Focused on Cobalt and Silver – Essential Metals in Renewable Energy
This Canada Cobalt Works Inc. profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Canada Cobalt Works Inc. (TSXV:CCW,OTCQB:CCWOF,FWB:4T9B) has 100% ownership of the past-producing silver-cobalt Castle mine and the 78 sq. km Castle Property with strong exploration upside in the prolific past producing Gowganda high-grade Silver Camp of Northern Ontario.
The Company’s recent acquisition of the former Polymet Lab (now known as the Temiskaming Testing Laboratories, the only facility in the Northern Ontario Silver-Cobalt District that combines bullion pouring, bulk sampling, commercial assaying and e-waste processing, makes Canada Cobalt a vertically integrated leader in Canada’s Silver-Cobalt heartland as the precious metals bull market intensifies.
This facility will also become the new home of Canada Cobalt’s 100%-owned Re-2OX Process, an environmentally friendly solution for producing technical grade cobalt sulphate (achieved in 2018) as well as nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) formulations.
A notable highlight of recent drilling on the property is the discovery in the Castle East Robinson Zone of massive native silver grades of 70,380 g/t silver (2,053 oz/ton) over 0.3 meters within a broader zone of 4 meters of 7,259 g/t (212 oz/ton). Further drilling greatly expanded the potential scale of the discovery to a minimum potential 200-meter vein zone vertical extent. Additional drilling is underway and results pending. The Robinson Zone is 1.5 km east of the Castle Mine’s adit and two of its previous mine shafts when it was a past producer in the 1900s. The company intends to restart the mine and is proceeding with various work including permitting towards that goal. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (TSX:AEM) operated the mine in the 1980s when it was considered to be the highest-grade silver mine in the camp with an average mining grade of 26 ounces per ton silver and it produced cobalt as a by-product.
The Castle mine has fully-permitted access for its underground workings, providing the company with a significant advantage when it comes to putting the mine back into production. Canada Cobalt Works is using its adit access for underground drilling and bulk sampling on Level 1 in preparation to resume mining.
Underground drilling on Level 1 at Castle discovered an exceptionally high-grade silver-cobalt vein structure. Initial drill results include seven meters grading 2.28 percent cobalt, 261 g/t silver and 1.65 percent nickel, 2.54 meters grading 1.87 percent cobalt, 4,763 g/t silver, 1.29 percent nickel and 1.19 g/t gold and 0.60 meters grading 3.16 percent cobalt and 10,741 g/t silver.
In a surprising development, high grade gold of up to 22.7 g/t was unexpectedly discovered – along with high-grade cobalt, silver and nickel – in underground drilling on Level 1 in late 2019 (results announced on January 3, 2020).
In addition to the company’s exploration efforts, Canada Cobalt Works is working on obtaining an amendment to its existing advanced exploration permit so the company can move ahead with its proposed tailings program. Recent testing of material from the Castle mine’s historical tailings pond has returned a calculated head assay of 459 g/t silver and produced a high-purity flotation concentrate grading 18,486 g/t silver with an initial recovery of 70 percent.
The company’s on-site proprietary gravity pilot plant has produced an 8.25 percent cobalt concentrate from a waste pile left by previous operators. Head grades of the material from the waste pile tested graded 0.390 percent cobalt and 1,905 g/t silver.
Canada Cobalt Works is led by President and CEO Frank Basa, 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. Basa is also responsible for developing the company’s proprietary Re-2OX hydrometallurgical process, an environmentally-friendly approach to extracting metals without the need of a smelter.
The battery industry has specific criteria that needs to be met in terms of its materials. For lithium-ion batteries it is necessary for companies to produce a 22.6 percent cobalt sulfate with limited arsenic. Canada Cobalt Works has been able to demonstrate that its Re-2OX process is capable of producing a battery-grade cobalt sulfate meeting these industry specifications. With this in mind, Canada Cobalt Works has licensed its technology out to Global Energy Metals Corp. (TSXV:GEMC,OTCQB:GBLEF,FWB:5GE1), providing an additional revenue stream for the company.
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 past-producing properties including the Castle mine near Gowganda and the Beaver and Violet silver-cobalt mines near Cobalt. The company’s 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 very high grades of silver (mentioned above) and up to 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.
- Proprietary Re-2OX process achieves 99 percent cobalt recovery.
- The proposed Polymet acquisition provides Canada Cobalt Works with additional revenue opportunities and helps the company realize its goal of becoming a vertically-integrated leader in North America.
Canada Cobalt Works’ flagship property: Castle Mine
The 78 square-kilometer Castle cobalt-silver project is located in the historic Gowganda mining camp, 85 kilometers northwest of Cobalt, Ontario. The camp was responsible for more than 50 million ounces of high-grade silver production in the 1900s. Infrastructure on and near the property includes year-round access to roads, water, diesel power, three shafts and an adit.
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 a potential gold trend along the Bloom Lake fault.
The project hosts the historical Castle mine, a former silver-cobalt mine that has reportedly produced 300,000 pounds of cobalt and 9.5 million ounces of silver. Historic underground ore grades averaged 25 ounces per tonne silver between 1923 and 1930 and 26 ounces per tonne silver between 1979 and 1989. The Castle mine’s previous owner, Agnico Eagle, ceased production in 1989 due to low silver prices (in the range of US$6 per ounce).
