Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) is back on the ground at its flagship Wollogorang cobalt project in the Northern Territory, with drill site preparation underway in readiness for the 2018 drilling campaign, which is due to begin before the end of the week.
The upcoming drilling program will comprise 15,000m across 37 new targets and will follow on from last year’s major reverse circulation drilling campaign.
This year’s program will use smaller and lighter air core rigs that can cover more ground much faster.
According to Northern Cobalt, the rigs will also afford the company “significant” cost savings for exploring the project which covers more than 4,986 square kilometres in granted tenements.
The company has also secured a customised portable XRF to gauge cobalt grades at a quicker pace than sending samples to labs and awaiting results.
In readiness for developing a mining operation at Wollogorang, Northern Cobalt has started working on “long lead time, low cost activities” including its Environmental Impact Study.
The decision to start these activities was in consultation with ERIAS Group with water monitoring and sampling and flora and fauna studies underway.
Wollogorang cobalt project
Earlier this month, Northern Cobalt reported diamond drill core results from the 2017 program at Wollogorang’s main Stanton deposit.
The 10-hole diamond drill core program produced intersections up to 25.4m wide and cobalt grading up to 2.51%.
Notable intersections from the project were 25.4m grading 0.24% cobalt, 20.8m grading 0.31% cobalt, 13m grading 0.33% cobalt and the 1m interval which contained the 2.51% cobalt.
The diamond core results underpin the larger and broader reverse circulation drilling program that was undertaken in the latter half of last year and resulted in a resource upgrade to 942,000t grading 0.13% cobalt, 0.06% nickel and 0.12% copper.
Arunta lithium project
Additionally, a soil sampling program has kicked-off today at the company’s Arunta lithium project, which was secured in February this year.
Northern Cobalt’s geologists have identified areas of interest for the campaign, which will run for six weeks and will focus on the Alcoota pegmatite region which is in the project’s northern region and about 150km north-east of Alice Springs.
The Northern Territory Government has granted Northern Cobalt 100% of nine tenements which make up the Arunta project.
In addition to lithium, the tenements are believed prospective for caesium, tantalum, rare earths, copper and cobalt.
Northern Cobalt managing director Michael Schwarz said the Arunta tenements complimented Wollogorang and aligned with the company’s strategy to “pursue commodities essential to the renewable future”.