Blackstone to Implement Product Traceability from Mining to EV End User

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21 October 2021

Blackstone Minerals Limited (“Blackstone” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce its collaborative partnership with Circulor Ltd (“Circulor”), the UK headquartered industry leader in supply chain traceability, to establish a full Nickel and Cathode Precursor (PCAM) traceability system, with dynamic CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) tracking for its Vietnam Ta Khoa Assets, a first in South-East Asia.

Globally, there is increasing awareness about the impacts associated with nickel production, as well as other critical raw materials sourced for the Lithium-ion battery industry and EV sector, with end users now demanding a level of traceability for all their products. Blackstone’s partnership with Circulor will enable the Company to demonstrate compliance with sustainability metrics from mining through to the Ta Khoa Refinery (TKR) finished product.

Highlights:

  • Dynamic ESG metrics - including CO2 intensity, biodiversity impact, water use and energy mix, will be digitised from project samples and made available for potential downstream markets

  • Circulor and Blackstone will work together to demonstrate a reliable chain of custody, using Traceability-as-a-Service (TaaS) technology to provide the Company with the ability to communicate the ESG “passport” of its products and operations with downstream customers

  • Blackstone believes transparency and traceability of the TKR’s vertically integrated supply chain will result in the best commercial outcomes for the Company.

Scott Williamson, Blackstone’s CEO, said: “Blackstone is determined to be a leader in ESG innovation and the Company’s partnership with Circulor is at the cutting edge of an industry movement towards increased transparency and traceability of raw material supply chains. The end customer will ultimately demand and preferentially consume ethically and responsibility sourced nickel, which we believe the Ta Khoa Project inherently possesses.”

“Beyond tracing supply from the Ta Khoa mine, we are pleased that our partnership with Circulor is also aligned with Trafigura, one of the largest global commodity traders and potential feedstock supplier for the Ta Khoa Refinery. Trafigura has also recently announced a collaborative partnership with Circulor and this commitment to tracking sustainability metrics is reflective of Blackstone’s expectation of all potential feedstock suppliers of the Ta Khoa Refinery.”

Yue Jin Tay, Director of Business Development at Circulor, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Blackstone on their traceability journey from their development phase through to full operations. Building traceability into the development process of a mine and a refinery allows our customers to have traceability-by-design - ready to track the provenance, CO2- equivalent and ESG performance of its products and raw materials from the very first shipment to their downstream customers.”

“As Circulor expands into Asia and Australia, we are excited about the possibilities this partnership brings. With the security of supply of critical minerals gaining increasing focus, helping Blackstone provide transparency for both provenance and ESG performance enables them to become a supplier of choice in the region. This also helps them and their global customers meet a range of stakeholder requirements including the EU Battery Regulations, and their financing and investment requirements, among others.”

Authorised by the Managing Director on behalf of the Board of Blackstone Minerals Limited.

END

About Circulor

Circulor is the leading sustainable supply chain traceability provider, headquartered in the UK, with a global footprint including Germany, the USA, Singapore, and Australia. It enables businesses to fully analyse, track and manage their supply chains to support responsible sourcing and improve sustainability. It does this by providing an enterprise software platform, which creates a reliable chain of custody of materials and attaches sustainability and other ESG data to that flow of materials. For more information, please email info@circulor.com.

About Blackstone

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX: BSX / OTCQX: BLSTF / FRA: B9S) is focused on building an integrated upstream and downstream battery metals processing business in Vietnam that produces Nickel: Cobalt: Manganese (NCM) Precursor products for Asia’s growing Lithium-ion battery industry. 

The Company owns a 90% interest in the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project. The Ta Khoa Project is located 160km west of Hanoi in the Son La Province of Vietnam and includes an existing modern nickel mine built to Australian standards which is currently under care and maintenance (refer Figure 2). The Ban Phuc nickel mine successfully operated as a mechanised underground nickel mine from 2013 to 2016.

In October 2020, the Company completed a Scoping Study which investigated mining the Ban Phuc Disseminated nickel sulfide ore body (upstream) and the construction of a 200kpta downstream refinery (refer to ASX announcement of 14 October 2020, including for the full details of the Company’s Mineral Resource Estimate at Ban Phuc).

Building on the outcomes of the Scoping Study, the Company has since completed a technically and economically robust Pre-feasibility Study for its Downstream Business Unit (DBU) which sees expanded downstream capacity. This is based on the Ta Khoa refinery being designed to process 400ktpa of nickel concentrate, supplied from the Ta Khoa Nickel – Cu – PGE mine as well as third party concentrate.

The Company is continuing to advance a PFS for the UBU. The UBU PFS will contemplate the option to mine several higher-grade massive sulfide vein (MSV) deposits, which has the potential to reduce initial upfront capital requirements for the UBU by enabling the Company to restart the existing Ban Phuc Concentrator (450ktpa).

By combining the Company’s existing mineral inventory (Ban Phuc Disseminated Sulfide - DSS), exploration potential presented by high priority targets such as Ban Chang, King Snake, Ta Cuong and Ban Khoa, and the ability to source third party concentrate, Blackstone will be able to increase the scale of its downstream business to cater to the rising demand for downstream nickel products.

For further information please contact:

Circulor Press Office: Guy Dennis at TB Cardew: +44 7917 918226; or Alycia MacAskill: +44 7876 222 703; or circulor@tbcardew.com

 

Blackstone Minerals, please contact: Scott Williamson, Managing Director: +61 8 9425 5217; or scott@blackstoneminerals.com.au

Dhanu Anandarasa, Manager Corporate Development: +61 8 9425 5217; or dhanu@blackstoneminerals.com.au

 

Patrick Chang, Head of Corporate Development: +61 8 9425 5217; or patrick@blackstoneminerals.com.

Blackstone Minerals press release can be found here.