The Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania has officially been revived after NQ Minerals finalised its acquisition of the site.
NQ Minerals signed a staged acquisition agreement in February to purchase the historic site for $2 million, with the company receiving approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board for the deal in mid June.
The mine was previously operated by BCD Resources before it was decommissioned in 2012. It has not been active since.
Three million ounces of gold were produced at Beaconsfield between 1887 and 2012, with grades of 15 grams per tonne.
NQ Minerals chairman David Lenigas said the mine would undergo asset refurbishment and planning for an underground decline.
“We are delighted to have acquired the Beaconsfield gold mine and we are looking forward to bringing it back into production as soon as we are able,” Lenigas said.
“The mine has a long and rich history in Northern Tasmania and we understand the importance of this heritage to all Tasmanians.”
Lenigas said local employment at the site was on the cards, with the company estimating that 250 direct or indirect positions would be offered at the site.
“Since the tragic rockfall in 2006, the mine has been in care and maintenance, bringing with it a loss of local jobs and economic activity in Beaconsfield and surrounding towns and we envisage jobs to the local community will be a priority for NQ Minerals,” he said.
“We are looking forward to bringing the jobs and economic activity back and becoming involved with the community, in the process employing local people.
“We are cognisant of our need to operate to the highest possible environmental standards and implement very robust and comprehensive environmental management systems.”
After acquiring Beaconsfield’s mine and processing plant, NQ Minerals plans to refurbish the site’s processing facility to recover gold from the old tailings dams.
The company stated there were about 67,000 ounces of gold in one of the tailings dams and expected the first pour to be completed by the end of 2020 or the start of 2021.
“We don’t underestimate the challenges ahead, but there is a great pool of local talent in the area familiar with Beaconsfield that will assist us with this task ahead.” Lenigas said.