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

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