Snettisham iron-vanadium concentrates

 

Last updated 7/12/2019 at 6:12am

Snettisham vanadium titanium iron exploration Southeast Alaska battery metals

Northern Cobalt Ltd.

The Snettisham iron-vanadium prospect lies next to tidewater in Southeast Alaska, an ideal location for shipping concentrates to smelters on the Pacific Rim.

Northern Cobalt Ltd. July 1 reported that metallurgical sampling of rock chip samples from its Snettisham project demonstrates the potential to produce a high-grade magnetite (iron) concentrate with vanadium credits, providing further confidence in the economic viability of this Southeast Alaska project.

In June, the Australia-based company estimated that the mafic-ultramafic Alaskan zoned intrusive complex at Snettisham hosts 297 to 551 million metric tons of high-grade material averaging 28 to 52 percent iron associated with 1.1 to 2.1 billion metric tons of lower grade mineralization with 14 to 16 percent iron. The low- and high-grade portions of Snettisham also contain titanium and vanadium, both critical metals.

Currently, vanadium is primarily used as an alloy metal. In this capacity, a small amount of vanadium adds strength and heat resistance to the metal it is alloyed with. Ferrovanadium, a vanadium-iron alloy, is used in high-stress auto parts such as gears, axles and crankshafts. Titanium-vanadium alloys are used in jet engines.


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An emerging use of this critical metal is in vanadium redox batteries, also known as vanadium-flow batteries. Taking advantage of vanadium's ability to exist in solution in four different oxidation states, the vanadium redox battery uses one electroactive element instead of separate elements for the cathode and anode.

Situated about 50 kilometers (32 miles) south of Juneau, Snettisham hosts a large outcropping body of magnetite with iron, titanium, vanadium, and possibly platinum-group elements. This intrusion extends for at least 3,800 meters along the coast of the Snettisham Peninsula and up to 1,500 meters inland.

A magnetic anomaly indicates the presence of a 2,500- by 600-meter body of higher-grade magnetite mineralization in the southeast portion of the intrusion.

Metallurgical testing of the low- and high-grade mineralization returned similar metallurgical results.

A rock chip sample of the higher-grade section containing 41 percent iron produced a concentrate with 63 percent iron, 5.36 percent titanium dioxide and 0.64 percent vanadium pentoxide.

A composite of eight rock chip samples of the lower grade material averaging 19 percent iron produced a concentrate with 62.7 percent iron, 3.74 percent titanium dioxide and 0.63 percent vanadium pentoxide.

Northern Cobalt said these quality vanadium-rich magnetite concentrates were achieved using a very coarse grind size of 250 microns.

Lying adjacent to a Pacific Rim deep-water port, Snettisham is ideally situated to ship any iron-titanium-vanadium concentrates produced there to the United States and China.

Northern Cobalt is planning to drill three holes targeting the higher-grade section of Snettisham in August.

In addition to testing the depth and grade of this magnetic anomaly, these holes will provide additional samples for further metallurgical testing.

At the same time, the Australia-based company is planning to undertake exploration on prospective gold-bearing structures identified on this property that lies within the Juneau Gold Belt.

Three historical gold mines – Crystal, Friday and Minnehaha – are found on the Snettisham property. At the turn of the 20th Century, the Alaska Snettisham Gold Mining Company had a 20-stamp mill to process ore from these mines.

Northern Cobalt said the magnetic survey it flew earlier this year shows significant potential for further gold mineralization within the project area.

Targeted sampling to identify and test structures identified with this survey is planned for the upcoming field season.

–SHANE LASLEY

Snettisham vanadium titanium exploration map Southeast Alaska battery metals

Northern Cobalt Ltd.

 

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