NQ Minerals aiming to expand resources
Published on: | by Trevor Hoey
Australian based exploration and mining group, NQ Minerals (ISDX: NQMI), has expanded its Ukalunda project in Queensland to 130 square kilometres of well mineralised terrane following the grant of EPM 26204.
From a broader perspective, NQ Minerals focuses on projects where past exploration work has established the presence of mineral occurrences.
In keeping with this strategy, NQMI’s Non-Executive Chairman, Brian Stockbridge underlined the thinking behind extending its Ukalunda landholding in saying, “The Board and management of NQ Minerals continue to uncover the inherent value of the mineralisation within the Ukalunda project, and have enlarged the permit area to include more land containing historic high grade mineral discoveries”.
The Company’s attention is focused on the most prospective area of the permit where principle prospects are potentially the three larger historical deposits which are represented by polymetallic historic mines, Sunbeam Silver Mine, Carrington Silver Bismuth Mine and Pyramid Lead Silver Mines.
A total of 600,000 ounces of silver were mined from the Sunbeam Mine with very high grades of up to 37kg/tonne. The Sunbeam Mining Lease application is now proceeding to formal grant following conclusion of Compensation agreements on the area.
Once granted, this will allow processing of the surface stockpiles to begin providing cash flow to fund the exploration and development of the project. This is planned to minimise earnings per share dilution for shareholders going forward.
Results of the metallurgical tests on the rich silver ore from the Sunbeam stockpiles should be released in the coming weeks. Preliminary results from metallurgical testing of the Sunbeam silver/base metal stockpiles suggest that bulk flotation to produce a saleable concentrate may be an option.
Standout results from drilling at White’s Hope and Carrington.
Statutory reporting of 2016 work confirmed promising results from drilling at White’s Hope and Carrington.
At White’s Hope potentially ore grade gold was intersected with a 3 metre downhole length of 3.6 grams per tonne gold. Previously unknown zinc mineralisation was also discovered, including 1 metre intervals of 11.8% and 4.1% zinc.
At Carrington a large pyritic alteration system was encountered with promising grade bismuth-copper intersections with the best holes intersecting widespread mineralisation including 2 metres grading 2.3% copper and 6 metres grading 2.4% lead and 97 grams per tonne silver.
In summing up these recent developments, Stockbridge said, “NQ Minerals is delivering on its two key objectives – drilling to ascertain the extent and grade of targets identified from previous resource data and taking steps to process the approximately 48,000t of mineral stockpiles at Sunbeam which contain potentially commercial grades of silver and other minerals at its Ukalunda Project at EPM 18019”.
He highlighted that the short term strategy was aimed at generating cash flow from processing the Sunbeam mineral stockpiles and increasing value by targeted drilling of known deposits, noting that the easiest way to add value is by drilling and upgrading previous non-JORC compliant resource data.
While NQ Minerals remains an evolving story, the fact that management and investors alike have a reasonable understanding of the calibre of its assets could stand it in good stead, particularly if follow-up drilling confirms or exceeds historical data.