Mr. Mark Selby reports
BETA HUNT MINE GOLD HEAD GRADE INCREASES FOR SIXTH CONSECUTIVE QUARTER
Royal Nickel Corp.'s Beta Hunt mine produced a total of 13,320 mined gold ounces in Q2 2018, a 60-per-cent increase versus the corresponding quarter in 2017. The mine has seen improvements in grade in the second quarter of this year, with the commencement of production from the western flanks central and AWF 14 level stopes. The mined grade for the quarter improved to 3.14 grams per tonne, including specimen gold mining on 15 level which contributed 1,445 ounces of production for the quarter from recently discovered structures at the contact between the upper and lower horizons of the Lunnon basalt. The mining plan, using small-scale gold mining in specimen gold areas (Air Leg/Jack Leg), will continue into the third quarter.
Mark Selby, president and chief executive officer of Royal Nickel, commented: "The second quarter saw continued improvements in mined and milled grades at Beta Hunt in excess of our three g/t target for the first time. Current tolls continue to perform well. These improvements in grade are largely a function of mining higher-grade stopes in deeper sections of A zone, western flanks and western flanks east. The discovery of specimen-grade material at the upper/lower basalt contact provides potential for much larger volumes of specimen-grade material than at the nickel/gold contact where they had previously been mined. We continue to make good process in the final phase of the sale process for Beta Hunt toward the closing and completion of a transaction, which we expect will occur in August, 2018."
One-hundred twelve kilotons of material were milled at an average grade of 3.24 g/t to produce 11,800 ounces of gold, a 41-per-cent improvement from first quarter production. Milling grades were significantly higher as higher-grade mined material and specimen-grade material was processed, partially offset by lower-than-expected milling volumes due to the timing of tolling schedules. A significant portion of the backlog of mined material was processed during July and the balance of excess inventory will be processed during the remainder of the third quarter. During June, 34 kt of material was processed at a head grade of 4.64 g/t for 4,939 ounces contained, which includes 1,445 oz recovered from 15 level.
One-hundred thirty-two kt of material were mined at Beta Hunt at an average grade of 3.14 g/t to produce 13,300 oz during the second quarter, a 3-per-cent decrease versus the first quarter. Mined production was lower than in the first quarter due to a combination of a focus on mining the very high-grade specimen gold in certain areas of the mine and the delays in completing financing for the mine in May and June, which led to production constraints.
BETA HUNT MINE Q2 2018 PRODUCTION RESULTS
Beta Hunt gold and nickel operation (1) Q2 2018 Q1 2018 YTD Q2 2018
Gold tonnes mined (000s) 132 169 301
Gold mined grade (g/t)(3)(4) 3.14 2.54 2.81
Gold mined (ounces)(2)(3)(4) 13,320 13,780 27,100
Gold tonnes milled (000s) 112 110 222
Gold mill grade (g/t) 3.24 2.36 2.83
Gold recovery (%) 91 92 92
Gold milled (ounces) 11,844 8,372 20,216
Gold sales (ounces)(1) 11,508 7,978 19,486
Nickel tonnes mined (000s) 8.3 7.8 16.1
Nickel tonnes milled (000s) 8.3 8.7 17.0
Nickel mill grade, nickel (%) 2.55 1.89 2.21
Nickel in concentrate tonnes (000s) 0.19 0.14 0.32
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, 126.5 kt of gold mineralization,
or just over 95 per cent 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 June 30, 2018, 126.5 kt of gold mineralization from Q1 and Q2 2018
production remained on the ROM pad for tolling in the subsequent quarter,
compared with 105.5 kt of gold as of March 31, 2018.
5. Due to large amount of Q1 and Q2 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
The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Kevin Small, director, mining operations, with respect to mining results and by Johnna Muinonen, vice-president, operations, 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 nickel, cobalt, and gold production and exploration properties. Royal Nickel has a 28-per-cent interest in a nickel joint venture with Waterton that owns the Dumont nickel-cobalt project located in the Abitibi region of Quebec, which contains the second largest nickel reserve and eighth largest cobalt reserve (the largest undeveloped nickel reserve and second largest undeveloped cobalt reserve in the world).
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