Blina Minerals has discovered and dusted off a number of historic reports that show crazy cobalt grades of between 6% and up to 18% were mined on their Chilean La Cobaltera project as far back as 1844. Blina are completing a round of DD on the project which they currently have under option and they have also optioned up more ground near their project, dramatically extending their footprint.
Perth-based Blina Minerals has unearthed a number of historic reports that will no doubt quicken the collective pulse of its shareholders who are hoping for big things from the company’s La Cobaltera cobalt play in Chile that Blina currently has under option.
The ASX-junior explorer said in a market update this week that Chile’s Corporation for the Promotion of Production had revealed that La Cobaltera had historically been mined at a staggering average grade of 7.3% Cobalt.
Furthermore the Chilean Agency for Energy Efficiency recently cited the Department of Metallurgical and Materials at the Technical University of Frederico Santa Maria as saying that La Cobaltera had produced as much as 20,000 tonnes of cobalt ore a year between 1844 and 1944.
Blina Minerals has an exclusive option to acquire a 100% interest in up to six mining licences and one exploration licence in the historic, high-grade cobalt producing district and the company said the further acquisition of two additional mining licences on the La Cobaltera trend was also well advanced.
In October last year Blina signed a heads of agreement with private company La Cobaltera Pty Ltd to acquire a package of leases comprising approximately 29km2 of exploration licences which includes the inferred along-strike extention of known high-grade cobalt bearing veins previously mined along the La Cobaltera trend. The package also includes the historic Cobaltera West copper/cobalt processing plant site and the tailings dumps, which have not yet been sampled or evaluated.
Blina were given a four-month period to complete due diligence on the deal and the Australian company said in a market update recently that it is well advanced and expects the process to be completed within the scheduled timeframe.
Management said that a report obtained from the Chilean National Service of Geology and Mining library had revealed that between 1899 and 1906, the La Cobaltera mining company had exploited more than 900 tonnes of ore from La Cobaltera which contained an average grade of 6.37% cobalt. Mining had recommenced in 1933, with grades peaking at 18% cobalt and averaging 1.75%.
In relation to the historic activities at La Cobaltera, Blina said, ‘The workings concentrated mainly on three veins and were processed in a nearby processing plant used exclusively for cobalt ore. The mineralisation was composed of cobaltite arsenopyrite, smaltite, black cobalt and erythrite.’
‘The veins have widths of 0.16m to 1.3m and cobalt grades of 0.66-9.69%. Shafts associated with the veins are up to 118m in depth.’
Blina’s 100% acquisition target in Chile, la Cobaltera Pty Ltd recently signed a deal with Comet Exploration for the acquisition of up to six additional mining licences and one further exploration licence in the historic La Cobaltera mining area.
La Cobaltera, and by extension, Blina, has 8 weeks to fully evaluate the new ground before paying USD$100,000 to acquire it, dramatically increasing Blina’s footprint in the region.
During the last quarter of 2017 La Cobaltera Pty Ltd completed a preliminary exploration program in which rock chip samples collected across the La Cobaltera project area included gold at up to 3.89grams per tonne and copper at 2.04%.
With battery minerals such as cobalt, lithium and graphite all of a sudden in extreme demand, there seems to be a plethora of ASX listed companies finding and dusting off old reports that map the way towards new minerals riches that can be found using modern exploration techniques.
Blina’s Chile play will be interesting to watch.