Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR)

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR)


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Thor Mining PLC RNS Release

QUARTERLY REPORT OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2018


RNS Number : 5550O
Thor Mining PLC
30 January 2019
 

30 January 2019

 

THOR MINING PLC

("THOR" OR THE "COMPANY")

QUARTERLY REPORT OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2018

 

Highlights

Outlook for March Quarter 2019

 

TUNGSTEN & MULTI COMMODITIES



 

Molyhil, NT Australia

·     Appointment of Corporate Advisors to assist with project funding opportunities.

·     Maiden resource estimate for Bonya copper deposit.

 

 

·  Marketing activities to lock in off-take agreements for both tungsten and molybdenum concentrates.

·  Discussions with potential project financiers.

·  Drilling approval for Bonya deposits.

 

Pilot Mountain, Nevada USA

·     Resource estimate upgrade for Desert Scheelite increases tungsten by 6.5% and includes zinc.

 

 

·    Stage 2 of metallurgical testwork.

·    Environmental and Infrastructure studies

 

 

COPPER

Kapunda, SA Australia

·     Proof of concept demonstrated for Kapunda Insitu Recovery.

 

 

 

·      Preparation for field pump testing.

 

 

CORPORATE & FINANCE

·    Exercise of warrants during the quarter raises UK£581,000 (approx A$1,035,000)

·    Cash position remains sound with forecast activities fully financed until late 2019.

 

Commenting, Mr Mick Billing, Executive Chairman of Thor Mining, said:

 

"A positive quarter with progress on all core projects, and a strengthened cash position."

"The appointment  of corporate advisors to support and guide our efforts towards off-take & financing for Molyhil is a strategy we believe will improve our prospects of securing the best arrangement possible for our shareholders."

"A number of potential scenarios are possible with various interested parties, and we hope to be in a position to advise progress shortly."

"Additionally, the potential of nearby Bonya tenements, hosting tungsten, copper, and vanadium, provides potential upside for Molyhil, and also for other stand-alone development opportunities."

"The improvement in the Pilot Mountain resource estimate is an additional welcome boost as we advance our technical studies."

"Proof of Concept for ISR recovery for the Kapunda copper project is a significant critical step in this very exciting project."

 "We will continue to provide investors with regular updates in respect of activities and progress."

 

TUNGSTEN PROJECTS

Tungsten and Molybdenum Price Trends

At the date of this report, the price of tungsten, per mtu of APT (Ammonium Para Tungstate) was US$262.50/mtu, while the molybdenum price has sits at US$11.25/lb. 

Industry discussion continues to forecast  tight supply conditions for tungsten concentrates and downstream products, with dominant supplier, China, enforcing improved environmental standards, and restricting the issue of new mine production licences.  In addition, suggestions for molybdenum are for supply constraints for several years, and a number of potential molybdenum off-take partners have indicated a willingness to discuss fixed price purchasing agreements.

 

MOLYHIL TUNGSTEN PROJECT - NT (100% Thor)

During the quarter, Thor advised the appointment of London based Argent Partners to provide corporate advice aimed at optimising outcomes from financing the Molyhil project.

Various potential partners have expressed interest, and it is hoped that an acceptable arrangement can be finalised in the near term.

Earlier in the year, the Company also announced details of an updated Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) with attractive commercial outcomes.

Adjacent to Molyhil, the Bonya tenements, which Thor acquired an interest in earlier in the year, host outcropping tungsten deposits, a copper resource and a vanadium deposit, which is under evaluation.

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

 

Bonya (Tungsten, Copper, Vanadium)

Thor completed the acquisition of an interest in the Bonya licence area close to Molyhil during the September 2018 quarter.    An initial drilling program is an important next step in assessing the tungsten deposits which directors believe, should add to both the life and the scale of Molyhil. Regulatory and traditional owner heritage clearance work to this end is in process, and an initial drilling program is expected to commence during the March 2019 quarter.

During the quarter Thor announced a maiden resource estimate for the Bonya copper deposit of 230,000 tonnes, grading 2.0% Copper (Cu), containing 4,600 tonnes of copper.

 

Table A: Bonya Copper Inferred Resource Estimate - Announced 26 November 2018

BONYA COPPER

Resource

000t

Grade %

Contained metal (t)

Inferred

Oxidised

20

1.0

200


Fresh

210

2.0

4,400


Sub-Total

230

2.0

4,600

Note:

·      40% owned by Thor Mining Plc

·      The Company is not aware of any changes which could affect this resource estimate

 

The Company has commissioned an independent geologist to conduct an assessment of the Jervois vanadium deposits, and we await the results of that assessment.  Vanadium prices eased during the quarter from very high levels, however it is currently quoted at US$78/kg in Ferro-vanadium, around twice the five year average.

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.

During the quarter, the Company released an update to the resource estimate for the Desert Scheelite deposit which has increased the contained tungsten by 6.5% and, for the first time, includes attractive zinc levels.

