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Blackstone Minerals makes strategic investment in one of the largest undeveloped nickel resources globally

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Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX, OTCQX:BLSTF) has made a strategic investment in NICO Resources Limited, which successfully completed its initial public offering (IPO) and listed on January 17, 2021.  

Blackstone’s initial investment of A$2.75 million gives it a 15.11% interest in the common equity of NICO.  

Vast resource 

NICO holds three exploration licences covering the Wingellina, Claude Hills and Mt Davies project areas in Central Australia – collectively, the Central Musgrave Project, one of the largest undeveloped nickel resources in the world.

Wingellina and Claude Hills have a JORC-compliant mineral resource of 1.95 million tonnes of nickel with a probable reserve of 1.56 million tonnes.

And there’s more to the resource than nickel – previous metallurgical test-work programs conducted for the project indicate the potential commercial production of high-quality cobalt and nickel sulphates, mixed nickel sulphates, mixed nickel and cobalt sulphides, hydroxides and carbonates and scandium.

Geopolitical positioning 

A continuing decline in global nickel sulphide resources makes the acquisition timely and lucrative – the company knows that nickel laterite projects of scale will play an important role in supplying the lithium-ion battery industry.

In the past, the Central Musgrave Project has generated significant interest from major battery metals players including Posco and Samsung.  

Blackstone recognises the importance of such a project to growing relationships between Australia and Asia – South Korea in particular.

Sustainable transition 

“The Central Musgrave Project fits into our medium to longer term planning horizon, and we are pleased to have secured a strategic equity position at what we consider to be the lowest point in the valuation cycle for the asset,” Blackstone’s managing director Scott Williamson said.

“Given the globally significant scale of the Central Musgrave project, we believe its development will be required to support a sustainable transition to the electrification of transportation and energy storage.” 

The NICO management team is on board with Blackstone’s sustainable mining aspirations.

Blackstone shares have been up as much as 7.25% intraday to A$0.74, approaching the record high of A$0.755 reached last week.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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