News Releases

Beta Hunt Mine Gold Production Increases for Fourth Consecutive Quarter

TORONTO, May 1, 2018 /CNW/ - RNC Minerals Corporation ("RNC") (TSX: RNX) announces that its Beta Hunt Mine produced a total of 13,780 mined gold ounces in Q1 2018, an increase of 8% over the fourth quarter of 2017 and 149% versus the corresponding quarter in 2017. RNC expects continued improvements in production volumes and grade in the second quarter of this year, with the commencement of production from the Western Flanks Central and AWF 14 Level stopes. 

RNC Minerals (CNW Group/RNC Minerals)

169 kt were mined at Beta Hunt at an average grade of 2.54 g/t during Q1 2018, improvements of 6% and 3%, respectively, compared to the fourth quarter 2017. 110 kt of production was milled at an average grade of 2.36 g/t, compared to 158 kt and 2.39 g/t, respectively, in Q4 2017. Milling volumes were adversely affected by the timing of tolling schedules and above normal levels of seasonal rains, which limited ore delivery to our tolling mill providers early in the quarter. It is anticipated the back log of mined material will be processed during the second quarter. Since the end of the first quarter, more than 55 kt of higher grade material has been milled. The toll, which is still underway, has an average grade of approximately 2.9 g/t which is the best toll milling performance to date1.

Mark Selby, President and CEO of RNC, commented, "2018 is off to a strong start with continued improvements in grades and tonnes mined at Beta Hunt and the current toll providing the best toll milling performance to date. These improvements in production and grade are largely a function of mining stopes in deeper sections of A Zone, Western Flanks and Western Flanks East. These new mining areas will contribute additional tonnes at higher grades in the upcoming quarters as we target improvements in mining grades to 3+ g/t."

1. This is a preliminary result and the final grade will be determined upon completion of the toll.  

 

Table 1: Beta Hunt Mine Q1 2018 Production Results

Beta Hunt Gold and
Nickel Operation
1

Q1 2018

Q4 2017

Q4-17 to 
Q1-18 
% Change

Q1 2017

Q1-17 to
Q1-18 
% Change

Gold tonnes mined (000s)5

169

160

6%

102

66%

Gold mined grade (g/t)3,4,5

2.54

2.47

3%

1.69

50%

Gold mined (ounces)2,3,4,5

13,780

12,722

8%

5,535

149%

Gold tonnes milled (000s)

110

158

-30%

69

59%

Gold mill grade (g/t)

2.36

2.39

-1%

1.62

46%

Gold Recovery (%)

92

92

0%

90

2%

Gold milled (ounces)

8,372

12,128

-31%

3,597

133%

Gold sales (ounces)1

7,978

12,896

-38%

6,132

30%

Nickel tonnes mined (000s)

7.8

8.6

-9%

6.8

15%

Nickel tonnes milled (000s)

8.7

7.0

24%

6.8

28%

Nickel mill grade, nickel (%)

1.89

2.64

-28%

2.51

-25%

Nickel in concentrate
tonnes (000s)

0.14

0.16

-13%

0.15

-7%

Note that production numbers are preliminary estimates and final grades and ounces can only be determined once mined material has been processed.  With delays in tolling at the end of the quarter, 105.5kt of gold mineralization, or just over 60% of material mined during quarter, remained in inventory and had not yet been processed.

1.

Note: numbers may not add due to rounding.

2.

The difference in gold sales ounces and gold mined ounces is due to timing differences in receipt of gold sales depending on completion date of tolling campaigns.

3.

Final grades are determined once mined material has been processed.

4.

As of March 31, 2018, 105.5 kt of gold mineralization from Q1 2018 production remained on the ROM pad for tolling in the subsequent quarter, compared to 45.4 kt of gold as of December 31, 2017.

5.

Due to large amount of Q1 production remaining in inventory and not tolled at the end of the quarter due to weather and milling disruptions, the mined tonnes and grade have not been fully reconciled at this point in time

 

Technical Disclosure

The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Kevin Small, Director, Mining Operations of RNC with respect to mining results and by Johnna Muinonen, Vice President, Operations of RNC with respect to milling results, both Qualified Persons under NI 43-101.

About Royal Nickel Corporation

RNC is a multi-asset mineral resource company with a portfolio of gold and base metal production and exploration properties. RNC's principal assets are the producing Beta Hunt gold and nickel mine in Western Australia, a 50% interest in a nickel joint venture with Waterton that holds the Dumont Nickel Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec, and a 29% stake in the producing Reed Mine in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake region of Manitoba, Canada. RNC also owns a 44% interest in Orford Mining Corporation, a mineral explorer focused on highly prospective and underexplored areas of Northern Quebec and the Carolina Gold Belt in United States. RNC has a strong management team and Board with over 100 years of mining experience at Inco and Falconbridge. RNC's common shares trade on the TSX under the symbol RNX. RNC shares also trade on the OTCQX market under the symbol RNKLF.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking information" including without limitation statements relating to the liquidity and capital resources of RNC, production guidance and the potential of the Beta Hunt and Reed mines.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of RNC to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect the outcome include, among others: future prices and the supply of metals; the results of drilling; inability to raise the money necessary to incur the expenditures required to retain and advance the properties; environmental liabilities (known and unknown); general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; political instability, terrorism, insurrection or war; or delays in obtaining governmental approvals, projected cash costs, failure to obtain regulatory or shareholder approvals. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, refer to RNC's filings with Canadian securities regulators available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Although RNC has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and RNC disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE RNC Minerals

For further information: Rob Buchanan, Director, Investor Relations, T: (416) 363-0649, www.royalnickel.com