Blackstone Minerals’ targeting appears spot on with its maiden drilling program at the Ta Khoa nickel project in northern Vietnam intersecting substantial disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation.
The first three holes at the Ban Phuc prospect returned wide intervals including 45.5 metres grading 1.2% nickel from 56.5 metres down-hole, 17.8m @ 1% nickel from 106.6m and 22m @ 0.8% nickel from 138m respectively.
Management said the results are consistent with historical drilling, which produced intersections like 74m @ 1.0% nickel and 0.2% copper from 73m down-hole including 51m @ 1.2% nickel and 0.2% copper from 91m down-hole and 90.2m @ 1.1% nickel from 140.2m in a separate drill hole.
Additionally, the company has completed the first phase of an induced polarisation survey with processing and interpretation now underway to define higher grade zones of disseminated sulphide, or “DSS”, mineralisation.
This data will be used to guide the second phase of deeper drilling at Ta Khoa.
Blackstone Managing Director Scott Williamson said: “The initial results from our maiden drilling at Ta Khoa have confirmed we have a large unmined disseminated sulphide body at Ban Phuc; we look forward to more results from the IP survey to define further targets for our second phase of deeper drilling which we will commence over the coming weeks.”
Outside the drilling programs targeting DSS mineralisation at Ban Phuc, the company will also carry out work aimed at massive sulphide vein prospects generated using historical and pending electromagnetic surveys just outside the main Ban Phuc ore body.
Blackstone has an option to acquire 90% of the prospective Ta Khoa nickel project, which includes the mothballed Ban Phuc underground nickel mine and plant, from Canada’s AMR Nickel Limited.
Ta Khoa includes a 450,000 tonne per annum concentrator built to Australian standards and is located in the underexplored nickel sulphide district, only 160km west of Hanoi.
The company said it would investigate the possibility of developing downstream processing infrastructure in Vietnam, which could produce nickel and cobalt products, to supply Asia’s growing demand in the lithium-ion battery manufacturing sector.