The directors of Thor Mining Plc (“Thor” or the “Company”) (AIM, ASX: THR) are pleased to advise practical completion of the field component of due diligence for the acquisition of American Vanadium Pty Ltd (AVU).
Which holds interests in uranium and vanadium focussed projects in Colorado and Utah in the United States of America. The Company announced on 1 June 2020 an option agreement to acquire AVU, subject to satisfaction of due diligence requirements.
The non-field component of investigations is nearing completion with finalisation pending assay laboratory results.
· Field sampling is completed from historical mines around the Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain.
· A total of 21 samples collected include four outcrop samples and 16 samples from historic mining dumps, all of which appear to host uranium and, five outcrop samples which appear to host vanadium.
· Samples have been delivered to the assay laboratory, with results expected to be available later this month.
· Inspection of each of the three project sites have revealed no competing interests or issues likely to prevent future mine development.
· Investigations have revealed that there are no regulatory or environmental issues which would cast doubt on the transaction.
· The mineral claims are all in good standing.
· Project data search has revealed abundant geological and mine production data from multiple sources.
Mick Billing, Executive Chairman of Thor Mining, commented:
Our Colorado based team have moved quickly and completed a sampling program from the historical mines around Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain mines, along with other field due diligence activities. Additional historical records of mining and drilling activity in each project area are being acquired, and these will be evaluated as a priority.”
“We are very pleased with, what appears to be high grade samples, and look forward to the assay results, along with the results of the balance of this due diligence work and will provide further updates on progress as they become available.”
On June 1st 2020 the Company advised it had acquired an exclusive option to acquire 100% of the shares in American Vanadium Pty Ltd, a private Australian company, which in turn owns 100% each of the shares in Colorado company Standard Minerals INC (Standard), and Utah company Cisco Minerals INC (Cisco).
A processing plant which has historically taken ore from the region on a toll treatment basis is located near Blanding, within relatively close proximity to the claims held by these companies. Thor have had no contact with the operators of this plant to date, however this may represent a potential low cost entry into production.
Standard holds 199 contiguous Bureau of Land Management (BLM) claims in south west Colorado, and within the Uravan Mineral Belt. The claims include the Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain groups of mines which are reported to have operated during the first world war and again in the second half of the 20th century (USGS Professional paper 300a).
The review team has completed the field phase of the assessment of these claims, sampling outcropping mineralisation and dumps from historical mining activities. Access to historical underground workings has been delayed, pending approval to remove entry barriers erected by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Samples collected contain a mineral identified by the team as carnotite, which hosts both uranium and vanadium. Also collected were samples from outcropping deposits, appearing to contain abundant yellow carnotite mineralisation, containing vanadium, in potentially open pittable terrain. All samples have been delivered to the ALS laboratory in Reno, Nevada, with assay results expected in late June.
The Uravan Mineral Belt and adjacent uranium-vanadium mining districts of the Colorado Plateau are reported to have produced, over the past 100 years, in excess of 85million lbs U3O8 and over 660 million lbs of V2O5 ² from the Salt Wash sandstone formation of the Plateau. The average production grades from the Uravan Mineral Belt from the 1940’s to January 1979 are reported be 0.25% U3O8 and 1.29% V2O5 (Thamm. et al., 1981 b ) Average vanadium to uranium ratios are reported to vary from 0.5 : 1 to 40 : 1.
Cisco holds 100 BLM claims in south east Utah approximately 40km north of the town of Moab. There is reporting of significant uranium and vanadium mineralised body(ies) from drilling activities by Hunt Oil, Mineral Division, in 1980 and 1981, reported by Terra Ventures (TSX-V: TAS) in a report dated May 21 2007.
Thor Mining wishes to reiterate that the Hunt Oil estimate 1980 – 81 does not comply with either the JORC or NI 43-101 guidelines for mineral resource reporting and is therefore not a valid resource estimate. The Hunt Oil estimate does however provide substantial indication of widespread uranium – vanadium mineralisation in the Cisco mineral claims in a similar geological setting to multiple deposits elsewhere in the region including the previously mined Colorado mineral claims included in this acquisition.
The review team visited the site to assess access issues associated with potential drilling campaigns. The area has good local infrastructure and is at the northern margin of the historic uranium mining area of Thompson Yellow Cat mining district.
Available data to date of the Vanadium King (Utah) historical drilling suggest that the drilling programs focussed upon mineralisation in the Brushy Basin Member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation. Thor’s local consultants have suggested that the deeper and normally higher grade Salt Wash Member may remain substantially untested. Historical mining of the nearby Thompson Creek group of mines have historically produced high grade ore from the Salt Wash Member – a likely focus for future work by Thor.
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.
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