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Blackstone Eyes Rare Earths Value Chain with New Three-way Deal, Says Exec
“Our priority is still our nickel project, but this is an opportunity that was too good not to look at and see where it leads,” Blackstone Minerals Managing Director Scott Williamson said.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) Managing Director Scott Williamson believes a three-way partnership with Vietnam Rare Earths (VTRE) and Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM,OTC Pink:ASMFF) is a great opportunity to explore rare earths deposits in Vietnam.
On July 26, Blackstone Minerals signed a three-way memorandum of understanding (MOU) with VTRE and Australian Strategic Materials to cooperate on opportunities to develop a fully integrated rare earths value chain in Vietnam, which is home to the world’s second largest reserves of rare earth elements.
“We’ve really built a strong brand around our ability to produce green products and operate at a higher level of ESG compliance,” Williamson explained. "That was really the reason why VTRE came to us and said, ‘We want to work with you because you have the mining expertise in Vietnam and you have a strong relationship with the Vietnam government on accessing some really exciting rare earth opportunities (in Vietnam).'"
VTRE owns and operates the only Vietnamese midstream rare earths refinery, while Australian Strategic Materials is an emerging vertically integrated producer of critical metals for advanced and clean technologies with a deep understanding of downstream processing of rare earths and the rare earths market.
While Blackstone Minerals remains focused on its Ta Khoa nickel project in Vietnam, Williamson said the MOU was an opportunity that was “too good not to look at and see where it leads.”
“So it’s really about looking to access some of the highest-grade and largest rare earths deposits in the world, in the Northern Vietnam region, very close to where we’ve been operating our nickel project.”
Watch the full interview with Blackstone Metals Managing Director Scott Williamson above.
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