THOR MINING TO FOCUS ENTIRELY ON STRATEGIC TUNGSTEN AND COPPER INTERESTS
The Board of Thor Mining Plc (“Thor” or the “Company”) (AIM, ASX: THR), is pleased to provide an update to shareholders in respect of the strategic direction and focus of the Company going forward.
Following the Company’s Financing and Strategic Update released on 20 October 2017 the Company has released highly positive progress updates across the three key business interests as summarised below.
In light of the substantial progress made in recent months, the Board of Thor Mining has undertaken a strategic business review, further details of which are provided below.
§ Molyhil tungsten/molybdenum project (Australia) sees an enhanced ore reserve statement and potential for underground mining extension released January 2018;
§ Pilot Mountain tungsten/silver/copper project (Nevada, USA) sees commencement of scoping study in February 2018, and metallurgical testwork required for Pre-Feasibility studies, following positive internal assessment work;
§ Kapunda copper project (Australia) sees publication of substantial inferred insitu leachable copper resource in February 2018;
§ Tungsten resource sector experiencing considerable strengthening during 2017 and Q1 2018 to date (global APT tungsten prices at its highest since December 2014) , with increasing third party interest demonstrated in the Company’s tungsten portfolio;
§ US Department of the Interior lists tungsten as a critical commodity for the United States in February 2018, increasing the strategic significance of Pilot Mountain in the United States, where there are no domestic tungsten mining operations;
§ Board of Thor Mining plc reviews the strategic direction of the Company in February/March 2018 and determines that the Company should entirely focus its financial and management resources on the rapid commercialisation of the three key tungsten and copper interests and only new opportunities related thereto;
§ Thor Mining has circa £1.6m cash at bank at the date of this announcement and sufficient working capital to undertake and fund planned activities until well into 2019.
Mr Mick Billing, Executive Chairman of Thor commented: “It is the view of the board that the time has come to absolutely focus our efforts on Pilot Mountain, Molyhil and Kapunda. The recently published progress achieved in respect of each project has been considerable and we are of the view that the best outcome for shareholders will be achieved from the absolute concentration on our core interests each of which is in the Board’s view capable of delivering company transforming outcomes.”
“The Company has access to numerous additional opportunities including precious and strategic metals projects, and in the event of an opportunity considered truly outstanding its value will not be disregarded. The Company will consider transferring such new opportunities into a separate unit from which value can be extracted but which will not draw materially upon the Company’s financial resources or its management time resource. “
“Our main business investment decisions will be strictly focused on the Pilot Mountain, Molyhil and Kapunda projects and any directly related and compatible developments from a geographic, commodity and strategic perspective.”
“We are keen to further communicate our story to a diverse audience including institutional investors and will be revising our marketing approach to achieve this including website enhancement and the provision of institutional research reporting covering the company.”
“Of particular importance is the continuing engagement with third parties keen to consider strategically significant tungsten and copper opportunities. Through sale, joint venture and offtake agreements, companies such as Thor can revolutionise their business model and secure greater market recognition and a valuation that reflects the inherent value of their business. That is now our absolute focus at Thor Mining.”
“Further news will follow across our business in what is increasingly an exciting period for the Company. Make no mistake there is plenty of work still to do, however with a fair wind and robust commodity markets we are exceptionally well positioned.”
On 20 October 2017 Thor Mining released an announcement providing a strategic update for shareholders a link to which is provided below:
That strategic update outlined the intention of the Company to move the business interests down a commercialisation pathway, whilst also continuing to review and potentially undertake high impact exploration opportunities.
Since that announcement the Company has seen considerable progress being achieved in respect of the key business interests and a brief summary of that progress is provided below. The progress achieved so rapidly in the last 4 months has led the Board of the Company to look carefully at the strategic direction of the Company to ensure we maximise the potential business growth and generation of real tangible returns for shareholders.
