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2024 Production Guidance

1 May 2024 07:00

RNS Number : 6528M
Ariana Resources PLC
01 May 2024
 

 

 

 

 

 

1 May 2024

AIM: AAU

 

2024 PRODUCTION GUIDANCE

 

FIRST GOLD PRODUCTION FROM TAVSAN SECTOR

 

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 production guidance for 2024 from its interest in the Zenit Mining Operations ("Zenit" or "the Project"). Zenit is 23.5% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S.

Highlights:

 

· Gold production guidance for 2024 from Zenit is expected to be c.20,000 ounces of gold*, inclusive of first gold production from the Tavsan Sector.

 

· Average monthly production is expected at approximately 25,000 tonnes of ore, with a stockpile of c.76,000 tonnes at c.2.2 g/t Au that is currently maintained on site.

 

· Ore throughput to the mill during 2024 is expected to be c.300,000 tonnes.

 

· Average grade of gold to be mined during the year is expected to be c.2.4 g/t Au and gold recovery is expected to average c.90%.

 

· Open-pit mining will continue largely at the Arzu North, Banu and Derya pits at Kiziltepe and at Tavsan Main during 2024.

 

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

 

"We are very pleased to provide our production guidance for 2024 following several important developments at the Tavsan Sector in particular, and for the Company more broadly. As this announcement comes after the end of the first quarter of 2024, we are also pleased to report that the average gross revenue per ounce produced during Q1 2024 is US$2,328, attributable to the marked increase in gold and silver prices during the period. Accordingly, cash on hand within the Zenit partnership is currently c.US$10M, maintaining the strong debt-free position secured since June 2023, with >US$35M having been spent so far on the Tavsan mine build.

 

"Over the past few months, Zenit has been mining high-grade ore from the Tavsan Mine, intending to process this ore through the Kiziltepe processing plant. We are now pleased to report that trial gold production has been successful and consequently we are now in the position to state our guidance from the Zenit Mining Operations for 2024. All production results are to be reported on a consolidated basis going forward, with production from both Kiziltepe and Tavsan represented.

 

"In addition, we are expecting the rate of throughput of high-grade (>2.5 g/t Au) Tavsan ore to increase in the months ahead, compared to our guidance of c.1.7g/t Au for Kiziltepe alone last year. Further revisions to the Tavsan mine plan are underway to optimise the production of high-grade ore from the Main Zone and to potentially improve gold recovery from 87% to at least 90% through the CIL processing plant.

 

"With JORC Reserves at Zenit totalling 5.3Mt @ 1.46g/t Au and 9.81g/t Ag for 249koz Au and 1.67Moz Ag, we are demonstrating a pathway for up to ten further years of production from the Zenit Mining Operations. This is an extremely positive outcome and stands us in good stead to develop new opportunities, particularly our recently announced proposed acquisition of the Dokwe Gold Project in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, we are encouraged to note the significant interest that this has generated amongst our existing partners, and we look forward in conjunction with our partners to explore opportunities by which they may become involved in the development of Dokwe, as the project progresses towards feasibility."

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").

* Silver production guidance is not provided, as silver is treated as a by-product credit. All figures are stated gross to the Project unless otherwise stated.

 

Summary of Project

 

The Kiziltepe gold-silver Mine was expected to deliver up to 20,000 oz gold per annum, as a CIL operation, over eight years of initial mine life from 2017 to 2024. The latest update to the Reserves in March 2024, enables the mine life to be extended further. The operating company, Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S., is a partnership between Ariana (23.5%), Proccea (23.5%) and Ozaltin (53%), with management control being with Proccea. Commercial production was initiated at Kiziltepe during July 2017 and has continued without interruption, with production consistently being delivered above plan.

 

The latest Resource and Reserve estimate for Kiziltepe was based on recent drilling and geological interpretation in March 2024. Detailed technical and economic assessments are underway on several satellite vein systems not currently in the mining plan, in anticipation of these being developed in future years. The Kiziltepe operation is currently targeting a minimum ten-year total mine life and current Reserves are sufficient to enable production through to 2026. Further exploration and resource development work remains underway in the expectation that further extensions to mine life are possible.

 

The Tavsan gold-silver Mine is located 130 kilometres by road from Kiziltepe Mine and is being developed as a heap-leach operation. Following the approval of its Environmental Impact Assessment and associated permitting, Tavsan is being developed as Zenit's second gold mining operation in Turkey and is currently in construction, with mining having been underway since early 2024. An extended resource infill and extension drilling programme initiated in November 2022, was completed at Tavsan in 2024. The results of this drilling programme are being integrated into a revised Resource and Reserve estimate. An interim estimate was released in March 2024. Production of gold from the heap-leach at Tavsan is expected during late 2024.

 

Contacts:

 

Ariana Resources plc

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3476 2080

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

Hugh Rich / Atholl Tweedie / Rauf Munir

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:

 

The information in this announcement that relates to exploration results is based on information compiled by Dr. Kerim Sener BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, Managing Director of Ariana Resources plc. Dr. Sener is a Fellow of The Geological Society of London and a Member of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and has sufficient experience relevant to the styles of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity that has been undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined by the 2012 edition of the Australasian Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code) and under the AIM Rules - Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Dr. Sener consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

 

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 Türkiye 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 Türkiye which contains a depleted total of c. 2.2 million ounces gold equivalent (as at March 2024, using a price ratio of 90 Ag to 1 Au). The joint venture comprises the Kiziltepe Mine and Tavsan mines and the Salinbas projects.

 

The Kiziltepe Gold-Silver Mine is located in western Türkiye and contains a depleted JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 171,700 ounces gold and 3.3 million ounces silver (as at March 2024). The mine has been in profitable production since 2017 and has been producing at an average rate of c.22,000 ounces of gold per annum. 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 Türkiye and contains a JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 311,000 ounces gold and 1.1 million ounces silver (as at March 2024). Following the approval of its Environmental Impact Assessment and associated permitting, Tavsan is being developed as the second gold mining operation in Türkiye 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 Türkiye 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, Türkiye, 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 five-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 61% 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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