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Cobalt explorer drills off underground play

Canada Cobalt Works sets up pilot plant, begins crushing material
Castle Silver 1
Frank Basa (left), president and CEO of Canada Cobalt Works, discusses drilling with project geologist Douglas Robinson. .

A British Columbia cobalt explorer is ramping up activities at an old Gowganda area silver mine in northeastern Ontario.

Canada Cobalt Works (formerly known as Castle Silver Resources) is assembling a pilot plant at its Castle property to produce bulk gravity concentrates that will be processed into cobalt sulphate.

In late July, the company reported that mineralized material from the former Castle silver mine’s first level was being crushed.

The pilot plant, which includes a jaw crusher, cone crusher and ball mill, has been wired and commissioned.

Gravity concentrates will be shipped from the site to SGS Lakefield in Peterborough for conversion into a Cobalt sulphate product through the company's proprietary Re-2OX process.

The Castle site, a 28-square-kilometre property northeast of the town of Gowganda, is the company’s main focus.

The mine was once operated by Agnico Eagle in the 1980’s, and over its history produced about 300,000 pounds of cobalt as a mined by-product.

The property contains three shafts and an adit, the latter of which the company is accessing to do underground drilling.

They’re targeting cobalt-rich veins to establish the grade as well as test for other minerals.

The company reports 25 holes have been completed underground and they expect to keep drilling for the remainder of this year.

"Underground and pilot plant crews are doing an exceptional job, said Jacques Monette, Canada Cobalt director and mine supervisor in a July 25 news release.

“Shaft #3 has also been opened for a pump test as part of a study requirement related to permitting for a potential 600 (-tonne per day) milling operation."

The company recently closed a $1.5 million private placement with a group of investors. Most of the proceeds are being funnelled into the underground drilling and cobalt sulphate programs at Castle.

The company owns two other former mine properties, the Beaver and Violet, closer to the town of Cobalt. The Beaver Mine, southeast of Cobalt, produced more than 139,000 pounds of cobalt between 1907 and 1940.