Pilbara explorer Artemis Resources has uncovered high-grade cobalt over 1.2km at a project in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

“Carlow Castle was one of the first ever cobalt discoveries in Australia in the 1920s and since intersecting cobalt grades up to 6.5 per cent in the early stages of this drilling program, this project continues to deliver outstanding results,” executive director Ed Mead said.

Artemis has drilled 24,665m of the project known as “Carlow Castle” and that is only around 10 per cent of the 12km strike length.

The best hits so far include 6.5m at 2.32 per cent cobalt, 23.44 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 10.35 per cent copper from 47m.

While anything less than 1 per cent cobalt is low-grade, the high price of the battery metal at the moment is making large deposits with grades of as low as 0.1 per cent economic.

Grades of 0.3 per cent are currently considered very good with scale.

In general though, less than 1 per cent is low grade and over 2 per cent is high grade.

Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) shares over the past 12 months.
Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) shares over the past 12 months.

Anything over 5g/t gold and 6 per cent copper is generally considered high-grade.

Mr Mead told Stockhead previously that the high cobalt grades being uncovered at its Carlow Castle project were not common in Australia.

“I suppose we can say we’ve got DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] grades but they’re in Australia,” he said.

The DRC produces more than half the world’s cobalt, but end-users are blacklisting cobalt from the African nation over ethical issues such as the use of child labour.

This is making jurisdictions like Australia much more attractive to battery makers.

Carlow Castle already has a resource of 4.5 million tonnes at 0.9g/t gold, 0.07 per cent cobalt, 0.4 per cent copper and 1.3g/t silver.

But Artemis expects to deliver a “significant new JORC resource” this quarter.

JORC refers to the mining industry’s official code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.

“Artemis is now making plans for an aggressive new drilling program with multiple rigs to expand this resource well beyond what has been defined to date,” Mr Mead said.