Tungsten and molybdenum-focused explorer Thor Mining (ASX:THR) has decided its best bet is to spin out its South Australian copper project into a new company that will eventually be listed — but maybe not in Australia.

While chairman Mick Billing told Stockhead it was too early to make the call whether there was a greater chance of listing on AIM, he did say trading was much better on the London Stock Exchange’s smaller market.

“We’re going to list this at some stage, hopefully this year. Not necessarily ASX, it could easily be AIM because that’s where Thor’s main listing is,” he said.

“I guess I’ve got a view that the ASX at the moment hardly has a pulse for junior miners. I’m not saying AIM is going gangbusters, but we get probably 20 or 30 times the trade in London on a daily basis as we do in Australia.”

Thor’s motivation for the spin-out was to gain exposure to another copper project that it had its eye on — Andromeda Metals’ (ASX:AND) Moonta project.

Thor has now inked a memorandum of understanding to vend its interest in the historic Kapunda copper mine in South Australia into Enviro Copper Limited.

And Enviro Copper will also be picking up the earn-in rights to the Moonta project from Environmental Metals Recovery Pty Ltd, which struck a deal with Andromeda for those rights in December.

On completion of the respective deals, Enviro Copper will have the right to earn up to 75 per cent in both the Kapunda and Moonta projects.

Thor will retain a 30 per cent equity stake in Enviro Copper, giving it exposure to both projects.

“This is an opportunity to create a copper entity of some significance without actually having to spend a bucket full extra of Thor’s money,” Mr Billing explained.

“We’ve been working on the Kapunda project with Environmental Copper Recovery for the best part of 18 months or thereabouts now and that’s heading in the right direction.

“The stuff at Moonta we’ve been aware of for the last year or so and we’ve wanted to get hold of it but … we weren’t given the opportunity to run with that under the current arrangement.

“But we were offered the opportunity to put what we had into a bigger and potentially much more interesting longer-term play and we jumped at it.”

Both projects are being investigated as potential copper in-situ recovery (ISR) mining operations.

“The non-invasive production technique of in-situ recovery of copper has the potential to co-exist without significant disruption to farming and once completed, have little to no impact on future agricultural land use,” Mr Billing said.

“ISR is an extension of proven technology and has been in use since the 1960s. With recent technical advances ISR can now offer a lower footprint and is likely to find further application in mineral recovery fields because it can coexist with other land use activities.”

Thor’s primary focus is its Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project in the Northern Territory, where it recently completed a definitive feasibility study.

The company also owns the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada, US.