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Oct 2009 - NQM

NQM Limited (NQM) – Aiming to IncreasePajingo’s Gold operations to >100,000ozpa

  • Formed largely of ex-Normandy personnel, the management and advisers of North Queensland Metals (NQM) Ltd envisage applying their expertise to build NQM into a major 300,000ozpa to 500,000ozpa gold producer through exploration and the acquisition of overlooked/defunct/brownfields and recognised operating mines.
  • NQM’s current main operating asset is a 60% holding in the Pajingo Gold Mine in Queensland (Heemskirk [HSK] have the other 40%). The Pajingo mine is expected to potentially build up from underground and open-cuts to production of >100,000ozpa with Dotswood by the end of 2010, increase with Twin Hills to >120,000ozpa from early 2012, and head towards 140,000ozpa by mid-2012
  • Its heyday was in about 2003, after the takeover by Newmont of Normandy with high grades and wide stopes, and an expanded plant (originally for the low grade stockpiles) capable of treating ~800,000tpa. Pajingo was then producing ~300,000ozpa at cash costs of <US$100/oz at a treatment rate of only ~700,000tpa. In January 2008, NQM took it over from NEM, and reduced its throughput to ~300,000tpa, on the currently thinner ore zones, with an expected life of > 5years.
  • To fill the Pajingo plant, NQM has initially focused on two satellites, Dotswood and Twin Hills. Dotswood (previously called Far Fanning) is located NE ~180km by road from Pajingo and contains a high grade core of ~4g/t with a lower grade halo and surrounding mineralised quartz vein structures. The current expectation is production of ~60,000oz to 70,000oz over 2 years from open-cuts at Dotswood.
  • The second operation, is the old Twin Hills underground mine of BMA gold ~190km S of Pajingo that started with high expectations, but closed after ~1 year. NQM have re-interpreted the abundant gold mineralisation as a series of flats and stacked lodes, more closely resembling a stockwork with high grade shoots, lending itself to an open-cut and later underground mining concept.
  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Thursday, 29 October 2009

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