NQ Minerals Plc, a mineral processing, exploration and mining company, announces that it has made a further strategic investment in private Tasmanian mining company, Tasmania Energy Metals Pty Ltd , to enhance the Company’s operations and prospects.
As previously announced, NQ Minerals and Tasmania Energy Metals entered into a Convertible Loan Instrument for GBP150,000 where NQ Minerals could elect to convert into Tasmania Energy Metals equity. NQ Mineral’s initial investment in Tasmania Energy Metals was expanded in July 2019, with a second GBP150,000 committed.
On July 31, 2019, further to an amendment contained in a Deed of Variation, NQ Minerals has gained the right to invest an additional GBP150,000 into a third Convertible Loan Instrument with the same terms and conditions as those announced on 5 June 2019.
Under the amended agreement, Tasmania Energy Metals has extended NQ Minerals’ exclusivity period up to 31 October 2019. During this period NQ Minerals has the right to acquire an option to acquire all of Tasmania Energy Metals’ assets, including the nickel-cobalt exploration and mining licenses and 100% control of the integrated minerals processing facility that is being developed. The option would have a term of 9 months and could be exercised by the issue of Ordinary Shares in the Company to a value of GBP5.5 million.
As part of this further strategic investment Tasmania Energy Metals and NQ Minerals will continue work on developing their plans for an integrated facility. This facility would utilise the main by-product from the treatment of the pyrite/precious metals concentrate produced from the Hellyer Mine (“Hellyer”), being sulphuric acid, in the production of nickel and cobalt salts for sale into the Electric Vehicle battery market. Sulphuric acid is the largest single cost in the treatment of lateritic nickel-cobalt deposits. The facility would also enable NQ to directly recover the precious and base metals contained in its pyrite/precious metals concentrate. Economic modelling completed over recent months suggests that this will enhance returns from the Company’s pyrite concentrate stream.
The Convertible Loan has a repayment term of three years and carries no interest. NQ Minerals has the discretionary right to convert the Convertible Loan into shares of Tasmania Energy Metals at any point during the three-year term.