16/09/2021 - 17:09

Vietnam nickel sulphide hunt intensifies for Blackstone

16/09/2021 - 17:09

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Vietnam-focused nickel company, Blackstone Minerals is off to a flyer in a recently launched infill drilling campaign at its King Snake prospect, located at its Ta Khao nickel-copper and PGE project. The new drill campaign has already hit 8.5 metres of sulphides including massive sulphide veins. Assays from previous drilling at the prospect have also delivered multiple nickel, copper, cobalt and PGE hits.

Long section showing drilling results at Blackstone Minerals’ King Snake prospect in Vietnam. Credit: File

Vietnam-focused nickel company, Blackstone Minerals is off to a flyer in a recently launched infill drilling campaign at its King Snake prospect, located at its Ta Khao nickel-copper and PGE project. The new drill campaign has already hit 8.5 metres of sulphides including massive sulphide veins. Assays from previous drilling at the prospect have also delivered multiple nickel, copper, cobalt and PGE hits.

King Snake is one of several advanced massive sulphide vein prospects at the company’s 90 per cent owned Ta Khoa project, some 160km west of Hanoi in the north of Vietnam.

The new 8.5m intercept adds to newly reported assays from recent drilling at King Snake that saw a string of nickel, copper, cobalt and PGE hits reported by the company.

Results include 4.9m at 1.09 per cent nickel, 0.97 per cent copper, 0.04 per cent cobalt and 0.89 g/t PGE from 133m and 1.18m at 1.73 per cent nickel 1.09 per cent copper, 0.06 per cent cobalt and 1.07 g/t PGE from 190m.

Another hole delivered a broad 13.5m intercept going 0.3 per cent nickel, 0.24 per cent copper, 0.01 per cent cobalt and 0.37 g/t PGE from 198m, including a richer 0.55m at 2.87 per cent nickel, 1.05 per cent copper, 0.1 per cent cobalt and 2.4 g/t PGE from 209m.

Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director, Scott Williamson said:“King Snake is one of three advanced massive sulfide opportunities that Blackstone has progressed within the Ta Khoa Nickel-Cu-PGE district. Blackstone’s initial geophysical assessment has been confirmed with mineralisation extending over a strike length close to one kilometre, while continuing to plunge deeper to the west.

We are pleased to have committed to the next phases of development at King Snake, which includes infill drilling.”

Blackstone says results from King Snake provide a strong base for the company to leap into mine planning, with the King Snake prospect set for inclusion in its upcoming pre-feasibility study on the proposed development of the Ta Khoa mining, processing and concentrator operation known as its “upstream business unit”.

The company sees Ta Khao as a district scale nickel, copper and PGE project that already boasts a hefty disseminated nickel sulphide deposit at Ban Phuc, about 1km from King Snake.

Blackstone tabled an inaugural indicated mineral resource for Ban Phuc last year, with 44.3 million tonnes going 0.52 per cent nickel for an impressive 229,000 tonnes of contained metal delineated.

The deposit also hosts a further inferred mineral resource tipping the scales at 14.3Mt at 0.35 per cent nickel, for 50,000 tonnes of contained nickel.

A resource update for Ban Phuc in support of the proposed upstream business operation is anticipated later in the year.

Blackstone is also considering a possible “downstream business unit” involving hydrometallurgical refining to produce battery-grade nickel-cobalt-manganese precursor products for use in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

The company envisages the Ban Phuc open pit as the initial source of feed to a proposed refinery for the downstream business operation.

The district scale potential of the Ta Khao tenure, including King Snake, could provide further feedstock for the operation and expand the life of the proposed venture.

Blackstone already appears to have plenty of nickel at Ban Phuc and could end up with plenty more if it keeps delivering solid nickel sulphide hits at King Snake.

 

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

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