A 95kg specimen stone. Image: RNC.

 

BY AMY BLOM

 

MAMMOTH gold specimens found at RNC’s Beta Hunt mine in WA Goldfields could be among the largest ever discovered, with the potential to turn the miner’s fortunes around.

 

The Toronto-based company recently announced 9250 ounces of high-grade gold had been produced from a single cut about 500 metres underground over one week.

The high-grade gold included about 190 kilograms of specimen stone, the largest of which was 95kg with an estimated gold content of 2440oz.

A second piece came in at 63kg with an estimated gold content of 1620oz.

Early estimates from RNC have put the total yield at about $C15 million in cash.

RNC followed it up its success just two weeks later when 43kg specimen stone estimated to contain 1100 ounces of gold was recovered from the Kambalda mine.

Geology manager at Beta Hunt mine John Vinar described the initial find as jaw dropping.

 

“It’s extremely rare, there’s no way to describe it – no one has seen that,” Mr Vinar said.

 

“The best way to describe what we was saw is if you imagine someone had 100kg of gold bullion and they let it explode and then let it go underground in an amazing atomic explosion.

“It’s confined to a little patch, but just to have that sort of concentration of gold in a small tonnage of rock, it’s never been heard of.”

Mr Vinar said RNC’s Australian subsidiary, Salt Lake Mining, was incredibly lucky to have uncovered the rare find.

“Being a small company, we’re very hand to mouth, so a find of this magnitude gives us scope and hope,” Mr Vinar said.

“Now that we’ve got a bit of money we can actually start doing a bit more work and get a better understanding of the geology – that’s the most important bit.”

RNC chief executive Mark Selby described it as an important discovery, which followed earlier recent discoveries highlighting the high potential at Beta Hunt.

“Just eight weeks earlier, at the end of June 2018, 1500 ounces of high-grade gold were recovered from other sediment structures on the 14 and 15 levels,” Mr Selby said.

The largest gold specimen ever recorded previously was the Welcome Stranger, which was found in Moliagul, Victoria in 1869 and had a trimmed weight of 78kg.

Final ounces from the Beta Hunt haul would be determined once the gold was processed.

While most gold from the State was usually sold to the Perth Mint, RNC was understood to be exploring other sales options to maximise the value of Beta Hunt for RNC shareholders.

RNC shares skyrocketed by 211 per cent following the announcement, reaching a peak of $C0.28 up from $C0.09.