Blackstone Ventures Inc.

Blackstone Ventures Inc.

November 08, 2006 11:25 ET

Blackstone and Lundin Finalize Sweden Nickel Purchase Option, Exploration Program Underway

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 8, 2006) - BLACKSTONE VENTURES INC. ("Blackstone") (TSX VENTURE:BLV) is pleased to report that it has signed a final Purchase Agreement ("PA") with Lundin Mining Corporation ("Lundin Mining") (TSX:LUN) to purchase a 100% interest in a multi property exploration package of mining claims within a 4,500 square kilometre area of interest in northern Sweden. The project area covers, the Vasterbotten Nickel Belt, which hosts numerous nickel sulphide deposits and occurrences located along two main structures with a combined strike length of greater than 100 km. Numerous known nickel deposits included in the PA include the Rormyrberget, Lappvattnet, Brannorna, Mjovattnet, Backviken, Garkalen, Njuggtraskiliden and Lainjaur deposits.

Blackstone has commenced a phase one $2.5 million exploration program including a 3,700 line kilometre helicopter TEM geophysical survey which has been awarded to Aeroquest to survey the Vasterbotten Nickel Belt. Crews have been mobilized to site and the survey is currently underway. Drilling at the Vasterbotten Nickel Belt is anticipated to commence prior to year end. The favourable geologic setting combined with the lack of modern exploration work having been completed in the Vasterbotten Nickel Belt, make it an extremely prospective district to discover sulphide nickel deposits.

The main project area is located within a broad linear northeast trending tectonic zone hosting the more than 100 km long Vasterbotten Nickel Belt which borders the Skellefte mining district of northern Sweden. The belt hosts the Lappvattnet nickel deposit which represents the only deposit currently at an advanced exploration stage with a shaft and drift at a 120 metre depth that were developed between 1978-82. The Lainjaur deposit, located in the northern part of the Skellefte district, is the only nickel deposit so far to have seen commercial mining and is associated with a second perpendicular tectonic zone called the Norr Vaster Belt. Between 1941-45 the Lainjaur nickel mine produced a reported 100,526 tonnes of ore grading 2.2% Ni, 0.93% Cu and 0.1% Co. According to a 1987 report published by the Sweden Geological Survey ("SGU") the Vasterbotten and Norr Vaster regions have 12 defined Ni - Cu deposits, of which 9 deposits have estimated historical resources totaling 6.5 million tonnes grading 0.4 to 1.3% Ni and 0.04 to 0.27% Cu, including the Lappvattnet deposit which has a historical resource of 2.5 million tonnes grading 1.03% Ni.

Blackstone does not have - and is not aware of - any more recent resource or reserve estimates which conform to the standards laid out in NI 43-101. Blackstone advises that it has not done the work necessary to verify these historical resource estimates and they have not been verified by a Qualified Person. Blackstone is not treating these historical resource estimates as NI 43-101 defined resources, and these historical resource estimates should not be relied upon.

Donald McInnes stated that "The projects comprise 11 exploration permits and applications totaling 21,239 hectares in two trends and gives Blackstone effective control over the known nickel sulphide deposits in the area. Sweden also boasts a strong positive mining culture and excellent infrastructure. The establishment of the Swedish subsidiary office allows Blackstone to carry out exploration work in Sweden where the beginning of an aggressive exploration program is marked by the commencement of the Heli-TEM survey. The survey is designed to be flown over many of the known historical resources and will give us a database from which we can design an aggressive diamond drilling program on those resources and to begin testing additional high priority targets within the belt. Blackstone is determined to quantify and qualify the present historical resources and bring them to a NI43-101 standard as quickly as possible."

Under the terms of the PA, Blackstone can purchase a 100% interest in the projects by issuing to Lundin Mining 3 million units in its capital stock by December 31, 2009. Each unit shall consist of a common share and a one year 2/3 common share purchase warrant with each full warrant having an exercise price equal to the 10 day average trading price of the common shares of Blackstone prior to the issuance. In addition, Blackstone is required to spend US$5 million in exploration work, including a minimum 18,000 metres of diamond drilling, on the properties by December 31, 2009. If Blackstone initiates a Bankable Feasibility Study on any nickel deposit, Lundin Mining has a 45 day period in which to exercise a one time back in right to acquire a 49% interest in that property, which can be exercised by paying to Blackstone 300% of Blackstone's total project expenditures. Lundin Mining will also retain all rights to any non-nickel deposits found on the properties. To purchase any nonnickel deposits discovered by Blackstone, Lundin Mining will make a cash payment equal to 200% of what Blackstone has expended. The terms of the PA have been approved by the Board of Directors of both Blackstone and Lundin Mining.

The projects will be explored by a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackstone based in Sweden called Blackstone Nickel AB. Dean MacEachern (currently COO of Blackstone), Paul Nagerl (VP Exploration of Blackstone), Tor Falck (Director of Blackstone and resident in the United Kingdom) and Brian Ballou who is the Mine Manager of Titania A/S and a resident of Norway are the newly appointed directors for the Swedish subsidiary company. The subsidiary is represented by Baker & McKenzie law firm in Stockholm and by the accounting firm KPMG in Skelleftea.

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.

For further information on each project area visit the Blackstone website at where a series of maps, photographs and images have been posted under Sweden Projects.

On behalf of Blackstone Ventures Inc.

Donald A. McInnes, President

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Blackstone Ventures Inc.
    Robert Carriere
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (604) 687-3929