Blackstone Launches $4 Million Swedish Nickel Exploration Program
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jan 29, 2007 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX News Network) --
Blackstone Ventures Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BLV) is pleased to announce a 2007 $4 million exploration and development budget and goals for Sweden in 2007. The projects comprise 19 exploration permits and applications totaling 64,000 hectares and gives Blackstone effective control over the Vasterbotten Nickel Belt and its known nickel sulphide deposits. Sweden boasts a strong positive mining culture and excellent infrastructure. A 20-25,000 metre drill program has commenced and an additional two diamond drills are expected to be operational by the end of the first quarter. The 2007 exploration campaign will be overseen by newly appointed country manager Ricardo Lopes.
Since announcing the finalization of an Option to Purchase Agreement with Lundin Mining Corp. (see press release November 8, 2006) the Company has completed a 4,000 line kilometre HeliTem airborne magnetic and EM survey over a large portion of its land package. The project areas are extensively covered with glacial overburden, typically sandy tills, which have hampered past prospecting and exploration efforts. The airborne survey was flown over many of the known historical resources and provides an excellent database from which to design an aggressive exploration program. Numerous conductive features have been interpreted from preliminary survey data and have been targeted for nickel sulphide exploration. Many of these features are coincident with existing historical deposits such as the Lappvattnet Nickel Deposit (historical resource of 2.5Mt @ 1.03%Ni), or are located immediately along strike of known mineralization.
The Company has let an initial diamond drilling contract and the first drill rig has been mobilized to the Lainjaur Property located in the northern part of the Skellefte district. The historical Lainjaur Nickel Mine is the only nickel deposit to have seen commercial mining within the district (1941 to 1945) and was the last nickel mine in operation in Sweden. The Lainjaur nickel mine produced a reported 100,526 tonnes of ore grading 2.2 per cent Ni (nickel), 0.93 per cent Cu (copper) and 0.1 per cent Co (cobalt). Mineralization is found at the base of a shallow dipping gabbro to gabbro norite host rock and has been mined to a vertical depth of less than 100 metres. Ground geophysical surveying has identified two distinct EM conductors on the property, both of which are located down plunge of the mine workings. The first hole is designed to intersect the interpreted down plunge extension of the deposit at approximately 200 metres drill depth. Four to six holes are planned to drill test the identified EM conductors in this first phase of drilling.
To supervise these programs the Company is pleased to announce that it has appointed Ricardo Lopes as the Exploration Manager for Sweden. Mr. Lopes has recently resigned from Xstrata Nickel where he was the Chief Project Geologist for Regional Nickel in Brazil. His most recent responsibilities included overseeing the delineation of the Serra do Tapa and Vale dos Sonhos advanced nickel laterite projects which are being brought towards a resource definition by Xstrata Nickel. Mr. Lopes brings over 16 years of nickel exploration experience to the Company and has worked extensively in South America implementing regional exploration programs searching for nickel and platinum group metals. Mr. Lopes\' immediate task will be to rapidly advance the numerous exploration targets on the Company\'s extensive Swedish property holdings to the drill stage. To that extent drilling and access permits have been acquired for the Lappvattnet and Lainjaur targets.
Mr. Lopes will oversee the management and execution of the Company\'s 2007 exploration programs in Sweden which include the properties covered under the Lundin Option Agreement and three other properties, the Degerselet, Gisstrask, and Umasjo properties, that are 100% owned by the Company. The Degerselet property comprises two claims located along a prominent northwest structure from which the SGAB (Swedish Government) took 85 samples including 10 from outcrop. Sulphide is noted in 64 samples including 2 containing massive sulphide and one sulphide breccia. Four of these samples have been assayed by Blackstone. Best results from available data are up to 2.63% Ni, 13 g/t Pd, and 2.43% Cu in separate samples. There are no indications of previous drilling to test the source of this mineralization.
Drill core is being logged and mineralized intervals are to be split on site in Sweden, with split samples being shipped to OMAC Laboratories in Ireland. A system of using check assays, duplicates and standards has been implemented for quality control purposes. The exploration program is being carried out under the direction of Paul Nagerl, P. Geo., Vice President of Exploration for the Company and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. The information in this release was prepared under the direction of Dean MacEachern, P. Geo., Chief Operating Officer for Blackstone, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Blackstone does not have, and is not aware of any resource or reserve estimates which conform to the standards laid out in National Instrument (NI) 43-101 and advises that it has not done the work necessary to verify these historical resource estimates. As a result Blackstone is not treating these historical resource estimates as NI 43-101-defined resources therefore these historical resource estimates should not be relied upon.
On behalf of Blackstone Ventures Inc.
Donald A. McInnes, President
SOURCE: Blackstone Ventures Inc.