Australia-based mineral processing, exploration and mining company NQ Minerals has announced its investment in private mining company Tasmania Energy Metals.

The investment is expected to enhance its operations and prospects.

In a previous announcement, the two companies signed a convertible loan instrument for £150,000.

Pursuant to the terms of the debt instrument agreement, NQ Minerals has an option to convert it into Tasmania Energy Metals equity.

The company’s initial investment in Tasmania Energy Metals was expanded last month, with £150,000 committed for the second time. The terms and conditions will remain the same as those announced in June.

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Under the terms of the amended agreement, Tasmania Energy Metals has extended NQ Minerals’ exclusivity period up to 31 October.

In a statement, NQ Minerals said: “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 licences and 100% control of the integrated minerals processing facility that is being developed.”

With a term of nine months, the option agreement could be exercised by the issuance of ordinary shares in the company valued at £5.5m.

The two companies will continue to work on developing their plans towards an integrated facility.

This facility would use the prime by-product (sulphuric acid) produced from the treatment of the pyrite/precious metals concentrate produced from the Hellyer Mine, in the production of nickel and cobalt salts.

The integrated facility will also enable NQ to directly recover the precious and base metals contained in its pyrite/precious metals concentrate.