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Maroon Gold, a new private equity backed vehicle, has achieved its first gold pour after completing a $5 million project to refurbish and modernise the Blackjack processing plant at Charters Towers.

The company is feeding the plant with ore from its 100 per cent-owned Far Fanning mine, where it is using Tomra X-ray sorting technology to sort historically stockpiled material prior to haulage and processing at the Blackjack plant.

Far Fanning is among a cluster of gold projects that the company has acquired in the Charters Towers area, providing the foundations for an initial five-year operation, according to Maroon Gold managing director Ashley Pattison.

Maroon Gold also has a strategic agreement to mine and process high-grade gold material from Laneway Resources’ Agate Creek gold project, near Kidston in North Queensland.  

“All the native title agreements were resolved before Christmas, so we’re hoping that the mining lease comes through before the end of this month – which would see mining commence late February/early March,” Mr Pattison said.

Commenting on the strategy behind Maroon Gold, Mr Pattison said; “We took advantage of the mining downturn in 2017 and 2018 to accumulate a portfolio of distressed and stranded assets in and around the Charters Towers area and have been able to aggregate a quality portfolio of assets under the control of one entity including the Blackjack processing plant.

“To be honest, it all centres on the strategic Blackjack processing plant, purchased in late 2017 for $12 million from Citigold, which had shut down operations in November 2014.

“We have spent just under $5 million refurbishing the plant and modernising it.

"This is in addition to a further $30 million spent to accumulate the substantial asset base in the region, including the plant purchase.

“Commissioning of the plant took place over the Christmas period and the first week of January.

“Our first gold pour was last week and commercial production is expected in February post ongoing refinement of the plant.”

Mr Pattison said Maroon Gold was expecting to produce 45-50,000 ounces of gold per annum from its cluster of projects.

New NQ gold venture fires up