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International Cobalt growing footprint in world-class Idaho belt as it looks to feed future electric vehicle demand

Snapshot

The flagship asset is the Blackbird Creek project, at drill-ready status, just 15 miles southeast of eCobalt's Idaho cobalt project

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Quick facts: International Cobalt Corp

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CSE:CO
Market: CSE
Market Cap: $1.87 m
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  • A significant footprint in the world-class Idaho cobalt belt

  • Well financed for exploration this year and next with $8M in cash on hand as at October last year

  • Positioned next to eCobalt Solutions' Idaho Cobalt project (ICP)


The resource group International Cobalt Corp (CNSX:CO) is looking for "primary cobalt" (the main commodity to be potentially mined). That means it is not so interested in nickel secondary cobalt or silver secondary cobalt. The firm has among the largest footprint in the Idaho cobalt belt.

Its most advanced property is Blackbird Creek project, at drill-ready status, which is just 15 miles southeast of the eCobalt's Idaho cobalt project and near to Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) giant battery factory. Previous exploration at Blackbird in 1943 and 1979 at blackbird demonstrated extensive mineralization.

The firm also has the The Formation North project in Idaho, which consists of 58 claims over 470 hectares, where historical work has identified several mineralized zones, including the Bonanza Zone, where drilling has returned 17.8 meters (m) of 0.24% cobalt and 0.15% copper.

Idaho has seen a strong mining recovery in the last decade. The major Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD) recently invested US$38 million into the Stibnite Gold Project in Idaho, and others such as Revival Gold, Otis Gold and Integra Resources are advancing major gold projects.

Meanwhile, in Atlantic Canada, the firm had the Ramsay cobalt project, but it has given the vendor named SLAM Exploration Ltd notice of its plans to terminate the option agreement and return the property.

How's the company doing?

The company has seen successful exploration at several of its properties. In September, it reported encouraging grab samples from the Raven prospect at flagship Blackbird Creek. All 16 samples returned grades over 1% Co (cobalt) and a high of 5.88% cobalt. Meanwhile, samples from the prospect returned consistent gold values of up to 1.8 g/t (grams per ton) gold, along with the highly anomalous lanthanum (averaging 2350 ppm (parts per milion).

Raven lies around 1,500m along strike from where drilling was completed on high grade zones by Noranda Exploration in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

And in March this year, the  group revealed it had increased its footprint yet further, by staking a new project (JA) in the cobalt region of Lemhi County in Idaho, still within the Idaho Cobalt Belt (ICB).

Why cobalt?

Cobalt is a buzz commodity and has been identified as a strategic mineral by the US government. Fueling demand is modern electronics, which use lithium-ion batteries, with three quarters of such batteries expected to contain cobalt by 2020.

Electric vehicles (EV) are expected to suck up a large chunk of output, with EV sales projected to reach 4.5 million by 2020. There are no existing primary cobalt mines in North America, while 72% of existing supply comes from risky jurisdictions such as  the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which accounts for 60% of global supply, Zambia and Russia.

Tantalex merger plans

In November last year,  the group announced a plan to merge with Africa-focused Tantalex Resources Corp (CNSX:TTX), which is developing  lithium, cobalt, tantalum properties in Africa, and in March this year Tantalex shareholders approved the amalgamation. It still needs to be approved by International Cobalt shareholders, among other conditions.

Tantalex has been in the DRC for the previous four years and recently completed the acquisition of an exploitation license to produce lithium from the tailings dumps of the historical  Manono-Kitotolo (MK) mine in Tanganyika province.

An exploration target completed by Tantalex estimates the total tonnage of the dumps could be between 85Mt (million tonnes) and 140Mt.

Contact Giles at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter@Gile74

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Watch

International Cobalt reports encouraging assays from Raven prospect

Tim Johnson, president of International Cobalt Corp (CNSX:CO),  discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott ''encouraging'' grab sample assays from their recently discovered Raven prospect at the Blackbird Creek project in Idaho, USA. The company reckons the nature of the mineralization...

on 27/9/18

4 min read