Mr. Mark Selby reports
RNC MINERALS ANNOUNCES 390% INCREASE IN MEASURED AND INDICATED GOLD MINERAL RESOURCE FOR THE WESTERN FLANKS ZONE AT BETA HUNT TO 710 KOZ
Royal Nickel Corp. has made a substantial increase to the mineral resource for the Western Flanks zone at its Beta Hunt gold mine in Western Australia based on an updated mineral resource estimate effective as of June 26, 2019.
The recently completed resource definition drilling program at Beta Hunt has significantly added to the resource base of the mine by upgrading and extending the mineral resources at Western Flanks. A total of 16,876 metres of drilling in 144 drill holes were completed at Western Flanks during the current grade control, resource definition and exploration drilling program. Mineralization at Western Flanks has now been defined across a 1.2-kilometre strike length and to a depth of 150 to 250 metres below the basalt contact. The increase in resource was achieved at a discovery cost of less than $5 per ounce.
"This increase in resource size is an outstanding result and confirms the exploration potential we always believed existed at Beta Hunt. Today's 710,000-ounce measured and indicated resource with a further 250,000-ounce inferred resource comes from just over one kilometre of strike length on a single shear complex in the Western Flanks, which we believe represents only a fraction of the mine's overall potential," said Mark Selby, president and chief executive officer of Royal Nickel Minerals. "I look forward to the results of the remaining 5,000 metres of the current exploration program now under way which will begin testing the other three shears that occur over a potential strike length of more than four kilometres and where gold mineralization has been outlined by historic drilling."
Mineral resource estimate
The measured and indicated mineral resources for the Western Flanks zone at the Beta Hunt mine increased significantly compared with the prior indicated resources estimate of Dec. 31, 2017, as a result of infill and exploration diamond drilling completed since that date.
The associated table presents the Western Flanks mineral resource estimate as of June 26, 2019.
BETA HUNT MINE WESTERN FLANKS ZONE GOLD MINERAL RESOURCES AS AT JUNE 26, 2019
Resource Measured Indicated Measured and indicated Inferred
kt g/t koz kt g/t koz kt g/t koz kt g/t koz
Western Flanks (1)
(2) (3) (4) (5) 447 2.8 40 7,001 3.0 670 7,448 3.0 710 2,481 3.1 250
(1) Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated
economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the
mineral resources estimated will be converted into mineral reserves.
(2) The mineral resource estimates include inferred mineral resources that
are normally considered too speculative geologically to have economic
considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized
as mineral reserves. There is also no certainty that inferred mineral
resources will be converted to measured and indicated categories through
further drilling, or into mineral reserves once economic considerations
are applied. Mineral resource tonnage and contained metal have been rounded
to reflect the accuracy of the estimate, and numbers may not add due to
(3) Gold mineral resources are reported using a 1.6 g/t Au cut-off grade.
(4) Mineral resources described here are based on information compiled by
Paul Ellison, senior geologist for Salt Lake Mining Pty. Ltd. Mr. Ellison
is an employee of Salt Lake and is a member of the Australasian Institute
of Mining and Metallurgy (MAusIMM).
(5) Mineral resource estimate as of June 26, 2019.
Mineral resources for Western Flanks are reported at a 1.6-gram-per-tonne Au cut-off. The comparisons are to the previous mineral resource estimate for Western Flanks reported at a 1.8 g/t Au cut-off effective Dec. 31, 2017, which was published by press release on April 26, 2018, and can be found on the company's website and at SEDAR. For comparison, the historical 2017 resource estimate for Western Flanks was 145,000 ounces contained in 1,513,000 tonnes at 3.0 g/t Au in indicated category and 85,000 ounces contained in 812,000 tonnes at 3.3 g/t Au in inferred category while the A zone historical 2017 resource estimate was 75,000 ounces contained in 672,000 tonnes at 3.4 g/t Au in indicated category and 97,000 ounces contained in 997,000 tonnes at 3.1 g/t Au in inferred category.
The resource definition drill program at Western Flanks has extended the resource by over 400 metres to the north and 50 metres downdip, intersecting significantly greater thicknesses of mineralization in many areas. A revised geological model for mineralization at Western Flanks based on information from recent drilling and mining has significantly enhanced the understanding of the structural controls on mineralization and has provided improved parameters for resource modelling.
