MAIDEN JORC RESOURCE AT MAGELLAN PROJECT, CYPRUS
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15 October 2020
MAIDEN JORC RESOURCE AT MAGELLAN PROJECT, CYPRUS
Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, is pleased to announce a maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Magellan Project ("Magellan" or "the Project"), which is 100% owned and operated by Venus Minerals Ltd ("Venus")*. Venus is focused on the exploration and development of copper and gold assets in Cyprus. Ariana is earning in to 50% of Venus (currently c. 12%).
· JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (stated gross) of 8.5Mt @ 0.63% Cu# (Inferred), with additional potential for gold, silver and zinc-rich zones (up to 0.6 % Zn) across the Klirou and Kokkinoyia Sectors.
· JORC Exploration Target of 2.7 to 8.4Mt within a grade range of 0.5 g/t Au to 0.8 g/t Au, for 42,000 oz to 216,000 oz of gold and 3.3 g/t Ag to 8.2 g/t Ag, for 297,000 oz to 2,218,000 oz of silver.
· Resources at the Klirou and Kokkinoyia Sectors are open in several directions and particularly down-plunge, beyond 250-350m in depth.
· New exploration drilling programme of up to 3,000m to test several target areas within the greenfield exploration portfolio, due to commence imminently.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director of Ariana Resources, commented:
"The completion of this maiden JORC 2012-compliant Mineral Resource Estimate for the Magellan Project represents a major advancement for Venus Minerals and is the latest resource to be announced in over a decade in Cyprus. As Venus' flagship project, we are exceptionally pleased that this initial resource catapults Venus to the forefront of copper-gold exploration on the island.
"A combined resource of 8.5Mt @ 0.63% Cu with significant additional potential for precious-metals and zinc is an excellent foundation upon which Venus can continue to build its business. In particular, the substantial opportunities for identifying gold- and silver-rich zones within and around these deposits, as summarised by the JORC Exploration Target, will be an integral part of Venus's forward strategy. Accordingly, an initial Management Target of >10Mt @ 0.6% Cu, 0.6% Zn, 0.5 g/t Au and 6 g/t Ag has been set for the Project.
"Beyond these resource development areas, Venus has the rights to 105km2 of highly prospective tenure across the island. A percussion drilling programme focused on several new exploration targets across this portfolio is due to commence imminently. Meanwhile planning for a diamond drilling programme on the Magellan Project resource area is underway following the completion of this Mineral Resource Estimate.
"Ariana remains excited by the progress of the Venus exploration team who have remained active and deployed in Cyprus despite the recent difficulties associated with travel. We would like to congratulate the team on its first resource estimate, which is already demonstrating scalability, and look forward to seeing the results of their latest exploration efforts. Accordingly we intend to continue supporting Venus financially and progressing our earn-in to 50% within the next two years."
* Further information about Venus Minerals and its projects is available on the Company's website, www.venusminerals.co.
# Resources are quoted gross with respect to the Venus Minerals Ltd earn-in. Zinc resources are also defined for the Klirou Sector but are not defined for Kokkinoyia due to insufficient data. However, zinc grades within the open-pit area of Kokkinoyia average 0.6% Zn and it is reasonable to assume that the overall zinc grade of the Kokkinoyia resource would approximate this. As Ariana is in the process of earning into its interest, it is not considered appropriate to state resources on a Net Attributable basis at this stage.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
The Ariana and Venus exploration teams completed a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate of the Magellan Project in accordance with JORC 2012. A general description of the Project was released on the 2 December 2019 and further details are provided here. The current work on the Magellan Project aimed to:
1) review and assess the quality of the historic data;
2) conduct detailed site investigations to verify the presence of mineralisation, in surface outcrop, drill chips and core, and to assess the accuracy of existing data;
3) construct detailed three-dimensional geological models for the purpose of defining resources in accordance with JORC 2012;
4) design and implement an exploration and development strategy for the next phase of investment into Venus by Ariana.
