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Ariana Resources provides 2020 production update

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Ariana Resources plc, an AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe, has announced its full-year production results for the year ended 31 December 2020 for the Kiziltepe Mine in Turkey. Kiziltepe is currently 50% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S., which will reduce to 23.5% once the new joint venture with Ozaltin Holding A.S. and Proccea Construction Co. completes (details as announced on 7 December 2020 and ratified by shareholders on 30 December 2020).

Production update

  • Kiziltepe produced a total of 18 645 oz of gold during the year, exceeding its full year production guidance by 3.5%.
  • As at end 2020 the mine had produced a total of 84 200 oz of gold and 915 233 oz of silver, recording US$134 million in revenue since operations commenced in early 2017.
  • Mining operations are continuing at Arzu North and Derya, with plans to expand these opencast operations currently under permitting review.
  • A processing plant expansion is underway, with construction due to be completed in 2H21; the processing plant capacity will be increased by over 300% over the feasibility design and up to 500 000 tpy of ore.

Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: "The final quarter of 2020 rounded off another solid year of production for Kiziltepe, which once again exceeded joint venture guidance. We were further buoyed by gold and silver prices during the year, resulting in revenue exceeding US$37 million in 2020, and capping off an exceptional period of company development for which our staff and our joint venture team must be commended.

"Since operations commenced at Kiziltepe, the joint venture company, Zenit, has successfully repaid US$36.7 million in debt to Turkiye Finans Bankasi A.S. Accordingly its relationships with lenders are very sound, which bodes well for future mine development projects at Tavsan and Salinbas, contemplated as part of our planned new joint venture with Ozaltin and Proccea.

"Following shareholder approval at our general meeting at the end of 2020, we are now finalising the new joint venture, in which we will adopt a 23.5% interest alongside Proccea.

"Our reduced holding in the joint venture will naturally place a different emphasis on our operational activities going forward. Accordingly, as we transition into the new framework, we will report our production from the joint venture on a six-monthly, rather than quarterly, basis going forward.

"Meanwhile the company is continuing to progress its exploration and development activities across its portfolio, which includes a drilling programme being undertaken within the joint venture and the start-up of field activities elsewhere. Notably we are expecting to increase the pace of our involvement in Venus Minerals, with the expectation that a diamond drilling programme at the Magellan Project can commence by 2Q21; the current limitations imposed by travel restrictions notwithstanding. We are also fast-tracking some other exciting copper-gold project opportunities in the region, further details of which will be announced in due course."

Other developments

  • A two-rig diamond drilling programme for 4000 to 5000 m commenced last week at Kiziltepe to test vein extensions at Arzu South, Arzu North, Derya and Banu, with the aim of further expanding the Kiziltepe resource; drilling may continue at the Karakavak prospect once drilling at Kiziltepe concludes.
  • Environmental, community and permitting activities have continued for the Tavsan and Salinbas projects through the winter, with resource drilling activities due to commence at Tavsan from spring 2021.
  • Percussion drilling by Venus Minerals in Cyprus for 1705 m (comprising 15 holes) on a conceptual structural target, has discovered an up to 12 m thick, 50 x 300 m silica-pyrite-chlorite alteration zone containing anomalous gold geochemistry at a depth of 50 to 80 m below surface; planning is being finalised for a diamond drilling programme to commence on the Magellan Project in the coming months.
  • The company is evaluating several copper-gold targets generated elsewhere in Eastern Europe and is looking to develop further interests in the region.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/12012021/ariana-resources-provides-2020-production-update/

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