Blackstone attracts major Korean cathode producer

VIETNAM nickel hopeful Blackstone Minerals has signed an MoU with Korea’s largest electric vehicle (EV) battery cathode manufacturer aimed at ensuring funding for a downstream processing venture aligned to Blackstone’s Ta Khoa nickel project.
Blackstone attracts major Korean cathode producer Blackstone attracts major Korean cathode producer Blackstone attracts major Korean cathode producer Blackstone attracts major Korean cathode producer Blackstone attracts major Korean cathode producer

Blackstone's Ta Khoa project, Vietnam

The intention of the MoU signed with Ecopro BM is for the parties to enter into an alliance to form a joint venture with the intention to develop a suitable nickel, cobalt or other battery mineral product for lithium-ion battery manufacturing, Blackstone said.

Ecopro BM is said to be a world-leader in the high-volume cathode material market and currently Korea's largest cathode manufacturer.

Listed on the KOSDAQ stock exchange, Ecopro BM had a recent market cap of US$930 million.

Meanwhile Blackstone aims to deliver a maiden resource on the disseminated sulphide (DSS) at Ta Khoa Ban Phuc mineralisation over the coming months, and investigate the potential to restart the existing Ban Phuc concentrator through focused exploration on both massive sulphide veins (MSV) and DSS deposits.

A scoping study on the downstream processing facility at Ta Khoa has also been kicked off.

The Ta Khoa project includes an existing modern nickel mine that's been under care and maintenance since 2016 due to falling nickel prices.

While previous project owners focused mining and exploration efforts primarily on the MSV, Blackstone plans to explore both MSV and DSS targets throughout the project, initially within a 5km radius of the existing processing facility.

Blackstone started the current quarter with A$5 million cash.

Shares in the company were up 8% to 13c in afternoon trade, capitalising the company at $25 million.

The stock has doubled in value over the past nine months.