Advanced nickel explorer Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has discovered “significant” new sulphide mineralisation in a previously untested zone within the Ta Cuong prospect at its flagship Ta Khoa nickel-copper-platinum group elements project in Vietnam.
The Taipan Discovery Zone (TDZ) was unlocked in the first hole of drilling at the prospect and follows ongoing systematic testing of mapped electromagnetic conductors.
This zone is believed to feature 39.7m of continuous disseminated sulphide (DSS), semi-massive sulphide vein (SMSV) and massive sulphide vein (MSV) in unweathered mineralisation from 15.15m.
The interval was preceded by 9.27m of weakly weathered (limonitic) sulphide mineralisation (totalling 49m of continuous mineralisation from 5.88m).
Follow up drilling is now being planned to test several proximal electromagnetic geophysics targets, as well as the extent of the intensely mineralised new zone.
Adding to the inventory
Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson said the new discovery could add significantly to the company’s massive sulphide mining inventory and provides further impetus for the restart of a 450,000t concentrator located at the nearby Ban Phuc MSV nickel mine.
“The discovery hole at TDZ is one of the best Blackstone has delivered on our MSV targets … it remains open along strike and significantly adds momentum to our MSV strategy at Ta Khoa,” he said.
“We are excited to be systematically unveiling the potential of the Ta Khoa district and will continue an aggressive exploration program representing the most cost-effective and value accretive pathway to secure supply for our downstream business.”
Ta Cuong prospect
Ta Cuong is a nickel-copper-cobalt and PGE MSV prospect located 6km along strike from Ban Phuc and its existing processing centre.
It is associated with the Ban Khang intrusive complex and is proximal to a major regional fault zone which transects the Ban Phuc, King Snake and Ban Chang MSV zones.
“By combining our existing mineral inventory at Ban Phuc with the exploration potential presented by high-priority targets such as Ban Chang, King Snake and now Ta Cuong and the ability to source third party concentrate, Blackstone will be able to increase the scale of our downstream business to meet rising demand for downstream nickel products,” Mr Williamson said.