Opportunity: Discovery Potential in a known cobalt district
Stage: Drill target identification in preparation for 2018 drill program
The Panther Creek Cobalt Property ("the Property") is located at the heart of the Idaho Cobalt Belt and is comprised of 153 lode mining claims totalling 3,060 acres and a 41.3-acre mining lease on private land known as the Long Dyke Property. The property is road accessible and located 26 miles west of the Salmon, East-Central Idaho.
The Property is well located and adjoins to the northeast, the Blackbird Copper-Cobalt Mine in the Blackbird District. The Panther Creek claims are contiguous with the claims of eCobalt Solution’s (“eCobalt”) claims and the Ram cobalt-copper-gold Mine.
There are several historic mine workings both on the Long Dyke patent claims as well as at the Sweet Repose Mine that form a linear trend that ends at the historic Blackbird Mine. A historic mine adit on the property was channel sampled by US Geological Survey and returned 1.04% cobalt and 4.14% copper across 10 feet or 3.04 metres and a sample from the Sweet Repose prospect was assayed and contained 0.45% cobalt and 5.27% copper. (Re: US Geol. Surv. Open File Report 98-478).
Surface sampling on the property by Utah Mineral Resources has returned values from trace to 0.91% cobalt and 3.63% copper (GS-5), and 0.74% cobalt and 0.27% copper. The cobalt-copper mineralization is hosted in the micaceous quartzites of the Apple Creek Formation, which is a similar geological setting as the historic Blackbird Mine as well as eCobalt’s Ram Mine.
The Panther Creek Cobalt Property is located on federal land administered by the US Forest Service. The Panther Creek road is a well-maintained, improved road, which passes through the northern portion of the claims and provides good access to the property. Salmon, Idaho is located about 26 miles east of the property. Salmon is a local supply and transportation center, with an airport. The USA is stable politically and is expected be the largest market for batteries and cobalt. Idaho is a pro-development state with a long history of mining.
The Idaho Cobalt Belt is the prime exploration area in the United States to host large primary cobalt resources. It has been identified by the US Geological Survey and contains several significant cobalt / copper deposits.
The Idaho Cobalt Belt trends northwesterly. It is about 30 miles long and 5 miles wide.
The Blackbird Mine, the Ram Mine and several other cobalt / copper deposits are located within this belt. The US Geological Survey describes this belt as hosting “copper-cobalt-gold-silver bearing exhalative strata bound zones in micaceous quartzite.”
The Panther Creek Property lies within the Idaho Cobalt Belt. The Apple Creek Formation hosts the cobalt / copper resources at the Blackbird Mine together with other deposits in the Idaho Cobalt belt, and this same unit crops out on the Panther Creek claims.
Mineral deposits are overall strata-bound and there are both stratiform and vein type deposits. The major ore minerals are cobaltite and chalcopyrite with minor pyrite, arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite and erythrite.
Idaho Cobalt Belt
The Idaho Cobalt Belt trends northwest-southeast for nearly 37 miles in east-central Idaho Included within this belt are numerous historic mines and prospects of the centrally located Blackbird district, and deposits of the Iron Creek area at the southeast end (U.S. Geological Survey, 2010). The Idaho Cobalt Belt is important for the United States of America because it contains the largest known cobalt resources in the United States (Slack et al., 2012).
eCobalt is developing the Idaho Cobalt Project, located to the west of the Panther Creek Cobalt Project in the Blackbird district.
eCobalt has just completed a Feasibility Study with a Measured and Indicated Resource of 3.87 million tonnes grading 0.59% cobalt and 0.85% copper, (eCobalt Solution Inc February 7th, 2018 news release).
History and Production
Production in the Blackbird district began in 1917 following initial discovery of the sulfide deposits in 1893. Minor cobalt was produced from 1917 to 1920 at the Haynes-Stellite Mine (Bennett, 1977). Major production began in 1949 and continued intermittently to 1960 at the Blackbird (Uncle Sam) underground mine and the Blacktail open pit, which together yielded ca. 5 Mt of ore averaging 1.5 wt % copper and 0.6 wt % cobalt.
- 50% earned (see news release December 6th, 2017)
- To earn remaining 50%
- payment of an additional $150,000, (in cash or shares at Argus’s option), and incurring at least $75,000 of expenditures on the Property within the first 12 months
- payment of an additional $150,000, (in cash or shares at Argus’s option), and incurring at least an additional $100,000 of expenditures on the Property within 24 months
- incurring at least an additional $200,000 of expenditures on the Property within 36 months
- In addition, should Argus determine that proven and probable mineral resources, (as determined in compliance with NI 43-101), of at least four million tonnes grading a minimum 0.25% cobalt, are contained within any portion of the Property, on or before five years following the date of the agreement, Argus will issue to UMR an additional 2,000,000 shares. Utah Minerals will retain a 2% NSR, all values in USD