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.

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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

 

Ariana Resources’ Kiziltepe JV on target for possible ten-year operational life (AAU)

Ariana Resources’ (LON: AAU) resource drilling results on Thursday for the Kiziltepe mine in Turkey not only confirmed the potential to extend the Arzu North pit, but also to add another year of mine life.

Resource drilling took place on the mine’s Arzu North area and confirmed more than 450 metres (“m”) of “potentially open-pittable extensions”, as well as the “significant opportunity” of expanding the vein system strike to 900m.

Kiziltepe is part of the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic joint venture (“JV”) with Ozaltin Holdings and Proccea Construction. It is 23.5% owned by Ariana.

The revised JORC target for Arzu North now includes a further 7,000 to 25,000 ounces of gold plus 150,000 to 520,000 ounces of silver.

This represents a more than 350% increase and the opportunity to add another year to Kiziltepe’s mine life, taking production through to 2026 at least. The JV is targeting an operational life of ten years.

Gold and silver have trended higher since its dip at the end of March, as investors grow more cautious and seek refuge in safe havens.

While there was some optimism of a return to normal with the vaccine at the start of 2021, this has trailed off amid continued outbreaks – including the deadly outbreak currently spreading through India.

This puts projects like Kiziltepe, with yet more strong silver and gold results, in a strong position. Ariana’s shares were up 1.6% on Thursday morning, and are up 15% since the end of March.

New significant intercepts from the drilling, which Araiana noted as “the most significant drilling programme”  at Kiziltepe so far, include 20 metres at 2.18 grams per ton (“g/t”) of gold and 55.2g/t silver.

The drill programme’s goal is to expand the open-pittable and potential underground resources of Kiziltepe, as well as testing a number of “significant exploration targets” in the area in a systematic way. So far, more than 8,000m of drilling has taken place, representing in excess of 50 diamond drill holes, and this is set to continue in the months ahead.

Ariana’s managing director, Kerim Sener, praised the “excellent set of results”. He said these confirmed the potential of extending the Arzu North open pit not only northwest but southeast as well.

Sener explained that, thanks to the “further additions to resources and reserves expected in the coming years” from Kiziltepe’s other vein systems, the operation is still comfortably on target for “a full decade of operational life”.

The managing director also pointed out the production year-to-date is “above target” and that “ample stockpiled material” is available for expanding the process plant. This expansion is still “on plan” to start from the second half of 2021. 

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 kicks off diamond drilling at Cyprus project Megallan

Diamond drilling kicked off for the first time at the Magellan project, Ariana Resources (LON: AAU) announced Thursday, ushering in a new and exciting stage in development.

The project is owned by Venus Minerals, which focuses on exploring and developing volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) copper-gold deposits in Cyprus. Megellan itself has been found to have a combined JORC inferred resource of 9.5 million tonnes at 0.65% copper, excluding additional gold, silver, and zinc.

Mineral exploration and development firm Ariana is earning up to a 50% interest in Venus through key milestones and is well on its way, having already earned a 16% entitlement.

Venus will conduct 1,260 metres of drilling at Magellan’s Kokkinoyia sector, eight holes in total. This will further test known mineralisation and provide needed material for metallurgical testwork.

Back in the 1970s, the Kokkinoyia deposit produced around 465,500 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 3.7%.

The drilling will also improve confidence in the Megallan resources estimate and enhance understanding of gold and silver distribution within the mineralised system. It will take place in phases throughout 2021, testing all sectors at Magellan.

Ariana managing director Kerim Sener explained that, once Kokkinoyia has been drilled, the plan is to move the rig to Magellan’s Klirou and New Sha sectors.

Sener said the drilling will not only “provide further understanding on the current resource estimate” but also provide enough mineralised material to conduct metallurgical test work. Results from this will then “be integrated in to the Magellan scoping study”.

The managing director highlighted that the drilling “represents the culmination of approximately three years of work by the team at Venus”, building on previous percussion drilling testing “certain geological concepts concerning the distribution of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits in the region.”

