Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) has confirmed the potential for its Snettisham vanadium project in southern Alaska to also contain gold mineralisation after wrapping up a 3D magnetic geophysics model.
Despite only acquiring the Alaskan vanadium asset in December last year, the South Australian-headquartered company is moving rapidly to firm up Snettisham with 3D modelling of a magnetic survey completed last month.
Northern Cobalt informed shareholders today that the survey had been conducted over an Alaskan-style mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex which is host to significant concentrations of titaniferous and vanadium bearing magnetite and has several historic gold mines in the vicinity.
Magnetite is the main vanadium bearing mineral, with commercially-viable vanadium production currently arising from magnetite deposits.
Encouragingly, the magnetic survey identified the magnitude of the total field magnetic anomaly to be in excess of 24,000 nanotesla.
Northern Cobalt said the resulting 3D model had provided a good indication of the magnetite present at Snettisham, with the model predicting a very large magnetite body beneath Snettisham.
The magnetite body is approximately 2.5km long, up to 600m wide and over 2km deep from less than 50m beneath surface.
Northern Cobalt managing director Michael Schwarz said the 3D inversion of the magnetic anomaly at Snettisham had produced a truly impressive model of vanadium bearing magnetite within the intrusion.
“Planning and approval for drilling are in progress now that drill targets have been identified,” he said.
Northern Cobalt has planned three diamond drill holes to test the 3D model at Snettisham, with drilling set to kick off in the second quarter of 2019.
The Snettisham project is located within the Juneau gold belt of southeast Alaska, which has historically produced over 7 million ounces of gold.
The historical Crystal, Friday and Minehaha gold mines all occur within the boundary of the project area, with the local geology well suited to hosting Juneau gold belt style mineralisation.
Following on from the recently flown magnetic survey, Northern Cobalt has identified significant potential for further gold mineralisation within the project area.
The company said it was keen to further explore the project’s gold potential, with upcoming exploration to include a focus on the prospective, gold bearing structures.
Snettisham’s attractive location
Snettisham is located about 50km south of the city of Juneau in southern Alaska.
The project’s attractive location enables Northern Cobalt to take advantage of existing infrastructure facilities, given the asset is situated on a deep-water channel.
This provides the company with easy access to cheap energy from the nearby Snettisham hydro-electricity plant.
Meanwhile, Northern Cobalt’s field activities won’t have to be dictated by weather, with Snettisham’s proximity to the ocean and lack of frozen tundra enabling exploration work to occur all year around with the support of barges and helicopters.
Northern Cobalt remains confident that its recent move into the vanadium space via Snettisham will give it exposure to demand for the metal in vanadium flow batteries and the increasing demand for use in high strength steel in the building industry.