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Investigator resources studying molyhil tungsten project upgrade

The date of: 2023-09-15
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Investigator Resources (ASX: IVR) is stepping up activity at its Molyhil tungsten project in the Northern Territory with the aim of releasing an updated mineral resources estimate by year end.
The company acquired an interest in Molyhil in late 2022 when it entered into an earn-in joint venture agreement to acquire up to 80% of the advanced tungsten project.
The three-stage agreement includes an initial expenditure commitment of $1 million over 18 months to earn a 25% interest in Molyhil and associated tenements, and to acquire Thor Mining’s (ASX: THR) 40% interest in the adjacent Bonya tenement.
Stage two of the earn-in will see Investigator invest $2 million over three years to reach a total 51% interest in Molyhil, while the company is required to outlay a further $5 million over three years in stage three to earn a total 80% stake in the project.
Significant work program
Molyhil, which has already obtained Northern Territory government major project status, currently hosts a mineral resource estimate reported by Thor Mining in 2021 of 4.38 million tonnes at 0.27% tungsten oxide and 0.10% molybdenum and 17.75% iron ore.
As part of its earn in commitments and plans to unveil an updated mineral resource estimate, Investigator is undertaking a wide range of desktop and field activities.
The company’s desktop studies include creating a new resource model using multiple indicator kriging (MIK).
It has also undertaken more than 1,300 density measurements on existing drill core.
In the field, Investigator is preparing to manage a 1,500m, 12 hole diamond drill program and a comprehensive regional gravity survey, which is supported by a Northern Territory collaborative funding grant.
The company is also carrying out an important metallurgical testwork and process flowsheet validation program.
The metallurgical testwork is using stockpiled underground bulk sample material, while the process flowsheet review is investigating the potential adoption of early magnetite removal.
Definitive study revalidation
A Molyhil definitive feasibility study reported by Thor Mining in 2018 identified a simple open pit mining development with superior metallurgical recoveries and a stated net present value (NPV) of $101 million at that time.
Investigator is looking to revalidate and upgrade aspects of that definitive feasibility study.
The company is on target to complete its stage 1 to earn its 25% stake in Molyhil by May 2024.
In the lead up to that date, the company is undertaking a scoping study to help inform its decision on whether to continue to stage 2.
The company is also looking to further assess the adjacent Bonya tenement’s copper and tungsten potential.
Tungsten a critical metal
Tungsten is considered a critical mineral by the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States due to its economic importance and potential for supply disruption. Tungsten is strategically important to the United States in particular with the government maintaining a stockpile of the industrial metal since the 1940s.
Tungsten and its alloys are amongst the hardest of all metals. In addition to its hardness, tungsten possesses the highest melting point of all pure metals making it useful for many commercial and industrial applications.
The major use for tungsten is in cemented carbides which have a hardness approaching that of diamond, making them ideal for use in cutting applications and in wear-resistant materials. Tungsten carbides are used primarily in the metalworking, mining, oil drilling and construction industries. Tungsten and its alloys are used in electrodes, filaments (light bulbs), wires, welding and as components in electrical, heating, lighting and the aeronautical industry. Chemical compounds of tungsten are used in a range of applications including catalysts and paint pigments.

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