It has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with private company Tierra Nueva Mining Limited (TNM) over the portfolio, which includes a former mine and mainly projects that are gold with silver and base metals (lead and zinc) as bi-products.
Last month Arian completed the settlement of outstanding debts with Quintana by handing over its flagship San Jose project in Mexico but retained the San Celso, Calicanto and Los Campos projects along with 1,600 hectares of mining concessions.
This latest MOU provides Arian with the right to conduct due diligence on TNM’s portfolio of interests for 90 days, which includes the option on the Noche Buena hard rock project and 100% ownership of the associated tailings project.
No fees are payable by Arian and it does not grant exclusivity to Arian regarding TMN.
The Noche Buena mine operated from 1926, closing in 1993 due to the low metal prices and historical records show around one million tonnes were mined with up to 20 g/t gold, 800 g/t silver and 8% lead and zinc.
The Noche Buena tailings are reported to have a NI 43-101 compliant resource of one million tonnes containing 3 g/t gold, 55 g/t silver, and 0.8% zinc.
Arian's chief executive Jim Williams said: “We are pleased to be making progress in rebuilding Arian, whilst remaining cognisant of the current low metal prices and the fact that investor sentiment towards the mining sector remains negative.
"With this in mind, we are initially concentrating our efforts on near-term and low-cost production opportunities, possibly through the leaching of tailings. Mining and metals markets operate in cycles and the current sentiment will change in time, as such we are also looking at projects with longer-term potential.”
Williams is a minority shareholder of TNM and is therefore precluded from voting on any matter relating to any potential transaction with TNM, including the execution of the MOU.