Thor Mining’s Mick Billing on what investors can expect at Kapunda, Molyhil, and more over the coming months (THR)

Thor Mining (LSE:THR) has started 2020 with a bang, delivering strong sampling results, resource estimates, and financing news across major assets in its portfolio. Here, the company’s chief executive Mick Billing walks us through the firm’s plans for the coming months, highlighting potential sources of newsflow that could prompt a re-rate in its share price.

Proof of concept at Kapunda

One of Thor’s critical areas of focus over coming months will be the Kapunda project it has exposure to through its investment in EnviroCopper Limited.

Based in South Australia, Kapunda is a historic copper mine that EnviroCopper is working to exploit through a low-cost, environmentally-friendly extraction technique called in-situ recovery (“ISR”). In layman’s terms, this involves dissolving minerals underground in a solution – a process called “leaching”- before extracting by pumping to the surface. From there, the process is identical to a heap leaching operation after the process of dissolving the metal in the heap.

2019 saw Thor and ECR make much progress at Kapunda, establishing proof of concept for the use of ISR to extract copper and gold and launching field pump tests to test the flow of fluid through its deposits. Meanwhile, in 2017, the Australian government announced an offer to provide the firms with A$2.9 million of research funding over 30 months to advance the project.

Site of recent hydro-geological drilling at Kapunda (Source: Thor Mining)

With Thor recent reporting that initial field pump results had shown “good potential connectivity” and “good copper values” from initial geochemical work, Billing says he expects full assays to be delivered imminently. Initial signs are positive, he adds:

“I expect assays to come in the next couple of weeks. Other testing will establish that there is connectivity in the deposit from one area to the next – something that is needed for ISR to work. Currently, there is every inference that that connectivity exists.”

Following this, Billing says the firms plan to launch field recovery trials later this year to establish whether copper and gold that has not yet been dissolved in the ground can be dissolved and extracted. As it stands, a small but significant amount of copper has already dissolved in the groundwater present at Kapunda naturally over time.

Should EnviroCopper be able to establish this, it will provide definitive evidence that what the firms have been able to do in the laboratory with historical core and with modelling can be done in the field economically. In this case, Billing says the project – alongside its sister asset Moonta – have the potential to be bigger than Thor’s Molyhil and Pilot Mountain properties combined.

We believe this copper business is potentially our best, we are very excited about establishing the economic vitality of ISR at Kapunda, and one of the nice things is that the bulk of this is being paid for by the Australian government by way of a grant."

Financing at Molyhil

Another key area of focus for Thor over coming months will be its wholly-owned Molyhil tungsten project and associated Bonya tenements. The firm manages and 40%-owns these latter deposits in a joint venture with Arafura Resources.

For some time now, Thor has told investors that discussions are ongoing with various potential partners who have expressed in financing Molyhil’s development. Billing says that, while these discussions will continue, a new dimension has now opened up when it comes to the asset’s financing.

The company is in discussions with several Australian Commonwealth government agencies mandated to provide financial assistance to undeveloped critical mineral projects. These agencies include Export Finance Australia, the Defence Export Facility, the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office and the North Australian Infrastructure Facility. With tungsten becoming an increasingly crucial critical mineral globally – prices have recovered in recent months - Billing is hopeful this initial interest will develop:

“Because tungsten is a critical mineral and because of the increased focus on critical minerals by the US and the partners of the US like Australia and Canada, there is potential for some financial assistance from some of these bodies. We have been working with a couple of them for several months and, while nothing can be guaranteed, there is an additional dimension to the financing of Molyhil compared with the story of several months ago. This does not replace the work we have been doing with several parties we have been working with, but adds to that work and complements it.”

Meanwhile, Billing says Thor will continue its work to develop Bonya after establishing tungsten and copper resource estimates for its White Violet and Samarkand deposits last month:

“There is permitting to do, drilling to upgrade the resources and a host of environmental work to complete. We are also seeking an agreement with the original landowners that will allow us to have the same rights at Bonya as we have secured at Molyhil. That is a work-in-progress but it is going through.”

Location of the Bonya tenements (Source: Thor Mining)

Pushing Pilbara forward

Finally, Billing expects Thor to follow up on a recently-completed field reconnaissance programme at its Pilbara goldfield tenements. Samples from 44 sites provided strong evidence of gold prospectivity along with anomalous nickel and chromium. Billing says the presence of these two latter metals was “unexpected” and warrants further exploration:

“We have gold in 15 of sites and nickel and chrome in another two. We are following up on the gold because the success and density of those hits mean it looks like much more than a couple of isolated specks, there could be significant quantities. Meanwhile, chrome is often an indicator metal for nickel , and ultramafic rocks are a known environment to host sulphide nickel deposits. We think there is potentially quite a strong nickel story out of this that will require following up.”

