Focused on Cobalt and Silver – Essential Metals in Renewable Energy
Canada Cobalt Works Inc. (TSXV:CCW) (OTCQB: CCWOF) (Frankfurt: 4T9B) is redeveloping its past-producing cobalt-silver Castle Mine in the Northern Ontario Cobalt Camp, which was once Canada’s top silver-producing region.
In the past two years, Canada Cobalt Works has demonstrated that it is strategically positioned to become a vertically integrated North American leader in cobalt extraction and recovery, with silver, nickel and gold as important byproducts.
CCW is immediately focused on the following:
- Re-starting production at the Castle Mine, which in the 1980s was Agnico Eagle’s highest-grade silver mine in the camp with an exceptional average mining grade of 26 oz/ton silver 1979-1989 with cobalt as a byproduct
- Obtaining an amendment to the company’s existing advanced exploration permit to allow its proposed tailings program to proceed. Recent testing of material from Castle Mines’ historic tailings pond with a calculated head assay of 459 g/t has produced a high purity flotation concentrate grading 18,486 g/t with an initial recovery of 70 percent
- Further developing and commercializing the company’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process known as Re-2OX, an environmentally green approach to extracting metals (without a smelter) which has already produced a cobalt sulphate that meets battery industry specifications (22.6 percent cobalt sulphate and 99 percent removal of arsenic) and which has recently generated revenue for CCW for a test of samples of mineralized material from a Nevada deposit owned by another company
- Continued exploration of a possible new discovery at Castle. Channel sampling and subsequent drilling in 2018 identified a new, previously unexplored mineralized zone 1.5 km east of the mine adit/shafts that is currently being further explored for an apparent gold system with potentially a cobalt-silver vein network underneath.
An important aspect of the Castle Mine is that the underground mining levels can be accessed via an adit, which puts CCW ahead of other companies redeveloping mines in the camp since no other company has permitted underground access. CCW has used the adit access recently for underground drilling and bulk sampling on Level 1 in preparation to resume mining. Recent underground drilling on Level 1 at Castle discovered an exceptionally high-grade silver-cobalt vein structure.
- Initial results of underground drilling:
- 2.28 percent cobalt, 261 g/t silver and 1.65 percent nickel over 7.00 m in hole CA18-001
- 1.87 percent cobalt, 4,763 g/t silver, 1.29 percent nickel and 1.19 g/t gold over 2.54 m in CA18-002
- 3.16 percent cobalt and 10,741 g/t silver (345 oz/t silver) over 0.60 m in CA18-003
An on-site proprietary gravity pilot plant produced 8.25 percent cobalt concentrate from a waste pile. Head grades of material from waste pile tested 0.390 percent cobalt and 1,905 g/t silver, which was from material left behind outside the mine by previous operators.
Canada Cobalt Works is led by President and CEO Frank Basa, P.Eng, who has over 30 years of global experience in mining and development as a professional hydro-metallurgical engineer with expertise in milling, gravity concentration, flotation, leaching and refining of silver, cobalt, gold and other metals.
Management has begun permitting work with the aim of constructing a state-of-the-art 600-t/d gravity flotation cyanidation mill at Castle.
Canada Cobalt Works’ portfolio also includes the Beaver and Violet silver-cobalt projects, both past-producers in the Cobalt Camp.
Canada Cobalt Works’ Company Highlights
- 100-percent ownership of three formerly producing properties including the Castle Mine near Gowganda and the Beaver and Violet silver-cobalt mines near Cobalt. The company’s main goal is to resume underground mining at these properties using modern mining techniques.
- Silver and cobalt are essential metals in renewable energy technology. Cobalt is used in three of the four main types of lithium-ion electric car batteries, and silver is used in 90 percent of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells in solar panels.
- Preliminary metallurgical testing in 2017 returned excellent silver and cobalt recoveries and concentrate grades and subsequent testing confirmed it.
- Exceptional discoveries at Castle since 2011 from sampling and drilling, intersecting up to 188.8 oz/tonne silver (6,476 g/t Ag) and 4.68 percent cobalt along with nickel and gold.
