• Following the completion of a highly successful geophysics program at Ban Chang, Blackstone’s geophysics crew is mobilising to the newly generated Ta Cuong target associated with the highly prospective Ban Khang ultramafic intrusion;
  • Ta Cuong is located 6km along strike from Ban Chang and proximal to a major regional structure that is also close to the Ban Phuc and Ban Chang prospects (see Figure 1);
  • The Ta Cuong prospect is analogous to the recently drilled Ban Chang prospect and the flagship Ban Phuc orebody where the company has delivered the King Cobra discovery and delineated the maiden Ban Phuc DSS resource to be announced during the current quarter;
  • Drilling at Ta Cuong by previous owners was not targeting electromagnetic (EM) plates and Blackstone’s geophysics crew will now use EM to refine the MSV targets at Ta Cuong for high impact drilling over the coming months;
  • Blackstone’s assaying of historic drill holes (previously unassayed) from Ta Cuong returned the following significant results (see Figures 2 & 3 and Tables 1 & 2):
    • BKh18‐02

15.6m @ 0.66% Ni, 0.6% Cu, 0.04% Co & 0.31g/t PGE1 from 45.9m incl. 0.6m @ 1.95% Ni, 4.47% Cu, 0.12% Co & 0.66g/t PGE from 51.7m

    • BKh18‐03

5.0m @ 0.84% Ni, 0.59% Cu, 0.05% Co & 0.87g/t PGE from 150.0m incl. 2.55m @ 1.43% Ni, 0.86% Cu, 0.09% Co & 0.78g/t PGE from 150.45m

1 Platinum (Pt) + Palladium (Pd) + Gold (Au)

  • Ta Cuong is the Company’s second high priority Massive Sulfide Vein (MSV) prospect within Blackstone’s portfolio of 25 MSV prospects to be systematically tested with modern techniques;
  • Blackstone is targeting MSV prospects analogous to the previously mined Ban Phuc MSV, where previous owners successfully mined 975kt of high grade ore at average grades of 2.4% Ni & 1.0% Cu from an average vein width of 1.3m for 3.5 years between 2013 and 2016, producing 20.7kt Ni, 10.1kt Cu and 0.67kt Co;
  • Recently purchased third drill rig will follow the geophysics crew throughout the Ta Khoa nickel sulfide district, testing high priority EM targets generated from 25 MSV prospects including Ban Chang, and Ta Cuong (see Figure 1);
  • Drilling continues at the King Cobra Discovery zone (KCZ) and Ban Chang;
  • The current Scoping Study is focused on downstream processing to produce nickel sulfate for the lithium-ion battery industry with the maiden resource on track for completion in Q3, CY20;
  • Downstream processing potential supported by $6.8 million investment from EcoPro Co Limited, the world’s second largest nickel-rich cathode materials manufacturer, completed in April 2020;

Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director Scott Williamson commented:

“We are very excited to commence exploration at Ta Cuong, our second MSV prospect. Based on geological similarities and historical results, we believe it has the potential to deliver similar results to Ban Chang. We anticipate the geophysics to better define drill targets, which we will immediately follow up with drilling. We continue to systematically test our 25 MSV prospects and with our in-house geophysics crew and Blackstone-owned drill rigs, we can cost effectively explore this globally significant nickel sulfide district using modern geophysical techniques. We see potential to increase annual nickel production from the Ta Khoa Nickel-Cu-PGE project through targeting high-grade MSV to complement the base load nickel sulfide feed to be potentially mined from the Ban Phuc DSS and King Cobra discovery zone.”

Click here for the full press release.

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