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13 June 2018

AIM: AAU

 

KIZILCUKUR DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the exploration and development company with gold mining operations in Turkey, is pleased to announce a development update for the Kizilcukur Project ("Kizilcukur" or "the Project"). Kizilcukur is located outside of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture ("JV") with Proccea Construction Co.

and is 100% owned by Ariana. The project lies 22km to the northeast of the Kiziltepe Mine ("Kiziltepe").

 

Highlights:

·     Metallurgical testwork derived from a bulk sample of c. 7.4 tonnes demonstrates high gold recoveries ranging from c. 83 to 92%.

·     Precious metal content of the samples ranged up to 7.7 g/t Au and 160 g/t Ag, with coincident base metals (avg. 3.8 g/t Au and 136 g/t Ag).

·     Trial mining conducted in 2017 produced an initial c. 4,000 tonnes of material currently stockpiled on site; further trial mining is planned for 2018/19. 

·     Kizilcukur vein system demonstrates potential to extend across an area of 2.3km x 0.3km; further mineralisation has been encountered in the NE part of the licence.

·     Revised economic study for the project has commenced to consider the viability of mining and trucking of the Kizilcukur ore to the Kiziltepe plant.

 

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"We are delighted that the latest work at Kizilcukur continues to highlight the potential for the project to become a satellite source of ore for the Kiziltepe Mine. Recent metallurgical tests demonstrate that the Kizilcukur ore responds well to the leach conditions utilised within the Kiziltepe processing plant, with very high gold recovery. Further work will be conducted on the ore to determine the variability of recovery over a greater range of grade and other characteristics. 

"Recent geochemical exploration has also shown potential for the Kizilcukur vein system to extend over an area of 2.3km by 0.3km, with further potential now identified in the still underexplored NE part of the licence. The Company is planning further work across this licence area during 2018 and is looking forward to updating the market in due course."

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

Metallurgical Testwork 

Trial mining of Kizilcukur conducted during 2017 yielded 4,025 tonnes of variably mineralised material, which was stockpiled on site (Figure 1).  Approximately 7.35 tonnes of ore grade material was taken as a bulk sample and trucked 50km to the Kiziltepe plant site.  This bulk sample was split in to several sub-samples which were subsequently subjected to metallurgical testwork at the Kiziltepe mine laboratory.  The results of this testwork were highly encouraging, demonstrating potential for the Kizilcukur material to be treated through the Kiziltepe processing plant.  

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Figure 1: Map of the Kizilcukur Project, showing the main resource areas in yellow outline (representing the optimised pit limits).  The 2017 trial mining area from which metallurgical samples were derived is shown in blue outline.  Selected drill hole results are also identified in these areas. 

 

Kizilcukur ore typically consists of oxidised quartz veins containing gangue manganese-oxides, rhodochrosite and haematite. Deeper within the vein system (+80m from surface) sulphide minerals become more recognisable, mainly in the form of pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite.  As much of the current resource sits within pit shells defined to a maximum depth of 90m, oxide ore has been the focus of the metallurgical test work.  However, consideration may be given in future testwork to determine the flotation characteristics of the sulphide dominant mineralisation in order to consider whether this represents a viable beneficiation route. 

 

Three samples were used for the analyses reported here; a manganese-oxide rich sample (1.03 g/t Au, 97 g/t Ag), a more typical vein quartz sample (7.70 g/t Au, 160 g/t Ag) and a wallrock sample (2.70 g/t Au, 150 g/t Ag).  These samples were pulverised to -75 micron and then subjected to the leach conditions utilised within the Kiziltepe processing plant, alongside a control sample of Kiziltepe ore (3.50 g/t Au, 49 g/t Ag), which was also tested in order to act as a comparator for the Kizilcukur results. 

 

Gold recoveries were high and varied between 83.2% and 92.0%.  Leach times varied between 56 and 72 hours for maximum recovery of gold.  Silver recoveries were generally poorer ranging between 19% and 47% over similar leach times and this may be due to the silver reporting to partially oxidised galena.  Variable base metal contents were recorded, ranging up to 0.14% Cu, 0.22% Pb and 0.73% Zn (typically an order of magnitude higher than Kiziltepe ore), in addition to manganese up to 7.9%.  Most other elements analysed had similar concentrations to the Kiziltepe ore. 

 

Recent Exploration

 

During Q2 2018, the Ariana exploration team commenced further exploration work on the Kizilcukur Project. A comprehensive 12.5km2 soil geochemical survey was initiated to cover the whole licence area.  A total of 562 soil samples were collected primarily on a 200m x 100m grid, with some areas in the NE part of the licence subjected to sampling along forestry tracks. Samples were geochemically analysed using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence ("pXRF") analyser. Significant anomalies in As, Pb and Zn were identified within and around the Kizilcukur Main and Splay veins, in the immediate area of the current resource and where recent trial mining had taken place (Figure 2).  Other anomalous geochemical targets defined include an arsenic anomaly associated with poorly constrained copper, lead and zinc, possibly associated with quartz stringer sulphide veinlets and haematite enriched basalts in the north-east part of the licence area.  Further field exploration will commence in this area though the summer.

 

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Figure 2: Geochemical map of the Kizilcukur Project, showing the distribution of zinc anomalism across the licence area.  Zinc acts as a good proxy for the mineralisation at Kizilcukur and has been successful in delineating the full strike extent of the vein system in addition to indicating further anomalism which will need to be followed-up in the NE part of the licence. 

