NQ Minerals Plc (LON:NQMI) has reported that permission has been granted to start over 2 kilometres of surface trenching at the Company’s Beaconsfield Gold Mine in northern Tasmania, Australia, to identify near surface gold deposits to add to the Beaconsfield’s estimated 483,000 ounces of JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resources (1.454 Mt at 10.3 grams per tonne of gold).
David Lenigas, NQ’s Chairman, commented:
“This approval marks an important milestone in bringing this historic gold-rich property back on stream. Having acquired Beaconsfield in June 2020, we see scope to identify new and significant shallow ounces of gold that will be incremental to the already known JORC compliant reserves of nearly half a million ounces. The resumption of gold exploration kick-starts an exciting new era at Beaconsfield, with the trenching programme being a precursor to a follow up RC (Reverse Circulation) drill programme, which the Company is aiming to start this quarter.”
Six (6) costeans are to be progressed covering 2,100 metres in total. They will test for the surface expressions of the main Beaconsfield gold lodes – the main Tasmania Reef, the Moonlight-cum-Wonder line (to the northwest of the main Tasmania Reef) and the Olive Branch workings – where historically exploration efforts were focused on developing the deeper levels of the mine.
In addition to the exploration undertakings, the Company is completing the final stages of Metallurgical optimisation on the surface stockpiles material within the mining lease, which is now estimated to have 120,000 tonnes grading 3.2 g/t Au. This optimisation work has been undertaken to provide specific detail for the Beaconsfield gold plant refurbishment design and engineering. This work is expected to be completed by the end of this quarter. The work has taken longer than expected due to high demand for slots at the Metallurgical test Laboratories.
Beaconsfield history – c.1.9m ounces of gold recovered to 2012
Prospectors first discovered the Tasmania Reef in 1877 when investigating the source of alluvial gold in nearby Brandy Creek. Mining between 1877 and 1914 yielded 854,600 ounces of gold at an average grade of 24.3 g/t. During this time, mining occurred between surface and 455 metres.
Modern mining re-commenced in 1998 after 84 years of inactivity, with mining depths taken down to 1,200 metres from surface, producing a further 920,000 ounces at an average grade of 10.5 g/t gold when the mine closed again in 2012 due to the low gold price at the time.
It is proposed to ascertain the likelihood of defining additional near-surface gold resources that could be exploited by surface or underground methods to provide ongoing mill feed for the phase whilst the new proposed Beaconsfield mine access decline is developed. The Company will be providing regular updates on its Beaconsfield gold exploration activity.