Copper, gold, silver and zinc mineralisation at the Magellan Project is associated with Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposition at or near the palaeo-seafloor. The mineralisation contains localised lenses of massive metal sulphides (dominantly pyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite) which are surrounded by pervasive chloritic alteration and sulphide dissemination in the volcanic host rocks. The mineralisation is partly structurally controlled, associated with N-S trending horst and graben normal faults. Mineralisation is stratigraphically located near, or at the contact between, two gently NNE-dipping (10-20˚) pillow basalt sequences; the Upper Pillow Lavas (UPL) and Lower Pillow Lavas (LPL), of Upper Cretaceous age (90 Ma to 80 Ma) in the Troodos Ophiolite.
The Magellan Project is subdivided in to three sectors, Klirou, Kokkinoyia and New Sha, of which two are described here (Figure 1). Overall, the Klirou Sector is smaller and lower grade than the Kokkinoyia Sector. Kokkinoyia is typically more disseminated in nature with a stronger structural control on high-grade mineralisation, suggesting that the mineralisation represents a VMS system which formed just below the ocean floor, rather than as an exhalative deposit. Both sectors display chloritic alteration and show oxidation of sulphides, features which can be used as an exploration vector to deeper mineralisation. Kokkinoyia generally shows more intense alteration with localised gossanous outcrops, which became the initial focus of exploration drilling during the 1950s.
Mining for copper commenced at Kokkinoyia from 1973 and continued through to 1979. Mining records show that 474,000 tonnes of copper ore was mined via underground and open-pit methods, producing 285,000 tonnes of copper concentrate. No mining has been undertaken at the Klirou Sector.
Figure 1: Location of the Klirou and Kokkinoyia Sectors of the Magellan Project, showing the corresponding licences, main access roads and the location of the old processing facility at Mitsero. The New Sha Sector is located 15km to the southeast of the eastern map boundary and is considered an integral part of the Magellan Project.
Prior to the completion of the Resource Estimate, the Ariana and Venus teams reviewed all historic drilling results and geological logging data, collected and interpreted over 7,000 pXRF soil, outcrop, drill core and drill-chip samples, and acquired over 50 samples for precious-metals analysis. In addition, over 10km2 of drone photogrammetry data was processed in order to provide accurate surface topographic datasets.
This Resource Estimate is based on a detailed review of all available drill data acquired from the 1950s through to 2007. This data comprises 201 open-hole percussion drill holes at Kokkinoyia (totalling 41,316m) and 184 open-hole percussion and 2 diamond drill holes at Klirou (totalling 21,140.45m) for a combined total of 62,456.45m of drilling.
The use of modern software with improved estimation methods and statistical analysis enables the production of a Resource Estimate sufficient to be classified as Inferred. However, the data density for the Project is generally appropriate to support higher categories of classified resources in some areas, but this will require more confirmatory drilling to increase confidence in the historic data. JORC Table 1 for each of Klirou and Kokkinoyia provide more detail on sampling techniques and data used in this estimation.
Prior to this Resource Estimate, non-AIM-compliant historical resources of 4.3Mt @ 0.5% Cu, 0.8% Zn + unquantified Au (JORC 2004) for Klirou and 5.2Mt @ 0.7% Cu + unquantified Au (non-JORC) for Kokkinoyia were announced on 2 December 2019.
Ariana completed the geological modelling of the mineralised zones in Leapfrog Geo 5.0.4 (see JORC Table 1, Appendix 1 and 2) for both sectors of the Project. Several mineralised zones were modelled from sectional interpretations and associated interpolation, representing the most current geological data and understanding.
