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Thunderstruck Resources: DEEP DIVE

Thunderstruck Resources offers significant blue sky upside with gold, zinc and copper in Fiji

Thunderstruck has an attractive and diverse portfolio of assets in Fiji
Thunderstruck Resources offers significant blue sky upside with gold, zinc and copper in Fiji
OVERVIEW: AWE The Big Picture
Bryce Bradley locating drill pads on the Nakoro zinc/copper property where Anglo American drilled in 1978

“There’s been no real exploration work in Fiji for thirty or forty years,” says Bryce Bradley, chief executive of Thunderstruck Resources LTD (CVE:AWE)(US:THURF).

That is, until now.

Thunderstruck is about half way through its first season of serious exploration work across four properties on the main island of Fiji, and the market will receive consistent news flow as the results start coming in.

Not only that,  several large mining companies are currently conducting due diligence on various of these assets, and chief executive Bryce Bradley has not long returned from a site visit to host a party of potential joint venture partners from Japan.

All told, there’s plenty going on, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the shares start to move once the market recovers from its summer doldrums and Bradley starts to bang the promotional drum.

She’s certainly got plenty to talk about. First off, there’s the assets themselves.

“We have two high grade zinc-copper projects, one copper porphyry project and one gold,” she says.

As a junior miner in a market that’s still niggardly when it comes to funding exploration, Thunderstruck isn’t about to go all out on all of them.

Instead, it’s undertaking targeted exploration, with plans to drill the Liwa Creek gold project in September and then potentially move on to the Rama Creek copper porphyry later on.  With Newcrest in development next door with a massive copper porphyry deposit, there is every reason to believe in the Rama Creek asset’s potential.

Meanwhile, there is considerable interest in the zinc-copper assets given the rapid depletion of the world’s zinc mines, and increased demand for copper, and it will be interesting to see what comes of the recent visit from Japan.

One reason they came, explains Bradley, was to confirm the favourable operating environment in Fiji.  Traditional ceremonies were held with local chiefs who were able to assist with finding the locations of historic drill sites from the 1970s.

Mining is not new to Fiji, even if it’s not exactly prolific. There are two gold mines on the island: Tuvatu, owned by Lion One Metals (CVE:LIO), and the Vatukoula mine, which for a while was listed in London under the ownership of a company of the same name, but which is now privately held. Vatukoula has mined over seven million ounces of gold with a remaining resource of around four million ounces and has been in production on and off for decades.

Thunderstruck’s Liwa Creek gold project bears similarities to both Tuvatu and Vatukoula, according to Bradley, and are within 50km of each.

“Our gold asset is highly prospective,” she says. “It’s very large, at around three square kilometres, although at this stage we’re only going to be drilling in localised areas.”

Thunderstruck owns a man-portable drill rig, and Bradley has ordered its deployment across the ridge of the Liwa Creek asset, where previous trenching work has delivered highly encouraging results.

“The gold is the most intriguing asset, since gold always captures the imagination and we have two high grade gold mines already on the island,” says Bradley, and of course gold projects are widely followed in Canadian and international markets.

But work on Rama Creek is also likely to generate significant interest, as copper porphyries can be some of the richest mines around.

“As soon as the access road in is built we want to drill 25-50 metre holes in the porphyry,” says Bradley. By that time the company will also have the data from a new induced polarisation survey to work off, and it will also have a clearer understanding of how to drill in Fijian conditions.

News flow from the porphyry will be the second major item of interest to the market unless, that is, a joint venture deal is done in the meantime on the zinc-copper projects.

“It’s a game changer if we do a joint venture on any one of these assets,” says Bradley, “as the market understands the  significant level of due diligence  required by major mining companies before they enter into an agreement.”

Because these assets were drilled in the 1970s by Anglo American there is an abundance of historic data available to the company and to potential partners.

But there’s also a huge amount of blue sky. It’s an opportunity for partners to get in early on something that could be really big. And an opportunity for investors too, as they can hedge across four assets and three sought after commodities.



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