SMM7, March 8 / PRNewswire-FirstCall-Asianet /-Blackstone (Blackstone Minerals) has recently purchased another diamond rig to speed up exploration at the burgeoning Banchang (Ban Chang) nickel mine. According to the company, the new rig will reduce drilling costs per meter by about 60% compared with the Australian industry average, and will be used to stimulate exciting Ban Chang prospects after the first round of nickel sulphide mineralization is encountered in the mine's first round of drilling.
This will enable Blackstone to drill quickly along the upper and lower direction of Banchang, with the other two holes yet to be tested. The company said accelerated drilling at Ban Chang would help complement the scoping study, which is studying the possibility of producing nickel sulfate products for the lithium-ion battery industry downstream.
Blackstone plans to release its first resource estimate this quarter, which will initially cover sulphide mineralization spread by Ban Phuc. The company also said it would continue to assess the potential to restart the existing Ban Phuc concentrator based on the results of exploration of large and dispersed sulphide veins.
Drilling at Ban Chang is part of an ongoing activity for large regional sulphide veins, which Blackstone hopes will establish a resource inventory at Ta Khoa to supplement Ban Phuc's resources.
Blackstone has also begun metallurgical testing of Ban Phuc dispersed sulphide veins with a view to developing a product flow chart for the lithium-ion battery industry.
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