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Ariana commences drilling at Salinbas and Tavsan

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Global Mining Review,

Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with interests in gold mining operations in Europe, has announced the commencement of drilling programmes at Salinbas and Tavsan. These projects are part of the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. 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 2300 m of resource and exploration drilling planned at Salinbas to increase confidence in resource and extend the peripheries of the current model.
  • Over 2000 m of resource drilling planned at Tavsan prior to commencement of mining.
  • Kiziltepe Sector drilling programme has concluded following the completion of over 15 000 m, 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 drilling programmes at Salinbas and Tavsan are commencing following completion of the Kiziltepe Sector drilling programme of over 15 000 m 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 4000 m programme has begun with the Phase 1 drilling, which is comprised of holes located exclusively on private land. Phase 1 of the programme, consisting of 2320 m 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 2210 m 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, 21 277.6 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 oz of gold (see news release 30 July 2020) split between the high-grade Salinbas Deposit and the lower-grade, high-tonnage Ardala Porphyry Complex.


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 2000 m of drilling. 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, 5879 m of drilling has been completed at Tavsan across 171 holes (maximum depth 159 m, average 34 m, minimum 7 m). Based on this drilling, the Tavsan Project has a current JORC measured, indicated and inferred resource of 253 000 oz gold and 0.7 million oz 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 30 000 oz of gold per year over eight 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.

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