Australia-based Jervois Global, a nickel and cobalt company, has commenced the first stage of plant commissioning at its Idaho Cobalt Operations mine site (ICO), following a successful opening ceremony on 7 October 2022. ICO is commencing a commissioning phase during October, with equipment undergoing final completion testwork ahead of continuous commercial concentrate production expected across Q4 2022. Jervois continues to expect to achieve full nameplate capacity by the end of Q1 2023.
Jervois acquired the partially complete ICO in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, west of Salmon, Idaho in 2019 with its buyout of Canada-based eCobalt Solutions. Once in production, ICO will be the only primary cobalt mine in the United States. Jervois has commenced infill and expansion drilling at ICO from both surface and underground platforms to improve ICO’s resource model to be used for short and medium-term mining operations.
In addition, planning is underway in relation to Jervois’ neighboring Sunshine deposit and historical mineral resource where it is preparing for 2023 summer drilling. The historical Sunshine cobalt resource is located a short traverse to the ICO mill and concentrator.
The ICO is located in the Idaho Cobalt Belt (ICB), a unique example of sea-floor hydrothermal brines that vented along an ancient rift within a deep-water setting. The ICB is a northwest-trending zone of Co-Cu-Au occurrences, about 54 km long and up to 10 km wide in its central part, centered on the ICO. It is an exceptional metallogenic province in which cobalt occurs in sufficiently high concentrations to make it the primary metal in the deposits.
The ICO is a key asset in delivering Jervois’ strategy to become a leading independent cobalt and nickel company providing metals and minerals for the world’s energy transition through a western supply chain.
Across 2022, Jervois has announced a US$4.8-million, or 46,000 feet, drilling campaign targeting both infill and expansion of the existing known mineral reserve and resource. To date, the company has completed 27,000 feet of drilling, which for infill has reduced drill hole spacing and which is expected to underpin mining in 2023 and into 2024.