First Cobalt has assembled an extensive property package to facilitate an exploration program across the over 10,000 hectares the Company owns to leverage this historic knowledge through the re-evaluation of the silver-cobalt mineralized system. The Camp is divided into three exploration regions; Cobalt North, Central and South.
2018 Cobalt Camp Program
The 26,500 metre drilling program for 2018 was been designed to test mineralized areas throughout the Cobalt Camp with known historical production of cobalt and silver. These areas include the Kerr, Drummond, Juno, Ophir, Hamilton, Silver Banner and Silverfields mines in Cobalt North, the Caswell mine in Cobalt Central, and the Bellellen, Keeley and Frontier mines in Cobalt South (Figure 1).
Results from the 2017 drill program indicate that cobalt occurs as different styles of mineralization in the Cobalt Camp largely due to different geological settings. This program will test several prospective areas to ascertain near-surface mineralization potential. Shallow surface drilling methods, such as reverse circulation drilling will be utilized at some prospects prior to diamond drilling to more accurately define the extent and dip character of the veins and determine if cobalt grades are sufficient for follow-up.
Figure 1. Regional bedrock geology of the Cobalt Camp showing target areas for exploration work in 2018.
First Cobalt’s properties in the Cobalt North area include the past-producing Drummond, Kerr, Silver Banner, Juno, Silverfields, Hamilton, Ophir, Lawson and Conisil mines. Operations in this area accounted for over 80% of the historic silver production. Cobalt has not previously been an exploration focus in this area and exploration activities in the 1980’s and 1990’s focused on Cu-Zn-Pb mineralization within the volcanic rocks. Cobalt had not been assayed previously, so potential for an extensive polymetallic mineralization system remains to be explored. Muckpile grab samples from the Juno and Drummond mines returned grades of up to 3.9% cobalt, up to 1.63% zinc, and up to 4,990 g/t silver.
A prospecting program near the Caswell mine announced November 21, 2017 returned elevated base metal values, with samples up to 9.44% cobalt, up to 1.27% copper and up to 2.92% nickel. Caswell appears to be an enriched cobalt vein system similar to other targets throughout the Camp although most of the cobalt at Caswell is hosted by Nipissing Diabase, in contrast to mafic volcanic rocks that are more commonly associated with cobalt mineralization.
Silver is conspicuously low in all samples collected in the Caswell area and low silver content in these mines is believed to have precluded any significant production, making this an ideal target for soil and till geochemical surveys, ground geophysical surveying and drilling.
The Bellellen mine will be the primary focus of the initial 3,000 metres of drilling planned in Cobalt South, in addition to follow up drilling at the Keeley and Frontier mines. A further 2,000 metres of drilling is contemplated in the Maiden Lake region later in the year based on the results of regional exploration work.
Sampling from Bellellen in 2017 returned high grade cobalt values in fracture and disseminated material, including grades of up to 3.76% cobalt (see September 28, 2017 press release). Historically, the Bellellen mine contained high cobalt content relative to silver, thus it struggled to be economically viable in a silver mining era.
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