Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) saw its shares gain today on news it has completed the acquisition of a 25% stake in US Lithium Pty Limited, a private Australian company with interests in lithium-focused projects in Arizona and New Mexico.
In addition to the US$75,000 purchase price, Thor has also contributed A$50,000 to US Lithium to cover the exploration programme, which is now expected to be fully funded for the next three months. The stake purchase was first announced on June 14.
In afternoon trading, Thor shares were up 8%, or 0.08p at 1.0p.
Thor also holds a 45 business-day option agreement, which expires on 30 July 2017, to conduct further due diligence and decide whether it will acquire the remaining 75% of US Lithium through the issue of 52,777,777 Thor ordinary shares, representing a consideration of £475,000.
As part of the due diligence process, Thor said it will be conducting an intensive site inspection to review the projects, and collect additional samples for assay and mineralogy assessment during the last week of July.
In today's statement, Thor's chairman Mick Billing said: "Recent statements by several European motor vehicle manufacturers that they are planning to significantly increase the proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles underpins the growth potential for lithium.
“The acquisition of lithium interests in the United States is particularly exciting for Thor. The lithium projects are well positioned geographically and offer, we believe, significant upside value potential should the work on the ground continue to demonstrate the type of success achieved to date."
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Billing noted that the new acquisition sits well alongside the Company's other interests in the United States, namely the Pilot Mountain project in Nevada, the Company's 100% owned flagship tungsten-silver-copper-zinc project.
US Lithium holds four exploration properties - three in Arizona and one in New Mexico. It's primary asset is the Big Sandy project, which comprises 112 Federal claims each of approximately 20 acres in size.
A 2017 exploration program was concluded with 231 hand dug channel samples, with some promising lithium grades discovered, averaging 786 parts per million (ppm) of lithium with a range of 19 ppm to 2,930 ppm lithium.