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News & Analysis UK

Ormonde Mining, Sirius Minerals, Thor Mining, Crocodile Gold news briefs

April 10, 2013, Wednesday, 11:14 GMT | 07:14 EST | 15:44 IST | 18:14 SGT
Contributed by Fox-Davies Capital

Ormonde Mining PLC announced an update on progress in connection with permitting of its flagship Barruecopardo Tungsten Project in Salamanca, Spain. This follows the submission of the final permitting documentation to the Provincial and Regional Governments at the end of July 2012 by Saloro SLU, Ormonde's wholly-owned subsidiary which is developing Barruecopardo. The permitting process includes review and confirmation by the regional Mines Department in Salamanca that the documentation conforms to requirements, a public consultation and response period, followed by further review at provincial level, leading to a recommendation being made to the regional government for a decision regarding permitting consents. As detailed below, significant progress has now been made in relation to this process.

The main points are:
- Considerable permitting documentation, comprising the Environmental Impact Study, the Exploitation Plan, the Restoration Plan and the Financial Plan have been under review by the Regional Authorities in Salamanca during Q4 2012 and Q1 2013 and the regional Mines Department in Salamanca has now advised that the documentation submitted conforms to their requirements
- A public consultation period was completed in February 2013, with only a single public submission received by Saloro, to which the Company has responded in full. The fact that just one public submission was received at this critically important stage of the permitting process is viewed as highly significant by the Company
- Numerous public and private presentations to various community groups and public bodies have been undertaken by Saloro at local, provincial and regional level to inform on the proposed new mining operation at Barruecopardo. These have been very well received and have helped to establish very strong community and political support for both the Barruecopardo project and Saloro.

Sirius Minerals has released the preliminary coring results for SM11B.

In this news:
- Intersection from the deflection SM11B successfully cored through the shelf seam of polyhalite at mine site
- 58m (true thickness) of 88% polyhalite intersected within a total length of 72.4m
- The intersection confirms good correlation between the three intersections from SM11, 11A and 11B
- SM11B will provide additional input into the upgraded resource report to be completed in early May.

FD Comment:
These latest results are consistent with previous holes with the thickest is 22m (true thickness) at 84.7% polyhalite. However the lower part of the seam which was not encountered at SM11 and SM11A, suggests a thickening and enrichment of the seam in a northerly direction. The Company now hopes to upgrade the current inferred resource, which it will do once the chemical analysis of the SM11 core is received at the end of April with the upgraded resource estimate is expected to be completed at the beginning of May. Drilling of the North Shaft Pilot Hole at the Doves Nest site will commence in two weeks and is anticipated to bring the York Potash drilling programme to a close.

Thor Mining PLC announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in respect of toll treatment of ore from the Spring Hill gold project south of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory. The agreement is between Spring Hill's two co-venturers, Thor Mining PLC and Western Desert Resources Limited (ASX: WDR), and Crocodile Gold Australian Operations Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Toronto-listed Crocodile Cold Corporation (TSX "CRK").

Crocodile Gold operates the Union Reefs gold processing facility, approximately 20km from Spring Hill, and currently has excess processing capacity.

The agreement provides that Thor & WDR, following receipt of all necessary approvals to conduct mining operations at Spring Hill, would haul ore mined from the operation for processing and gold extraction at Crocodile Gold's Union Reefs processing plant, provided:

- The parties can agree acceptable terms, and execute a formal binding agreement setting out the terms upon which the toll treatment may occur
- The Board of Directors of Crocodile Gold approve the toll treatment
- Excess processing capacity remains available at the Unions Reefs processing facility

The parties have agreed to work cooperatively to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome and will at approximately six monthly intervals correspond in reference to progress and issues.