Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX:BSX) provided a summary of quarterly activities for the period ending 31 March 2021.

Ta Khoa Nickel – Copper – PGE Project

Upstream Business Unit (UBU)

• Multiple drill rigs active focussed on resource definition drilling and exploration for disseminated sulfide (DSS) and massive sulfide vein (MSV) prospects at the Ta Khoa Nickel – Copper – PGE Project in northern Vietnam
• Total of 14,502 metres of core drilling was completed in the March quarter, of which 5,285 metres were infill drilling at the large Ban Phuc DSS open pit orebody
• Infill drilling continued at the Ban Chang MSV prospect to support resource estimations and preliminary mining studies which are ongoing
• Testing of Electro-magnetic (EM) geophysics targets confirmed additional high grade MSV potential at the King Snake and Ta Cuong prospects:
• At King Snake high-grade massive sulfide nickel, copper and platinum group elements (PGEs) were confirmed (refer to ASX announcements dated 4 February 2021, 16 February 2021 and 11 March 2021); and
• At Ta Cuong significant sulfide mineralisation was identified in new Taipan Discovery Zone (TDZ), where drill hole TC21-03 intersected 39.70m of sulfide mineralisation including DSS, semi-massive sulfide (SMSV) and MSV (refer ASX announcement 25 February 2021)

Downstream Business Unit (DBU)

• The Company confirmed that separate Pre-Feasibility Studies (PFS) will be delivered for its Upstream and Downstream business units
• The Downstream PFS is anticipated to be completed by June/July 2021 and will consider expanded downstream refining capacity, which has potential to transform Blackstone into a globally significant Class 1 nickel producer
• Feedstock, namely nickel in concentrate, for the expanded planned refining capacity is expected to include both third – party concentrate and Blackstone’s potential orebodies within the Ta Khoa district in Northern Vietnam

Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX:BSX) expanded downstream refinery is driven by strong indicative demand for the Company’s planned downstream products which will include Nickel:Cobalt:Manganese (NCM) precursor products suitable for the Lithium-ion battery industry, for example NCM811

• Blackstone intends to collaborate with Tier 1 partners to unlock the value of its expanded downstream refinery strategy, including EcoPro who are the world’s second largest manufacturer of cathodes and a major shareholder of Blackstone.

Corporate
• Letter of Interest signed with global commodity trading group Trafigura as part of its downstream refining strategy
• Highly-experienced hydrometallurgical engineer Tony Tang appointed General Manager Project Development – Downstream
• Blackstone to spin out non-core gold assets into new Codrus Minerals Limited IPO
• Blackstone commences trading on the US-based OTCQX Best Market
• Cash balance as at 31 March 2021 of A$19.2m

Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director Scott Williamson commented:

“The March 2021 quarter was transformative for Blackstone as plans to expand our downstream refinery capacity were outlined to the market. Executing on our planned expanded downstream refinery strategy will see the Company become a globally significant Class I nickel producer.”

“During the March 2021 quarter the company continued an aggressive drilling program, adding confidence to the existing resource base as well as successfully targeting new massive sulfide opportunities including the King Snake prospect. The Ta Khoa district remains largely untested and we are confident based on our existing resource, initial success at multiple MSV deposits and from future exploration success, that the Ta Khoa Nickel – CuPGE project will be a significant feedstock for our downstream refinery in Vietnam for many years to come”

“The formalisation of Blackstone’s relationship with Trafigura, one of the largest commodity traders in the world, was an important milestone for the March 2021 quarter. The ability for our downstream business to access third-party concentrate will be important to meet the burgeoning demand for nickel driven by rapid growth in the Lithium-ion battery industry. During the quarter Blackstone continued to collaborate with Trafigura and the Company looks forward to presenting outcomes of the PFS for its downstream refinery business in
June / July this year.”

Click here for the full press release

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