With an abundance of inexpensive hydroelectric power, Blackstone aims to build a “green” battery metals supply chain

Upstream and Downstream PFS’s Drive Blackstone’s Battery Metal Project in 2021

Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX: BSX | OTCQX: BLSTF | FSE: B9S) is an Australian-based mining company focusing on the district-scale, Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE project in northern Vietnam.

Blackstone’s project includes an existing disseminated nickel sulphide resource and processing plant, a historic high-grade underground mine as well as 25 other targets in the project area, and plans to build a downstream processing facility.

After releasing a Scoping Study in late 2020, Blackstone is working on two pre-feasibility studies (PFS) in 2021 that focus on: (1) the “upstream” mineral exploitation and processing plant, and (2) the “downstream” processing facility to produce customized Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) “precursor” products for the Lithium-ion battery industry.

With an abundance of inexpensive hydroelectric power, Blackstone aims to build a “green” battery metals supply chain to furnish materials to the lithium-ion battery industry.

Ta Khoa Project (Nickel-Copper-PGE)

In April 2019, Blackstone entered into an option agreement to acquire a 90% interest in the Ta Khoa project and completed the acquisition a year later.

The Ta Khoa project is located 160 km west of Hanoi and includes the Ban Phuc Disseminated Sulfide (DSS) resource, an upstream processing plant, and the past-producing Ban Phuc Massive Sulfide Vein (MSV) nickel mine.

In late 2020, Blackstone released a Scoping Study for the development and restart of the Ta Khoa Project. The Scoping Study features an 8.5-year project life with ore from the Ban Phuc DSS deposit, and integrates upstream and downstream processing to produce customized NCM products for the Lithium-ion battery industry.

The results from the Scoping Study include:

  • Maiden Ban Phuc DSS Indicated Resource of 44.3Mt at 0.52% Nickel for 229Kt
  • Annual production of approximately 12.7kpta of nickel unit for a period of 8.5 years
  • Capital cost approximately US$314 million of pre-production, including emergency
  • Gross revenue of approximately US$3.3 billion
  • Capital payback period of 2.5 years

Finishing an “Upstream” PFS

As previously mentioned, Blackstone is now advancing the Ta Khoa Project through to a Pre-Feasibility Study that includes an option to mine higher grade MSV deposits within the project area.

Blackstone has ten active drill rigs on the project site to increase the confidence of the existing Ban Phuc DSS resource as well as to target higher-grade MSV deposits, identified using geophysics, with the plan to delineate new resources and incorporate these deposits into the PFS.

Blackstone anticipates the upstream PFS to be completed by the end of this year, allowing for the sufficient completion of the ongoing project drilling.

Adding a “Downstream” Process

Blackstone is working on the second PFS for a “downstream” processing facility to enable the production of a range of NCM “precursor” products for the Lithium-ion battery industry.

To reduce the risk and cost, the Company proposes to form joint venture(s) to construct downstream refineries to support the existing EV battery manufacturing companies in Vietnam, including LG Chem, Samsung SDI, and VinFast.

By further processing the material, the price improvement of nickel increases from 70-80% to 125-135% of the London Metal Exchange (LME) metal prices that price increase supports the robust economics reported in the Company’s Scoping Study.

Blackstone anticipates the downstream PFS to be completed by July 2021.

Past-Producing Ban Phuc MSV Nickel Mine

Located in close proximity to the Ban Phuc DSS open-pittable resource is the past-producing Ban Phuc MSV nickel mine.

The high-grade Ban Phuc MSV mine operated as a modern mechanized underground mine between 2013 and 2016, producing 20.7kt Ni, 10.1kt Cu, and 0.67kt Co, before closing during a time of low nickel prices and mineral reserve depletion.

Currently, the Ban Phuc MSV mine is under care and maintenance and the deposit remains open at depth below the area of previous mining.

