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2023 Production Results and General Update

17 Jan 2024 07:00

RNS Number : 8893Z
Ariana Resources PLC
17 January 2024
 

17 January 2024

AIM: AAU

2023 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 2023 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 (and sold) a total of 17,683 ounces of gold during the year, including gold in carbon and in circuit at year-end (>500 oz), exceeding full-year production guidance of 18,000 oz gold for 2023.

· Mining operations are continuing at Arzu North, Derya, and Banu, with new forestry permits expected to enable the extension of the Banu pit in 2024.

· Gross full-year revenue of US$39.2 million at an average realised gold price of US$1,945 per ounce, with an average revenue per gold ounce of US$2,218 (due to silver credit)*.

· As of the end of 2023, the mine had produced a total of 151,041 ounces of gold (planned circa 100,000 oz gold) and 1,682,265 ounces of silver, recording US$274 million in revenue since operations commenced in early 2017.

* All figures are given gross with respect to Zenit.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"Kiziltepe has now recorded seven highly successful years of production and the mine continues to perform extremely well. We are currently working towards completing an updated Resource/Reserve Estimate, as we plan to bring Kiziltepe mining operations to a close over the next few years. Beyond this, we continue to explore within the immediate vicinity to identify further sources of potential mill supply that are not currently part of the mining plan. We anticipate that these would be operated as satellite operations, some of which are located within Zenit-owned licences, and others which we have identified within neighbouring licence areas. 

"During 2023, the strong gold price environment resulted in one of the best years for gold revenue since operations started. This has certainly boosted the capacity for Zenit to continue self-funding the development of the Tavsan mine build without recourse to debt finance. We are continuously monitoring the capital requirements of the Tavsan build and balancing these financial demands against practical and operational timelines, given the continued poor state of the debt markets. Meanwhile, mining operations have recently commenced at Tavsan and the Main Pit development is proceeding well, with approximately 40,000 tonnes of ore currently stockpiled ready for heap-leaching. Construction of the heap-leach, specifically the laying down of liners, is currently paused due to poor weather conditions and this work will recommence in the next drier and warmer weather period. Steel construction and fabrication, along with the delivery of various plant components are being staggered in accordance with cash-flow considerations. There will be further updates on Tavsan operations over the coming months, with first gold from the heap-leach currently expected to be delivered during Q3 2024.

"In summary, we are pleased with our performance operationally in 2023, and we look forward to updating the market in 2024 on the developments of the portfolio."

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:

· Two diamond drilling rigs are operating across the Salinbas Project, with results from the drilling programmes at Salinbas, Ardala, and Hizarliyayla having been announced periodically to the market since early 2023.

· Venus Minerals in Cyprus progresses towards its IPO and further updates will be provided in due course.

· Western Tethyan Resources ("WTR"), of which Ariana owns 75%, is actively exploring in SE Europe, including drilling at the Hertica Cu-Au Project, with the support of funding through Newmont Mining Corporation. WTR has separately secured an earn-in agreement on the Slivova Project in Kosovo.

· The Asgard Metals Fund, of which Ariana owns 100%, has completed five investments since late 2021 and is currently actively involved in a due diligence diamond drilling programme in Zimbabwe with Rockover Holdings Limited.

Full-Year Production Results

Unit

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

Open Pit - material moved (wet)

Tonnes

4,563,926

5,309,701

4,531,973

4,459,462

3,985,048

3,268,290

3,531,865

Open Pit - ore mined (wet)

Tonnes

226,740

259,878

411,980

360,966

192,079

285,594

185,720

Open Pit - mined grade

g/t Au

1.99

2.81

2.19

2.29

4.23

4.58

2.79

Process plant throughput

Tonnes

354,583

443,387

286,024

222,628

204,866

193,212

119,316

Plant feed grade

g/t Au

1.81

2.33

2.44

2.72

4.51

4.73

3.17

Metallurgical recovery

% Au

94.2

92.4

95.8

93.3

93.6

93.7

90.3

Gold sold

Troy Ounces

17,683

28,421

20,737

18,645

28,132

27,232

10,191

Silver sold

Troy Ounces

201,254

326,206

239,572

244,372

363,646

241,615

65,600

 

Contacts:

 

Ariana Resources plc

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7407 3616

Michael de Villiers, Chairman

Kerim Sener, Managing Director

Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nominated Adviser)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 3396

Roland Cornish / Felicity Geidt

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500

John Prior / Hugh Rich / Atholl Tweedie

WHIreland Limited (Joint Broker)

Harry Ansell / Katy Mitchell / George Krokos

Yellow Jersey PR Limited (Financial PR)

Tel: +44 (0) 207 2201666

 

Tel: +44 (0) 7983 521 488

Dom Barretto / Shivantha Thambirajah /Bessie Elliot

arianaresources@yellowjerseypr.com

 

Beaumont Cornish Limited ("Beaumont Cornish") is the Company's Nominated Adviser and is authorised and regulated by the FCA. Beaumont Cornish's responsibilities as the Company's Nominated Adviser, including a responsibility to advise and guide the Company on its responsibilities under the AIM Rules for Companies and AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers, are owed solely to the London Stock Exchange. Beaumont Cornish is not acting for and will not be responsible to any other persons for providing protections afforded to customers of Beaumont Cornish nor for advising them in relation to the proposed arrangements described in this announcement or any matter referred to in it.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 pro?table 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 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 and is currently in construction. A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Sandstorm Gold.

 

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 Gold?eld, which contains the "Hot Gold Corridor" comprising several signi?cant 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, UK and Zimbabwe.

 

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 ?ve-year Alliance Agreement with Newmont Mining Corporation (www.newmont.com) and is separately earning-in to up to 85% of the Slivova Gold Project.

 

Ariana owns 58% of UK-registered Venus Minerals PLC ("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 16.6Mt @ 0.45% to 0.80% copper (excluding additional gold, silver and zinc.

 

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited and WH Ireland Limited are brokers to the Company and Beaumont Cornish Limited is the Company's Nominated Adviser.

 

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

 

 

Ends.

 

 

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