First Cobalt Continues to Extend Mineralization at Iron Creek and Intersects High Grade Copper

February 13, 2019
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TORONTO, ON — (February 13, 2019) – First Cobalt Corp. (TSX-V: FCC; ASX: FCC; OTCQX: FTSSF) (the “Company”) is pleased to report drill results from its Iron Creek Cobalt Project in Idaho, USA, that continue to extend the strike and width of the mineralized zones while also identifying more copper-rich areas to the west of the deposit.

Highlights

  • Cobalt-copper mineralization extended by 120 metres westward along strike in the Waite Zone and to a depth of 300 metres
  • Extensions of particularly copper-rich mineralization have been encountered to the west of the current resource area (all widths reported are true widths)
    • 13.4m of 2.22% Cu, including 4.01% Cu over 3.0m
    • 1.9m of 3.90% Cu and 0.22% Co, including 10.37% Cu and 0.47% Co over 0.5m
    • 4.0m of 2.88% Cu and 0.12% Co, including 6.17% Cu and 0.19% Co over 1.2m
    • 3.9m of 2.92% Cu
    • 6.1m of 1.34% Cu
    • 1.6m of 5.68% Cu
  • Cobalt grades in the western extension are comparable to the values in the September 2018 Inferred resource estimate and include:
    • 6.6m of 0.25% Co, including 0.59% Co over 1.4m
    • 5.3m of 0.15% Co, including 0.27% Co over 1.9m
  • Cobalt and copper mineralization between the two historic zones continues to grow, now extending over a continuous horizon of 800 metres

Trent Mell, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“In 2018, electric vehicle sales in America were up 81%. Worldwide, more than 2 million EVs were sold, still representing just 2% of the global market. This upward trend is expected to continue to gain momentum as many of the larger automotive companies prepare to rollout new EV models over the next eighteen months.

“The Iron Creek deposit in Idaho, USA is one of a few primary cobalt deposits in the world and it also derives substantial value from copper mineralization. Today’s results support our view that copper-rich areas provide options for mine planning. There are 18 drill holes pending which will be included in an updated mineral resource estimate that is expected at the end of March. We anticipate a notable enhancement over the maiden resource estimate we released in September with still further upside, as the deposit remains open in all directions.”

The four holes reported today were drilled beyond the western extent of the resource (Figure 1). Results from these holes have expanded mineralization an additional 120 metres in the Waite Zone and 60 metres in the No Name Zone. Whereas the previous resource estimate reported mineralization 150 metres below surface, the two westernmost holes released today trace mineralization to over 300 metres below surface, showing mineralization is open down-dip and along the western strike extent. Together, extensions along strike and at depth continue to suggest further tonnage potential well beyond the boundaries of the maiden resource estimate.

The Company continues to identify rich intervals of cobalt-copper mineralization between the No Name and Waite Zones. Iron Creek now has a continuous horizon of mineralization between the two zones along a strike length of approximately 800 metres (Figure 1). This results in better continuity of mineralization within a broader envelope that extends between 30 and 60 metres across the three horizons.

The Iron Creek deposit is generally known to be more cobalt-rich to the east and more copper-rich to the west. Higher grade copper and cobalt zones within broader zones of mineralization provide optionality for mine planning.

Bedrock geology and surface expression of cobalt-copper mineralization at Iron Creek

Figure 1. Bedrock geology and surface expression of cobalt-copper mineralization at Iron Creek. Outline of Inferred Resource at 0.1% CoEq from 2018 estimate is projected to surface. The surface projection of mineralized zones, including No Name and Waite Zone, represent continuous sedimentary stratigraphic horizons.

Detailed Results

The drill results reported today are from a second phase of drilling that was conducted during 2018. A fan of holes drilled southward from the same surface station tested the strike extent of mineralization to the west of the current resource area.

Cobalt grades were similar to nearby drill holes within the Inferred resource estimate, such as 6.6m of 0.25% Co including 1.4m of 0.59% Co in ICS18-16. Results indicate that the western portion of the No Name Zone is particularly copper-rich, having intercepted broad widths of copper mineralization including 2.22% Cu over 13.4m in ICS18-12.

Results from the other two holes in this fan, ICS18-21 and ICS18-25, show mineralization extends to the west along the No Name and Waite Zones by 60m and 120m respectively. These two holes also contain intersections to approximately 300m below surface, which is a substantial increase to the known dip extent of the deposit (Figure 2). Similar to holes ISC18-12 and ISC18-16, broad widths of high grade copper were encountered along the No Name Zone including 2.92% Cu over 3.9m in ICS18-21.

The Waite Zone continues to the west with grades consistent with the Inferred resource estimate including 0.27% Co over 1.9m within 0.15% Co over 5.3m as noted in ICS18-21. Similarly, copper rich portions also occur including 2.88% Cu and 0.12% Co over 4.0m in ICS18-25.

