Internationally famed Tasmanian former mining town Beaconsfield will be back in the minerals game if developing plans come to fruition.
The plans do not involve the former gold mine, where miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell were rescued in 2006 after about two weeks trapped underground following a rock fall.
A third miner, Larry Knight, was killed.
The period when Mr Russell and Mr Webb were trapped underground and their eventual rescue created worldwide interest.
The deposit being considered at the moment has a history of its own.
The Barnes Hill nickel-cobalt deposit near Beaconsfield was central to the story of failed mining hopeful Proto Resources and Investments Limited.
Proto and managing director Andrew Mortimer spruiked plans for the Barnes Hill deposit for some years, but it never came to much.
Administrators were appointed in 2014.
Proto was later delisted from the ASX.
Now, it has emerged Barnes Hill is the nickel-cobalt project which Hellyer Mine tailings reprocessor NQ Minerals is eyeing to increase its revenue and size.
"NQ knew that the ideal customer for its pyrite concentrate would be a local nickel laterite operation, as sulphuric acid is the biggest cost in the treatment of nickel-cobalt in lateritic surface deposits," London-based mining analyst Michael Green said in a report released on Wednesday.
"In June and August 2019, NQ announced investments in Tasmania Energy Metals, together with the right to take up an option to acquire a 100 per cent interest in the Barnes Hill (deposit), which has substantial resources of nickel laterite lying immediately below the surface."
Dr Green said the combined entity had potential to be a low-cost nickel producer.
"Extracting further value from NQ's existing concentrates is a low-risk way of improving revenues and shareholder returns," he said.
He said the viability of developing an integrated facility at Bell Bay was being investigated.
"Hellyer pyrite could be used in the co-production of nickel/cobalt, allowing the company to recover precious and base metals contained in the pyrite/precious metals concentrate," he said.
Dr Green described it as a transformational deal, with the nickel operation projected to increase NQ's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation from $51.7 million to $177.2 million.