RNC Minerals announces that mining is underway at its Baloo Stage I open pit. The fully funded and permitted Baloo Stage I pit is expected to provide material to supply the HGO plant with approximately 30,000 tonnes per month until year end. Baloo Stage II is currently in the permitting process.
The Baloo material that has been processed at the Higginsville Gold Operations (HGO) mill has had grades ranging between 1.8 to 2.8 g/t Au, an excellent grade for a shallow open pit mine. The Baloo Stage I open pit is the first of a series of open pits RNC is looking to put into production to maximize own-sourced feed for the HGO plant which, along with Beta Hunt material, will increase blending options to achieve optimal recoveries.
Paul Andre Huet, Chairman and CEO, commented, "The commencement of processing of Baloo material through the HGO mill is a another big step forward in the transformation of RNC into an integrated multi-mine gold operation and supports our belief in the quality of the resource potential of the nearly 400 square kilometre HGO land package that we acquired and the growth trajectory of the combined Western Australia operations. We are looking forward to providing production and cost guidance for the balance of 2019 in the near future".
First material from Baloo Stage I was mined in early August 2019 with first mineralization being uncovered at a depth of only 3 metres. The Stage I Baloo open pit also has excellent potential for expansion beyond the end of 2019. A reinterpretation of historical drill holes has highlighted the potential to extend the Baloo pit further north beyond a large NE-SW fault previously thought to terminate the mineralization. A systematic review of the entire HGO resource inventory with a focus on areas with a short-term potential for mill feed, similar to Baloo, is well underway.