NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI, OTCQB:NQMLF) said it has signed an agreement with Australian gold miner Evolution Mining Ltd for the detailed evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver-rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project, located at the company’s Ukalunda tenement in North Queensland, Australia.
The Aquis-listed metals producer said the agreement will allow Evolution to fund an initial comprehensive sampling programme and conduct metallurgical and process testing of the high-grade component of the Sunbeam stockpiles. The deal also includes options for Evolution for the processing of all or some of the stockpiles into saleable concentrates on a cost and revenue sharing basis.
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The Sunbeam project includes the historic Sunbeam mine, which produced around 600,000 ounces of silver with bonanza grades of up to 37,000 grams per tonne, as well as surface stockpiles containing approximately 180,000 tonnes of material from historic mining activity, of which an estimated 48,000 tonnes are expected to contain high grades of contained silver based on prior sampling.
Evolution owns the Mt Carlton gold and silver mining operation, which has a processing plant located around 80 kilometres from the Sunbeam project.
“The conclusion of this agreement represents an important step forward in moving forward NQ’s efforts to commercialise our North Queensland mining properties. We are excited to be working with the team at Mount Carlton and Evolution and I look forward to the capabilities and resources they bring to this shared development opportunity. Not only does this mean we can look to commercialise these stockpiles against a robust silver market environment, but it also opens the path to further potential exploration at Sunbeam”, NQ Minerals chairman David Lenigas said in a statement.
Shares in NQ were trading at around 6.2p on Monday morning on the Aquis exchange.