Mine near Alice ‘development ready, subject to finance’




Adelaide-based Thor Mining says its Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project north-east of Alice Springs “is development ready, subject to finance”.


Drilling at Molyhill.


Says Executive Chairman Mick Billing: “Our funding requirement for Molyhil and the nearby Bonya deposits is very modest.


“While market conditions for financing a new tungsten mine could currently be better, we expect this will happen in the medium term, and we are continuing to work towards that.”


Mr Billing says Thor proposes to acquire uranium and vanadium focussed American Vanadium because “the fundamentals for the uranium market are very good right now.


“Global demand during 2020 is expected to exceed supply in 2020, and importantly the US administration has initiated a program of acquiring a locally sourced stock pile of uranium fuel for its power generation needs of US$150m.”


Molybdenum is a silvery-white metal that is ductile and highly resistant to corrosion,  according to livescience.com


It has one of the highest melting points of all pure elements — only the elements tantalum and tungsten have higher melting points.


Molybdenum is also a micronutrient essential for life.





  1. What factors are currently impacting the financing prospects for a new tungsten mine? Can you elaborate on the expected improvements in market conditions in the medium term, and what strategies or actions are being undertaken to work toward securing the financing despite the current challenges?
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  2. Chairman Mick Billing says the funding requirement for Molyhil and the nearby Bonya deposits is very modest but the feasibility study he relies on is circa 2018. That had the CapEx at $69m. {CapEx is a capital expenditure which is money a company uses to purchase, maintain, or expand fixed assets. These fixed assets are non-current, not liquid, long-term resources the company intends to use for more than a year.)
    Since 2018 the cost of building any Australian mine has nearly doubled so around $140m would be needed. While the CapEx has soared the price of the tungsten to be mined has not. So is the project currently profitable over the seven year life of mine? Meanwhile finance for new mining projects has all but dried up except for the highly profitable ones and the NT is not a desirable location for a new mine.
    An updated Definitive Feasibility Study showing robust outcomes is needed before any institution would consider investing.
    Many mining projects have been stranded by cost increases and this is probably one of them.


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