Good morning Vietnam – Blackstone hits 60m nickel zone
Blackstone Minerals has revealed its most impressive drill result to date at its Ta Khoa nickel project in Vietnam with 60m grading 1.3% nickel and another 11.9m intersection further down-hole grading 1.09% within a 142m mineralised intersection that also showed 0.22% copper and 0.29g/t PGM plus gold.
The results are from Blackstone’s new King Cobra prospect that is starting to take pole position at this rapidly developing project.
Whilst the 60m intersection starts at around 32m down-hole, the mineralisation at King Cobra starts pretty much from surface where the new semi-massive sulphide veins were discovered late last year by Blackstone courtesy of an aggressive development and exploration program in northern Vietnam.
Over 9,000 metres worth of diamond core has now been ploughed into the Ta Khoa project with this week’s results upping the anti now for the Perth based company.
Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director, Scott Williamson said: “Blackstone is pleased to announce the King Cobra discovery hole as our most significant drillhole to date at the Ta Khoa Nickel Project. The King Cobra discovery continues to grow, as does our understanding of the geology of the Ban Phuc deposit.”
“The King Cobra discovery is shaping up to be a high grade, near-surface, large scale disseminated Nickel-PGE zone that has potential to deliver a highly economic starter pit at Ta Khoa.”
Whilst the overall geometry of King Cobra is yet to be fully understood by the company, a suite of assays remains outstanding and will undoubtedly provide a wealth of information for the company to interpret.
The specific geological features of the King Cobra discovery are quite distinct and the first of their kind observed at the project. Management says these features may provide a vector towards a high-grade “feeder zone” that is characteristic of magmatic nickel sulphide deposits.
These deposits form when liquid magma rises through the earth’s crust and cools as it encounters cooler rocks. If the sulphur content of the magma is high enough – or is extracted from the surrounding rocks through melting – and if all the other geochemical essentials line up as the rocks cool further – the sulphide liquid can crystallise and form ore deposits containing metals such as nickel, copper, PGM’s and even iron.
Blackstone picked up an option agreement to acquire 90% of the Ta Khoa project in May 2019 that included a mothballed 450ktpa processing plant and mine located 160km west of Hanoi in the Son La Province of Vietnam.
The Ban Phuc massive sulphide vein was mined from 2013 to 2016 and produced 20.7kt of nickel, 10.1kt of copper and 0.67kt of cobalt.
The vein itself is an extraordinary 640m in length and is known to extend at least another 450m at an average width of 1m.
Blackstone has now identified potentially lucrative disseminated sulphide zones over a substantial area within a close radius to the processing plant and it is now currently working on wrapping a maiden mineral resource around Ban Phuc. Meanwhile, the rods will keep turning across the project, with two rigs running around the clock driven by the company’s recent purchase of its own geophysical tools to help identify potential massive sulphide accumulations.
With the possibility of developing downstream nickel and cobalt processing infrastructure in Vietnam, Ban Phuc’s full potential appears to be yet emerging.
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