TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Canadian gold producer Royal Nickel Corporation (RNC) is ahead of the May ramp-up schedule for its Beta Hunt mine, hitting about 65% of the year-end mining rate target, which is ahead of the ramp-up schedule that was planned in the Beta Hunt preliminary economic assessment, the company reported on Monday.
This was compared with 58% of the year-end mining rate at Beta Hunt, located in the Kambalda mining district of Australia, as at the end of the first quarter, the TSX-listed miner advised.
“We continue to evaluate the best long-term option to process gold production from Beta Hunt and have been satisfied with the initial results from a new tolling agreement that began last week. With the recently developed bonanza grade Hand of Faith (HOF) zone, targeting of further bonanza-grade zones for mining in 2016, and the strong progress in mine development to date, the mine continues to exceed expectations,” stated president and CEO Mark Selby.
Toll milling of gold under a new arrangement began on May 20, by HBJ Minerals, a subsidiary of Metals X. RNC advised that by using the smaller HBJ mill it expected to improve results for the treatment of coarse gold, found in higher proportions in bonanza-grade areas like the HOF, which was expected to make up a meaningful proportion of gold output this year.
As of May 26, the first seven days of the first HBJ toll campaign were completed and 17 700 t of Beta Hunt development material were processed at a head grade of 2 g/t. The mill had an average recovery of 91.4%, in line with expectations.
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