TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - RNC Minerals ("RNC") (TSX: RNX) (OTCQX: RNKLF) welcomes the announcement on November 27, 2016 of a nickel offtake agreement entered into by Western Areas Ltd and the Tsingshan Group ("Tsingshan"), China's largest stainless steel producer, as further validation of RNC's roasting approach as a more valuable alternative to traditional nickel smelting and refining for nickel sulphide concentrate. RNC first successfully demonstrated this process in 2011. After working with RNC in 2012 and 2013, Tsingshan began the construction in 2014 of the first plant to directly utilize nickel sulphide concentrate as part of the stainless steel production process.
Mark Selby, President and CEO of RNC, commented, "We believe this agreement is another significant milestone for sulphide nickel concentrate producers and further confirms RNC's roasting approach as a valuable alternative to traditional smelting and refining. RNC's roasting approach is a simpler, lower cost, higher recovery alternative that should allow sulphide concentrate producers to capture significantly higher payabilities. We are very excited by the initial feedback on our marketing of test samples of NiCal-30, the roasted concentrate from Dumont, with potential payabilities exceeding our expectations. We expect to complete our initial marketing of NiCal-30 in early 2017 and expect to incorporate this market feedback into a feasibility study update for Dumont."
Mr. Selby continued, "I am happy with the progress at our Beta Hunt Mine under the new leadership of Kevin Small, Director, Mining Operations, as ore grades to date in November have exceeded our expectations and the ramp up is on track to deliver our guidance."
RNC's Roasting Approach
RNC continues to work to develop the market for roasted nickel concentrates from its own Dumont concentrate and other nickel producers. Samples of roasted concentrate from RNC's Dumont Nickel Project, under the product name NiCal-30, have been shipped to a number of potential customers (alloy steel producers, stainless steel producers, and nickel pig iron producers) in Europe and Asia and initial feedback has exceeded expectations. RNC expects this phase of the work to be completed in early 2017.
Beta Hunt Update
The Beta Hunt Mine is successfully ramping up under the new leadership of RNC's Director, Mining Operations, Kevin Small, with run-of-mine ore grades to date in November of 2.65 g/t, exceeding our expectations of 2.5 g/t. Mined gold production is expected to be in line with previously announced guidance of 8.5-10,000 ounces during Q4 2016, targeted annualized gold production rates of 60,000 ounces per annum early in Q1 2017, and 2017 gold production in excess of 60,000 ounces.
RNC is a multi-asset mineral resource company focused primarily on the acquisition, exploration, evaluation and development of base metal and precious metal properties. RNC's principal assets are the producing Beta Hunt nickel and gold mine in Western Australia, the Dumont Nickel Project located in the established Abitibi mining camp in Quebec and a 30% stake in the producing Reed Mine in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake region of Manitoba, Canada. RNC also owns a majority interest in the West Raglan and Qiqavik projects in Northern Quebec. 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 the liquidity and capital resources of RNC, production and cost guidance, the potential of the Beta Hunt and Reed mines, and the potential of the Dumont, West Raglan and Qiqavik projects.
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: failure of the parties to sign definitive agreements and satisfy conditions of closing; 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) 309-0600, www.rncminerals.com; Mélanie Corriveau (French contact), Community Relations Coordinator, T: (819) 727-3777