Blackstone Ventures Inc.

Blackstone Ventures Inc.

December 06, 2006 11:03 ET

Blackstone and Xstrata Nickel Announce Change in Operatorship of Norway Joint Venture

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 6, 2006) - Blackstone Ventures Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BLV) is pleased to announce that Blackstone and its joint venture partner Sulfidmalm A/S (a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata Nickel) have come to terms to transfer the operatorship of the Norway Joint Venture Projects from Sulfidmalm A/S to Blackstone. The projects will be operated through the wholly owned subsidiary of Blackstone Ventures Inc. based in Sweden, Blackstone Nickel AB. A branch office of the subsidiary has been established in Norway, Blackstone Nickel NUF, which will be responsible for the operation. The subsidiary is represented by Baker & McKenzie law firm in Stockholm and by KPMG in Skelleftea.

The Norway joint ventures with Xstrata Nickel comprise the Espedalen and Vakkerlien Option and the South Norway Option. The South Norway Option encompasses five large areas (Bamble, Ertelien, Skjaekerdalen, Evje and Hosanger).

Since entering into the option with Sulfidmalm in 2003, Blackstone has funded a total of 18,332 line km of airborne magnetics and EM which has been flown at the Espedalen, Vakkerlien, Bamble, Ertelien, Skjaekerdalen and Evje project areas. Two significant new nickel zones have been discovered by the joint venture group since the inception of the projects. The Stormyra zone on the Espedalen project and the Ertelia zone on the South Norway project. The Ertelia anomaly was identified as one of the high priority targets and occurs in an area where nickel was produced in the late 1800's to the early 1900's and has been the focus of this years diamond drilling program.

Blackstone technical personnel are compiling data and results from all projects and are planning for a very aggressive 2007 exploration campaign. Donald McInnes, President of Blackstone stated, "With Blackstone now taking over the operatorship of all the Norway projects we will be looking to advance the pace of drilling on the numerous targets which had been identified on the projects when Xstrata Nickel was the operator. Although Xstrata Nickel has a great wealth of local knowledge in Norway due to their history in the country, we've been able to retain a significant portion of the Xstrata Nickel operational team until the end of the year in order to provide a smooth transition with the work program. Our focus now will be to continue drilling the targets which have been identified on the South Norway projects and to fully assess many of the targets, particularly at Espedalen and Vakkerlien, which have only had a first pass of diamond drilling."

Additional targets will also be drilled on the Bamble Project during the upcoming winter field program. In particular, ground geophysical surveys over airborne conductors have identified conductors which occur near old nickel mine workings at Seljasen. These conductors are considered to be significant in that they have considerable strike length (up to 800m in length) with one of the conductors associated with known nickel mineralization and gabbro and ultramafic rock types typically associated with nickel sulphide mineralization.

The South Norway Joint Venture is made up of three separate agreements between Blackstone and Xstrata Nickel; the Espedalen Project is a 60/40 joint venture between Blackstone and Xstrata Nickel, at Vakkerlien Blackstone must expend $2.25 million in exploration by June 2007 to earn a 60% interest and in the South Norway option Blackstone has the right to earn a 50% interest in five project areas, subject to certain "back-in provisions", by incurring exploration expenditures of at least US$3.5 million on or before December 31, 2006 and at least US$1.2 million in each of the subsequent calendar years, provided a total of US$18 million is spent on or before December 31, 2012.

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.

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