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2022 PRODUCTION RESULTS AND GENERAL UPDATE

20 Jan 2023 07:00

RNS Number : 3213N
Ariana Resources PLC
20 January 2023

20 January 2023

AIM: AAU

2022 PRODUCTION RESULTS AND GENERAL UPDATE

Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with gold mining interests in Europe, is pleased to announce the full-year production results for the year ended 31 December 2022 for the Kiziltepe Mine ("Kiziltepe" or "the Project") in Turkey. Kiziltepe is 23.5% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. ("Zenit").

Production Update*:

Kiziltepe produced a record total of 28,421 ounces of gold during the year, exceeding its full-year production guidance by c.14%, following record mill throughput of well over 400,000 tpa.

Mining operations are continuing at Arzu North and Derya, and have recommenced at the Arzu South pit as it is expanded to the final design limits.

Record gross full-year revenue of US$58 million at an average realised gold price of US$1,858 per ounce, against an average revenue per gold ounce of US$2,041 (due to silver credit)*.

As at end 2022, the mine had produced a total of 133,358 ounces of gold and 1,481,011 ounces of silver, recording US$235 million in revenue since operations commenced in early 2017.

* All figures are given gross with respect to Zenit.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"As expected, 2022 was an operationally very strong year for the Company. Kiziltepe has now completed six highly productive years of operation, performing consistently above guidance and having now produced significantly more gold than modelled in our feasibility study. We look forward to seeing further expansion of the near-mine Resources and Reserves in due course, as we develop plans to keep the mine operational over the coming years.

"During 2022, Zenit has reinvested significantly into its operations, including funding the construction of the Tavsan mine and the exploration and development of demonstrably expanded resources both at Kiziltepe and at Tavsan. This has been possible due to the substantial revenue recorded by the business over recent years, particularly following the plant expansion completed during 2021, which has resulted in record throughput during 2022. In parallel, Zenit has focused on maintaining the lowest possible cash costs, with its long-term average running at c. US$650 per ounce up to June 2022. The higher gold price environment of recent years, coupled with these operational efficiencies together continue to enable substantial operational margins.

"In addition to the strong performance of the Kiziltepe Mine we are also very encouraged by the work being undertaken by the team across our other project interests at Tavsan and Salinbas in particular. At Tavsan, this work led to a Resource Estimate containing over 307,000 ounces of gold and also identified opportunities to further expand this resource through a further drilling programme which commenced in late 2022. At Salinbas, drilling is continuing and has now started at the Hizarliyayla Prospect, which is located in the vicinity of the >4Moz Hot Maden deposit to the south and with which it shares several geological features."

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of UK Domestic Law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("UK MAR").

Other Developments:

Mine construction at Tavsan is advancing on schedule, with earthworks progressing well and concrete for the Adsorption-Desorption-Recovery ("ADR") plant due to be poured in February; drilling is also underway to provide for a further revision to the Resource Estimate.

Two diamond drilling rigs are operating across the Salinbas Project, with results from the initial phase of drilling due to be announced soon.

Venus Minerals, of which Ariana owns 50%, delayed its IPO in 2022 due to adverse market conditions and is currently reviewing its plans following an improvement in market sentiment. In addition, the option to acquire an interest in the Apliki Mine lapsed at the end of December and is the subject of further dialogue with the Iacovou Group; further announcements concerning Venus will be made in due course.

Western Tethyan Resources, of which Ariana owns 75%, is actively exploring in SE Europe with the support of funding through Newmont Mining Corporation and continuing with due diligence on the Slivova Project in Kosovo.

The Asgard Metals Fund, of which Ariana owns 100%, has completed three investments since late 2021 and there are a number of other potential investments in the pipeline.

