Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with gold mining interests in Europe, has announced an exploration alliance agreement and investment with Newmont Corp. regarding exploration in south-eastern Europe via Ariana's 75%-owned Western Tethyan Resources Ltd (WTR). The alliance will focus on copper and gold exploration within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, utilising the teams established by WTR and Ariana.
- Newmont to invest US$2.5 million in Ariana based on a 10% premium to a 30-day volume-weighted average price (VWAP), to enable the funding of the alliance's activities, in addition to providing access to Newmont's Regional Database.
- The alliance between Newmont, Ariana and WTR to run for an initial period of five years; such period being mutually extendable with future funding requirements of the alliance to be met by Newmont, via an option to further invest in Ariana.
- In the event the Alliance is successful in identifying a project of sufficient merit for further development by Newmont, such project will be transferred to a dedicated ‘mining company’, which will initially be held 100% by WTR.
- Newmont will invest a further US$1 million in the mining company over a further period of two years, enabling it to earn-in to 60% in such mining company.
- Expenditure of a further US$15 million on a pre-feasibility study, which establishes a JORC or NI43-101 resource of over two million ounces of gold, will enable Newmont to earn-in to 75%.
- Should Newmont decide to develop a mining project, funding will be on a pro-rata basis unless WTR elects not to contribute, in which case Newmont will earn-in to a maximum of 85%.
- If either party withdraws from the mining company or dilutes below 10%, such party will relinquish its interest in return for a 2% NSR.
- On conclusion of the alliance term, and in the event that no mining company is established, Ariana, WTR and Newmont will each retain a copy of the alliance database, with Ariana granting a 1% NSR and WTR granting a 0.75% NSR to Newmont.
- Separately, Newmont, Ariana, and Galata Mineral Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. have agreed to the amendment and extension until March 2031 of an existing non-exclusive database licence agreement primarily comprising Newmont's Turkish exploration database to account for Ariana holding its Turkish interests through Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S.
Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: “We are exceptionally pleased to partner with Newmont on the exploration for large-scale copper-gold deposits across south-eastern Europe, via Western Tethyan Resources. This is an area that was previously explored primarily in the 1980s and 1990s by entities since absorbed into the Newmont group, such as Normandy Mining. Accordingly, the partnership is benefitting from substantial data historically collected by Newmont upon which we are undertaking a comprehensive targeting exercise. Newmont is also providing significant exploration expertise including the potential deployment of several proprietary exploration technologies.
“In addition, we are pleased to be renewing our exisiting data licence agreement with Newmont, primarily encompassing the region of Turkey. This agreement was due to expire in 2023, but will now be extended to March 2031 under slightly revised terms, to reflect the decreased ownership of our interests in Turkey through Zenit Madencilik. We are continuing to look out for prospective exploration opportunities across this region and having access to Newmont's data and resources enables us to target exploration more effectively.”
Mentor Demi, Managing Director of Western Tethyan Resources Ltd, added: “Partnering with the industry's largest gold mining company, Newmont, and deepening our relationship with Ariana will enable us to unlock the mineral potential of south-eastern Europe. Globally, outcropping mineral deposits have been discovered and developed but south-eastern Europe, to date, remains one of the last under-explored and prospective area plays in the world.
“With our extensive expertise in the region and Newmont's significant capabilities, database and exploration technologies, we are confident that we will make several new copper-gold discoveries and consequently extend our cooperation beyond the initial five-year period.”
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/exploration-development/24032022/ariana-resources-announces-exploration-alliance-agreement-with-newmont-corp/