Ariana Resources secures landmark deal for Turkish gold assets (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) re-captured its multi-year highs on Wednesday, rising by more than 7% to 4.2p on news of a potential transformational deal for its Turkish assets.

Ariana revealed that construction conglomerate Özaltin Holding has formally committed to purchasing 53% of its Salinbas gold project.

The firm will also take a 53% stake in Ariana’s 50:50 Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction, which holds the producing Kizilitepe gold project and the Tavsan asset in western Turkey.

Ariana, which currently has a £44.3 million market cap, will receive $50 million for the Red Rabbit stake, to be shared with Proccea.

Meanwhile, Özaltin has committed to injecting $8 million of equity into Salinbas with a view to ultimately acquiring the asset in full.

Özaltin’s recent large scale construction projects include hydroelectric dams with installed annual power production capacity of 5.5 billion KWh.

It is also a 22-year consortium partner in the Gebze-Orhangazi-İzmir Motorway Build-Operate-Transfer Project.

Ariana’s managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said he was “very pleased” with the construction firm’s decision, which followed months of due diligence.

"Ariana, Özaltin and Proccea are now working through the necessary steps, including seeking Ministerial approval, in order to complete the transaction.

“This will lay the foundations for the completion of our transaction, substantially as proposed in the MoU, but including various minor modifications to ensure robust legal documentation, structural changes in the type of company and practical outcomes in the context of Turkish Law.  In addition, at the earliest possible opportunity, Ariana will make the necessary arrangements to seek shareholder approval for the transaction via a General Meeting.”

Sener added that the transaction would “crystallise significant value” for Ariana’s shareholders.

In particular, it provides much-needed financial backing to Salinbas, which is now approaching the “decision-to-mine” stage.

“Accordingly, we fully expect shareholders to support the transaction, definitive agreements for which are expected to be concluded by the end of August 2020,” added Sener.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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

Ariana Resources renews Ivrindi gold project licence in Turkey (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) has renewed its holding over the Ivrindi gold project in western Turkey.

On Monday, the company revealed that its operational licence for the 100%-owned asset has been extended by ten years, while a 45-hectare mining permit for gold has also been secured on the same terms.

Meanwhile, land access and initial forestry permits are in place for development while new permit applications are in process.

Ivrindi lies 70 kilometres to the northwest and 100 kilometres by road from Kiziltepe – a producing gold asset held by Ariana in a 50:50 joint venture called Red Rabbit.

Mineralisation occurs on the project within the Kinik prospect, and a mineral resource estimate for the site stands at 207,000 tonnes at 1.65 grams per tonne gold (11,000 ounces) in the inferred category.

Metallurgical testwork at Ivrindi has yielded a strong average gold recovery of 88.5%, and the project also boasts around 16,000 tonnes of gold mineralised material.

Ariana plans to truck this to Kiziltepe, where it will be processed.

Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said: "Exploration and development activities at our Ivrindi Project were slowed down last year while we went through the process of renewing of our operating licence, which we have now secured successfully for a further 10 years. Prior to this, the Company had demonstrated significant upside and had indicated our objective to mine and truck material from Ivrindi to the Kiziltepe processing plant.

“Accordingly, metallurgical testwork for Ivrindi was completed last year, along with additional trial mining. We currently maintain a stockpile of ore at Ivrindi which is expected to be trucked to Kiziltepe for trial processing in the future. Meanwhile a 1,500m Reverse Circulation drilling programme is planned to test the full strike-length of the mineralised structure at Ivrindi once new forestry permits are secured and we look forward to updating the market on this in due course. "

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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

Ariana Resources shines with 50% resource upgrade at Tavsan (AAU)

AIM-listed gold-silver explorer Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) has reported 50% higher resource indicated at its Tavsan project in Turkey. 

Estimates now sit at 4.49 million tonnes at 1.76g/t gold and 5g/t silver. 

At these levels Ariana said it would have access to 253,000oz gold and 723,000oz silver. 

77% of the resource is now in JORC-compliant measured and indicated categories, the company said. An additional JORC exploration target of 9 million tonnes at 1 to 1.3g/t gold has been updated to reflect the latest information.

Talks with potential lenders are expected to commence imminently, Ariana said, so the JV can secure funding to exploit the project.

Ariana has 50% ownership of Tavsan as part of the Red Rabbit joint venture with Ankara-based engineering firm Proccea Construction. The JV has completed a pre-feasibility study for Tavsan and environmental impact studies are now being arranged.  

AAU shares climbed 8% to 4.05p in Thursday trading. 

Managing Director Dr Kerim Sener said: “We are extremely pleased with this latest resource update for the Tavsan Project. Mine design and associated capital cost estimations are currently being finalised. 

“We expect to proceed with land acquisitions over the coming months and look forward to commencing discussions with potential lenders to fund the development of Tavsan mine.”

Sener added that while initial estimates put first production at Tavsan starting in late 2021, the process had been delayed by Covid-19. Further updates are expected in due course.

