Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) has received final government approvals and completed its acquisition of nine lithium tenements in the Northern Territory’s Arunta region, with exploration planned to kick-off next week.
The Northern Territory Government has informed Northern Cobalt it has met all conditions required to acquire 100% of the nine tenements, collectively known as the Arunta lithium project, and granted formal approval.
As part of the acquisition, Northern Cobalt has issued 600,000 shares to the tenement vendor Gempart (NT) at A$0.42 each.
In addition to lithium, the Arunta tenements are believed prospective for caesium, tantalum, rare earths, copper and cobalt.
“These new hard rock lithium targets in central Australia are also prospective for other strategic metals used in electric vehicles such as the permanent magnets in electric motors and wind generators – typically, lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites and associated rare earth elements and niobium can be found in the project area,” Northern Cobalt managing director Michael Schwarz said.
Mr Schwarz added preliminary exploration will begin next week and involve mapping, soil and rock chip sampling to firm up drill targets in the coming months.
The Arunta tenements are about 180km from Alice Springs and 1,250km from Darwin.
“We see this project as complimentary to the advanced Wollogorang cobalt project further to the north – it aligns with our company strategy to pursue commodities essential to the renewable future,” Mr Schwarz said.
Wollogorang cobalt project
The Arunta tenement acquisition follows Northern Cobalt’s attainment of five tenements surrounding its flagship Wollogorang project late last month.
The new tenements surrounding Wollogorang boosted the company’s Northern Territory cobalt landholding by 341% to 4,986 square kilometres.
With the recent cobalt tenement acquisition, Wollogorang now stretches throughout the top end of the Northern Territory’s east and hugs the Queensland border.
Northern Cobalt also has a further two cobalt tenements under application in Queensland.
The company is currently working towards developing the Stanton cobalt deposit at Wollogorang, which has an initial inferred resource of 500,000 tonnes grading 0.17% cobalt, 0.09% nickel and 0.11% copper.
A scoping study at Stanton is underway with resource upgrades anticipated by the end of the current quarter and in the June period.
Earlier this week, Northern Cobalt reported scout drilling at Wollogorang has identified up to six deposits similar in nature to Stanton.
Situated in the Northern Territory, which is a known mining friendly jurisdiction, Northern Cobalt is increasingly coming under investor and end-user radars as a potential stable and quality cobalt supply as the world’s largest cobalt producing region remains in disarray after the Democratic Republic of Congo Government slammed cobalt miners and explorers in the country with tax hikes.