NQ Minerals Plc (AQSE:NQMI, OTCQB:NQMLF, US ADR OTCQB:NQMIY) has announced that the Company’s flagship Hellyer Mine in Tasmania, Australia, has successfully increased production and processing rates up to 165 tonnes per hour (“tph”) and plans are being finalised to increase production further to 180 tph (about 1.5 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”)).
As previously announced, the operations have been undergoing processing circuit modifications since the end of June 2020 and this work has since achieved an average annualised production rate of 1.23 Mtpa for the months of July and August 2020. This is a very significant increase from Q1 2020 performance of 0.905 Mtpa and Q2 2020 rates of 1.01 Mtpa and compares to 2019 Hellyer’s full year plant throughput totalling 0.84 million tonnes (an average of 103 tph and 92% plant availability).
During this transition to higher production rates, it has become evident that production levels in excess of 1.2 Mtpa might be possible, and as a consequence NQ Minerals has agreed with Hellyer management to continue this throughput increase initiative and associated investment with a view to a revised long term maximum production target of 1.5 Mtpa.
NQ Minerals’ Executive Chairman, Mr David Lenigas, said;
“This is an outstanding result for our Hellyer Operations. The Board and I are highly impressed by the systematic and pragmatic approach taken by the Hellyer management and site staff in preparing for and then delivering this program to increase throughput at Hellyer. We have seen very significant improvements in a relatively short period of time and this significant increase in performance is well ahead of our original mining and processing schedule and has been completed with minimal capital outlay. The opportunity to continue this initiative and further increase our lead and zinc concentrates output will certainly improve financial returns and manage our business risk.”