NQ Minerals Plc (AQSE:NQMI) has announced that the average grade to date of 3.2 grams per tonne of gold has been returned from extensive surface stockpiles located on the Company’s 100% owned Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania, Australia.
Whilst work is underway for the refurbishment of Beaconsfield’s 350,000 tonne per year capacity gold processing plant, the NQ geology team has embarked on an exploration programme of the multiple surface stockpile sites located within the wider Beaconsfield mining lease, to identify initial ore feed for the plant for when the plant becomes operational around the end of this year.
A new and exciting development for NQ has been the discovery that excellent gold grades exist in approximately 80,000 tonnes of surveyed stockpiles in the area called the historic Wetlands area, that are due east of the Beaconsfield townsite.
To date, 105 samples taken from these stockpiles have returned an average gold grade of 3.2 grams per tonnes of gold. Sampling will continue over the entire stockpile sites, to determine the full extent of the contained gold in this area. There is potential to expand this area of interest considerably over the coming months and full tonnage and grade results will be published when this exploration work is completed.
Initial metallurgical gold recovery test work also indicates standard Carbon-in-Leach (“CIL”) recoveries of between 83% – 90% can be achieved with relatively short residence times of less than 12 hours. The Beaconsfield processing plant is equipped to treat the material with its CIL circuit. The material does not require crushing or grinding due to its very fine composition.
About the Beaconsfield Gold Mine
The Beaconsfield Gold Mine has historic recorded production of c.1.8 million ounces of gold averaging c.15 grams per tonne (c.1⁄2 ounce per tonne). NQ acquired Beaconsfield in June 2020 and the Company plans to re-open the mine operations as soon as practicably possible.
On May 7, 2020, NQ also announced a new JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of the lower section of the Beaconsfield Gold Mine of 1.454 million tonnes grading 10.3 grams per tonne (g/t) for 483,000 ounces of gold. Significant additional gold potential is still to be assessed in the upper section of the old Beaconsfield Mine (Tasman Reef) workings and its parallel unexplored reefs, plus the orebody remains open at depth.
NQ Mineral’s Chairman, David Lenigas, said; “The revelation that significant gold exists in these stockpiles is a tremendous boost for the Company’s Beaconsfield Gold Mine re-opening plans. Our engineers are now working on budgets and timelines to bring the Plant’s CIL circuit back on-line as soon as possible to treat this material. These high-grade surface stockpiles are only a short trucking distance from the plant and will provide valuable low-cost high revenue plant feed much sooner than we originally envisaged. The removal of these stockpiles from the Wetlands area will also be the start of a process of rectifying a long standing environmental issue in the town by cleaning up old mine waste placed in this area over the last 120 odd years and returning the area back to its natural pre-mining state.”