Ariana Resources rises after revealing major Tavsan gold project progress (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) climbed to a multi-month high of 2.95p a share on Wednesday morning after locating several high-grade gold zones at its Tavsan project in Turkey.

The exploration and development company said an “extremely positive” resource sampling programme encountered many significant results across its 50%-owned asset. Highlights included 18.2 metres at 5.04 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold and 2.1 g/t silver, 9.9 metres at 6.08 g/t gold and 2.4 g/t silver, and 31.3 metres at 1.85 g/t gold and 0.9 g/t silver.

Meanwhile, Ariana said several results in the Tavsan South region of the project support the conversion of its current exploration target to inferred resources.

Across the asset as a whole, more than 60 outcrop locations were sampled and will be incorporated into Ariana’s next resource estimation for Tavsan. This is scheduled to complete in the next quarter. In the meantime, the organisation will carry out a follow-up resource drilling programme to aid it in the next phase of project development.

Ariana’s managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said the latest results show that sampled areas of outcropping mineralisation at Tavsan are typically higher-grade than the overall project resource. He added that this could provide an opportunity for the company to identify “several rich zones of structurally-controlled mineralisation within the orebody as a whole”. These segments are expected to be encountered from surface to a depth of 10-20 metres below surface – making them easily accessible for low-cost drilling.

"These results reflect extremely positively on the resource-focused work we have been undertaking at Tavsan,” added Sener. “We will be working on a revised mineral resource estimate for Tavsan during Q2 2020 which will form part of our mine plan for the Project, once final permits are received."  

Tavsan forms part of a joint venture called Red Rabbit, which Ariana owns alongside Proccea Construction. Red Rabbit also includes the Kiziltepe mine in Western Turkey, which is fully permitted and currently in production. The total resource inventory for Kiziltepe and its wider area is around 605,000 ounces of gold equivalent.

Wednesday’s news comes as Ariana continues to work on a potential joint venture over its Salinbas project with a major Turkish construction and engineering company. Salinbas is located in Turkey’s world-class Hot Gold Corridor, and Ariana believes that the asset’s potential extends far beyond its current one million Indicated and Inferred ounces of gold equivalent resource estimate.

To read our recent report on Salinbas, please click here.

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

 

 

REPORT: Ariana Resources- Transforming Salinbas into Turkey’s next major gold mine

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) opened up a world of new opportunity at the Salinbas gold project in north-east Turkey when it took over full ownership of the asset towards the end of 2016. After developing a new approach, which recognises the prospectivity presented by Turkey’s world-class Hot Gold Corridor, Ariana is confident that the project’s potential extends far beyond its current JORC-resource of one million Indicated and Inferred ounces (“1Moz”) of gold equivalent.

In November 2019, Ariana signed a potentially game-changing deal with a major Turkish construction and engineering firm for a joint venture on Salinbas that will accelerate the company’s vision of developing the project into a gold mine. Here, we take a deep dive into the Salinbas project, its history, and its prospectivity, and look at what this latest development could mean for Ariana’s growth potential.

To read our report in full, please click here.

Ariana Resources announces launch of due diligence for major JV across its Turkish assets (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) was trading at 2.32p on Monday after announcing that due diligence work has kicked off for a major joint venture (JV) over its Turkish assets.

Groundwork led by Ariana’s existing partner Proccea Construction and its currently-unnamed proposed JV partner has begun at the Salinbas gold project in north-east Turkey. Global Magnet Sondaj has been contracted to complete around 600m of reverse circulation drilling that will twin certain existing holes previously drilled by Ariana. The programme is expected to complete in just one week due to favourable weather conditions, and an independent laboratory in Izmir will analyse subsequent samples.

Elsewhere, Ariana’s proposed partner – currently referred to as a ‘major Turkish construction and engineering company’ - has commissioned an independent review of Ariana’s Kiziltepe, Tavsan, and Salinbas projects. The work programme forms part of a due diligence period announced as part of the non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed between Ariana and the proposed partner towards the end of last month.

The MoU proposes that Ariana will offload 17pc of its wholly-owned Salinbas Project to the firm for an initial $5m and a subsequent $8m injection of equity into the asset. This second payment would take the proposed partner - who would also organise the bank finance needed to bring Salinbas into production – to a 53pc position in the property. This money would be used to complete additional drilling and resource estimation across Salinbas as well as a definitive feasibility study, permitting, public relations, and an environmental impact assessment.

Alongside the Salinbas deal, the MoU also lays out some transactions for the Kiziltepe and Tavsan projects – currently held in a 50:50 JV called Red Rabbit between Ariana and Proccea. Specifically, the partner would take on 53pc of the JV in exchange for a $50m payment that would be split between the Red Rabbit firms.

