Canadians see appeal in [Australian] Beta Hunt – by Jarrod Lucas (The West Australian – February 3, 2016)

Toronto stock exchange-listed Royal Nickel Corporation will take a controlling interest in the privately owned Beta Hunt mine near Kambalda in a $C7.5 million ($7.56 million) cash-and-scrip deal.

Royal Nickel will emerge with 67 per cent of Derek Fisher’s Salt Lake Mining, which acquired Beta Hunt for $10 million in 2013. Beta Hunt first operated in the 1970s and has the rare feature of nickel and gold resources in adjacent mineralised zones.

Nickel ore is delivered to BHP Billiton’s Kambalda concentrator, while gold is treated at St Ives, owned by South Africa’s Gold Fields, which holds the mining tenements at Beta Hunt.

Royal Nickel president Mark Selby said Beta Hunt ranked as the fourth highest-grade nickel mine in the world, with two years of nickel reserves.

Nickel production from Beta Hunt is set to be 3500 to 4500 tonnes this year.

Mr Selby said there were five years of gold reserves with production rising to between 35,000 and 45,000 ounces this year.

“The ability to have meaningful production of nickel and gold through shared infrastructure is what helps make this a low-cost mine and why this mine is going to continue to operate this year, where we have seen a number of other nickel mines in the Kambalda area close,” he said.

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