VMS deposits are among the world’s “richest sources of metals” like copper, zinc, and lead. They can also produce gold and silver in economic amounts.

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 Resources issues highly positive production guidance as JV plans progress (AAU)

Monday saw Ariana Resources (LON: AAU) reveal impressive 2021 gold mine production guidance figures for its Kiziltepe project in western Turkey.

At around 19,000 ounces (“oz”), the miner’s forecasted gold output for the year is nearly double Kiziltepe’s feasibility plan for this approximate mine life stage. Indeed, production is expected to reach 20,000 oz of gold per year over mine life, and is almost there already.

Elsewhere, average monthly production is forecast at around 27,000 tonnes of ore, peaking in the second 2021 quarter. It’s also worth remembering that, at more than 240,000 tonnes, Ariana’s current gold stockpile at Kiziltepe represents “well over a year of current production capacity”.

Ariana has 23.5% ownership of Kiziltepe though its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik, a joint venture between Ariana, Proccea and Ozaltin.

Other key figures for Kiziltepe include an expected throughput to the mill of around 325,000 tonnes, once operating capacity rises as planned – a sizeable 115% increase on feasibility plans.

Kiziltepe is located in the Red Rabbit project area of Turkey and is made up of the Kiziltepe and Tavsan sectors – both of which are joint ventures. Ariana holds a number of 100%-owned exploration licences in Red Rabbit, including the Kizilcukur project.

The average grade set to be mined in 2021 is approximately 2.1 grams of gold per ton of ore, while gold recovery is forecast at more than 90%.

Kiziltepe expansion

Ariana said plant expansion at Kiziltepe, boosting operating capacity to 500,000 tonnes of ore per year, is “well underway”. This is set to complete early in the third quarter despite Covid-related supply issues and a new mill has already been installed.

Kerim Sener, managing director at Ariana, said: “With the enhanced JV now formally underway, we are pleased to report on JV plans to increase the operational capacity at Kiziltepe. This will see a marked positive impact on production output and will continue to ensure the lowest possible unit costs.”

The exploration plan is being funded through a $6.6 million capital loan to Zenit from Turkiye Garanti Bankasi, with 25% of the loan already repaid and just nine quarterly payments left to go.

This comes after a previous $33 million capital development loan was repaid to Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi in early 2020, while its remaining working capital loan with the same bank is about 70% complete, with $3.1 million still requiring payment.

Open pit mining in 2021 is set to continue mostly in the Arzu North pit, though some mining will take place at the Derya pit at the same time.

Sener said work on Arzu North has already identified “significant additional gold mineralisation” outside the original mine reserve. The managing director added that this could positively impact Ariana and its partners’ mining schedule, “which is nominally targeting circa 19,000 oz gold in 2021”.

Positive macro economics

According to Sener “the continued positive economic environment for gold and silver” is what underpins Kiziltepe, with both trading as almost five-year highs as the coronavirus drove investors towards safe haven assets.

The gold price has come under pressure of late, with investors looking to a post-pandemic world. However, there is good cause to believe gold will pick up again when investors wake up to reality. Notably, the US issued more debt in the two weeks following the 2020 pandemic crisis than in the previous five recessions combined.

Sener specifically highlighted concerns around “over unsustainable levels of debt within major economies” as a reason why gold and silver are likely to keep “their time-honoured position in the minds of investors”.

The managing director acknowledged that, while oil prices are “somewhat” higher than they were at the end of 2020, the Turkish Lira’s decline relative to the US dollar has continued. This, he said, has led to “lower dollar-based unit costs”.

Big plans

Now the joint venture is in place, Sener noted, the goal is to advance its collective interest in Turkey, including continued exploration and development on the joint venture’s behalf.

Elsewhere, Ariana is hoping to make progress on its Cyprus-based earn-in and exploration programmes for Venus Minerals, where it has acquired an up to 50% stake though an earn-in agreement. The firm is also “pursuing separate opportunities elsewhere in Eastern Europe”.

Sener concluded that: “2021 is set to be an exciting year for the company and we look forward to updating the market on these activities in due course.”

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