Elsewhere on Monday, Ariana said that definitive legal agreements concerning the proposed JV are now underway. The company’s managing director Dr Kerim Sener added:

‘We are very pleased to host the due diligence and drilling teams on site at Salinbas and look forward to seeing the results of their work. Fortunately, weather conditions are expected to be reasonable through the period of drilling and the programme will likely conclude within one week. In the meantime, detailed technical, environmental and financial due diligence is underway by the designated independent consultant of the Proposed Partner on the Kiziltepe and Tavsan Projects. Two separate teams are being sent out to the sites during the current week and will be conducting their independent assessments of each of the projects.’

The Salinbas project is wholly-owned by Ariana and consists of the Salinbas gold-silver deposit and the Ardala copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry among other prospects. The total resource inventory of the project area is around 1 million ounces of gold equivalent, and an NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Eldorado Gold Corporation.

Meanwhile, the Red Rabbit JV contains a series of prospects within two prolific mineralised districts in the Western Anatolian Volcanic and Extensional province of western Turkey. This region hosts the largest operating gold mines in Turkey and remains highly prospective for new porphyry and epithermal deposits. Kiziltepe is fully-permitted and in production and the total resource inventory across the Red Rabbit project area currently stands at c.605,000 ounces of gold equivalent.

Monday’s update comes during a busy time for Ariana. Alongside the proposed JV over its Turkish projects, the firm announced on 2 December its acquisition, through an earn-in agreement, of up to 50% of Venus Minerals.  Venus is focused on the exploration and development of copper and gold assets in Cyprus and intends to develop a series of prospects as a single entity known as the Magellan Project. The Magellan Project contains a total historical resource of c. 9.5Mt @ 0.6% copper.

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 Resources targeting a 1Moz gold JORC Resource at Salinbas (AAU)

It’s been a good year for shareholders in Arian Resources (LSE:AAU). The recent rally in the gold price has helped bolster the company’s share price, which is now up 50% this year at 2.25p per share. Gold production at the low cost Kiziltepe mine in western Turkey continues to increase and the firm has embarked on exploration campaigns at its other assets. Of these perhaps the project that holds the most potential is at Salinbas and on Thursday the firm announced positive preliminary drill results here.

Ariana originally acquired Salinbas from Eldorado Gold Corporation (NYSE:EGO), which retains a 2% net smelter royalty over future revenue. The project is located in north-eastern Turkey and already hosts a 650,000oz (Indicated and Inferred) JORC Resource. Ariana’s exploration target here is 1.4M to 2.7M ounces of gold and the company ultimately aims to be able to prove up a final JORC of 1Moz.

Ariana’s licenses in north-eastern Turkey

In mid-May, Ariana secured an upgrade to part of the Salinbas licence, which was re-designated as a 10-year operational licence by the Turkish General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs. Specifically this upgrade covered the area of Salinbas, which hosts the Indicated ounces of gold in the Salinbas JORC Resource. In the company’s words, this made Salinbas “one of its most important licences”.

Following on from this and Ariana has sought to increase the value of Salinbas by drilling at the company’s Ardala licence, immediately to the north. Here Ariana began a 2,000m Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling campaign just over six ago and one of the primary objectives of this was to establish whether Salinbas and Ardala are physically connected. Since Ariana owns 100% of Salinbas and with the recent license upgrade, if the company can prove this hypothesis then the upside is clear.

So far, the initial results are encouraging.

The diagram below shows four distinct intrusive phases, where the Salinbas and Ardala mineralisation systems intersect. According to Ariana, at least two of the intrusive phases are “significantly mineralised” and provide the company with a high degree of confidence to continue pursuing this lead in future exploration activity.

 

 

 

Diagram of the Salinbas and Ardala mineralised systems, with positions of recent drilling

Quoted at the end of Thursday’s RNS and Ariana’s Managing Director, Kerim Sener, succinctly summed up the position.

"We are very pleased to report our preliminary drilling results from the Salinbas Gold Project, since it became 100% held by Ariana.  These results, while only partial at this stage, demonstrate the development of a major magmatic-hydrothermal system in the vicinity of the Ardala Cu-Au-Mo porphyry.  The latest data confirms that the mineralised part of the Ardala porphyry, which is enriched in precious and base-metals, does connect intimately with the Salinbas gold-silver zone and that the two systems should in fact be treated as one.  This was a prediction from our earlier geological modelling and is a finding that bodes exceptionally well for the discovery of further mineralisation in the vicinity, particularly in the immediate surrounds of the Ardala porphyry.  This is an area, which to date, has been poorly explored.  Consequently we continue to remain excited by the exploration upside of the project and look forward to commencing our follow-up work programmes."