Relatively rich intervals of cobalt-copper mineralization also persist between the two known zones, including 0.22% Co and 3.90% Cu over 1.9m including 0.47% Co and 10.37% Cu over 0.5m in ICS18-21, correlating to other drill holes further east. A continuous horizon of mineralization between the two zones has now been traced along a comparable strike length of approximately 800m.

Higher grade copper mineralization west of Adit#2 was previously intersected in 2017 and 2018 drill holes. Today’s results are consistent with the previous copper grades and the continuity of mineralization is now seen in several holes along strike and down-dip.

Assay results from three additional holes from this surface station are pending and may reflect extension of mineralization to surface.

Cross section of drill holes reported

Figure 2. Cross section of drill holes reported. Width of the cross section is 33.3 metres (100 feet) oriented to view southwest. The main mineralized zone is interpreted from the 3D geological model considering drill intersections outside of the cross section. Vertical scale is equal to horizontal scale.

Table 1. Summary of Assay Results

Hole ID Zone From (m) To
(m)
Drilled
 Length
(m)
True
 Width
 (m)
True
 Width
 (feet)
Cobalt
 %
Copper
%
CoEq
 %
ICS18-12 No Name 149.2 175.7 26.5 13.4 44.1 0.01 2.22 0.23
  Including 156.7 162.8 6.0 3.0 10.0 0.01 4.01 0.41
  Between Zones 255.8 257.0 1.2 0.6 2.0 0.20 0.20 0.22
  Between Zones 276.2 276.9 0.7 0.3 1.1 0.23 0.31 0.26
  Between Zones 282.9 283.9 1.0 0.5 1.7 0.13 0.20 0.15
  Between Zones 292.0 295.1 3.1 1.6 5.1 0.25 0.67 0.32
  Between Zones 315.6 317.1 1.5 0.7 2.4 0.24 0.17 0.26
  Between Zones 323.3 324.1 0.8 0.4 1.3 0.21 0.17 0.23
  Between Zones 336.9 338.5 1.6 0.8 2.6 0.46 0.18 0.48
  Including 336.9 337.8 0.9 0.4 1.4 0.71 0.29 0.74
  Waite 349.8 351.3 1.5 0.8 2.5 0.18 0.09 0.19
  Waite 354.5 355.7 1.2 0.6 1.9 0.19 0.51 0.24
  Footwall 387.6 388.3 0.8 0.4 1.3 0.22 0.46 0.27
ICS18-16 No Name 195.2 201.2 6.0 2.8 9.2 0.01 2.02 0.21
  Between Zones 218.1 220.2 2.0 0.9 3.1 0.02 2.47 0.26
  Between Zones 277.6 278.6 1.0 0.5 1.7 0.15 0.06 0.15
  Between Zones 296.6 298.2 1.5 0.8 2.6 0.20 0.13 0.22
  Between Zones 307.0 308.5 1.5 0.8 2.6 0.22 1.85 0.41
  Between Zones 345.8 350.9 5.1 2.7 8.7 0.14 0.03 0.14
  Waite 362.0 373.9 11.9 6.6 21.6 0.25 0.01 0.26
  Including 365.0 367.5 2.5 1.4 4.5 0.59 0.01 0.59
ICS18-21 No Name 195.1 197.5 2.3 1.1 3.7 0.01 2.07 0.21
  No Name 211.9 219.8 7.9 3.9 12.9 0.01 2.92 0.31
  Including 211.9 212.7 0.9 0.4 1.4 0.01 2.49 0.26
  Including 216.2 219.3 3.2 1.6 5.2 0.02 5.68 0.59
  Between Zones 245.4 247.3 1.9 1.0 3.2 0.02 1.61 0.18
  Between Zones 261.1 264.8 3.7 1.9 6.3 0.22 3.90 0.61
  Including 263.8 264.8 1.0 0.5 1.7 0.47 10.37 1.50
  Between Zones 269.3 276.3 7.0 3.6 11.9 0.12 0.22 0.14
  Including 271.9 272.8 0.9 0.5 1.6 0.31 0.33 0.35
  Between Zones 312.8 316.0 3.2 1.9 6.2 0.12 0.12 0.13
  Including 312.8 314.0 1.2 0.7 2.3 0.19 0.17 0.21
  Between Zones 323.0 324.0 1.0 0.6 1.9 0.38 0.13 0.39
  Between Zones 326.1 326.7 0.7 0.4 1.3 0.23 0.09 0.24
  Waite 360.9 369.5 8.6 5.3 17.4 0.15 0.05 0.15
  Including 360.9 363.9 3.0 1.9 6.1 0.27 0.07 0.28
  Footwall 374.0 375.8 1.8 1.1 3.7 0.17 0.02 0.17
  Footwall 402.7 405.3 2.6 1.7 5.6 0.16 0.02 0.16
  Footwall 434.6 435.6 0.9 0.6 2.0 0.16 0.10 0.17
ICS18-25 No Name 189.9 199.3 9.4 6.1 20.1 0.01 1.34 0.14
  Including 192.2 193.5 1.3 0.9 2.9 0.05 3.70 0.42
  Including 197.5 198.7 1.2 0.8 2.5 0.00 2.56 0.26
  Between Zones 256.9 259.7 2.8 2.0 6.5 0.00 1.48 0.15
  Waite 280.9 286.5 5.6 4.0 13.2 0.12 2.88 0.41
  Including 283.2 284.8 1.6 1.2 3.9 0.19 6.17 0.80
  Footwall 317.5 321.8 4.3 3.1 10.3 0.00 1.00 0.10
  Footwall 326.1 328.1 2.0 1.5 4.8 0.01 1.96 0.21

