Kuniko (ASX:KNI) reports new assay results provide confidence for a ‘large-scale’ cobalt and copper deposit at the Skuterud Project, located in central-southern Norway.
An initial diamond drill program was completed at the Skuterud Cobalt Project between May and July this year with a planned 2,800m in 7 drillholes at 3 target prospects for potential cobalt mineralisation.
Following the identification of visible cobalt minerals in the drill core from the Middagshvile target, the drill program was extended beyond the original scope to a total of 3,240m and 11 diamond drill holes.
Drilling at the Middagshvile target consisted of 8 holes from 2 drilling locations approximately 280m apart.
Drill core assays from the main mineralised position at Middagshvile have been received from ALS laboratories and ‘significant’ results including:
- 4.3m @ 0.05% Co and 0.21% Cu from 40m in MDV001.
- 4m @ 0.10% Co and 0.03% Cu from 40.9m in MDV002, including 6m @ 0.06% Co and 0.10% Cu from 59m, and 7m @ 0.09% Co and 0.02% Cu from 71m including the best interval of 1m @ 0.34% Co from 74m.
- 3m @ 0.07% Co and 0.31% Cu from 84m in MDV003, including 6m @ 0.06% Co and 0.04% Cu from 93m, and 2.65m @ 0.045% Co and 0.05% Cu from 126m.
- 2.8m @ 0.07% Co and 0.09% Cu from 119.2m in MDV004, including 11.1m @ 0.09% Co and 0.23% Cu from 167m including 2m @ 0.15% Co and 0.25% Cu from 168m and 4.1m @ 0.13% Co and 0.41% Cu from 174m.
- 3m @ 0.06% Co and 0.17% Cu from 38m in MDV005, including 5m @ 0.09% Co and 0.23% Cu from 52m.
- 2m @ 0.07% Co and 0.07% Cu from 43.1m in MDV006.
- 9.05m @ 0.06% Co and 0.10% Cu from 68.5m in MDV007.
- 3m @ 0.05% Co and 0.07% Cu from 210.7m in MDV008, including 4.6m @ 0.06% Co and 0.06% Cu from 239.7m.
The assay results show all drillholes intersected zones of cobalt and copper enrichment, which Kuniko considers ‘extremely encouraging’ for the maiden drilling program.
All holes intersected a similar host sequence, including KNI_MDV008 drilled 280m away from 7 holes at the initial drill location, indicating continuity of the lithology.
Surface projection of the mineralisation extends across 450m between the northernmost drillhole KNI_MDV008, and the southernmost hole from earlier drilling by former exploration licence holder Berkut Minerals and their drillhole MDV003.
Kuniko’s ‘high-grade’ cobalt results of 0.34% over 1m highlights the significant further ‘potential’ at Skuterud.
The previous best intercept from historical drilling results reported by Berkut was 0.16% Co over 1m.
Analysis and interpretation of the assay results also present observations such as cobaltite-rich bands yielding cobalt results, mineralisation is strata-bound within a thick metasedimentary unit consisting of quartzite, metapelites (biotite-quartz schists) and calc-silicates (diopside-tremolite ± tourmaline) above graphitic schist and biotite-sillimanite schist.
Other observations include the modelled enveloping surface of the host horizon has an approximate width of 25m at the projection on topography (true thickness and geometry to be determined), and the results from KNI_MDV004 confirm mineralisation continues and remains open with depth.
Grade distribution is also heterogeneous, and geochemical and structural control on grade distribution will be determined by further studies including MSc projects in collaboration with the University of Oslo.
Exact mineralogy, paragenesis and textural settings of the mineralisation are to be determined, and Kuniko is undertaking additional petrographic analyses to determine and quantify mineral assemblage and textures.
Kuniko Exploration Manager Trond Brenden-Veisel said there are some ‘excellent high-grade’ cobalt mineralisation results coming out of this first drill campaign, and the company is pleased to see a positive improvement in grade and thickness compared to earlier drilling done by Berkut.
“This, combined with the already tested extension of mineralisation along strike, which is open at depth, validates the prospectivity for significantly larger-scale cobalt and copper mineralisation at Skuterud, an endorsement for further drilling activity.
Compared to other projects in Scandinavia, such as Latitude 66’s Kuusamo Cobalt Project in Finland, which has reported cobalt grades of around 0.09%, our early drill results from limited drilling provide reason to be enthusiastic about what me might yet discover at Skuterud.
“Our best interval returned 0.34% cobalt grade which is trending to be more in line with the Jervois project in Idaho, which has a measured and indicated resource at 0.44% cobalt and plans to produce around 2,000t of cobalt ore a year”
Our best interval returned 0.34% cobalt grade which is trending to be more in line with the Jervois project in Idaho, which has a measured and indicated resource at 0.44% cobalt and plans to produce around 2,000t of cobalt ore a year.
Our confidence in our Skuterud Cobalt Project is increasing the more we progress.
We have such an excellent and exciting opportunity, with the project being perfectly located only 90 from Oslo and offering leverage to Norway’s high-quality infrastructure, renewable hydroelectricity, skilled labour resources, and nearby cobalt processing facilities.
With Norway aiming to take a leading role in providing Europe with minerals and battery value chain solutions, Kuniko and the Skuterud Cobalt Project are positioning to be in a front runner position.
We have more work ahead, but we are off to a fantastic start.”
Kuniko CEO Antony Beckmand said the company’s exploration work at Skuterud continues to consistently deliver great results and the assays from this first drill campaign definitively demonstrate cobalt and copper mineralisation in present, backing up geochemical sampling results across the licence area along the mineralisation trend.
“Our success to date is reinforced with these results showing an improvement in thickness and grade when compared to historical drilling at Skuterud. We are increasingly confident the results are supporting the potential for identifying cobalt-copper rich zones at a large-scale.
We are actively working on our plans for further drilling at Skuterud along with supporting workflows aimed at unlocking the promising upside of this exciting project.”
Kuniko is preparing its work plans for further activity at Skuterud which will include additional drilling targets aimed at informing the distribution and control of the highest grades and testing the extent of mineralisation along strike and continuation to depth.
Assay results from lower priority samples will facilitate improved understanding of host lithologies and the combined data set will provide a firm basis for robust geological modelling.
Further downhole geophysics and ground EM surveys are planned to refine new additional drilling targets.
Additional planned work includes data integration with mapping, geochemical soil sampling and historical records, along with laser scanning of the historical mines to generate 3D shapes and structures which will assist with dimensioning potential extensions of mineralisation.
The Skuterud Cobalt Project is in central-southern Norway, due to the west of Oslo comprising 10 exploration licences with an area of 52.12km-square.
The exploration licence area includes the historically significant Skuterud Cobalt Mine, now a museum, found in the centre of the project area, while the licences also cover the extent of the main host horizon at Skuterud, containing the richest cobalt deposits.
Kuniko is focused on the development of copper, nickel and cobalt projects in Scandinavia and has expanded its interests to include prospects for battery and technology metals.
The company has a strict mandate to maintain a net zero carbon footprint throughout exploration, development and production of its projects.
Kuniko’s key assets located in Norway include the Skuterud Cobalt Project, the Undal-Nyberget Copper Project and the Ringerike Battery Metals.
Additional assets include the Feøy and Romsås Nickel projects, the Nord Helgeland technology metals project and the Vangrøfta Copper Project.
Skuterud has had over 1m tonnes of cobalt ore mined historically and was the world’s largest cobalt producer in its time, and Kuniko’s geophysics and geochemical exploration in 2021 identified multiple anomalies, with a maiden drill campaign completed in July 2022.