Thor Mining (ASX, AIM:THR) and project partner Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd (ECR) aim to literally inject new life into Kapunda’s historic copper mining district.
Through ECR’s lead, the project has received a Federal Government Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) grant of A$2,851,303 to complete an in-situ copper and potentially gold recovery trial at Kapunda over a 30 month period.
Along with the grant, the technical involvement of both the CSIRO and the University of Adelaide in this trial significantly de-risks the feasibility stage of the project for investors.
Located on the Light River (77 km North of Adelaide) Kapunda is Australia’s oldest copper mining town. Copper mining operations at Kapunda commenced in 1842 and continued through to 1878 with sporadic mining continuing until 1912. For a hundred years the mining industry around Kupunda remained largely dormant because the technology of the time was unable to identify or extract the anticipated mineral resources economically.
Kapunda retains an estimated resource of 119,000 tonnes of copper that may be extracted using the in-situ recovery method. ECR holds rights to earn up to a 75% interest in the mineral rights over the Kupunda resource. Thor is acquiring up to 60% of ECR’s interest in the project.
Thor investors now have cause to be nervously excited on several fronts. The company eagerly awaits the latest feasibility study results for its tungsten and molybdenum project at Molyhil (Northern Territory) and scoping study results for the company’s Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada (USA).
The company has endured and survived difficult tungsten market conditions over many years. Over this time, the company remained focused on its vision of transforming the business into a tungsten focused developer and producer.
Importantly for Thor, the global tungsten market remains bullish. Increasing global demand for tungsten is overlaying supply constraints within China to create urgency in the development of viable new resources such as Thor’s projects at Pilot Mountain (Nevada) and at Molyhil (Northern Territory).
Notwithstanding Thor’s primary interest in tungsten project, the Kapunda and copper and gold project provides investors with necessary diversification. Thor Executive Chairman Mick Billing stated:
The company has for a long time considered Kapunda Project to be far too good of an opportunity to pass by.’ Mr Billing restated previous advice that commercial interest in the company’s core projects remains intense.