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Ariana Resources provides interim results

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with interests in gold mining operations in Europe, has announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.

Financial highlights

  • Ariana's share of profits from the Kiziltepe Mine, part of Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S., in the six months to June 2021 amount to £1.3 million (1H20 £3 million), due in part to the reduction in holding from 50% to 23.5%.
  • Profit before tax of £7.1 million (1H20 £2.2 million) recorded for the period, with operating costs in line with expectations and the prior year.
  • Profit for the period of £5 million (1H20: £1.9 million) reflects the profit realised on restructuring of group activities.
  • Payment of first dividend of £3.8 million to shareholders post-period end, amounting to 0.35 p per share, following capital reorganisation completed during the period.

Operational highlights

  • Completion of transformational deal valued in aggregate at US$70.75 million in cash with Ozaltin Holding A.S. and Proccea Construction Co. concerning Zenit and other assets in Turkey; Ariana's share reduced to 23.5%.
  • Commencement of exploration in Eastern Europe via 75% held Western Tethyan Resources Ltd and drilling commenced in Cyprus via the company's interest in Venus Minerals Ltd.
  • Earn-in on Venus Minerals Ltd has currently reached 37.5%, with 50% expected to be achieved in early 4Q21.
  • Kiziltepe Mine production for 1H21 achieved 7941 oz of gold (1H20: 9808 oz gold) with guidance for 2021 expected to be met by year end, following increased mill throughput after the completion of the process plant expansion.
  • Final Zenit working capital loan repayment of US$0.8 million to Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi A.S due to be completed post-period end in October 2021.
  • An exploration and resource drilling campaign has completed approximately 14 000 m of diamond drilling across the Kiziltepe Sector, with excellent results received across various vein systems.

Michael de Villiers, Chairman, commented: “1H21 began with significant momentum as the company embarked on a transformational new venture alongside Ozaltin Holding A.S. and Proccea Construction Co. This collaboration underscores Ariana's successful strategy of creating value whilst mitigating business risks, even in the most challenging of times. The partnership has also enabled Ariana to reward valued shareholders with the first dividend payment in its history. Apart from the monetisation of a substantial portion the company's project balance sheet, the transaction has also enabled the team to be deployed to exploration and project initiatives across a much broader theatre of operations. These are outlined in more detail below.

“Despite the challenges faced through the coronavirus pandemic, our mining operations have continued relatively unhindered. The Kiziltepe Mine continues to produce on target against its plan. Meanwhile, its future growth has been secured through the completion of extensive plant expansion work and an associated significant new resource and exploration drilling programme. In addition, there has been steady progress on both the Tavsan and Salinbas projects all of which underpins further development scheduled for later this year.

“While the pandemic continues to place limitations on physical travel, we have come to terms with the fact that we will all have to live with some form of restrictions for some time to come and adapt our business model accordingly. This has prompted innovative ways of working which have been embraced and used highly effectively by our dispersed teams. The increasing demand for greener technologies and lesser environmental impact further reinforces Ariana's initiative towards a strategy of broader target selection across both new geographies and commodities. Consequently, we are in the process of developing a wider stream of projects and exploration initiatives which we intend to announce as and when they are developed; after all we do not want others to ‘steal a march’.”

“Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the Ariana team and our partners for their steadfast efforts during these challenging times; they have once again achieved outstanding results. It has been very gratifying to be able to pay our shareholders such a substantial dividend after 16 years of commitment and investment. To conclude on the best point, there is much more to come.”

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Gold mining news European mining news