Perth based explorer, Rafaella Resources Limited [ASX:RFR], that listed on the ASX on 27 July 2018, has confirmed plans to advance its McCleery Cobalt and Copper Project in the Yukon Territory of northwest Canada and its Sandstone Gold Project in WA.
Mineral showings within the initial McCleery leases include cobalt minerals known as erythrite and cobaltite (cobalt sulphide) along with copper. The prospect highlights a cobalt bloom and encouraging rock chip samples.
Rafaella recently announced the acquisition of 142 leases surrounding the initial McCleery Project leases, reportedly because consultant geologists postulated the presence of addition skarn deposits or volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits in these areas. Skarns and VMS deposits are ancient magna flows that can be rich in a multitude of valuable metals. The company subsequently announced that encouraging copper bearing mineral samples have been obtained from the newly staked areas.
Rafaella will undertake an airborne VTEM (electro-magnetic) survey of the McCleery Project including the newly acquired adjoining leases. The survey will target metal rich sulphides that contain cobalt, copper and/or zinc. The area is also prospective for silver.
The presence of a multiple mineral targets at the McCleery project mitigates some project risk as does the knowledge learned from historic mining activities in the area.
One certainty is that future global demand for cobalt will increase very rapidly in proportion to the number of electric vehicles fitted with lithium-ion batteries.
Around half of the world’s cobalt is currently sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). DRC cobalt mining conditions can be harsh and at times make use of child labour. This reality is pushing leading manufacturers to seek more ethical sources of cobalt. There is now something of a rush develop alternative cobalt resources outside off the DRC.
Rafaella’s Sandstone Gold Project is broadly located between the towns of Meekatharra, Wiluna and Sandstone. The Sandstone Project is adjacent to Horizon Gold Limited’s Gum Greek project.
Underpinning the business case for the Sandstone Project is:
- a current price of gold in the order of A$1644 (US$1212) per ounce;
- targets and gold soil anomalies identified by previous tenement operators;
- geology that is consistent with gold bearing greenstone belts of the region.
Gold was first discovered near Sandstone in 1895. Gold was discovered at the Bitter Swan deposit (now within Horizon’s leases) in 1926. Modern production commenced in the area in 1987 ended in 2005 when the gold price fell to US$550 per ounce. Horizon reports that over a million ounces were mined open-cut these workings over that period.
There is known widespread gold occurrence within the boundaries of the Sandstone Project. A report by FRM Geological Services flags significant potential for further discoveries.
Rafaella has plans to obtain geophysical, geospatial and imagery datasets over the Project and integrate it with historical data, geology, geochemistry and field data to identify prospective targets. An air core drilling program is also proposed.
Both the McCleary and Sandstone projects appear to be good prospects. The feasibility of both projects is enhanced by nearby exploration, development and mining activity. Both have been mined historically however neither have been fully explored. Both are in reasonable proximity to existing towns or settlements and roads.
Executive Technical Director Ashley Hood stated
the McCleery and Sandstone projects present very attractive risk/reward propositions for investors.”