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.

 

Table B: Pilot Mountain Resource Summary 2018  - Announced 13 December 2018


Resource   

WO3

Ag

Cu

Zn



MT

Grade

%

Contained metal (t)

Grade

g/t

Contained metal (t)

Grade

%

Contained metal (t)

Grade

%

Contained metal (t)

Garnet

Indicated


-

-







Inferred

1.83

0.36

6,590








Sub Total

1.83

0.36

6,590







Desert Scheelite

Indicated

9.01

0.26

23,400

20.73

187

0.15

13,200

0.41

37,100

Inferred

1.69

0.25

4,300

12.24

21

0.16

2,800

0.19

3,200


Sub Total

10.70

0.26

27,700

19.38

207

0.15

16,000

0.38

40,300

Summary

Indicated

9.01

0.26

23,400







Inferred

3.53

0.31

10,890







Pilot Mountain Total

12.53

0.27

34,290







Note:

·   100% owned by Thor Mining PLC

·   All figures are rounded to reflect appropriate levels of confidence.  Apparent differences may occur due to rounding

·   Cut-off grade 1,500ppm WO₃

·   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.

Metallurgical testwork, conducted in 2013, demonstrated the successful production of saleable concentrates from Pilot Mountain mineralisation.  Further testwork is required to advance this to pre-feasibility study standard, and this next stage of metallurgical testwork is in progress.

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

 

KAPUNDA COPPER PROJECT - SA (Thor earning 45%)

On 1 August 2017 Thor announced an investment in a newly incorporated private Australian company, Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd. ("ECR"), initially via convertible loan notes of up to A$1.8 million, which will be used to fund field test work and feasibility activities at Kapunda over the next 3 years.  In turn ECR 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").

During the quarter, ECR advised that proof of concept for ISR at Kapunda had been established improving the level of confidence in technical aspects of the proposed development from both an environmental and a copper production perspective.

Earlier in the year, 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.

Other near-term activities at Kapunda include continued community liaison in respect of project activities, testwork on historical drill core to determine the optimum extraction agent (lixiviant) most suited to the Kapunda deposit and establishing appropriate parameters for future field trials.

A first stage extraction test on historical core using glycine, a food additive, has been undertaken and outcomes showing copper, and potentially other potentially valuable metals recovered, and recovery rates, are expected shortly. Testwork trialling other potential lixiviants is also proceeding.

 

SPRING HILL GOLD PROJECT - NT (ROYALTY ENTITLEMENT)

In February 2017 Thor completed the A$3.5 million sale of its Spring Hill Gold project¹. The sale transaction carries an ongoing residual royalty of:

·              A$6 per ounce of gold produced from the Spring Hill tenements where the gold produced is sold for up to A$1,500 per ounce; and

·              A$14 per ounce of gold produced from the Spring Hill tenements where the gold produced is sold for amounts over A$1,500 per ounce. 

 No royalties were received during the quarter.

¹Refer ASX and AIM announcement of 29 February 2016

 

INVESTMENTS

Thor holds just over 7.4 million ordinary shares in Hawkstone Mining Limited, an ASX listed company (ASX: HWK) with a 100% Interest in a Lithium project in Arizona, USA.

At the date of writing, Hawkstone shares traded at A$0.018.

 

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 Metallurgy.  Mr 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

Colin Aaronson/

Richard Tonthat/ Ben Roberts

+44 (0) 207 383 5100

 

Grant Thornton UK LLP

 

Nominated Adviser

Nick Emerson

+44 (0) 1483 413 500

SI Capital Ltd

Joint Broker

David Hignell / Rob Rees

+44 (0)20 3861 6625 

Northland Capital Partners Limited

Joint Broker

Tim Blythe/ Camilla Horsfall

+44 (0) 207 138 3222

Blytheweigh

Financial PR

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 60% interest Australian copper development company Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd, which in turn holds rights to earn up to a 75% interest in the mineral rights and claims over the resource4 on the portion of the historic Kapunda copper mine in South Australia recoverable by way of in situ recovery. 

Thor has an interest in Hawkstone Mining Limited, an Australian ASX listed company with a 100% Interest in a Lithium project in Arizona, USA.

Finally, Thor also holds a production royalty entitlement from the Spring Hill Gold project⁵ of:

 

 A$6 per ounce of gold produced from the Spring Hill tenements where the gold produced is sold for up to A$1,500 per ounce; and

 A$14 per ounce of gold produced from the Spring Hill tenements where the gold produced is sold for amounts over A$1,500 per ounce.

 

Notes

¹ Refer ASX and AIM announcement of 23 August 2018

² Refer ASX and AIM announcement of 26 November 2018

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

 Refer AIM and ASX announcement of 12 February 2018

 Refer AIM announcement of 26 February 2016 and ASX announcement of 29 February 2016


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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