Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) is expanding its exploration focus at the Snettisham vanadium-gold project in southern Alaska to add iron ore following recent sustained price increases for the mineral.
Having previously focused on vanadium as the main value driver, the company today announced it has completed an assessment of the potential for magnetite iron ore to contribute to the project’s economics.
According to Northern Cobalt, the project has a high-grade magnetite iron ore exploration target of 297-551 million tonnes at 28-52% iron and a low-grade target of 1.1-2.1 billion tonnes at 14-26% iron.
These exploration targets were based on exploration results obtained by both Northern Cobalt and previous explorers from outcrop mapping, airborne magnetics, rock chip sampling, metallurgical studies and drilling.
Northern Cobalt only just acquired the Snettisham project last December and has raced to firm up its vanadium and gold potential with 3D modelling of an airborne magnetic survey predicting the presence of a very large magnetite body.
According to the company, this magnetite body is about 2.5km long, up to 600m wide and more than 2km deep from less than 50m below surface.
In today’s announcement, Northern Cobalt said magnetic susceptibility values from the airborne survey were used to calculate a percentage concentration of magnetite (iron ore material) in order to model the iron ore exploration target.
The company is planning to kick off a three-hole diamond drilling program by the end of June, which will test the validity of the 3D model for vanadium, iron and gold as well as obtain metallurgy samples for beneficiation test work.
Northern Cobalt is aiming to raise $1.5 million to fund both the exploration program at Snettisham and another round of drilling at its Wollogorang copper-cobalt project in the Northern Territory.
Last month, the company announced it had received firm commitments for $450,000 from investors under a completed share placement.
It is also currently offering a one-for-three non-renounceable rights issue at $0.05 per share to raise $1.04 million.