Interpolation and wireframe modelling of the mineralised zones in Leapfrog EDGE was completed using a 0.1% Cu modelling cut-off grade (CoG). High-grade mineralisation lenses within the Kokkinoyia Sector were individually and separately reviewed. As a result, these zones are modelled separately with their own mineralisation domains using a 1% Cu modelling CoG. The models were created based upon interval selections that referenced the copper grades, lithological descriptions and structural interpretation, where appropriate. Where continuity was not established between sections, the strike extrapolation was limited both manually (wireframes) and statistically (interpolations). The continuity of the various structures is reflected in the Mineral Resource classification.
Specific gravity was determined using a combination of a regional statistical study of Cypriot VMS systems, detailing the variation of density with increasing sulphur content, and from samples of diamond core obtained between 2005 and 2007. Two separate calculation filters were applied to the Klirou and Kokkinoyia sectors, where density values were applied to each block within the various block models according to its attributed average sulphur value. For Klirou, the density values ranged from 2.3 g/cm3 where sulphur is <5%, through to 3.9 g/cm3 where sulphur is >40%. At the Kokkinoyia Sector, densities of 2.1 g/cm3 where sulphur is <5% and 3.5 g/cm3 where sulphur is <30%, are used.
Compositing was completed in Leapfrog EDGE using a 1m best fit routine for the Klirou Sector and a Quantitative Kriging Neighbourhood Analysis (QKNA) sensitivity analysis, identifying 3m composites as statistically appropriate for the Kokkinoyia Sector. Hard domain boundaries were applied to both deposit models, which forced all samples to be included in one of the composites by adjusting the composite length, while keeping it as close as possible to the selected intervals of 1m and 3m.
Top-cut analysis was completed by viewing in three-dimensions the composite distributions according to grade within the models. Generally, high-grade samples correlate with logged massive sulphide lenses or are distributed in clusters. These were accordingly modelled as individual high-grade domains. Exceptions to this included the Kokkinoyia West Block Low Grade, Kokkinoyia East Block Low Grade and Kokkinoyia East Block High Grade where the following upper limits were fixed to various top-cut thresholds: 1.6% Cu West Block low grade domain, 2.5% Cu East block low grade domain, and 8% Cu East Block high grade domain. At Klirou the dataset generally did not have undue bias at higher-grades and therefore no top-cut was applied.
Variography was attempted for each sector (Klirou and Kokkinoyia) as an individual data population, but no suitable variograms could be established. This is probably due to the variation in geometry and structural off-sets within the deposits. However, good variogram model fits were achieved for most of the individual Kokkinoyia domains. The Kokkinoyia East Block contained a sufficient sample population for variography analysis, however, good variography was difficult to achieve, probably due to structural complexities which require the domain to be sub-domained for better variography analysis. At Klirou, only the Klirou East domain resulted in good variography. The other domains were structurally complex, or contained an inadequate sample population for optimal analysis. In order to achieve better estimation accuracy, the primary estimation method employed at Klirou was Inverse Distance Weighted Squared (IDWS), as opposed to Ordinary Kriging used at Kokkinoyia. An Ordinary Kriging routine was 'forced' at Klirou as a means of validating the Inverse Distance Squared estimation.
In both deposits a non-rotated sub-block model was established. Block sizes are determined by QKNA, for Kokkinoyia (Figure 2), and based on the drill spacing within the dataset and wireframe geometry, for Klirou (Figure 3). The optimal parent block sizes were determined to be 15m x 10m x 5m (x, y, z), sub-blocked to 5m x 5m x 5m (x, y, z) for Kokkoniyia. At Klirou, a 10m x 10m x 5m (x, y, z) parent block size was used, with a sub-block size of 5m x 5m x 5m (x, y, z). Sub-blocks received parent block grades during estimation and grades were estimated using Ordinary Kriging and/or Inverse Distance Squared, adopting a multi-pass methodology.
In the case of Kokkinoyia the block model was depleted of material recorded as having been extracted from the old mine workings (where known), to ensure only the remaining undepleted resource is quoted. An average zinc grade of 0.6% Zn was estimated for Kokkinoyia where there was sufficient data density in the vicinity of the open-pit. However, as there is no zinc data for the majority of the historic drilling, no attempt was made to include zinc in the final Resource Estimate for Kokkinoyia.
