Canadian Manufacturing

First Cobalt resumes drilling at its U.S. cobalt-copper project

Iron Creek is one of only two primary cobalt resource projects in the United States, where cobalt is considered a critical mineral due to America's reliance on foreign supply of this strategic mineral.

September 23, 2021  by CM Staff

Image 1 – First Cobalt and contractors’ drilling crew setting up equipment, targeting the copper-rich western extension of the Iron Creek deposit. (CNW Group/First Cobalt Corp.)

TORONTO — First Cobalt Corp. announces that it commenced drilling at Iron Creek, a wholly-owned cobalt-copper project in Idaho, USA. The Company’s objective is to double the size of the current resource over the next two years, in light of stronger commodity prices and an acceleration of EV adoption rates in North America.

  • North American EV sales reached 325,000 units in the first half of 2021, up 128% year-on-year from 142,000 units in the corresponding period 2020. Nearly 100% of vehicles sold in North America so far in 2021 were delivered with cobalt-bearing NCM and NCA lithium-ion batteries
  • C$2.5 million budget will include 4,000 metres of drilling to test extensions to the deposit, which is currently open to the east, to the west and at depth, demonstrating excellent potential for resource growth
  • The drill campaign follows successful meetings in Washington between executives from First Cobalt and senior elected officials, including the Idaho delegation to Congress, and civil servants from several departments and agencies
  • Iron Creek is one of only two primary cobalt resource projects in the United States, where cobalt is considered a critical mineral due to America’s reliance on foreign supply of this strategic mineral

Drilling will initially focus on extending the east and west strike extent of the cobalt-copper deposit, as well as down dip. The Company’s previous drill campaign expanded the resource along strike to over 900m and down-dip extensions to over 600m (see press release dated January 15, 2020). The Company plans to drill over 4,000 meters and expects to receive first results by the end of Q4 2021.

“The Company recently put in place the required financing to expand and recommission its battery materials refinery in Canada in Q4 2022. Resuming drilling in Idaho supports our strategy of building a North American battery materials supply chain and is supported by stronger commodity prices and a constructive outlook for a domestic EV supply chain. Assuming drill results are as expected in 2021, we anticipate an even larger drill campaign in 2022, to fast-track our plans for domestic mine supply,” said President and CEO, Trent Mell.

The Company completed 30,000 metres of drilling from 2017 to 2019 before pausing exploration to focus on developing its refining business to supply EV battery makers.

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