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Alliance News
18 January, 2017 | 8:53AM

LONDON (Alliance News) - Shares were trading higher in Thor Mining PLC on Wednesday after the company said it will step up its exploration efforts this year over two of its projects while assessing new opportunities that could be brought into production in the short term.

Thor shares were trading up 9.1% to 0.600 pence per share on Wednesday.

The miner sold off its interest in the Spring Hill gold project in Australia and will receive the last AUD1.5 million it is owed at the end of February. With that expected cash, Thor Mining said it will accelerate its exploration activity in 2017.

The first drill programme will be conducted on the Pilot Mountain project as Thor aims to extend the high-grade copper, zinc, silver and tungsten mineralisation, which currently stands at 17.5 metres at 5.7% copper equivalent. That would complement the existing resource and confirm historical mineralisation drilled way back in the 1970s.

Follow-up drilling would then be expected to happen later on this year, Thor said.

At the Dundas gold project, also in Australia, a drill programme will be launched sometime in the first half of 2017 in order to test previously identified gold anomalies.

Thor will also continue to look for new opportunities, focusing on "mainstream commodities as well as tungsten". Thor said some of the opportunities currently being looked at have the potential to enhance the existing business, while others are new ventures.

"The anticipated completion of sale of the Spring Hill gold project opens up the possibility of monetising the potentially significant royalty stream from Spring Hill and we are committed to exploring all options in this regard," said Executive Chairman Mick Billing.

Once the Spring Hill sale is finally completed, Thor said the value of the royalty stream that was secured as part of the deal "becomes more tangible". Thor said it will "explore all alternatives for early monetisation of this potentially quite valuable asset", suggesting it may not be willing to wait to enjoy the revenue stream from the royalty in the future.

"Molyhil remains one of Thor's key assets, and we expect to continue to explore alternatives for increasing the size of resource and mine life over the year ahead in anticipation of suitable future market conditions for development," said Billing.

"The existing portfolio of projects is very robust and has substantial development potential; however the directors are continuing to assess opportunities to acquire interests in several projects which also have potential for substantial near term upside, with copper and gold the preferred commodities, as well as tungsten," said Thor.

By Joshua Warner; joshuawarner@alliancenews.com; @JoshAlliance

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