Fresh from its acquisition of the Snettisham vanadium asset in southern Alaska, Northern Cobalt (ASX: N27) has already confirmed potential for the project to host significant concentrations of vanadium bearing magnetite after completing an aeromagnetic survey.
The company recently wrapped a helicopter borne magnetic survey over an Alaskan-style mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex, which is host to major concentrations of titaniferous and vanadium bearing magnetite.
The intrusion extends over 3.8 kilometres along the coast of the Snettisham Peninsula and up to 1.5km inland.
Importantly, Northern Cobalt said the survey had identified the magnitude of the total field magnetic anomaly to be in excess of 14,000nT, signifying the presence of a large amount of magnetite at shallow depths within the system.
Magnetite is the main vanadium bearing mineral, with commercially-viable vanadium production currently arising from magnetite deposits.
Northern Cobalt managing director Michael Schwarz said the company was encouraged by the firm indications of vanadium bearing magnetite present in the intrusion.
“We are currently developing a 3D inversion of the magnetic data which will allow us to model the size and distribution of magnetite within the system,” he said.
“This will allow us to generate drill targets for the upcoming field season.”
Drilling on the horizon
The current focus of Northern Cobalt’s exploration program remains on modelling and inversion work of the magnetic data.
By utilising sophisticated modelling techniques, the company will construct a 3D model of the magnetite distribution and grade which will provide a basis for a drilling program to collect material for metallurgical test work.
The company anticipates results from this analysis to be ready for release within the next week, with drilling set to kick off at Snettisham in the first-half of 2019.
Snettisham’s compelling advantages
Northern Cobalt only acquired the Alaskan vanadium asset in December last year and is wasting no time firming up the project’s potential.
It staked 48 mineral claims over the Snettisham project following a global search for a new vanadium project.
The company said it simply “couldn’t look past” Snettisham due to its large-scale potential and its unique position regarding infrastructure requirements such as cheap electricity from the nearby Snettisham hydroelectric power plant, an adjacent deep-water channel for shipments, and proximity to the mining town of Juneau.
While the Alaskan winters can hamper mining activities, Northern Cobalt said the project’s location in Southern Alaska, proximity to the ocean, lack of frozen tundra and hilly nature of the terrain would enable exploration work to occur all year around with the support of barges and helicopters.