Ariana Resources gold production exceeds quarterly guidance at Kiziltepe (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) released a production update on Tuesday regarding its mining operations at the Kiziltepe Mine in Turkey. Gold production from the mine in the first quarter of this year exceeded the firm’s quarterly guidance by 17pc, and was 67pc higher than the same period in 2018. Silver produced from Kiziltepe has also almost tripled compared with production during Q1 2018.

Production was slightly lower than last quarters bumper figures, but exceptional wet weather likely had a part to play in that. In fact, despite required pushbacks to facilitate the expansion at Arzu South and issues with the weather, processing levels were maintained during the quarter by way of drawing down stockpiles of ore. Total ore processed in the period was 46,824 tonnes, a little under the 49,717 tonnes moved in Q4 2018.

Ariana says the average metallurgical plant recovery of gold for the quarter remains high at 93.7pc with an average head grade to the plant of 4.83 grams per tonne of gold. Kiziltepe, alongside the Tavsan gold project is part of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture with Proccea Construction. Ariana owns a 50pc interest in th venture through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S.

Alongside Zenit, Ariana is shortly undertaking a 600m diamond drilling programme at Tavsan. This will focus on resource infill drilling for 355m within freehold land at the Tavsan North and Far North zones.  Additionally, Ariana and Zenit will conduct 245m of geotechnical drilling at Tavsan this month as part of an internal feasibility study.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"We would like to congratulate the mine management team on an excellent set of first quarter 2019 results, in addition to achieving the scheduled pushbacks which accommodate final-stage pit expansion at Arzu South. Production during the quarter has exceeded our average quarterly guidance by 17%. While movement of ore from the open pit was limited by the pushbacks, output of the process plant was maintained at high levels through the planned drawdown on stockpiles. Activities within the open pit were also impacted during the period due to unusually wet weather, but as we approach the summer period, we are expecting a return to higher ore movements from the pit, particularly towards the latter half of this year."

Author: Stuart Langelaan

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

ECR Minerals analyses geophysics data to identify gold targets at Windidda project (ECR)

On Monday, ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) announced it had started the processing and interpretation of airborne and ground geophysics at its Windidda gold project. The project is 100pc owned by ECR and contains nine exploration licenses across the Yilgarn region in Western Australia.

Windidda is thought to contain Archaean greenstones buried beneath cover, the likes of which host many of Western Australia and the world’s most prolific gold deposits.

This particular gold exploration model has already been tested successfully by Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) at the Ernest Giles project located 125km east of Windidda.  The nine licence applications submitted by ECR also cover a large proportion of an identified gravity-magnetic trend with known gold prospects along trend to the south.

The analysis of airborne and ground geophysics is a key stage in determining the locations of potential high-profile drill targets. ECR expects these to be amenable to cost-effective air core drilling which will give the explorer greater clarity on the potential gold mineralization on offer.

The Yilgarn Craton is Australia's premier mineral province, attracting more than half of Australia's minerals exploration expenditure, and responsible for two-thirds of all gold and most of the nickel mined in Australia. In fact, Yilgarn contains around 30pc of the world's known gold reserves. Additionally, It is also rich in nickel - holding 20pc of global reserves, - and 80% of the world's tantalum reserves can be found there. Copper, Iron ore, zinc and minor lead reserves have all been identified at Yilgarn Craton.

Craig Brown, Chief Executive Officer commented: “I am pleased to announce that we have launched the next crucial stage in the development of our understanding of scale of the Windidda gold project.

The work being undertaken will greatly assist our understanding of the Project and help us to focus on the higher profile target areas for follow up drilling.

The feedback from this work will be available to the Company shortly and will enable us to advance our operational planning, including the development of key drill targets in our search for high impact gold mineralisation.” 

