Blackstone Minerals

Blackstone Minerals Funding Strategy Update

Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX: BSX) (“Blackstone” or the “Company”) would like to provide an update on its funding strategy and corporate activities:


KEY POINTS

  • Blackstone will focus on project permitting, finalising the Ta Khoa Refinery definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) and the joint venture (“JV”) partner search. All company activities have been streamlined towards achieving these objectives;
  • Leading US investment bank Jefferies and specialist global mining finance advisor Cutfield Freeman & Co (“CF&Co”) have been appointed as strategic financial advisors for the Ta Khoa Project;
  • Blackstone has conducted a review of its business and implemented a series of cost-cutting initiatives to reduce its monthly expenses;
  • Blackstone has lodged its 2023 Research & Development (“R&D”) return and is expecting in the current quarter a refund of $4.23M before the repayment of advanced funding (refer ASX announcement 18 July 2023);
  • These initiatives are supported by the Board, including Managing Director and Executive Management team who have agreed to accept 50% of their salary to be paid in Blackstone equity for up to six months, with Senior Management in Vietnam also volunteering to accept a portion of their salary in equity.

Watch a video summary of the announcement here

1. Strategic Advisory Engagement

As a result of the near completion of the DFS and ongoing significant interest by third parties in the Ta Khoa Project, the Company has engaged leading international investment bank, Jefferies, and specialist independent global mining finance advisor, CF&Co, to evaluate the Company’s funding options for the Ta Khoa Project, including potential JV and strategic investor interest in the Company.

2. Ta Khoa Refinery Definitive Feasibility Study

Engineering activities for the Ta Khoa Refinery plant and non-process infrastructure have been completed. Final aspects of the study to be completed include geotechnical surveying, residue storage design and minor testwork requirements. Blackstone will use this time to complete a value-add study to identify additional areas to improve project value. The Company looks forward to providing an update on DFS activities in a future announcement.

3. Ta Khoa Project Permitting

Considerable progress has been made with the revision of the Investment Policy dossier which will be re-submitted in Q1 2024. The Company has been focussed on the:

  • Preparation of dossier for Investment Policy for submission in February 2024;
  • Land rights access; and
  • Environmental Baseline Studies and reporting.

4. Cost Cutting Initiatives

In light of the current market conditions and nickel prices, Blackstone has taken considered cost cutting measures in order to preserve the cash position and limit shareholder dilution, until completion of the ongoing JV and strategic investor process. The Board and Executive Management of Blackstone have agreed to accept 50% of their salary as equity, with Senior Management in Vietnam also volunteering to accept a percentage of their salary as equity, all back dated to 4 January 2024.

Blackstone’s Managing Director, Scott Williamson, commented:

“As we focus our efforts on completing the JV partner search process, finalizing our DFS and advancing our permitting, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our long term major shareholders for their ongoing strong support of the Company. At Blackstone we continue to be well supported by our major institutional shareholders who have all indicated their intentions to continue to support Blackstone through these difficult times in the capital markets. I would also like to thank the Board and Management team who have all selflessly volunteered to reduce their cash-based salaries, an initiative that allows us to complete the JV partner search process and minimise dilution to existing shareholders.”


Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Blackstone Minerals, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

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