EIA APPROVED FOR TAVSAN GOLD-SILVER MINE IN TURKEY
14 October 2021
EIA APPROVED FOR TAVSAN GOLD-SILVER MINE IN TURKEY
Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with interests in gold mining operations in Europe, is delighted to report that, further to the announcement released on 2 September 2021 regarding the submission of its final Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") report for the Tavsan Mine ("Tavsan" or "the Project") in Western Turkey, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning has now formally provided its approval of the EIA. Tavsan is part of Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. ("Zenit") and is 23.5% owned by Ariana.
· EIA approved for the development of Tavsan gold and silver mine which is targeting production of up to 30,000oz of gold per annum over eight years.
· Zenit is managing the development programme, with construction to commence following receipt of final permits.
· Discussions regarding debt financing of the required construction capital are being advanced with potential lenders.
· Opportunities for resource expansion have been demonstrated at Tavsan and further drilling is expected to commence during Q4 2021, which will lead to a revised resource.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:
"The approval of the EIA for the Tavsan Gold-Silver Mine demonstrates the determination of the Zenit team to develop this valuable asset through to commercial production. This project represents the second successful delivery of an environmentally approved mining project in Western Turkey by the Company. The development of this project will benefit both local stakeholders and Ariana investors alike. Zenit have involved the local community at every stage of the development of the project over several years and we welcome the support that they have shown for the mine during the EIA process.
"Zenit will now proceed through the final permitting and construction phases, while the Ariana team continues its focus on value accretive exploration. As recently reported, there remains the potential to substantially increase the resource base at Tavsan with further drilling and development work. With this in mind, as we accelerate towards production and the generation of maiden revenues at Tavsan, our attention remains squarely on the evaluation and development of our wider investment portfolio across the full-cycle of exploration, development and production."
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").
As announced on 2 September 2021, Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S., ("Zenit"), submitted the final EIA report for the Tavsan gold-silver mine to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning ("MEUP"). At that time, the mandatory 10-day public notice period had been completed and final signatures approving the EIA by MEUP were received in August. In accordance with this, the EIA Positive Decision Certificate for the Project has now been issued and dated 8 October 2021.
Following this, Zenit will proceed with the development at Tavsan, and will pursue the granting of final permits ahead of construction start-up. Construction will commence following receipt of final permits and the completion of necessary land acquisitions, which are already 65% completed. Following the receipt of the EIA, Zenit can now apply for permits including those for construction, health and safety, and forestry, among others, with production expected to commence within 12 months after the initiation of construction.
The construction capital expenditure requirement will be sourced from debt at the Zenit level. Discussions regarding the formalisation of debt funding are progressing encouragingly and further details will be announced in due course. Zenit has existing relationships with Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi A.S. and Garanti Bankasi A.S., though its operations at the Kiziltepe Mine.
Once in production, the mine at Tavsan will represent a significant employer in the region, with approximately 100 local people expected to be retained on a permanent basis. Zenit are committed to developing a sustainable and environmentally, socially and economically robust mining project at Tavsan and remain actively involved in dialogue with the local communities in order to achieve this.
Ariana Resources plc
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3476 2080
Michael de Villiers, Chairman
Kerim Sener, Managing Director
Beaumont Cornish Limited
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Roland Cornish / Felicity Geidt
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
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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. 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). Operations comprise 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 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.