NQ Minerals Plc entered into an agreement to purchase the Beaconsfield gold mine, located 200 km from its Hellyer base and precious metals operations in Tasmania, for A$2 million ($1.2 million). The company said it will be working with its consultants and the Tasmanian government to ascertain what is required to reopen Beaconsfield as soon as possible.

“Acquiring an established gold processing plant for a fraction of the cost to build and permit a new one, not to mention the typical lead time associated with permitting a new facility in Tasmania, is an exciting opportunity,” said David Lenigas, NQ’s Chairman.

Gold production took place at Beaconsfield in two main phases. From 1877-1914, it recovered 855,000 ounces (oz) from a little more than 1 million metric tons (mt), averaging 25.6 g/mt gold. More recently, from 1999-2012, it produced 920,000 oz from 2.72 million mt, averaging 10.5 g/mt gold.

As part of the initial program of works in assessing the potential to re-open Beaconsfield, NQ will be engaging independent consultants to re-assess the existing gold resources available within the mining lease, taking into consideration the increase in the gold price since the mine officially ceased underground operations in 2012.