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Coffee with Samso: Creating a green nickel mine - Blackstone Minerals

Blackstone has taken another step towards production at the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project in northern Vietnam with the release of a positive scoping study.

Blackstone Minerals Ltd - Coffee with Samso: Creating a green nickel mine - Blackstone Minerals
Samso chats with Scott Williamson, managing director of Blackstone Minerals

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) has just released its scoping study for the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project in Vietnam.

The Blackstone story has always been about mining and not discovering. The release of the scoping study is all about drawing a line in the sand to put numbers to all the talk over the last 12 months. 

This study finally puts numbers to the questions on investors' thoughts:

  • How much will it cost to build?
  • What will the revenue number be?
  • How big will the mine be?
  • How much bigger can it get?

Scott Williamson explains the numbers

I speak to Scott Williamson about all these numbers and what they mean to the company and investors. One of the issues with such a document for retail investors is that there are so many numbers.

Scott shares with us the steps that the company will take going forward to create a green nickel mine. He tells us that the company is still growing its resource and making discoveries in their other nearby deposits.

The company is discovering massive sulphides in every drill hole and the geology is unveiling itself to be a Tier-1 district.

In his own words, "We will find a significant amount of nickel, that is a given. We are now trading at a significant discount to NPV and as we derisk the project, that gap will close."

Is BSX suffering from speculator's curse in a bull market?

This episode of Coffee with Samso delves into all these questions. At the conclusion of the conversation, I cannot help but think that this company is suffering from the speculator's curse in a bull market. This bull market is swayed by a mass amount of speculators.

As the company moves into the production stage, the smart money will be holding and they will be rewarded over time as Ta Khoa becomes a green nickel mine that is completely ESG compliant.

About Blackstone Minerals

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) is developing the district-scale Ta Khoa Project in Northern Vietnam where the company is drilling out the large-scale Ban Phuc Nickel-PGE deposit. The Ta Khoa project has existing modern mine infrastructure built to international standards including a 450ktpa processing plant and permitted mine facilities. 

Blackstone also owns a large landholding at the Gold Bridge project within the BC porphyry belt in British Columbia, Canada, with large-scale drill targets prospective for high-grade gold-cobalt-copper mineralisation.

In Australia, Blackstone is exploring for nickel and gold in the Eastern Goldfields and gold in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Blackstone has a board and management team with a proven track record of mineral discovery and corporate success.  

Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project

The Ta Khoa project is 160 kilometres west of Hanoi in the Son La Province of Vietnam and includes an existing modern nickel mine built to Australian standards, which is currently under care and maintenance. The Ban Phuc nickel mine successfully operated as a mechanised underground nickel mine from 2013 to 2016.  

Previous project owners invested more than US$136 million in capital and generated US$213 million in revenue during a 3.5-year period of falling nickel prices. The project was placed into care and maintenance in mid-2016 during some of the lowest nickel prices in the past 10 years. 

Existing infrastructure associated with the project includes an internationally designed 450 ktpa processing plant connected to local hydro grid power with a fully-permitted tailings facility and a modern 250-person camp. 

Since commencing maiden drilling in August 2019, Blackstone has made significant progress at Ta Khoa, drilling over 9,000 metres of diamond core in more than 47 holes into the Ban Phuc DSS deposit and the highly prospective King Cobra discovery zone.

The initial scoping study has evaluated mining and processing options, including potential in-country downstream processing to deliver high-value nickel sulphate into Asia’s rapidly expanding electric vehicle (EV) industry. The recently announced MOU with Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest EV battery cathode manufacturer, Ecopro BM Co Limited represents a significant step toward making this a reality. 

About Scott Williamson

Qualifications: BEng (Mining), BCom, MAusIMM 

Scott Williamson is an experienced managing director with a demonstrated history of working in the mining & metals industry. Skilled in open pit & underground mining, corporate finance, investor relations and project planning.

A strong business development professional with equity capital markets experience graduated from West Australian School of Mines and Curtin University of Technology.

Scott holds a WA First Class Mine Manager’s Certificate and is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

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For further information about Coffee with Samso and Rooster Talks visit: www.samso.com.au

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Quick facts: Blackstone Minerals Ltd

Price: 0.35 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $112.12 m

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