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RNC Minerals Announces New Visible Gold Discovery at Surface and High Grade Intersections Revealed by Ongoing Review of Historic Higginsville Database

Recent RNC Drilling Extends Boundaries of Deposits in Open Pit Pipeline 

Figure 1: Location of Hidden Secret and Mousehollow drilling and the Higginsville Central project area

Figure 2: Visible gold circled in red in surface sample at Hidden Secret

Figure 3: Hidden Secret Cross-section showing both recent RNC and historic drilling.

Figure 4: Mousehollow Cross-section showing both recent RNC and historic drilling

Figure 5: Corona cross-section showing historic drill holes centered around hole VIND047

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 Historical Database Review – Corona Project

  • RNC’s ongoing review of Higginsville Gold Operations (“HGO”) historical mineral resources and drill results has confirmed the potential of the Corona deposit as a future high-grade open pit and/or underground operation.
    • Highlights of historical drill results include1.2: 
          • VIND047:   657.9 g/t over 2.3m from 181.1 m
  • VIND049:   225.2 g/t over 1.9m from 201.5 m
  • VIND076:    60.9 g/t over 2.3m from 197.2 m
  • VIND092:    30.6 g/t over 2.05m from 165.3 m, including,147.0 g/t over 0.6 m
  • All drilling intervals are down-hole lengths. Estimated true widths are expected to range from 60 to 70% of the downhole lengths.
  • Intersections previously reported by Alacer Gold Corp. (news release, May 7, 2012 and August 1, 2012).
    • The Corona mineralization remains open up-dip, along-strike and down-dip
  • The Higginsville Resource Review has also identified further high grade targets for follow-up analysis and drilling at Hidden Secret and other prospects.

Hidden Secret and Mousehollow Drilling

  • Recent RNC drilling has extended mineralization at the Hidden Secret (HDS) and Mousehollow (MOH) projects, which now form part of RNC’s near-term mine plan.
    • Intersection highlights from RNC’s drill program include1:
  • HDSR0136:    15.1 g/t over 4 m from 24 m, including 47.8 g/t over 1 m
  • HDSR085:      24.8 g/t over 4 m from 17 m, including 92.6 g/t over 1 m
  • MOHR0055:   26.1 g/t over 3 m from 22 m

MOHR0075:    3.3 g/t over 19 m from 0 m

  • Estimated true widths.
  • Visible gold has been discovered in a surface sample taken at the Hidden Secret project.

TORONTO, February 27, 2020 - RNC Minerals (TSX: RNX) ("RNC" or the “Company" -  ) is pleased to announce initial results from the 2020 exploration program at its Higginsville (“HGO”) operations. Recent drilling at Hidden Secret and Mousehollow has returned strong results, driving the expansion of proposed open pit dimensions at both projects.  As part of an ongoing review of the historic drilling database at Higginsville, high grade drill intersections have been revealed at the Corona prospect which is located 2.5km from the Higginsville mill. Additionally, RNC is also pleased to announce the discovery of visible gold in a surface sample taken at the Hidden Secret project.

Paul Andre Huet, Chairman & CEO, commented: “The early results of our recent drilling and historical data review at Hidden Secret, Mousehollow and Corona are very positive for the growing project pipeline at HGO.

As part of RNC’s due diligence process during the acquisition of HGO last year, it became apparent that little exploration had been carried out across the property for many years, largely due to the onerous royalty covering a large portion of the tenements. The willingness of Morgan Stanley to work with us to reduce the royalty burden has opened up HGO for a renewed exploration program providing us economic incentive to explore and develop these areas to benefit all our stakeholders. While these early results are encouraging, work has only just begun and we are looking forward to the results of our renewed exploration focus on the recently unlocked 1,800km2 Higginsville land package.”

Recent Hidden Secret and Mousehollow Drilling
Hidden Secret and Mousehollow are located within the Eundynie historical mining centre 10 km east of the HGO processing plant with mine workings dating back to the early 1900s (see Figure 1).




