Ariana Resources (LON: AAU) posted another set of strong drilling results from the Kiziltepe gold-silver mine in Turkey, with the Derya vein system once again yielding higher grades.

Kiziltepe is part of the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic joint venture (“JV”) with Ozaltin Holding and Proccea Construction, in which Ariana’s ownership is 23.5%.

The mine has a depleted JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 700,000 ounces of silver and 227,000 ounces of gold, as at April 2020.

Since 2017, the mine has been in profitable production and is set to produce approximately 20,000 ounces of gold a year until at least the mid-2020s. Franco-Nevada Corporation receives as 2.5% net smelter return royalty on production.

This latest round of drilling tested the Derya vein system’s central and south-eastern extents, over 670m of strike, to depths of around 130m below surface.

Drilling successfully confirmed high-grade continuity in the central part of the Derva vein to depths of more than 100m from surface.

The latest significant intercepts from this vein system include 4.2m at 6.07 grams per ton (“g/t”) gold plus 98.2g/t silver, as well as 2.5m at 6.07g/t gold and 71.8g/t silver. Another was 7.1m at 2.23g/t gold plus 11.3g/t silver.

Derya’s high-grade potential includes the “Bonanza Zone”, a previously reported intercept of 12.1m at 13.1g/t gold and 187.6g/t silver.

Managing director Kerim Sener praised “yet another substantial set of new drilling results from the Kiziltepe Mine exploration programme”.

Sener highlighted that Derya continues “to yield higher gold grades”, especially in the vein system’s central part “and in an area within about 50m vertical depth below the current pit bottom”.

He also noted that “the vein system, like Arzu North, comprises several sub-parallel vein structures”, with gold mineralisation not confined to just one structure.

Sener explained that next steps for Derya include additional pit optimisation, which will “determine the next stage of open-pit development in this area.”

The managing director also said it has become “apparent that the Derya vein system links up with the Arzu structure” at Kiziltepe.

This suggests it may be possible to extend gold and silver mineralisation limits between the Derya and Arzu open pits. The current mine plan has these spaced just 300m apart.

As the company pointed out, this latest round of drilling suggests the potential to ultimately merge the Derya, Arzu South and Arzu North pits. 

Author: Anna Farley

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