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King Cobra bites again with 38m @ 1.12 per cent nickel for Blackstone

Blackstone Minerals’ King Cobra nickel discovery at its Ta Khoa nickel-PGM project in Vietnam looks to have plenty of bite left in it yet after the Perth based ASX-listed company nailed a near 38m intersection going 1.12 per cent nickel right from the surface.

Another nearly 50m intersection went 0.79 per cent nickel from just 32m downhole and whilst the platinum group element results are still to come, the nickel results are looking lucrative.

The company has also recorded some of its widest mineralised intervals to date with nearly 265m grading 0.33% nickel and 83.2m going half a per cent nickel.

King Cobra has now been identified over some 200m of strike and Blackstone said the deposit is still open at depth, to the north-west and the south-east.

Having recently completed resource drilling at Ban Phuc, Blackstone is now well into its scoping study at the wider Ta Khoa project.

It is also planning to keep the rods turning at King Cobra and throughout its 25 plus prospects across its nickel-PGM project as it wraps up a maiden resource estimate for the Ban Phuc and King Cobra deposits for delivery during the third quarter of this year.

Blackstone is only just beginning to reveal the potential extents of its Ban Phuc disseminated sulphide nickel and platinum group metal deposit, having defined the ore body currently to over a kilometre by 500 metres in size – and it is still open.

The Perth-based company said initial interpretations suggest that the historic Ban Phuc underground mine may be suitable for bulk tonnage open pit mining.

Blackstone’s drilling and evaluation has identified thick nickel sulphide mineralisation and concentrations of highly valuable precious metals including palladium, platinum and gold.

The Ban Phuc massive sulphide vein was mined between 2013 and 2016, and produced 20.7Kt of nickel, 10.1Kt copper and 0.67Kt cobalt at the existing and now mothballed 450ktpa Ban Phuc processing facility.

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 and the geochemical prerequisites are just right as the rocks cool – the 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 and has since drilled out more than 12,000 metres of diamond core.

With the possibility of developing downstream nickel and cobalt processing infrastructure in Vietnam to feed into the burgeoning EV battery markets, Ban Phuc’s full potential is still a story in progress. 

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

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