Mr. Mark Selby reports
BETA HUNT MINE GOLD PRODUCTION INCREASES FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE QUARTER
Royal Nickel Corp.'s Beta Hunt mine produced a total of 13,780 mined gold ounces in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 8 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2017 and 149 per cent versus the corresponding quarter in 2017. Royal Nickel 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.
One hundred sixty-nine thousand tonnes were mined at Beta Hunt at an average grade of 2.54 grams per tonne during the first quarter of 2018, improvements of 6 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively, compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. One hundred ten thousand tonnes of production were milled at an average grade of 2.36 g/t, compared with 158,000 t and 2.39 g/t, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Milling volumes were adversely affected by the timing of tolling schedules and above normal levels of seasonal rains, which limited ore delivery to the company's tolling mill providers early in the quarter. It is anticipated the backlog of mined material will be processed during the second quarter. Since the end of the first quarter, more than 55,000 tonnes of higher-grade material have been milled. The toll, which is still under way, has an average grade of approximately 2.9 g/t which is the best toll milling performance to date (1).
Mark Selby, president and chief executive officer of Royal Nickel, commented: "Two thousand eighteen 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 over three g/t."
(1) This is a preliminary result and the final grade will be determined upon completion of the toll.
BETA HUNT MINE FIRST QUARTER 2018 PRODUCTION RESULTS
Beta Hunt gold and nickel operation (1) Q1 2018 Q4 2017 Q1 2017
Gold tonnes mined (000) (5) 169 160 102
Gold mined grade (g/t) (3) (4) (5) 2.54 2.47 1.69
Gold mined (ounces) (2) (3) (4) (5) 13,780 12,722 5,535
Gold tonnes milled (000) 110 158 69
Gold mill grade (g/t) 2.36 2.39 1.62
Gold recovery (%) 92 92 90
Gold milled (ounces) 8,372 12,128 3,597
Gold sales (ounces) (1) 7,978 12,896 6,132
Nickel tonnes mined (000) 7.8 8.6 6.8
Nickel tonnes milled (000) 8.7 7.0 6.8
Nickel mill grade, nickel (%) 1.89 2.64 2.51
Nickel in concentrate tonnes (000) 0.14 0.16 0.15
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, 105,500 t of gold
mineralization, or just over 60 per cent of material mined during quarter,
remained in inventory and had not yet been processed.
(1) 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
(3) Final grades are determined once mined material has been processed.
(4) As of March 31, 2018, 105,500 t of gold mineralization from first quarter
2018 production remained on the ROM pad for tolling in the subsequent quarter,
compared with 45,400 t of gold as of Dec. 31, 2017.
(5) Due to large amount of first quarter 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
The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Kevin Small, director, mining operations, of Royal Nickel with respect to mining results and by Johnna Muinonen, vice-president, operations, of Royal Nickel with respect to milling results, both qualified persons under National Instrument 43-101.
About Royal Nickel Corp.
Royal Nickel is a multiasset mineral resource company with a portfolio of gold and base metal production and exploration properties. Royal Nickel's principal assets are the producing Beta Hunt gold and nickel mine in Western Australia, a 50-per-cent interest in a nickel joint venture with Waterton that holds the Dumont nickel project in the Abitibi region of Quebec, and a 30-per-cent stake in the producing Reed mine in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake region of Manitoba, Canada.
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