Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has intersected a 15.4m wide zone of nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Ban Chang prospect within its Ta Khoa nickel-platinum group elements (PGE) project in Vietnam.
This new zone includes massive sulphide nickel veins, net-textured sulphide and disseminated sulphide.
The nickel sulphide content in 12 intersections ranges from 5% to three areas with 85%.
Blackstone’s maiden four drill holes at Ban Chang have now all intersected massive nickel sulphide over a 1.2km strike length.
Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson said this latest intersected zone adds potential to the bulk underground mining scenario, which could supplement possible open pit mining at the Ban Phuc disseminated zone.
The company is also continuing to operate an aggressive drilling program at the King Cobra discovery zone.
Electromagnetic technology key to unlocking Ta Khoa’s potential
The maiden drill holes at Ban Chang were 200m apart and along strike within that 1.2km-long massive sulphide target, which had been identified by high priority electromagnetic (EM) plates.
The maiden drill hole at Ban Chang intersected 5.2m at 0.66% nickel, 0.73% copper, 0.04% cobalt and 0.79 grams per tonne PGE. This included 1.05m at 2.98% nickel, 1.22% copper, 0.18% cobalt and 3.43g/t PGE.
Mr Williamson previously told Small Caps that many explorers undertaking drilling programs play safe and step out as little as 25m to avoid missing the mineralisation.
But the EM was working well at Ban Chang.
“We were confident we could step out 200m,” he said.
A total of 25 massive sulphide vein targets have already been identified at Ta Khoa.
This result provides further confidence and proof of concept that EM will be an important tool to the unlock the magmatic nickel sulphide geology throughout the Ta Khoa nickel district.
Multiple mine operations at Ta Khoa
Blackstone is working numerous sulphide veins and plans to develop a number of small mines (with a two to three-year mine life) to target these narrow veins.
At the Ban Phuc site, which is the only planned open pit operation, the existing infrastructure includes the 450,000 tonne-per-annum concentrator and a modern mechanised underground mine.
Assays are still pending from two more drill holes, one intersecting 1.2m of massive sulphide veins and the other 4.6m of massive and semi-massive sulphide veins.