Blackstone Minerals releases inaugural sustainability report outlining ESG-compliant goals

Blackstone Minerals ASX BSX sustainability report ESG goals nickel Vietnam
Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson says the company aims to achieve the “highest levels” of ESG compliance across its operations.

As the world moves towards a more sustainable and green future, Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has released an inaugural report outlining its own goals to become a “green nickel” producer for South East Asia’s burgeoning lithium-ion battery industry.

Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson said the company was committed to “challenging and disproving” the negative perception surrounding mining and refining.

“Blackstone is in the early stages of development and our inaugural sustainability report sets the benchmark for which we aim to work to the highest levels of environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance and practice across our operations.”

Nickel mining strategy

Blackstone’s strategy is to mine, refine and ultimately produce a nickel-cobalt-manganese product from its flagship Ta Khoa project in Vietnam’s north.

At the project site, Blackstone plans to mine the nickel sulphide deposits that are also prospective for copper and platinum group elements.

After refining this to a concentrate, the company plans to process it further in its own chemical refinery to produce the battery-ready product.

As part of these operations, Blackstone will use an electrified mining fleet, evaluate green hydrogen technology and use renewable hydropower to generate a “green” nickel product for the region’s lithium-ion sector.

“At Blackstone, we are driven by the opportunity to create a cleaner environment for future generations and truly believe our green nickel products for electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries can change the world,” Mr Williamson said.

Countering negative ESG perception

With miners and refining operations attracting negative perception regarding ESG adherence, Blackstone has begun a materiality assessment to counter these.

The materiality assessment has involved Blackstone engaging with external partners including communities, employees, investors, government representatives and non-government organisations to understand the main ESG concerns regarding the company’s proposed operation.

“This process has provided us with the key priority areas to focus our attention on and consider as we make decisions early in our business,” Mr Williamson said.

To guide the company’s ESG path, it has also established an ESG and risk committee.

Developing formal ESG strategy

Mr Williamson said Blackstone was currently developing its formal ESG strategy that builds on its engagement with external parties.

“We have sought guidance on our strategy through a benchmarking process of the Taskforce on Climate Related Disclosures, as well as joining the United Nations Global Compact to build an authentic approach to the alignment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” he noted.

Mr Williamson added the company’s ultimate goal is to align itself with industry leaders to bring online a project that has a positive social and environmental impact.

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