Canadian mining company RNC Minerals is planning to increase nickel production from the Beta Hunt gold and nickel mine in Western Australia (WA).

As part of the plan, the company intends to double nickel production from the mine next year to around 4Mlb of contained nickel.

Ramp-up of gold production is currently in progress at the mine.

RNC Minerals president and CEO Mark Selby said: “Beta Hunt provides excellent optionality from both gold and nickel production.

“With the much larger scale in gold production, nickel production can be added at much lower cost compared to many other nickel producers in Western Australia.”

“Beta Hunt provides excellent optionality from both gold and nickel production.”

By early next year, the company expects to allow mining access to nickel resources in the 1820-1825 Beta area of the mine.

Furthermore, it is expected that there is potential for bonanza grade gold mineralisation to occur in close proximity to ultramafic/basalt contact.

RNC is currently negotiating with potential project financers and offtake partners as part of its plans to advance the Dumont project in Africa.

A joint venture with Waterton, the Dumont project has proven and probable reserves of 1.18 billion tonnes of ore comprising 3.15Mt of nickel and 126,000t of cobalt.

It is anticipated that the project will deliver nickel and cobalt to market by 2020.