Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has reported high-grade drilling results at its King Snake prospect, part of the company’s Ta Khoa nickel sulphide project in Vietnam, show “excellent” potential to add to the company’s resource.
Blackstone is working numerous sulphide veins at Ta Khoa and plans to develop a number of small mines (with a two-to-three-year mine life) to target these narrow veins.
The company said that the first batch of assays from King Snake increases its massive sulphide vein (MSV) mining inventory and support the restart of the existing 450,000 tonnes per annum concentrator.
The first hole returned 0.6m at 2.79% nickel, 3.81% copper, 0.1% cobalt and 4.85 grams per tonne platinum group elements (PGE), with mineralisation beginning 193.05m down hole.
The second hole uncovered 5.88m at 1.22% nickel, 0.49% copper, 0.04% cobalt and 4.67g/t PGE, with two higher grade intervals.
King Snake is highest priority target
In February Blackstone announced that King Snake had become its highest priority target.
“Multiple drill rigs are currently on site and will continue to test the extent of the mineralisation,” the company reported at the time.
As part of this new focus, Blackstone is targeting a maiden resource at King Snake this year.
This prospect may be incorporated into ongoing mining and processing studies as sufficient data becomes available.
King Snake is located 1.5km northeast of the mothballed processing plant at Ta Khoa, with that plant built to Australian standards.
Dedicating resources to prospect
Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson says the first results from King Snake represent some of the highest tenor massive sulphide intersections achieved to date at its Vietnam project.
“The new discovery remains open and we are dedicating resources to ensure we test the full extent of mineralisation at King Snake,” he added.
Additional assay results for the Ban Chang MSV prospect have also been received.
These include 1.92m at 1.03% nickel, 0.6% copper, 0.06% cobalt and 0.44g/t PGE; 7.1m at 0.66% nickel, 0.45% copper, 0.06% cobalt and 0.18g/t PGE; and 5.4m at 0.6% nickel, 0.47% copper, 0.05% cobalt and 0.2g/t PGE.
All holes included higher grade intervals.
Overall, Blackstone is focused on building an integrated upstream and downstream processing business in Vietnam that produces precursor nickel-cobalt-manganese products for Asia’s growing lithium-ion battery industry.