Producing Nickel for the EV Revolution - Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX)
Coffee with Samso Episode 63 with Scott Williamson, Managing Director of Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX)
Important announcements from Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX:BSX) that say Nickel is the game.
Blackstone Minerals has taken a big step in announcing two major news to the market over the last week.
Firstly there was the divestment of all their non-Ta Khoa projects into a new company.
Secondly, on the 22nd January, Blackstone Minerals announces partnership with Trafigura Pte Ltd for the supply of nickel and cobalt products as part of Blackstone Minerals' downstream strategy. Blackstone Minerals is taking steps to become a significant global, green nickel product supplier catering to the battery market.
The divestment and the partnership with Trafigura is a clear sign that Blackstone Minerals is gearing up for the production end of the spectrum. Scott discussed the supply crunch that is coming thick and fast due to the EV (electric vehicle) revolution. This revolution is coming at a faster rate than more industry participants have expected.
Scott Williamson explains what is happening in the EV world.
In this episode of Coffee with Samso, Scott Williamson talks to us about what is really happening in the EV market space. He shares with us some inside understanding of the market and what his partners in the EV race are saying.
The EV revolution is coming thick and fast and a nickel sulphide supply crunch is going to happen.
As we have learnt in previous episodes of Coffee with Samso, the whole exploration side of the Ta Khoa project is on its way up and finding more metal. Scott tells us that this side of the business is basically status quo.
What Scott wants the market to understand is that Blackstone Minerals is being driven to the production side due to market forces. These market forces are getting stronger and it will cause a supply shortage situation which would place the company in a very healthy position in time to come.
Is Blackstone Minerals Limited fairly valued at the moment?
If you ask the average investor, they will find it safe to say that equities are not being reflected with the potential market demand for commodities. This is most likely true to some degree as the market is slowly waking up to the reality of the rush of the EV uptake.
Several years ago, most people were talking about the coming of electric vehicles and the onset of renewable energy. The former is definitely happening with a rush, and from what Scott is telling us, the demand is coming on much faster than the anticipation from the market.
As for renewable energy, I think there is evidence that the uranium boom is not too far away. The widespread use of solar energy and the need for batteries to store the surplus energy is what will drive this side of the market. It will probably not be the driver that could be called a revolution from an industrial need, but it will cause some ripple effects.
So if you look at the current market capitalisation of Blackstone Minerals, you will not be too far off the mark to bet that there is going to be a lot of added value to come.
About Scott Williamson
Blackstone Minerals Limited Qualifications: BEng (Mining), BCom, MAusIMM
Scott Williamson is an experienced Managing Director with a demonstrated history of working in the mining and metals industry. He is skilled in Open Pit and Underground Mining, Corporate Finance, Investor Relations and Project Planning. A strong business development professional with equity capital markets experience, Scott 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.
About Blackstone Minerals Limited
Blackstone Minerals Limited (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 Nickel-PGE Project has existing modern mine infrastructure built to International Standards including a 450ktpa processing plant and permitted mine facilities.
Blackstone Minerals 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 Minerals is exploring for nickel and gold in the Eastern Goldfields and gold in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Blackstone Minerals has a board and management team with a proven track record of mineral discovery and corporate success.
The Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project
The Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project is located 160 km 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. The Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project Previous project owners invested more than US$136m in capital and generated US$213m 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 Minerals has made significant progress at Ta Khoa, drilling over 9,000 m of diamond core in more than 47 holes into the Ban Phuc DSS deposit and the highly prospective King Cobra discovery zone. An initial scoping study evaluating mining and processing options is well advanced, including potential in-country downstream processing to deliver high-value nickel sulfate 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.
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