Many explorers are searching for Cobalt opportunities right now, but few look more interesting than the one just snapped up by Auroch Minerals in the Czech Republic. The Perth junior has secured an option over an ancient Copper mine that was previously unrecognised for its Cobalt potential. It has vast waste dumps that could be bristling with the lucrative tech metal.
Perth-listed Auroch Minerals have snapped up an option over what looks to be a significant Cobalt opportunity on the border between the Czech Republic and Germany.
The Perth-based explorer came out of a trading halt on Monday after releasing news of option agreements granting it the right to acquire 100% of the historic Tisová underground copper mine and three exploration license applications.
Tivosa is an exceptionally old copper mine dating back to the 12th Century that last operated between 1959 and 1973 when it produced 560,000 tonnes of ore containing 0.68% Copper.
The opportunity for Auroch appears be in the volcanogenic metal sulphide mineralisation that boasts high levels of cobalt and gold, but has never been evaluated or mined for these metals. The waste dumps alone could therefore provide a legitimate target of unrecognized value with potential for un-mined cobalt and gold. This is in addition to whatever below ground resources can be determined.
Auroch has already substantiated the cobalt opportunity at Tisová by assaying a suite of at least 18 grab samples taken from the waste dumps. The metal values are exceptionally high in gangue material, including sample TS013 that assayed 0.69% Cobalt, 1.17% Copper and 1.4 grams per tonne gold. Sample TS012 had a lower but still lucrative cobalt content of 0.29% with gold and copper values coming in at 2.14 g/t and 2.25% respectively.
These levels of mineralization from a surface grab sample at a green fields site would ordinarily create some excitement for the operator – that they were taken from waste dumps is even more encouraging.
Auroch CEO Dr Andrew Tunks said: “The Tisová Project is a substantial unrecognised Cobalt play in the heart of industrial Europe. The important point here is that while the copper orebodies are not wide, they occur within a much thicker zone of pyrite and pyrrhotite mineralisation (up to 60m) and it is here, outside the copper zones, that our sampling indicates the presence of significant cobalt and gold that was not recognised during the mining phase.”
“With true thickness of up to 60m of sulphide-rich mineralisation and the deposit open in all directions there is potential for a significant operation to be developed should the grades and continuity of the cobalt and gold mineralisation be proven by new exploration drilling.”
Given the age of the mine and the unreliability of historical records, Auroch plans to undertake a lot more evaluation before deciding whether to exercise its options.
Due diligence over the next nine months will include drilling four holes for a total of about 1,200 metres. These will twin historical holes that intercepted thick zones of sulphide mineralisation. Drilling is expected to get underway in August or September after permitting is completed.
The option terms look attractive too. On entering into the option, Auroch is obliged to reimburse the vendors about A$75,000 in costs and carry the cost of the work program during the option period. On exercise of the options, Auroch will pay another A$75,000 and issue about 4.4 million shares. There is also a deferred payment of another 5.0 million shares on a decision to mine.
Auroch have clearly signaled their intention to deepen their involvement in the booming energy metals sector and have also shown a handy knack for generating exciting and high quality project leads.