Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) has uncovered more high grade, near surface, cobalt mineralisation at its Stanton deposit in the Northern Territory, with mineralisation remaining open in multiple directions.
The company has now received 48 assays out of a 70 reverse circulation (RC) drilling program across Stanton, which is part of the Wollogorang project.
Better intersections from the latest assay batch were 11m grading 0.29% cobalt including a 2m interval with 2.30% cobalt, and 9m grading 0.34% cobalt with a 1m interval of 2.33% cobalt, 0.45% copper and 1.01 nickel.
To-date, 70 RC and 10 diamond core holes have been drilled at Stanton to upgrade the current JORC-compliant inferred mineral resource of 500,000 tonnes of 0.17% cobalt, 0.09% nickel and 0.11% copper. Northern Cobalt plans to use the samples for metallurgical studies and hopes they can be incorporated into an upcoming scoping study.
An updated inferred resource is scheduled for release by the end of March 2018, with a further resource upgrade to indicated status due by the end of June, once the company has access to the metallurgical results.
Overall, 137 RC holes have been drilled across Wollogorang, with drilling now winding up due to the advancing wet season. However, assay results are expected to keep flowing through till February.
According to Northern Cobalt, the cobalt mineralisation identified so far at Wollogorang is predominantly cobalt sulphide and non-refractory, meaning it won’t require roasting to eliminate the waste elements, primarily, iron.
The company anticipates this would reduce both capital and operating expenditure when developing the deposit.
Wollogorang is situated in the Northern Territory’s north east in between two potential export ports including Borroloola which is 180km by sealed road. The project also has proximity to power.
Currently about half the world’s cobalt comes out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a black cloud hanging over its head due to its use of child labour and political instability.
Debuting on the ASX less than four months ago, Northern Cobalt has positioned itself in a mining friendly jurisdiction, with ethically sourced ore. As Tesla and Apple have officially boycotted DRC cobalt, this opens up the market for other cobalt miners to meet their demand.