Ariana Resources plc (“Ariana” or “the Company”), the exploration and development company with gold mining operations in Turkey, is pleased to announce a Joint Ore Reserves Committee (“JORC”) Resource update for the Kepez Prospect (“Kepez” or “the Prospect”). Kepez is part of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture (“JV”) with Proccea Construction Co. and is 50% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. (“Zenit”).
· Global resource of c. 371,000t at 2 g/t Au and 14 g/t Ag for 23,900 oz gold and 164,300 oz silver (all categories)*.
· New estimate represents a c. 270% increase on a gold only basis from the previous estimate of c. 8,800 oz gold.
· Kepez demonstrates potential to be mined as a series of satellite pits to the Kiziltepe mining operation.
· Potential resource extensions are represented by a number of drill holes including 9.6m @ 3.0 g/t Au + 119 g/t Ag, 6m @ 2.7g/t Au + 16 g/t Ag from near surface.
· Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) extension granted recently to cover part of the Kepez North area; mining permit application process currently underway.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:
“This resource update for Kepez indicates the potential to add at least one year of production from this satellite area to the Kiziltepe mining operations. Furthermore, the higher confidence Indicated resource at Kepez North, which contains approximately 60,000 tonnes at 4.6 g/t Au and 34.7 g/t Ag, shows potential for several months of high-grade production. This part of the resource has also been shown to have good metallurgical characteristics from previous bulk testwork.
“We envisage this area being developed as a series of shallow open-pits, developed as satellites to the Kiziltepe mining operations, within short trucking distance from the processing plant. In addition, we believe there is scope to enhance this resource further and additional drilling is being planned by the joint venture accordingly. The proximity of this area to the Kiziltepe operations makes such satellite operations highly viable.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
* All Mineral Resource figures in the announcement are quoted gross with respect to the Red Rabbit Joint Venture, of which 50% is owned by Ariana.
Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. (Zenit) engaged Odessa Resources Pty. Ltd. to review a Joint Ore Reserves Committee (“JORC”) compliant Mineral Resource estimate for the Kepez Prospect, which was compiled internally by the joint venture team. The Mineral Resource estimate is based largely on work completed between 2006 and 2015, though also involves some historical exploration data. In compliance with JORC 2012, the Mineral Resource Estimate detailed here includes material scientific and technical information in respect of the Project. The Mineral Resource will inform an infill drilling programme to target those areas that remain in the Inferred category, in addition to testing extensions of known mineralisation along strike and at depth.
Gold mineralisation within the Kepez district is epithermal and vein-hosted in style, with associated silver, typically structurally controlled at the contact of, or in association with Miocene aged dacitic to rhyodacitic volcanic rocks and underlying Cretaceous aged multi-lithic ophiolite rocks in the case of Kepez North. In the Kepez West area the mineralisation is dominantly associated with rhyodacitic volcanic rocks, although part of the ophiolitic units occur to the north and also appear to exert some influence on the distribution of mineralisation.
The Kepez North prospect is situated 14km haulage distance from the Kiziltepe mine-site. The prospect contains 2.5km of dominantly north-trending and bifurcating low-sulphidation style veins occurring over a series of ridges near the village of Kepez. The Kepez North main vein is approximately 600m long and up to 20m wide (Figure 1). It is positioned at the contact between dominantly dacitic pyroclastic and ophiolitic rocks and dips at 50o to the west. The majority of the gold mineralisation in this vein occurs in a matrix supported hydrothermal quartz breccia which occurs in a limited zone approximately 100m in strike. The mineralisation is silver rich with some veins showing a Ag:Au ratio of between 4:1 and 8:1. In places, a pyrite content of up to 40% is observed but is typically 1 to 5%. Additional ore grade material in the form of scree above the Kepez North hanging wall (c. 7g/t Au + 65g/t Ag) has been defined and included in the resource model.
The Kepez West prospect is located 12km haulage distance from Kiziltepe mine-site. The area generally lacks exposed outcrops, likely due to farming activities occurring over several hundred years having disturbed much of the ground. However, sporadic outcrops, sub-crop and quartz float material are present and coincide largely with an east-west structural corridor of argillic and silicic alteration. The general trend of the Kepez West vein system is east-west with an apparent 20o dip towards the south (Figure 1), although this is not well-constrained due to the limited drilling in this area. However, there is potential shown in some drilling for mineralised extensions to be identified based on current drilling, notably including the following intercepts 9.6m @ 3.0 g/t Au + 119 g/t Ag, 6m @ 2.7g/t Au + 16 g/t Ag from within 10m of surface (as previously reported on 16 March 2016).
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