Sponsors

show more ▾

Live from the Precious Metals Summit - Ep 13

Episode 13 Oreninc MickeyFulp PaulHarris KaiHoffmann

Castle Silver Res.

Castle Silver Res.

 

written by Paul Harris, Staff Writer at Oreninc.com

Castle Silver Resources (TSXV: CSR) aims to breathe new life into a historical silver-producing district in Ontario, Canada (known as the Cobalt Camp) and to become a primary cobalt producer in the process.

Cobalt, together with Lithium, have become some of the most sought-after commodities due to the projected increase in production of batteries for electric vehicles and power storage systems for renewable energy generation. Cobalt is used in three of the four types of batteries used by electric car-makers.

With 94% of cobalt produced as a by-product of copper or nickel production, the market is currently in a supply-deficit situation that is forecast to worsen as demand increases and the absence of primary cobalt deposits presents structural challenges to increasing supply. The shortage has caused the cobalt price to increase by more than 100% over the past year and further price gains are expected. Castle thinks it is the answer to this supply conundrum.

Its Castle and Beaver properties were formerly mined for silver but the veins also contain high-grade cobalt, which was overlooked during previous mining due to the focus on the precious metal. Mines in the greater Cobalt Camp produced over 500 million ounces of silver and 10s of millions of pounds of cobalt in the 1900s.

Silver and cobalt are typically found together in quartz and calcite veins but historical silver production didn’t focus on cobalt mineralization and the low-grade silver veins were largely ignored, even if they had high-grade cobalt. The Castle property historically produced 9.5 million oz silver and 300,000 lbs cobalt but cobalt production could have been a lot more.


Castle’s president and CEO P.Eng Frank Basa is a professional hydro-metallurgical engineer. More importantly, he worked at Agnico Eagle when it operated the Castle mine in the 1980s and developed the Re-2OX process to extract the cobalt from the Castle deposit. Having acquired the Castle properties seven years ago, Basa is now looking to bring them on stream as a primary cobalt operation with silver as a by-product.
 

 

Prospero - Geologist examining Limestone at Petates
Prospero - Geologist examining a Jasperoid outcrop

Castle is taking a two-pronged approach to exploration. It has received permits to access the old underground workings to undertake bulk sampling on the first level and then underground drilling, which is likely to start in July. The mine workings have visible cobalt in veins that pinch and swell and continue intermittently for tens of meters. The first level extends about 365m east‐west and 360m north‐south.

The company will also undertake greenfield exploration from the surface on targets identified from a geophysical IP survey in early 2017 that it plans to drill test in the fall. Drilling in 2011 in the area where the IP survey was conducted returned high-grade cobalt, with grades in excess of 1%. Hole CA11-09 intersected 0.12m @ 1.44% cobalt. The company aims to be able to produce an initial resource estimate within a year.

Recycling
Castle potentially has another ace up its sleeve. Basa thinks that the Re-2OX cobalt processing technology he developed can be adapted to extract cobalt from lithium-ion batteries. Test work is currently underway with SGS Lakefield on the effectiveness of using the Re-2OX process on used lithium-ion batteries and the company expects to have the results soon.  Used telephone and computer batteries with cobalt in them are piling up in warehouses due to a lack of recycling for them in North America.

Asian demand
Electric battery production is increasing rapidly in Asia. Sensing an opportunity Basa is already meeting with battery makers and trading companies in China and Japan with the aim of arranging off-take agreements for the Castle mine production and potentially financing for a mill at the Castle property.

Gold potential
Castle Silver has also identified a gold trend to the southeast where trenching in 2014 indicated a grade of 2.24 g/t Au over 2.2m with copper values as high as 1.03% in bedrock. This zone will be explored as a 50-50 joint venture with Granada Gold Mine.

READ OUR FULL COMPANY PROFILE HERE

Receive more information at www.castlesilverresources.com

Corporate Presentation

CSR Corporate Presentation May 26 2017 v2