Scientific Metals has entered into an agreement with Earl Waite and Sons, Mining Contractors, to rehabilitate the adits and underground workings located on the Iron Creek cobalt project in Lemhi County, Idaho, US.
The Company plans to commence work when weather permits.
The Property is located 15 miles southeast of eCobalt's Idaho cobalt project in the most prolific trend of cobalt mineralization in the United States, the Idaho Cobalt Belt. The Property covers 1,800 acres in 90 lode mining claims. The central portion of the Property consists of 7 patented lode mining claims (private ground) covering 137 acres and the known historic estimates.
The Company plans to take full benefit of the advanced stage of exploration at Iron Creek as a result of significant work completed by previous workers, who include Noranda Exploration Inc., Cominco and Hanna Mining. All work will be conducted on the patented lode mining claims which cover the previously identified historic estimates (see the Company's news release dated September 7, 2016). The Company's focus of working on the patented claims significantly accelerates the permitting process for exploration programs, and gaining access to the cobalt mineralization in existing workings is expected to allow the project to advance during 2017 to a point that would normally take several years.
The Company plans to rehabilitate the portals leading to three underground tunnels which currently have a combined length of 1,500 feet and access the mineralized zones. When these underground workings have been rehabilitated, the Company plans to conduct extensive underground sampling and some underground drilling, with plans to extract a bulk sample for metallurgical testing.
The Company plans to follow up its underground exploration program with surface core drilling on the patented lode mining claims, targeting the known mineralized zones. The objective of this drilling will be to explore for the extension of these zones and confirm previous results which included, as reported by Noranda Exploration, drill hole IC-16 which contains a 15 foot intercept averaging 1.01 percent cobalt, and within the Little No Name adit a 30 foot wide channel sample zone containing an average of 0.77 percent cobalt.
The Company also plans to investigate the efficacy of conducting geophysical surveys over the Property.
STM President, Wayne Tisdale, commented further, "We look forward to confirming and expanding upon the historical work at Iron Creek. With cobalt currently reaching new 52 week highs along with mounting demand for a safe, secure and ethical supply of cobalt, we feel it is the opportune time to aggressively explore our flagship Iron Creek cobalt project. With the Trump administration's emphasis on providing raw materials for electric batteries sourced in the USA, there will be an ever-increasing emphasis on developing projects such as the Iron Creek cobalt project. We expect that companies such as Tesla, GM, Apple and others will be forced to disclose the ethical shortcomings in their supply chain and source safe, secure and home grown materials for their phone, car and home batteries."
STM Senior Vice President, Exploration, Brian Kirwin commented, "The rehabilitation of the underground workings at the Iron Creek cobalt property is a significant step in STM's growth. Earl Waite and Sons have extensive mining experience in the Idaho Cobalt Belt and will be able to provide invaluable information with their local knowledge. Our interpretation of the historical data suggests that the underground workings expose significant cobalt mineralization, and should provide a detailed look at the mineralization identified by previous exploration programs. The combination of working on patented claims, and accessing the cobalt mineralization in existing underground workings significantly accelerates the exploration and development of Iron Creek. Our goal is, by the end of 2017, to advance the project to a point that would, in normal circumstances, take several years."
- The property is located in the most prolific trend of cobalt mineralization in the USA, the Idaho Cobalt Belt.
- A substantial amount of historic exploratory work has been completed on the Property, including approximately 30,000 feet of diamond drilling, and the mining of 1,500 feet of underground workings.
The earliest historic estimates of the mineralized zones at the Property are contained in the historical literature describing two underground targets in the No Name Zone:
- The first lense is described by Noranda Exploration, Inc. as a "possible reserve" and is reported to contain 1,050,000 tons grading 0.61% cobalt over a strike length of 750 feet.
- The second lense is described as a "possible reserve" and is reported to contain 229,000 tons grading 0.48% cobalt over a strike length of 600 feet.
- Together, the lenses contain 1,279,000 tons grading an average of 0.59% cobalt with excellent potential for expansion.
The Property also hosts a historical estimate of 4.57 million tons grading 1.84% copper. This historical estimate is from the Noranda Report that notes that, in the west zone of the No Name Zone, there is the presence of 4.57 million tons grading 1.84% copper "possible reserves" or similar.
As previously announced, the Company is treating the tonnage and grade estimates above as historical estimates. The historical estimates do not use categories that conform to current CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves as outlined in National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and have not been redefined to conform to current CIM Definition Standards. They were prepared in the 1980s prior to the adoption and implementation of NI 43-101. The Noranda report does not detail cut-off grades and metal prices used to estimate the historical mineralization and used a tonnage factor of 11 cubic feet per ton. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimates as current mineral resources and the Company is not treating the historical estimates as current mineral resources. More work, including, but not limited to, drilling, will be required to conform the estimates to current CIM Definition Standards. Investors are cautioned that the historical estimates do not mean or imply that economic deposits exist on the Property. The Company has not undertaken any independent investigation of the historical estimates or other information contained in this press release nor has it independently analyzed the results of the previous exploration work in order to verify the accuracy of the information. The Company believes that the historical estimates and other information contained in this press release are relevant to continuing exploration on the Property.
The Company has the advantage of utilizing the results of the 30,000 feet of drilling that identified the historic estimates.
Management of the Company is relying on the historical estimates contained in the Noranda Report because the authors were experts and used industry standard procedures at the time. The historical estimates are relevant to the Company's planned exploration program because they identify significant mineralization that will be the target of this exploration program.