ASGARD METALS FUND: INVESTMENT IN PALLAS RESOURCES
29 November 2021
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ASGARD METALS FUND: INVESTMENT IN PALLAS RESOURCES
Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with joint-venture gold mining operations in Europe, is pleased to announce the second investment of the Asgard Metals Fund ("the Fund" and a wholly owned subsidiary of Ariana), which is being developed as part of its proprietary Project Catalyst Strategy.
· Asgard Metals Fund ("Asgard") to take an interest in Pallas Resources Limited ("Pallas"), a UK company with several large copper and gold licences in highly prolific mineral belts of Kazakhstan.
· Up to 1.25 million shares in Pallas to be issued to Asgard following a strategic investment (equivalent to £200,000) and as specified within a Consultancy Agreement (up to an equivalent of £75,000).
· Under the Consultancy Agreement, the Ariana team will provide technical consulting services to Pallas' exploration efforts in Kazakhstan over a two-year period.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, Ariana Resources, commented:
"Over the past decade, we have reviewed a number of Central Asian exploration opportunities. But most importantly we wanted to work in parallel with a first-class team and in Pallas we have found our match. Kazakhstan represents a jurisdiction which satisfies our criteria and one which has the distinct advantage of having implemented a new mining law modelled on that for Western Australia; a legislation with which we are very comfortable. Another advantage is our familiarity with the language, which will become even more straightforward for our Turkish team following the implementation of Latin script for Kazakh by 2025.
"With an extensive portfolio focused on gold and copper, encompassing over 800km2, Pallas is well-positioned across several of Kazakhstan's highly prolific mineral belts. These areas are host to several multi-million ounce gold deposits, some of which are in production and under the ownership of western companies. It is one of the few areas globally which retains the potential to make further greenfield discoveries of Tier 1 deposits. While gold remains a focus, we are also encouraged to see opportunities for copper, which is the commodity of the future, enabling a technologically-advanced and more environmentally aware world.
"This investment exemplifies Ariana's expanded reach and strategic direction via the Asgard Metals Fund. We are actively pursuing opportunities throughout the Eastern Hemisphere, as we develop future growth opportunities for the Company across new horizons. We now look forward to assisting Pallas in its development, ultimately towards an IPO. They have a great team, with which we share mutual characteristics, and we are keen to collaborate closely with them in the years ahead. We look forward to providing further updates in due course."
Daniel Rickleman, Director, Pallas Resources, commented:
"Pallas is excited to be welcoming Ariana both onto the register and as a key technical partner through the Consultancy Agreement. The natural synergies between Ariana and Pallas come at an opportune time as we look to significantly scale up our portfolio in Kazakhstan and advance our exciting projects. We look forward to working with Ariana's exceptionally strong technical team, who bring with them an enviable track-record of exploration and development success."
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of UK Domestic Law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("UK MAR").
Ariana Resources plc
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3476 2080
Michael de Villiers, Chairman
Kerim Sener, Managing Director
Beaumont Cornish Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 3396
Roland Cornish / Felicity Geidt
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
John Prior / Hugh Rich / Atholl Tweedie
Yellow Jersey PR Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 7951 402 336
Dom Barretto / Henry Wilkinson / Matthew McHale
About Pallas Resources Limited:
Pallas Resources is a UK-registered Central Asian explorer targeting large copper and gold discoveries in the underexplored yet prolific mineral belts of Kazakhstan (Figure 1). The company has taken a technologically-advanced approach to discovery on a regional scale, utilising Machine Learning in combination with one of the largest privately-held exploration datasets for Central Asia. The company is focused on highly prospective belts where its aim is to exploit a gap in discovery brought about by a lack of modern exploration within a region containing several Tier 1 Soviet era discoveries. Pallas holds a large 811km2 land position over two world class regions, each owned 100% under Kazakhstan's reformed 2018 Mining Code which was modelled on Western Australian legislation. Pallas' founders have more than 10 years' experience in the region and have previously been involved with one gold discovery in the region and multiple drill-outs.
Further information on Pallas is available via their website: https://www.pallasresources.com, from which the information set out herein is derived.
Figure 1: Pallas project locations in Kazakhstan and location of two major mineral belts.
Sulukol and Alakol Projects (100% Pallas)
Sulukol and Alakol are licence areas (317km2 and 374km2 respectively) in the Stepnyak-Kokshetau Gold Belt in Northern Kazakhstan which hosts >45 million ounces within six deposits held by other companies. Machine Learning successfully identified five of these deposits, and led to the acquisition of Sulukol and Alakol licences following confirmatory traditional empirical targeting (Figure 2 & 3). Multiple Soviet-era reconnaissance geochemical anomalies of up to 40g/t Au (Sulukol) and 2.5g/t Au (Alakol) identified in outcropping quartz veins are present in the licences.
