Rare is the story of a modern mining company that unexpectedly strikes a mother lode of gold.
But Toronto-based junior mining company Royal Nickel Corp. announced Sunday night that its employees in Australia at the Beta Hunt mine — which the company has been trying to sell since April — removed a golden boulder like few others in the world: Within a single cube of earth that measured roughly three meters wide, three meters long, and three meters deep, they found 9,000 ounces of gold including two large lumps — all told worth around $14 or $15 million at current prices. That’s equivalent to roughly 40 per cent of RNC’s $35 million market capitalization as of last week.
“It was a nickel mine for years and years,” said Mark Selby, chief executive of RNC. “But we bought it because there were a bunch of gold deposits sitting beneath it.” Royal Nickel stock surged 83 per cent to $0.16 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.
To put the latest find into perspective, the Beta Hunt mine normally produces ore that contains around two to four grams of gold per ton, considered a standard amount. But the latest find contained 2,000 grams of gold per tone, according to Selby.
They broke off one 95-kilogram stone that contained an estimated 2,440 ounces of gold, according to the company. He said it was so pure it did not need to be processed and was sent directly to the Perth Mint.