DRILLING COMMENCES AT SALINBAS AND TAVSAN
15 November 2021
DRILLING COMMENCES AT SALINBAS AND TAVSAN
Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with interests in gold mining operations in Europe, is pleased to announce the commencement of drilling programmes at Salinbas and Tavsan. These projects are part of the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. ("Zenit") Joint Venture ("JV") with Proccea Construction Co. and Ozaltin Holding A.S. and are 23.5% owned by Ariana.
· Commencement of diamond drilling programme at the Salinbas Project.
· Imminent start-up of diamond drilling programme at the Tavsan Project.
· Over 2,300m of resource and exploration drilling planned at Salinbas to increase confidence in resource and extend the peripheries of the current model.
· Over 2,000m of resource drilling planned at Tavsan prior to commencement of mining.
· Kiziltepe Sector drilling programme has concluded following the completion of over 15,000m, representing the most significant single programme conducted to date.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:
"We are delighted to be commencing our drilling programmes at Salinbas and Tavsan. These programmes were repeatedly delayed through this year, largely as a result of COVID-19-induced limitations on both our teams and on the drilling companies. Up until one month ago, we had expected an RC programme to commence, but even this had to be cancelled and we have now opted to undertake diamond drilling across both projects. A mid-winter programme presents some challenges, but as we will now be proceeding with diamond drilling this also provides some advantages. We are now looking forward to seeing the results of these new programmes and wish the teams involved much 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").
The drilling programmes at Salinbas and Tavsan are commencing following completion of the Kiziltepe Sector drilling programme of over 15,000m which started in December 2020. As with the Kiziltepe drilling, the activities of the JV team will be supported by the Ariana exploration team during the course of the drilling programmes at Salinbas and Tavsan. Both teams have now mobilised to their respective sites.
Diamond drilling (HQ, with top of hole in PQ due to thick colluvium layer) has commenced at the Salinbas Project, located in north-eastern Turkey within the multi-million ounce Artvin Goldfield. The 4,000m programme has begun with the Phase 1 drilling (Figure 1) which is comprised of holes located exclusively on private land. Phase 1 of the programme, consisting of 2,320m across 16 holes, aims to increase confidence in the resource by means of infill drilling. Some exploratory holes have also been planned to target the periphery of the current model, to potentially expand the resource. Later phases of the programme will focus on exploration targets, some of which require forestry permits, for which applications have been made. Additional holes will be added to this drilling programme as twin holes to provide material for metallurgical test work.
A drilling programme in 2019 completed a total of 2,210m on the Salinbas Project which improved the understanding of the relationship between the Salinbas-style of mineralisation and the Ardala Porphyry Complex (see new release 11 July 2019). To date, 21,277.60 m of drilling has been completed across 134 holes at the Salinbas Project. These previous drilling programmes helped to define the current JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 1.5 million ounces of gold (see news release 30 July 2020) split between the high-grade Salinbas Deposit and the lower-grade, high-tonnage Ardala Porphyry Complex.
Figure 1: Map showing planned drillhole collar locations for the Phase 1 Salinbas resource drilling programme.
Diamond drilling (HQ) is planned to start at the Tavsan Project before the end of the month, with 85 holes planned for a total of over 2,000m of drilling (Figure 2). Opportunities for resource expansion at Tavsan have been demonstrated and thus the aim of this programme is primarily infill and resource step-out drilling, with some additional exploration holes.
The majority of the drilling at Tavsan was completed prior to 2005. To date, 5,879m of drilling has been completed at Tavsan across 171 holes (max. depth 159m, avg. 34m, min. 7m). Based on this drilling, the Tavsan Project has a current JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 253,000 ounces gold and 0.7 million ounces silver (as at June 2020).
The EIA permit for the Tavsan Project to be developed as a gold and silver mine, targeting production of up to 30,000oz of gold per year over 8 years, was approved recently (see news release 14 October 2021). Zenit is managing the development of the Tavsan Mine, with construction to commence following the receipt of final permits, including those for construction, health and safety, and forestry, among others, and with production expected to commence within 12 months after the initiation of construction.
Figure 2: Map showing planned drillhole collar locations for the Tavsan Project.
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
The information in this announcement that relates to exploration results is based on information compiled by Dr. Kerim Sener BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, Managing Director of Ariana Resources plc. 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.
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 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 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.
Glossary of Technical Terms:
"EIA" Environmental Impact Assessment;
"JORC" the Joint Ore Reserves Committee;