- First Cobalt’s latest reports show mineralized zones thicker than previously reported and additional mineralization between two recognized zones
- The company’s focus on domestic-sourcing of a “critical mineral” is being met with excitement amid assay results showing grades above inferred resource averages
- First Cobalt is working to more than double the strike length and down dip depth
- To sharpen the company’s focus, it is making changes to its office structure and is welcoming a new CFO in Ryan Snyder
Market anxiety over the potential inability of cobalt to continue supplying lithium-ion computer battery production demand underscores the excitement junior explorer First Cobalt Corp. (TSX.V: FCC) (OTCQX: FTSSF) (ASX: FCC) is experiencing as it finds increasing resource potential at its flagship project in Idaho.
Prospects for the cobalt industry continue to show a growth that is yet to be reflected in cobalt equities, a lopsided situation that could flip quickly and unpredictably. First Cobalt has taken advantage of the opportunity to strengthen its holdings in preparation for projected demand.
First Cobalt has described its Iron Creek Project as “one of the most prospective and advanced projects in North America” (http://nnw.fm/j3pS7), and new drill results showing mineralized zones thicker than previously reported, as well as additional mineralization between the recognized zones, is sustaining that claim.
The company’s October 24 report (http://nnw.fm/NwU4L) on the recent drilling highlights findings in one of the holes of 8.0 meters (26.2 feet) of 0.45 percent graded cobalt and 2.07 percent copper, for a cobalt equivalent of 0.65 percent — grades higher than the inferred resource average level announced on September 26 of 26.9 million metric tons with a 0.11 percent cobalt equivalent.
The report states that all new drill holes contain stretches of mineralization above the inferred resource’s average grade, adding that new exploration between the two recognized No Name and Waite zones indicates additional mineralized intersections, including a 3.8-meter (12.5-foot) width of cobalt measuring 0.30 percent grade in one of the holes.
First Cobalt is drilling along an additional 300 meters (984.2 feet) of the strike to further ascertain the extent of the mineralization as it prepares an updated mineral resource estimate planned in early 2019.
Drilling at the eastern end of the two zones specifically targeted mineralization near the surface at spacing intervals consistent with the requirements for indicated resource estimation. In the No Name Zone, the assay reported grades up to 0.61 percent cobalt and 2.02 percent copper over 2.7 meters (8.9 feet) in one of the drill holes, with a strong overlap of higher grade cobalt and copper mineralization generally.
The inferred resource was established through 500 meters (1,640.4 feet) of strike length drilling and dip depth of over 150 meters (492.1 feet). Its cobalt equivalent was based on grades of 0.08 percent cobalt and 0.30 percent copper in 46.2 million pounds of cobalt and 176.2 million pounds of copper, although an underground-only alternate scenario offers results of 4.4 million metric tons grading 0.23 percent cobalt and 0.68 percent copper using a cutoff underground grade of 0.18 percent cobalt equivalent in 22.3 million pounds of cobalt and 66.7 million pounds of copper.
The company is working to extend the strike length and down dip depth by at least double their current measures. First Cobalt released its first corporate video to profile the exploration on October 25 (http://nnw.fm/JC7mI), including interviews with the senior leadership team describing what makes Iron Creek a unique cobalt asset.
Cobalt is a relatively scarce metal whose demand is heightened by its critical role in the high-tech batteries that power all manner of computerized equipment ranging from smartphones and smart watches to electric vehicles and military technologies, leading President Donald Trump’s administration to include it among a list of “critical minerals” that the nation wants to exploit domestically in order to reduce dependence on foreign powers.
Roskill, an international metals and minerals research agency, predicts that demand from the battery sector alone will more than double the size of the entire cobalt market by 2027 (http://nnw.fm/onrR5) and foresees “considerable uncertainty” about whether production levels of refined cobalt will be able to keep pace with demand after 2021 (http://nnw.fm/onrR5), which highlights the importance of First Cobalt’s developments.
As First Cobalt works to shore up its corporate structure, it announced that Ryan Snyder, an experienced financial officer who led a key project for Inmet Mining Corp.’s Cobre Panama copper model, will become the company’s new chief financial officer.
“As we sharpen our focus on our flagship Iron Creek Project, we are consolidating the organization by closing the Vancouver office and moving the finance and accounting function to the Toronto head office,” First Cobalt CEO Trent Mell stated in a company news release about the changes (http://nnw.fm/fPA2f).
For more information, visit the company’s website at http://nnw.fm/FTSSF
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