Junior explorer Walkabout Resources is stepping deeper into battery metals territory after now discovering cobalt at a gold project in Northern Ireland.

A review of data has confirmed the presence of cobalt, copper and silver occurrences at the Slieve Gallion project that Walkabout (ASX:WKT) is earning a 75 per cent stake in.

Recent exploration at the project was exclusively targeting gold.

The data shows cobalt grades of up to 0.13 per cent in rock chip samples and grades of up to 1.27 per cent copper and 50.3 grams per tonne (g/t) of silver in individual samples.

Less than 1 per cent cobalt is considered economic but low-grade. Medium grade is 1 to 2 per cent and high grade is over 2 per cent.

In January, Walkabout revealed its push to become a dominant player in Namibian lithium with a deal to earn up to a 75 per cent stake in another prospecting licence adjoining its Eureka lithium project.

The company has now identified priority areas it wants to follow up at the Slieve Gallion project.

Walkabout Resources shares over the past six months. (ASX:WKT)
Walkabout Resources shares over the past six months. (ASX:WKT)

Walkabout can earn its 75 per cent interest in the project by spending US$500,000 ($636,646) and completing a pre-feasibility study.

Cobalt prices rocketed 130 per cent last year, making it a top commodities performer among HSBC’s “Commodity Prices Snapshot”.

The surging price is largely due to rising demand from electric vehicle makers and constrained supply. Cobalt is a component of the lithium ion battery technology used in electric cars.