Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has received firm commitments for a $20.8 million capital raising to support exploration at its flagship Ta Khoa nickel project in Vietnam, backed by an $8 million cornerstone investment by Fidelity International.
The company will undertake a placement of 42.5 million shares at an issue price of $0.42 to raise gross proceeds of up to $17.8 million.
It will raise an additional $3 million through the issue of 7.2 million shares at the same price, under a share purchase plan to eligible shareholders.
The plan will allow shareholders to subscribe for up to $30,000 worth of new shares in Blackstone.
The issue price for the placement and purchase plan represents a 14% discount to the volume weighted average price of shares traded during the 10 days prior to the launch of the capital raising.
Net proceeds from the exercise will be used to fund exploration and resource drilling, as well as pre-feasibility and definitive feasibility studies, at Ta Khoa.
Funds will also be used for general working capital purposes.
Ta Khoa has been the subject of an accelerated exploration effort by Blackstone in recent months.
In July, the company purchased a third drill rig to assist with firming up a resource for the Ban Chang prospect as well as drilling 25 other massive sulphide vein targets during the year.
Two other rigs are currently stationed at Ban Chang East and the King Cobra Discovery Zone at the flagship Ban Phuc ore body.
Ban Phuc was mined between 2013 and 2016 to produce 20,700 tonnes of nickel, 10,100t of copper and 670,000t of cobalt.
In August, Blackstone discovered the Viper zone of nickel mineralisation east of Ban Chang.
The blind discovery has no surface exposure of nickel sulphide or ultramafic and is believed to bode well for further blind discoveries throughout Ta Khoa.
Earlier this month, the company confirmed assays from maiden drilling at Ban Chang had unearthed broad zones of high-grade massive sulphide nickel.
It also began drilling at the priority Ta Cuong prospect, 6km along strike from Ban Chang, where electromagnetic plates had previously identified similar MSV targets.