Figure 2: Block model of the Kokkinoyia deposit in plan and section, showing historic drilling. The location of certain infrastructure is shown in the plan.
Figure 3: Block model of the Klirou deposit in plan and section, showing historic drilling. The location of the new gold target at surface is shown in the plan.
The Mineral Resource Estimate is classified according to the guidelines presented within the 2012 JORC Code (JORC Table 1) as Inferred only (Table 1 and 2). However, the Klirou and Kokkinoyia sectors have sufficient surface and subsurface geological and geochemical data for higher classified resource categories to be achieved. This is limited by the historic nature of the majority of drilling amounting to more than 92% of the total data. Accordingly, this data cannot be audited, as no reference samples have been archived. Twin drill hole data for 13% of the total data for Klirou and surface sampling from old mine stockpiles at the Kokkinoyia site, verify the presence of mineralisation, but not sufficiently enough to categorise the resource beyond Inferred. In addition, previous mining activity at Kokkinoyia confirms the presence of economic mineralisation at substantially higher grades than the overall resource.
The styles of mineralisation have been identified, the controls on mineralisation are well understood and measurements and sampling completed to a reasonable degree of confidence for the mineralisation present. It is considered reasonable to expect that some of the Inferred could be upgraded to Indicated with continued exploration; however, due to the uncertainty of Inferred it should not be assumed that such upgrading will always occur. It is also reasonable to expect that portions of the Indicated, when defined, could be further upgraded to Measured with additional infill data.
The Resource Estimate for the Project uses a reporting cut-off of 0.2% Cu and demonstrates that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction (Table 1 and 2). Confidence in the Resource Estimate is sufficient to allow the results to be used in further technical and economic studies. Additional confidence in the data obtained from historic drilling is required in order to advance further understanding of the Project and this is likely to be achieved following a confirmatory diamond drilling programme.
Table 1: Summary 2020 Magellan Mineral Resource Estimate, in accordance with JORC 2012, based on 387 drill holes across the Kokkinoyia (for 201 holes) and Klirou (for 186 holes) Sectors (dated 15 October 2020). Reporting is based on a 0.2 % Cu cut-off grade. Figures in the table may not sum precisely due to rounding. These figures are quoted gross with respect to the Magellan Project. *Zinc resources are currently only defined at Klirou. Numbers in the table may not sum due to rounding.
Final Inferred Resource:
Table 2: Summary 2020 Magellan Mineral Resource Estimate, in accordance to JORC 2012, providing a detailed breakdown of the Project according to all deposit domains (dated 15 October 2020). Reporting is based on a 0.2 % Cu cut-off grade. Figures in the table may not sum precisely due to rounding. These figures are quoted gross with respect to the Magellan Project. *Zinc resources are currently only defined at Klirou as the Kokkinoyia zinc dataset is insufficient to define a resource at this time. Numbers in the table may not sum due to rounding.
High Grade Block East
High Grade Block West
Low Grade Block East
Low Grade Block West
Inferred KL Central
Inferred KL East
Inferred KL West
Gold Potential: JORC Exploration Target
Previous exploration in Cyprus did not comprehensively test the VMS systems for their precious-metals potential. Systematic multi-element analysis of samples obtained by Venus and historic drilling data, has enabled the calculation of a JORC Exploration Target for gold, which is derived from two separate assessments incorporating high-quality exploration data, with extrapolated interpretations across the existing resource domains of each sector of the Project (Table 3). The presence of significant amounts of silver at both sectors also demonstrates that silver may ultimately contribute to the resource and accordingly a JORC Exploration Target for silver is also provided here.
