Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) hopes to firm up Stanton-like cobalt discoveries as it starts drilling high priority cobalt targets at its flagship Wollogorang project in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Under the high priority target program, Northern Cobalt will drill 21 holes to about 40m depths in areas where shallow aircore holes indicated the potential for economic cobalt mineralisation.
The targets were firmed up during Northern Cobalt’s 973 aircore campaign that tested a large area of the project but only to depths of 5m.
According to Northern Cobalt, the priority targets from the aircore program returned magnetic lows with cobalt grading at 100 parts per million and above.
“We are entering an exciting phase of our 2018 exploration program,” Northern Cobalt managing director Michael Schwarz said.
“We have undertaken a rigorous and thorough approach to defining the best drill targets near the existing Stanton Cobalt deposit.”
“In the coming weeks and months, we hope to have this hard work pay off in the form of new Stanton-style cobalt discoveries from deeper drill testing of these targets,” Mr Schwarz added.
Due to the shallow covering across much of Wollogorang, previous surface sampling had yielded little value with only 1% of samples taken returning 100ppm cobalt or above.
However, the shallow aircore campaign intersected mineralisation under the cover and managed to identify 100ppm cobalt or more in 21% of the drill holes.
In the second drilling phase, Northern Cobalt will undertake a further 250 holes hitting 20m to 40m depths.
The company anticipates it will drill about 7,500m and this second phase campaign will continue until the wet season advances in late November/mid-December.
Wollogorang cobalt project
Wollogorang is about 180km from Borroloola and 870km from Darwin.
The project’s primary deposit is Stanton where a resource of 942,000t grading 0.13% cobalt, 0.06% nickel and 0.12% copper has been calculated.
Mineralisation extends from surface to 90m depths, making the resource amenable to an open pit operation.
Additionally, Mr Schwarz points out the mineralisation is non-refractory, which combined with the shallow nature, could result in a lower cost operation.
Mr Schwarz describes the mineralisation as similar in style to that found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but without the sovereign risk.
Meanwhile, in addition to advancing Wollogorang, Northern Cobalt reported founding director Duncan Chessell will move from his current executive role to a non-executive position with the board over the coming three months.