Figure 1:  Location of Hidden Secret and Mousehollow drilling and the Higginsville Central project area

Following the re-negotiation of the Morgan Stanley royalty at HGO, RNC has completed a total of 204 reverse circulation (“RC”) drill holes for 8,108 metres at Hidden Secret and Mousehollow. The drilling has confirmed the high grade nature of the mineralization (approximately 2.0 to 2.5 g/t) at both projects and has also extended mineralization along strike and down dip (see Figures 3, 4). Hidden Secret mineralization now has a strike length over 200 metres and a down-dip extent of 170 metres. Mousehollow currently totals 350 metres in strike length and has a down-dip extent of 150 metres.

Highlights from the drilling are listed below and show that mineralization extends to surface (MOHR0075), while also indicating that it is open at depth. Tables showing complete results and drill hole locations can be found at the end of this release. 

Hidden Secret1.:  

  • HDSR0076:     5.2 g/t over 3 m from 22 m
  • HDSR085:       24.8 g/t over 4 m from 17 m, including 92.6 g/t over 1 m
  • HDSR086:       5.6 g/t over 3 m from 8 m
  • HDSR098:       6.0 g/t over 7 m from 45 m, including 12.2 g/t over 3 m
  • HDSR0136:    15.1 g/t over 4 m from 24 m, including 47.8 g/t over 1 m
  • HDSR055:      4.0 g/t over 3 m from 24 m



  • MOHR0055:   26.1 g /t over 3 m from 22 m
  • MOHR0075:    3.3 g/t over 19 m from 0 m
  • MOHR0078:    8.4 g/t over 4 m from 13 m
  • MOHR0111:    7.9 g/t over 3 m from 30 m
  • MOHR0106:     2.8 g/t over 8 m from 49 m
  • Drillhole intervals are estimated true widths.


Further drilling is planned through the second quarter of 2020 to close-off the recently defined extensions to the Hidden Secret-Mouse Hollow mineralization. Final mine designs will then be completed ahead of near term mining.

Visible Gold mineralization found in surface sample at Hidden Secret
As part of the Company’s normal pre-mining procedures, surface samples were collected for a metallurgical test program for the Hidden Secret and Mousehollow projects. When collecting the samples, visible gold was observed in an outcropping quartz vein within the boundary of the proposed Hidden Secret open pit (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Visible gold circled in red in surface sample at Hidden Secret


Historical underground workings with high grades at Hidden Secret

A review of records for the Hidden Secret area has revealed the historic “Hidden Secret North” mine where last known mining occurred in 1915.

Multiple historic shafts in the area extend to depths up to 120 metres, with historic records showing grades as high as 210g/t over approximately 0.9m. The potential below these workings is yet to be tested and could provide an opportunity for additional high grade mineralization. A detailed review of previous exploration in the vicinity of the historic workings is in progress. 

Figure 3: Hidden Secret Cross-section showing both recent RNC and historic drilling.

Note: Downhole drill intervals approximate estimated true widths.


Figure 4: Mousehollow Cross-section showing both recent RNC and historic drilling

Note: Downhole drill intervals approximate estimated true widths.


Historical Database Review – Corona Prospect

As previously announced, RNC is undertaking a review of Historic Mineral Resources and drill results at Higginsville. The Company is presently focused on the Higginsville Central area which is close to existing infrastructure, including the Higginsville mill. The Higginsville Central is defined by near surface gold deposits over 6 km of strike south of the past-producing Trident gold deposit which produced 1.05 Mozs (see Figure 1).

A review of previous exploration work completed by Alacer Gold Corp. (“Alacer”) has revealed a number of significant intersections, including the historical discovery of the Corona high grade, laminated quartz vein (the “Corona Prospect”) which is located approximately 2.5 km south of the HGO processing plant. The historical discovery hole, VIND047, intersected 658g/t Au over 2.35 m (1.6 m estimated true width). The drill hole intersected a laminated quartz vein with arsenopyrite, galena and abundant free gold mineralization (Alacer Gold Corp. news release dated January, 24, 2012).

