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RNC reports record on rich gold grades

Canadian miner RNC Minerals has reported record gold production for 2018 thanks to the bonanza grades in the Father’s Day Vein discovery at its Beta Hunt gold mine in Western Australia.
RNC reports record on rich gold grades RNC reports record on rich gold grades RNC reports record on rich gold grades RNC reports record on rich gold grades RNC reports record on rich gold grades

Visible gold at RNC’s Beta Hunt mine

Ngaire McDiarmid

RNC outlined record production of 73,801 ounces compared with 37,027oz in 2017, which had been an annual gold mined production record for Beta Hunt.

The high-grade specimen and coarse gold production in the December quarter led to a 195% increase in mined grade for the period to 7.28 grams per tonne, compared with 2.47gpt in the fourth quarter of 2017.

It boosted the average grade for 2018 by 106% to 4.48gpt.

All-in sustaining costs fell to US$698/oz sold, a 56% improvement on 2017, which president and CEO Mark Selby said reflected the increased sales of coarse gold from the Father's Day vein, discovered in September, demonstrating the mine's cash flow potential.

The company has a 40,000m exploration program underway at Beta Hunt, which has already delivered stellar results including 2m at 1017gpt.

It announced a bought deal financing of C$12 million this week, which will go towards Beta Hunt exploration and contribute to its planned acquisition of Westgold Resources' nearby Higginsville project, announced three days ago.

Back in Canada, Selby said the feasibility update on its Dumont nickel-cobalt joint venture project in Quebec was "progressing well".

"I look forward to its upcoming release given the increasing market interest in nickel and its critical role in the electric vehicle revolution," he said.

Elsewhere, the Reed copper mine in Manitoba (where RNC held 30%) ceased production in the third quarter, garnering RNC 3100t of copper for the year with AISC improving to US60c/lb sold.

"Costs improved in 2018 compared to the prior year primarily due to the effect of RNC electing not to fund its share of mining and general and administration costs," RNC said.

RNC generated more than C$27 million adjusted EBITDA in 2018, with $16 million coming from the record fourth quarter.

It reduced its working capital deficit to $19 million and said it had $5.2 million in cash and equivalents plus the value of gold specimens held for sale - not counting the premium RNC expected to realise.

Shares in RNC, which is planning an ASX listing this year, lost 1c in Toronto overnight to close at 50c, capitalising it at $233 million.