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RNC mulls selling of Beta Hunt mine to focus on Dumont nickel-cobalt project

EBR Staff Writer Published 22 March 2018

RNC Minerals said that it has launched a strategic alternatives process for its Beta Hunt gold and nickel mine in Western Australia, to focus on advancing the Dumont nickel-cobalt development project in Canada.

The Canadian mineral resource company said that it could either sell all or a part of its 100% stake in the Beta Hunt mine among other options after deeming the asset to be non-core.

RNC Minerals holds stake in the mine through its wholly-owned subsidiary Salt Lake Mining. The Beta Hunt mine, located in the Kambalda mining district, was acquired by the RNC Minerals subsidiary in 2013 for A$10m ($7.72m) after getting gold mining rights from Gold Fields.

It started producing nickel in 2014 and about a year later, started to produce gold.

PCF Capital Group and Haywood Securities have been retained by the Canadian mineral resource company as its financial advisors to explore alternatives for the Beta Hunt mine.

RNC Minerals president and CEO Mark Selby said: “RNC has made the decision that its central strategic focus going forward will be the advancement of the Dumont Nickel-Cobalt Project – one of the few large-scale, shovel-ready projects positioned to deliver large quantities of nickel and cobalt to market in the next few years.

“With the positive outlook for nickel and cobalt underpinned by growing demand from electric vehicles, the potential for the Dumont Project to be a large multiple of the value of Beta Hunt, and with one of the industry-leading nickel-cobalt management teams, now is the time to aggressively advance Dumont towards making a decision to begin construction in 2019.”

According to RNC Minerals, the Dumont nickel-cobalt mine holds proven and probable reserves of 1.18 billion tonnes of ore containing 3.15 million tonnes of nickel and 126,000 tonnes of cobalt.

The mine is located in the Abitibi mining camp near Amos in Québec. RNC Minerals expects the Dumont nickel-cobalt mine, post development to become the fifth-largest nickel sulphide operation in the world in terms of annual production.