Ariana Resources takes show on the road with rapid expansion beyond Turkey (AAU, 4A6)

If you have a business strategy that works, why would you want to change it?

Indeed, wouldn’t it make more sense to take an approach that you already know to be successful, and apply in other areas where it can generate even more value?

Well, that’s exactly what gold explorer and producer Ariana Resources (LON: AAU | FRA: 4A6) is doing right now.

You see, with its proven, highly successful approach continuing to gather increasingly impressive momentum in Turkey, this London-listed company is taking what it has learned into a growing number of new territories, increasing the upside on offer for both itself and its investors with every passing day.

And make no mistake, given the scale of geological potential across these new areas, this upside could be vast.

Here, Ariana’s managing director Dr. Kerim Sener walks Mining Maven through his firm’s exciting plans over the coming months and years.

How it works – the basis of a strong strategy

Sener tells us that Ariana’s approach to gold exploration and production in Turkey began with a focus on picking “relatively early-stage mineral development opportunities” which showed potential to become mines.

Then, from here, the firm has gone on to build these opportunities into producing mines and advanced development projects using successive drilling campaigns.

According to Sener, “it was a matter of identifying good in-country teams and good partnerships” that ultimately created such a solid platform on which to build the company.

And this foundation is extremely solid. In fact, in its latest annual report for 2020, Ariana revealed gold production of 18,645 ounces and pretax profit of just over £5 million.

Critically, thanks to this work, Ariana is now completely self-funded through its Turkish JV gold mining activities. In fact, the company’s last significant fund raise came over four years ago.

Beyond Turkey – Ariana pursues success further afield

As alluded to earlier, with Turkey continuing to deliver, Ariana has now taken its strategy even further afield.

“Our approach worked so well in Turkey that we recognized the opportunity to do the same thing and roll the same sort of strategy out elsewhere,” Sener explains.

In Cyprus, this expansion is taking place through Venus Minerals, where Ariana has an earn-in agreement for up to a 50% stake and into which they have already earned an entitlement to 37.5%.

Venus Minerals, active in Cyprus for over 15 years, is seeking to develop volcanogenic massive sulphide copper-gold deposits, and its main projects are Magellan and Mariner.

Magellan comprises three licence areas known as Kokkinoyia, Klirou, and New Sha sectors.

The three are Venus Metals’ most advanced projects, with JORC 2012 resources of approximately 9.5 million tonnes of ore with an average grade of 0.65% copper. All three also have indications of significant gold assays and all three have exploration upside, as reinforced in the latest drilling results from the Kokkinoyia Sector.

This puts a target of more than 10 million tonnes at a minimum of 0.5% copper, 0.5g/t gold, and 0.5% zinc well within reach.

Mariner, meanwhile, was acquired more recently and consists of two licences - Avdellero and Troulli. Venus Minerals analysed over 2,000 soil samples from Mariner and mapped over 10 square kilometres, finding several copper-zinc anomalies

Alongside, Cyprus, Ariana has also moved further into Eastern Europe now, too, with several exploration licence applications already submitted in Kosovo through Western Tethyan Resources (“WTR”). These include the Terpeza, Hertica, and Cecelia projects.

Previous trench results from Terpeza include an impressive 51m at 1.25 g/t gold, while drill intersections have returned 17m at 1.32 g/t gold and 24m at 1.65 g/t gold, 2% lead plus zinc.

Likewise, historical exploration has also been promising, returning above 1% lead and zinc over a kilometer-long structure. Finally, at Cecelia, a stream sampling programme found several significant gold anomalies, ranging between 0.2 and 2.2 parts per million gold.

Ariana will hold a 75% interest in WTR, after recently committing a further €100,000 of exploration funding in 2021. A local management team holds the other 25% WTR interest.

Other projects in Eastern Europe are also being assessed, with a focus on major copper-gold systems in areas like Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia.

Solid foundations - Turkey keeps on delivering riches for Ariana

Returning to Turkey, and Sener tells that us that he chose the country as Ariana’s kicking-off point after considering “a whole range of countries across the Tethyan Belt”.

Ultimately, he picked the country thanks to its stability and his own heritage.

“I am half Turkish. I was born there and spent the first four years of my life in Turkey before moving to the UK. I was naturally drawn to Turkey, and it was obvious from fairly early on that the country was going to be the focus for the company because of that,” Sener explains.

So why the Tethyan Belt in particular?

Well, the area is a major metal-producing belt that stretches all the way from Europe to the Himalayas and beyond. Sener compares it to “the Western seaboard of the Americas”, where the geology has created significant precious and base metal mineral systems running “from Alaska all the way down to the tip of Chile”.

