NQ Minerals reports improved production at Hellyer
NQ Minerals announced on Monday that its flagship Hellyer Mine in Tasmania, Australia, has successfully increased production and processing rates up to 165 tonnes per hour, with plans being finalised to increase production further to 180 tonnes per hour, or around 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
The company had previously said that the operations had been undergoing processing circuit modifications since the end of June, with that work achieving an average annualised production rate of 1.23 million tonnes per annum for the months of July and August.
It said it was a “very significant” increase from first quarter performance of 0.905 million tonnes per annum and second quarter rates of 1.01 million tonnes per annum, and compared to 2019 full year plant throughput at Hellyer totalling 0.84 million tonnes, or an average of 103 tonnes per hour and 92% plant availability.
During the transition to higher production rates, it became evident that production levels of more than 1.2 million tonnes per annum could be possible, and as a result NQ Minerals said it had agreed with Hellyer’s management to continue the throughput increase initiative and associated investment, with a view to a revised long-term maximum production target of 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
“This is an outstanding result for our Hellyer operations,” said executive chairman David Lenigas.
“The board and I are highly impressed by the systematic and pragmatic approach taken by the Hellyer management and site staff in preparing for and then delivering this program to increase throughput at Hellyer.”
Lenigas said the company had seen “very significant” improvements in a short period of time, with the significant increase in performance said to be “well-ahead” of its original mining and processing schedule, completed with minimal capital outlay.
“The opportunity to continue this initiative and further increase our lead and zinc concentrates output will certainly improve financial returns and manage our business risk.”