Ariana Resources (LSE:AAU) rose 2.94pc on Monday after laying down development plans for its 100pc-owned Kizilcukur project in Turkey.

Kizilcukur is based 22km to the northeast of the Kiziltepe mine, which is part of the Red Rabbit joint venture held between Ariana and Proccea. Its mineral resource in the indicated and inferred JORC categories stands at c.308,000 tonnes at 2.11g/t gold and 73.4g/t silver with upside potential.

In Monday’s update, Ariana revealed strong results in its latest round of drilling at the asset. A bulk sample obtained from the Kizilcukur vein returned c.20ts at 4.22g/t gold and 284g/t silver. This came from the Zeki pit, which is the largest and highest grade of three pits defined at the resource.

The work aimed to obtain a high-grade bulk sample for test processing at the Kiziltepe processing plant. Ariana is now planning to truck 300ts of this material grading 4.3g/t gold and 239g/t in the summer. It this is successful it plans to transport the remaining 2,500ts of mineralisation ore it currently has stockpiled on site. It believes it could double this through limited additional trial mining in 2019.

Ariana’s exploration team focused on drilling activities at Kizilcukur since early December 2018. Their work is now around a quarter completed and has continued despite harsh winter weather condition. In Monday’s update, the firm it intends to keep drilling as long as possible through a window of more favourable weather over coming weeks.

Ariana’s managing director Kerim Sener said the latest bulk sampling results demonstrate that Kizilcukur can act as a source of high-grade satellite feed to the Kiziltepe processing plant. The total resource inventory at the Red Rabbit Project and wider project area stands at c.605,000oz of gold equivalent, as at end-2017.

‘We are encouraged by the results of this recent work and the current drilling programme will add confidence to the resource estimate for the Zeki Pit as part of our feasibility work programme,’ added Sener. ‘We are planning to truck a 300 tonne batch of ore to Kiziltepe for test processing during the summer, in order to assess the merits of potentially expanding our operations at Kizilcukur.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

Disclaimer: The author does not own shares in the company covered in this piece.