RNC beats 2019 guidance

TORONTO-listed RNC Minerals has reported a strong production result for 2019, beating the top-end of its second-half 2019 guidance by 2090 ounces of gold.
RNC beats 2019 guidance RNC beats 2019 guidance RNC beats 2019 guidance RNC beats 2019 guidance RNC beats 2019 guidance

RNC Minerals has reported a maiden mineral reserve for the Beta Hunt mine in Western Australia, where high-grade coarse gold occurrences have become a feature

Henry Lazenby

The company, which operates two gold mines in Western Australia, said Wednesday second-half production came in at 51,090oz, with full-year output totalling 64,277oz.

Since acquiring the Higginsville gold operations earlier in 2019 from Westgold Resources, December output showed strong improvement at 9620oz, demonstrating a consistently improving production profile over the year.

The company plans to provide its 2020 production guidance in the coming weeks.

CEO Paul Huet said the improved production and higher realised metal pricing lifted the company's cash position to C$34 million by year-end after paying down $3 million in debt to reduce 2020 interest charges. This was a $9 million improvement on the September 30 cash on hand of $25 million.

Huet said the bushfires that had been ravaging Australia since November impacted some ore dispatches from the Beta Hunt mine to the Higginsville mill due to road closures, but production was uninterrupted as it continued to process run-of-mine stockpiles and Baloo material.

Operations have once more been normalised with the mill operating at full capacity with feed from both mines.

"Overall the impact of the fires on HGO is not expected have any material impact on our first quarter production nor our anticipated 2020 plans thanks to the outstanding efforts of firefighters, volunteers on the ground and the HGO team," Huet said.

The company in December published a maiden mineral reserve statement for the Beta Hunt mine, which hosts 3.4 million tonnes grading 2.8 grams per tonne gold for 310,000oz proven and probable. This did not account for potential high-grade coarse gold occurrences, such as the Father's Day vein, associated with the Shear Zone-Lunnon Sediment intersection, RNC said.

Remaining gold resources have the potential to provide more reserves, with the Western Flanks and A Zone remaining open at depth and along strike.

RNC shares trading in Toronto fell nearly 4% on Wednesday to 46c, giving it a market value of $297 million.