanadium) (40% Thor)

During the quarter, after a December quarter RC drilling program the Joint Venture was able to report a maiden resource estimate for the White Violet and Samarkand deposits on 29 January 2020.

https://www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/asx-announcements/20200129-mineral-resource-estimates---bonya-tungsten--copper.pdf 

The updated Mineral Resource Inventory for Bonya licence to date is shown in Table B and Table C below:

Table B: Bonya Tungsten Mineral Resources (announced 29 January 2020)



Oxidation

Tonnes

WO3

Cu





%

Tonnes

%

Tonnes

White Violet

Inferred

Oxide

25,000

0.41

90

0.16

40


Fresh

470,000

0.21

980

0.06

260

Sub Total


495,000

0.22

1,070

0.06

300

Samarkand

Inferred

Oxide

25,000

0.11

30

0.07

20


220,000

0.20

430

0.13

290

Sub Total


245,000

0.19

460

0.13

310

Combined

Inferred

Oxide

50,000

0.26

120

0.14

60


690,000

0.21

1,410

0.08

550

Total


740,000

0.21

1,530

0.09

610

Notes:

·      0.05% WO3 cut-off grade.

·      Totals may differ from the addition of columns due to rounding.

·      Thor Mining PLC holds 40% equity interest in this project.

·      The Company is not aware of any information or data which would materially affect this previously announced resource estimate, and all assumptions and technical parameters relevant to the estimate remain unchanged.

Table C: Bonya Copper Mineral Resources (announced 26 November 2018)


Oxidation

Tonnes

Copper




%

Tonnes

Inferred

Oxide

25,000

1.0

200

Fresh

210,000

2.0

4,400

Total


230,000

2.0

4,600

Notes:

·      0.2% Cu cut-off grade.

·      Totals may differ from the addition of columns due to rounding.

·      Thor Mining PLC holds 40% equity interest in this project 

·      The Company is not aware of any information or data which would materially affect this previously announced resource estimate, and all assumptions and technical parameters relevant to the estimate remain unchanged.

 

Vanadium

Thor and Arafura Resources released, in July 2019, details of a study outlining the potential of the Jervois Vanadium Project, along with a proposed development plan.  The study details can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190703/pdf/446bv386tvk7fh.pdf

 

PILOT MOUNTAIN TUNGSTEN PROJECT - NEVADA USA (100% Thor)

Thor's Pilot Mountain Project, acquired in 2014, is located approximately 200 kilometres south of the city of Reno and 20 kilometres east of the town of Mina, located on US Highway 95.

The Pilot Mountain Project is comprised of four tungsten deposits: Desert Scheelite, Gunmetal, Garnet and Good Hope.  All of these deposits are in close proximity (~three kilometres) to each other and have been subjected to small-scale mining activities at various times during the 20th century.

A full background on the project is available on the Thor Mining website www.thormining.com/projects. 

The directors believe Pilot Mountain's resource is substantial on a global scale, and has potential for significant growth, in particular from the discovery in the August 2017 drilling program of an additional parallel zone of scheelite mineralisation at the Desert Scheelite deposit (Figure 6.). 

The directors believe that the Desert Scheelite resource, which outcrops at surface at the western end for more than 400 metres, has potential to develop into a long term open pit mining operation which, when supplemented by higher grade mineralisation from the other deposits at Pilot Mountain, has the potential for a longer term profitable operation.

This significant tungsten resource is strategically located in the USA and tungsten has been confirmed by the US Department of the Interior as a critical mineral in 2018.

Locked cycle testwork on material from the Desert Scheelite deposit, was completed during the June 2019 quarter, resulting in production of a high grade scheelite concentrate grading 68% WO₃ with recovery of 73.6%. 

Environmental study parameters are being established with relevant agencies, and Infrastructure studies have also commenced.

 

 

 

GOLD AND NICKEL PROJECTS

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company conducted follow up soil and stream sediment sampling conducted on the Pilbara Gold licences, in Western Australia.

Samples were collected from sites upstream from, or adjacent to sites, previously sampled which showed gold mineralisation from panning and/or in assay.  Assay results are expected in early August 2020.  Previously released results can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/asx-announcements/20200117-asx-pilbara-gold-reconn-assays.pdf 

On receipt of assays from these samples, the Company hopes to be in a position to plan and permit a maiden drill program.

 

URANIUM AND VANADIUM PROJECTS

During the quarter, the Company announced the acquisition, subject to successful due diligence, of American Vanadium Pty Ltd, an Australian private company holding mineral claims in Colorado and Utah, USA.  A copy of the announcement may be accessed via the following link:

 www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/asx-announcements/20200601-us-uranium-project-acquisition-and-placement.pdf 

Due diligence activities are now complete, and the Company and the vendors hope to be able to execute final sale documents shortly.

The claims held, host uranium and vanadium mineralisation in an area known as the Uravan Mineral Belt, which has a history of high grade uranium and vanadium production.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company announced receipt of assays showing high grade uranium and vanadium from samples collected during the due diligence period. 

Highlights from samples identified as potentially vanadium rich:

 www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/asx-announcements/20200708-us-uranium.vanadium-sampling-assays.pdf 

·    The eight initial assay results averaged 1.0% V2O5 and 0.043% U3O8.

·    Two outcrop samples from the Rim Rock mine were 1.8% and 2.0% V2O5.

Highlights from samples identified as potentially uranium rich:

www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/asx-announcements/20200721-high-grade-uranium-assays.colorado-field-sampling.pdf 

·    The 13 assay results averaged 0.706% U3O8 and 1.36% V2O5.