Existing Processing Plant and Infrastructure

One benefit of this project is the existing infrastructure. In this case, an existing processing plant (concentrator) capable of producing 450-kilo-tons- per-annum (ktpa) of nickel, a 250-person accommodation camp, and direct access to the site from Hanoi on a 240 km paved highway.

Other advantages include ample low-cost hydroelectric power and a professional low-cost labour force, as well as being located in a country that has become an Asian hub for electronics and battery manufacturing.

Solid Bank Account

In September 2020, Blackstone raised A$17.8 million by issuing 42.4 million shares at A$0.42 per share. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had approximately A$22 million in the bank that should cover off its exploration activities at the Ta Khoa Project this year.

Final Thoughts

In the race for EV dominance, China is leading the pack and with that, south-east Asia is becoming a supplier of raw materials and finished products.

Vietnam is already a hub for electronics and battery manufacturing and Blackstone’s project could add some additional “mineral” weight to its competitive advantage.

Project Site Map:

Blackstone Project Map


‘Significant breakthroughs’ in recent drilling as Canada Silver Cobalt Works expands Robinson Zone by 500%

In mining there is nothing more exciting than striking high grades. In the case of Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc. (TSXV: CCW | OTCQB: CCWOF) (‘Canada Silver Cobalt’), they have recently managed to continue to drill very high grade silver at their Castle Property in the past-producing Gowganda Silver District of Northern Ontario, Canada.

On September 30, 2020 Canada Silver Cobalt announced that recent drilling had achieved some significant breakthroughs:

  1. Expansion of the Robinson Zone mineralization by 500%;
  2. Identification of 4 new mineralized veins in the first 9,000 of a 50,000 metre 2020 drill program at the Robinson Zone. This included another high grade silver result of 3,452 g/t silver over 0.4 metres.

Canada Silver Cobalt VP-Exploration, Matt Halliday, P.Geo., commented:

“We are excited about the drill program; we initiated a large-scale drill program and we are realizing the results. We have moved from a single vein at the Robinson to at least 4 mineralized veins, greatly expanding the potential for new high-grade panels. We have expanded the traditional mineralized horizon. It has been noted in literature that the upper third to upper half of the diabase sill is the mineralized horizon – it is now our belief that the entire diabase sill has the potential to be mineralized.”

In addition to the current 50,000m drill program to grow the resource, Canada Silver Cobalt is, at the same time, advancing the permitting process for an underground ramp construction in 2021 for the Robinson Zone.

The Company recently said that the ramp project was progressing well with project advancement in environmental studies, site development, community engagement, and First Nations consultations. Initially the ramp construction will act to provide underground exploration platforms to greatly enhance new discovery opportunities targeting high-grade silver at the Robinzon Zone.

Castle Mine and Property


7.56 million ounce silver Maiden Resource at 8,582 g/t Au

Canada Silver Cobalt’s flagship is their 100% owned 78 sq. km Castle Mine and Property which features strong exploration upside for silver, cobalt, nickel, gold and copper. In May 2020 Canada Silver Cobalt announced a maiden resource with ‘phenomenal’ grades. The result was: Zones 1A and 1B have an average silver grade of 8,582 g/t (250.2 oz/ton) in a combined 27,400 tonnes of material for a total of 7,560,200 Inferred ounces of contained silver using a cut-off grade of 258 g/t AgEq. After adding in the lower grade Zone 2A the total is 7,567,000 inferred ounces of contained silver.

Canada Silver Cobalt also has two other early stage exploration projects – Violet Property and Beaver Property.

Location map showing Canada Silver Cobalt’s projects


Closing remarks

Canada Silver Cobalt continues to make steady progress. The Company already has a very high grade 7.5 million ounce Maiden Inferred Resource, several valuable by-products, huge exploration upside, a plan in place to build an underground access ramp at Robinson Zone, a pilot plant to produce cobalt-rich gravity concentrates on site, a processing facility (TTL Laboratories) in the town of Cobalt, and a proprietary hydrometallurgical process (Re-2OX) for the creation of technical grade cobalt sulphate as well as nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) formulations.