- Channel sampling in 2014 exposed significant gold and copper mineralization and led to the discovery of Castle Golden Corridor Zone.
- Subsequent geophysical and geochemical program at Canada Cobalt Works property has identified numerous high-potential drill targets, including a 2018 discovery 1.5 east of the adit and mine shafts which is being further explored for gold mineralization with the potential also of a cobalt-silver zone underneath.
- Proprietary Re-2OX process achieves 99 percent cobalt recovery.
- Tight share structure; 10 percent held by President and CEO Frank Basa and family members.
Canada Cobalt Works’ flagship property: Castle Mine
The Castle Mine project includes the former silver and cobalt mine which produced 300,000 pounds of cobalt and 9.5 million ounces of silver. Historic underground ore grade averaged 25 oz/t silver (777 g/t silver) during production years 1923 to 1930 and 26 oz/t silver (808 g/t silver) between 1979 and 1989.
The Castle Mine’s previous owner, Agnico Eagle, ceased production in 1989 only because of low silver prices (in the range of US$6/oz). Cobalt was not considered important at the time and routine drill core assays only focused on silver content.
The veins in the Cobalt Camp are primarily cobalt veins with varying amounts of silver. Mining in the past focused on the veins with high-grade silver, while low-grade silver veins were ignored even if they had high-grade cobalt. The 78 square-kilometer property is located in the historic Gowganda mining camp, 85 kilometers northwest of Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. The camp was responsible for more than 50 million ounces of high-grade silver production in the 1900s. Two geological trends have been identified on the property including a north-south trending Nipissing diabase intrusive which is the typical host rock for silver-cobalt-nickel deposits in the area; and the potential gold trend along the east-west trending Bloom Lake Fault. Infrastructure includes year-round access to roads, water, diesel power, three shafts and an adit.
Despite the past-production at Castle, the property remains largely underexplored and is highly prospective for hosting a significant high-grade underground cobalt and silver deposit. Drill hole intercepts from the 2011 winter drill program at Castle returned significant assays including drill hole CA-11-08 which intersected 188.8 oz/t silver (6,476 g/t silver) over 3.09 meters. A 2017 drill program intersected mineralization in each hole and recent bulk sampling and drilling on Level 1 of the underground mine showing various high-grades of as much as 3.1 percent cobalt. 2018 results also showed high cobalt and silver grades as well as nickel and gold.
Metallurgical Potential for Cobalt Products and Battery Recycling
Canada Cobalt Works recently announced that it has produced cobalt sulfate in lab tests and is working on other products for potential customers using a unique 100 percent-owned hydrometallurgical process called “Re-2OX”. Designed for high recoveries of multiple metals and elements from all feeds with varying chemistries, Re-2OX was developed by CEO Frank Basa in conjunction with the National Research Council, which is Canada’s premier scientific research organization. Canada Cobalt Works has been carrying out advanced‐stage testing using the Re-2OX process at the SGS Lakefield, Ontario laboratory to evaluate the amenability of the process for efficient recycling of spent lithium‐ion batteries. The Re‐2OX process has taken on fresh importance in light of the increasing demand for cobalt and compelling opportunities in the battery and renewable energy sectors.
In addition, in May 2018, Canada Cobalt Works announced that the Re-2OX process had successfully recovered 99 percent cobalt and 81 percent nickel from a composite of gravity concentrates. The process was also successful in removing 99 percent of arsenic, which puts Canada Cobalt in a favored position since electric battery customers prefer arsenic to be at very low levels in cobalt products.
Castle Golden Corridor Zone
A previously discovered 800-meter Castle Golden Corridor zone is located about 1.7 kilometers from Castle #3 shaft and in a geological setting similar to that of the past-producing Kirkland Lake deposit (40 million ounces of gold) located 75 kilometers to the northeast. The zone is highly prospective for a high-grade hydrothermal related gold system with copper to a depth of 300 meters.