True thickness estimated from 3D geological model also considering drill holes on strike. Cobalt equivalent is calculated as %CoEq = %Co + (%Cu/10) based on US$30/lb Co and US$3/lb Cu. No metallurgical recoveries were applied to either metal as it is expected that the metallurgical recoveries will be similar for both metals. Flotation tests support the Company’s opinion that both cobalt and copper are of sufficient grade to be recovered.

Iron Creek Project

First Cobalt announced on September 26, 2018 an Inferred Resource estimate at Iron Creek of 26.9 million tonnes grading 0.11% cobalt equivalent (0.08% Co and 0.30% Cu containing 46.2 million pounds of cobalt and 176.2 million pounds of copper) under a base case scenario pit constrained and deeper mineral resource. An alternative underground-only scenario results in 4.4 million tonnes grading 0.23% Co and 0.68% Cu (0.30% CoEq) using a cutoff underground grade of 0.18% CoEq and containing 22.3 million pounds of cobalt and 66.7 million pounds of copper. The Inferred resource is based on drilling over a strike length of approximately 500 metres and a dip extent of over 150 metres. Preliminary metallurgical testing concludes that simple flotation methods are applicable, yielding recoveries of 96% for cobalt and 95% for copper in rougher floatation. Historic underground development includes 600 metres of drifting in three adits and an all-weather road connecting the project to a state highway.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

First Cobalt has implemented a quality control program to comply with industry best practices for sampling, chain of custody and analyses. Blanks, duplicates and standards are inserted at the core processing site as part of the QA/QC program. Samples are prepared and analyzed by American Assay Laboratories (AAL) in Sparks, Nevada. Over 15% of the samples analyzed are control samples consisting of checks, blanks, and duplicates inserted by the Company; in addition to the control samples inserted by the lab. Drill core samples are dried, weighed crushed to 85 % passing -6 mesh, roll crushed to 85% passing -10 mesh, split 250 gram pulps, then pulverized in a closed bowl ring pulverizer to 95% passing -150 mesh, then analyzed by a 5 acid digestion for ICP analysis. All samples have passed QA/QC protocols.

Qualified and Competent Person Statement

Dr. Frank Santaguida, P.Geo., is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 who has reviewed and approved the contents of this news release. Dr. Santaguida is also a Competent Person (as defined in the JORC Code, 2012 edition) who is a practicing member of the Association of Professional Geologists of Ontario (being a ‘Recognised Professional Organisation’ for the purposes of the ASX Listing Rules). Dr. Santaguida is employed on a full-time basis as Vice President, Exploration for First Cobalt. He has sufficient experience that is relevant to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code.

About First Cobalt

First Cobalt is a North American pure-play cobalt company whose flagship asset is the Iron Creek Cobalt Project in Idaho, USA, which has Inferred mineral resources of 26.9 million tonnes grading 0.11% cobalt equivalent. The Company also owns the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America and 50 past-producing mines in the Canadian Cobalt Camp.  

On behalf of First Cobalt Corp.

Trent Mell
President & Chief Executive Officer

For more information visit www.firstcobalt.com or contact:

Heather Smiles
Investor Relations
[email protected]
+1.416.900.3891

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Estimates of Resources

Readers are cautioned that mineral resources are not economic mineral reserves and that the economic viability of resources that are not mineral reserves has not been demonstrated. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by geology, environmental, permitting, legal, title, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues. The mineral resource estimate is classified in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum's "2014 CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves" incorporated by reference into NI 43-101. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies or economic studies except for Preliminary Economic Assessment as defined under NI 43-101. Readers are cautioned not to assume that further work on the stated resources will lead to mineral reserves that can be mined economically. An Inferred Mineral Resource as defined by the CIM Standing Committee is "that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade or quality continuity. An Inferred Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than that applying to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to a Mineral Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration."

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (together, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws and the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as “plans”, “expects', “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes” or variations of such words, or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance and opportunities to differ materially from those implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements are set forth in the management discussion and analysis and other disclosures of risk factors for First Cobalt, filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although First Cobalt believes that the information and assumptions used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed times frames or at all. Except where required by applicable law, First Cobalt disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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