TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2020 /CNW/ – RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX) (“RNC” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce record consolidated gold production, since acquiring the HGO mine and mill, of 9,620 ounces for the month of December 2019 from its Beta Hunt and Higginsville mines in Western Australia.
For the fourth quarter of 2019, production was 26,874 ounces. For the second half of 2019, production totaled 51,090 ounces, exceeding company guidance of 42,000 to 49,000 ounces. Full year 2019 production was 64,277 ounces.
Given the strong cash generation from its operations, during December 2019 RNC elected to pay down $3 million in debt early (thereby reducing 2020 interest costs), finishing the year with a strong cash balance of $34 million.
“The gold production results for the second half of 2019 were very strong, with a total of 51,090 ounces produced exceeding the upper end of the range of our previously announced second half 2019 guidance of 42,000 to 49,000 ounces. The monthly production results for December continue to demonstrate the consistently improving production RNC has achieved since the acquisition of the Higginsville Gold Mine and Mill.
We are also very pleased to have been able increase our cash position to $34 million at year end, $9 million higher than $25 million at September 30, 2019. This strong cash position is net of an early $3 million debt payment we elected to make to reduce our interest costs in 2020.” Mr. Huet continued, “I would also like thank all our personnel at our Western Australian operations for demonstrating true resilience in the face of a very difficult situation with respect to the ongoing wildfire situation throughout Australia. The first priority at RNC is the health and safety of our personnel, and we implemented our multi-stage fire safety plan to ensure this. Our personnel have been in direct contact with the relevant Australian authorities during this challenging period and have also provided direct assistance to DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) via the use of some of our heavy equipment and resources.
Paul Andre Huet, Chairman & CEO
With respect to operations, we experienced minor disruptions in ore haulage from Beta Hunt due to road closures in the region, however we continued to process ROM stockpiles and Baloo material throughout this period. We are pleased to report that ore supply from Beta Hunt and the delivery of reagents to the mill has been restored and our mill is operating at full capacity with feed from both sites.
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.
Furthermore, RNC announced the appointment of Chad Williams, P. Eng, to its board of directors.
Mr. Williams is the Chairman and Founder of Red Cloud Securities, and has extensive experience in mining finance and management, having previously held the positions of CEO of Victoria Gold Corp., Head of Mining Investment Banking at Blackmont Capital Inc. and a top-ranked mining analyst at TD Bank and other Canadian brokerage firms. Mr. Williams has been a Director of several emerging mining companies and was a founder of Agilith Capital Inc. and Westwind Capital Inc. Mr. Williams holds a P.Eng in Mining and an MBA from McGill University.
“RNC’s future is bright! The Company’s two gold mining operations are now performing very well due to the many positive changes made by Paul Huet and his team over the past several months. With continued cost improvements and the significant upside remaining at both operations, this promises to be a very exciting year for RNC shareholders.”
Chad Williams, P. Eng
Lastly, we look forward to providing 2020 annual production and cost guidance to investors in the coming weeks.”
As initially stated in RNC’s third quarter 2019 results news release dated November 6, 2019, and regularly since, RNC will now be transitioning to quarterly reporting of production results, effective January 1, 2020. In keeping with standard industry practice, the Company will also provide annual production and cost guidance for 2020 during the first quarter of 2020.
RNC continues to deliver solid numbers to close out 2019, This demonstrates the companies ability to generate positive cash flow from their two operations in Western Australia. They have been actively building a team and delegating proper roles to ensure the company’s success as the transition into a solid producer. The recent P2 Reserve further demonstrates that Beta Hunt’s claim to a long life mine and we expect RNC to have a solid year, especially with gold price surging and breaking $1600 USD.
About RNC Minerals
RNC is focused on growing gold production and reducing costs at its integrated Beta Hunt Gold Mine and Higginsville Gold Operations (“HGO”) 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 has a substantial historical gold resource and 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. RNC’s common shares trade on the TSX under the symbol RNX. RNC shares also trade on the OTCQX market under the symbol RNKLF.