Shares in Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) flew 10% higher on Tuesday 29 September as it announced plans for a special dividend.

Investors will be rewarded once the AIM-listed European gold-silver explorer completes its joint venture with Turkish construction firm Özaltin Holding A.S.

Özaltin is due to pay $30 million as part of the JV process, which includes acquiring 53% of Ariana’s Salinbas project, along with 53% of the Zenit Madencilik JV, currently owned by Ariana in a 50% JV with Ankara-based engineering company Proccea Construction.  

Ariana said its investors will likely receive a special dividend made up of 50% of net proceeds after tax and costs. 

Managing director Dr Kerim Sener added that Proccea would pay Ariana $5.75 million in cash to acquire its 23.5% stake in Salinbas, and would remain actively involved in developing the project. 

Salinbas covers three license areas in the multi-million-ounce Artvin goldfield in northeastern Turkey. 

With shares now climbing above 6.2p that gives Ariana a market cap of over £65 million, £30 million higher than three months ago.  

Ariana shares hit an eight-year high back in April when the explorer announced that Q1 2020 gold production had exceeded guidance by nearly 15% to reach 5,419 ounces at its Kiziltepe mine in west Turkey.

Ariana has a 50% stake in Kiziltepe through its shareholding in domestic firm Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S and the mine has been in operation since 2009.

Author: Mark Sheridan

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