RNC strikes more Beta gold

The West Australian - - WEST BUSINESS - Josh Chiat

The Kam­balda mine that pro­duced more than $15 mil­lion worth of spec­tac­u­lar gold spec­i­mens a fort­night ago from a sin­gle deep cut 500m un­der­ground has turned out an­other pre­cious stone af­ter de­vel­op­ment restarted af­ter the an­nounce­ment.

A spec­i­men stone weigh­ing 43kg and es­ti­mated to con­tain 1100 ounces of gold, val­ued at about $1.8 mil­lion, was re­cov­ered af­ter work re­sumed un­der­ground at the Beta Hunt gold mine.

The stone, along with an­other piece weigh­ing 7kg and con­tain­ing 190oz, will be taken to the Perth Mint and added to a haul that in­cluded what was be­lieved to be two of the biggest gold spec­i­mens dis­cov­ered.

The find, in­clud­ing 95kg and 63kg spec­i­mens con­tain­ing 2440oz and 1620oz of gold re­spec­tively, put a rocket un­der the pre­vi­ously ail­ing RNC Min­er­als’ share price in Canada and halted an al­most-com­pleted sale process for the 45-year-old min­ing op­er­a­tion.

RNC has dubbed the dis­cov­ery Fa­ther’s Day Reef, af­ter the day on which the find was made.

Dubbed a once-in-a-life­time dis­cov­ery and a “jew­ellery shop” by some ge­ol­o­gists, the zone was ini­tially fenced and locked up while mine work­ers used armed se­cu­rity to ferry the as­ton­ish­ing stones off site and to the Perth Mint.

The com­pany had faced ques­tions from an­a­lysts about whether it would be able to repli­cate the find.

The lat­est dis­cov­ery shows there is other coarse gold in the vicin­ity, with RNC es­ti­mat­ing the new de­vel­op­ment “dou­bles the strike length” of the min­er­alised area.

Air­leg min­ers at Beta Hunt in­ter­sected the struc­ture at the end of last week. De­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to reach the orig­i­nal dis­cov­ery to­day.

It is hop­ing to pull out more, with gold still vis­i­ble in quartz rock in the wall face.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Selby said RNC was work­ing on plans to ex­plore the high-grade area.

“The Fa­ther’s Day Reef de­liv­ers ad­di­tional gold and cash flow from this fur­ther ex­ten­sion with ad­di­tional po­ten­tial still to be de­vel­oped,” Mr Selby said.

“I am look­ing for­ward to the pro­duc­tion es­ti­mates, in­cor­po­rat­ing these ad­di­tional ounces, com­ing later this week.

“The com­pany is de­vel­op­ing plans to un­lock the high-grade gold po­ten­tial of the mine which re­mains largely un­ex­plored.”

A spec­i­men found this month.

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