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Ora Gold Ltd: DEEP DIVE
OVERVIEW

Thundelarra likes Ora of gold as it takes developer path with ex-Doray Minerals project

Thundelarra shareholders will vote this week on a proposed name change to Ora Gold.
Drilling at Garden Gully project
OVERVIEW: OAU The Big Picture
Historical mining took place at the flagship Garden Gully project
  • A name change is on the cards
  • People changes start this week with the departure of the company’s chairman
  • The CEO will depart in April
  • Ora is set on defining resources at its flagship project under the latest JORC code

What does Thundelarra do?

Thundelarra Ltd (ASX:THX) (FRA:TJ3) has shifted its attention from gold and copper exploration to development of a project housing a former Doray Minerals Limited (ASX:DRM) (FRA:DO3) asset.

The company is undergoing a period of change and is run by outgoing chief executive officer of seven years, geologist Tony Lofthouse.

Non-executive chairman Phil Crabb will depart this Thursday after the company’s AGM with shareholder and independent non-executive director Rick Crabb to step up to the chairman role while Lofthouse will say goodbye on April 30.

Consultant Philip Bruce, whose achievements at Plutonic Resources Limited dramatically increased its value before takeover, will become a director on March 1.

The company is progressing a growth strategy and will consider appointing a new CEO down the track as it hopes to change its name to Ora Gold Limited with a shareholder vote later this week.

What does Thundelarra own?

The key asset is the Garden Gully Gold Project on the Garden Gully and Abbotts greenstone belt near Meekatharra in WA.

Eighty-five per cent, or 450 square kilometres, of Garden Gully project is drawn from the Abbotts Gold Project the company acquired from Doray Minerals Limited (ASX:DRM) (FRA:DO3).

Doray took 11 million ordinary shares in Thundelarra priced at 1.6 cents a share, in a $176,000 all-scrip transaction last December.

Thundelarra investor and chairman Phil Crabb called the ground acquisition significant, noting the junior company believed it had acquired the “last large piece of remnant greenstone belt in the Yilgarn craton”.

The Abbotts project buy firmed up acreage at Garden Gully project to near-on 530 square kilometres.

Two operational gold plants came with the deal, only 30 kilometres trucking distance from the tenement package.

Thundelarra plans to use the latest geophysical and exploration techniques to look beneath the surface cover and test for potential repetitions of its Crown Prince deposit.

Garden Gully was a historic mine, with the majority of the 21,000 or so ounces of gold mined between 1909 and 1915 coming from Crown Prince.

Grades were about 21 g/t while the maximum reported depth was 120 metres.

The project is in a gold region that has already delivered more than seven million ounces.

Significant intersections from mid-2018 drilling at Crown Prince deposits’ Northern Lode featured 3.25 metres grading 18.5 g/t from 107 metres and 11 metres grading 4.9 g/t from 42 metres.

Thundelarra is combining drill data to prepare for a drilling program this year.

It expects to spend $150,000 on exploration and evaluation this quarter.

In late January the company embarked upon a strategy change, shifting focus from a gold and copper exploration company looking for a big asset to a developer set on cash flow and low-cost development from its tenements on Garden Gully greenstone belt.

Who is on the Thundelarra team?

Thundelarra is undergoing a number of people changes, including the agreed departure of its exploration-era CEO Lofthouse.

Lofthouse had led the company as it rationalised a portfolio of 40 exploration prospects and had orchestrated the acquisition of its 90%-owned former flagship project, the Red Bore copper-gold joint venture project.

Red Bore is in the Doolgunna region of the Murchison mineral field, about 900 kilometres north-northeast of Perth.

Neighbour Sandfire Resources NL’s (ASX:SFR) (FRA:S2Z) (OTCMKTS:SFRRF) DeGrussa copper-gold mine is less than 1 kilometre from the Red Bore licence.

Mining engineer Philip Bruce has been recruited as a non-executive to join the company board from March 1 to bring extensive experience in the growth of small and large resource companies.

Bruce has been an up to three days a week consultant at Thundelarra for the past few months.

The incoming director is guiding a technical team that is identifying Garden Gully belt resources to JORC 2012 standard and assessing the feasibility of low-cost mining efforts.

Bruce helped Plutonic Resources transition from a company worth $30 million to one with a market capitalisation of more than $1 billion when it was bought by Homestake Mining Company in April 1998.

Homestake was, in turn, swallowed up by Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD) in late 2001, with Plutonic gold mine being on-sold to Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST) in December 2013.

Company secretary and chief financial officer Frank DeMarte will continue on Thundelarra’s board as an executive director while non-executive independent director Malcolm Randall remains at the table, taking a reduced fee.

Non-executive chairman Phil Crabb will step back from the boardroom table this Thursday after the company’s AGM while shareholder and independent non-executive director Rick Crabb will take on the chairman role.

Inflection points

  • Upcoming AGM voting, including for a name change and rebrand to Ora Gold

  • People changes, including chairman-level change and changes to executive and non-executive director roles

  • Upcoming departure of CEO and leadership transitions

  • Cashflow requirements during period of transition

  • Good outcomes from resource definition work at Garden Gully Gold Project

  • Ongoing exploration success at the project

  • Cash injections from any project, deposit or prospect divestments

Chairman Phil Crabb pleased with potential of Doray ground

“The acquisition of this ground … means that the company now controls what we believe to be the last large piece of remnant greenstone belt in the Yilgarn Craton,” Thundelarra chairman Phil Crabb said.

“History shows that these geological settings have the potential to deliver spectacular results.

“Systematic exploration, using the latest geophysical and exploration techniques to explore beneath the surface cover and test for possible repetitions of Crown Prince, means that there are exciting times ahead for our shareholders.”

Thundelarra’s Thursday AGM will be held at the Celtic Club on Ord Street in West Perth at 10.30am West Australian time (1.30pm EST).

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