First Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: FTSSF) (TSX-V: FCC) is pleased to announce its 2018 exploration program for its Cobalt Camp properties in Ontario, Canada. The C$7 million program includes over 26,000m of drilling on 13 different targets.
The 2018 program is a significant expansion over 2017 exploration activities and will test mineralized areas throughout the Cobalt Camp proximal to more than ten past-producing mines known to contain cobalt in addition to new targets within three regional areas. The drill program will test cobalt targets occurring in different styles of mineralization and in diverse geological settings.
- 26,500m of drilling planned at 13 targets across the Cobalt Camp, testing different geological settings
- Geophysical testing techniques including downhole and ground geophysical surveys, televiewer surveys, soil geochemistry will be applied in some areas to refine targets in this program
- Regional mapping and prospecting will be conducted throughout the Camp with emphasis on the highly under-explored Central Cobalt area
- Digitization and 3D modelling of 100 years of data are ongoing to facilitate new structural interpretations for drilling target follow-up in 2018
Trent Mell, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"Having consolidated the Cobalt Camp land package, the objective of the 2018 drill program is to use our strong treasury to blanket the Camp, testing the near-surface potential of many areas with different styles of mineralization and diverse geological settings that have never been assessed for their cobalt content. In addition to Keeley-Frontier, twelve new properties will be drilled on our 100 km2 land package, including Bellellen, Drummond, Silver Banner and Silverfields."
Frank Santaguida, Vice President, Exploration added:
"Preliminary exploration activities in 2017 provided valuable insights on structural controls in various areas of the Camp. We have undertaken a review of the historical records as well as integrated new data from the Camp and, with our expanded team and increased budget, now plan to target at least 13 different areas over the year. The broad range of cobalt mineralization styles and associated metals such as silver, nickel, copper, zinc and lead require a widespread, systematic approach across the Camp. We are also looking at applying innovative methods and techniques to maximize the efficiency of this program."
2018 Cobalt Camp Program
The 26,500 metre drilling program has 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.
Downhole geophysical surveys and televiewer surveys will be done on selected holes throughout the year based on the successful application of these methods in the 2017 program. The intention of these surveys is to identify possible extensions of cobalt-bearing veins beyond the holes and to better define the orientation of veins and other host-rock structures for further drill targeting.
Regional mapping and prospecting programs will start in the spring and run through the summer and fall throughout the Camp with emphasis on the Central Cobalt. This area was historically highly under-explored. In addition, soil geochemical and ground geophysical techniques will be used in some areas to better define the extent of cobalt mineralization prior to drilling the known vein systems.
A new NI 43-101 technical report is being compiled on the consolidated land package including recently acquired claims and including results from the 2017 drill program. This report is anticipated for completion during the first quarter of calendar 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 (see October 26, 2017 and December 4, 2017 press releases).
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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