Royal Nickel Corporation dba. RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX) is pleased to announce strong consolidated gold production of 24,816 gold ounces for the first quarter of 2020 from its Beta Hunt and Higginsville mines in Western Australia.
RNC’s consolidated cash balance increased to $38.4 million as at March 31, 2020, an 11% increase from $34.7 million on December 31, 2019. The improved cash balance is after payments into gold hedge agreements during the first quarter. As of March 31, 2020, approximately 5,500 ounces remain in the hedge book put in place in connection with the June 2019 Higginsville acquisition and financing, which will be depleted during Q2 2020.
Paul Andre Huet, Chairman & CEO, commented: “The gold production results for the first quarter of 24,816 ounces is our third consecutive quarter of consistent gold production results since acquiring the Higginsville mill and mining operations in June of 2019. We remain on track to achieve our 2020 gold production guidance of 90,000-95,000 ounces and AISC1 of US$1,050-$1,200 per ounce sold, assuming no significant interruption in operations as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
During the quarter, our operations continued to generate strong cash flow despite the significant logistical challenges posed by the Australia bushfires as well as inclement weather across Western Australia in January. The fact we have achieved these strong results is a testament to the quality and dedication of our Australian operations team.
While we do not anticipate material disruptions in production as a result of COVID-19, we remain focused on operational preparedness should interruptions occur that are out of our control. As with our preparations ahead of the bushfires during the fourth quarter of 2019, we are once again increasing broken ore stockpiles on the ROM ahead of our mill, now from three sources: Beta Hunt, Baloo and Fairplay North.
With a growing cash balance of $38.4 million underpinned by steady state operations, RNC is currently in the strongest position in its history, and we look forward to continued strong performance this year.”
|1||Non-IFRS: the definition and reconciliation of these measures are included in the Non-IFRS Measures section of RNC’s MD&A dated March 25, 2020|
About RNC Minerals
RNC is focused on growing gold production and reducing costs at its integrated Beta Hunt Gold Mine and Higginsville Gold Operations in Western Australia. The Higginsville treatment facility is a low-cost 1.4 Mtpa processing plant which is fed at capacity from RNC’s underground Beta Hunt mine and open pit Higginsville mine. At Beta Hunt, a robust gold mineral resource and reserve is hosted in multiple gold shears, with gold intersections along a 4 km strike length remaining open in multiple directions. HGO is a highly prospective land package totaling approximately 1,800 square kilometers. In addition, RNC has a 28% interest in a nickel joint venture that owns the Dumont Nickel-Cobalt Project located in the Abitibi region of Quebec. Dumont contains the second largest nickel reserve and ninth largest cobalt reserve in the world. RNC has a strong Board and management team focused on delivering shareholder value.
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We acknowledge the [financial] support of the Government of Canada.