To date, only 9.67% (656 samples) of the Klirou drill data provides for gold and silver analyses. Consequently, this is deemed an insufficient sub-sample to define a JORC Inferred Resource Estimate for gold and silver. However, several gold and silver intercepts from previous drilling in 2005-2007 confirm that there is a significant precious-metals component to the Klirou deposit, including:
· 48m @ 1.15 g/t Au + 6.26 g/t Ag: EMR19 from 95m to 143m
· 36m @ 0.6 g/t Au + 1.83 g/t Ag: EMR20 from 144m to 180m
· 10.6m @ 1.14 g/t Au + 6.32 g/t Ag: EMD03 from 104m to 114.6m
Furthermore, significant surface rock-chip samples collected from oxidised basalt outcrops 200m north and outside of the Klirou resource returned:
· 7.29 g/t Au + 22.6 g/t Ag (+ weak copper): oxidised pillow lava outcrop
· 4.86 g/t Au + 16.2 g/t Ag + 0.10% Cu: umberiferous lava outcrop
· 3.85 g/t Au + 39 g/t Ag + 0.25% Cu: oxidised pillow lava outcrop
This demonstrates that a precious-metals rich zone of the deposit has not been adequately drill-tested to date, and presents an opportunity to define a significant resource extension to the north.
At Kokkinoyia, mining records from the 1970s show that the copper concentrates contained on average 5 g/t of gold. This is supported by the results from 29 grab and composite samples which were taken from historic stockpiles, dumps and tailings and fire assayed for gold and silver. Almost all samples returned gold values, with best results including: 5.16 g/t Au + 37.6 g/t Ag, 3.56 g/t Au + 27.8 g/t Ag, 2.16 g/t Au + 9.6 g/t Ag, 1.55 g/t Au + 22.9 g/t Ag, 1.29 g/t Au + 18.0 g/t Ag. The average gold content of all 29 grab samples was 0.8 g/t Au.
For the Klirou deposit, existing drilling data from 2005-2007, with gold and silver assay results were estimated according to the mineralised domains as defined within the above resource (Figure 4). On the lower tonnage end of the Klirou target, it was assumed that only the Klirou East domain contained gold, as this is primarily where the most of the verifiable gold data exists (68% of the total gold data, amounting to 132.45m of drill intercepts). On the upper end of the estimate, the average gold assay grade was extrapolated across all of the Klirou resource domains. The estimation runs for the various Klirou domains incorporated the same input parameters as defined for the copper resource.
Figure 4: The location of modern drill holes in to the Klirou deposit which show gold and silver grades. The initial surface sampling undertaken across the Klirou North gold target is also shown.
At Kokkinoyia, the average gold grade applied to the estimation was based on the results of the 29 surface samples taken from various stockpiles and waste dumps, as described above. While the average grade for the 29 samples was 0.8 g/t Au, the more massive sulphide material contains gold in a range of 0.4-0.6 g/t Au. Accordingly, in order to generate the low tonnage, low grade target only the massive sulphide lenses were modelled. For the upper estimate threshold, it was assumed that the entire volume of the mineralisation at Kokkinoyia contains gold at the average 0.8 g/t Au value. It is important to note that some of the highest grades of gold are associated with the lowest copper values, which suggests that the gold rich part of the mineralisation is somehow distinct from the copper rich part. This will be an area of further investigation through future drilling programmes.
Table 3: Summary 2020 Magellan JORC Exploration Target for gold and silver. Numbers in the table may not sum due to rounding.
Contained Metal Ounces
Ariana Resources plc
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7407 3616
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
The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by Zack van Coller BSc (Hons), Special Projects Geologist, Ariana Resources plc. Mr. van Coller is a Competent Person as defined by the JORC Code, 2012 Edition. The results are reported in accordance with the JORC Code, under the direction of Dr. Kerim Sener BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, Managing Director of Ariana Resources plc, and a Competent Person as defined by the JORC Code. Mr. van Coller and Dr. Sener have reviewed the technical and scientific information in this press release relating to the Mineral Resource estimates and approve the use of the information contained herein.
