Thor Mining’s Galloway Warland on Alford East’s “exceptional” promise (THR, THORF)

It’s a momentous time for Thor Mining (AIM: THR |ASX: THR | OTCQB: THORF), as more and more encouraging results arrive for the Alford East copper-gold project.

Each new result seems better than the last, coming together to paint a truly impressive picture. 

And, as that picture takes shape, the company’s appeal continues to grow.

Here, Nicole Galloway Warland, the firm’s managing director, speaks with Mining Maven about the South Australian copper-gold project.

Latest results find new and exciting high-grade zone

Warland praises the “exceptional grades”, at Alford East so far, with values far exceeding the Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) grades.

“Not only are the grades exciting, but we’re highlighting new zones of mineralisation,” she explains.

Latest results, revealed last month, showed a new, broad zone of high copper and gold grades from near-surface in hole 21AED005.

The values are certainly impressive, too, most notably including 72.7m at 1.0% copper and 0.19 grams per ton (“g/t”) of gold from 6.3m – including 18.2m at 2.0% copper and 0.34g/t gold from 15.8m.

With these, plus significant intercepts already reported for holes 21AED001 and 21AED002 earlier in August, the oxide mineralised system at Alford East has really hit a new level.

Those previously unveiled intercepts included 32.9m at 0.4% copper and 0.31g/t gold from 81.5 m at hole 21AED001, as well as hole 21AED002’s 59.9m at 0.31% copper from 21.9m.

In the release at the end of August, Warland commented that “the confirmed uplift in copper and gold grades along the controlling NNE structure continues to excite and exceed the directors of Thor expectations”.

She added then that the company was looking forward to testing the structure, which remains open along strike both to the north and south.

With so much to come, the managing director’s ambitions for the project are certainly taking shape.

Creating a “double-green” project

Moving forward, there are plenty of plans underway for Alford East—which currently stands at the proof-of-concept stage with the ultimate goal of in-situ copper and gold recovery.

Alongside core samples, Thor is also collecting groundwater samples at the project to conduct hydrogeology tests and determine the right lixiviant to use.

Lixiviants are liquid mediums capable of extracting a chosen metal from ore or minerals and form a part of Thor’s ultimate plan for “green copper extraction”, Warland tells us.

By “green” she explains that the goal is for exploration and development to carry a smaller environmental footprint thanks to the absence of both the open cut and tailings dam traditionally associated with mining.

But, on top of that, she says that the mine is also green in the sense that all of this effort is to obtain copper – an essential element when it comes to sustainability. Copper is vital, as Warland points out, for “solar farms, wind turbines, electric vehicles and batteries” and many other parts of the low carbon revolution.

On the subject of copper, given the metal is so necessary for creating a sustainable future, it’s unsurprising that t its price hit a record high in May this year. Indeed, Warland cites this–alongside the price of gold–as a key motivator behind Thor’s decision to maximise its focus on Alford East, in conjunction with its Ragged Range gold project in the Pilbara WA.

And, to this end, the company is moving away from its USA tungsten interests.

Thor streamlines with non-core tungsten project sale 

As the picture Thor is painting at Alford East takes shape, and the investment case grows ever clearer, the company is working to streamline its wider portfolio.

Thus, alongside the Alford East news at the end of August, the company revealed an option agreement to divest its non-core Pilot Mountain tungsten project.

Motivation for the move, as Warland explains, comes from a decision to focus on that copper-gold core. This is especially true given the “large sum of money” it would take to bring Pilot Mountain to production.

Covid-19 also played a role in the company’s sale of the project, since it presented such a major obstacle to travel.

“We felt that Pilot Mountain was a distraction to us rather than a core asset, and we’re encouraged by the option agreement,” Warland says.

Thor will sell the project, located in the US state of Nevada, to Power Metal Resources (LON: POW).

The deal’s agreed value is $1.8 million – that includes an initial $25,000 cash plus 500,000 shares at an issue price of 2.5p (worth £12,500) for a 60-day option period. This option period allows Power Metal to complete due diligence and acquire the project.

Upon the option exercise, Power is to pay a further $115,000 in cash plus $1.65million in shares, that’s 48 million shares total at 2.5p each.

The deal also includes 12.5 million warrants to subscribe for more Power shares at 4p each – the life expiry on these being three years.

Finally, an additional $500,000 milestone payment to Thor is also possible should Golden Metal publish a Pilot Mountain JORC or 43-101 compliant resource within the next two years. This increases by 25% against the existing declared levels across both the indicated and inferred categories.

So far, Pilot Mountain only has a JORC 2012 indicated and inferred resources estimate for two of its four known deposits. The most recent, conducted in 2018 for the Desert Scheelite deposit, showed 10.7 million tonnes at 0.26% tungsten trioxide, 19.38 grams/tonne silver (Ag), 0.15% copper, and 0.38% zinc.

Garnet is the other deposit with a JORC 2012 indicated and inferred resources estimate, finding 1.83 million tonnes at 0.36% tungsten trioxide.

In mining, an inferred resource refers to the portion of the mineral resource based on limited geographic and sampling information. An indicated resource is more substantial, requiring enough evidence to support mine planning and evaluate deposit economics.

And the disposal isn’t the only big change for the firm. Executive chair Mick Billing tendered his resignation at the start of September to pursue his own personal and business interests.

Bottom line is, it’s these moments of change that often present some of the best opportunities for investors.

