Blackstone drilling returns best nickel intercepts to date
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Special Report: Infill and extensional drilling at Blackstone’s Ta Khoa project has returned broad and consistent mineralisation along with some of the best intercepts to date.
The top hit from the King Cobra Zone (KCZ) at the Ban Phuc disseminated sulphide (DSS) deposit is a thick 127.6m interval grading 1.17 per cent nickel, 0.22 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent cobalt and 0.24 grams per tonne (g/t) platinum group elements from a depth of just 14m.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) Managing Director Scott Williamson says the successful drilling at KCZ increased confidence in the compelling metrics presented in the company’s recent scoping study.
“The drilling results reinforce our view that the project benefits from higher grades of the KCZ which can be accessed in the early years,” he added.
“Blackstone will continue to systematically test our 25 MSV prospects, and a maiden resource at the company’s first such target, Ban Chang, is being targeted for 2021.
“Through the delineation of additional MSV deposits, we see potential to increase annual nickel production and reduce initial capital requirements via a staged approach which would involve Blackstone utilising the existing 450ktpa concentrator at Ta Khoa.”
The scoping study released in mid-October estimated that the Ta Khoa project can deliver net present value and internal rate of return – both measures of a project’s profitability – of $US665m and 45 per cent respectively.
Drilling targeting massive sulphide vein (MSV) prospects at the Ban Chang deposit returned results such as 5.65m grading 1.04 per cent nickel, 1.16 per cent copper, 0.05 per cent cobalt and 0.71g/t PGE from 55.1m including 1.92m at 2.1 per cent nickel, 2.56 per cent copper, 0.11 per cent cobalt 1.46g/t PGE from 58.9m.
Investigations are ongoing around the potential to restart the existing Ban Phuc concentrator through focused exploration on both MSV and DSS deposits.
The company has also started metallurgical testing on the Ban Phuc DSS deposit with the goal of developing a flow sheet for a product suitable for the lithium-ion battery industry.
Drilling recently commenced at the high-priority King Snake nickel-copper-PGE prospect as part of the company’s aggressive exploration campaign across Ta Khoa.
Nine drill rigs are currently active across the project and further drilling programs are being designed to systematically assess 25 massive sulphide opportunities identified by the company in support of a pre-feasibility study.
This article was developed in collaboration with Blackstone Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.