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Ariana Resources confirms gold at Kokkinoyia Sector

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Global Mining Review,

Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, has announced recent drilling results obtained from the Kokkinoyia Sector of the Magellan Project which is 100% owned by Venus Minerals Ltd. Venus is focused on the exploration and development of copper and gold assets in Cyprus. Ariana is continuing its earn-in to 50% of Venus and is currently entitled to 26%.


  • Gold confirmed to be a significant component of the Kokkinoyia deposit, with an average grade of the mineralised zone returning 128.77 m at 0.5% copper (Cu) and 0.55 g/t gold (Au).
  • Significant drilling intercepts from the first hole (VMD001) at Kokkinoyia include:
    • 11 m at 1.11% Cu and 1.05 g/t Au, including underground development back-fill with 2 m at 2.05% Cu and 2.50 g/t Au.
    • 5.87 m at 0.53% Cu and 4.55 g/t Au, including underground development back-fill with 1.37 m at 0.41% Cu and 12.75 g/t Au.
    • 12 m at 0.99% Cu and 0.29 g/t Au.
  • Eight remaining holes are pending assay results, which will be released within the coming weeks.

Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: These excellent results confirm our expectations that the Kokkinoyia deposit represents a copper-gold volcanogenic massive sulfide system. The average grade across the whole length of the mineralised zone in this first hole demonstrates economically significant levels of copper and gold accumulation. Furthermore, where underground development was intercepted, substantial grades of both copper and gold were identified, suggesting that much of the back-fill used was also significantly mineralised. This is also reflected in the grades encountered in the mine waste dumps at surface. Further drilling results from Kokkinoyia are expected to be received in the coming weeks and will be integrated into a revised JORC Resource Estimate when appropriate.

The progress being made by the Venus team in Cyprus has been substantial over the past year and these results vindicate our strategy to diversify our regional interests in Europe. We are looking forward to accelerating our earn-in on Venus accordingly.

Drilling programme

Following the end of a 3-month drilling programme at Kokkinoyia in early June (comprising over 1500 m of drilling), the team and equipment were mobilised to Klirou where the team are now actively drilling. The primary aim of the drilling programme was to add confidence to key historic intercepts on the western side of Kokkinoyia (Kokkinoyia West) and to identify potential for gold mineralisation below surface, as indicated by the results of grab sampling from mine waste dumps. The drilling has also generated material for future metallurgical test work.


Drilling at Kokkinoyia consisted of nine inclined diamond drill holes totalling 1578.8 m with an average depth of 169 m (minimum depth: 140.6 m, maximum depth: 202.5 m). A combination of PQ and HQ diamond drilling was used to test the eastern and western flanks of the historic Kokkinoyia opencast, where the holes aimed to test residual mineralisation beneath and around existing workings.

Key intercepts from VMD001 include (in order of depth):

  • 48.23 – 54.1 m: 5.87 m at 0.53% Cu and 4.55 g/t Au.
    • With 48.23 – 49.6 m: 1.37 m at 0.41% Cu and 12.75 g/t Au in underground development back-fill.
  • 85 – 96 m: 11 m at 1.11% Cu and 1.05 g/t Au.
    • With 85 – 87 m: 2 m at 2.05% Cu and 2.50 g/t Au in underground development back-fill.
  • 144 – 156 m: 12 m at 0.99% Cu and 0.29 g/t Au.
  • 165 – 176 m: 11 m at 0.61% Cu and 0.14 g/t Au.

The results of this first hole will assist with the confirmation of the Kokkinoyia JORC Resource Estimate (approximately 5 million t at 0.7% Cu for 36 000 t Cu [JORC inferred], see announcement dated 15 October 2020). A further eight Kokkinoyia drill holes are still pending for assaying at ALS Laboratory Services in Ireland (ALS Ireland).

Historically, all drill holes at Kokkinoyia were drilled vertically. VMD001 is the first inclined hole in to the deposit and was designed to test and link mineralisation between several historic holes. The other pending Venus holes were also mostly inclined, sufficiently testing all of the Kokkinoyia West area of the existing resource. VMD001 intercepted two areas of underground development, which were back-filled with material showing significantly elevated copper and gold grades of up to 2.05% Cu and separately 12.75 g/t Au. The average grade of 'mineralised' core from start (48.23 m) to end (177 m) with some minor internal dilution (5.75 m total) returned 128.77 m at 0.5% Cu and 0.55 g/t Au. This is a robust result which has more than adequately tested the current block model. Furthermore, from approximately 120 m to 177 m, a new extended zone of mineralisation is noted. Historic drilling in the surrounding area appears to have never been sampled to these depths. Any additional results which support this observation may lead to further growth of the Kokkinoyia resource at depth.

Gold assay results at Kokkinoyia were historically non-existent to minimal (<1% of the database), and therefore, the occurrence of gold has never been an economic focus for the mining of the deposit. However, the Kokkinoyia deposit is continuing to demonstrate the potential for significant gold, as initially identified from grab sampling of waste rock dumps by the Venus team in 2018. Overall, the results for this first drill hole have increased confidence in the historic drilling, and if the remaining holes prove to yield similar results, there will likely be an overall increase in confidence in the future Kokkinoyia JORC mineral resource estimate, with the inclusion of a significant gold component.

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