Channel sampling work conducted in 2014 resulted in a sampling grade of 2.24 g/t gold over 2.2 meters and copper values as high as 1.03 percent.
The zone is shown on a map below. The map also shows the location of an IP survey (blue lines) conducted in 2017 which identified numerous drill targets far away from the previously mined areas and known veins.
Access to Underground Workings
Canada Cobalt Works is the only company in the Cobalt camp to have fully permitted underground access via an adit – which allows easy entry for extracting bulk samples and exploratory drilling to target new discoveries and to start mining sooner than others. Drilling from underground can be less costly and provides greater probability of success, especially since Canada Cobalt Works has mapped previously discovered veins using its extensive data on all past drilling and mine workings at the Castle site from the early 1900s.
Cobalt Potential at Beaver
The Beaver silver-cobalt project is located in Ontario’s historic Cobalt mining camp, adjacent to the former Timiskaming silver mine and approximately 80 kilometers southeast of the past-producing Castle mine. The project itself includes a former producer, the Beaver mine, which produced 7.1 million ounces of silver and 139,472 pounds of cobalt from 1907 to 1940.
High-grade mineralization has been repeatedly confirmed at Beaver. In 2017, a selected hand-cobbed sample of material at surface averaged 4.68 percent cobalt, 46.9 g/t silver, 3.09 percent% nickel, and 0.08 g/t gold.
This follows sampling of historical waste rock and tailings at Beaver in 2013 that returned 7.98 percent cobalt, 3.98 percent nickel, and 1,246 g/t silver.
Canada Cobalt Works also holds the formerly producing Violet silver-cobalt mine located near the Beaver property in the Cobalt mining camp.
Canada Cobalt Works’ Management Team
Frank J. Basa, P. Eng.—President, CEO and Director
Frank Basa has over 28 years’ global experience in mining and development as a professional hydro-metallurgical engineer with expertise in milling, gravity concentration, flotation, leaching and refining of silver, cobalt, gold and other metals. He is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and a graduate of McGill University. Basa has been the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since June 18, 2004.
Thomas P. Devlin—CFO
Thomas Devlin brings to the company over 40 years of accounting and management experience in the investment and junior resource industries. Devlin has been Chief Financial Officer of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since July 3, 2009.
Dianne Tookenay, M.P.A. B. Admin—Director
Dianne Tookenay holds a Certificate in Mining Law from the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, a Joint Masters of Public Administration from the University of Manitoba, a Bachelor of Administration from Lakehead University and Native Band Management and Indian Economic Development Diplomas from Confederation College Applied Arts and Technology. Tookenay’s experience, knowledge and deep roots within the First Nation communities will continue to add significant value to Canada Cobalt Works’ development efforts over the coming years.
Jacques F. Monette—Director
Jacques Monette is a career miner who has been engaged in every facet of underground mining for more than 40 years. His previous positions included Shaft Project Coordinator with Cementation Canada Inc., Vice President of Operations/Mining Division for Wabi Development Corp., Vice President of Development for CMAC Mining Group, Operations Manager for Moran Mining and Tunneling, as well as Area Manager for J.S. Redpath Group.
Robert Setter B.A. Econ.—Director
Robert Setter is the former Senior Financial Editor for Report on Mining. He brings an extensive business, marketing and analysis background to the company, is a graduate of UBC and holds a BA in Economics. Setter serves as Corporate Research and Analytics for Granada Gold Mine Inc. since 2012.
Annemette Jorgensen brings over two decades of public company corporate development, finance, media, and public relations and investor relations expertise. Jorgensen has served on the board of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since April, 2012. As Manager of Debentures Investments with Samoth Capital Corporation, Jorgensen was responsible for raising over one million dollars per month.
Marc T. Bamber—Director
Marc T. Bamber, based in London, England, has nearly two decades of successful deal-making experience in the capital markets, with a primary focus on the resource sector, and will use his international connections to help spearhead an aggressive corporate development strategy pertaining to Canada Cobalt’s proprietary Re-2OX Process (refer to April 30, 2019, news release).
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