Castillo Copper pivots to Cobalt exploration, drilling underway at its Broken Hill NSW play

Mon 03 Oct 22, 12:40pm (AEST)
A black EV plugged into a public roadside charging station
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Castillo Copper taking a stab at cobalt deposits on-site at Broken Hill
  • Like copper, cobalt is an emerging EV battery storage metal, offering potential for significant value add
  • Core strategy of the company remains an expanded resource and further detailing of mineralisation

Following a tick-off on the strategic pivot from the board, Castillo Copper (ASX:CCZ) has commenced exploratory drilling for cobalt at its NSW Broken HIll copper play. 

The next month will see Castillo bring out a diamond drill rig and an RC drill rig respectively to the project to target four key areas in an area on-site called the ‘BHA East Zone.’ 

Broken down, those targets are: 

  • ‘The Sisters’ (Cobalt & REEs)

  • Reefs Tank 

  • Tors Tank 

  • Fence Gossan 

All in all, sixteen drill holes will be perforated across the quadrette. 

What’s being hunted at each?

The latter three targets in particular are on the radar of company geotechs who perceive a high chance for rich cobalt mineralisation. At the Two Sisters target, the company will be sniffing out signs of cobalt, but also hunting for REEs. 

Castillo notes to it shareholders today that it is is still a copper company, and “holistically, the strategic intent remains extending known mineralisation.”

Castillo is not the first company to pivot to REEs in recent months, and with high prices matched with forecasts of boosted demand, it is likely of interest to existing shareholders what the company may or may not find. 

Also worth considering (and no resentment to Castillo is intended here) is that everybody has bills to pay. 

Confidence running high 

“This is an exciting time for Castillo Copper as [cobalt] drilling gets underway,” Castillo Copper MD Dr. Dennis Jensen said. 

“The strategic intent is to increase the confidence and grade of the current mineral resource.” 

“The geology team have designed a comprehensive drilling campaign and the Board is optimistic in our 100% owned BHA Project’s East Zone.” 

Cobalt market to remain strong

Earlier this year, the international 'Cobalt Institute' released its 2021 market report, finding demand for the metal will likely rise with the increased uptake of EVs globally.

The International Energy Agency also predicts demand for cobalt to go nowhere between now and 2040, and then some.

It expects EVs and energy storage solution to represent 110 kilotonnes of demand by 2030 under currently in-place decarbonisation policies around the world. Under a more optimistic "Sustainable Development" model, the IEA sees 264KT of cobalt being required by EV and storage supply chains in eight years' time. 

Keep on file: a list of EV battery metals

Just as an exercise in memory, it’s worth highlighting the various metals currently flagged for increase due to EV supply chain markets. The following are widely agreed upon by everybody from Australia’s Chief Economist to BloombergNEF. 

Castillo's three month charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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