All this for a market cap of just C$60m means investors should have plenty to look forward to over the coming years assuming Canada Silver Cobalt continues to progress well.

Focused on feeding the EV boom with battery metals, Global Energy Metals understands the value of their Nevada location

Without doubt one of the biggest disruptions this decade will be the rapid move to electric vehicles (EV). As reported here, UBS recently forecasted US$100kWh batteries by 2022, EV/ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) parity by 2024 and that “there are not many reasons left to buy an ICE car after 2025”. Three of the key metals in demand to feed the EV boom will be cobalt, nickel, and copper. Today I discuss a company that has all three as well as some gold potential. The Company still has a very low market cap and has 3 combined projects in safe countries. These include a recently purchased project (Lovelock Mine & Treasure Box) in Nevada only 150 kilometers from Tesla’s gigafactory.

That company is Global Energy Metals Corp. (TSXV: GEMC | OTCQB: GBLEF) (‘GEMC’). Their focus is to build a portfolio of battery metal assets across key locations such as the USA, Canada, and Australia.

GEMC’s 3 projects are:

  • Lovelock Mine & Treasure Box Projects – Nevada, USA (85%)
  • Werner Lake Cobalt Project – Ontario, Canada (70%)
  • Millennium Cobalt Project (flagship) and Mount Isa Cobalt-Copper-Gold Projects – Queensland, Australia (100%)

GEMC’s 3 combined battery metal projects – USA (Lovelock Mine & Treasure Box), Canada (Werner Lake), and Australia (Millennium & Mount Isa)


The Lovelock Mine & Treasure Box Projects in Nevada USA (85%)

In a very exciting and strategic move recently announced, GEMC has issued shares and made a cash payment as consideration for its acquisition of an 85% interest in the Lovelock Mine and Treasure Box Projects. The properties will be held in GEMC’s newly established U.S. Battery Metals Corp., a new U.S. listed vehicle and wholly owned subsidiary of GEMC.

The Lovelock Mine and property consists of approximately 1,400 acres (567 hectares) in the Stillwater Range of Nevada, USA. It was discovered by George Lovelock and Charles Bell in about 1880 and saw limited production of nickel, copper and cobalt beginning in 1883. GEMC reported that “the general average of the 200 tons shipped in 1886 averaged 14% cobalt and 12% nickel“, which is extremely high grades. After intermittent production no further production from the Lovelock Mine is known for well over a century. Several of the rock samples collected in 2017 showed strong enrichment in cobalt, nickel and copper.

The Treasure Box Project hosts mine workings from limited copper production, which occurred until early into the 20th century. A reverse circulation hole drilled on the Treasure Box in 1976 returned 1.55% copper over 12.2 metres from a depth of 25.9 to 38.1 metres.

Both projects are at the very early stage but appear to have good exploration potential based on their history. A bonus is their location in mining friendly Nevada, USA, and just 150 kilometers from the Tesla Gigafactory.

The Lovelock Mine & Treasure Box Projects are located effectively on the doorstep of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada just 150kms away


Werner Lake Cobalt Project in Ontario, Canada (70%)

The Werner Lake Cobalt Project has an Updated NI 43-101 (2018) Indicated Mineral Resource of 79,400 tonnes at 0.43% Co not including the 2018 drill program. This is an excellent grade for a western located project. There is also exploration potential for copper and gold.

Millennium Cobalt Project and Mount Isa Cobalt-Copper-Gold Projects – Queensland, Australia (100%)

The Millennium Project is a significant cobalt-copper deposit which remains open for further expansion. There is a historical JORC (2012) Inferred Resource estimate which showed grades of 0.14% Co, 0.35% Cu and 0.12g/t Au (using CuEq cutoff of 1.0%). This historical resource estimate is not yet NI43-101 compliant. GEMC intends to upgrade this resource to a current NI43-101 complaint resource.