Author: Stuart Langelaan

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.
Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.
Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.
MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performanceure performance

 

Thor Mining announces gold recovery at Kapunda in ‘unexpected bonus’ for project (THR)

Thor Mining (LSE:THR) inched up 1.8pc to 0.8p on Tuesday morning after announcing the successful recovery of gold from its Kapunda copper project. In what was described as an ‘unexpected bonus’ by executive chairman Mick Billing, Thor said the precious metal was recovered from historical drilling samples at the South Australia-based asset.

The actual percentage recovery of gold extracted could not be determined accurately in this round of work. However, Thor said the concentrations of the metal in solution indicates that gold extraction does occur at Kapunda. The firm will now carry out further test work to quantify gold recovery, with results for 28 historical surface and drill core samples reportedly boasting grades of between 0.93g/t to 8.58g/t.

Critically, Thor said the results demonstrate proof of concept at Kapunda using techniques appropriate for in situ recovery (ISR) test work. It added that this enhances its successful recovery of copper using ISR appropriate test work at the project in December.

ISR or solution mining has a lower environmental footprint than conventional mining with little visual impact and minimal infrastructure required. The process accelerates what is naturally happening within the bedrock and water table and, until recent advances in technology, had limited applications in mineral extraction.  

It is now possible to apply the ISR method of extraction to copper and gold resources that were previously un-minable. During the process, a benign solution is pumped into bores drilled into the ore body to dissolve the copper. The copper-containing solution is then pumped to a recovery plant to extract the metal from the liquid.

The In-situ Recovery (ISR) process

Kapunda, which is based around 90km from Adelaide, is suitable for ISR since it is a shallow resource found in an area with a high water table. The asset is primarily a copper project, with an inferred JORC resource estimate of 47.4MMts grading 0.25pc of the metal. This is equal to 119,000ts of contained copper considered amenable to ISR techniques.

Thor currently has exposure to the project through its agreement to earn up to 60pc of a private Australian business called Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR). ECR has, in turn, entered a deal with Terramin Australia to earn, in two stages, up to 75pc of the rights over metals that may be recovered at Kapunda. Last month, Thor announced plans to merge ECR with another business called Environmental Metals Recovery to form a new company called EnviroCopper.

In Tuesday’s update, Billing said there is not yet sufficient drilling assay information to allow a gold resource to be added to Kapunda’s previously-published copper resource. However, he said that its latest results could potentially represent a ‘very significant project enhancement’.

‘The information we have suggests the presence of gold relatively evenly across much of the Kapunda deposit,’ he added. ‘The directors of ECR and the directors of Thor are reviewing options in light of this new and potentially strategically critical information, and will provide further updates in the near term.’

Busy period

Tuesday’s news comes at a busy time for Thor. Towards the end of last month, the company announced plans to expand its operational portfolio through two acquisitions. The business is looking to acquire Pilbara Goldfields and Hammersley Metals, which collectively hold interests in two granted licences and seven licence applications at various stages of advancement. These assets are prospective for gold and uranium and cover a total of 764km2 in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory of Australia.

Thor said it has chosen to pursue the opportunities – which will cost it around £450,000 - because much of its portfolio is beginning to reach the crystallisation stage. Indeed, alongside the divestment of Kapunda, the business has advanced its 100pc-owned Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project to mine construction-ready status. It is currently in a commercialisation process to secure project-level finance for the mine construction phase.

Once these two transactions have completed, Thor said its exploration interests will be limited to its 40pc-owned Bonya tungsten, copper, and vanadium project. As such, Billing said the new firms will give Thor access to a new round of exploration opportunities in Australia.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Ariana Resources spikes after revealing record level of project progress in Turkey (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) jumped 8.5pc on Friday after revealing strong exploration and development progress across its assets in Turkey.

The business, which currently has a £20.4m market cap, revealed that it has now completed 746m of infill resource diamond-drilling at its 100pc-owned Kizilcukur project. The programme, which began in December, saw it drill 13 diamond drill holes to increase its understanding of the site’ Zeki pit.

The drilling work was also designed to increase Ariana’s confidence in the classification of Kizilcukur’s inferred and indicated resources. Currently, these stand at c.308,000ts at 2.11g/t gold and 73.4g/t silver, for 33,000oz of gold equivalent.

