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Thor Mining’s DFS presents robust development case for Molyhil Tungsten and Molybdenum Project

Thor Mining (ASX:THR) has received positive early outcomes from a definitive feasibility study (NYSE:DFS) on its Molyhil Tungsten and Molybdenum Project in the Northern Territory, which shows a compelling economic case for the development of the project.

The DFS, which was completed by Australasian engineering firm Proteus EPCM Engineers, highlighted potential cash operating margins of A$98 per tonne of ore processed for a phase one pit of 1.4 million tonnes of ore.

Capex is estimated at $66 million for an annual throughput of 400,000 tonnes per year and operating costs of $79 for each tonne of ore mined and processed.

Chairman Mick Billing said these are very positive early outcomes and provide Thor with a great deal of confidence in the trend results of the feasibility study.

“While much more work is required, these cost estimates, along with current metal prices, are key to the study outcomes,” he said.

“The improving commodity price for tungsten, in particular, has added value to Molyhil, and the medium term prospects for tungsten are positive.”

The current supply shortages of the metal due to export restrictions from China have seen the tungsten price skyrocket this year.

The DFS estimates a tungsten price of about US$460 (A$453) per MTU – discounted by 23%.

Other potential enhancements to the project include up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of high grade magnetite which will be mined and extracted as part of the process of producing tungsten and molybdenum concentrates. The value of any contribution from this commodity is still being assessed.


What next?


The next phase of this definitive feasibility study involves re-estimating the ore reserve and preparation of a new mining plan for the Molyhil operation.

Thor said the outcomes of this work has some potential to vary both the total tonnage of ore to be mined from the Pit Phase 1 and also the grade of that ore.

Following this Thor will update the Molyhil financial model to reflect the revisions to operating parameters.

The final results of this DFS are now expected to be completed next month.


Molyhil


Molyhil lies in the centre of Australia, 220 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs. Mineralisation comprises two main south east plunging lodes of coarsely crystalline scheelite and molybdenite hosted in magnetite skarn. Mineralisation remains open down plunge.

The results of a DFS in 2007 confirmed the viability of a 400,000 tonnes per annum mining and processing operation with attractive financial outcomes.

During 2008 metal prices declined to the extent that project development was put on hold. Recent strong increases in tungsten prices along with some recovery in molybdenum prices have prompted a re-assessment of the viability of the project.