The Mount Isa Projects include Mount Dorothy and Cobalt Ridge. Early stage drilling results included 7m @ 0.14% Co, 2.55% Cu, and 2m @ 0.12% Co, 0.13% Cu at Mount Dorothy, and exploration rock chip sampling results of 0.31% Co, 3.63% Cu, 1.25g/t Au at Cobalt Ridge.

Closing remarks

GEMC has a current market cap of just C$2.8m. Perhaps the reason the market cap is so low is that the company has had to endure the past 2.5 year cobalt bear market, and has only recently made the USA acquisition.

Recently, companies with USA EV metal assets have done very well as we saw with Piedmont Lithium, Lithium Americas, Westwater Resources, and many others. For investors that are positive on the outlook for EVs and the key EV metals (cobalt, copper, nickel) then GEMC should definitely be on your radar. Plus there is always the chance of GEMC finding gold.

Pancon CEO on the gold and nickel advantages in proven mining districts

We are well-positioned in all six of our projects, both in South Carolina and in Ontario. We are in proven mining districts, near and surrounding former or producing gold mines. We also focus on relationships and competence and capacity. We have world-class geologists and we work hard on engaging with all of our stakeholders and shareholders on a regular basis.” States Layton Croft, President, CEO and Director of Pancontinental Resources Corporation (TSXV: PUC), in an interview with InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky.

Layton continued by providing an update on Pancon’s exploration program at St. Laurent Project. He said that it is a very exciting, more than early-stage nickel-cobalt- copper-gold-platinum-palladium project that has known mineralization in disseminated sulphide, relatively close to surface. Layton also said that Pancon’s focus on battery metals include nickel, copper, and cobalt. The company is focussed on exploring for primary nickel deposits. Some of the electric vehicle manufacturers are looking to reduce the amount of cobalt or enhance their technology and are increasing their nickel content. So a nickel focussed battery metal strategy is the right one.

To access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: Pancontinental Resources Corporation is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

21C market single ‘Palladium for today and Cobalt for tomorrow’ set to be a winner.

Palladium (Pd) has been this year’s best performing commodity so far. With prices up 59% over the last year it’s easy to see why the market is excited. As of the 20th of March 2019 the price of palladium was USD 1,595/oz, making the palladium more valuable than gold.

Palladium is part of the Platinum Group Metals Group (PGMs) and is used mostly in car catalytic converters. Tightening auto-emissions rules globally requiring larger volumes of platinum-group metals in exhaust catalysts are causing price rises. Added to this, restricted supply and recent talk of a Russian export ban have pushed palladium prices even higher. Any cheaper alternative will take years to get to the market, hence most analysts are forecasting a palladium supply deficit for at least 3 years.

Cobalt is another key green energy metal, needed in the lithium-ion battery to maintain safety in most electric cars. Most analysts see a severe cobalt deficit starting post 2022.

Electric Vehicle (EV) and hybrid vehicle growth impact on cobalt and palladium demand

EV and hybrid growth impact on cobalt and palladium demand

21C Metals Inc. (CSE: BULL | OTCQB: DCNNF) is an exploration company focused on the acquisition and development of deposits of production grade metal that are critical components to current and future vehicle technology. In particular, palladium and cobalt. Palladium’s necessity is in catalytic converters and cobalt is in electric vehicle batteries.

21C Metals has identified a clear opportunity to benefit from current palladium shortages and medium term supply deficit; and medium/long term supply deficit in cobalt.

21C Metals two key projects

Tisova Copper-Cobalt Project in Czech Republic

A historical underground mine with more than 30 kms of underground development. The mine contains sulphide zones more than 100m true thickness, and high-grade copper horizons form lenses up to 5m wide within a thick sulphide blanket. Interestingly previous grab samples assayed 0.69% cobalt, 17.1% copper, 3.7 g/t gold and 178 g/t silver. Grab samples are, of course, selective by nature and may not represent average grades on the property. The  Tisova Copper/Cobalt belt has a long history of mining in the area. The Company state: “This will make the logistics for exploration straight forward as the regulatory environment has a long been established, allowing for certainty in this regard.”

