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Blackstone Minerals begins exploration at new high-grade nickel-copper-PGE target of Ta Khoa project

The company is targeting MSV prospects analogous to the previously mined Ban Phuc MSV, where previous owners mined 975,000 tonnes from an average vein width of 1.3 metres and average grades of 2.4% nickel and 1% copper.

Nickel - Blackstone Minerals begins Ta Cuong exploration within Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Elements Project
Blackstone will conduct ground-based EM at Ta Cuong over the coming months

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) has begun exploration at Ta Cuong, its second massive sulphide vein (MSV) prospect at the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Elements (PGE) Project in northern Vietnam.

After completing a highly successful geophysics program at Ban Chang, Blackstone’s geophysics crew has mobilised to the newly generated Ta Cuong target associated with the highly prospective Ban Khang ultramafic intrusion.

Ta Cuong is 6 kilometres along strike from Ban Chang and proximal to a major regional structure that is also close to the Ban Phuc and Ban Chang prospects.

“Potential to deliver similar results”

Managing director Scott Williamson said: “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.”

Shares have been up as much as 6.6% to 24.5 cents after reaching a new two-year high of 25 cents on July 10.

Blackstone’s geophysics crew will use EM to refine the MSV targets at Ta Cuong for high impact drilling over the coming months

This second MSV prospect is analogous to the recently drilled Ban Chang and the flagship Ban Phuc ore body where the company has delivered the King Cobra discovery and delineated the maiden Ban Phuc DSS resource to be announced later this quarter.

Systematic testing

Williamson added that the company was also continuing to systematically test the 25 MSV prospects with their own in‐house geophysics crew and Blackstone‐owned drill rigs.

“We see potential to increase annual nickel production from the Ta Khoa Nickel‐Copper‐PGE project through targeting high‐grade MSV to complement the baseload nickel sulphide feed to be potentially mined from the Ban Phuc DSS and King Cobra discovery zone.”

The high priority Ban Chang and Ta Cuong prospects will be the company’s targets in the next phase of advanced exploration and drill testing.

Blackstone Minerals aims to deliver a maiden resource later this quarter focused initially on the DSS at Ban Phuc and continues to investigate the potential to restart the existing Ban Phuc concentrator through focused exploration on both MSV and DSS deposits.

A scoping study designed to provide details for joint venture partners ahead of the next stage of investment has begun on the downstream processing facility at Ta Khoa with results to be announced this quarter.

The company has also begun metallurgical testing on the Ban Phuc DSS deposit with an aim to develop a flow sheet for a product suitable for the lithium-ion battery industry.

In addition, Blackstone will investigate the potential to develop downstream processing infrastructure in Vietnam to produce a downstream nickel and cobalt product to supply Asia’s growing lithium-ion battery industry.

Quick facts: Blackstone Minerals Ltd

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ASX:BSX
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Market Cap: $128.13 m
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