How dreams of ‘Mount Cobalt’ are dividing an old mining town – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 24, 2018)

As cobalt prices spike, some support levelling and gutting Cobalt, Ont., for mining’s return and economic prosperity, but others find the prospect ‘heartbreaking’

Gino Chitaroni keeps five different business cards arrayed at the front of his desk: He’s a geologist, prospector, land manager, salesman and, for many people, a go-to source of information for anything related to mining in Cobalt, Ont.

Until recently, as far as mining is concerned, there hasn’t been much happening around Cobalt. Located about five hours north of Toronto, it experienced a historic and prolific silver rush at the turn of the last century that sustained decades of mining. By the late 1980s, things had petered out.

Then, last year, in a welcome turn of events for a town that has struggled economically since mining disappeared, prospectors started flocking to the area in droves.

Now, properties are changing hands at a pace not seen in years, and executives from junior mining companies have been rooting around old mine sites and raising tens of millions of dollars on a novel sales pitch: They can build a world-class cobalt mine in Cobalt.

“This is a silver mining camp, it’s not a cobalt mining camp,” said Chitaroni, whose family has resided in the area for generations. “That’s what it is, it’s a world famous silver camp.”

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