First Cobalt has unveiled a 70-hole drilling program for the Iron Creek property in the US state of Idado with an investment of C$9m ($6.92m).

The Canadian cobalt mining exploration company had become the owner of the Iron Creek Project following the completion of its C$149.9m ($115.7m) acquisition of US Cobalt, earlier this month.

First Cobalt said that it is aiming to publish an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate by October 2018. It is also looking to complete an additional 30,000m of drilling designed to double the mineralized zone along strike beyond the area drilled during last year by US Cobalt.

The company said that the 70-hole program, totaling 30,000m of drilling will include both infill drilling and extensional drilling to support a second resource estimate, slated to be released in early 2019.

Drilling at the property has been designed to extend the strike length of the cobalt-copper mineralized zone from the current 460m to 900m, said the Canadian cobalt miner.

The company also plans to explore other zones of mineralization found in the footwall.

First Cobalt president & CEO Trent Mell said: “With a historic resource estimate, patented land and 600 metres of underground development, Iron Creek is a prized high grade primary cobalt asset in a great mining jurisdiction.

“Today’s budget and work program is a testament to our conviction about this cobalt-copper projects’ ability to be expanded and ultimately fast-tracked for future production in North America.”

Located in the Idaho Cobalt Belt in the Lemhi County, the Iron Creek property is made up of mining patents and exploration claims and is supported by existing infrastructure.

According to First Cobalt, the Iron Creek Project has a historic estimate of 1.3 million tons grading an average of 0.59% cobalt and 0.3% copper (non-compliant with NI 43-101).

In 2017,  a 40-hole program, totaling 10,800m of drilling, traced mineralization for more than 800m.

Assay results following the drilling program ascertained the historic mineralization of the property while indicating potentially broader cobalt mineralization zones in places, as per First Cobalt.