- The global nickel market is currently entering a structural deficit, with demand expected to grow 950 percent by 2040.
- Blackstone Minerals is well-positioned to address this deficit as a vertically integrated producer of low-cost, low-carbon nickel.
- Blackstone's flagship project Ta Khoa is a brownfield project situated in Vietnam, one of the lowest capital cost countries in the world and an emerging hub for the electric vehicle market with vast reserves of nickel.
- Vietnam is an increasingly attractive region for investment with direct foreign investments that grew from $1.3 billion in 2000 to $15.6 billion in 2020.
- The Ta Khoa project also has infrastructure advantages, via the existing Ban Phuc mine, and processing facilities, access to low-cost and underutilized hydroelectricity, a trained labor force and support from the local government.
- Blackstone Minerals’ downstream pre-feasibility study confirms a technically and economically robust hydrometallurgical refining process to upgrade nickel sulphide concentrate to produce battery-grade nickel
- Blackstone’s key nickel and cobalt feed stocks for the Ta Khoa Refinery Pilot program were delivered to the metallurgical laboratory in Western Australia as of April 2022.
As the world moves closer to a sustainable net-zero future, the need for battery metals continues to mount, and nickel may soon be among the metals to see a supply crunch. Though its roots are in the stainless steel sector, it's also a critical component of lithium-ion batteries.
Given that many nations are aiming to replace combustion vehicles with electric cars by 2030, the metal is already experiencing a massive spike in demand. Benchmark Minerals expects the need for battery-grade nickel will increase by roughly 950 percent by 2040.
It's imperative to ramp up global nickel production but the resource sector, for its part, must do so with a much-reduced carbon footprint in order to influence the sustainability of the entire value chain. Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX, OTC:BLSTF) recognizes this. As a vertically integrated producer of low-cost, low-carbon nickel, the company aims to become a leading source of low CO2 emission nickel sulphide. Its flagship Ta Khoa Project in Vietnam is representative of that goal.