Thomson Resources and White Rock Minerals restructure earn-in agreement at Mt Carrington

Thomson Resources White Rock Minerals ASX TMZ WRM Mt Carrington
Thomson Resources executive chairman David Williams says Mt Carrington has “unrealised base metal potential” along with its gold and silver prospectivity.

Thomson Resources (ASX: TMZ) and White Rock Minerals (ASX: WRM) have amended an earn-in and joint venture agreement over White Rock’s Mt Carrington gold-silver-base metals project in Queensland to focus on larger-scale silver-gold polymetallic opportunities.

The updated agreement focuses on a two-staged exploration earn-in at Mt Carrington, which will see Thomson gain a total 70% equity in the project.

The company can then elect to form a joint venture with White Rock and contribute to funding of the mine development plus further exploration of the surrounding Mt Carrington, Texas District, Conrad and Webbs leases for gold-silver-base metals mineralisation.

The leases are clustered in the New England region of north-eastern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

Despite their proximity to one another and attractive commodity mix, they have never been consolidated under the one operator and have to date, remained largely undeveloped.

Consolidation strategy

Thomson has been pursuing a consolidation strategy which would bring the Conrad, Webbs, Texas and Silver Spur silver projects, as well as Mt Carrington, together into an overarching project with a large precious metals (silver-gold), and base and technology metals (silver-zinc-lead-copper-tin) resource base.

The company plans to develop and centrally-process mineralisation from these assets under its New England Fold Belt (NEFB) hub and spoke strategy.

Its initial focus will be on the Mt Carrington “polymetallic core zone” deposits where preliminary analysis has suggested significant value can be unlocked by capturing the combined gold-silver-copper-zinc mineralisation into an updated mineral resource estimate.

Thomson will also complete exploration drilling in between the Kylo, Strauss and Guy Bell deposits to determine if the mineralisation could coalesce into a larger polymetallic deposit.

Original agreement

Thomson and White Rock signed an original three-staged earn-in and joint venture agreement over Mt Carrington last May, with a view to unlocking the project’s silver-gold potential.

Thomson executive chairman David Williams said exploration since then had highlighted the possibility of adding other minerals to the mix.

“The work we have completed during the first phase of the earn-in agreement has given us a really good feel for, and understanding of, the Mt Carrington site and how best to develop this project,” he said.

“We consider that the whole project has a lot of unrealised base metal potential along with the silver and gold but by pursuing solely the gold production, this value would not be captured.”

Mr Williams said amending the agreement makes the project a better fit for the NEFB strategy.

“We appreciate White Rock’s understanding of our thinking on this and in supporting us with a restructure of the earn-in terms to enable this exploration opportunity to happen,” he said.

“We believe Mt Carrington has the potential to become an important part of our centralised processing approach, which in turn will provide a stronger future for the project.”

Mineralised districts

The Mt Carrington project is one of a number of gold-silver-base metal districts which formed along the east coast of Australia during the Permian age back arc extensional volcanic basins.

Notable examples of these deposits include the Cracow gold mine (which has a resource of 2.5 million ounces gold grading 4.97g/t), the Mt Carlton gold mine (1.2Moz gold at 2.46g/t, 12Moz silver at 24g/t, 22,000t copper at 0.15%) and historic Mt Chalmers volcanogenic massive sulphide.

An initial review of the Mt Carrington project by Thomson’s geoscience consultant affirmed the project’s district-scale polymetallic (gold-silver-copper-zinc-lead) prospectivity within the White Rock mining leases and the White Rock-Thomson exploration licences.

The review showed that there had been little modern systematic exploration outside of the known deposits, and highlighted the potential for new gold, silver, copper and zinc discoveries.

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