Now drilling has finished, Ariana has begun constructing a new 1.7km haul road at the project. This is being built to accommodate trucks that will move mineralised material from the Kizilcukur trial mining area to a road that connects to a processing plant at Kiziltepe.

Kiziltepe is one of Ariana’s flagship assets and, alongside the Tavsan gold project, forms part of its 50:50-owned Red Rabbit Gold Project joint venture with Proccea Construction. The total resource inventory at the Red Rabbit Project and wider project area stood at c.605,000oz of gold equivalent as at the end of 2017.

On Friday, Ariana also said it also expects to begin further trial mining and stockpiling at Kizilcukur in Q3 2019. Meanwhile, it added that the development of new infrastructure and infill drilling will supplement its internal feasibility study over the project.

Elsewhere in Friday’s update, Ariana said a 600m diamond drilling programme is due to begin shortly at Tavsan alongside the Zenit project team. This will focus on resource infill drilling for 355m within freehold land at the Tavsan North and Far North zones. Here, historic intercepts include drill hole ODX100, which encountered 14m at 1.23g/t gold, and hole ODX102A, which hit 7m at 1.06g/t gold.

Alongside this, Ariana and Zenit will conduct 245m of geotechnical drilling at Tavsan in April as part of an internal feasibility study. Finally, the business expects to carry out a further 1,300m of resource drilling and 1,600m of exploration drilling, once its recent application to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry have been approved.

Friday’s release also saw Ariana update investors on work at its Salinbas project. The asset comprises the Salinbas gold-silver deposit and the Ardala copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry in north-eastern Turkey/ among other prospects. The total resource inventory of the Salinbas project area is c.1MMoz of gold equivalent.

Here, the company is making final preparations for a 2,000m RC drilling programme, which is slated to begin in May once work at Tavsan has completed. A further 8,000m of drilling has also been planned in and around the Ardala porphyry and Salinbas zones. However, this work is dependent on the completion of forestry permitting - a process that is now drawing to a successful close. 

Ariana’s managing director Kerim Sener said the firm was ‘very pleased’ with its current pace of progress, adding: ‘Our field team is currently active across all of our sites simultaneously; the highest level of exploration and development activity undertaken in the history of the Company. In western Turkey, project development work is continuing at the Kizilcukur, Ivrindi and Tavsan sites which are located in close proximity to our flagship Kiziltepe gold mine. 

‘Furthermore, additional resource-focused work is being directed towards extending the life of mine at Kiziltepe. In eastern Turkey, work at Salinbas, our large gold and base-metal deposit with over 1Moz of gold already defined, has started early in the field season in order to ensure we are in a position to commence a 2,000m RC drilling programme during May 2019.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Eurasia Mining talks operational progress and strong PGM prices after signing major contracts at Monchetundra (EUA)

Eurasia Mining (LSE:EUA) jumped 6.3pc to 0.6p on Tuesday after revealing that it has signed an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract with a major Chinese firm for its Monchetundra project in Russia.

The company has been developing Monchetundra towards production since being issued a mining permit a c.2Moz gold and PGE deposit in November last year. In Wednesday’s update, the organisation revealed that it has been in discussions with Chinese business Sinosteel around securing an EPC contract and associated mine finance package since receiving the permit.

Sinosteel is a base and enterprise metals enterprise and a major importer of iron ore to China. It has also built chrome and nickel operations in South Africa, China, Indonesia, and Australia.

According to Eurasia, the Sinosteel EPC financing covers 85pc of total $176m contract value for Monchetundra. A $50m sub-contract is specified within the contract and assigned to Eurasia’s 80pc-owned subsidiary TGK, or a chosen sub-contractor, for engineering and pit development works in advance of mining.

Alongside the Sinosteel deal, Eurasia also revealed that it has awarded a detailed project documentation contract for Monchetundra to Central Kola Expedition (CKE). This work must be submitted and approved within a year of receiving a mining permit.

