What NQ Minerals does
NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) is a project developer and mining company with a focus on Australian mining assets.
The company is led by a team of experienced mining and mining finance industry professionals, including chief executive Walter Doyle, an experienced venture capitalist.
NQ's principal asset is the Hellyer mine in Tasmania and the Mount Block permit surrounding the project.
Hellyer was commissioned at the turn of 2018/2019.
NQ also owns the Ukalunda project in north Queensland, on which it has identified 33 prospects for follow-up work, including the Sunbeam mine, for which it has secured a mining permit.
At SquarePost, also in north Queensland, NQ has identified both breccia and vein-hosted mineralisation.
The miner has also increased its investment to £600,000 into battery metals specialist TEM.
An agreement was struck in early 2020 to purchase the historic Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania, which prior to its close was estimated to host 1.01mln tonnes of resources at a gold grade of 10.35 grams per tonne. An initial fee of A$2mln has been agreed.
How it's doing
David Lenigas took over the chair at the Australia-focused mining group in December as Hellyer's operations continued to improve
In the first quarter of 2020 the company produced 8,127 tonnes of lead concentrate, 4,609 tonnes of zinc concentrate, 1,081 ounces of gold, and 230,441 ounces of silver
In 2019 NQ generated A$54mln, leading to operating profits of A$12.2mln.
In early 2020 authorities in Tasmania approved the company’s acquisition of the Mt Block permit around Hellyer, a 46 square-kilometre area that effectively triples NQ’s footprint.
After agreeing to purchase the historic Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania, in March 2020 NQ hired a firm of local mining consultants to prepare a due diligence study into re-opening the mine.
What the chairman says - David Lenigas
"Operations at NQ’s Hellyer operations have performed extremely well this Quarter, especially considering the current global COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for people, governments and businesses worldwide. The Tasmanian Government responded quickly to the virus and was the first State in Australian to limit any travel to its island State and has implemented strict controls within the state. Confirmed COVID-19 infections in the State remain low. Fortuitously, Hellyer is currently regarded by the Tasmanian Government as an essential businesses during this critical period. While Hellyer has implemented tightened control measures in respect to employee health and safety, mining and processing activities continue as normal as can be hoped for in these uncertain times. None of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and the actions we are taking represent our best judgement, based on what we know today. As always, the safety of our employees is our top priority.
"With respect to operations for the Quarter, Hellyer has successfully implemented a number of steps to increase production rates by 10% to an average of 122 tonnes per hour. These actions are part of a systematic effort to raise overall production rates to 1.2 million tonnes per year. The base metals market has been under pressure due to the COVID-19 situation, however Hellyer is seeing a number of positives with USD vs AUD exchange rate moves during the period and a near 20% rise in the Australian gold price increase to A$2,620 per ounce.”
- Debt refinancing package was agreed for a US$60mln debt facility in March 2020
- Battery metals initiative with TEM
- Production and recoveries at Hellyer continue to improve
- Precious metal production from tailings at Hellyer