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Due Diligence Drilling Commences in Zimbabwe

22 Nov 2023 07:00

RNS Number : 1799U
Ariana Resources PLC
22 November 2023
 

 

 

 

22 November 2023

AIM: AAU

DUE DILIGENCE DRILLING COMMENCES IN ZIMBABWE

Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with gold mining interests in Europe, is pleased to provide an update on the Dokwe Gold Project of Rockover Holdings Limited ("Rockover"), in which Ariana has acquired a 1.3% interest and project exclusivity through the Asgard Metals Fund ("Asgard"). The Company has commenced a due diligence drilling programme on the asset, while the Company considers further involvement in the project. Please see www.asgardmetals.com.au for more information.

Highlights:

· Up to 1,500m of diamond drilling planned to test two significant resources at Dokwe North and Dokwe Central.

· Dokwe Gold Project contains c.1.3Moz gross in JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources*.

· Significant historic intercepts for Dokwe North include: 

8m @ 197.22g/t Au (inclusive of a 1m intercept of 1,568 g/t)

14m @ 54.75g/t Au

85m @ 5.23g/t Au, including 15m @ 13.64g/t Au 

· Significant historic intercepts for Dokwe Central include:

49m @ 4.42g/t Au

27m @ 6.53g/t Au

57m @ 2.72g/t Au, including 17m @ 5.91g/t Au

· An extensive historical data review is underway by the Ariana team, utilising the Company's exploration technology and specialist teams.

* Stated gross with respect to Rockover Holdings Limited of which Ariana holds 1.3%. The resources quoted includes Dokwe North and Dokwe Central.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"We are excited to report the commencement of our highly anticipated due diligence drilling programme on the Dokwe Gold Project in Zimbabwe, as previously announced to the AIM market on 13 November. This represents a compelling and unique opportunity for the Company as we advance on our strategy to become a multi-asset, multi-jurisdiction gold and copper-focused mid-tier mining enterprise. 

"Building on the operational base we have established in Turkiye with strong and experienced local partners, we are making strides to expand our portfolio with the potential addition of the Dokwe Gold Project. This project represents a potential bulk-tonnage mining opportunity upon which a positive pre-feasibility study has been delivered and which could be advanced to feasibility in the near term.

"At this stage, we see potential at Dokwe to identify further resources in the vicinity and to develop a multi-decade mining opportunity in Zimbabwe. This due diligence drilling represents an essential first step to verify the historical exploration data and to add to our understanding of the opportunity before we advance discussions with Rockover with respect to the asset." 

Drilling Programme

Ariana Resources has initiated a drilling programme at the Dokwe North and Dokwe Central areas ("Dokwe" or "Dokwe Project") located in the Tsholotsho Communal Land 110km WNW of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (Figure 1 & 3). The Dokwe Project was discovered by Rockover in 2002, utilising innovative soil geochemical exploration methods capable of detecting mineralisation beneath cover, subsequently drill-tested for the first time in 2004.

Dokwe is located in a previously undefined Archaean Greenstone Belt, extending from the border with Botswana and linking up with the Bulawayo-Bubi Greenstone Belt to the west. The Archaean greenstone units are overlain by Karoo and Kalahari sedimentary units of up to 25-40m in thickness. The east-northeast striking greenstone belt is accompanied by complex folding and thrust imbrication and is dissected by a series of major sub-parallel sinistral shear zones.

At the Dokwe Gold Project area, the barren sedimentary cover is dominated by calcrete, with a few metres of sand at the surface, and mudstone and sandstone located towards the base. The basement Archaean volcanic sequence comprises a series of quartz-rich volcaniclastic units, tuffs, and agglomerates, that grade into felsic irregular rhyolitic flows; intermediate vesicular dacite; agglomerates and andesites. The sequence appears intruded by near syn-depositional quartz porphyries and later by dolerite. Brittle deformation, characterised by fracturing, is common in felsic tuff whilst more ductile deformation characterises the dacitic and andesitic units. 