East Bull Palladium Project in Ontario, Canada

Situated on the 992 hectare East Bull property, the East Bull Palladium Project has a 43-101 compliant inferred resource estimate of 11.1 million tonnes of 1.46 grams per tonne (523,000 ounces) palladium equivalent, with significant upside potential. The Project benefits from tested recent drilling, trenching and geophysical data; and has good logistics and infrastructure.

The Project was only acquired last month, when on February 26, 2019 21C Metals Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, East Bull Resources Inc. has entered into an option agreement with Pavey Ark Minerals Inc. to acquire a 100% interest in the East Bull Palladium Property in the Sudbury Mining Division in Ontario.

Mr. Wayne Tisdale, CEO of the 21C Metals said: “We are pleased to have closed this transaction to acquire a palladium resource located within 70 km of Sudbury, Ontario. By pursuing the recommended work program, this resource appears to have excellent potential to add palladium ounces to the current estimate. This palladium asset perfectly complements our current Tisova copper-cobalt project. At 21C Metals, we are actively pursuing the metals required for current production demand (palladium) while also preparing for the ever-increasing demand for cobalt and copper.”

East Bull Palladium Project

21C Metals rebranding and strategy – Metals for Today and Tomorrow

Mr Tisdale also stated on the Company name change: “We are excited to announce the re-branding of the Company from Declan Cobalt Inc. to 21C Metals Inc. This change highlights the addition of our Ontario Palladium Project and our corporate initiative, “Metals for Today and Tomorrow”. We are now actively addressing both the near and longer term needs of industry for these essential metals, palladium and cobalt.”

21C Metals has a sound strategy summarized by “palladium for today and cobalt for tomorrow”. In the decades to come palladium demand will level off assuming 100% battery electric vehicles gradually takeover. As EVs phase in then cobalt demand will rise rapidly. In both scenarios 21C should be a winner if they can progress successfully to production.

To access the latest corporate profile for 21C Metals Inc. (CSE: BULL | OTCQB: DCNNF), click here and/or to join the 21C investment group, click here

CBLT’s Peter Clausi on M&A in the Mining Industry

Recently during PDAC 2019, Peter Clausi the President, CEO and Director of CBLT Inc. (TSXV: CBLT) shared CBLT’s competitive advantages with InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky. Peter starts “CBLT acquired cobalt assets inexpensively, has done work on them to prove them up, and price of cobalt has moved up on the London Metal Exchange since we purchased them. Cobalt is an in-demand metal. Its one of the green revolution metals and you absolutely need them for electrification of the world.”

CBLT is a Canadian mineral exploration company with a proven leadership team, targeting cobalt in reliable mining jurisdictions. CBLT continues to be a project generator and an efficient steward of its shareholders’ capital.

To access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: CBLT Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

The Searchlight is on for gold, base and battery metals in Saskatchewan

The Fraser Institute of Canada has ranked the following mining provinces: Saskatchewan Canada at number 2, Nevada USA at number 3, and Ontario Canada at number 7; in the top 10 best mining investment jurisdictions in the world.

Searchlight Resources Inc. (TSXV: SRCH) is a mineral exploration company focused on finding mines by targeting well defined projects in low risk and well-regulated jurisdictions of Saskatchewan, Nevada, and Ontario. This allows for high value, year-round, low cost, and low risk exploration and development. Searchlight holds a very large portfolio of precious, base, and battery metal projects from grassroots stage to advanced exploration stage. Searchlight has 5 projects in North America with a focus on Saskatchewan, Canada.