He says the Tethyan belt is, like the Western seaboard of the Americas, highly prospective. However, it is vastly underexplored in comparison, due to the difficulties of working in some of these countries it scales, for example, Afghanistan.

Turkey has proven to be a great place for Ariana to have built its business.  The potential of the region immediately becomes clear when one looks at Kiziltepe, currently Ariana’s flagship project.

The mine has a depleted JORC Measured, Indicated, and Inferred Resource of 700,000 ounces of silver and 227,000 ounces of gold, as of April 2020.

Kiziltepe has been in profitable production since 2017 and is expected to deliver around 20,000 ounces of gold a year until at least the mid-2020s.

Meanwhile, at the Kepez North area of the Kiziltepe Sector, drilling demonstrated potential for a northwest-trending high-grade mineralised shoot. This will be part of a revised resource estimate – now showing potential for a substantial boost in grade.

Elsewhere in Turkey, the Salinbas project is still a major opportunity for Ariana’s future growth, situated only 16km from the 4-million-ounce Hot Maden project.

Credit for much of the firm’s success to far goes to Ariana’s “almost 100% Turkish team,” which Sener calls “the best of the best in the business, certainly in Turkey”.

This team truly is impressive, boasting a remote-sensing specialist and in-house capabilities in areas like geophysics and geochemistry.

“Although we may be a relatively small company on the junior end of the market, we punch well above our weight,” Sener proclaims.

What’s next? – Ariana’s path to success

With a strong team already in place, Sener says Ariana’s aim is to demonstrate that it can operate within the framework of its joint ventures (“JVs”) successfully, maintaining “stable and robust” partnerships.

Sener believes that, at this point, there’s nothing stopping the company’s growth, especially given its “very sound financial footing”.

Being self-funded alone is a very valuable quality for a miner, especially one of Ariana’s size.

Indeed, the fact that the firm is not returning to the market for funds, which would likely dilute shareholder value, is worth anyone’s attention.

But perhaps most importantly, the company’s market capitalisation has already climbed “from a couple of million pounds” to almost £55 million at the time of writing. 

And today, given the company’s proven model for taking projects from exploration and into production and considering the exploration and expansion into new geological environments that are already underway…

This figure only stands to increase by even greater multiples.

As Sener himself puts it:

“If we can go from £2 million to £55 million in the space of fifteen years, you know, what’s the next ten or fifteen years going to bring? I imagine significant, further growth.”

Bottom line is, now is an excellent time to invest and potentially reap the long-term rewards, with Ariana all set to replicate its solid strategy in new and exciting locations

Author: Anna Farley

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 not 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 celebrates as gold confirmed in Cypus at Kokkinoyia Sector (AAU)

Exciting news from Ariana Resources (LON: AAU) on Wednesday as it revealed that gold is now confirmed at the Kokkinoyia Sector of the Cyprus-based Magellan project.

Venus Minerals currently owns 100% of the project but Ariana is continuing its earn-in for a 50% stake. At present, the company’s entitlement is 26%.

The three-month drilling programme at Kokkinoyia ended in early June and involved more than 1,500 metres (“m”) of drilling. This confirmed that gold is a “significant component of the Kokkinoyia deposit”, returning an average grade of 128.77m at 0.5% copper plus 0.55 grams per ton (“g/t”) of gold in the mineralised zone.

Kerim Sener, the firm’s managing director, said the “excellent results” from Kokkinoyia confirm the company’s expectation that the “deposit represents a copper-gold volcanogenic massive sulphide system”.

Sener went on to highlight that where drilling intercepted underground development “substantial grades of both copper and gold were identified”.

This indicates that “much of the back-fill used was also significantly mineralised”. Grades from the mine waste dumps at surface also reflect this.

One particularly significant drilling intercept from the first hole at Kokkinoyia, VMD001, is 11m at 1.11% copper plus 1.05g/t gold – including underground development back-fill with 2m at 2.05% copper plus 2.50g/t gold.

Another notable VMD001 intercept was 5.87m at 0.53% copper plus 4.55g/t gold – again including underground development back-fill, this time with 1.37m at 0.41% copper plus 12.75g/t gold. A 12m at 0.99% copper plus 0.29g/t gold intercept was also found at VMD001.

Results from the first hole will help confirm the JORC Resource Estimate for Kokkinoyia. This is currently approximately 5 million tonnes at 0.7% copper, for 36,000 tonnes of copper (JORC inferred).

Assay results from the other eight holes at Kokkinoyia are still pending, awaiting assaying at ALS Laboratory Services in Ireland.

