JV UPDATE - Replacement
This announcement replaces the announcement headed JV UPDATE made this morning at 07.00 with RNS number 4466K. In that announcement the text should have read "Production and sale of 7,941 ounces of gold during the half-year ended 30 June 2021" rather than "Production and sale of 7,941 ounces of gold during the quarter ended 30 June 2021". All other text remains the same.
2 September 2021
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 its half-year 2021 production update for its joint venture Kiziltepe Mine ("Kiziltepe" or "the Project"). Kiziltepe is 23.5% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S.
· Process plant expansion at Kiziltepe is complete and automation testing is underway, with gold production through July and August having remained on target for the year, while the process plant expansion was being completed.
· Gross half-year revenue of US$16.2 million at an average realised gold price of US$1,853 per ounce, against an average revenue per gold ounce of US$2,106 (due to silver credit)*.
· Production and sale of 7,941 ounces of gold during the half-year ended 30 June 2021.
· Operating cash costs for the half-year are estimated at US$591 per ounce, in line with the processing of lower grade ore derived largely from Arzu North through the period.
· Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") for Tavsan is making its way through the final approval process.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:
"We are very pleased to report the completion of the processing plant expansion at Kiziltepe, with automation testing now underway. Since the end of last week, the SAG mill has been supplied with ore and during September we are expecting that the full impact of the plant expansion will begin to be seen. Meanwhile, gold production from Kiziltepe has remained very much on track through July and August, while the plant expansion was being completed. This is an excellent achievement for the joint venture team for which we commend them wholeheartedly.
"Elsewhere, notably at our Tavsan Project, we are very pleased to note that the formal public consultation period has drawn to a close and the EIA has now been returned to the Ministry of the Environment and Urbanisation for final approval. Once this approval is received, we are looking forward to commencing further development work at Tavsan, which will also include an infill and extension resource drilling programme, to complement the Feasibility Study. In addition, land acquisitions are already well underway with approximately 65% of the necessary freehold land now acquired by the joint venture."
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").
* Silver production is not provided, as silver is treated as a by-product credit. All figures are stated gross to the Project unless otherwise stated.
Summary of Project
The Kiziltepe gold-silver mine is expected to deliver an average of approximately 20,000 oz gold equivalent per annum over eight years of initial mine life, for a total of up to 160,000 oz gold equivalent based on current resources. The operating company, Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S., is a JV between Ariana (23.5%), Proccea (23.5%) and Ozaltin (53%). Management control of the JV lies with Proccea. Commercial production was initiated at Kiziltepe during July 2017 and has continued without interruption to the present, with production consistently being delivered above plan.
The latest resource estimate for Kiziltepe was based on recent drilling and geological interpretation in April 2020. Detailed technical and economic assessments are underway on several satellite vein systems which are not currently in the mining plan, in anticipation of these being developed in future years. The Kiziltepe operation is currently targeting an increase in mine life and an enhanced processing rate of 400,000 tonnes of ore per annum, with operations currently expected to conclude during 2025. The joint venture is confident that an increase in mine life can be achieved following the success of recent exploration and assuming the conversion of existing resources to reserves.
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 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 0.7 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 3.7 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).
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.
Glossary of Technical Terms:
"Au" chemical symbol for gold;
"g/t" grams per tonne;
"JORC" the Joint Ore Reserves Committee;
"oz" Troy ounces;