Australia-focused resource explorer and producer Thor Mining has upgraded the mine life for its Molyhil tungsten project from one to seven years.
The project, which is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, will also provide much needed economic stimulus for the area, with projections topping AU$100 million of net value and an additional AU$500 million over the course of the mine’s life.
The company believes its project is in an optimal position as the tungsten price has continued its steady ascent since late 2016. Currently, the price of tungsten sits just above US$350 per metric tonne unit (mtu).
In addition to producing tungsten, the Molyhil project will also be a source of molybdenum, another resource that has experienced a significant price hike since late 2015.
According to Thor, there is industry speculation that these stronger pricing levels for both commodities will likely continue for some time, with some forecasters predicting tungsten prices topping US$400 per mtu.
In addition, there is suggestions that a molybdenum supply shortage will drive that commodity price higher in the coming years.
The project will consist of a simple opencut mine producing 125,000 tonnes per year of ore, and recovering some 8,583 of tungsten and 3,133 tonnes of molybdenum over the life of the project.
The updated DFS forecasts earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of AU$245 million, with the project pay-back period estimated at less than 18 months, after the payment of royalties and taxation.
“Strategically, the results of the enhanced DFS are based only on Molyhil’s known mining inventory and do not include the additional upside of either potentially going underground or mining Bonya,” Mick Billing, executive chairman of Thor Mining, said.
“Molyhil will be a very low-cost tungsten producer on a global scale. The upgraded net present value in excess of AU$100 million demonstrates the substantial value this project holds for the company.”
Thor is aiming first production by early 2020 at a cost of AU$69 million and production cost of US$90 per metric tonne.
“Upon finalizing the project level financing, the construction phase of Molyhil is estimated at 12 months,” Billing said.
The updated definitive feasibility study (DFS) will replace one the company commissioned in 2015 and will be accompanied by an upgraded open pit reserve total that was completed this past January.
In total, the Molyhil site has an inferred and indicated tungsten resource of 13,100 tonnes at an average grade of 0.28 percent. While there is an indicated and inferred molybdenum resource of 6,220 tonnes graded at 0.13 percent.
Shares of Thor remained flat on Thursday (August 23), closing at AU$0.038.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.