Blackstone gets busy finding high-grade nickel targets in Vietnam
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Special Report: Blackstone Minerals isn’t wasting a second in its effort to advance the Ta Khoa nickel project it just picked up in Vietnam.
And early indications are it has a better chance of finding the high-grade targets than the previous owners did.
Blackstone (ASX:BSX) has now started its maiden drilling program at Ta Khoa and is using modern geophysics to define new nickel sulphide targets.
Blackstone is the first company to use induced polarisation (IP) – a geophysical imaging technique – as a targeting tool at Ta Khoa.
Initial results suggest the geophysical method will allow it to successfully define higher grade zones within the massive sulphide vein and disseminated zone targets at the Ban Phuc mine.
“The initial results from the first ever IP survey at Ta Khoa suggest we have a new tool in our arsenal that should allow us to see targets that were not seen before,” managing director Scott Williamson told investors.
Blackstone recently negotiated a 12-month option to acquire a 90 percent interest in the Ta Khoa project.
The project includes Ban Phuc, which successfully operated as a mechanised underground mine from 2013 to 2016 and is currently on care and maintenance.
The mine was shut down because of the falling nickel price and the fact the previous owners didn’t define more resources, which were mined out in 3.5 years.
But now the nickel price is well on its way up and Blackstone has 24 high-quality targets it plans to drill as it looks to build a more substantial resource.
Nickel is usually found in two main ore types – sulphide or laterite.
Sulphides are much cheaper and easier to turn into battery grade nickel sulphate than nickel laterites and fetch a higher price.
The IP results will be used to develop targets for the second phase of drilling over the coming months.