Thor is gearing up for a gold, copper and uranium-fuelled 2021
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Special Report: Thor shares have made significant gains in the past year but more growth could be on the cards as activity ramps up across its project portfolio.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the broader market, 2020 has proven to be a busy year for Thor Mining (ASX:THR).
Speaking to Stockhead, executive chairman Mick Billing highlighted three key milestones that the company achieved this year.
First up is the company’s work on the Ragged Range gold project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
“That’s gone from a project we knew nothing about to a project that is demanding to be drilled early in 2021,” Billing noted.
“We’ve had lots of outstanding results and it’s now just about drill ready, so that’s a great thing.”
A number of significant magnetic targets have been identified including the Sterling prospect that contains anomalous stream sediment assays of up to 2.2 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
That indicates mineralisation occurs very close to the surface.
Next up on Billing’s list are the agreements to acquire, through a joint venture farm-in, interests in the Alford East copper project in South Australia.
“We value that tremendously and we think that has the potential to be a relatively significant long-term low-cost copper producer,” he added.
“We are really keen on our copper assets and this is the most recent of them.”
Billing rounded off the milestones with the acquisition of the uranium-vanadium projects in Colorado that are all located within trucking distance of Energy Fuels’ White Mesa mill at Blanding, the only fully licensed and operational uranium and vanadium processing plant in the US.
Shareholders certainly agreed, with shares in Thor up from about 0.4c at its lowest point in the first quarter of the year to a high of 2.5c in October.
While this has since moderated to 1.6c, it still represents a four-fold increase over the low point.
Billing believes that all the ingredients are in place for Thor to experience another four-fold improvement in 2021.
The company will kick off its exploration activity with gold drilling at Ragged Range in February or March.
“We know there’s gold there. It’s just a matter of will we intersect it, what grade it will be and how long the intersection will be,” he added.
“We have found gold in the streams washed down from the areas where we’re going to drill, so we’re very confident there is gold there.”
Thor will also review historical drilling records at Alford East with Billing expressing his hope that this could result in some pretty good copper outcomes without having to drill any holes.
He noted that the company will also be doing a lot of work at Kapunda through its 30 per cent interest in EnviroCopper, which is in turn earning a 75 per cent stake in Kapunda.
EnviroCopper will next year carry out trials to determine the technical feasibility of in situ recovery of copper by pumping a leach solution into the ground and recovering the ore bearing solution.
But it is not just copper that Thor is hoping to recover.
Billing noted that about a third of historical holes were assayed for gold with most of them coming out with positive results.
While there is insufficient data to put gold into the Kapunda resource, tests have demonstrated that the leach solution used to dissolve copper also dissolves gold.
“So if there is any gold in there – and we know there is some – that gold will come to the surface in solution for no additional cost and that becomes a very exciting story for that project,” he added.
“For want of a better way of putting it, these trials are almost a pilot plant phase, success will be game-changing for that business.”
Best of all, this work will come at no cost to Thor and its shareholders as it is all covered by Australian government grants.
Rounding out Thor’s activity is the drilling of uranium and vanadium in Colorado in late March or early April after the snow melts.
This could be well timed with Billing noting that while most of the uranium used as feed for US nuclear plants came from Australia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Canada, it had demonstrated its commitment to improving the reliability of domestic supply by setting up a $US150m fund for locally sourced uranium.
“Mr Biden will do things differently to Mr Trump. I don’t think there’s any doubt of that, but equally, I don’t think there’s any doubt that he will be focusing on alternatives to fossil fuel energy and uranium does fit quite nicely in that bucket,” he added.
“I believe he is quite comfortable with the US investment in nuclear power and making sure that continues to happen in the US.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Thor Mining, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.