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Cobalt junior miner preps for summer drill program

First Cobalt considering large-scale operation at former Keeley-Frontier Mine
Frontier Mine
Frontier Mine, Silver Centre (Canadian Silver Hunter photo)

A Toronto-based cobalt junior miner is combining old mining data with modern technology to assess if an historic mining property can be put back into operation using bulk mining techniques.

First Cobalt announced it has started fieldwork on its 2,100-hectare Keeley-Frontier Mine property and surrounding exploration claims at Silver Centre, 25 kilometres south of the historic mining town of Cobalt.

The company’s stated objective is to assess the property for its potential as a large-scale, bulk mining operation, “something which has not been considered previously for this historic mining district,” according to a May 18 new release.

A total of 7000 metres of diamond drilling will start this summer once a field team completes detailed structural mapping and sampling in July.

The company is compiling a full 3D geological model by scanning and digitizing of all available historic data combined with the latest structural mapping from its current work to identify exploration drill targets to evaluate the extent of cobalt mineralization beyond the high-grade silver-cobalt veins.

The neighbouring towns of Silver Centre and Cobalt were historically the most prolific cobalt jurisdictions in Canada and the largest silver producers worldwide. It is estimated that from 1904 to 1985 these two mining camps combined produced 50 million pounds of cobalt and 600 million ounces of silver from 70 different mines.

First Cobalt has seven copper-cobalt properties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and an option for the former Keeley-Frontier Mine, a mine that produced over 3.3 million pounds of cobalt and 19.1 million ounces of silver between 1908 and 1965. Most of the production was between 1922 and 1931.

The company also announced the appointment of John Pollesel, former vice-president and general manager of Vale’s Ontario operations, to its board of directors.

The 26-year mining veteran is currently the senior vice-president of mining at Finning Canada.

“John Pollesel is very familiar with the cobalt potential in Canada and brings significant experience in base metals and metallurgical operations,” said First Cobalt president-CEO Trent Mell in a statement. “I am pleased to welcome him to the board and I look forward to applying his Sudbury experience to our Keeley-Frontier Project in Silver Centre, Ontario.”