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White Rock Minerals signs term sheet with Thomson Resources to progress Mt Carrington Gold-Silver Project in NSW

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White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) (OTCQX:WRMCF) has entered into a binding and exclusive term sheet with Thomson Resources Ltd (ASX:TMZ) for a three-stage earn-in and option to a joint venture agreement to progress the Mt Carrington Gold and Silver Project in northeast NSW. 

This term sheet contemplates Thomson earning up to 70% of White Rock’s Mt Carrington project on the formation of a 70:30 joint venture to develop and put the project into production. 

The parties would then fund, on a pro-rata basis, mine development and further exploration of the very prospective Mt Carrington leases for epithermal gold-silver (base metal) mineralisation and conceptual large copper-gold targets. 

Key and timely step 

White Rock managing director and chief executive officer Matt Gill added: “White Rock is extremely pleased to partner with a visionary group like Thomson Resources.

“They have a clear strategy to unlock the potential from the consolidation of various gold and silver assets in and around our advanced Mt Carrington project in NSW.

“Securing a quality partner to advance Mt Carrington is a key and timely step in White Rock’s strategy to unlock the value in all of our projects.

“The lure of free-carry at Mt Carrington through stages 1, 2 and 3 as well as project management allocation at Mt Carrington to Thomson will allow White Rock to focus funds and management time on our two exciting Alaskan projects (the high-grade silver and zinc Red Mountain VMS project and the neighbouring Last Chance intrusion-related gold system (IRGS) project) and on the equally exciting production and exploration opportunities within the high-grade Victorian Walhalla-Woods Point gold belt.

“With the proposed merger contemplated between White Rock and AuStar Gold Ltd (ASX:AUL) (a significant landholder and with a high-grade gold production and exploration tenement profile in the prolific Victorian Goldfields) joint venturing our Mt Carrington asset allows White Rock to focus on this significant Victorian gold production and exploration opportunity as well as our exciting projects in Alaska.”

‘Productive joint venture going forward’

Thomson Resources executive chairman David Williams said: “Thomson is building momentum with its ongoing consolidation efforts focused on its new ‘Hub and Spoke’ silver – gold strategy.

“Mt Carrington is a high-quality precious metals project that complements the company’s existing quality silver assets at Webbs, Conrad and adds value to Thomson’s nearby highly prospective Horton gold project.

“Mt Carrington is well advanced down the feasibility study path, and with due diligence completed at both Webbs and Conrad, there is an ability to bring together the different resources in these silver-gold deposits to significantly strengthen the economic viability of all the projects.

“The negotiations with White Rock have been very positive and constructive, which point to a productive JV going forward.

“We look forward to working with the White Rock team and progressing the Mt Carrington Project.”

Hub and Spoke strategy

The Mt Carrington and Webbs, Conrad and Hortons projects host silver-gold resources and compelling precious metal exploration potential and are clustered in the New England region of northeast NSW.

Despite their proximity to each other and attractive commodity mix, these projects have never before been consolidated under one company and so have to date remained undeveloped.

Thomson is aggressively pursuing a consolidation strategy in this region to bring these and other key resources together into an overarching project with a large precious metal (silver-gold), base and technology metal (zinc, lead, copper, tin) resource base that could be potentially developed and centrally processed under Thomson’s new ‘Hub and Spoke’ strategy.

This includes key resources and exploration opportunities in the northern New England and Southern Granite belt region that could support fas- track development via the ‘Hub and Spoke’ strategy.

Thomson is evaluating whether the consolidated portfolio could provide the optionality to centrally process and blend ores for beneficiation purposes and the critical resource scale to justify the use of processing technologies to maximise recoveries of silver-gold, base and technology metals, that are not being considered under currently proposed processing pathways for the individual projects.

It has engaged Brisbane-based metallurgical and process engineering consultants CORE Resources to evaluate the numerous metallurgical studies on these projects and other projects targeted for consolidation, and to confirm potential compatibility of ores and processing options, including the potential for CORE’s world-leading process technologies to optimise processing and recovery of precious, base and technology metals.

Key terms of the deal

Under the terms of the term sheet, Thomson is committed to Stage 1 of the earn-in, including a minimum spend of A$500,000 in the first six months and progressive cash payments of A$700,000 over 18 months, before, at Thomson’s sole discretion, electing whether to proceed to Stage 2, remain with a 30% stake in the project or to exit the project.

Thomson can elect to advance the Mt Carrington project through the following three stages that would deliver to Thomson 70% ownership:

Stage 1: Earn-in to 30% by delivering:

  • A definitive feasibility study (DFS); and
  • Completion and submission of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concurrent with the project’s community consultation plans.

Stage 2:  At Thomson’s election, earn an additional 21% (total 51%) by:

  • Achieving government development consent (final investment decision); and
  • So placing the project in a position to have the mine funded, built and commissioned.

Stage 3: At Thompson’s election, exercise its right to purchase a further 19% (total 70%) of the project by paying White Rock A$12.5 million.

Stage 4 – Operations: Project Management, financing, and project development. Funding for the development of the project through to commercial production will be on a pro-rata basis and either through a combined or separate financing arrangement(s), to be described further in the joint venture agreement.

White Rock will be free carried through Stages 1, 2 and 3.

Thomson will assume management of the Project and will have sole responsibility for keeping the Project in good standing and funding all of the site care and maintenance costs until formation of the joint venture agreement, be that on a 30:70, 51:49 or 70:30 basis.

Mt Carrington

The Mt Carrington Gold-Silver Project is 5 kilometres from the township of Drake in northern NSW on the Bruxner Highway.

There has been a long history of gold-silver and copper mining at Mt Carrington starting in 1853 and with modern small scale open pit mining by Mt Carrington Mines from 1974 to 1990.

Thomson considers the Mt Carrington project to be very prospective for the discovery of additional gold-silver (zinc–copper– lead) mineralisation.

A well-funded, district-scale exploration approach targeting small footprint high-grade silver-gold and gold-copper low to intermediate sulfidation epithermal deposits that could be present in this geological setting, has good potential to deliver significant additional discoveries in the context of the Mt Carrington resources.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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