Blackstone Minerals inks MoU with Vietnam’s Son La Province to advance Ta Khoa Project16/06/2022
The company is focused on building an integrated upstream and downstream battery metals processing business in Vietnam that produces NCM Precursor products for Asia’s growing Lithium-ion battery industry.
Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX, OTCQX:BLSTF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam’s Son La Province, to promote a cooperative framework for the development of its Ta Khoa Project.
Notably, the company’s Ta Khoa Project comprises the Ta Khoa Nickel Project (TKNP) and Ta Khoa Refinery (TKR), both intended to be developed in the Son La Province in northern Vietnam.
The MoU rides on the back of the Australian and Vietnamese Government’s commitment to deepening two-way trade and investment projects in Vietnam, including in the energy and resources sector to support the energy security of both countries.
Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson said: “Blackstone’s relationships with local stakeholders continues to grow from strength to strength.
“I was delighted to present, at our mine site in Son La, the global significance of the Ta Khoa Project.
“Blackstone’s ambition is to work respectfully and collaboratively with the people of Vietnam to generate significant socio-economic benefits for the communities in which we operate.
“Vietnam, and the Son La Province, is blessed with mineral potential, excellent infrastructure, loyal people and has all the key ingredients to be at the forefront of the movement towards electrification of transportation.”
Highlights of the MoU include:
On 13 April 2022, H.E. Ms Robyn Mudie Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Son La Provincial People’s Committee performed a site visit to the TKNP;
All parties recognised the significance of Blackstone’s development strategy to the prosperity of Vietnam and the local Son La Community;
Blackstone is committed to strong environmental, social and governance principles to underpin the development of the Ta Khoa Project, training and upskilling of the local labour force and community investment to improve the livelihoods of people in the Son La Community; and
The Son La Province determined it would help to facilitate Blackstone’s investment in the province, including but not limited to support to obtain exploration, mining, and other relevant permits for the Ta Khoa Project.
Blackstone is focused on building an integrated upstream and downstream battery metals processing business in Vietnam that produces NCM Precursor products for Asia’s growing Lithium-ion battery industry.
The company’s TKNP and TKR are the two major cogs in Blackstone’s vertically integrated development strategy (together – the Ta Khoa Project).
Blackstone’s development strategy is underpinned by Blackstone’s ability to secure nickel concentrate and Ta Khoa is emerging as a nickel sulphide district of enviable scale with several exploration targets yet to be tested.
At both the mine (upstream) and refinery (downstream) level, Blackstone is focused on a partnership model and is collaborating with groups who are focused on sustainable mining, minimizing carbon footprint and implementing a fully vertically integrated supply chain.