Exploring and Developing DRC-Style Cobalt Deposits in Canada
This profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Canadian Energy Materials Corp. (TSXV:CHEM) is a global mineral exploration and development company focused on establishing a portfolio of high-quality energy metal projects. The company is in the process of developing their Grindstone copper–nickel–cobalt property in New Brunswick, Canada and is working to prove that there are DRC-style deposits and mineralization to be found on the property.
The Grindstone project offers a 14-kilometer-long magnetic anomaly with exceptional stream sediment and soil geochemistry. Rock sampling on the property has also returned values of 530 ppm cobalt, 0.11 percent nickel and 0.66 percent manganese. Moving forward, the company will be conducting a 2,500-meter drill program on high-priority targets in the upcoming exploration season.
Earlier this year, the US Department of the Interior declared cobalt as a critical metal due to its usage in the electric vehicle (EV) sector. In 2019, global EV sales are expected to increase to approximately $2 million and will also spike the demand for cobalt as it is an integral component in lithium-ion batteries. There are, however, concerns on whether the cobalt supply will be able to keep up with demand. The politically-unstable Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to approximately 60 percent of the world’s cobalt supply and has led end-users looking for ethically-sourced cobalt to explore other sourcing options.
Canadian Energy Materials also owns the Wicheeda rare earth element (REE) project in British Columbia. Drilling in 2010 returned intercepts of 0.9 meters 4.7 percent REE and 37.3 meters grading 1.4 percent REE on the property.
Canadian Energy Materials’ management team benefits from over 30 years of industry experience from President and CEO Michael Schuss, who has been responsible for developing multiple grassroots projects in Africa, China and Canada.
- Operating in stable jurisdictions in Canada.
- Determined to find and develop DRC-style mineralization in Canada.
- Grindstone property offers a 14-kilometer-long magnetic and cobalt anomaly.
- Values of 530 ppm cobalt, 0.11 percent nickel and 0.66 percent manganese have been found at Grindstone.
- Intercepts of 0.9 meters grading 4.7 percent REE and 37.3 meters grading 1.4 percent REE have been recovered at Wicheeda.
- President and CEO has over 30 years of experience in the industry.
DRC-Style Exploration Model
Missouri and the DRC both have cobalt districts and mineral deposits that host similar characteristic. Both areas host clastic sediment-hosted, in-platform carbonate sequences commonly found on the flanks of basins, which are formed in basinal metal-enriched brines that can form without igneous activity. Each clastic deposit has its own unique characteristics and is typically named for the area in which it was found.
The deposits found in the DRC and in Missouri are characterized by topographic highs of basement rocks which provide channels and traps that mineralized fluids accumulate and create large, specific deposits of distinct minerals, such as galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, bornite and cobalt. The deposits are also known to have some of the highest cobalt purity rates and Canadian Energy Metals has been evaluating properties throughout North America for cobalt deposits that are similar in structure to the deposits found in Missouri and the DRC.
In September 2018, Canadian Energy Materials acquired the 3,846-hectare Grindstone copper-nickel-cobalt project in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. The geography underlying the project is consistent with mineralization styles found in the DRC. The company will be targeting a 14-kilometer-long magnetic anomaly with exceptional stream sediment and soil geochemistry.
The property was discovered by Noranda in the early 1990s. Noranda has conducted limited, shallow 433-meter drill program, which was not able to find a source for the magnetic or cobalt anomalies found on the property. Noranda was able to uncover a two-kilometer drainage target area that hosted eight stream sediment samples that returned anomalous nickel and copper values and returned samples grading between 291 ppm and 900 ppm cobalt.
A systematic soil sampling program was then conducted over this area and confirmed the presence of anomalous copper, nickel and cobalt in the stream sediment samples. The program also outlined a direct correlation between the nickel and cobalt and a direct spatial correlation for the copper. Highlights from the soil sampling program include an assay of 620 ppm cobalt. Rock samples were also taken from outcrops when accessible and then were assayed for gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, nickel and manganese. Samples returned values of 530 ppm cobalt, 0.11 percent nickel and 0.66 percent manganese.
In 2018, a helicopter-borne magnetotelluric and magnetic surveys were flown over the property and covered an area of approximately 75 square kilometers. The surveys, along with geochemical, geological and geophysical data, identified seven high-priority targets in areas that have highly anomalous stream and soil geochemical anomalies.
Moving forward, Canadian Energy Materials will be completing a drill program at Grindstone. Phase 1 drilling will include approximately 2,500 meters of drilling across seven high-priority, road-accessible targets, which were identified through the review of the available geochemical, geophysical and geologic data from 2018.
Wicheeda REE Project
The Wicheeda REE project is located approximately 80 kilometers northeast of Prince George, British Columbia and 40 kilometers east of Bear Lake. From the lake, the project can be reached through a series of logging roads. The property is adjacent to Wicheeda lake and lies between the Parsnip river and Wichcika creek.
Wicheeda was first surveyed by the Geological Survey of Canada in 1961. The survey was able to identify a magnetic anomaly along the Copely range.
Between 1986 and 1987, Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.A) completed geological mapping, a stream silt survey, magnetic survey, geochemical soil sampling and some hand trenching on the project. A carbonatitic dyke on the eastern slope of the Copely ridge was traced for approximately 2.8 kilometers and had widths of up to 185 meters.
In 2010, a helicopter-borne areoTEM survey was flown over the Copely range. The survey identified several thorium radiometric anomalies along the ridge as well as a contiguous magnetic anomaly that extends for approximately 3.7 kilometers along the Copely range. The survey was also successful in generating several drill targets.
Later that year, Canadian Energy Materials completed a helicopter-supported drill program at the Main target. A total of 1,938.9 meters were drilled. Highlights from the program include 0.9 meters 4.7 percent REE and 37.3 meters grading 1.4 percent REE. Further drilling in 2011 intersected mineralization across a number of holes.
Michael E. Schuss — President, CEO & Director
Michael Schuss has over 30 years’ experience in mining exploration and venture capital. During that period, he has worked in the trading operations of a national brokerage firm, several underground mining and surface drilling contractors, as well as being director, officer and consultant to several VSE, ASE and TSXV companies.
Schuss first traveled to China in 1989 and to Africa in 1993, and consulted for some of the first Canadian juniors to operate in those regions. African projects whose potential was identified by Schuss resulted in a million-ounce gold deposit being developed from grassroots exploration and three separate joint ventures with a world-class gold producer and two mid-tier gold producers. In recent years, he has specialized in acquiring mining properties in Africa, China and Canada for junior-mining companies.
Geoff Balderson — CFO & Director
Geoff Balderson is the President of Harmony Corporate Services Ltd., a private business consulting company located in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has been an officer and director of several TSXV listed companies over the past 15 years. Prior to that, he was an investment advisor at Union Securities and Georgia Pacific Securities Corp.
Michael Burns — Director
Michael Burns has been involved in the exploration industry since 2007. He has operated and designed a variety of grassroots projects throughout the Yukon and British Columbia. Burns has extensive experience in greenfield exploration for rare earth elements (REEs), uranium, gold, tin, tungsten, silver and lithium.
He obtained his B.Sc. honors with distinction from the University of Victoria, and is on track to complete his PhD in Economic Geology from Laurentian University. His academic research interests involve REE LCT-type pegmatites, epithermal gold and porphyry systems and fluid inclusions.
Rafael Vaudrin — Director
Rafael Vaudrin has a master’s degree in geosciences from the University of Tübingen in Germany, where he specialized in exploration, mineralogy and structural geology. Vaudrin is fluent in German, French and English, and holds dual Canadian and German citizenship.
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