The ultra high grade mineralization (see Figure 5) occurs in an area approximately 150 metres to 180 metres below surface, centred around drill holes VIND047, VIND049, VIND076 and VIND092 (Alacer Gold Corp. news release, August 1, 2012). Drill intersections for these holes are listed below (tables showing additional historic results and drill hole locations can be found at the end of this release):

  • VIND047: 657.9 g/t over 2.3 m downhole from 181.1 m (Estimated true width – 1.6 m)
  • VIND049: 225.2 g/t over 1.9 m downhole from 201.5 m (Estimated true width – 1.3 m)
  • VIND076: 60.9 g/t over 2.3 m downhole from 197.2 m (Estimated true width – 1.6 m)
  • VIND092: 147.0 g/t over 0.6 m downhole from 165.7 m (Estimated true width – 0.4 m)


Historical drilling has shown the gold mineralization to be associated with a steeply east-dipping, north-south striking laminated quartz vein up to 2.0 metres wide (see Figure 5). The vein extends over 300 metres down dip, is continuous in strike over 50 to 100 metres lengths and is part of a more extensive 2 to 10 metre wide shear zone. Historical drilling indicates the ultra high grade mineralization is limited to 25 metres along strike and 90 metres down-dip as part of a more extensive, lower grade laminated quartz vein (Alacer Gold Corp. news release, August 1, 2012).

RNC has identified the Corona prospect as a high priority drill target for 2020 with initial drilling targeting near surface potential, up-dip of historical intersections.



Figure 5:  Corona cross-section showing historic drill holes centered around hole VIND047  

Note: The core box photo shows the laminated quartz vein associated with the ultra high grade result from VIND047.In VIND059, the main quartz lode position is the revised RNC interpretation compared to the Alacer interpretation in Alacer Gold Corp’s news release dated August 1, 2012.
Compliance Statement (JORC 2012 and NI 43-101)


The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Stephen Devlin, Vice-President, VP Exploration & Growth, Salt Lake Mining Pty Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary of RNC, a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101.
At the Higginsville Gold Operation reverse circulation chip sampling was conducted by RNC personnel. Samples are transported to Bureau Veritas Minerals Pty Ltd of Kalgoorlie and Perth for preparation and assaying by 40 gram (approx.) fire assay analytical method. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of duplicates, additional blank material and certified standards inserted in the sample stream. Samples are weighed as received, dried and split to less than 3kg then pulverised by LM-5 to ensure a minimum 90% passing at -75µm.

The historical data referenced in this release has been reviewed under the supervision of Stephen Devlin, Vice-President, VP Exploration & Growth, Salt Lake Mining Pty Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary of RNC, a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101, and is supported by relevant historic mineral resource reports which detail the QA/QC procedures used on drill samples and provide analysis of the results of all associated QA/QC samples including blanks, standards (CRM samples), check assays and duplicates.  All drilling from 2004 to present followed industry standard practices, with pre-2004 historic drilling not detailed but assumed to be similar to current practices (sources for such historical drill results are identified where applicable above). A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource and RNC is not treating the historical estimates as a current mineral resource.

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 is a 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.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking information" including without limitation statements relating to the liquidity and capital resources of RNC, production guidance and the potential of the Beta Hunt Mine, Higginsville Gold Operation and Dumont Nickel Project.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of RNC to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect the outcome include, among others: future prices and the supply of metals; the results of drilling; inability to raise the money necessary to incur the expenditures required to retain and advance the properties; environmental liabilities (known and unknown); general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; results of exploration programs; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; political instability, terrorism, insurrection or war; or delays in obtaining governmental approvals, projected cash operating costs, failure to obtain regulatory or shareholder approvals. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, refer to RNC's filings with Canadian securities regulators, including the most recent Annual Information Form, available on SEDAR at

Although RNC has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and RNC disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

Cautionary Statement Regarding the Higginsville Mining Operations
A production decision at the Higginsville gold operations was made by previous operators of the mine, prior to the completion of the acquisition of the Higginsville gold operations by RNC and RNC made a decision to continue production subsequent to the acquisition. This decision by RNC to continue production and, to the knowledge of RNC, the prior production decision were not based on a feasibility study of mineral reserves, demonstrating economic and technical viability, and, as a result, there may be an increased uncertainty of achieving any particular level of recovery of minerals or the cost of such recovery, which include increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit. Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. There is no guarantee that anticipated production costs will be achieved. Failure to achieve the anticipated production costs would have a material adverse impact on the Corporation’s cash flow and future profitability. Readers are cautioned that there is increased uncertainty and higher risk of economic and technical failure associated with such production decisions.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Buchanan                                                      
Director, Investor Relations                                 

T: (416) 363-0649                                        

In Europe:
Swiss Resource Capital AG
Jochen Staiger
[email protected]

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