LITHIUM-TANTALUM MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

 

Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with Metal Tiger plc (LON:MTR) for the review, exploration and development of lithium-tantalum opportunities in the Malay Peninsula, and specifically within Thailand and Myanmar.

 

Highlights:

  • Initial work undertaken by both the Metal Tiger's Thai JV operating partners and Ariana Resources technical teams indicate substantial lithium-tantalum prospectivity in the Malay Peninsula.
  • Metal Tiger and Ariana Resources to collaborate on lithium-tantalum projects specifically in Thailand and Myanmar under an MoU and informal 50:50 Joint Venture (“JV”).
  • A formal lithium JV structure will be adopted once specific projects are secured, although both companies have the right to assign their interests in the MoU to other group companies or to third parties at any time.
  • Metal Tiger’s Thai JV operating partners are undertaking a detailed review of Thailand lithium prospectivity and have identified numerous targets for further investigation.
  • Licence applications over suitable targets will be submitted by Metal Tiger’s Thai JV operating partners and notified to the market when granted.
  • Subject to licencing, the market will be notified of planned work programmes and the outcome of material work undertaken.

 

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: 

“We are very pleased to enter this collaborative framework with Metal Tiger on lithium-tantalum opportunities in the Malay Peninsula.  Following on from the significant momentum we have attained through the focus of our technology-metals subsidiary, Asgard Metals, and specifically the successful completion of our recent deal with Dakota Minerals Limited (ASX:DKO), we are keen to build on our strategy to identify similar project opportunities worldwide. 

The Malay Peninsula is significantly prospective for lithium-tantalum mineralisation associated with the pegmatite vein systems that once supported an extensive tin mining industry.  Through this agreement, we now have a partnership with a trusted local operator, with which we are aiming to secure several high-quality exploration projects.  We look forward to working with the Metal Tiger Thai JV operating team in this strategic collaboration between the companies.”

 

Lithium Geology of the Malay Peninsula

In Thailand, lithium is associated with tin deposits located in the southern, peninsular, part of the country along the extensions of the Mogok-Mandalay-Mergui Belt extending from Myanmar.  Tin, along with tungsten, tantalum and niobium, is found in pegmatite veins associated with granitic intrusions of Jurassic to Cretaceous age in the Phuket Mineral Belt and the Phetcharburi Mineral Belt.  Lepidolite appears to be the dominant lithium-bearing mineral in the Thai pegmatite systems.  In Myanmar, lithium is associated with petalite-, spodumene- and lepidolite-bearing pegmatites associated with the dominant tin-tungsten belt; the Mogok-Mandalay-Mergui Belt and Mogok Metamorphic Belt.  However, these areas are poorly explored by modern methods and represent significant exploration potential. 

Lepidolite (a mica) and other lithium-bearing minerals are concentrated in the latest stage of fractionation from highly volatile melts associated with the parent granite intrusion as it cools. Therefore, lithium minerals are usually found in pegmatite veins towards their margins, somewhat beyond the zones in which tin and tungsten minerals are found most highly concentrated.  Consequently, concentrations of lithium may be found in the extensions of pegmatite veins previously mined for tin where operations ceased due to lower tin grades. Due to differential zoning, lithium grades might be higher in these sections than in the sections mined for tin.

Lithium has never been recovered as a by-product of the once substantial tin producing industry in Thailand because it had not been economic to do so previously. Therefore, tailings from historical tin mining operations may be expected to contain significant amounts of lithium.  Furthermore, pegmatite veins not previously exploited for tin, in these areas, could provide prospective exploration targets.  In addition to primary pegmatite deposits, tin is often found and mined in placer deposits but as a light mineral, lithium-bearing lepidolite would not be expected to be found alongside tin in this depositional environment. 

Ariana and Metal Tiger will be participating in a Twitter dialog between 9.00am and 9.30am UK time on Wednesday 2 March 2016.   The companies will discuss their partnership and will answer questions from investors.  Any questions that cannot be answered in the time or require a more in-depth explanation will be compiled in the form of a Q&A.  This will be made available online.  To take part in the Twitter discussion please use the following in your messages @arianaresources #investAAU for Ariana specific questions and @metaltigerplc #investMTR for Metal Tiger specific questions.

 

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

 

 

 

Loeb Aron & Company Ltd.

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 1128

John Beresford-Peirse

 

 

 

IFC Advisory Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3053 8671

Tim Metcalfe

Graham Herring

Heather Armstrong

 

 

 

Editor’s Notes:

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 focused on epithermal gold-silver and porphyry copper-gold deposits in Turkey.  The Company is developing a portfolio of prospective licences selected on the basis of its in-house geological and remote-sensing database, on its own in western Turkey and in Joint Venture with Eldorado Gold Corporation in north-eastern Turkey.  Eldorado owns 51% of this joint venture and are fully funding all exploration work on the JV properties, while Ariana owns 49%.  The total resource inventory within this JV is 1.09 million ounces of gold.

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, are presently being assessed as to their economic merits and now form part of a Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co.  The total resource inventory at the Red Rabbit Project stands at 475,000 ounces of gold equivalent. 

Beaufort Securities Limited and Loeb Aron & Company Ltd. 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.

 

 

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