Blackstone Minerals Limited (“Blackstone” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has entered into an option agreement with CaNickel Mining Limited (TSX.V:CML) (“CaNickel”) where Blackstone will have a 12-month period and exclusive right to acquire the Wabowden nickel project in Manitoba, Canada (“Wabowden”).
Blackstone has executed an option agreement to acquire 100% of the Wabowden nickel sulphide project located in the world-class Thompson Nickel Belt in Manitoba, Canada.Attractive opportunity for Blackstone given large scale resource base, established infrastructure, low- cost hydro power and synergies with Blackstone’s other strategic nickel interests in Manitoba.Wabowden is well matched to Blackstone’s expertise and integrated nickel strategy.Large scale resource base of 230Mt at 0.56% nickel for 1.3Mt of contained nickel1, with significant growth potential. 1 The Mineral Resource Estimate is a Foreign Resource Estimate and has been prepared in accordance with the Canadian National Instrument 43-101. A competent person has not done sufficient work to classify the foreign estimate as a mineral resource in accordance with the JORC Code 2012, and is uncertain whether further evaluation and exploration will result in an estimate reportable under the JORC Code 2012.Includes the well-maintained Bucko mine and processing facility which retains key operating permits.The acquisition of Wabowden would provide Blackstone significant optionality and can removeBlackstone’s need to secure third-party feed to fill its Ta Khoa Refinery for multiple decades.Ability to benefit from Manitoba’s Critical Minerals Strategy and USA’s Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”).Strategic 12-month option for cash payment of C$1.1 million.Option period provides Blackstone the ability to optimise various development and funding pathways including joint venture partnerships, government funding, royalty, debt and equity opportunities.Effective total acquisition cost of only A$0.03 per pound of nickel provides significant value opportunity for a re-rate in value.Blackstone undertaking an accelerated non-renounceable pro rata entitlement offer to raise up to approximately A$10.2 million.
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Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director, Scott Williamson, commented:
“Wabowden is one of the most advanced nickel sulphide projects in North America today and is highly complementary to our plans for the Ta Khoa Refinery in Vietnam, making it a transformative and compelling growth opportunity for Blackstone.
With a resource of 1.3 million tonnes of contained nickel, Wabowden would substantially increase our global mineral resource and could secure all the feed required for the Ta Khoa Refinery, removing our dependency on sourcing third-party feedstock. It could also establish a key central point of operations in Manitoba for Blackstone to potentially consolidate its existing nickel interests in Manitoba, as well as other nickel assets in the region.
In addition, it’s location in the tier-one jurisdiction of Manitoba, with access to 100% renewable power, aligns with our goals to produce Green Nickel, meaning that Wabowden ticks all the boxes that are important to our goals and the project would be complementary to the strategy we are executing. Wabowden’s location in Manitoba also could secure a nickel feedstock that is compliant with the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act, which is also attractive as demand for battery-grade nickel continues to increase.
Blackstone’s strategy is to progress a much larger scale operation better suited to the large-scale resource and by changing mining methods and leverage existing infrastructure develop a potentially globally significant nickel mine, capable of completely filling the nickel concentrate requirements at Ta Khoa.
We are also delighted by the attractive acquisition option structure and terms we have secured which provides Blackstone considerable operational leverage and value.
Securing long term low carbon IRA compliant nickel feed for the Ta Khoa Refinery has been a key question from potential JV Partners. This option agreement provides greater certainty over the nickel feed sourcing strategy for Ta Khoa, which is an important factor in the selection of a JV Partner, and the Company will provide an update on this soon.”
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