Exciting news from Ariana Resources (LON: AAU) on Wednesday as it revealed that gold is now confirmed at the Kokkinoyia Sector of the Cyprus-based Magellan project.

Venus Minerals currently owns 100% of the project but Ariana is continuing its earn-in for a 50% stake. At present, the company’s entitlement is 26%.

The three-month drilling programme at Kokkinoyia ended in early June and involved more than 1,500 metres (“m”) of drilling. This confirmed that gold is a “significant component of the Kokkinoyia deposit”, returning an average grade of 128.77m at 0.5% copper plus 0.55 grams per ton (“g/t”) of gold in the mineralised zone.

Kerim Sener, the firm’s managing director, said the “excellent results” from Kokkinoyia confirm the company’s expectation that the “deposit represents a copper-gold volcanogenic massive sulphide system”.

Sener went on to highlight that where drilling intercepted underground development “substantial grades of both copper and gold were identified”.

This indicates that “much of the back-fill used was also significantly mineralised”. Grades from the mine waste dumps at surface also reflect this.

One particularly significant drilling intercept from the first hole at Kokkinoyia, VMD001, is 11m at 1.11% copper plus 1.05g/t gold – including underground development back-fill with 2m at 2.05% copper plus 2.50g/t gold.

Another notable VMD001 intercept was 5.87m at 0.53% copper plus 4.55g/t gold – again including underground development back-fill, this time with 1.37m at 0.41% copper plus 12.75g/t gold. A 12m at 0.99% copper plus 0.29g/t gold intercept was also found at VMD001.

Results from the first hole will help confirm the JORC Resource Estimate for Kokkinoyia. This is currently approximately 5 million tonnes at 0.7% copper, for 36,000 tonnes of copper (JORC inferred).

Assay results from the other eight holes at Kokkinoyia are still pending, awaiting assaying at ALS Laboratory Services in Ireland.

Ariana explained that, historically, all Kokkinoyia drill holes were vertical, making VMD001 the first inclined hole in to the deposit. The goal with VMD001 was “to test and link mineralisation between several historic holes”.

The other pending holes are also inclined, helping sufficiently test the entire Kokkinoyia West area of the existing resource.

The company further commented on the discovery of a “new extended zone of mineralisation” at Kokkinoyia from 120m to 177m and believed historic drilling in the surrounding area has yet to sample to such depths.

If any further results support this observation, it could result in additional Kokkinoyia resource growth at depth.

It is significant that “gold assay results at Kokkinoyia were historically non-existent to minimal”, meaning gold was never an economic focus when it came to mining the deposit. Now, though, the deposit keeps on demonstrating significant gold potential.

Not only have results from the first drill hole boosted confidence in historic drilling but, if the other holes show similar results, confidence in the future Kokkinoyia JORC Mineral Resource Estimate will increase — “with the inclusion of a significant gold component”.

Sener noted the “substantial” progress from Venus’s Cyprus team in the past year, with these new results vindicating Ariana’s “strategy to diversify our regional interests in Europe”. He concluded by saying that the company looks forward to accelerating its Venus earn-in.

Author: Anna Farley

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