First Cobalt Mining, the biggest exploration player in the Cobalt camp, has brought a Laurentian University researcher into the fold to better understand the geology of its properties in northeastern Ontario.
The Toronto company has embarked on a dedicated research partnership program with the university's Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) by sponsoring a post-doctoral position to carry out the first detailed study of major structural features in the 110-year-old history of the camp.
"We're looking at it from a new set of eyes as researchers," said Ross Sherlock, who oversees MERC's Metal Earth project. "It's an unusual geological assemblage."
MERC is the geoscience arm attached to Laurentian's Harquail School of Earth Sciences, under the umbrella of the Goodman School of Mines.
Sherlock was hired late last summer to oversee MERC's Metal Earth Project.
A professional geologist with more than 30 years of experience in academia and industry, including stints with Kinross Gold, Gold Fields, and Miramar Mining, he studied silver deposits in the Thunder Bay district for his master's thesis.
The researcher will work alongside the company's geologists to conduct field mapping and compilation work of the metals in the area.
Whatever data is collected from old mine sites and relatively unexplored areas on First Cobalt's properties will help augment the geological model the company is assembling.
The partnership program with MERC runs for one year with a one-year renewable option. Sherlock hopes to have a researcher in place and working in the field this spring.
Cobalt is a key ingredient in the booming electric vehicle and lithium battery market.
The global search for deposits of cobalt in safe and socially responsible mining jurisdictions has led many exploration firms back to the historic northeastern Ontario silver mining district to secure a supply of what was once a discarded byproduct metal.
First Cobalt will obviously derive some benefit from MERC's research but Sherlock maintains they're not being hired as consultants to guide First Cobalt's exploration and drilling program.
MERC's prevailing interest is to understand the area's metallogeny (the study of an area's geological history and its mineral deposits) as part of studying the area's overall geological framework.
Sherlock said their research findings will be shared with the company but it will also be published in a public forum.
"It's a collaborative project. We want to...