NQ Minerals plc (AQSE:NQMI) Chairman David Lenigas caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the debt restructuring, listing on a tier one exchange and increased production at their Hellyer gold mine.
Q1: First off, congratulations on your debt restructuring news. David, can you run us through the details and what it means for the company?
A1: I joined the company back in November and had three main aims with NQ Minerals.
One was to help restructure the corporate debt within the group which seems to be one of the key sticking points for investors looking at the company for investment, all I hear is the company’s got too much debt etc.
The second point was to lift the elevation of people’s knowledge around the world of what the company does.
The third was to, once the debt was restructured, seek a dual listing for the company on a tier one stock exchange, whether it’s in London, Australia, or Canada because NEX, which is now AQSE, is a great exchange but liquidity is quite limited at the moment. Hopefully, the new owners can sort that and lift its profile.
NQMI is becoming a very senior resource company now, our key operations at Hellyer are performing very well, we’ve got the Beaconsfield gold mine coming back into production, the famous gold mine in Tasmania, one of the richest gold mines in that part of the world. It’s time to move the company onto an exchange where we can get a lot more liquidity.
Q2: So, a tier one exchange, what can you tell us about that?
A2: From my corporate experience for the last 20 years looking at the London exchange in particular where our primary listing is at the moment, a lot of institutions can’t trade NEX which is now AQSE, a lot of fund managers globally can’t trade AIM but everybody in the world can trade the London Stock Exchange. Whether you’re a punter, whether you come from China, Beijing, New York, Australia, the London Stock Exchange is key.
So, obviously the London Stock Exchange is a key target market for us to look as a possible upgrade, we’re also in discussions with a number of advisers to look at Toronto Stock Exchange as a potential main board listing and as you know, Australia is always on the cards for us.
It’s a process but we needed to get the debt restructuring underway and that’s been a very successful thing with ING, a long time working and we’re now moving through that phase and restructuring the company’s balance sheet so we can clean it up and move to a far more liquid exchange.
Q3: Last week you announced increased production results at the company’s Hellyer gold mine, can you talk us through those highlights?
A3: With NQ Minerals, life changes very quickly as there’s so many good things happening.
The Hellyer operation, which is our flagship operation, is a massive project in Tasmania, started in 2018, in 2019, it was more about continuing of commissioning, we’ve processed around about 900,000 tonnes in 2019.
In the month of June, we cranked the plant up to effectively now 1.3 million tonnes a year which has a direct affect of adding 40% of production and revenues on the top line and most of that goes to the bottom line. That was one of the key events that the banks have been looking because at one point 2 million tonnes a year plus Hellyer is in a very good position to services all of its with debts and help with corporate debts and it’s been a very successful upgrade.
We’ve still got a bit more juice in the tank that if commodity prices fall a bit or there’s some uncertainties in the lead/zinc/gold/silver markets then we can up production further if required.
So, it’s been a very successful upgrade, can’t say on a public forum what our revenue jumps will be but they will be very significant, we’ll just have to wait for public news releases on updates on revenues.
We’ve got a 44% increase in production of our lead and zinc concentrates and with that we get a lot of gold and silver credits as well so it’s been a very successful move for us.