JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim- and ASX-listed Thor Mining on Thursday announced that it had approved an upgraded definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Molyhil tungsten project, in Northern Territory, Australia.
The company is preparing to review capital and operating expense parameters for the upgraded Molyhil DFS, while the upgraded opencut ore reserve, announced last month, adds to mine life and subsequent underground mining potential has been identified, Thor Mining executive chairperson Mick Billing said.
The upgraded ore reserve increased the openpit mine life by one year to seven years, and in-metal content increased by 10% for tungsten and 19% for molybdenum.
The re-evaluation of the ore reserve parameters was the result of substantially improved results of ore sorting, compared with prior testwork, with an upgrade via rejection of about 41% of sample mass.
In an unexpected development, the study also identified portions of the indicated and inferred resource estimate that remained outside the revised pit shell, which appear economic for mechanised underground mining techniques.
Thor reported in its December quarterly statement that immediate activities going forward would be focused on a review of operating and capital cost estimates with the objective of preparation of an upgraded DFS to entice prospective partners and project financiers.
The 2015 feasibility study demonstrated a net present value of A$67-million for the project.
“It is a very exciting period for [Thor Mining] with substantial progress on core projects, and very solid support from shareholders in the form of placing funds and options and warrants exercised,” Billing said.
“We are continuing an aggressive approach with each of our core projects and we look forward to keeping investors informed of progress.”
At the date of this report, the price of tungsten, per mtu of APT (Ammonium Para Tungstate) was $315/mtu, while the molybdenum price has climbed strongly in recent weeks to $12.35/lb.
For its Pilot Mountain tungsten project, in Nevada, in the US, Thor Mining announced the initiation of an internal scoping study to determine high level operating parameters, the evaluation of scoping study outcomes and stage two of metallurgical testwork.
Further, Thor announced an investment in a newly incorporated private Australian company, Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR), which will be used to fund field testwork and feasibility activities at the Kapunda copper project, in Western Australia, over the next three years.
ECR has entered into an agreement to earn, in two stages, up to 75% of the rights over metals that may be recovered via in-situ recovery contained in the Kapunda deposit from ASX-listed Terramin Australia.
“ECR has advised a staged approach in the evaluation, assessment, and permitting of Kapunda, with an initial milestone being a mineral resource estimate on that portion of the deposit amenable to ISR techniques. This resource estimate is expected shortly.”
Meanwhile, the company announced in December it had entered into an option agreement to acquire a licence, currently in application, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, considered prospective for lithium and conglomerate-hosted gold deposits.
An initial site visit was conducted during January and samples collected, which have been despatched for laboratory analysis.