RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX; US-OTC: RNKLF) — formerly Royal Nickel Corp. — has gone from a single-asset firm to a gold, nickel and copper producer, by taking advantage of the market downturn earlier this year to buy two producing assets.
RNC picked up a 100% interest in the Beta Hunt gold-nickel mine in Western Australia’s Kambalda district by acquiring private firm Salt Lake Mining in two transactions, completed in March and May.
“It’s a 40-year-old nickel mine, but a brand-new gold mine. There are few opportunities that you’d come across, where the first public news release on an asset is that it’s in production,” Mark Selby, RNC’s president and CEO, said in a webcast from the Precious Metals Summit in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
RNC paid $17 million in cash and shares for Beta Hunt. It inherited a 5 km ramp system, 20 metres from the largely untouched gold resource, along with 675,000 metres of drilling.
While drilling targeted the nickel mineralization in the ultramafic rocks, it also intersected gold mineralization in basalts. “We literally have hundreds of gold intersections from nickel drilling that clearly outline where the gold structure sits,” the executive says.
Beta Hunt has a global gold resource of 400,000 oz., which RNC says it could increase to over 1 million oz. through infill drilling.The gold resource sits at 250 to 500 metres below surface, Rob Buchanan, the company’s director of investor relations, said in an email. A resource update should be out in early 2017.
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