NQ Minerals PLC (AQSE:NQMI) has reported an uplift in underlying profits in 2020 after a strong final quarter at its Hellyer mine in Tasmania.

Gross revenues were A$63mln £35.9mln), operating profits A$24mln and net income A$22.7mln, though NQ added these number do not factor in associated costs at the PLC level.

David Lenigas, chairman, said: “Hellyer’s strong financial performance last year was driven by increased tonnage and steadily improving commodity prices, and when we consider that the operations were only turned up from around 110 tonnes per hour (“tph”) to 150 tph through the plant in the middle of the year and around 180 tph in December, these results were excellent.

“The last quarter (Q4) of 2020 was especially pleasing, with gross revenues of A$19.2mln, operating profits of A$9.4mln and net income of A$7.4mln.

“This performance was largely due to the Hellyer plant throughput rates increasing to 180 tph when permissible, noticeably reducing unit operating costs into an overall stronger commodity price environment.

NQ added that construction of the new tailings dam at Hellyer (TSF2) has seen a yearly capex spend of A$8.8mln representing 60.8% completion to 31 December 2020.

The miner had already reported that overall production for 2020 from Hellyer was 38,319 tonnes of lead concentrates,  up 53% from the previous year, and 19,019 tonnes of zinc concentrates or a 22% rise.