Mr. Mark Selby reports
RNC MINERALS ANNOUNCES BETA HUNT DRILLING UPDATE, 2ND HIGH GRADE GOLD INTERSECTION AT WESTERN FLANKS
Royal Nickel Corp. has released continuing underground drill results and fourth quarter production results from its 100-per-cent-owned Beta Hunt mine. To date, 168 holes have been completed under this drilling campaign, totalling 16,669 metres. Since the company's Jan. 22 release, assay results have been received for an additional 29 holes, totalling 2,765 metres. The latest drill results at A zone target both the sediment layer in close proximity to the Father's Day vein discovery and the southern extension of the resource above the sediment layer. At Western Flanks, drilling continued to define the northern extension of mineralization outside the existing resource, while also tracing the sediment layer. In addition to results presented to date, 93 holes totalling 8,139 metres have been drilled for which results are pending.
Mark Selby, president and chief executive officer of Royal Nickel, commented: "The ongoing drill program continues to be successful, delivering on multiple objectives as we work to unlock the tremendous exploration potential at Beta Hunt. The 2,210 g/t intersection within eight metres of our previously announced record intersection in Western Flanks is further confirmation of the potential of the intersection between the mineralized shears and the property-wide Lunnon sediment layer for further high-grade coarse gold discoveries. Drilling in the A zone continues to extend the resource, with multiple intersections exceeding four g/t, including two intersections in excess of six g/t and 5.5 metres at the margins of the existing resource. At Western Flanks, multiple wide intersections highlight the scale potential of this shear while containing significant four to six g/t intervals. We will continue to provide regular updates as this 40,000-metre exploration program advances."
Drilling in Western Flanks
A total of 53 holes totalling 5,870 metres have now been completed at Western Flanks. Drilling is aimed at extending and upgrading the existing resource, with focus around the interpreted position of the sediment layer which has the potential to host high-grade coarse gold intersections. Since the company's Jan. 22 news release, assay results have been received for a further seven holes totalling 895 metres. Drilling has again highlighted the coarse gold-sediment association with drill hole WFN-063 yielding an intersection of 2,210 g/t over 0.85 metre (within 395.9 g/t over 4.75 metres) (true width) hosted by quartz-veined pyritic sediment located within eight metres of the previously released drill intersection in WFN-029, 7,621 g/t over 0.28 metre. This result reinforces the company's theory that the newly discovered sedimentary layer carries the potential for multiple, new, high-grade discoveries.
Additionally, thick drill intersections in the Western Flanks (including: 3.07 g/t over 39.13 metres (including 5.24 g/t over 7.05 metres and 4.49 g/t over 10.09 metres) in hole WFN-065, 3.13 g/t over 16.86 metres (including 11.66 g/t over 2.67 metres) and 3.03 g/t over 18.89 metres (including 4.75 g/t over 4.61 metres) in hole WFN-058, and 4.17 g/t over 19.14 metres (including 8.92 g/t over 3.58 metres) and 4.63 g/t over 7.61 metres in hole WFN-045) illustrate the nature of the Western Flanks as a thick, variably mineralized shear zone. These intersections all lie to the north of and outside of the existing Western Flanks resource and provide strong potential for significant additions to the resource.
Drilling in A zone
A total of 115 holes for 10,800 metres have now been drilled along the A zone shear. Drilling has infilled around the Father's Day vein and the northern limit and southern limits of the A zone.
Since the company's Jan. 22 news release, assay results have been received for a further 22 holes totalling 1,870 metres. The bulk of drilling to date has been focused around the Father's Day vein to more clearly understand the geology in this heavily mineralized section of the mine. These results continue to support strong mineralization along strike of the Father's Day vein, such as 7.84 g/t over 5.63 metres in AZ15-034 including 66.9 g/t over 0.38 metre. This result occurs 90 metres south of the previously reported hole AZ15-013, which returned 1,406 g/t over 0.50 m true width and is located just seven metres below the Father's Day vein.
Drilling is now focused on extending and upgrading the northern and southern margins of the existing resource. Limited results received to date, such as 60.48 g/t over 1.69 metres in AZ15-156 including 468 g/t over 0.21 m associated with the Lunnon sediment in the hangingwall lode, as well as 6.02 g/t over 6.20 metres in the main A zone lode, provide confidence that the existing resource will be upgraded as further results are received.
Future drilling in the current 40,000-metre program will increasingly focus on infilling and extending resources in A zone and Western Flanks to support an updated resource expected to be produced by the end of the second quarter. Once the resource drilling is completed in the second quarter, the remaining drilling will test several exploration targets, including the Fletcher trend.
A table of significant drill results since Jan. 22, 2019, is available on-line.
2018 gold production
Production from the Beta Hunt mine totalled 73,801 mined gold ounces for the full year 2018, at an average grade of 4.48 g/t, increases of 99 per cent and 106 per cent, respectively over 2017 results. For the fourth quarter of 2018, mined gold ounces were 15,341, an increase of 21 per cent versus the fourth quarter of 2017. The production table breaks out production of high-grade coarse gold and total gold production.
Mr. Selby commented: "Record 2018 gold production reflects the tremendous impact from the Father's Day vein discovery and high-grade coarse gold production. Production in the fourth quarter was in line with our expectations with the previously announced suspension of bulk mining production at Beta Hunt (see RNC news release dated Nov. 28, 2019), as we continue to focus on the exploration program. Production guidance will not be provided until the resource update is completed and a decision to fully restart bulk production is made."
BETA HUNT MINE DEC. 31, 2018, PRODUCTION RESULTS
Beta Hunt gold operation Q4 2017 Q4 2018 2017 2018
Gold tonnes mined (000s) 160 65 531 512
Gold mined grade (g/t Au) 2.47 7.28 2.17 4.48
Gold mined -- coarse gold/specimens (ounces) - 9,500 - 31,139
Gold mined (ounces) - 5,841 - 42,662
Total gold mined (ounces) 12,722 15,341 37,027 73,801
Gold tonnes milled (000s) 158 72 507 493
Gold mill grade (g/t Au) 2.39 9.42 2.16 4.22
Gold recovery (%) 90% 95% 91% 93%
Gold milled (ounces) 12,128 21,574 35,307 66,918
Gold sales (ounces) 12,896 19,512 33,578 62,806
Compliance statement (JORC 2012 and National Instrument 43-101)
The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Alger St-Jean, vice-president, exploration, of Royal Nickel, a qualified person under NI 43-101.
The technical information in this news release relating to drilling results at the Beta Hunt mine is based on information reviewed by Steve Devlin, who is a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr. Devlin is a full-time employee of Salt Lake Mining Pty. Ltd., a 100-per-cent-owned subsidiary of Royal Nickel, and has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralization, type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a competent person as defined in the 2012 edition of the Australasian code for reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves.
Drill core sampling was conducted by Beta Hunt personnel. Samples are shipped to SGS Mineral Services of Kalgoorlie for preparation and assaying by 50-gram fire assay analytical method. First sample of each sample submission incorporates a barren rock sample as a flush to clean the lab crusher and pulverizer and as a check for contamination. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of insertion of additional blank material and certified standards. The lab is also required to undertake a minimum of one in 20 wet screens on pulverized samples to ensure a minimum 90 per cent passing at minus 75 micrometres.
About Royal Nickel Corp.
Royal Nickel has a 100-per-cent interest in the producing Beta Hunt gold mine located in Western Australia where a significant high-grade gold discovery -- Father's Day vein -- was recently made. The company is currently completing a 40,000-metre drill program, the results of which will be incorporated into an updated NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate and mine plan targeted for Q2 2019.
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