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

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