The report will outline further geotechnical, hydrogeological, metallurgical, and resource and reserve base work required as part of the broader mine development plan. These details will then contribute to a more detailed feasibility study of permanent conditions at Monchetundra alongside a revised reserves statement. The latter will be made using the site’s existing, state-approved feasibility study and reserves report.

Eurasia intends to fast track this work, running it in parallel with the mine studies and programmes outlined in the Sinosteel EPC contract.

CKE has already successfully developed the site’s feasibility study and ecology report and has an extensive track record in working with firms such as Norilsk Nickel, B2Gold, and Barrick. Eurasia added that Sinosteel has advised that it is prepared to work in close co-operation with CKE towards beginning the EPC contract and the expected associated financing.

Next steps

Elsewhere in Tuesday’s update, Eurasia said it plans to complete a survey of the land on and adjacent to Monchetundra’s proposed open pits during Spring this year. This information will be used to determine the final location and design of mine infrastructure such as tailings storage facilities, mine wastes dumps, plant locations, and roadworks. Although government agencies have approved provisional positions for the infrastructural elements, Eurasia said a ‘further level of precision is now required for more careful planning’.

Finally, the business said it has also begun evaluating the flanks that surround the deposits at Monchetundra as potential new development licences. Under Russian law, the holder of a mining licence has the right to apply for further ground adjacent to an identified deposit and within 5km of an approved reserve.

With this in mind, TGK - which holds the Monchetundra Mining Permit - can apply uncontested for areas on the 'flanks' of the existing licence that do not contain an approved reserve. It can also apply for areas on the flanks of the permit where a state-approved reserve is already registered, though this can be contested.

In Tuesday’s update, Eurasia said it is aware of numerous deposits adjacent to Monchetundra and is now reviewing them as potential new development licences. Speaking to MiningMaven, the company’s resource and exploration geologist Keith Byrne expanded on this:

‘We are now in the process of a thorough desktop review of all the available literature. It is quite remarkable how much exploration work has already been done in the area, and the volume of occurrences and deposits already identified. Our previous exploration licence straddled the boundary between several mafic and ultra-mafic massifs – PGM’s and sometimes other metals concentrate at the base of, and close to the edges of these massifs, and are a focus of exploration. Of course, where you have several joined at a sort of triple junction - as we have just to the west and southwest of the town of Monchegorsk on Kola Peninsula - then it gets quite exciting and also a little complex.

‘We are in the process of modelling this area now in order to make sensible applications for further exploration ground -we have had communication from the local Nedra on that, and will be identifying which of the areas most suit our corporate strategy. There is certainly the potential to develop several further exploration targets in the immediate vicinity of our two current fully permitted licences, either as standalone mines or as a toll treatment opportunity.’

Against this backdrop of strong operational progress, Byrne added that Eurasia is also enjoying a boost from favourable conditions in its associated metal markets:

‘It is more or less good news in the PGM sector these days, as regards metal prices at least. Of course, we have most direct exposure to Platinum and are now just weeks away from production at West Kytlim, so any positive news regarding platinum prices is most welcome as our sales contract to the Urals Precious metal Refinery is tied to the LME price. We also welcome the recent gains in Rhodium, admittedly a much smaller contribution than platinum, but a contribution none the less. When we started our first full season of mining in May 2018 we did not expect the ‘other PGM’ revenue stream to be very significant – subsequently, as it turned out that the grade in our resource was significantly understated, as often happens in alluvials, the ‘other PGM’ revenue took on a much greater significance. We recover Rhodium and Iridium at West Kytlim, alongside platinum and some gold.

‘Palladium has come off a little from the highs of over $1,600, but most commentators expected this bull run to be choppy, and that it may have some ways to go. It certainly revalues assets like our Monchetundra project, where future mine revenues are led by a high palladium to platinum ratio. We see this style of open pittable project with high palladium content and major contributions from other base metals (in our case nickel and copper, both of which now emerging as important battery metals) as the future of the PGM industry.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance