The Board of Thor Mining Plc (“Thor” or the “Company”) (AIM, ASX: THR), is pleased to provide an update on the Company’s outlook and strategic priorities for the second half of 2017.
Review of First Half 2017:
During the first half of the calendar year, Thor made significant advances both operationally and financially. Key highlights from the first half include:
· Pilot Mountain tungsten drilling – a successful drilling program completed in early March delivered a 55% increase in the resource inventory;
· Dundas gold drilling – drilling program has been completed, with assays due shortly;
· Spring Hill gold sale completion – A$1.5million received in February, significantly strengthening the Company’s balance sheet, and a royalty stream is expected from the Spring Hill project in the medium term.
· New Projects – June announcement of entry in a Lithium exploration company with projects in Arizona and New Mexico, USA.
Outlook and Strategic Priorities for Second Half 2017:
The second half of the calendar year is expected to be equally eventful with an exciting new drill program scheduled for Pilot Mountain, and the potential acquisition of the residual 75% of US Lithium Pty Limited. Key highlights include:
· Pilot Mountain, Tungsten – drill program scheduled for early August to test the Good Hope deposit, and also some deeper drilling at Desert Scheelite;
· Dundas, Gold – drill assays expected shortly with follow up work dependent upon assay outcomes;
· Big Sandy, Lithium – following the completion of due diligence, should Thor exercise its option to acquire the residual 75% of US Lithium Pty Limited, as is expected, an exploration program will be developed;
· New projects – the Company continues to assess a range of opportunities with a particular focus on copper projects, and we hope to be in a position to advise investors of developments shortly.
Mick Billing, Executive Chairman of Thor: “We are very pleased to have delivered on all forecasted activities for the first half of the year, and the second half, which, following the completion of the conditional placing, will be fully funded, looks equally exciting.
“The Pilot Mountain drilling program at Good Hope and Desert Scheelite, to commence in August, demonstrates our strong belief that Pilot Mountain will become a very significant multi commodity deposit.
“The new exploration licence adjacent Molyhil could deliver additional mineralisation to add critical mass to Molyhil and we look forward to developing exploration plans for this.
“Our business development efforts have led us to a very attractive lithium opportunity. We continue with a particular focus on several attractive copper deposits and we look to providing advice on these assessments at the first appropriate opportunity”
Pilot Mountain Tungsten 2017 Program
· Two diamond drill holes at Desert Scheelite, aimed at extending the 5.7% copper (“Cu”) equivalent at depth
· Up to four RC drill holes at the Good Hope deposit to follow up on historical high grade intersections including 36.5 m @ 0.4% WO₃, 0.25% Cu, and 0.47% Zn.
· Depending upon outcomes of this next program, further drilling will be scheduled.
Thor’s Pilot Mountain Project is located approximately 200 kilometres (“km”) south of the city of Reno and 20km east of the town of Mina located on US Highway 95.
The Pilot Mountain Project comprises four tungsten deposits: Desert Scheelite, Gunmetal, Garnet and Good Hope. All are in close proximity (~three kms) to each other and have been subjected to small-scale mining activities at various times during the 20th century. Union Carbide acquired the project in 1978, for US$7.0 million (estimated at US$26million – US$40million in 2017 dollars), and conducted detailed exploration and feasibility activities until, following a global downturn in the tungsten industry in the 1980s, they suspended further work.
Link to Figure 1: Desert Scheelite drill intersections viewed in long section looking northwards.
A drill program in 2012 at Desert Scheelite facilitated the estimate and publication of a resource estimate for that deposit, shown in Table1. Importantly, the final hole of the program intersected 17.5 metres @ 1.80% Copper (Cu) plus 2.2% Zinc (Zn) and 32 g/t Silver (Ag), along with 13.5metres of 0.89% tungsten trioxide (WO₃). At current commodity prices (US$2.66/lb Cu, US$1.26/lb Zn, US$16.80/oz Ag, and US$220/mtu WO₃) this delivers an equivalent copper grade of 5.7%.
Good Hope comprises a small inlier (window) of mineralised skarn exposed within an area overlain by younger volcanic rock. The area has been worked to some extent with small scale exploratory shafts, plus trenches & adits but little systematic exploration of basement below the volcanic cover is apparent.
Exposed mineralisation in the exploration trenches and the vertical extent of mineralisation in RDH-2 (highlighted in bold Figure. 2) indicate Good Hope mineralisation is likely to be steeply dipping and similar to the Desert Scheelite deposit rather than the flat lying mineralisation to the west.
Link to Figure 2: Cross section through the Good Hope prospect showing RGH-02 intersection. No assays exist for GH-05 in the historic database.
Table 1: Pilot Mountain Resource Summary 2017 (JORC 2012) – 100% owned by Thor Mining Plc. Announced May21 2017
Dundas Gold 2017 Program
· A 50 hole air core drilling program was completed on the identified gold targets during June 2017.
· Depending upon assay outcomes, follow up drilling will be scheduled later in 2017.
The Dundas gold project is located approximately 100km east-south-east of Norseman in Western Australia. The project is in close proximity to the sealed arterial Eyre Highway, providing all-weather access to the project area. It is also approximately 250km south of the major regional mining centre of Kalgoorlie.
A significant calcrete gold geochemical anomaly identified from infill sampling over two areas, based on previous BHP calcrete data, has been permitted for drilling.
Molyhil Tungsten 2017 Program
· The Company will continue ongoing cost and resource optimisation activities in order that at the first available opportunity we can access development funding to bring Molyhil into production.
· The recently acquired exploration licence adjacent Molyhil is likely to provide the near term focus to add additional critical mass to this project.
The 100% owned Molyhil tungsten project is located 220km north-east of Alice Springs (320km by road) within the prospective polymetallic province of the Proterozoic Eastern Arunta Block in the Northern Territory.
In January 2015, Thor announced an updated feasibility study for its wholly-owned Molyhil tungsten project, with robust outcomes.
The project development cost for Molyhil is estimated at A$64 million, or US$48 million at current exchange rates. Of this, approximately US$10 million is for equipment, for which equipment or leasing finance could be secured, thus reducing the project finance requirement to below US$40 million.
Molyhil has a forecast 12 month construction schedule from development commencement to first production.
New Project Assessment
The existing portfolio of projects is very robust and has substantial development potential; however, the directors are continuing to assess opportunities to acquire interests in several projects which also have potential for substantial near term upside, with copper the preferred commodity.
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.
Competent Person’s Report
The information in this report that relates to exploration results is based on information compiled by Richard Bradey, who holds a BSc in applied geology and an MSc in natural resource management and 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.
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 1 of the 4 known deposits.
In February 2017, Thor completed the sale of its Spring Hill Gold project³ for A$3.5million on receiving A$1.5 for its residual 40% interest in the project. Thor holds, further, a production royalty entitlement 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 ASX and AIM announcement of 29 February 2016
· ⁴ At the date of this announcement gold is trading at approximately A$1,610/oz
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