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RNC Minerals keen to build on this century's greatest gold discovery


Such is the size of the two nuggets, they are now touring the world’s museums as curios

Gold nugget

Quick facts: Royal Nickel Corp

Price: 0.51 CAD

Market: TSX
Market Cap: $310.24 m

RNC Minerals Corp (TSE:RNX) made huge headlines in September when it revealed one of the largest gold discoveries in recent memory at its Beta Hunt mine in Western Australia.

To recap, the Canadian junior pulled out two nuggets containing 4,000 ounces of gold as part of a discovery that totalled 9,250 oz.

WATCH: RNC Minerals unearths possibly biggest ever gold-rich stones in Australia

Given that RNC was originally looking for nickel at Beta Hunt, to say it was transformational is an understatement.

Indeed, Mark Selby, RNC’s president and chief executive, admits he was looking to sell the mine earlier in the year due to the lack of available finance, but all that has changed now.

Such is the size of the two nuggets they are now touring the world’s museums as curious ahead of being auctioned off to a collector, he says.

Estimates of their value are C$4mln for the larger of the pair and C$2.6mln for the other.

Selby also believes there is scope for RNC to find a lot more at Beta Hunt.

“We think we’ve made one the great gold discoveries of this decade if not this century so far,” he told Proactive.

READ: RNC Minerals revenue rises nearly 75% on record gold mining output in Australia

Already Beta Hunt has transformed RNC’s financial position.

Aside from the ‘specimen stones’, there was rich high-grade coarse ore within the Father’s Day vein and gold production has soared as RNC has tapped into this.

For the ten months to end October, output rose by 60% to 72,000oz approximately, which included 25,355oz from Father’s Day.

Sales of gold, meanwhile, have generated sufficient cash to clear more than C$30mln in long-term and convertible debt and going forward will provide sufficient funds for an extensive exploration programme at Beta Hunt.

The deposit is open in multiple directions and what’s exciting for Selby is that it is a district-wide feature.

The structure was formed 2 billion years ago and where any one of four shear zones cuts it there is potential for ultra high-grade ore.

“We have 10Km of potential to go looking for more ‘5-metre living rooms’ full of this material,” in a visual reference to how much metal it found at Father’s Day.

The plan is to drill as much it can logistically handle to identify more structures close to the shear and produce more high-grade ounces.

“We will drill as fast and hard as we can.”

READ: RNC Minerals adds gold mining veterans Huet, Morley-Jepson to board

Two of these four shear zones also sit below a ramp (tunnel) for 5km, which in theory should make it straightforward to bring out the mined ore.

Not surprisingly, Beta Hunt is the main focus but Selby believes RNC has another gem in Dumont in Canada.

This is one of the world’s largest undeveloped nickel cobalt projects, he says and is scheduled to come on stream exactly at the time electric vehicles are tipped to become a mass market product.

Nickel and cobalt are key elements in the batteries that will power electric vehicles and Selby believes the next decade will be very exciting for nickel and cobalt producers.

“We are nine months away from a construction decision at Dumont,” he adds.

Shares in RNC rocketed following the Beta Hunt discovery, but Selby believes there is a lot more to come.

At C$0.51 the company is valued at C$187mln, but Selby says just look at the value of companies that have made great gold discoveries in the past.

“There is still a long way to go from here.”

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RNC Minerals undergoing a 40,000 meter drilling campaign on gold project

RNC Minerals (CVE: RNX) CEO Mark Selby spoke with Proactive Investors at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in Toronto. The company has a 100% interest in the Beta Hunt gold mine located in Western Australia. RNC is currently completing a 40,000 metre drill program, the...

on 6/3/19

3 min read