So far the market response to this news has been somewhat muted. The RNS was on the heavy side, with a lot of technical detail. Ariana was also very careful to caveat the announcement, warning that the results are only preliminary at this stage.

However, what is heartening is that so far the company has received a degree of confirmation to its original theory about the potential for extending Salinbas to the north. If Ariana can build on these initial results and further demonstrate the geological connection between the two sites, this could well set the firm on a course to realising its ambition for identifying a +1Moz gold JORC Resource here.

 

Author: Ben Turney

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.

Ariana Resources recovers bonanza-grade gold and silver mineralisation at Kizilcukur project (AAU)

Ariana Resources’ (LSE:AAU) strong week continued on Thursday with the ‘highly encouraging’ news that it had encountered bonanza-grade gold and silver mineralisation at Kizilcukur project in Turkey. The business completed a total of 745.8m of diamond drilling across 13 holes within the project’s previous-optimised Zeki open pit in the first quarter of the year. In Thursday’s update, Ariana said this work has confirmed the presence of high-grade mineralisation in the Zeki vein to a depth of approximately 40m below surface.

Indeed, one hole yielded 0.9m at 30.27g/t gold and 184g/t silver in a footwall vein not previously drill-tested – a level classified at ‘bonanza-grade’ mineralisation. Elsewhere, near-surface in-fill resource drilling results from the vein include 6m at 4.21g/t gold and 205.9g/t silver, 5.3m at 4.04g/t gold and 171.9g/t silver and 6.4m at 3.44g/t gold and 89.3g/t silver. Ariana added that the majority of its high-grade results occur over around 130m of strike to a depth of at least 40m.

Meanwhile, a new access road has been constructed to the trial mining area at Kizilcukur. This can be used for future haulage to the nearby Kiziltepe processing plant. The project is based 22km to the northeast of Kiziltepe, which is held within Ariana’s Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction.

Kizilcukur, which is not part of Red Rabbit, covers an area containing a series of sub-parallel quartz veins hosted by ophiolitic units that trend northwest and extend for about two kilometres A mineral resource estimate prepared in 2016 identified the potential for the development of three open pits within the asset, of which Zeki is the largest and highest grade. The asset’s total mineral resource in the indicated and inferred categories is c.308,000ts at 2.11g/t gold and 73.4g/t silver with upside potential. Ariana’s target for future exploration at Kizilcukur is currently 500,000 tonnes at more than 2 g/t gold and more than 70g/t silver.

Ariana’s managing director Kerim Sener said Thursday’s results were ‘highly encouraging’ and confirmed the potential for Kizilcukur to be established as a satellite source of high-grade ore for Kiziltepe.

‘The mineralisation encountered within the top 40m of the Zeki vein system shows sufficiently high grades and widths to support an open pit operation,’ he added. ‘During Q3 2019 we are expecting to conclude our assessments on the feasibility of hauling ore from Kizilcukur to the Kiziltepe processing plant as part of a bulk processing trial. 

‘In anticipation of this, we have already completed the construction of a low-gradient haulage road connecting the trial mining area to the existing road network, enabling excellent access to the site. In addition, we will prepare a revised Mineral Resource estimate upon which we can make appropriate decisions about the future of the project. We expect that Kizilcukur will be an attractive addition to the JV operations, due to the high grades and gold recoveries that have been demonstrated in recent work.’

Thursday’s update follows a strong start to the week for Ariana. On Wednesday, the company enjoyed an 8.6pc boost to 2.1p after releasing a robust set of 2018 results.  It revealed that gold output from Kiziltepe reached more than 27,100oz over the period, 36pc ahead of guidance. What’s more, the mine achieved an average cash cost of $415/oz, placing it within the lowest cash-cost quartile for mines globally. This helped to push its profit before tax up to £2.2m from £400,000 in 2017.

Elsewhere, Ariana said that the Red Rabbit JV’s financial strength had allowed it to progress its Tavsan project to the next stage of development. The JV is on track to complete a formal environmental impact assessment submission to the authorities for the asset in late 2019. This will precede the conclusion of a feasibility study in line with the requirements of project financing and final permitting. According to Ariana, getting Tavsan to this stage will enable Red Rabbit to increase its annual gold production rate from 25,000oz – where it currently stands – to 50,000oz. The company believes this will, in turn, influence a positive re-rating of its market valuation.

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.