Major gold deposits in this region are intrusion-related or orogenic in nature, controlled by strike-slip faults and their intersection with major oblique structures, which include major terrane-scale dislocations. Host rocks are variable, from all phases of the Stepnyak Complex (granodiorite, tonalite, norite, diorite and gabbro), to the intruded flysch (greywacke, lithic sandstone, siltstone, mudstone) and mixed volcanic rocks. Mineralisation occurs as typical orogenic-style quartz veins with associated quartz-carbonate-sericite alteration along near vertical controlling structures. Broader stockworks and disseminated mineralisation are also common and can be up to tens of metres wide at some deposits.
Figure 2: 50K scale magnetic anomaly map of the Sulukol Licence with historical gold anomalies overlain.
Figure 3: 50K scale magnetic anomaly map of the Alakol Licence with historical gold anomalies overlain.
Sarybastau Project (100% Pallas)
Sarybastau is a 120km2 licence, in the Ili-Balkash Copper-Gold Arc in Southern Kazakhstan (Figure 4). This is the most well-endowed copper-porphyry terrain in Kazakhstan, containing the 12Mt Cu Aktogay deposit, among others, which are not owned by Pallas. The licence was selected on the basis of two 7km x 3km copper stream sediment anomalies which is reinforced by in-situ copper sampling, as well as in-situ gold sampling several kilometres from the copper anomalies.
During a first-pass field reconnaissance visit by Pallas to the licence in October 2021, encouraging copper mineralisation (malachite) was noted in several locations within granite. The presence of andesite porphyry, as well as silicified, quartz-veined volcanic rocks (potentially rhyodacitic) support the model of a geological setting prospective for porphyry copper-gold.
Figure 4: Oblique view of Sarybastau Licence area with historical copper anomalies overlain.
For the year ended 31 December 2020 Pallas reported unaudited net assets of £440,150. Once fully invested, Asgard will own approximately 6% of Pallas.
About Ariana Resources:
Ariana is an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with an exceptional track-record of creating value for its shareholders through its interests in active mining projects and investments in exploration companies. Its current interests include gold production in Turkey and copper-gold exploration and development projects in Cyprus and Kosovo.
The Company holds 23.5% interest in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. a joint venture with Ozaltin Holding A.S. and Proccea Construction Co. in Turkey which contains a depleted total of c. 2.1 million ounces of gold and other metals (as at July 2020). The joint venture comprises the Kiziltepe Mine and the Tavsan and Salinbas projects.
The Kiziltepe Gold-Silver Mine is located in western Turkey and contains a depleted JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 227,000 ounces gold and 3.7 million ounces silver (as at April 2020). The mine has been in profitable production since 2017 and is expected to produce at a rate of c.20,000 ounces of gold per annum to at least the mid-2020s. A Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty of 2.5% on production is being paid to Franco-Nevada Corporation.
The Tavsan Gold Project is located in western Turkey and contains a JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 253,000 ounces gold and 0.7 million ounces silver (as at June 2020). The project is being progressed through permitting and an Environmental Impact Assessment, with the intention of developing the site to become the second joint venture gold mining operation. A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Sandstorm Gold.
The Salinbas Gold Project is located in north-eastern Turkey and contains a JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 1.5 million ounces of gold (as at July 2020). It is located within the multi-million ounce Artvin Goldfield, which contains the "Hot Gold Corridor" comprising several significant gold-copper projects including the 4 million ounce Hot Maden project, which lies 16km to the south of Salinbas. A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Eldorado Gold Corporation.
Ariana owns 75% of Western Tethyan Resources Ltd ("WTR"), which operates across Eastern Europe and is based in Pristina, Republic of Kosovo. The company is targeting its exploration on major copper-gold deposits across the porphyry-epithermal transition.
Ariana owns 50% of UK-registered Venus Minerals Ltd ("Venus") which is focused on the exploration and development of copper-gold assets in Cyprus which contain a combined JORC Inferred Resource of 9.5Mt @ 0.65% copper (excluding additional gold, silver and zinc).
Ariana operates its wholly-owned Asgard Metals Fund ("Asgard"), as part of the Company's proprietary Project Catalyst Strategy. The Fund is focused on investments in high-value potential, discovery-stage mineral exploration companies located across the Eastern Hemisphere and within easy reach of Ariana's operational hubs in Australia, Turkey and the UK.
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited is broker to the Company and Beaumont Cornish Limited is the Company's Nominated Adviser and Broker.
For further information on Ariana you are invited to visit the Company's website at www.arianaresources.com.