Potential shines through with more results to come

Results from Alford East are clearly boosting share price performance. Since those first results from holes 21AED001 and 21AED002, the explorer value has increased 7%.

With so much to look forward to, including further assay results over the coming weeks from Alford East, and the commencement of RC drilling at Ragged Range in October, there could be plenty of catalysts for a further rise on the horizon.

If we think of Alford East as a picture, the current stage is something like an underpainting – the first paint layer that serves as a base for all future layers.

Already, there are signs of something exciting starting to take shape. But as the picture the company is painting grows clearer, the chance that others will spot the opportunity and push the share price higher increases.

And, with the price still affordable and more results to come, right now could be just the right moment for investing – before others spot the opportunity.

Author: Anna Farley

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above. and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Everything falls into place as Thor Mining prepares for “game-changing” quarter (THR)

It's an exciting time for Thor Mining (AIM: THR).

Strong results have repeatedly been coming the company’s way, with sampling and drilling cementing faith in its high-quality assets.

Not only that, but the explorer has also been boosted by government funding, giving it an excellent opportunity to push its portfolio towards its true potential at an even greater speed.

Now, with such a powerful foundation in place, managing director Nicole Galloway Warland has taken the time to walk MiningMaven through what could be a “game-changing” period for Thor over the coming months.

Exciting times at Ragged Range

Galloway Warland begins by highlighting the “really positive” quarter that just passed for Thor at its Ragged Range gold project.

Perhaps the most significant development at the site, which is located in Australia’s Pilbara region, was the completion of a geochemical soil sampling survey.

This work involved taking an impressive 392 samples over two locations within an exciting area of Ragged Range known as the Sterling Prospect. The pair—known as Sterling Central and Sterling South—both lie within a previously identified 13-kilometre gold corridor at the project.

Bulk Leach Extractable Gold results found a background of around 2 to 3 parts per billion (“ppb”) of gold at the prospects, as well as sample values as high as 114.23ppb. According to Galloway Warland, these new results “compare really well” to previous stream sediment high-grade gold results on the corridor from sampling in 2019 and 2020. 

Now, based on the strength of these soil results, Thor is embarking on an infill program with the goal of generating drill-ready targets. As Galloway Warland explains, this marks a “really big strategic and discovery step” for the company that could very well end up being a “game-changer”.

On top of the Sterling prospect, there’s also a new tenement application in the northeast of Ragged Range, covering a number of historic mines with historic high-grade copper-gold workings. Once the tenement is granted, the company will conduct regional work there.

Galloway Warland notes that, while Thor’s focus is “primarily on the Sterling prospect and identifying drill-ready targets”, this new tenement is part of a host of “other activities in the area” that make Ragged Range so exciting.

Add in the demand for gold, with prices up sharply since the start of the pandemic amid lingering economic uncertainty, and the project’s appeal is obvious.

And remember that funding? Well, Thor was awarded A$160,000 from the Western Australian Government to allocate to Ragged Range.

These extra funds will help the company reach the next stages of the project at a faster pace, and show the support in place for the project.

Even better, Ragged Range isn’t the only area of Thor’s portfolio supported by local authorities…

Funding and findings at Alford East

On top of Ragged Range, Thor’s projects in Australia also include Alford East—though the primary focus here is copper rather than gold.

Once again, the company has been awarded an A$$300,000 grant from the South Australia Government to accelerate its work at this asset, which includes a diamond drilling program currently being completed with results due next quarter.

Already, Thor is “three-quarters of the way” into this program and, as Galloway Warland notes, things are “progressing very well” so far.

Critically, she says that Thor has already been able to validate its geological model at Alford East, with work highlighting “a north-south trending structure, which is really the key to mineralization”.

This crucial step makes it possible for the company to target drill holes in areas with the potential for higher-grade plus additional zones of deep mineralisation.

It’s worth noting that this is based on preliminary data, however, with the firm still waiting for assays to come back from the laboratory.

Still, as Galloway Warland notes, when you add in the “record high” prices for copper at the moment alongside growing demand for the red metal due to its major role in electrification, Alford East’s vast potential is clear.

Strong prices could mean great things at Molyhil

Thor’s government funding doesn’t stop with the two projects already mentioned, either.

The firm’s Molyhil tungsten-molybdenum project was also awarded A$110,000 from the Northern Territory Government.

With this, and the other funding mentioned, Thor’s government grants for the quarter total A$570,000 – well over half a million.

And funding wasn’t the only development at Molyhil, either, with 3D geological and geophysical modelling in the most recent quarter also identifying a strong magnetic target adjacent to the Molyhil deposit.

The next steps will now be to drill test this magnetic target and complete project economic optimisation studies including geo-tech drilling to perfect pit design.

Bottom line is, Molyhil is a powerful project since both tungsten and molybdenum prices reached two-year highs in the quarter.

Galloway Warland says the company is monitoring this ongoing rise “very closely”, noting that “it has the potential to significantly impact the economics of this project”.

When asked what is behind swelling prices, the managing director points to post-Covid stimulus, which has led to “the construction industry and various other industries booming”. Specifically, tungsten and molybdenum can be used to strengthen steel and have major uses in construction as well as other industries.

On top of which, she notes, countries such as the US are looking to end their dependence on China when it comes to tungsten – making Thor’s Australian project all the more enticing.

Uranium-vanadium projects to benefit as US works to secure supply

Speaking of the US, Thor also wholly owns two private companies with uranium and vanadium interests in Colorado and Utah.