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NQ secures underground base metals at Hellyer mine

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

NQ Minerals Plc, a base and precious metals producer, has signed a deal with Bass Metals Ltd to secure 100% of all the mining and exploration rights to the main 1695 ha Hellyer mining lease. The company has also acquired 100% rights to the 46 km2 Mt Block permit, which surrounds the Hellyer mining lease.

The company recommenced operations at Hellyer in 2019 with a major mine tailings retreatment operation which has a stated mine life of over 10 years. These operations are now running profitably.

The transaction with Bass provides an opportunity for NQ to look towards re-opening underground mining operations on very high grade base metals deposits already identified at Hellyer, providing potential to extend its operational life well beyond the current 10 year plan.


NQ to acquire additional lead/zinc/gold/silver resources and mineral rights at its flagship Hellyer Mine in Tasmania, Australia, from Bass Metals Ltd.

Acquisition includes 1.175 million t of underground JORC resources grading 8.6% zinc, 4.9% lead, 96 g/t silver and 1.66 g/t gold.

These resources offer potential of increasing Hellyer’s overall resources to add to the 10 year mine life to its tailings reprocessing project.

Nine advanced exploration targets have been developed to date within the Hellyer mining lease and all targets are located close to pre-existing mine decline development and are within 2 km of Hellyer.

Bonanza drilling intercepts for immediately follow up, including:

20.4 m grading 16.3% Zn, 7.2% Pb, 104 g/t Ag and 2.4 g/t Au at the Fossey East Orebody.

7.0 m grading 22.3% Zn, 9.9% Pb, 181 g/t Ag and 3.4 g/t Au at the new Mackays prospect discovery, which sits immediately adjacent to the Hellyer orebody.

Hellyer Plant rated at 1.6 million tpy and permitted for 2 million tpy for mining and processing.

The Hellyer plant is currently operating at 62% of its capacity, processing around 1 million tpy of high grade zinc/lead/gold/silver tailings.

David Lenigas, Chairman of NQ Minerals, commented:

“This long-awaited deal provides real potential to radically change the long-term plans for Hellyer and the perception of NQ in the market. There is real potential to re-open the underground mining operations, adding much higher-grade ore feed to the plant over the 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.

"Exploration around VHMS ore bodies, such as Hellyer, is supported by the fact that deposits of this style are often clustered and occasionally stacked at more than one stratigraphic level. The last operator of the mine discovered three significant zones of base metal mineralisation within 200 m of the large Hellyer orebody at Fossey, Fossey East and Mackay and confirmed the significant potential for new discoveries on the leases.”

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Australian mining news