Blackstone Minerals’ (ASX: BSX) drilling program at its high-grade nickel-platinum group element project in Vietnam has advanced with exploration starting at Ta Cuong where electromagnetic (EM) plates identified massive sulphide vein (MSV) targets similar to those at Ban Chang.
According to Blackstone, Ta Cuong is 6km along strike of Ban Chang where assays reported last week revealed 14.65m at 0.74% nickel, 0.71% copper, 0.04% cobalt and 0.54 grams per tonne PGE.
Within that wider intercept was a higher-grade intervals of 5.85m at 1.62 nickel, 1.47% copper, 0.08% cobalt and 1.09g/t PGE; and 0.87m at 3.32% nickel, 3.89% copper, 0.16% cobalt and 1.65g/t PGE.
Ta Cuong targets
At Ta Cuong, Blackstone has firmed up new targets for high impact drill testing. The company also noted Ta Cuong is proximal to a regional structure which is also close to the project’s flagship orebody Ban Phuc, as well as the Ban Chang discovery.
Assaying of historic drill hole data at Ta Cuong has generated 15.6m at 0.66% nickel, 0.6% copper, 0.04% cobalt and 0.31g/t PGE, including 0.6m at 1.95% nickel, 4.47% copper, 0.12% cobalt and 0.66g/t PGE.
Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson said that Ta Cuong was the company’s second priority MSV target.
“Based on geological similarities and now with some exciting EM plates to target, we believe it has the potential to deliver similar results to Ban Chang and Ban Phuc.”
High-grade mine feed
Mr Williamson said the company was targeting these high grade MSV prospects to potentially boost annual nickel production from the project – claiming the high-grade MSV would complement the base load nickel sulphide feed in a bulk open pit operation.
To support the bulk open pit mining scenario, the Ban Phuc and King Cobra deposits were currently undergoing modelling.
“We continue to systematically test our 25 MSV prospects and with our in-house geophysics crew and Blackstone-owned drill rigs, we can cost effectively explore this globally significant nickel sulphide district using modern geophysical techniques,” Mr Williamson added.