Cobalt History on CCW Properties
In addition to the Castle Silver Mine profitably operated by Agnico Eagle Mining in the 1980’s, the Company also has 100% ownership of the Beaver and Violet cobalt silver mine properties located near the historic Castle silver cobalt mine property. Roughly 300,000 pounds of cobalt was mined from Castle over the years, see August 3rd 2015 Technical Report with Beaver having historical documented cobalt production of another 140,000 pounds. Although cobalt shortages have been in the news as the price continues to rise, work related to cobalt at Castle began in 2011. Drill hole CA11-09 returned 1.44% cobalt over 0.12 metres (0.39 feet) and CA11-08 returned 6,476 grams (188.8 ounces) of silver per tonne over 3.09 metres (10.138 feet) including 0.91% cobalt over 0.45 metres (1.48 feet).
In February 2013, metallurgical tests on samples from the Beaver mine property were released. Four hundred kilograms of cobalt-nickel sulphide material was hand cobbed from the historic waste pile with a 20-kilogram sample used in a test program showing an average calculated assay of 7.98% cobalt, 3.98% nickel and 1,246 g/t silver. Combined gravity-flotation recoveries from the limited test program yielded 64.2% for cobalt, 61.2% for nickel and 92.0% for silver.
More recently, results from bench-scale metallurgical flotation and gravity test work press released January 31, 2017 showed silver and cobalt recoveries of 98.5% and 70.5% respectively with an extremely high concentrate grade of 11,876 grams per tonne silver and 10.5% cobalt produced using a simple flotation process. The mineralized-material surface sample was a composite collected from a waster pile at Beaver assaying 2,064 grams per tonne silver and 5.62% cobalt. Read the entire press release here Castle metallurgy results news release revised January 31 2017
In June 2017 the company announced that chip sampling from the back of a quartz-carbonate vein on the first level adit at Castle had confirmed the presence of high-grade cobalt. All five of the chip sample results were strongly mineralized. The best were 1.8% cobalt, 8.6% nickel and 25.2 g/t silver from (CSR-17-S03), 1.6% cobalt, 7.6% nickel and 32 g/t silver from (CSR-17-S04) and 0.81% cobalt, 5.9% nickel and 4.1 g/t silver from (CSR-17-S01).
The following month, in an early demonstration of Canada Cobalt’s underground advantage, an 82‐kilogram sample of vein material from the first level adit at Castle was crushed to ‐10 mesh, blended and assayed, returning 1.48% cobalt, 5.7 g/t gold and 46.3 g/t silver. On July 19th, it was announced that SGS Lakefield had produced a 14.8% cobalt concentrate from that sample.
On November 13, 2017 the results from an exploratory surface drill program 200 meters from the Castle adit were released with mineralization intersected in every hole highlighted by 1.55% cobalt, 0.65% nickel, 0.61 g/t Au and 8.8 g/t Ag over 0.65 meters at a shallow depth (3.85 meters to 4.50 meters) in hole CA-17-16. It has been asserted and again evidenced that historical operators purposely overlooked the cobalt, gold and base metals at Castle with a sole focus on the extraction of high-grade silver.
On December 1, 2017 it was announced that ongoing underground sampling had returned high-grade cobalt from additional areas on the first level of the Castle mine adit with highlights including, 3.1% cobalt in sample CSR-UG-T-2, 1.04% cobalt in sample CSR-UG-T-3, and 2.3% cobalt in sample CSR-17-10. These samples were obtained by removing muck rock from the floor of the drift and chipping out vein material over 2 lengths of 10 metres resulting in approximately 20 kg of material. A single 2 kg composite sample was then randomly selected.
On December 8, 2017 results from the Beaver mine property were released which also showed high-grade cobalt. Three composite samples weighing 38.7 kg were collected from select hand cobbed material at surface with averages coming in at 4.68% cobalt, 46.9 g/t silver and 3.09% nickel.
February 27, 2018 it was announced that high-grade cobalt values were returned from a continuing mini-bulk sample at Castle. The first sample, weighing 13.0 kg, assayed 2.47% cobalt, 23.4 g/t silver, 0.68% nickel and 1.83 g/t gold. The second sample, weighing 14.0 kg, assayed 0.91% cobalt and 460 g/t silver.
Then on March 16, 2018, material from a selected bulk sample from the floor of the first level at Castle was crushed, blended and assayed by SGS Lakefield, returning 2.46% cobalt, 1.0% nickel and 6,173 g/t silver (198.5 ounces per tonne). Native silver was not included in that pulp assay. A metallic screen fire assay was performed on the native silver, producing a head grade of 818,254 g/t (26,307 ounces/ton).
On May 31, 2018 it was announced that an important breakthrough in the recovery of cobalt and other metals using the Company’s proprietary Re-2OX process had been achieved at the SGS Lakefield lab. The environmentally green Re-2OX process was used to recover 99% of cobalt and 81% of nickel from a composite of gravity concentrates while also removing 99% of the arsenic. The gravity concentrates graded 9.25% cobalt, 5.65% nickel, 9,250 g/t silver and 49.9% arsenic.
On June 8, 2018 the Company announced high-grade cobalt assays from five selected composite samples of waste rock material removed from the first level of the Castle mine during rehab ranging from 1.05% to 5.2% cobalt, averaging 2.3% cobalt. These samples will form part of a 500 kg composite sample that will be put through the Company’s proprietary Re-2OX process to create a cobalt concentrate followed by a cobalt sulfate and/or cobalt hybrid formulation for evaluation by battery sector clients in China.
On June 28 it was announced a pilot plant was being assembled at Castle to produce bulk gravity concentrates on site for immediate processing into cobalt sulphate. It was also noted that the first three underground drill holes had intersected visually identifiable mineralization consisting of cobalt and nickel sulphides and native silver.
Going forward, in addition to the ongoing underground drilling, plans include dewatering further underground, continued rehab and processing material through the pilot plant.