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.

 

Environmental studies were completed in the last quarter, while permitting continued for initial drill testing of Colorado claims. These claims – located in the Uravan Mineral Belt – include Radium Mountain and Wedding Bell, two groups of mines that reportedly operated in WWI and the latter half of the 20th century.

In the past 100 years, the Uravan Mineral Belt and nearby uranium-vanadium mining districts have reportedly produced more than 85 million pounds of triuranium octoxide (U3O8), a uranium compound. Plus, they have produced over 660 million pounds of the compound vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).

In the quarter ahead, permitting for the Colorado claims will continue, alongside a geological evaluation of the Utah claims.

Asked what makes vanadium and uranium so compelling, Galloway Warland stresses the green energy aspect. In particular, she points to the US “importing huge quantities uranium for their nuclear power”.

There is also the drive, as with molybdenum and tungsten, for the States to “secure its own supply of uranium”, which makes the fact that both of Thor’s projects are located in the US particularly appealing.