Vietnam-focused nickel and battery metals developer Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has taken a 14.32% stake in fellow ASX explorer Corazon Mining (ASX: CZN) which is developing the Lake Lynn nickel-copper-cobalt project in Manitoba province, Canada.
This is Blackstone’s second move into Canada within four months, with the company, last November, investing in a subsidiary of Vancouver-based Silver Elephant Mining Corp (TSX: ELEF, OTCQX: SILEF) which controls a nickel sulphide deposit in Manitoba.
This week’s deal with Corazon also includes a memorandum of understanding which gives Blackstone an offtake right.
Corazon also has two projects in Australia, Mt Gilmore and Miriam.
This latest investment follows the January acquisition of a 15.11% interest in NiCo Resources (ASX: NC1) which owns a nickel project in the Central Musgrave region, spanning the border of Western Australia and South Australia.
Blackstone has now invested about $2 million in Corazon, which has a resource at Lake Lynn of a contained 168,000 tonnes of nickel, 81,700t of copper and 7,000t of cobalt.
Plans integration with proposed refinery in Vietnam
Blackstone’s flagship project is Ta Khao in Vietnam, with its nickel-copper-platinum group elements deposit.
Managing director Scott Williamson today underlined the importance to his company of obtaining feedstock for the refinery at Ta Khao.
“Blackstone’s recent Ta Khao nickel project pre-feasibility study demonstrated the economic value and importance of securing upstream supply for its vertically integrated business.”
“The Lynn Lake project boasts a meaningful nickel-copper-cobalt resource that the company believes has potential for a significant valuation uplift based on integration with the Ta Khoa Refinery,” said Mr Williamson.
Lynn Lake project ‘de-risked’
Blackstone says the Lake Lynn project is metallurgically de-risked as it is based on a 24-year history of production, which ended in the 1970s.
Corazon has reported ”exceptional” flotation results at the project.
Part of the $2 million subscribed by Blackstone will be used to test electromagnetic targets identified at the Fraser Lake complex where Lake Lynn is located.
The project has access to hydro power.
The Corazon transaction consolidates Blackstone’s footprint in Manitoba with its rich mining history and access to an experienced workforce.
Other Canadian nickel project to be listed this year
Flying Nickel Mining, the Silver Elephant subsidiary, is planning a listing on the Toronto Venture Exchange this year.
Its Minago nickel project near Thompson, Manitoba, is at an advanced development stage.
Blackstone’s initial investment of C$2.98 million will earn a 6.85% stake, and an MoU covers collaboration on downstream nickel and cobalt production and an offtake agreement.
In Australia, NiCo Resources was admitted to the ASX in January after being spun out of Metals X (ASX: MLX).
Its project has a JORC resource of 215.6Mt at 0.91% nickel, for 1.95Mt of contained nickel.