Thor’s share price has fallen by close to 30% since the beginning of the year, sitting at 0.298p at writing. With so much work ongoing in the company’s portfolio, it will be interesting to see whether a strong run of news can buck this trend and help the firm to return to the 1p plus territory at which it sat this time last year.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com 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

Thor Mining spikes on maiden Bonya tungsten/copper resource estimates (THR)

Thor Mining (LSE:THR) took a significant step forward at its Bonya project in the Northern Territory of Australia on Thursday, establishing maiden mineral resource estimates for two of its deposits.

The firm, which is Bonya’s manager and 40% owner, said the White Violet deposit is thought to contain 495,000 tonnes of inferred resources holding 1,090 tonnes of tungsten trioxide and 300 tonnes of copper. Meanwhile, the Samarkand deposit has been ascribed 245,000 tonnes of inferred resource containing 465 tonnes of tungsten trioxide and 320 tonnes of copper.

These resources add to the previously announced inferred resource estimate for the entirety of Bonya – which came in at 230,000 tonnes containing 4,600 tonnes of copper.

Looking ahead, both of the deposits demonstrate the potential for further upside, remaining open at depth and boasting outcropping mineralisation. Samarkand, in particular, shows promise for strike extension on its copper mineralisation, said Thor.

Elsewhere, the organisation highlighted Bonya’s proximity to its flagship Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project – which is currently awaiting financing. Thor and its Bonya joint venture partner Arafura plan to truck ore from the project to Molyhil, where it can be processed using existing facilities.

Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing described Wednesday’s maiden resources as “very significant” when considered in the context of the total Molyhil/Bonya development. Alongside Arafura, the company will now have to carry out further work to convert its new inferred resources at White Violet and Samarkand into the more advanced indicated category.

“The Bonya project hosts additional known tungsten and copper deposits, and some high tenor copper strike extension at Samarkand,” added Billing. “These will be tested in due course, and we expect that they will further contribute to the life and value of the greater Molyhil project."

With tungsten prices thriving in the December quarter thanks to growing demand, the addition of significant ounces of the metal to Thor’s overall resource inventory is particularly exciting. If the company can continue to advance the metal towards the production stage, then it could become a great source of value for investors. With this in mind, a drop in Thor’s share price from nearly 1.4p to its current 0.385p over the past year could present an interesting entry point.

As at writing, the company’s share price had risen 8.45% to well above its five-day EMA (0.374p), with volume spiking considerably on the news from Bonya. Should this momentum continue – supported by regular updates from Thor – then the firm’s current £3.8 million market cap could soon look very small.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com 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

Thor Mining announces strong gold showings at Pilbara Goldfields (THR)

Thor Mining (LSE:THR) is currently trading at 0.4p after announcing strong initial sampling results from its 100%-owned Pilbara Goldfield tenements in Western Australia.

On Thursday, the company revealed that three samples from a preliminary geochemistry reconnaissance programme at the projects assayed above 0.3 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold, while one assayed above 0.9 g/t gold. Thor also encountered anomalous nickel and chromium up to 1,272 parts per million (“ppm”) nickel and 2,074 ppm chromium.

The work involved collecting stream sediment samples from 44 sites to broad, project-wide coverage and followed a successful programme of panning announced in November last year. These earlier efforts provided strong evidence of gold prospectivity, with visible gold in 13 of the 44 sediment trap sites sampled.

Thor said that the latest round of work provides “further support” for the Pilbara Goldfields’ gold potential while also indicating that the tenements could be prospective for nickel and chrome. As executive chairman Mick Billing put it:

“Very encouraging results from our initial reconnaissance survey on this ground, with plenty of follow up targets, focussing on gold, nickel & chrome. The elevated nickel & chrome samples either side of the ultramafic ridge on the western side of the licence area is particularly intriguing.”

Billing added that the next phase of work is likely to involve further detailed stream sediment sampling along soil sampling and geological mapping to confirm and extend existing results. Thor acquired the Pilbara tenements last year when it purchased two private companies – Pilbara Goldfields and Hamersley Metals.

Meanwhile, this month has also seen Thor announce a series of high-grade tungsten and copper assays at its Bonya deposits 30 kilometres to the east of its flagship Molyhil project. On this, Billing said:

"The Bonya tungsten deposits are delivering robust results which we believe can add significantly to the economic life and commercial outcomes of the nearby proposed Molyhil project. The Bonya project hosts additional tungsten and copper deposits, and these will be tested in due course, however our initial focus is likely to remain with the White Violet tungsten deposit, the Samarkand tungsten/copper deposit, and the Bonya copper deposit.  It is hoped that these can extend the Molyhil project life of mine towards 10 years."

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com 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

 

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