Boulder filled with gold doubles junior miner’s stock
TORONTO Rare is the story of a modern mining company that unexpectedly strikes a motherlode 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 metres wide, three metres long, and three metres deep, they found 9,000 ounces of gold, including two large lumps — all told worth around $14 million 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.”
Selby, who lives in Toronto, said he heard the news when he woke up in the middle of the night last Monday to use the bathroom.
“I flip my phone on and find out,” he said. “I didn’t go back to bed. You don’t find 2,000-ounce hunks of gold very often, so it’s good to be lucky.”
Royal Nickel stock doubled from nine cents to 18 cents Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.