Ariana explained that, historically, all Kokkinoyia drill holes were vertical, making VMD001 the first inclined hole in to the deposit. The goal with VMD001 was “to test and link mineralisation between several historic holes”.

The other pending holes are also inclined, helping sufficiently test the entire Kokkinoyia West area of the existing resource.

The company further commented on the discovery of a “new extended zone of mineralisation” at Kokkinoyia from 120m to 177m and believed historic drilling in the surrounding area has yet to sample to such depths.

If any further results support this observation, it could result in additional Kokkinoyia resource growth at depth.

It is significant that “gold assay results at Kokkinoyia were historically non-existent to minimal”, meaning gold was never an economic focus when it came to mining the deposit. Now, though, the deposit keeps on demonstrating significant gold potential.

Not only have results from the first drill hole boosted confidence in historic drilling but, if the other holes show similar results, confidence in the future Kokkinoyia JORC Mineral Resource Estimate will increase — “with the inclusion of a significant gold component”.

Sener noted the “substantial” progress from Venus’s Cyprus team in the past year, with these new results vindicating Ariana’s “strategy to diversify our regional interests in Europe”. He concluded by saying that the company looks forward to accelerating its Venus earn-in.

Author: Anna Farley

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 not 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

Latest strong Kiziltepe results for Ariana suggest potential to merge open pits (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LON: AAU) posted another set of strong drilling results from the Kiziltepe gold-silver mine in Turkey, with the Derya vein system once again yielding higher grades.

Kiziltepe is part of the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic joint venture (“JV”) with Ozaltin Holding and Proccea Construction, in which Ariana’s ownership is 23.5%.

The mine has a depleted JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 700,000 ounces of silver and 227,000 ounces of gold, as at April 2020.

Since 2017, the mine has been in profitable production and is set to produce approximately 20,000 ounces of gold a year until at least the mid-2020s. Franco-Nevada Corporation receives as 2.5% net smelter return royalty on production.

This latest round of drilling tested the Derya vein system’s central and south-eastern extents, over 670m of strike, to depths of around 130m below surface.

Drilling successfully confirmed high-grade continuity in the central part of the Derva vein to depths of more than 100m from surface.

The latest significant intercepts from this vein system include 4.2m at 6.07 grams per ton (“g/t”) gold plus 98.2g/t silver, as well as 2.5m at 6.07g/t gold and 71.8g/t silver. Another was 7.1m at 2.23g/t gold plus 11.3g/t silver.

Derya’s high-grade potential includes the “Bonanza Zone”, a previously reported intercept of 12.1m at 13.1g/t gold and 187.6g/t silver.

Managing director Kerim Sener praised “yet another substantial set of new drilling results from the Kiziltepe Mine exploration programme”.

Sener highlighted that Derya continues “to yield higher gold grades”, especially in the vein system’s central part “and in an area within about 50m vertical depth below the current pit bottom”.

He also noted that “the vein system, like Arzu North, comprises several sub-parallel vein structures”, with gold mineralisation not confined to just one structure.

Sener explained that next steps for Derya include additional pit optimisation, which will “determine the next stage of open-pit development in this area.”

The managing director also said it has become “apparent that the Derya vein system links up with the Arzu structure” at Kiziltepe.

This suggests it may be possible to extend gold and silver mineralisation limits between the Derya and Arzu open pits. The current mine plan has these spaced just 300m apart.

As the company pointed out, this latest round of drilling suggests the potential to ultimately merge the Derya, Arzu South and Arzu North pits. 

Author: Anna Farley

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, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

MiningMaven 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 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 embarks on exciting Eastern Europe exploration (AAU, 4A6)

Ariana Resources (LON: AAU | FRA: 4A6) posted a major development on Tuesday, revealing it has officially started exploration activities in Eastern Europe, with exploration licence applications already submitted in Kosovo.

The company is to hold a 75% interest in Western Tethyan Resources (“WTR”) after committing a minimum of €100,000 of exploration funding in the remainder of 2021. An “experienced local management team” will hold the other 25% WTR interest.

Already, the firm has submitted “several exploration licence applications” and embarked on an “extensive review” of project opportunities in Eastern Europe. Right now, Ariana is focusing on discovering “major copper-gold systems” and is assessing suitable projects in the region.

Kosovo, as well as North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Servia, and Bulgaria, are all part of WTR’s focus when it comes to project generation.

At present, WTR has three Kosovo projects: Terpeza, Hertica, and Cecelia. Best trench results from Terpeza’s limited exploration work so far returned 51 metres at 1.25 grams per ton of gold while best drill intersections returned 17m at 1.32 g/t gold and 24m at 1.65 g/t gold, 2% lead plus zinc.

