ASGARD METALS FUND: PROPOSED MAIDEN INVESTMENT
29 September 2021
ASGARD METALS FUND: PROPOSED MAIDEN INVESTMENT
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 proposed first investment of the Asgard Metals Fund ("the Fund"), which is being developed as part of its proprietary Project Catalyst Strategy.
· Asgard Metals Fund ("Asgard") to take an interest in Panther Metals Limited in Australia ("Panther Australia") through an issue of shares.
· 1.25 million shares to be granted to Asgard on completion of the IPO of Panther Australia on the ASX (equivalent to A$250,000), as provided for under the terms of a Consultancy Agreement.
· Under the Consultancy Agreement to take effect from IPO, the Ariana team will provide technical expertise into the design, implementation and interpretation of the exploration programmes of Panther Australia over a two-year period.
· A further subscription for at least 0.25 million shares is expected via the IPO placing (equivalent to A$50,000).
· Shares issued to Ariana will be held in a mandatory escrow for a 2-year period following the IPO of Panther Australia on the ASX.
· Panther Australia's IPO anticipated to take place before the end of 2021.
· Ariana Managing Director, Dr. Kerim Sener, is a director and shareholder (2.6%) in Panther Metals plc and a director of Panther Australia, which is currently 77% owned by Panther Metals plc.
Michael de Villiers, Chairman, commented:
"We are very pleased to be taking a position in Panther Metals Limited in Australia at a significant time in its development and as it pursues a possible IPO on the ASX. We are also pleased to note Panther's announcement that, following the completion of recent airborne geophysics and auger geochemical sampling on its Merolia Project in Western Australia, Panther has defined a series of significant gold targets, including the recently discovered 40 Mile Camp anomaly, in a substantially under-explored part of the prolific Laverton Greenstone Belt. Several multi-million ounce gold deposits are located in the vicinity and the infrastructure is substantial, with several processing plants currently running under capacity. In addition, we are pleased to note the recent definition of a JORC Exploration Target of 30-50Mt at 0.6-0.8% nickel and 400-600ppm cobalt on its Coglia nickel-cobalt Project at Merolia. This investment will therefore tick all of our criteria and satisfies our internal hurdles, in particular providing for further diversification of our business; not only in terms of reducing jurisdictional risk but also across commodities, including strategically significant battery metals."
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 / Joe Burgess / Henry Wilkinson
About Panther Metals Limited:
The following information is derived from stock exchange announcements by Panther Metals plc (principally 21 June 2021, 27 May 2021, 8 July 2020 and 18 June 2020). Panther Metals Limited ("PML") is a majority-owned subsidiary of Panther Metals PLC (LSE:PALM), and is focused on mineral exploration in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. PML is presently pursuing a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (the "ASX" or "ASX Exchange").
Western Australia Projects
The Merolia Project ("Merolia") comprises a series of largely contiguous exploration licences located from 35km to the southeast of the town of Laverton (population: 340) in the Eastern Goldfields Province of Western Australia. The area around Laverton includes several major gold mines, including Granny Smith (3 Moz), Sunrise Dam (8 Moz) and Wallaby (8 Moz), and many significant gold deposits. It is one of the most prolific gold producing areas in Western Australia and is consequently well-serviced by infrastructure and has a skilled local work-force.
The Archaean greenstone belts in the Laverton region are dominantly basaltic in composition, containing ultramafic intercalations, which were subsequently intruded by dolerite dykes in places and which are particularly prospective for gold and nickel mineralisation. The areas under licence are partly obscured by a veneer of partly lateritic transported cover and exploration in the area has consequently been limited.
Within the eastern part of Merolia are a series of gold prospects, notably Burtville East, Comet Well and Ironstone. Regional magnetic data over this part of the project identifies several NW-SE trending shear systems which have potential to host gold mineralisation. This potential has been confirmed by surface geochemical sampling along the 15km long Comet Well gold trend, which has identified several significant and coherent linear gold in soil anomalies at Comet South, Comet North, Comet West, Ironstone and the recently discovered 40 Mile Camp anomaly.
Previous drilling across these prospect areas includes 8m at 6.7 g/t Au at Burtville East and 9m at 46.5 g/t Au at Ironstone. In addition, historic drilling at Burtville East includes 5m at 27.8 g/t Au and 24m at 8.6g/t Au at Ironstone. The Comet Well area has not been drilled to date, but contains a series of distinct sub-parallel 1.25 to 2.5km long NW-trending gold anomalous zones (gold in soils reaching a peak of 2.6 g/t Au), which yielded substantial quantities of angular gold nuggets through surface prospecting. The angular nature of the gold nuggets suggests a proximal gold source, which will become the focus of further work in this area.
Approximately 15km to the west of Laverton lies the Red Flag Project ("Red Flag"). Previous exploration in the area around Red Flag identified a WNW-trending gold anomalous zone coinciding with a distinct magnetic low. The geology of the area is dominated by mafic volcanic rocks intruded by dolerite dykes, displaying sheared gold mineralised margins in places. This area was drilled, yielding a best near surface intercept of 2m at 9.20 g/t Au. The licence area is also significantly prospective for nickel-cobalt sulphide mineralisation, containing the Mt. Goose and Salimas prospects, and with several resources identified on adjacent tenements.
Panther has also recently defined a JORC Exploration Target for nickel and cobalt at the Coglia Project ("Coglia") on the southernmost area encompassed by the Merolia project tenements. This target provided a tonnage range of 30-50Mt at 0.6 to 0.8% nickel and 400 to 600ppm cobalt. The mineralisation is developed along a lateritic horizon lying above largely ultramafic host rocks which are themselves mineralised with sulphides in places. It is expected that Panther will be able to define at least an Inferred JORC Resource with certain additional drilling and other work at Coglia.
Northern Territory Projects
The Annaburroo and Marrakai gold projects comprise two granted licences (EL32140 and EL32121 respectively) covering a total area of 160km2, located from 70km to the southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory (Figure 1). The projects are situated within the Palaeoproterozoic Pine Creek Orogen ("PCO"), which hosts over 250 gold occurrences and several operating gold mines. Both licence areas are close to good infrastructure and the Toms Gully and Rustlers Roost deposits, which are owned by China Hanking Holdings Limited. Toms Gully is a high-grade underground mine containing 1.1Mt @ 8.9 g/t Au (0.3 Moz); operations are expected to recommence following recent EIA approval. Rustlers Roost contains 51Mt @ 1.0 g/t Au (1.6Moz) and is one of the largest gold projects in the region.
The project areas contain several gold prospects at Donkey Hill, Johns Reef, Chins Gully and Jasons Rise, some of which have yielded substantial quantities of gold nuggets, individually up to 30oz in weight. These prospects have all yielded high-grade gold from grab samples (e.g. c. 30-60 g/t Au), trenching (e.g. 5m @ 6.68 g/t Au) and limited RAB or RC drilling (e.g. 2m @ 5.74g/t Au from surface). In more detail, several NE and NW trending linear features cut the local geology and may provide control on the distribution of gold mineralisation. These will be the focus of future ground-based exploration work. The mineralisation consists largely of sulphidic quartz veins hosted by banded greywacke and siltstones of the Finnis River, South Alligator and Mt. Partridge Groups, which are metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies. It is expected that Panther will continue to explore and ultimately drill-test several of these prospect areas during the next few years.
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 is currently earning-in to 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 is also earning-in to 50% of UK-registered Venus Minerals Ltd ("Venus") and has to date earned into an entitlement to 37.5%. Venus 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 will be 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.