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Geophysical Survey Results At Kepez

13 Mar 2023 07:00

RNS Number : 6606S
Ariana Resources PLC
13 March 2023
 

 

 

13 March 2023

AIM: AAU

GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY RESULTS AT KEPEZ

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 positive results from an Induced Polarisation ("IP")/Resistivity geophysical survey conducted at the Kepez North and Kepez Main areas of the Kiziltepe Sector. Both Kepez Main and Kepez North are part of Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. ("Zenit"), in partnership with Proccea Construction Co. and Ozaltin Holding A.S. and, is 23.5% owned by Ariana. 

Highlights:

Three significant target areas identified within Kepez Main show potential for gold and silver mineralisation.

 

Results from the latest geophysical data support the presence of a fully intact low-sulphidation epithermal vein system at Kepez Main.

 

Additional exploration potential was identified at the high-grade Kepez North area, which will need to be drill tested further.

 

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"We are highly encouraged by the results of the latest geophysical surveys undertaken in the Kepez area. We have potentially identified a fully intact epithermal vein system preserved beneath a silica cap at Kepez Main, which is associated with very high-grade silver mineralisation up to almost 400 g/t Ag with lower-grade gold of about 1.5 g/t Au. Initial drilling that was undertaken in the northern part of Kepez Main has identified extensive zones of silicification and quartz-vein textures indicative of the uppermost parts of a low-sulphidation epithermal vein system. The presence of high-grade gold mineralisation at Kepez North and the discovery of high-grade gold at Kepez South, either side of the Kepez Main area, indicates the prospectivity of this system for what could become a major new discovery.

Kepez Main is characterised by several mineralisation, alteration and geochemical features, among others, which suggest potential for a deep drilling target which lies near the potential bonanza-zone within an epithermal system. Unlike Kiziltepe, which represents a significantly eroded epithermal system, Kepez Main appears to have the entire system preserved making it an extremely compelling exploration target. These are some of the most exciting exploration results we have ever reported from the broader Kiziltepe Sector in many years and we are highly motivated to do the work necessary to make a significant discovery." 

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").

Details of the Geophysical Programme

This update comprises part two in a series of updates on an extensive review, infill and new geophysical surveying of certain areas across the Kiziltepe Sector and its various prospects. Part one was previously discussed in an announcement made on the 22nd February 2023, focusing on the Kiziltepe mine area. The recent geophysical programmes were undertaken over four prospects located within the Sindirgi Gold Corridor, a northeast-trending mineralised zone extending from the Kiziltepe mine in the southwest to the Kizilcukur Project in the northeast. This work included IP/Resistivity surveys over the Kiziltepe mine area, Kepez Main, Kepez North and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ("UAV") magnetic survey over Kizilcukur (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The Sindirgi Gold Corridor with defined prospects and areas currently covered by geophysical datasets.

The geophysical results reported in this update are from the Kepez Main and Kepez North prospects (Figure 2) covering a total area of 4 km². In addition, historic data from Kepez West is currently undergoing reprocessing and interpretation. The results from the UAV magnetic survey at Kizilcukur are currently being processed and reviewed.

Figure 2: Overview map showing the geophysical IP/Resistivity survey lines over Kepez Main and Kepez North.

Kepez Main

In late 2022, data was collected from 10 northwest-southeast oriented IP/Resistivity profiles, which were spaced 200m apart with a total length of 16.8km. A pole-dipole array was used with a 25m electrode spacing, using a Canada GDD TxII-5000W transmitter and a France Iris Elrec Pro 10 receiver operating in the time domain. The vertical limit of the survey data under topography is approximately 200m. The survey lines were designed to cover the full extent of the Kepez Main vein system and aimed to identify moderate to deep targets within the vertical limits of the data, while highlighting structural and mineralisation trends.

Kepez Main extends for a total of 1,800m and is associated with opal, chalcedony and silica replacement of volcanic host units along a primary northeast-southwest to north-south trending structure. Large chalcedony-quartz vein outcrops, 2-4m wide and up to 3m high, are best exposed in the northern area of Kepez Main, on the northwestern periphery of the village of Kepez. In 2021, three initial diamond drill holes were completed in this area with no significant gold results. However, quartz showing low-sulphidation textures was intercepted, suggesting the presence of a silica cap. Historic rock-chip and channel sampling over the vein outcrops returned sporadic anomalous grades of gold and silver. In addition, portable XRF soil samples identified anomalous levels of arsenic, antimony and sulphur, suggesting a low temperature epithermal environment.

