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Ariana Resources completes JV

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, has announced the completion of its transformational joint venture (JV) with Özaltin Holding A.S. and Proccea Construction Co., following the satisfaction of all conditions precedent.

Highlights:

  • JV formalised on the terms summarised on 7 December 2020, ratified by shareholders on 30 December and approved by the Competition Authority in Turkey on the 19 January 2021.
  • Expanded Joint JVenture with Özaltin and Proccea involves the partial disposal of the company's interests in Turkey in exchange for US$37.75 million in cash before costs and taxation (inclusive of the sale of the Satellite Projects).
  • Ariana and Proccea retain a 23.5% interest each in the expanded JV, with Özaltin owning 53%.
  • US$8 million being committed by Özaltin to a feasibility study, environmental impact assessment and additional permitting at the Salinbas Project.
  • Process plant expansion at Kiziltepe well underway, with completion expected in 2H21.
  • Drilling programme to test vein extensions at Kiziltepe ongoing.

Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: "This JV represents the most significant development in the company's history and we look forward to building on our enhanced position while continuing to deliver on our objective to provide significant value for shareholders. This JV validates our successful strategy of simultaneously creating value and mitigating business risks.

"We are exceptionally pleased to partner with Özaltin Holding and to continue our excellent relationship with Proccea Construction as we advance our collective interests at the Kiziltepe Mine and the Tavsan and Salinbas development projects. These projects contain a combined total JORC resource of 2.1 million oz of gold, making our JV one of the most significant gold mining ventures in Turkey.

"With our enhanced cash position of about £25 million, following completion, this deal will catalyse further exploration and development across Turkey and the wider region, as we pursue project opportunities on behalf of the JV. We are already advancing our interest in Venus Minerals and expect to reach 50% ownership during 2021 while supporting its resource development and exploration programmes in Cyprus. Separately, we are progressing our assessment of several gold and copper-gold projects elsewhere in Eastern Europe, for which we expect to announce further developments during 1H21.

"We look forward to updating the market on these and other high-impact initiatives that will be advanced by the company during the coming months. In addition, we are advancing our plans to distribute a substantial special dividend to reward our loyal shareholders during 2021."

Muzaffer Ozdemir, CEO, Özaltin Holding A.S., added: "This is the beginning of an exciting new partnership and marks the start of our first mining venture. We are ready to get off to a flying start, having already spent several productive months working with the Zenit JV team and developing our understanding of the project portfolio. It is already very pleasing to see the pace of development activities underway across all projects and particularly at Kiziltepe, where a processing plant expansion is already in progress and a new resource drilling programme is advancing well."

Deniz Aybars, Managing Director, Proccea Construction Co., concluded: "For us, this new JV builds upon and enhances our decade-long relationship with Ariana and, with the input of our new partners at Özaltin, provides substantial opportunities to grow our mining business both within Turkey and potentially further afield. Over the years, we have recognised the capability of the Ariana exploration team to identify and develop high-quality projects and to define new opportunities, even on existing projects as seen with Kiziltepe and Tavsan. We look forward to creating further value together over the next 10 years."

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/17022021/ariana-resources-completes-jv/

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