Earlier owned by Metals X, the Central Musgrave Project is said to be one of the largest undeveloped nickel resources across the globe
Blackstone Minerals has announced an investment of A$ 2.75m ($1.98m) to purchase a 5.11 % interest in NICO Resources, which owns three nickel exploration licences in Australia.
NICO’s exploration licences cover Wingellina, Claude Hills and Mt Davies project areas in Central Australia or otherwise known as the Central Musgrave Project.
Wingellina and Claude Hills are expected to contain a JORC compliant mineral resource of 1.95Mt of nickel and JORC compliant probable reserve of 1.56Mt of nickel.
Earlier owned by Metals X, the Central Musgrave Project is said to be one of the largest undeveloped nickel resources across the globe. It has generated significant interest from major battery metal firms Posco and Samsung.
To focus on the development of its tin portfolio, Metals X announced the sale of the Central Musgrave Project to NICO.
Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson said: “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.”
Blackstone is expecting that Central Musgrave Project holds the capacity to improve relationships between Australia and South-East Asia, specifically South Korea.
The project’s earlier metallurgical test work programmes demonstrate the potential commercial production of cobalt and nickel sulphates, mixed nickel sulphates, mixed nickel / cobalt sulfides, hydroxides and carbonates and scandium.
Last December, Blackstone Minerals announced the restarting of underground mining at its 90% owned Ta Khoa nickel sulphide project in the Son La Province in northern Vietnam.