During 2013, a highly silver-rich extension of Kepez Main was identified from grab samples from steep scree slopes on the western side of Kepez Hill. These returned grades of 383.0 g/t Ag + 1.50 g/t Au, 234.0 g/t Ag + 1.73 g/t Au and 196.0 g/t Ag + 1.51 g/t Au (see announcement dated 23rd September 2013). The source of the mineralised scree was traced to several steep quartz-ginguro banded cliff face exposures downslope of the exposed chalcedony-quartz vein outcrops. 

It is now concluded that the exposures of quartz veins at the top of the Kepez Hill represent the top of the epithermal vein system, where the concentration of precious metals is typically low to not present (Figure 3: "Barren-trace precious metal interval"). Meanwhile, the exposures of ginguro-banded quartz veins down-slope of the Kepez Hill are interpreted to represent the upper most region of the "low-moderate grade precious metal interval" (Figure 3).

The results of the Kepez Main IP/Resistivity survey show a series of generally northeast-southwest trending IP and resistivity anomalies (Figure 3). The outcropping Kepez Main hilltop quartz veins correlate exceptionally well with a northwest dipping high resistivity signature.

 

 

Figure 3: Mineralisation model of a typical low-sulfidation epithermal vein system shown in cross-section (at left) and 3D resistivity model of the Kepez Main vein system with the interpreted structures in blue, proposed drill locations in red to test the deeper epithermal system (at right).

Moderate to high resistivity anomalies noted particularly in the northeast (Line 6), are interpreted to represent a large silica cap preserving the system and creating a localised high point in the surrounding terrain. At moderate depth levels, the chargeability anomalies increase in intensity, which likely signifies the presence of sulphide minerals and/or clay alteration associated with the development of the low-suphidation epithermal system.

Three different types of targets have been defined from the IP geophysical survey at Kepez Main:

1. At the north-eastern end and central region of the project area, the IP resistivity anomalies peak at surface, likely due to unconsolidated rock mass (quartz scree). Similar peaks are noted at the Kepez North scree slopes. Further investigation by sampling, trenching and/or drilling is required to understand the significance of these surface resistivity peaks and to test their potential to host mineralised material.

2. Shallow to near surface resistivity anomalies, also located in the north-eastern and central region of the study area, are of significant interest. These appear to correlate to the Kepez Main banded ginguro-quartz mineralisation and a series of small workings. These locations are expected to be tested with a series of closely spaced shallow drill holes.

3. Deep (>150m) chargeability anomalies suggest that the Kepez Main system continues at depth as a preserved and fully-intact low-sulphidation epithermal vein system. Some of these deeper targets will be tested on the northwest slope of Kepez Main.

Kepez North

Data was collected from 5 east-west oriented IP/Resistivity profiles, which were spaced 100m apart with a total length of 2.75km (Figure 4). These lines were designed to cover the Kepez North resource area, testing areas of known mineralisation, and then extending the lines to the north and south to seek IP signatures which could suggest the continuity of mineralisation.

Kepez North is positioned at the contact between dacitic pyroclastic and ophiolitic rocks and dips at 50° to the west. The majority of the gold mineralisation in this vein occurs in a matrix supported hydrothermal quartz breccia hosted within a limited zone of approximately 150m along strike. This area was originally defined by significant gold grades obtained from systematic rock saw sampling and drilling, and has subsequently been mined in 2022. However, the gold grades at the north and south of this system appeared not to continue along strike. The latest geophysics coupled with the grade control data obtained through mining suggests that the higher-grade zone of mineralisation plunges towards the southwest along the 50° inclined plane and this concept is expected to be tested further by drilling.

Figure 4: 3D resistivity (above) and IP model (below) of the Kepez North vein system (red) with the open pit (black).

The resistivity anomaly confirms that the quartz vein continues north for a further 150m with a very similar dip angle. This area will be a priority for further drilling along with the down-plunge areas of the high-grade mineralisation towards the south. In addition, the character of the chargeability anomalies changes from north to south. Following the completion of mining in the Kepez North Reserve in 2022, the geology exposed in the pit walls provided an improved understanding of the controls on gold mineralisation. The sulphide mineralisation encountered in the footwall block guides the interpretation of the chargeability anomalies in the south ahead of future drill testing.

Contacts:

 

Ariana Resources plc

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7407 3616

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) 7951 402 336

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 protable 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. Construction progress is temporarily suspended pending the outcome of a local court decision pertaining to the EIA. 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 Goldeld, which contains the "Hot Gold Corridor" comprising several signicant 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 ve-year Alliance Agreement with Newmont Corporation (www.newmont.com).

 

Ariana owns 50% (increasing to 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 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.

 

Glossary of Technical Terms:

 

"IP" Induced Polarisation;

 

"km" Kilometres;

 

"m" Metres;

 

"UAV" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle;

 

 

Ends.

 

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