PROJECT REVIEW – DEVELOPMENTS SINCE OCTOBER 2017
Molyhil Project (Tungsten/Molybdenum – Northern Territory, Australia – 100% Thor Mining interest)
Following extensive preparatory work on ore sorting the Company published an open cut reserve statement which demonstrated a Probable Reserve of 3,500,000 million tonnes of ore and 10,200 tonnes of tungsten trioxide at 0.29% with 4,300 tonnes of Molybdenum at 0.12%. A copy of the market announcement in respect of this reserve statement released on 15 January 2018 can be found below:
This reserve increase improved the mine economics considerably and extended the current mine life to circa 7 years. Of even more significance however is that the technical review demonstrated the potential for underground mining which has not to date been included in mine planning activities and which, if successfully proven viable, would substantially increase the mine life and mine economics.
An upgraded Definitive Feasibility Study is now under preparation which will draw together the work undertaken to date and look more closely at the fresh and highly positive findings of late.
Pilot Mountain (Tungsten/Silver/Copper – Nevada, United States – 100% Thor Mining interest)
On 22 May 2017 the Company released an announcement demonstrating a 55% increased in the JORC compliant resource at Pilot Mountain. A link to this news release is provided below:
The resource calculation included 32,720 tonnes of tungsten trioxide, 192 tonnes of sliver and 14,300 tonnes of copper and of note, since that resource calculation the Company’s Pilot Mountain drilling work has identified further tungsten, silver and copper mineralisation that has not been incorporated into the resource calculation to date. In addition, it is evident that the resource calculation represents only a portion of the mineralised areas at Pilot Mountain and there is considerable scope for a significant increase in the demonstrated resource.
Since our October strategic statement the Company has been drawing together the findings of the exploration and project development work undertaken to date. Our aim has been to assess thoroughly the potential of the project to move into the preparatory stages for mine development.
Our internal findings have strongly supported the decision to launch the next stage of project development, which is a scoping study to provide high level operating and development parameters. A link to the 28 February 2018 announcement confirming the commissioning of this study is provided below:
Without question an additional factor which supports the Pilot Mountain project is the inclusion of tungsten on the list of critical minerals by the United States Department of the Interior. Further information on this development is provided through our market announcement of 21 February 2018 as link to which is provided below:
Kapunda Project (Copper – South Australia – Thor Mining right to earn into 45% effective interest)
On 2 August 2017 the Company announced a new corporate transaction to earn into a 45% effective interest in the Kapunda Copper Project in South Australia. A link to the announcement is provided below:
Thereafter on 13 September 2017 the Company published a Kapunda Project Development Assessment Plan detailing the steps planned to move the project, and the Company’s investment therein, forward. The link to that announcement is provided below:
A key stage in the assessment of the project was the production of the leachable copper resource, the study for which was commissioned by Thor in Q4 2017 and the results of which were announced to the market on 12 February 2018 as below:
The inferred resource confirmed amounted to 119,000 tonnes of copper at 0.25%, which was a size considerably in excess of management expectations. Importantly, this is a insitu leaching project and the grade confirmed is well within acceptable levels for leaching to be a viable commercial option.
The Company is now working with partners to accelerate the next steps for the project given the extremely positive recent findings. Further information is anticipated to be released to the market in respect of this shortly.
About Thor Mining PLC
Thor Mining PLC 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 2015¹ suggested attractive returns. Thor also holds 100% of the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada USA which has a JORC 2012 Indicated Resources Estimate² on 2 of the 4 known deposits.
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 portion of the historic Kapunda copper mine in South Australia recoverable by way of in situ recovery.
Thor also holds a production royalty entitlement from the Spring Hill Gold project³ 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 gold⁴ produced from the Spring Hill tenements where the gold produced is sold for amounts over A$1,500 per ounce.
· ¹ Refer ASX and AIM announcement of 12 January 2015
· ² Refer AIM announcement of 22 May 2017 and ASX announcement of 23 May 2017
· ³ Refer AIM announcement of 26 February 2016 and ASX announcement of 29 February 2016
· ⁴At the date of this announcement gold is trading at approximately A$1,680/oz
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