Jan 25, 2021

Gold exploration to resume at NQ Minerals' mine in Australia

Gold
exploration
Australia
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Beaconsfield approval marks an important milestone in bringing this historic gold-rich property back on stream
Beaconsfield approval marks an important milestone in bringing this historic gold-rich property back on stream...

UK and US-traded NQ Minerals reports that permission has been granted to start over 2 kilometres of surface trenching at its Beaconsfield Gold Mine in northern Tasmania.

The company will identify near surface gold deposits to add to the Beaconsfield’s estimated 483,000 ounces of JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resources (1.454Mt at 10.3 grams per tonne).

David Lenigas, NQ Minerals' Chairman, said the 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 costeans are to be progressed covering 2,100 metres. 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, 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, and is expected to be completed by the end of this quarter. 

In May 2017, NQ Minerals acquired the Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania which has substantial reserves of high-grade zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold. 

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May 11, 2021

Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone

Gerald Group
SL Mining
Iron ore
Marampa iron ore mine
2 min
Gerald Group, the US commodity broker, set to restart iron ore shipments from Marampa mine with subsidiary SL Mining

Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.

SL Mining

Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence. 

As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.

Iron Ore

Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.

Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.

Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."

SL Mining

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.

"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.

Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.

Gerald Group

Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.

"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”

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