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New owner plans to reopen one of nation’s ‘richest’ offshore metal mines

Beaconsfield Gold Mine
Beaconsfield Gold Mine (photo credit: Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre)

One of the nation’s highest yielding offshore precious metal operations has changed hands and there are ambitious plans to bring the operation back to life.

NQ Minerals has agreed to pay $2 million to a mortgagee in possession of BCD Resources’ Beaconsfield Gold Mine, 42km northwest of Launceston in Tasmania.

The deal includes property rights, mining leases, mining permits, tailings dams, existing infrastructure and a processing plant with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes per annum.

Return to glory

The new owner hopes to return the 593 hectare site to its former glory as being home to one of the Natural State’s richest gold operations, which once produced nearly 2 million ounces of gold, with an average of nearly 15 grams a tonne, between the years 1887 and 2012.

Procurement has started for independent consultants to revisit existing gold resources available within the mining lease and the 50 per cent jump in gold commodity prices since the mine was placed in care and maintenance back in 2012. The proponent hopes unmined areas within the existing mine envelope will yield further gold strikes.

The sale will need regulatory approval and a decision is expected by 30 June 2020.

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“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,” NQ chairman David Lenigas said in a statement to the stock market. “We believe that Beaconsfield offers a genuine opportunity for the company to develop a high-quality gold asset.”

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