Dokwe North is characterised as a large low-grade deposit containing relatively few quartz veins, containing several very high-grade zones including visible gold. Dokwe Central is a smaller higher-grade pipe-like deposit containing abundant quartz veins and defined by several long high-grade zones. The two deposits are located a few kilometres apart and appear to be strongly structurally controlled, occupying two distinct structural domains within a broad ENE trending shear zone. Gold mineralisation at Dokwe North is associated with silicified zones containing thin quartz-carbonate pyrite veins in addition to strongly disseminated and fine-grained pyrite in the host rocks. Much of the economic gold mineralisation occurs in the dacitic unit and in the overlying felsic tuff, with lesser mineralisation in the quartz porphyries and andesite. 

Up to five diamond drill holes (for 1,500m) have been planned to support Ariana's due diligence review of the Dokwe Project (Figure 1). This review is designed to test historical data and to provide additional information to characterise the structural geological controls on gold mineralisation. Up to three holes will be focused on testing Dokwe North, which represents the largest resource defined to date. Dokwe North has a JORC (2012) Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 35.7Mt @ 1.05g/t Au for 1,210,000 oz gold (Figure 1 & 2). Up to the two remaining holes will be completed at the less drilled Dokwe Central project area, which is located approximately 2km to the SSE of Dokwe North. Dokwe Central has a JORC (2004) Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 1.14Mt @ 2.17g/t Au for 80,000 oz gold (Figure 1 & 2). The Dokwe Central resource is treated here as a historical estimate as it is not in accordance with an AIM reporting standard and should be treated with caution. From the initial reviews, both project areas show significant scope for further exploration upside. 

Figure 1: Summary map of Dokwe North and Central showing the outline of the designed pre-feasibility pit for Dokwe North and the optimised pit (not included in the pre-feasibility) for Dokwe Central. Certain previous drill intercepts are also identified, with details provided in the inset table. The 2023 planned drill collars are also shown in light blue.

Figure 2: Summary cross sections through Dokwe North and Dokwe Central showing grade block models (based on prior drilling) and the positions of certain planned due diligence drill holes (in blue). Swath width at Dokwe North is significantly wider than at Dokwe Central, causing more overlap of colours within a semi-transparent block model.

 

Figure 3: Drill rig positioned and being prepared for the commencement of the first due diligence drill hole at Dokwe. 

 

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

 

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 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 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 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.

 

Glossary of Technical Terms:

 

"Au" chemical symbol for gold;

 

"g/t" grams per tonne;

 

"JORC" the Joint Ore Reserves Committee;

 

"m" Metres;

 

"oz" Troy ounces;

 

 

Ends.

 

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Date   Source Headline
13th Jun 20247:00 amRNSDokwe Project: Revised Mineral Resource Estimate
10th Jun 20241:59 pmRNSNOTICE OF GENERAL MEETING
6th Jun 20247:00 amRNSDokwe Project: Due Diligence Completion
4th Jun 20247:00 amRNSCompletion of Drilling Programme at Salinbas
29th May 20247:00 amRNSZenit Mining Operations Update
9th May 20247:00 amRNSDokwe Gold Project Revised Pre-Feasibility Study
3rd May 20247:00 amRNSAttendance at 121 Mining Investment, London
1st May 20247:00 amRNS2024 Production Guidance
29th Apr 20247:00 amRNSAriana Resources to host Investor Webinar
25th Apr 20247:00 amRNSMerger with Rockover Holdings and Dual-List on ASX
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12th Mar 20247:00 amRNSHigh-Grade Drilling Results at Tavsan
22nd Feb 20247:00 amRNSFinal Drilling Results Received for Kizilcukur
15th Feb 20247:00 amRNSDokwe Due-Diligence Update
31st Jan 20247:00 amRNSAsgard Portfolio Update
17th Jan 20247:00 amRNS2023 Production Results and General Update
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28th Nov 20237:00 amRNSDrilling Completed at Kizilcukur
22nd Nov 20237:00 amRNSDue Diligence Drilling Commences in Zimbabwe
20th Nov 20237:00 amRNSAttendance at Mines and Money London
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18th Oct 20237:00 amRNSWestern Tethyan - Diamond Drilling Commences
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16th Aug 20237:00 amRNS2023 Half-Year Production Results
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