LiCo Energy Metals (LIC.V) pushed ahead at its Teledyne Project, located in Northern Ontario, when the company announced today that it was preparing a diamond drill program at the cobalt project.
According to the news release, all previous drilling data from both surface and underground is being compiled and analyzed to produce recommendations for drill locations.
The company is currently weighing bids from qualified drilling operators in Ontario.
It is intended for the first few holes drilled in the program to confirm LiCo’s historical data.
A total of 36 holes were drilled by Teledyne Canada Limited and that historical data showed two clearly outlined separate zones of vein systems containing cobalt and silver values.
Those two zones have a strike length of at least 150 metres and 65 metres respectively, and at least one system appears to be an associated extension of the vein system of the former producing Agaunico Mine, adjacent to Teledyne.
LiCo Energy COO Tim Fernback, commented, “Cobalt prices have nearly doubled since LiCo acquired the Teledyne Project and prices are now over USD$20 per lb. The property has had the benefit of considerable historical exploration and the program currently being prepared will help in assessing the future potential of the Property.”
There has already been more than $25 million (inflation-adjusted) spent on working the Teledyne property.
This work has created a valuable infrastructure, including a development ramp and a modern adit going down 500 feet parallel to the vein.
For those of you, like me, who are unfamiliar with the term, “adit”: an adit is an entrance to an underground mine which is horizontal or nearly horizontal, by which the mine can be entered, drained of water, ventilated, and minerals extracted at the lowest convenient level. Adits are also used to explore for mineral veins. Thank you, Wikipedia.
Cobalt is hot right now. It is a necessary ingredient in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and can be found in nearly everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.
Problem is about 60% of the world’s cobalt comes out of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is a relative hell-on-earth for those unfortunates who are forced to work for less than peanuts in abhorrently unsafe conditions to hammer the ore by hand and carry it to the surface through claustrophobically narrow tunnels.
According to a recent Washington Post article, there is an estimated 100,000 cobalt miners in the DRC swinging their hammers hundreds of feet underground. And many of these miners are minors.
Finding a domestic supply in a politically stable, mining-friendly region has become even more important.
The world produced approximately 124,000 tonnes of cobalt in 2015 with a little less than half of that going to make cathode material.
It has been estimated that the demand for rechargeable batteries will double by 2025, which could drive global demand for cobalt somewhere north of 150,000 tonnes per year.
This makes domestic projects in mining friendly jurisdictions ever more attractive.
It’s still early at Teledyne, but previous work suggests some winning potential.
It will be interesting to see how this diamond drill program plays out.
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