COMMODITY CAPERS: The search for new cobalt resources in on in earnest with several ASX-listed explorers conducting greenfield exploration and revisiting previous results across their tenements.
Jervois Mining (ASX: JVR) has developed its Nico Young cobalt-nickel project into a core asset, with cobalt-nickel resources becoming increasing valuable due to the forecast acceleration in demand.
The Nico Young exploration licenses, held by Jervois, contain published JORC Inferred resources of:
167.8 million tonnes at 0.59 per cent nickel and 0.06 per cent cobalt (using a 0.6% nickel equivalent cut-off), including a higher-grade zone of 42.5 million tonnes at 0.8 per cent nickel and 0.09 per cent cobalt (using a 1% nickel equivalent cut-off).
Within this mineral resource, focusing upon cobalt leads to JORC Inferred resource of:
99.1 million tonnes at 0.58 per cent nickel and 0.08 per cent cobalt (using a 0.05% cobalt cut-off), including 33.4 million tonnes at 0.66 per cent nickel and 0.12 per cent cobalt (using a 0.08% cobalt-cut off).
The company is currently undertaking a drilling campaign with the view to define an Indicated Resource.
The intention of the infill drilling is to consolidate current nickel-cobalt mineralisation and delineate the extents of high-grade cobalt zones.
Jervois considers that expanding the size and geological confidence of shallow cobalt rich zones will assist early mining studies, which will be reviewed as part of a Preliminary Feasibility Study.
Corazon Mining (ASX: CZN) has recently extended the cobalt footprint of its Cobalt Ridge prospect within the company’s Mt Gilmore project near Grafton in north-eastern New South Wales.
Corazon claimed discovery of four new cobalt-copper-gold anomalies at the Cobalt Ridge prospect.
The new geochemical anomalies have extended the known cobalt-mineralised system at Cobalt Ridge to an area of approximately three kilometres in strike and one kilometre in width, which remains open in all directions.
The company said the newly-identified cobalt-copper-gold anomalies strengthen its exploration model for the entire project area to potentially host cobalt dominant sulphide deposits, in addition to the known mineralisation at the Cobalt Ridge prospect.
The new anomalies were identified via results from a recently completed geochemical soil-sampling program at Cobalt Ridge testing for extensions to previously defined mineralisation.
Corazon owns a 51 per cent interest in the project, and the exclusive right to earn up to an 80 per cent interest.
Recent drilling by Corazon at Cobalt Ridge has validated historical mining and exploration results and confirmed the presence of multiple zones of cobalt-copper-gold sulphide mineralisation over a strike length of at least 300 metres.
The mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth.
The Main Cobalt Lode has been the primary target of the company’s recent drilling (and much of the historical drilling).
This lode is up to 25m in true width and contains multiple narrow zones of higher-grade mineralisation.
Of course, Australia is not the only country to be blessed with attractive amounts of cobalt endowment, which is why some ASX exploration plays are active overseas.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) recently commenced a maiden drilling program at the company’s high-grade Little Gem cobalt-gold project in British Columbia, Canada.
The first diamond drill hole of the program tested the upper portion of the alteration zone.
Although the hole was terminated (due to mechanical issues) halfway through the mineralised target, it had managed to intersect massive, semi-massive and disseminated mineralisation with results including:
4.3 metres at 1 per cent cobalt and 15 grams per tonne gold, including 1.1m at 3 per cent cobalt and 44g/t gold.
The initial results Blackstone achieved from the maiden drilling at Little Gem are consistent with historic drilling and adit channel sampling, which returned average grades of 3 per cent cobalt and 20g/t gold.
Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) is currently drilling its second diamond drilling campaign on the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sara Alicia gold and cobalt project in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.
The drilling is following up Azure’s 2017 maiden drilling program, in which all six drill holes intersected high-grades of gold and cobalt mineralisation at shallow depths, returning a best intersection of:
26.2m at 9.5g/t gold and 1.26 per cent cobalt from 0.60m depth, including 12.6m at 16.8g/t gold and 6.35m at 3.57 per cent cobalt.
The new drilling has been designed to target along-strike and down-dip extensions of the high-grade mineralisation intersected in the 2017 program.
Based upon anticipating further success, Azure is already planning a second phase of drilling to complete a 50m by 50m drill pattern over the mineralised body.