Searchlight Resources 5 projects in North America

Searchlight Resources 5 projects in North America

Searchlight’s Saskatchewan projects (The key focus region for the Company)

Searchlight Resources Saskatchewan projects

The Bootleg Lake Gold Project (option to earn 75% ownership) (Au, Cu, Ni, Co)

The Bootleg Lake Gold Project is located near Creighton, Saskatchewan, 5 km southwest of the city of Flin Flon. Searchlight has options over 3,718 hectares of staked claims, hosting three past producing gold mines. Flin Flon has been established as a prolific area for high grade gold and volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS). Grab samples have returned results of up to 183 g/t Au and 5% zinc. The successful 2018 drill program resulted in multiple gold zones with minable grades over minable widths, including 5.24 g/t gold over 4.0 m. Historical drill results by previous operators included 38.28 g/t gold over 4.2 metres in drill hole R12-80 and 14.11 g/t gold over 1.7 metres in drill hole R21-80.

Searchlight also has an option to re-open the Rio mine. 2019 exploration including sampling and geophysics will be conducted along length of the Rio Fault to develop drill targets.

Searchlight also has several options at their Bootleg Lake & Amisk Lake targets, which have yielded 2018 grab sample of 5.69 g/t Au, and historical assays of 3.13% Cu, 1.16% Ni and 0.06% Co.

Historical Resources of the Bootleg Lake deposits (not yet NI-43-101 compliant) – Gold

Flin Flon –Snow Lake Greenstone Belt Project (Cu, Zn, Au, Ag)

The Flin Flon–Snow Lake (FF-SL) greenstone belt is one of the largest Paleoproterozoic VMS districts in the world. It is the richest greenstone belt in Canada per square km, hosting multiple polymetallic VMS and Gold deposits; with 29 base metal mines, past and present, containing over 200 mt of polymetallic ore since 1916. Needless to say Searchlight’s tenements here have excellent exploration potential. For example, the largest discovery to date was the Flin Flon mine totaling 62.4 mt @ 2.2% Cu, 4.2% Zn, 2.6 g/t Au and 41.5 g/t Ag.

Duddridge Lake Project – 100% (Cobalt, Vanadium, Uranium)

Searchlight Resources has now completed due diligence on Duddridge Lake Project property in Saskatchewan. On January 29, 2019 the Company announced it had completed the 60 day due diligence and will now acquire a 100% interest in the Duddridge Lake Cobalt-Vanadium-Uranium Project located 400 km north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The Duddridge Project consists of 4 mineral claims totaling 3,051.6 hectares. Boulder samples show up to 1,460 ppm (0.146%) cobalt, up to 5,500 ppm (0.55%) vanadium with the claims also hosting the Duddridge Lake uranium deposit. The project is accessible by an all-season gravel road and fits the company focus of quality projects in Saskatchewan with access by road.

Stephen Wallace, CEO and President of Searchlight noted: “Searchlight sees significant opportunity with the Duddridge Lake project exploring for battery minerals in Saskatchewan, one of the best mining jurisdiction’s in the world. This combination provides our shareholders a low risk, high quality investment. With the completion of the due diligence, the company looks forward to conducting field work on project in the 2019 field season.”

In very recent news on February 26, Searchlight announced it has entered into an option agreement to earn up to a 100% interest in the English Bay Gold Claims located 10 kilometers north of La Ronge, Saskatchewan. The claims  have multiple high-grade gold drill intersections over 400m of strike length in La Ronge Gold Belt.

In conclusion, Searchlight has an enviable (& very large) portfolio of well located exploration properties in North America (mostly in Canada). Most projects are polymetallic with the metals being spread across gold, silver, copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc, vanadium, and uranium. The Company’s strategy for 2019 is to continue mineral exploration and development in Saskatchewan, acquire quality low-cost targets by staking strategic options and to seek projects close to infrastructure for lower cost and more efficient exploration. Beyond that Searchlight intends to obtain strategic alliances and partners to help progress their individual projects.