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Ariana Resources announces Kiziltepe Mine production results

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Global Mining Review,

Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with gold mining interests in Europe, has announced the full-year production results for the year ended 31 December 2021 for the Kiziltepe Mine in Turkey. Kiziltepe is 23.5% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S.

Production update

  • Kiziltepe produced a total of 20 737 oz of gold (Au) during the year, exceeding its full-year production guidance by 9%.
  • As at end 2021, the mine had produced a total of 104 937 oz Au and 1 154 805 oz of silver (Ag), recording US$177 million in revenue since operations commenced in early 2017.
  • Mining operations are continuing at Arzu North and Derya, with additional high-grade (7 – 8 g/t Au) material being trucked from Kepez, with expansion of these operations expected during 2022.
  • A processing plant expansion was completed early in 2H21, with plant capacity now increased 300% over the feasibility design.
  • Gross full-year revenue of US$42.9 million at an average realised gold price of US$1 763/oz, against an average revenue per gold ounce of US$2067 (due to silver credit).

Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: “2021 marked the fifth full-year of operations at Kiziltepe, which has performed flawlessly and consistently above guidance since day one, and an increase in production from 2020. This level of performance is a direct reflection on the capabilities of the operational team, who continue to operate at the top of their game. While recent years have presented unusual challenges, both our operational and exploration teams have taken these in their stride and we are immensely proud of their collective achievements.

“As at the end of 2021, within a period of less than 5 years, total production from Kiziltepe comprised more gold than the original eight-year life of mine production estimated from the feasibility study, highlighting the significant upside generated from Kiziltepe and surrounding prospects such as Kepez. This has occurred against a backdrop of improved economic conditions, operational excellence and precise planning. Looking to the future, we now expect to double life of mine production as compared to the feasibility study, once all future permitting requirements are satisfied.

“While the past year has seen unprecedented reinvestment into the operational company in terms of exploration and development (to help extend mine life) and the significant plant expansion (to double throughput capacity), this has been balanced by the second-best revenue flow we have ever seen into the business. This, coupled with our focus on maintaining the lowest possible cash costs (typically in the US$500 – US$600 range), continues to yield significant operational margin, especially considering our hard currency denominated revenue stream within a declining value local currency environment.

“Supported by the resultant and continued dividend stream from our operating company in Turkey, we are continuing to reinvest into our business with a view to expanding our interests across the Eastern European region and further afield. In particular, we are pleased to see the progress being made by Venus Minerals towards its proposed IPO in London and we look forward to continuing our involvement in their exploration and development plans.

“In addition, current discovery-stage investments made during the year as part of our project catalyst strategy across the Eastern Hemisphere are enhancing our operational reach and exposure to exploration upside in new jurisdictions.

“With value upside evident across all arms of the company, 2022 is set to be a fantastic year for Ariana.”

Other developments

  • Up to three diamond drilling rigs have been employed at Tavsan during the winter to satisfy the requirements of a revised mineral resource estimate, with construction of the mine expected to commence later in 2022.
  • A single diamond drilling rig is continuing work at Salinbas, with other environmental, community and permitting activities proceeding across the project as a whole.
  • Venus Minerals, of which Ariana owns 50%, completed its drilling programmes in Cyprus during 2021 and has been completing mineral resource estimates for the Magellan and Apliki Projects, prior to the commencement of a planned IPO in London.
  • Western Tethyan Resources, of which Ariana owns 75%, currently has 300 km2 of licences under application in Kosovo and is actively exploring and identifying new opportunities across Eastern Europe.
  • The company is developing investment interests in discovery-stage opportunities across the Eastern Hemisphere through the Asgard Metals Fund, with two initial investments made during 2021 and with several other investments currently being investigated for 2022.

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Gold mining news Silver mining news European mining news