·    Four samples assayed 1.0% U3O8 or greater with a best uranium assay of 1.25% U3O8

·    Three samples assayed over 2% V2O5 with a best vanadium assay of 3.47% V2O5

 

SPRING HILL GOLD PROJECT - NT (ROYALTY ENTITLEMENT)

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company announced the A$1.0million sale of its royalty entitlement from the Spring Hill gold project in the Northern Territory.   The sale, conditional upon approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), provides for receipt of A$400,000 on completion (A$50,000 received), followed by two production milestone payments of A$300,000 each.

 www.thormining.com/sites/thormining/media/pdf/ASX-Announcements/20200715-a1.0-million-sale-of-spring-hill-royalty.pdf 

CORPORATE & FINANCE

During the quarter, the Company announced a placement of A$970,000 via the issue of 194,000,000 ordinary shares at an issue price of A$0.005/share. 

The placement included A$250,000 to the Company's largest shareholder, Metal Tiger PLC, and A$20,000 to directors Mick Billing and Richard Bradey.  These funds were received and shares issued following shareholder approval subsequent to the end of the quarter.

 

Competent Person's Report

The information in this report that relates to exploration results, and exploration targets, is based on information compiled by Richard Bradey, who is a Member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and MetallurgyMr Bradey is an employee of Thor Mining PLC.  He has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'.  Richard Bradey consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

Enquiries:

Mick Billing

+61 (8) 7324 1935

Thor Mining PLC

Executive Chairman

Ray Ridge

+61 (8) 7324 1935

Thor Mining PLC

CFO/Company Secretary

Samantha Harrison/

Niall McDonald

+44 (0) 207 383 5100

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Nominated Adviser

Nick Emerson

 

+44 (0) 1483 413 500

SI Capital Ltd

 

Broker

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

 

Updates on the Company's activities are regularly posted on Thor's website www.thormining.com, which includes a facility to register to receive these updates by email, and on the Company's twitter page @ThorMining.

 

About Thor Mining PLC

Thor Mining PLC (AIM, ASX: THR) is a resources company quoted on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange and on ASX in Australia.

Thor holds 100% of the advanced Molyhil tungsten project in the Northern Territory of Australia, for which an updated feasibility study in August 2018¹ suggested attractive returns.

Adjacent Molyhil, at Bonya, Thor holds a 40% interest in deposits of tungsten, copper, and vanadium, including an Inferred resource for the Bonya copper deposit².

Thor also holds 100% of the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada USA which has a JORC 2012 Indicated and Inferred Resources Estimate³ on 2 of the 4 known deposits.  The US Department of the Interior has confirmed that tungsten, the primary resource mineral at Pilot Mountain, has been included in the final list of Critical Minerals 2018.

Thor is also acquiring up to a 30% interest Australian copper development company EnviroCopper Limited, which in turn holds rights to earn up to a 75% interest in the mineral rights and claims over the resource on the portion of the historic Kapunda copper mine in South Australia recoverable by way of in situ recovery⁴, and also holds rights to earn a 75% interest in portion of the Moonta Copper project also in South Australia, and is considered amenable to recovery by way of in situ recovery⁵. 

Notes

¹ Refer ASX and AIM announcement of 23 August 2018

² Refer ASX and AIM announcements of 26 November 2018 and 29 January 2020

³ Refer AIM announcement of 13 December 2018 and ASX announcement of 14 December 2018

 Refer AIM announcement of 10 February 2018 and ASX announcement of 12 February 2018

Refer ASX and AIM announcement of 15 August 2019

 

TENEMENT SCHEDULE

At 31 March 2020, the consolidated entity holds an interest in the following Australian tenements:

Project

Tenement

Area kms2

Area ha.

Holder

Company Interest

Molyhil

EL22349

228.10


100%

Molyhil

EL31130

9.51

 

100%

Molyhil

EL31443

31.66

 

100%

Molyhil

ML23825


95.92

100%

Molyhil

ML24429


91.12

100%

Molyhil

ML25721


56.2

100%

Molyhil

AA29732

 

38.6

100%

Molyhil

MLS77


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS78


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS79


8.09

100%

Molyhil

MLS80


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS81


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS82


8.09

100%

Molyhil

MLS83


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS84


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS85


16.18

100%

Molyhil

MLS86


8.05

100%

Bonya

EL29701

204.5

 

40%

Bonya

EL32167

74.54

 

40%

Panorama

E46/1190

35.03

 

100%

Ragged Range

E46/1262

57.3

 

100%

Tramore South

E52/3681

62.77

 

100%

March Fly

EL 32016

110.44

 

100%

Hillside

E45/5245

188.1

 

100%

 

At 31 March 2020, the consolidated entity holds an interest in the following tenements in the US State of Nevada:

Claim Group

Prospect

Claim Number

Area

Holders

Company Interest

Platoro

Desert Scheelite

NT #55 - 64

45 blocks (611ha or 1,510 acres)


100%

Garnet

NT #9 - 18

 

Pilot Metals Inc

Gunmetal

NT #19 - 22, 6, 7


Good Hope

NT #1 - 5, 41 - 54


BFM 1

Black Fire Claims

BFM1 - BFM109

109 blocks (1,481ha or 3,660 acres)

BFM Resources Inc

100%

BFM 2

Des Scheel East

BFM109 - BFM131

22blocks (299ha or 739Acre)

BFM Resources Inc

100%

Dunham Mill

Dunham Mill

MS1 - MS4

4 blocks

BFM Resources Inc

100%

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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