First Cobalt (FCC.V) has been working on a drill program at the Iron Creek project in Idaho ever since it acquired US Cobalt in an all-share deal. First Cobalt was interested in expanding the historic resource estimate of 1.3 million tonnes containing 0.59% cobalt and 0.3% copper.
As part of its 30,000 meter drill program (which will try to increase the strike length and resources), First Cobalt released the assay results from the first few holes in July, and with assay results of 3.3 meters containing 0.25% cobalt and 0.66% copper and 3.5 meters of 0.38% cobalt and 0.11% copper, it’s clear the Iron Creek project remains very prospective. The reported holes were completed from an underground drill station on the western side of Adit 2, and were targeting the Waite Zone (see image), which was not included in the historic resource estimate. These results were followed up by more holes with a true thickness of almost 25 meters grading 0.28% cobalt and 0.22% copper, including 6.4 meters (true thickness) at 0.61% cobalt and 0.24% copper.
We think the focus on the Iron Creek project is a good move for First Cobalt, and although were originally expecting approximately 30 million pounds of cobalt at Iron Creek, the new resource estimate actually surpassed our expectations. The total inferred resource now contains 26.9 million tonnes at 0.08% cobalt and 0.3% copper for a cobalt content of 45 million pounds as well as 175 million pounds of copper. The total tonnage has 20-folded compared to the historic resource estimate, and while the copper grade remained stable, the cobalt grade dropped from .59% to 0.08%. After applying the preliminary recovery rates of 96% for cobalt and 95% for copper, the average recoverable rock value at those grades is approximately US$66/t.
The ongoing drill program will allow First Cobalt to publish another resource update in early 2019, and it would be interesting to see if First Cobalt is able to increase the cobalt grade at Iron Creek. First Cobalt has now also completed the acquisition of 100% ownership of Iron Creek by paying US$1.07M in cash. This payment also eliminates the 4% royalty on the property.