24 March 2017
AIM: AAU

GOLD AND SILVER PRODUCTION COMMENCES

Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the exploration and development company operating in Turkey, is delighted to announce that its first gold-silver doré pour has been completed successfully at the Kiziltepe Mine ("Kiziltepe" or "the Project").  Kiziltepe is part of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co.

and is 50% owned by Ariana.

Highlights:

  • First doré pour of 5.25kg of gold-silver has been completed at the Kiziltepe Mine (Figure 1).
     
  • Final statutory inspections and technical approvals received and the mine site has been issued with an Operations Permit.
     
  • Production is expected to ramp up over the coming weeks and through Q2 2017.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: 

"This is a momentous achievement for the whole Ariana team and our partners Proccea Construction Co., who have dedicated themselves collectively over many years to make this happen.  We would like to specifically commend the significant contribution of the joint venture team on site and the support given by the local community and the Turkish Government.  We would also like to acknowledge our long-term shareholders who have remained committed to our vision and who have steadfastly supported our progress. 

As a Company, we will remain focused on enhancing our resource base, adding value through further exploration and development work and growing our long-term production profile.  Our seven-year partnership with Proccea and our proven ability to deliver successfully on our joint goals provides a springboard for our future strategy. We look forward to providing shareholders with further updates on our progress during the coming months."

Deniz Aybars, Managing Director, Proccea Construction Co.:

"We are very pleased with the completion of the joint venture's first gold mine.  A significant milestone has now been reached and we now look forward to working with the Ariana team and our funding partners, Turkiye Finans, to build upon our experience at Kiziltepe through the development of our joint venture projects in Turkey and possibly beyond."

A photo gallery of the first doré pour at Kiziltepe is available below:

http://arianaresources.com/gold-pour

A video of the first doré pour and operations at Kiziltepe is available below:

http://www.brrmedia.co.uk/event/143288

Figure 1 below shows: Dr. Kerim Sener holding the first doré bar from the Kiziltepe gold-silver mine.  The doré produced from Kiziltepe is typically 1 part gold to 10 parts silver (by weight), resulting in a silver rich doré bar.

Summary of Project:

Following completion of construction of the tailings dam in February (see announcement of 14th February 2017) and the receipt of an Operations Permit, a first pour of doré (gold-silver) of 5.25kg has now been achieved at Kiziltepe. The Kiziltepe operation is currently expected to deliver approximately 20,000 oz gold equivalent per annum over eight years of initial mine life, for a total of up to 160,000 oz gold equivalent based on current resources.  The operating company, Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. (50:50 JV between Ariana and Proccea) will be making repayments against its loan from Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi A.S. based on a pre-determined schedule.  Major loan repayments will have been completed by April 2020 and, during this time, excess cash-flow from the operation will be used to make repayments of loans provided by Ariana and Proccea jointly to the JV for exploration and development respectively.  After the repayment of all loans, profits from the operation will be shared on a 51:49 basis between Ariana and Proccea respectively.

Ramp up to full production capacity at Kiziltepe is likely to take several weeks to achieve, following which quarterly production reporting will commence.  In the meantime, the Company is completing a new resource estimate for the project based on recent drilling and geological interpretation.  Detailed technical and economic assessments will be completed on several satellite vein systems which are not currently in the mining plan, in anticipation of these being developed in future years.  The Company is currently targeting a minimum ten-year mine life, which will require the addition of a further 40,000 oz gold equivalent in reserves outside of the four main veins (Arzu South, Arzu North, Banu and Derya) that are currently scheduled to be mined.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

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  
   
Beaufort Securities Limited Tel: +44 (0) 20 7382 8300
Jon Belliss  
   
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Adam James / Tom Salvesen  
   

Editors' Note

About Ariana Resources:

Ariana is an exploration and development company focused on epithermal gold-silver and porphyry copper-gold deposits in Turkey.  The Company is developing a portfolio of prospective licences originally selected on the basis of its in-house geological and remote-sensing database.

The Company's flagship assets are its Kiziltepe and Tavsan gold projects which form the Red Rabbit Gold Project.  Both contain a series of prospects, within two prolific mineralised districts in the Western Anatolian Volcanic and Extensional (WAVE) Province in western Turkey.  This Province hosts the largest operating gold mines in Turkey and remains highly prospective for new porphyry and epithermal deposits.  These core projects, which are separated by a distance of 75km, form part of a 50:50 Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co.  The Kiziltepe Sector of the Red Rabbit Project is fully-permitted and is currently in production.  The total resource inventory at the Red Rabbit Project and wider project area stands at c. 525,000 ounces of gold equivalent.  At Kiziltepe a Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty of up to 2.5% on future production is payable to Franco-Nevada Corporation.  At Tavsan an NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Sandstorm Gold.

In north-eastern Turkey, Ariana owns 100% of the Salinbas Gold Project, comprising the Salinbas gold-silver deposit and the Ardala copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry among other prospects.  The total resource inventory of the Salinbas project area is c. 1 million ounces of gold equivalent.  A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Eldorado Gold Corporation.

Beaufort Securities Limited and Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited are joint 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:

"doré" semi-pure alloy of gold and silver

"kg" Kilograms

"oz" Ounces

Ends




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Source: Ariana Resources plc via Globenewswire