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Ariana Resources JV conditional agreements completed

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, has announced the completion of conditional agreements on its joint venture with Özaltin Holding A.S. (JV), via its subsidiary, Özaltin Insaat, Ticaret and Sanayi A.S. (collectively Özaltin) and with Proccea Construction Co. (collectively the parties). Özaltin will be acquiring 53% of both Pontid Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Pontid), the owner of the Salinbas Project and the existing Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. JV which is currently owned by Ariana in a 50:50 partnership with Proccea.

The JV with Özaltin and Proccea involves the partial disposal of the interests of the company in Zenit and Pontid in exchange for US$35.75 million in cash (the transaction). On completion, Ariana will retain a 23.5% interest in the JV, as will Proccea. The parties have also agreed to the sale of Ariana's remaining projects, under its subsidiary Galata, to Zenit for an additional US$2 million in cash (as announced on 2 December 2020).

Highlights

  • JV to continue the development of the 0.6 million oz Red Rabbit Project and to advance the 1.5 million oz Salinbas Project.
  • JV to be owned 53% Özaltin, 23.5% Ariana, 23.5% Proccea, with Proccea as Manager.
  • Cash payment to Ariana of US$37.75 million, before costs and taxation, inclusive of the sale of Ariana's remaining projects to Zenit.
  • US$8 million to be committed by Özaltin to fund a feasibility study, EIA and additional permitting on Salinbas.
  • Ariana to continue exploration across the JV projects with the aim of defining additional resources and in the pursuit of new project opportunities elsewhere.
  • The transaction remains conditional inter alia on Ariana shareholder approval, following the publication of a circular to Shareholders and the satisfactory completion of a general meeting of the company. The transaction is also conditional on the necessary regulatory approvals in Turkey.

Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: "In preparing this announcement, I have chosen to repeat and reflect on the comments made when we entered into our original JV with Proccea in 2010, much of which is wholly relevant to the present:

{"This JV […] has created a solid set of foundations to spur the growth of your company. We are delighted to be in partnership with a strong and competent JV partner and we look forward to adding further value to our assets via this JV. The partners are aiming to see the Kiziltepe Sector through to production in approximately 2 years, and to continue the advancement of the Red Rabbit project area as a whole. Indeed, the partners also intend to grow the JV company beyond its original scope, to include new project development opportunities in the region."}

“While it took our original JV 4 more years to bring Kiziltepe into production, jointly navigating the associated permitting and financing hurdles had the effect of adding significant strength, resilience and trust to our partnership. Furthermore, the closing line of our 2010 statement was particularly prophetic, and it is upon these solid foundations that we have chosen to further enhance our JV with the addition of Özaltin into our proven partnership with Proccea. Özaltin brings significant expertise and capacity in infrastructure development in Turkey and has been responsible for several large-scale government funded projects in recent years. We look forward to working with Özaltin and with our original partners, Proccea, to continue to develop a successful and profitable mining business in the years ahead."

Muzaffer Ozdemir, CEO, Özaltin Holding A.S., added: "We are excited to be entering into a partnership with Ariana and Proccea. We recognise the capabilities demonstrated within their existing JV and can see the opportunities to grow their active mining portfolio. In particular, we are keen to see the Tavsan Mine developed as the second operation within the JV, while we collectively work towards bringing the Salinbas Project through feasibility and into development. We are now poised to become a substantial gold producer in Turkey, demonstrating capabilities spanning exploration, process design, construction and mining. There are few companies, either nationally or internationally that have this level of full-spectrum capability in the gold mining industry."

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/08122020/ariana-resources-jv-conditional-agreements-completed/

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