 

Results from the survey have highlighted the full 2.3km long and 0.3km wide surface expression of the Kizilcukur vein system. To date only 35% (0.8km) of the exposed vein system has been drill-tested, highlighting the potential for further resource growth.  Future drilling will target significant conventional soil anomalies (up to 5 ppm gold), identified on the south-eastern flanks of the Kizilcukur vein system.  Induced Polarisation (IP) studies also generated several additional targets which remain untested.  These data suggest the vein system locally jogs in places, possibly due to faulting and/or later dyke intrusion. Two other complementary resistivity/chargeability anomalies are also identified along strike of the primary ore zones.  These targets will need to be followed-up in future drilling, with estimated target depths of 70-90m below surface.  A longitudinal section of the drill-tested segments of the Kizilcukur vein system identifies a series of higher-grade 32-38 degree SE plunging shoots (Figure 3). These are well defined by current drilling to depths up to 60 meters and have potential to extend further at depth.

 

 

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Figure 3: Long-section through the Kizilcukur vein system, showing the metres (true width) x grade (g/t) contours, where modelled.  The optimised pit outlines are shown in yellow.  Some of the apparent low-grade 'holes' in the long-section are believed to represent old underground workings that have been intercepted in certain drill-holes.

 

Project Summary

 

The Kizilcukur Project consists of one operational licence located in the Balikesir Province in Western Turkey (coordinates: 626150 mE; 4360440 mN). The property lies 22km to the northeast (straight line) and 50km by road from the Kiziltepe Sector of the Company's Red Rabbit Project. A royalty will be payable to Dogu Akdeniz Mineralleri San. ve Tic. Ltd. of 2% Net Smelter Return on commercial production from the Project.  Ariana has the option to sell the project to Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. (the operating company for the Kiziltepe Mine) at three times the exploration cost.

 

The Project covers an area containing a series of sub-parallel quartz veins hosted by ophiolitic units that trend northwest and extend for about two kilometres. The Main Vein exhibits classic low-sulphidation epithermal features and attains a maximum true width of 8m. The western quartz vein extends over a strike length of 820m. Composite rock-chip sampling of 80m strike along this quartz vein returned encouraging assay results of 6m at 3.3 g/t gold, 2m at 9.6g/t gold and 1m at 7.2 g/t gold prior to drill-testing. The peak rock-chip assay result in this area was 152 g/t gold and 1,320 g/t silver.

 

A JORC 2012 compliant Mineral Resource estimate was prepared for the Kizilcukur Project and Whittle optimisation conducted in 2016 identified the potential for the development of three open pits (Figure 1).  The Mineral Resource in Indicated and Inferred JORC categories stands at c.308,000 tonnes at 2.11g/t gold + 73.4g/t silver (for 33,000 oz gold equivalent) and demonstrates potential for further growth with additional drilling.  The management resource target for future exploration at Kizilcukur is currently 500,000 tonnes at >2 g/t gold + >70g/t silver. 

 

Trial mining commenced within the central part of the Zeki Pit during 2017.  This pit is the largest and highest grade of the three pits defined following Whittle optimisation of the Kizilcukur resource.  The General Directorate of Mining Affairs approved blasting operations on the licence as part of the Mining Permit (as announced on 18 November 2015).  Further trial mining is being planned for the 2018/19 period. 

 

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

Adam James / James Stearns




Yellow Jersey PR Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 7544 275 882

Tim Thompson / Harriet Jackson

/ Henry Wilkinson

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Editors' Note

 

Dr Kerim Sener, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, is the Managing Director of Ariana Resources plc.  A graduate of the University of Southampton in Geology, he also holds a Master's degree from the Royal School of Mines (Imperial College, London) in Mineral Exploration and a doctorate from the University of Western Australia.  He is a Fellow of The Geological Society of London and has worked in geological research and mineral consultancy in Africa, Australia and Europe.  He has read and approved the technical disclosure in this regulatory announcement.

 

About Ariana Resources:

 

Ariana is an exploration and development company with mining operations focused on epithermal gold-silver and porphyry copper-gold deposits in Turkey, the largest gold producing country in Europe.  The Company is developing a portfolio of prospective licences originally selected on the basis of its in-house geological and remote-sensing database, which now contain a total of 1.6 million ounces of gold and other metals.  Ariana's objective is to cost-effectively add value to its projects through focused exploration and to develop its operations, primarily through well-financed joint ventures. 

 

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. 605,000 ounces of gold equivalent.  At Kiziltepe a Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty of up to 2.5% on 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.

 

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited are broker 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:

 

"Ag" the chemical symbol for silver;

 

"Au" the chemical symbol for gold;

 

"g/t" grams per tonne;

 

"Indicated resource" a part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, densities, shape, physical characteristics, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a reasonable level of confidence. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes. The locations are too widely or inappropriately spaced to confirm geological and/or grade continuity but are spaced closely enough for continuity to be assumed;

 

"Inferred resource" a part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a low level of confidence. It is inferred from geological evidence and has assumed, but not verified, geological and/or grade continuity. It is based on information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that may be limited or of uncertain quality and reliability;

 

"m" Metres;

 

"JORC" the Joint Ore Reserves Committee;

 

"m" Metres;

 

"oz" Troy Ounces.  One Troy Ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams;

 

 

Ends.