Latest estimates are that the Barnes Hill project contains 14.3mln tonnes grading 0.72% nickel and 0.05% cobalt, which includes the first resources from the Scotts Hill and Mt Vulcan deposits.
Barnes Hill is being developed by Tasmania Energy Metals (TEM) as part of plans for an operation processing 630,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of nickel ore and 240,000 tpa pyrite/precious metal concentrate from the Hellyer mine.
David Lenigas, NQ’s chairman, said: “TEM is working towards a feasibility study that targets more than 20 years of plant feed for a planned operation in the Bell Bay area."
Results from the metallurgy so far suggest the possibility of production of 5,250 tonnes a year (tpa) of contained nickel, 300 tpa of contained cobalt, and 22,500 oz of gold and 456,000 oz of silver Hellyer pyrite/precious metal concentrates.
All the resources lie within 120km of the Hellyer operations.
NQ has also upped its investment in TEM to £600,000 through a fourth convertible loan of £150,000. Eventually, NQ wants to own 100% of TEM.
"NQ's investment in this project has the potential to materially enhance the economic returns on Hellyer's gold and silver reserves and add nickel and cobalt to the company's suite of metals."