Multiple soil samples at Hertica, from historical programmes, returned more than 1% lead and more than 1% zinc over a 1km long structure. Additionally, “several significant gold anomalies” were previously identified at Cecelia.

Thanks to its regional partnerships, Ariana currently has what it calls “boots-on-the ground” reach covering more than 2,500 kilometres of among the world’s most prospective territory for silver, copper, and gold deposits.

Kosovo alone is among Europe’s “most metal-endowed countries”, especially at the 60 million tonne Trepca lead-zinc-silver mining complex, and yet is still “significantly under-explored for precious metals”.

The company’s managing director, Kerim Sener, noted that Ariana has already begun “an extensive remote-sensing study utilising ASTER and Sentinel-2 multispectral satellite datasets initially across Kosovo and North Macedonia”.

ASTER, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, is an imaging instrument location on NASA satellite Terra, launched all the way back in 1999. Data from ASTER are used to make detailed elevation, reflectance, and land surface temperature maps.

The European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a mission involving two twin satellites that monitors variability in land surface conditions.

Sener said the firm’s work uses “various image processing algorithms to target key alteration minerals associated with mineral deposits”. On top of which, Ariana is acquiring and reprocessing geophysical datasets. These are combined with remote-sensing studies to “improve exploration targeting”.

Furthermore, the managing director pointed out that Ariana is already familiar with the WTR team, “having worked with them all previously in Turkey” and elsewhere.

“We look forward to updating the market on our progress regarding the licence applications in Kosovo and the other Eastern European project opportunities that we are currently reviewing in due course,” Sener concluded.

Author: Anna Farley

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 not 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

Excellent results at Kiziltepe confirm higher grade zone for Ariana Resources (AAU, 4A6)

Ariana Resources (LON: AAU | FRA: 4A6) had the pleasure of announcing drill results on Tuesday that confirmed a higher-grade mineralisation zone near the south-eastern end of Kiziltepe mine’s Banu area. 

The Kiziltepe gold-silver mine is in western Turkey and is part of joint venture (“JV”) Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. Ariana has 23.5% ownership of the JV, with the other two JV partners being Proccea Construction and Ozaltin Holding.

Ariana and Zenit’s exploration teams have undertaken Kiziltepe’s “most significant drilling programme to date”, seeking to significantly expand resources and systematically test “several significant exploration targets”.

So far, the teams have completed more than 8,600 metres of diamond drilling for 63 holes.

These most recent results are from the mine’s Banu area, where the drill programme tested the south-eastern half of the Banu vein system over a 200 metre (“m”) strike to depths of around 100m below the surface.

Ultimately, this work was able to confirm a higher-grade mineralisation zone on the vein system’s south-eastern end.

Potential to expand the vein system’s open-pittable strike continuity to around 700m from 300m still remains, as does the potential to drill other nearby vein systems.

Banu is among Kiziltepe’s least explored vein systems, with current drilling there focusing “on increasing the confidence of the resource within the 125m strike extension”.

Work there is also intended to provide infill between historic surface samples, boosting data density for the main resource area. This will help update the resources to reach the “higher confidence JORC categories”.

The latest significant intercepts from the Banu vein system include 4.1m at 3.58 grams per ton (“g/t”) gold plus 78.9g/t silver, as well as 7.0m at 2.01g/t gold plus 70.6g/t silver. Another notable intercept was 2.6m at 5.08g/t gold and 102.5g/t silver.

The company’s managing director, Kerim Sener, noted that these results not only confirmed that higher-grade mineralisation was present at the Banu vein’s south-eastern end but also “improve confidence in the mineral resource and reserve estimation”.

Sener pointed out that this higher-grade zone is similar to findings from Kiziltepe’s Arzu South area, appearing “to plunge moderately towards the south-east”.

The managing director said this finding especially “highlights the opportunity to identify other plunging shoots containing high-grade mineralisation elsewhere along strike”. Like Kiziltepe’s other vein systems, Sener said, further drilling proved “the potential to add to the resource”, presenting an opportunity for “further increases to the life of mine”.

Shares in Ariana were up almost 4% on Tuesday, having now risen over 8% on a one-month basis thanks to the latest results combined with excellent results from Arzu North in late April.

Looking ahead, Banu and its surroundings will remain a future exploration focus at Kiziltepe, especially given that only 25% of known veins in the area have been tested enough for resource definition.

The other 75% are still part of upcoming drilling plans, provided all the approvals and exploration permits allow it.

Author: Anna Farley

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 not 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