Canada’s RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX), the company that last month unearthed more than 9,000 ounces of high-grade gold from a single blast at its Australian Beta Hunt mine, has recovered the first specimen.
The Toronto-based miner said the slab, weighing about 90kg, was cut in the field, revealing impressive visible gold and quartz structures. It’s estimated that the stone, which will be divided up into a series of smaller pieces, contains 1,000 ounces of gold.
Final weights and gold content will be determined for each specimen slab once all have been cut, RNC said.
“We expect that these spectacular specimen slabs will be highly sought after by mineral specimen collectors. With a minimum of 30-35,000 ounces expected from the Father’s Day Vein area, the company will be in a substantial net cash position to fully fund its upcoming activities,” Mark Selby, President and CEO of RNC said in the statement.
For now, six gold slabs weighing almost 200 kg are being displayed at the Perth Mint until late October.
The company believes the gold-rich stones are among the biggest of their kind ever unearthed in Australia.
RNC plans to auction off some of the most impressive specimens as according to Selby, collectors in North America and around the world are known to pay up to a 50 percent premium on the gold metal value for rare specimens.
Gold experts called for Australian governments to purchase them for historical purposes, but Western Australia said it didn’t have a spare A$7 million (roughly $5 million) to spend.
“Given the rarity of the rock, and the physical beauty and presentation of the gold that’s there, it’s a very spectacular stone in multiple ways so we’ll see whether 20, 30 or even 50 percent premiums apply here,”RNC said last month.
The 45-year-old Beta Hunt gold mine is located 600km east of Perth and 50km south of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.