RNC looks to begin direct gold sales to public

An example of the bonanza-grade gold at the Beta Hunt Mine in Australia. Source: RNC Minerals.

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Geologist Lachlan Kenna, air-leg miner Henry Dole, mine foreman Warren Edwards and senior geologist Zaf Thanos with large gold specimens found at the Beta Hunt Mine in Australia. Source: ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Jarrod Lucas

RNC Minerals [RNX-TSX] said Wednesday the first specimen slab from the top of the Father’s Day discovery area at its Beta Hunt Mine in Australia has been successfully recovered.

The slab was cut in the field, revealing impressive visible gold and quartz structures, the company said in a press release. The slab, weighing approximately 90 kilograms, is estimated to contain approximately 1,000 ounces of gold.

The company said the large slab will be cut into a series of smaller specimen slabs, which will highlight the coarse gold and related mineral features. Final weights and gold content will be determined for each specimen slab once all have been cut.

Meanwhile, the company said mining operations are continuing to remove a second large specimen slab from the face of the Father’s Day Vein and will extract additional high grade coarse gold over the coming week.

The term Father’s Day Vein refers a discovery that was made on Father’s Day in Australia.

RNC recently attracted international attention following news of a once-in-a lifetime gold strike in the same structure at Beta Hunt. The company said it had extracted 9,250 ounces of gold, worth $15 million, from a 130-tonne cut of rock about 500 metres underground at the mine.

The find included a single 95-kilogram chunk that contained 2,400 ounces of gold, worth about $3.8 million. A second 62 kilogram stone contained 1,620 ounces.

RNC shares rose sharply on September 24, 2018, after the company said a new exploration drive on 14 Level at its Beta Hunt Mine in Australia has recovered more visible coarse gold.

The find provides further proof of concept that the structures containing the “Father’s Day Vein” discovery extend 200 metres (25 metres up dip and 180 metres along strike] above the Father’s Day discovery area, the company said at the time.

The company said it is applying a model for these high-grade coarse gold structures to historical drilling and mapping, and has identified a number of targets for follow-up. The hope is that the company can continue to extend the discovery.

“We expect that these spectacular specimen slabs will be highly sought after by mineral specimen collectors,” said RNC CEO Mark Selby in a press release. “With a minimum of 30,000 to 35,000 ounces expected from the Father’s Day Vein area, the company will be in a substantial net cash position to fully fund its upcoming activities,” he said.

That includes the accumulation of smaller specimen stones, and the beginning of direct sales of the slabs and smaller specimens to the public. It is expected that this will allow the company to capture significant premiums above their gold content.

“Once the backlog of coarse gold at the Perth Mint has been processed, we expect to provide production results for the third quarter later next week,” Selby said. Meanwhile the company’s technical team is continuing to advance their work on understanding the sediment structures in the mine, having already extended the know sediment structures by a total of 540 metres from the Father’s Day Vein structure to the 1250 level of the mine.

RNC shares were unchanged Wednesday at 75 cents on active volume of 7.4 million. The 52-week range is $1.18 and 7 cents.

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