Thor Mining targeting tungsten development


Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Thor Mining PLC (ASX:THR, LON:THR) Chairman and CEO, Mick Billing

Lelde Smits: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for the Finance News Network and joining me from Thor Mining PLC (ASX:THR, LON:THR) is its Chairman and CEO, Mick Billing. Mick welcome back to FNN.

Mick Billing: Thanks Lelde, nice to be here again.

Lelde Smits: Thor Mining is focused on the Molyhil tungsten mine in the Northern Territory. What have been the latest developments at the project?

Mick Billing: Recently Lelde we’ve released an upgrade to our open cut ore reserve and that is a substantial upgrade to one, the mine life of the project which is now six years instead of four. It’s also an increase in the amount of metal we have in our reserve, in what we can economically mine. There’s about 33 per cent more tungsten and over 60 per cent more molybdenum, in that mineable reserve.

Lelde Smits: Thor Mining is currently aiming to finish an upgrade of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) at the Molyhil project. What is happening now and what needs to occur?

Mick Billing: We’ve done a lot of the work, but it is based around what this ore reserve results are. We now have to upgrade the operating cost estimates as I’ve said, and there’s a lot of work being done on that, but a little more to do. Equally importantly, we have to upgrade the capital cost estimates for building the plant and we’re engaging with some third party engineers at the moment, to come up with those estimates. I expect we will see both of those jobs done by late September, early October.

Lelde Smits: What will completing the DFS mean for the Company and where to from there?

Mick Billing: Once we’ve got that upgraded DFS Lelde, we can then go out and get project finance. We have had some discussions with a number of parties, but it does rely upon completing the DFS so that they can see the final numbers. Once we get finance, yeah we’ll be out there in the bush with dozers and pouring concrete, building this mine.

Lelde Smits: Could you talk us through your funding model and what the project will require to move to the next point?

Mick Billing: We recently did a capital raise and raised the best part of $1 million. That should see us through for the next little while; I don’t believe we will need to raise significant capital for normal operations of the company, for a little while. Going forward, for the project finance of course, we’ll need whatever those capital estimates suggest we will need and we’ll be looking for bank funding and loan funding, for as much of that as we possibly can.

Lelde Smits: In June, Thor acquired the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada. How is the integration process progressing?

Mick Billing: That will take some time Lelde. In the first instance, Thor shareholders have approved the issue of the shares to acquire that project. But we’re waiting upon the shareholders of the other side of the transaction, Black Fire Minerals Limited (ASX:BFE), to approve the sale and that is several weeks away. Once that happens, we’ll start working and building that in, but the Pilot Mountain project has lots of work to do and it’s probably four or five years before it can come into production.

Lelde Smits: The Company also recently provided an update for the Spring Hill gold project. What is occurring there at the moment, and how does the project complement your portfolio?

Mick Billing: Spring Hill is a project we like. Gold is not particularly popular at the moment, but Spring Hill has quite some value. We recently announced the loss of an agreement with a neighbour to process the ore at their plant. That doesn’t concern us too much Lelde, because earlier on this year, when we discovered some significant upgrade to the grade of what we had previously thought was moderate, we needed to stop and have a look at what that means for us and for that project in the longer term. That work is not yet complete and does depend on funding.

Lelde Smits: Finally Mick, longer term, what kind of company are you aiming to create and what are your immediate priorities for implementing this strategy?

Mick Billing: In the longer term, we believe we are a tungsten company. We believe that we want to be in the tungsten business for some time. And we will aim to develop in the first instance, the Molyhil project because that is top of the list right now. But we think tungsten is a strong commodity and one that we will continue to look for good projects, as we go forward.

Lelde Smits: Mick Billing, thank you for the update from Thor Mining.

Mick Billing: Thanks very much Lelde.


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