Special Report: Blackstone’s discovery of a new massive nickel-copper sulphide zone at Ta Khoa project in Vietnam is a major confidence booster in its target generation abilities.

 The new Viper Discovery Zone (VDZ) was a ‘blind’ discovery with a series of shallow electromagnetic (EM) anomalies about 200m northeast of the Ban Chang East prospect that had no surface expressions of mineralisation.

Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) followed up on the EM anomalies with a series of trenches that discovered a nickel-copper gossan with a float sample assaying up to 0.8 per cent nickel and 0.5 per cent copper using portable XRF.

While XRF technology is generally not considered as reliable as lab assays in reflecting the amount of contained mineralisation, it allows on-the-spot analysis of drill core that provides an early indication of what has been found.

Plan View showing drill holes at Ban Chang and trenches at VDZ Pic: Supplied

“We’re excited to announce the new Viper Discovery Zone at Ban Chang, a massive sulphide target initially generated by our in-house geophysics team and recently followed up by our geology team to confirm the potential of the target to host nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation,” managing director Scott Williamson said.

“The VDZ is a blind discovery which bodes well for further blind discoveries throughout the Ta Khoa Nickel- Cu-PGE district and shows the potential of this project to host much more undiscovered nickel sulphide mineralisation.

“In addition to blind discovery potential, we have 25 massive sulphide targets, which are all associated with outcropping mineralisation at surface, and with our in-house geophysics team, we can generate additional blind discoveries that were not known to previous operators of the project.”

Gossan float in the overburden at trench BCH20-03 at the new Viper zone Pic: Supplied


Exploration blitz to define maiden resource

The discovery of the new zone comes in the midst of an aggressive exploration campaign aimed at delineating a maiden resource at Ban Chang in the current quarter with an initial focus on disseminated sulphides (DSS) at Ban Phuc.

This will supplement ongoing studies that are focused on the potential to produce nickel sulphide for the lithium-ion battery sector.

Blackstone recently added a second geophysics crew and three additional drill rigs to double its exploration capacity at the broader Ta Khoa nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) project in Vietnam.

This comes after the company hit its broadest, high-grade nickel intercept so far at the bigger-than-expected Ban Chang deposit in Vietnam.

All four maiden holes drilled have hit high-grade massive sulphide nickel over a 1.2km strike including a top intersection of 1.85m at 3.59 per cent nickel, 1.18 per cent copper, 0.2 per cent cobalt and 1.97 grams per tonne platinum group elements.



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.