The most recent development work at RNC Minerals ’ (TSX: RNX) Beta Hunt mine in Australia has found a 43 kilogram rock specimen containing an estimated 1,100 ounces of gold and a second 7 kg specimen containing about 190 ounces of the precious metal.
The company has also doubled the strike length of the high-grade coarse gold structure to about 10 metres, and expects to release an updated estimate of ounces from the new gold discovery area called the Father’s Day vein later this week, after it receives final outturns from last week’s shipments to the Perth Mint.
The latest news reported on Sept. 16 follows an announcement on Sept. 9 that RNC had found a 95 kilogram specimen of zone with an estimated gold content of 2,440 ounces and a 63 kg stone containing an estimated 1,620 ounces of gold.
RNC says it is the first owner of the underground mine to focus on drilling deeper in the Lunnon Basalt in its hunt for gold. Prior to this, bonanza grade specimen stone occurrences were associated with the nickel-sulphide bearing contact between the Lunnon Basalt and the overlying Kambalda Komatite where nickel mining was the focus of RNC and earlier operators.
The company says there are two or more Lunnon sediment bands, which are zones of narrow (less than 0.3 metres), pyritic black shale horizons that are about 150 metres stratigraphically below the Lunnon Basalt/Kambalda Komatite nickel contact. The sediment horizon is recognized as a marker unit in differentiating the upper and lower Lunnon Basalt.
“The sediment horizon is now also interpreted by geologists at the Beta Hunt mine as a zone of chemical interaction between the gold-bearing fluids and pyritic sulfides, which under the right conditions, allow large gold crystal growth and extremely high-grade gold deposition,” the company explained in a news release on Sunday. “This interpretation is based on geological mapping and interpretation of structures on 14 and 15 levels, where 1,500 oz. of specimen gold was discovered and mined in the second and third quarter.”
The structure found last week is in a dilation zone, which contains sheared pyritic sediments, porphyry and Lunnon basalt and large quantities of coarse gold and specimen stone.
“Understanding the depositional model for this new gold mineralization provides potential for future exploration and discovery of high grade gold material at the sediment marker layer, which runs along all known shear structures located at Beta Hunt,” RNC says. “The Lunnon Basalt contains a subaqueous sediment horizon which [is] well documented in published literature and is recognized as a marker unit in differentiating the upper and lower Basalt.
RNC owns 100% of the mine.