The information in this announcement that relates to exploration results is based on information compiled by Dr. Kerim Sener BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD. Dr. Sener is a Fellow of The Geological Society of London and a Member of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and has sufficient experience relevant to the styles of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity that has been undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined by the 2012 edition of the Australasian Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code) and under the AIM Rules - Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Dr. Sener consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
Details of the Venus Earn-in
Ariana is continuing its earn-in to Venus following the expenditure of c. €1.2 million, resulting rights to c.12% Venus. The earn-in to 50% will complete once a total of €3 million has been committed to Venus by Ariana, with a further c. €1.8 million required to be spent between October 2020 and October 2022.
About Ariana Resources:
Ariana is an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company operating in Europe. It has interests in gold production in Turkey and copper-gold assets in Cyprus. The Company is developing a portfolio of prospective licences in Turkey, which contain a depleted total of c. 2.1 million ounces of gold and other metals (as at July 2020).
The Red Rabbit Project is comprised of the Company's flagship assets, the Kiziltepe and Tavsan gold projects, and is part of a 50:50 Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co. Both assets are located in western Turkey, which hosts some of the largest operating gold mines in the country and remains highly prospective for new porphyry and epithermal deposits. The Kiziltepe Sector of the Red Rabbit Project is fully permitted and is currently in production. The total depleted resource inventory at the Project and its wider area is c. 500,000 ounces of gold equivalent (as at April 2020). At Kiziltepe a Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty of up to 2.5% on production is payable to Franco-Nevada Corporation. At Tavsan an NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Sandstorm Gold.
The 100% owned Salinbas Gold Project is located in north-eastern Turkey and has a total resource inventory of c. 1.5 million ounces of gold. The project comprises three notable licence areas: Salinbas, Ardala and Hizarliyayla, all of which are located within a multi-million ounce Artvin Goldfield. The "Hot Gold Corridor" contains several significant gold-copper projects including the 4 million ounce Hot Maden project, which lies 16km to the south of Salinbas and 7km south of Hizarliyayla. A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Eldorado Gold Corporation on the Salinbas Gold Project.
Ariana is also earning-in to 50% of UK-registered Venus Minerals Ltd ("Venus") and has to date earned into an entitlement to c. 12%. Venus is focused on the exploration and development of copper-gold assets in Cyprus.
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:
"Ag" chemical symbol for silver;
"Au" chemical symbol for gold;
"Cu" chemical symbol for copper;
"cut-off grade" the lowest grade, or quality, of mineralised material that qualifies as economically mineable and available in a given deposit. May be defined on the basis of economic evaluation, or on physical or chemical attributes that define an acceptable product specification;
"g/t" grams per tonne;
"Inferred resource" a part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a low level of confidence. It is inferred from geological evidence and has assumed, but not verified, geological and/or grade continuity. It is based on information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that may be limited or of uncertain quality and reliability;
"Inverse Distance Weighted Squared" or "IDWS" a conventional mathematical method used to calculate the attributes of mineral resources. Near sample points provide a greater weighting than samples further away for any given resource block;
"JORC" the Joint Ore Reserves Committee;
"JORC 2012" is the current edition of the JORC Code, which was published in 2012. After a transition period, the 2012 Edition came into mandatory operation in Australasia from 1 December 2013;
"Mt" million tonnes;
"Ordinary Kriging" is a geostatistical approach to modelling which relies on the spatial correlation of the data to determine weighting values, rather than weighting nearby data points by some power of their inverted distance (e.g. IDWS). This is a more rigorous approach to modelling, as the spatial correlation between data points determines the estimated value at an unsampled point;
"S" chemical symbol for sulphur;
"oz" Troy Ounces. One Troy Ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams;
"VMS" Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide;
"Zn" chemical symbol for zinc.
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