Blackstone Minerals Recommences Underground Mining at Ta Khoa

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) has recommenced mining activities at the company’s 90 per cent-owned Ta Khoa nickel project in northern Vietnam.

Blackstone Minerals is using a combination of Australian and Vietnamese mining professionals and operators, to:

Complete approx. 1,000 metres of development through the Ban Phuc disseminated orebody generating nickel ore representative of the life of mine plant feed.

Recommission the Ban Phuc nickel concentrator to produce two batches of nickel concentrate for use in the Ta Khao Refinery piloting programs.

Deliver the first batch of concentrate to Perth for treatment by ALS Laboratories in the first phase piloting program.

Process and store the second batch for use in the second phase pilot plant which will be built in Son La in 2022.

Ore produced from the mining program will be processed through the existing 450,000 tonnes per annum Ban Phuc concentrator.

Blackstone has finalised studies to temporarily de-rate the existing plants capacity to suit the requirements of the pilot programs.

Blackstone has refurbished the Ban Phuc concentrator over the last six months.

The crushing circuit was recommissioned in November 2021, with ore commissioning planned for the mill and flotation circuit in January 2022.

“The recommencement of mining activity is an important milestone for the company, and the speed at which approvals were secured is a testament to the expertise and relationships our team has on the ground in Vietnam,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“The mining program will provide significant quantities of disseminated ore which will be processed at the existing Ban Phuc nickel concentrator and subsequent pilot plants.

“The opportunity to treat this quantity of ore de-risks both the upstream and downstream business unit development strategies.”