A lower cut-off grade of 1.6 g/t Au was used for reporting purposes and reflects lower milling costs that are a result of the company owning its own mill, lower mining costs and a higher gold price when compared with the 1.8 g/t Au cut-off used for the 2017 mineral resource estimate.
The grade-tonnage curve shown in an image on the company's website shows the impact of varying cut-off grades for this deposit. For example, using a 1.8 g/t Au cut-off as used in the 2017 Western Flanks resource estimate yields:
6,461,000 tonnes at 3.2 g/t Au containing 656,000 ounces.
Which compares with the 2017 Western Flanks indicated resource estimate at 1.8 g/t cut-off of:
1,513,000 tonnes at 3.0 g/t Au containing 145,000 ounces.
Evaluating the 2019 mineral resource using a higher cut-off grade of 2.7 g/t Au yields a measured and indicated resource of 3.34 million tonnes at 4.0 g/t Au containing 435,000 ounces which would still be three times larger on a contained gold basis than the previous 2017 measured and indicated resource.
The high-grade coarse Father's Day-style gold occurrences associated with the Shear zone/Lunnon sediment intersection horizon are not represented in the resource model due to the extreme nuggety nature of this type of bonanza mineralization. These occurrences are best considered as a potential periodic significant bonus to mine production.
Resource definition drilling at the A zone consisting of 21,951 metres of drilling in 184 holes was completed on June 20, 2019. An update of the mineral resource for the A zone is currently being performed.
The updated mineral resource estimate for both Western Flanks and the A zone will be detailed in a technical report prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 to be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this press release.
On the basis of these resource estimate updates, Royal Nickel plans to define and publish a gold reserve estimate at the Beta Hunt mine that the company expects will support resumption of full-scale production at Beta Hunt in the third quarter of 2019.
The successful definition of significant mineral resources along the Western Flanks shear zone highlights the exploration potential of the other shears on the property including the fault offset of the mineralized shear system to the south of the Alpha Island fault. Historical drilling has demonstrated that these shears contain gold mineralization. Continuing exploration is focusing on this potential.
The updated Western Flanks mineral resource estimate will be detailed in a technical report prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 to be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.
Compliance statement (JORC 2012 and NI 43-101)
The mineral resource estimates set out in this release have been prepared using accepted industry practice and classified in accordance with the JORC code, 2012 edition, by Mr. Ellison under the supervision of Stephen Devlin, FAusIMM. Both are employees of Salt Lake Mining Pty. Ltd. (SLM), a 100-per-cent-owned subsidiary of Royal Nickel.
Mr. Ellison is a senior geologist for SLM and has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a competent person as defined in the JORC code, 2012 edition.
Mr. Devlin is vice-president, exploration and growth, for SLM, and has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a competent person as defined in the JORC code, 2012 edition, and fulfills the requirements to be a qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101.
Mr. Devlin has reviewed and approved the disclosure of the technical information included in this news release.
The JORC code means the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves prepared by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Mineral Council of Australia. There are no material differences between the definitions of mineral resources under the applicable definitions adopted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and the corresponding equivalent definitions in the JORC code for mineral resources.
Drill core sampling was conducted by SLM personnel. Samples are shipped to SGS Mineral Services of Kalgoorlie for preparation and assaying by 50-gram fire assay analytical method. All diamond drilling samples submitted for assay will include at least one blank and one certified reference material (CRM) per batch, however small the batch of drill hole samples, plus one CRM or blank every 20 samples. In samples with observed visible gold mineralization, a coarse blank is inserted after the visible gold mineralization to serve as both a coarse flush to prevent contamination of subsequent samples and a test for gold smearing from one sample to the next which may have resulted from inadequate cleaning of the crusher and pulverizer. 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. Where problems have been identified in QA/QC checks, SLM personnel and the SGS laboratory staff have actively pursued and corrected the issues as standard procedure.
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. Royal Nickel 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. Beta Hunt gold resource potential is underpinned by multiple gold shears with gold intersections across a four-kilometre strike length which remain open in multiple directions adjacent to an existing five km ramp network. Royal Nickel also has a 28-per-cent interest in a nickel joint venture 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 in the world.
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