Author: Mark Sheridan

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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

Ariana Resources leaps as resource upgrade extend Kiziltepe’s mine life – can the bull-run continue?

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) jumped 9% to 3.4p a share on Monday after pushing the life of its Kiziltepe gold mine out to 2026.

An updated JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate put the Turkey-based asset’s total undepleted gold at around 321,000 ounces. This represents a 25% jump on Ariana’s previous resource estimate in May 2017, and a 72% increase on the resource used in the Kiziltepe feasibility study.

Meanwhile, the latest work gave the project an in-situ (depleted) measured and indicated mineral resource of 2.01 million tonnes (“Mt”) at 2.51 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold for 154,000 ounces, and an in-situ (depleted) inferred mineral resource of a further 1.01 Mt at 2.23 g/t gold for 73,000 ounces.

Kiziltepe is part of Ariana's 50:50 Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction. It currently spans four main pits and is expected to deliver an average of 20,000 ounces of gold equivalent per year over an initial eight-year mine life.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Ariana’s managing director, said the upgraded resource estimates support at least another six years of Kiziltepe mine life. This is based on the assumption 60% of resources are converted to reserves, a conversion rate that has been achieved in the past, and a throughput rate of 200,000 tonnes per annum is maintained.

Moving forward, this mine life could be extended yet further through the conversion of any inferred gold resources and exploration targets to the measured and indicated resources or reserves categories. “We will continue to work on increasing the life of mine through additional open pit and potential underground extensions,” added Sener.

In this vein, the company also announced that it has launched into a new diamond drilling programme at Arzu South, an area of Kiziltepe.

We are also pleased to report that we are just commencing a new diamond drilling programme, which has been designed to follow-up on the results of our recent exploration programme at Arzu South and which had targeted the potential for underground extensions to the current resource,” he said.

As this programme is being conducted in the midst of a pandemic, safety of our personnel and that of our contractors comes first, and early termination of the programme is consequently possible.  We will keep the market appraised of our progress, as appropriate."

Ariana announced receipt a watershed £1.6 million dividend from the Kiziltepe project last month. Likewise, earlier in March, the firm announced that 2020 gold production from Kiziltepe is expected to come in at around 18,000 ounces – nearly a third ahead of the project's feasibility plan for this stage of mine life. Meanwhile, ore throughput to the project's mill this year is expected to be c.205,000 tonnes – a 37% higher than estimated – while gold recovery is expected to exceed 90% at an average grade of 2.5 grams per tonne.

As at writing, these consistent updates have supported an 80% rise in Ariana's share price year-to-date with its market cap sitting at £32.85 million. If the company can continue to maintain the strong momentum of its newsflow, then we see no reason why this bull-run cannot continue.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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

Ariana uninterrupted by Covid-19 as it posts record quarter at Kiziltepe (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) said its operations in Turkey had not been affected by the spread of coronavirus on Wednesday. In its first-quarter figures, the company said that it has "implemented all necessary precautionary measures" at its Kiziltepe mine and "continued to operate without interruption during these trying conditions".

Meanwhile, managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said that the Turkish industry, and in turn Ariana, has not been impacted by restrictions on movement introduced by the Turkish government to limit the spread of Covid-19. "We wish the team and their families well during this time and look forward to maintaining production for the foreseeable future," he added.

Kiziltepe is part of Ariana's 50:50 Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction. It currently spans four main pits and is expected to deliver an average of 20,000 ounces of gold equivalent per year over an initial eight-year mine life.  However, Ariana believes that using the asset's facilities to process ore from additional deposits like Kepez can enhance these figures greatly.

In Wednesday's release, Ariana announced gold production of 5,419 ounces ("oz") across the first quarter of 2020 at Kiziltepe.  This is 14% higher than the guidance it issued earlier.

The company also managed to post new record-breaking open pit ore mining numbers at 92,482 tonnes.  Meanwhile, the preliminary results also show silver production of 67,459oz.

Elsewhere, average head grade of gold to the Kiziltepe plant was 3.22 grams per tonne, with metallurgic recovery 0.3% higher than Q4 2019 at 92.5%. Finally, the mine has built up a stockpile of 130,000 tonnes of ore, which Ariana says is enough to cover eight months of mill feed.

Despite a 6.5% drop on Wednesday, Ariana's share price continues to sit its eight-year peak of 3.6p at 3.38p with a £38 million market cap.

The latest results at Kiziltepe come just weeks after Ariana announced receipt a watershed £1.6 million dividend from the Kiziltepe project.  Likewise, earlier in March, the firm announced that 2020 gold production from Kiziltepe is expected to come in at around 18,000 ounces – nearly a third ahead of the project's feasibility plan for this stage of mine life. Meanwhile, ore throughput to the project's mill this year is expected to be c.205,000 tonnes – a 37% higher than estimated – while gold recovery is expected to exceed 90% at an average grade of 2.5 grams per tonne.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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

MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven 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 MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's 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