The Cobalt camp is primarily comprised of cobalt veins that contain varying amounts of silver. In the past, miners focused on veins that contained high-grade silver and ignored the low-grade silver veins even though they contained high-grade cobalt. Cobalt was not considered important at the time and routine drill core assays only focused on silver content.
Despite the past-production at Castle, the property remains largely underexplored and may host several significant high-grade underground cobalt and silver deposits.
Castle Golden Corridor Zone
The previously discovered 800-meter Castle Golden Corridor zone is located about 1.7 kilometers from the Castle #3 shaft and has a geological setting similar to the past-producing Kirkland Lake deposit (40 million ounces of gold) located 75 kilometers to the northeast. The zone is highly prospective for high-grade hydrothermal-related gold systems with copper. The zone has been drilled to a depth of 300 meters.
Channel sampling work conducted at the Castle Golden Corridor zone in 2014 returned 2.2 meters grading 2.24 g/t gold and copper values as high as 1.03 percent. Canada Cobalt Works has also identified a 725-meter-long, east to west-trending IP anomaly with an associated chargeability halo in this area.
Access to Underground Workings
Canada Cobalt Works is the only company in the Cobalt camp to have fully-permitted underground access via an adit. This allows for easy entry into the mine for extracting bulk samples and exploratory drilling to target new discoveries. Access to the underground workings also speeds up the time to production as Canada Cobalt Works won’t have to spend time establishing the mine adits. Drilling from underground can also be less costly and provides greater probability of success. Canada Cobalt Works has mapped previously discovered veins using its extensive database which contains all of the past drilling and mine workings from the early 1900s.
Throughout 2018 and 2019, Canada Cobalt Works has been conducting underground drilling at the Castle mine. Twenty-five percent of the assayed holes returned high-grade intercepts of 1.77 meters grading 1.05 percent to 3.7 percent cobalt. Additional drilling highlights include:
- 2.28 percent cobalt, 261 g/t silver and 1.65 percent nickel over seven meters in hole CA18-001
- 8.70 percent cobalt, 4,763 g/t silver, 1.29 percent nickel and 1.19 g/t gold over 2.54 meters in CA18-002
- 3.16 percent cobalt and 10,741 g/t silver over 0.60 meters in CA18-003
Management has begun permitting work with the aim of constructing a state-of-the-art 600 tonne per day gravity flotation cyanidation mill at Castle.
Canada Cobalt Works’ on-site pilot plant has produced an 8.25 percent cobalt concentrate from waste material. Head grades from the waste pile left behind by previous operators tested 0.390 percent cobalt and 1,905 g/t silver.
PolyMet: Metallurgical Potential for Cobalt Products and Battery Recycling
With the goal of realizing the company’s vision of becoming a vertically-integrated leader in North America, Canada Cobalt Works has acquired PolyMet Labs, an ISO-certified lab facility with mineral and precious metals processing located in Cobalt, Ontario.
The 23,000-square-foot facility provides bullion pouring, bulk sampling, commercial assaying and e-waste processing services to the numerous mining operations in the area. The facility is also capable of processing mixed computer boards through its shredder and ball mill to recover precious and base metals.
The building is located near the company’s Castle and Beaver mines and will host Canada Cobalt Works’ headquarters and proprietary Re-2OX process.
The company has poured three 300-ounce silver bars in a proof-of-concept test at the PolyMet Labs facility. The test was able to prove that the Castle mine has the potential to produce silver as well as cobalt from the underground and surface waste material and tailings. The pilot plant at the Castle mine separated leaf silver and created a silver gravity concentrate from mineralized waste material. The concentrate and silver leaf were smelted at the lab before forming the bars.
Canada Cobalt Works was also able to recover cobalt from the same mineralized waste material using its Re-2OX process. The recovered materials were then sent to SGS Lakefield to produce a cobalt sulfate. The company plans to ramp-up its operations to produce 1,000-ounce silver dore bars in the near-term.
The Re-2OX hydrometallurgical process
The Re-2OX hydrometallurgical process is designed to recover multiple metals and elements from all types of feedstocks with varying chemistries. The process was developed by Canada Cobalt Works CEO Frank Basa in conjunction with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s premier scientific research organization.
To date, Canada Cobalt Works has produced a cobalt sulfate in the lab and is working on developing other products for potential customers that utilizes the Re-2OX process. To this aim, the company has been conducting advanced-stage testing on the process with SGS Lakefield to determine the viability of recycling spent lithium-ion batteries. Canada Cobalt Works believes that the Re-2OX process can help fulfill the demand for ethically-sourced cobalt, creating compelling opportunities in the battery and renewable energy sectors.
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, placing the company in a competitive position as battery manufacturers prefer to use cobalt with low arsenic contents.
In June 2019, Global Energy Metals acquired the rights to use the Re-2OX process from Canada Cobalt Works for one year. Global Energy Metals plans to use the process at its Lovelock mine and Treasure Box projects in Nevada to unlock the cobalt potential on each property.
Canada Cobalt Works’ Other Projects
Canada Cobalt Works also owns two other highly-prospective properties in the Cobalt mining camp: the Beaver and Violet mines.
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, selected hand-cobbed sample material at surface averaged 4.68 percent cobalt, 46.9 g/t silver, 3.09 percent nickel, 46.9 g/t silver 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).
Tina Whyte — Corporate Secretary
Tina Whyte brings over 20 years of experience in the corporate and securities industry. Her expertise spans to areas of corporate governance, continuous disclosure, financing transactions, regulatory filings and compliance. Whyte holds corporate secretary positions with other publicly-listed companies.
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