Full Year Production Results

Unit

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

Open Pit - material moved (wet)

Tonnes

5,309,701

4,531,973

4,459,462

3,985,048

3,268,290

3,531,865

Open Pit - ore mined (wet)

Tonnes

259,878

411,980

360,966

192,079

285,594

185,720

Open Pit - mined grade

g/t Au

2.81

2.19

2.29

4.23

4.58

2.79

Process plant throughput

Tonnes

443,387

286,024

222,628

204,866

193,212

119,316

Plant feed grade

g/t Au

2.33

2.44

2.72

4.51

4.73

3.17

Metallurgical recovery

% Au

92.4

95.8

93.3

93.6

93.7

90.3

Gold sold

Troy Ounces

28,421

20,737

18,645

28,132

27,232

10,191

Silver sold

Troy Ounces

326,206

239,572

244,372

363,646

241,615

65,600

Contacts:

Ariana Resources plc

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3476 2080

Michael de Villiers, Chairman

Kerim Sener, Managing Director

Beaumont Cornish Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 3396

Roland Cornish / Felicity Geidt

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500

John Prior / Hugh Rich / Atholl Tweedie

Yellow Jersey PR Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3004 9512

Dominic Barretto / Tom Randell / Shivantha Thambirajah

arianaresources@yellowjerseypr.com

Editors' Note:

About Ariana Resources:

Ariana is an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with an exceptional track-record of creating value for its shareholders through its interests in active mining projects and investments in exploration companies. Its current interests include gold production in Turkey and copper-gold exploration and development projects in Cyprus and Kosovo.聽

The Company holds 23.5% interest in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. a joint venture with Ozaltin Holding A.S. and Proccea Construction Co. in Turkey which contains a depleted total of c. 2.1 million ounces of gold and other metals (as at February 2022). The joint venture comprises the Kiziltepe Mine and the Tavsan and Salinbas projects.聽

The Kiziltepe Gold-Silver Mine is located in western Turkey and contains a depleted JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 222,000 ounces gold and 3.8 million ounces silver (as at February 2022). The mine has been in profitable production since 2017 and is expected to produce at a rate of c.20,000 ounces of gold per annum to at least the mid-2020s. A Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty of 2.5% on production is being paid to Franco-Nevada Corporation.

The Tavsan Gold Mine is located in western Turkey and contains a JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 307,000 ounces gold and 1.1 million million ounces silver (as at November 2022). Following the approval of its Environmental Impact Assessment and associated permitting, Tavsan is being developed as the second gold mining operation in Turkey. A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Sandstorm Gold.聽

The Salinbas Gold Project is located in north-eastern Turkey and contains a JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 1.5 million ounces of gold (as at July 2020). It is located within the multi-million ounce Artvin Goldfield, which contains the "Hot Gold Corridor" comprising several significant gold-copper projects including the 4 million ounce Hot Maden project, which lies 16km to the south of Salinbas. A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Eldorado Gold Corporation.

Ariana owns 100% of Australia-registered Asgard Metals Fund ("Asgard"), as part of the Company's proprietary Project Catalyst Strategy. The Fund is focused on investments in high-value potential, discovery-stage mineral exploration companies located across the Eastern Hemisphere and within easy reach of Ariana's operational hubs in Australia, Turkey and the UK.

Ariana owns 75% of UK-registered Western Tethyan Resources Ltd ("WTR"), which operates across south-eastern Europe and is based in Pristina, Republic of Kosovo. The company is targeting its exploration on major copper-gold deposits across the porphyry-epithermal transition. WTR is being funded through a five-year Alliance Agreement with Newmont Corporation (www.newmont.com).

Ariana owns 50% of UK-registered Venus Minerals Ltd ("Venus") which is focused on the exploration and development of copper-gold assets in Cyprus which contain a combined JORC Indicated and Inferred Resource of 17Mt @ 0.45% to 1.10% copper (excluding additional gold, silver and zinc.

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited is broker to the Company and Beaumont Cornish Limited is the Company's Nominated Adviser and Broker.

For further information on Ariana you are invited to visit the Company's website at www.arianaresources.com.

Ends.

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