Thor Mining (LSE:THR) enjoyed a 6.45pc boost to 0.82p on Wednesday after detailing plans to progress its Jervois vanadium project in the Northern Territory of Australia. The business took a 40pc stake in Jervois last year as part of its joint venture (JV) deal with Arafura Resources for the Bonya tungsten and copper deposits near its flagship Molyhil project.

Exploration undertaken at Jervois between 2006 and 2008 showed early signs of success, with many holes intersecting extensive and potentially economic grades of vanadium and titanium. Samples assayed for gold and platinum group elements also returned up to 1.59g/t combined gold plus platinum and palladium.

As it stands, this historical work is not sufficient enough to estimate a mineral resource. However, Thor and Arafura have used 1,296m of assayed mineralisation it to create a substantial exploration target range at Jervois of 90 to 110 million tonnes at 0.3-0.8pc vanadium pentoxide and 4-8pc titanium dioxide.

To take Jervois forward, Thor said on Wednesday that the JV plans to focus on resource drilling at three prospects called Casper, Coco, and RD. It will also test further candidates for commercial grades of vanadium and titanium and complete follow-up work on the asset’s gold and platinum group element potential.

Subject to the successful completion of these activities, the JV would go on to completed further metallurgical studies and other technical activities at Jervois. It would also complete environmental and social impact work aimed at progressing feasibility and mine development permitting. Over the longer-term, Thor said that the JV’s goal is to seek project level investors that can advance Jervois through resource development and subsequent feasibility and permitting activities.

Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing added that the company is excited to have an interest in Jervois at a time of stimulated global interest in Vanadium, which is currently priced at $34.25/kg.

‘Thor acquired an interest in the Jervois vanadium deposits, at no additional cost, with the acquisition of the Bonya tungsten deposits.  This has proved to be an unanticipated bonus to that acquisition,’ he said. ‘Vanadium metal has very a robust baseline demand in the construction industry, along with exciting prospects as a potential battery metal where large capacity storage is required.’

Wednesday’s update comes shortly after Thor jumped by as much 25pc towards the end of June on the news that laboratory assay results had confirmed the business’s previously announced interim XRF results at Bonya. Bonya contains 13 outcropping tungsten deposits plus a copper resource, which Thor expects to add considerably to the life, scale, and economic outcomes of its proposed Molyhil operation. Despite being part of a known tungsten province, no drilling has taken place at the Bonya licence area since the seventies.

This changed earlier this year when Thor and Arafura embarked on 2,500m RC drilling at several targets including the Samarkand, Jericho, White Violet, and Tashkent deposits. Thor released interim results obtained by portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) determination at the end of April, heralding them as ‘substantially better than expectations’.

Following this, the business released assay results towards the end of last month that confirmed the area’s prospectivity. Highlights included 27 metres at 0.29pc tungsten trioxide (WO3) from 35m at White Violet, which included 16m at 0.31pc copper from 43m and 7m at 0.2pc WO3 from 67m. Meanwhile, results from Samarkland included 13m at 0.48pc WO3 from 19m and 12m at 0.77pc copper from 22m.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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