03/12/2020 - 15:35

Blackstone lists on US OTC market

03/12/2020 - 15:35

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On the back of a recent $17.8m raising which welcomed new overseas institutions to the register, ASX-listed Blackstone Minerals has listed its stock on the USA-based OTCQB market. After tabling healthy scoping study numbers for its flagship Ta Khoa nickel-copper-PGMs project west of Hanoi in Vietnam, Blackstone is looking to bolster investor support from both North American individuals and institutions.

On the back of a recent $17.8m raising which welcomed new overseas institutions to the register, ASX-listed Blackstone Minerals has listed its stock on the USA-based OTCQB market using the ticker BLSTF.  After tabling healthy scoping study numbers for its flagship Ta Khoa nickel-copper-PGMs project west of Hanoi in Vietnam, Blackstone is looking to bolster investor support from both North American individuals and institutions.

Blackstone said the listing was an important step for the company due to the significant interest shown by North American investors in the weeks since its Ta Khoa Scoping Study hit the streets.

The international interest in Blackstone is probably not surprising given the numbers the company threw out for the project over just an 8.5-year project life for the historical nickel deposit and its mothballed Ban Phuc processing plant.

Blackstone quoted annual production numbers of around 12,700 tonnes of nickel generating a pre-tax NPV of approximately US$665m at an eight per cent discount rate.  Other healthy numbers to roll out of the scoping study include and IRR of 45 per cent and a capital payback period of only 2.5 years, assuming a nickel price of US$8 per pound.

Blackstone Minerals Managing Director, Scott Williamson said: “We’re pleased to now be trading on the OTCQB; after many years of marketing in North America we believe now is a great time to increase our exposure to one of the largest pools of capital in the world.”

“Given the recent focus on the rise of Tesla and the electric vehicle revolution we see North America becoming an important investor market for Blackstone’s future green nickel battery opportunities at the Ta Khoa Nickel-Cu-PGE Project.”

Whilst the company will continue to be traded on the ASX, Blackstone’s management said the three key advantages for North American investors were trading and settling in US dollars, trading on US time and the OTCQB shares were the same class as its ASX-listed ordinary shares.

Another interesting advantage is the fact US-based pension plans can only invest in US-listed stocks.

Blackstone said it adds to an impressive list of ASX-listed companies already trading on the OTC, with Twiggy Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group one of the household names alongside others such as Alumina Ltd, Bionomics, Deep Yellow and Energy World Corp.

The main OTC board also has a fairly impressive list of mega-billion-dollar corporations including Roche, BASF, BNP Paribas, Heineken, Adidas and Anglo American, just to drop a few names.

The OTCQB Venture Market is generally for early-stage and developing, USA and international companies, with strict solvency, annual reporting and certification requirements to remain on its boards.

The US-listing now gives Blackstone a firm bridge to cross to tap into the USA’s uber-large pool of capital in the future as it progresses toward a DFS and start-up of mining at its Ban Phuc disseminated sulphide deposit.  The company is looking to turn its dirt into nickel and cobalt products for Asia’s growing lithium-ion battery industry.

As part of its recently released scoping study, Perth-based Blackstone unveiled maiden indicated mineral resource numbers for the Ban Phuc DFS of 44.3 million tonnes going 0.52 per cent nickel for 229,000 tonnes of contained nickel.  An additional resource estimate of 14.3 million tonnes grading 0.35 per cent nickel for 50,000 tonnes of contained nickel was classified in the inferred category.

With a CAPEX figure of US$314 million for the mooted development, any future mining and processing operation could spit out an average annual free cash flow before tax of a staggering US$179 million once it gets funded.

 

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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