RNC says Aussie gold specimens may be biggest ever

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

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

RNC Minerals Corp. [RNX-TSX] on Wednesday said gold production at its Beta Hunt gold mine in Australia reached record levels in the third quarter of 2018.

The company said production of 31,360 mine gold ounces in the quarter marked a 199% increase compared to the third quarter of 2017. That brought production for the first nine months of 2018 to 58,460 ounces, a big increase from the comparable period last year.

“Clearly, the highlight of the third quarter was the significant high grade gold discovery at the Beta Hunt Mine,’’ said RNC President and CEO Mark Selby.  “As a result of the Father’s Day Vein discovery, the company will be in a substantial net cash position to fully fund our upcoming activities,’’ he said.

With the arrival of the first drill at the site during the past week, exploration activities will begin to ramp up as part of an aggressive exploration campaign. The technical team is continuing to advance the work on understanding the sediment structures in the mine which have the potential for high grade coarse gold, Selby added.

Royal Nickel shares eased 14% or $0.11 to 67 cents on volume of 14.5 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $0.07 and $1.18.

RNC recently attracted international attention following news of a once-in-a lifetime gold strike in the Father’s Day Vein 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.

On Wednesday, RNC announced the final gold content estimates for the large specimen stones, which would rank them among the largest ever found. “The King Henry specimen stone, at 1,402 ounces, would rank amongst the largest gold specimens in existence,” Selby said.

“With multiple large scale and spectacular specimens coming from a single area, we believe the Father’s Day Vein may rank among the richest and most prolific gold veins ever found,’’ he said.

RNC said it now expects 27,000 to 30,000 ounces of gold from the immediate Father’s Day Vein area, and substantially more than 35,000 ounces from the 540 metres of A Zone sediment structures identified to date.

RNC holds a 100% interest in the Beta Hunt mine. It also holds a 28% interest in a nickel joint venture that owns the Dumont Nickel-Cobalt Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec. In addition, RNC owns a 35% interest in Orford Mining Corp. [ORM-TSXV], a mineral explorer focused on highly prospective and underexplored areas of Northern Quebec, and the U.S. Carolina Gold Belt.

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