Ta Cuong, and now the Taipan Discovery Zone (TDZ) within it, have the potential to add significantly to Blackstone’s massive sulphide mining inventory at the Ta Khoa Project, providing further impetus for the restart of the existing 450,000 tonnes concentrator.
Follow-up drilling is being planned to test several proximal electromagnetic (EM) geophysics targets as well as the extent of the intensely mineralised TDZ.
The company expects to provide an update regarding ongoing drilling at Ta Cuong, the anticipated King Snake assays, along with results from infill drilling at Ban Chang and Ban Phuc DSS over the coming weeks.
"One of the best"
Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson said: “We are very pleased to report a significant discovery at Ta Cuong.
“The discovery hole at TDZ is one of the best Blackstone has delivered on its MSV targets.
“The TDZ remains open along strike and significantly adds momentum to the MSV strategy at Ta Khoa."
Continue aggressive exploration
He added: “So far, all three priority MSV targets have delivered impressive and high-value intersections.
“We are excited to be systematically unveiling the potential of the Ta Khoa nickel-copper-PGE district and will continue an aggressive exploration program, representing the most cost-effective and value accretive pathway to secure supply for our downstream business.”
Shares ended the day at A$0.545, 11.22 per cent higher than yesterday's close, while the company's market cap is approximately A$162.5 million.
The TDZ was discovered by hole TC21-03 and features 39.7 metres of continuous disseminated sulphide (DSS), semi-massive sulphide vein (SMSV) and massive sulphide vein (MSV) unweathered mineralisation from 15.15 metres.
Ta Cuong is a Nickel-PGE-Copper-Cobalt MSV prospect 6 kilometres along strike from the recently operating Ban Phuc MSV nickel mine and existing processing centre.
The prospect is associated with the Ban Khang intrusive complex and is proximal to a major regional fault zone, which also transects the Ban Phuc, King Snake and Ban Chang MSV zone.
At the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE site in Northern Vietnam, Blackstone is exploring MSV and DSS targets throughout the project, initially within a 5 kilometres radius of the existing processing facility.
Blackstone will conduct further geophysics on the MSV and DSS targets and continue an aggressive drilling campaign.
By combining the company’s existing mineral inventory (Ban Phuc), exploration potential presented by high priority targets such as Ban Chang, King Snake and now Ta Cuong, and the ability to source third-party concentrate, Blackstone will be able to increase the scale of its downstream business to meet the rising demand for downstream nickel products.
Blackstone has completed a scoping study, which includes mining the company’s maiden resource at the Ban Phuc disseminated ore body and the construction of one downstream refinery.
It is now advancing the Ta Khoa Project through to a pre-feasibility study, which will contemplate the option to mine higher grade MSV deposits, which has the potential to reduce upfront capital requirements by enabling the company to restart the existing Ban Phuc Concentrator.