Koba Resources kicks off exploration at Whitlock lithium project in Canada

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By Robin Bromby - 
Koba Resources ASX KOB Whitlock lithium project Canada Tanco

Koba Resources’ new Whitlock project is immediately along strike of Canada’s only operating lithium mine.


While work proceeds apace on its flagship cobalt-copper target in Idaho, Koba Resources (ASX: KOB) has now turned its attention to another key green revolution metal, putting boots on the ground at its recently acquired Whitlock project in Manitoba.

Four geologists are now on site carrying out sampling and inspecting the project’s extensive network of outcropping pegmatites.

These pegmatites were identified in historical mapping.

Along strike of Canada’s only operating lithium mine 

Whitlock lies within the Bird River Greenstone Belt which hosts multiple lithium deposits and is 120km northeast of Winnipeg.

The new project covers 145sq km and is immediately along strike from the Tanco mine, owned by China’s Sinomine. 

Tanco is Canada’s only operating lithium mine.

Exploration at Whitlock work is beginning as lithium prices seem to have acquired an immunity to jitters that have recently hit base metals prices, with investors facing contradictory signals from China on its COVID-19 clamp-downs.

As it stands, spodumene prices have risen by 248% in 2022, with Macquarie this week upgrading price outlooks for several Australian players in the lithium space.

Expectations high

Tanco, which has been in operation for 50 years, produces caesium and tantalum as well as lithium.

Koba managing director and chief executive officer Ben Vallerine said the company is excited to be starting initial work at the project. 

“With the world class Tanco lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatite mine on our doorstep, and an extensive network of outcropping pegmatites within our project, the company is looking forward to what the program could reveal,” he added. 

Apart from Tanco, with its lithium reserve standing at 7.3 million tonnes at 2.76% lithium, the belt has the Separation Rapids deposit (10.2Mt at 1.4% lithium), Donner Lake (3.6Mt at 1.28% lithium) and the historic Irgon lithium mine.

Lithium another pillar of EV market plans 

During the September quarter, Koba focused in its Blackpine cobalt-copper project as part of its strategy to support the electric vehicle revolution and the world’s path to net zero.

Now Whitlock adds another dimension to its EV expectations.

Blackpine is located in Idaho close to the Blackbird cobalt district and the historical Blackbird mine. It is also near Jervois’ Idaho cobalt operation, where commissioning began in October.

During the quarter, Koba delineated multiple strong IP anomalies over 4km of strike at Blackpine, which correlate with limited previous exploration that returned anomalous cobalt and copper.