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, which are estimated at 14.3mln tonnes grading 0.72% nickel and 0.05% cobalt.
Hellyer was commissioned at the turn of 2018/2019, when it delivered a maiden cash flow of £3.2mln from the production of three types of concentrate, lead, zinc and precious metals.
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
For the fourth quarter of 2019, NQ generated A$15.5mln in revenue leading to full-year revenues of just under A$54mln and operating profits of A$12.2mln.
Base and precious metals production from the Hellyer mine amounted to 8,160 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,904 tonnes of zinc concentrate for Q4, taking the total for 2019 to 24,980 of lead and 15,646 tonnes of zinc.
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
“2019 has been a transformational year for NQ Minerals,” said David Lenigas as the company gave a year-end trading update in January.
“Improvements at the operational level have translated into increased operating profits at Hellyer on a quarter over quarter basis. Since announcing commercial production in January of 2019, we have consistently delivered improvements to our operational results.
“The combination of improved financial results and strategic initiatives undertaken to secure the mineral deposits below Hellyer position us to create significant value in the near and long term,” he added.
After gaining the long-awaited approval for Mt Block, Lenigas said there was scope to re-open the underground mining operations, adding much higher-grade ore feed to the existing plant in coming years.
“Some of the drill intercepts near the Hellyer orebody are regarded as ‘bonanza’ grades anywhere in the world and NQ is planning to commence drilling a number of the high priority targets as soon as possible.”
- 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