Blackstone Minerals has racked up some of its longest nickel sulphide intersections to date across the King Cobra discovery zone at its Ban Phuc disseminated sulphide deposit in Vietnam. Infill and extension drilling included one drill hole that produced a 127.6m intersection going 1.17 per cent nickel, 0.22 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent cobalt and 0.24 g/t PGE.
Blackstone Minerals has racked up some of its longest nickel intersections to date across the King Cobra discovery zone at its Ban Phuc deposit in Vietnam with one hole turning out an intersection more than 166m long. The drilling is part of a hive of activity taking place on the slopes of Blackstone’s Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE project east of the capital of Hanoi in the north where it has nine rigs working across its various sites.
The focus has been on infill and extension drilling around the King Cobra Discovery Zone of the Ban Phuc disseminated sulphide deposit, or “DSS”, with the company looking to firm up the resource volumes included in its recently tabled Scoping Study.
Infill drilling has turned up some impressively long intercepts, including one drill hole which intersected 127.6m going 1.17 per cent nickel, 0.22 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent cobalt and 0.24 g/t PGE from a relatively shallow 14m downhole. Included in that meterage was 85m at 1.36 per cent nickel, 0.27 per cent copper, 0.03 per cent cobalt and 0.25 g/t PGE from 22m downhole.
Another outstanding hit intersected 96.1m wide at 0.83 per cent nickel, 0.17 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent cobalt and 0.26 g/t PGE from 18.4m downhole. A 50.2m sweet spot within the 96m intercept returned 1.05 per cent nickel, 0.2 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent cobalt and 0.4 g/t PGE from below 45m.
The longest intercept came from the drill hole designated BP20-39 which discovered a whopping 166.1m at 0.75 per cent nickel, 0.16 per cent copper, 0.01 per cent cobalt and 0.29 g/t PGE from just 6.3m below surface.
Interestingly, hole BP20-39 was drilled down the plunge of the deposit and effectively joined the dots between a number of other holes drilled earlier and included 79.8m going 1.12 per cent nickel, 0.27 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent cobalt and 0.45 g/t PGE from 10.5m downhole.
The Ban Phuc DSS deposit underpins Blackstone’s maiden indicated mineral resource of 44.3Mt at 0.52 per cent nickel, for 229,000 tonnes of contained nickel. The resource would seem sufficient to support a nickel sulphide project producing downstream nickel-cobalt-manganese precursor products for the global lithium-ion battery industry.
Drilling is also returning solid hits for Blackstone at its Ban Chang massive sulphide deposit as it works toward a maiden resource for this prospect. One of the best hits in recent drilling at Ban Chang was 5.65m at 1.04 per cent nickel, 1.16 per cent copper, 0.05 per cent cobalt and 0.71 g/t PGE, from 55.1m downhole, including 1.92m at 2.1 per cent nickel, 0.48 per cent copper, 0.11 per cent cobalt and 1.46 g/t PGE, from 58.9m.
Blackstone said it will continue to target Massive Sulfide Vein, or “MSV” prospects analogous to the historically mined Ban Phuc MSV, where 975,000 tonnes of high-grade ore with average grades of 2.4 per cent nickel and 1.0 per cent copper was extracted from an average vein width of just 1.3m.
Blackstone has its nine active drill rigs working systematically at King Cobra, Ban Chang, Ta Cuong and Ban Khoa prospects and it also plans to test up to 25 massive sulphide prospects ahead of tabling a PFS for the greater Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE project.
Blackstone Minerals Managing Director, Scott Williamson said: “Successful infill and extensional drilling at KCZ continue to deliver broad, consistent mineralisation and increases confidence in the compelling metrics presented in our recent Scoping Study. The drilling results reinforce our view that the project benefits from higher grades of the KCZ which can be accessed in the early years.”
“Blackstone will continue to systematically test our 25 MSV prospects, and a maiden resource at the Company’s first such target, Ban Chang, is being targeted for the first quarter of 2021. Through the delineation of additional MSV deposits, we see potential to increase annual nickel production and reduce initial capital requirements via a staged approach which would involve Blackstone utilising the existing 450ktpa concentrator at Ta Khoa.”
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