Shares in Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) enjoyed a 5.4pc lift to 1.5p last week after the Turkey-focused miner revealed that exploration drilling has identified further mineralisation at its Salinbas gold project.

In an update, the business said a conventional soil sampling programme recorded a substantial increase of gold along the interpreted extents of the project’s Salinbas North target. Salinbas North is one of three potential areas of mineralisation identified by Ariana this year at Salinbas, which itself comprises the Salinbas gold-silver deposit and the Ardala porphyry, among other prospects.

One soil sample returned with 5.02g/t of gold and 4405g/t of silver as well as 0.49pc copper, 1.45pc lead, and 0.26pc zinc. Ariana said this almost certainly represents mineralisation that surfaces at the eastern flank of Salinbas North and lies exactly where it expected Salinbas-type mineralisation to be.

Alongside the soil sampling programme, Ariana took 54 composite channel-samples for a total of 155m along a new access road network to the Ardala Porphyry. The firm said these revealed extensive new zones of mineralisation on the periphery of the Ardala Porphyry in the region of Ardala North. These contained considerable grades of gold and silver as well as smaller amounts of lead and zinc.

Following this work, Ariana plans to carry out 2,000m of reverse circulation drilling across the broader Salinbas project in the second quarter of 2019. It is working to exploit the project’s considerable total resource inventory, which currently sits at c.1MMoz of gold equivalent.

The 100pc-owned asset sits in Turkey’s ‘Hot Gold Corridor’ and has been compared by Ariana to the country’s highly-prospective Hot Maden gold project. Ariana’s managing director Kerim Sener said today’s results reinforce the firm’s understanding of the distribution of gold mineralisation near the Ardala Porphyry, Ardala North and Salinbas North areas at Salinbas.

He added: ‘We are confident that the testing of some of these targets with drilling will lead to the identification and definition of further resources within the project area. We have scheduled the drilling programme for Q2 2019 and we envisage undertaking approximately 2,000m of RC drilling on targets that are accessible from existing permit areas and freehold land.’

Sener provided further details on the progress being made at Salinbas in a recent podcast with MiningMaven, the transcript of which can be read here.

Today’s news comes just weeks after Ariana said it was on track to exceed production guidance at its flagship, 50pc-owned Kiziltepe project, also based in Turkey. In its operating results for the third quarter of 2018, the business said the mine achieved gross income of $10.12m during the period with sales of 7,588ozs of gold.

On this, Sener said: ‘These quarterly results have yet again demonstrated record performance for the Kiziltepe Mine and we are now well on track to exceed our production guidance for the year.  Since start-up in 2017 the JV has produced about 30,000 ounces of gold and over 200,000 ounces of silver.’

Author: Daniel Flynn 

Disclosure: The author does not own shares in the company mentioned above