Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX:BSX) has made a strategic investment in Australian nickel play NICO Resources Limited.
NICO successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and obtained admission to the official list of the ASX in January 2021. Blackstone’s initial investment of A$2.75m will earn a 15.11% interest in the common equity of NICO.
NICO holds three exploration licenses covering the Wingellina (WA), Claude Hills (SA) and Mt Davies (SA) project areas in Central Australia.
Wingellina and Claude Hills have a JORC compliant Mineral Resource of 1.95Mt of nickel and JORC compliant Probable Reserve of 1.56Mt of nickel.
As a result of the continuing decline in global nickel sulphide resources, Blackstone considers that nickel laterite projects of scale will play an important role in delivering products into the lithium-ion battery industry.
Blackstone’s Managing Director, Scott Williamson, said the NICO management team is aligned with Blackstone’s ambitions to develop and operate sustainable mining operations.
Highlights of the NICO investment include:
• The Central Musgrave Project is one of the largest undeveloped nickel resources globally
• Historically, the Central Musgrave Project has generated significant interest from major battery metals players including Posco and Samsung. Blackstone considers the Central Musgrave Project is of particular importance to growing relationships between Australia and South-East Asia (and South Korea in particular)
• Prior metallurgical test work programs undertaken for the Central Musgrave Project indicate the potential commercial production of high quality- cobalt and nickel sulphates, mixed nickel sulphates, mixed nickel/ cobalt sulphides, hydroxides and carbonates and scandium.
“The Central Musgrave Project fits into the company’s 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.
“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,” Mr Williamson said.
The Central Musgrave Project was previously 100% owned by Metals X Limited. As part of Metals X strategy to focus on the development of its Tin portfolio, Metals X proceeded to execute the sale of the Central Musgrave Project to NICO, which was completed on January 7, 2022.
For further information please visit: https://www.blackstoneminerals.com.au/