TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX) ("RNC") is pleased to provide an update on its plans to increase nickel production from the Beta Hunt gold and nickel mine.
- Beta Hunt nickel production is expected to double in 2018 (from 2017 production levels) to approximately 4 million pounds of contained nickel.
- With ongoing ramp-up of gold production at Beta Hunt, C1 nickel cash cost is expected to be less than US$2.50 per pound, generating significant additional cash flow in 2018.
Mark Selby, President and CEO, commented, "Beta Hunt provides excellent optionality from both gold and nickel production. With the much larger scale in gold production (versus a standalone nickel mine), nickel production can be added at much lower cost compared to many other nickel producers in Western Australia."
RNC anticipates sufficient development will be completed by early 2018 at Beta Hunt to allow mining access to nickel resources in the 1820-1825 Beta area of the mine. As with other nickel deposits in the mine, there is the potential for bonanza grade gold mineralization to occur in close proximity to ultramafic/basalt contact, and for gold mineralization extending below the contact.
RNC believes it is also well-positioned as a nickel-sulphide producer with massive growth potential at the Dumont project in Quebec, Canada that is owned by an RNC - Waterton joint venture. "We believe there is significant potential to benefit from a strong nickel market outlook," said Mr. Selby." With substantial interest in the expected explosive growth in nickel and cobalt demand for the electric vehicle market over the coming decade, and nickel prices approaching the $12,000-$13,000/t ($5.50-$6/lb) level RNC believes is necessary to advance Dumont, we've recently been approached by a number of potential project financers and offtake partners who recognize that Dumont is one of few projects that could begin to deliver significant nickel and cobalt to market before the end of 2020."
Dumont Nickel Project Overview1
Dumont is the fifth largest nickel sulphide discovery ever and one of the largest cobalt reserves outside Africa. It is one of the few nickel projects that can potentially deliver nickel and cobalt to market by 2020 to meet the growing needs of the electric vehicle market. Dumont proven and probable reserves consist of 1.18 billion tonnes of ore containing 3.15 million tonnes of nickel (6.9 billion pounds) and 126,000 tonnes (278 million pounds) of cobalt2. RNC has a 50% interest in a nickel joint venture (with Waterton) that owns the Dumont Nickel Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec.
- Large scale, long life nickel and cobalt production – 33 year life at average of 41ktpa of nickel and 2 ktpa of cobalt
- Initial production of 33 ktpa (73 million pounds) of nickel and 1.0 ktpa of cobalt (2.3 million pounds) contained in concentrate annually,
- Expanded in year five to an annual average of 51 ktpa (113 million pounds) of nickel and 2.0 ktpa of cobalt (4.3 million pounds)
- High grade (29%) nickel concentrate suitable for feed to both the stainless steel and battery market
- Shovel-ready: feasibility study and permitting complete – strong community support
- Conventional open pit, mine-mill operation using proven sulphide flotation
- Structurally low-cost operation: significant infrastructure in place, low strip ratio (1.1:1)
- Significant additional value potential from the roasted nickel concentrate option
Dumont Nickel Project NI 43-101 Compliance
Unless otherwise indicated, RNC has prepared the technical information contained in this news release ("Technical Information") based on information contained in the feasibility study dated July 25, 2013 relating to the Dumont Nickel Project available under RNC's company profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The feasibility study was prepared by or under the supervision of a qualified person (a "Qualified Person") as defined in NI 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Readers are encouraged to review the full text of the feasibility study which qualifies the Technical Information. Readers are advised that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The feasibility study is intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context. The Technical Information is subject to the assumptions and qualifications contained in the feasibility study.
The Technical Information in this news release has been reviewed by Kevin Small with respect to the Beta Hunt Mine and by Alger St-Jean, P. Geo., Vice President Exploration of RNC and Johnna Muinonen, Vice President Operations of RNC, with respect to the Dumont Nickel Project, all Qualified Persons under NI 43-101.
About RNC Minerals
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 30% stake in the producing Reed Mine in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake region of Manitoba, Canada. Through its majority stake in Orford Mining Corporation (TSX-V: ORM), RNC also has interests in the West Raglan and Qiqavik projects in Northern Quebec and properties in the U.S. Carolina Gold Belt. 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 as well as the and the potential of the Dumont development project and Qiqavik, West Raglan, Jones-Keystone Loflin and Landrum-Faulkner exploration properties.
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, including the most recent Annual Information Form, 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.rncminerals.com