Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) said its Kiziltepe mine in Turkey saw the production and sale of 4,501 ounces of gold and 35,095 ounces of silver during the quarter ended 31 December 2017, exceeding feasibility forecasts by around 38% for recovered gold on an annualised basis.
The AIM-listed exploration and development company said gross income from Kiziltepe for the quarter was US$6.31mln with an average effective gold price of US$1,402 per ounce.
The group said its operating cash costs for the quarter are estimated at US$585 per ounce, with total gold and silver sales for 2017 from the mine at 10,191 ounces and 65,600 ounces respectively.
Ariana said the operational mill availability at Kiziltepe was running at 98% and utilisation at 95% during December, with 45,381 tonnes of ore milled during the period ending 31 December 2017, 21% higher than the feasibility forecast.
It added that the production of ore from the open-pit achieved an average rate of 16,600 tonnes per month over the period, with a peak rate of over 19,000 tonnes achieved in December.
"Another great result"
Dr. Kerim Sener, Ariana’s managing director, commented: "This is another great result from the Kiziltepe Mine, demonstrating that we have exceeded 2017 production guidance on a gold-only basis.”
He added: “At current gold prices, profitability of the mine is predicted to increase further during 2018, due to increasing grades expected to be encountered in the coming months.”
Sener said: “Whilst it is too early to say for certain, the current operational plan and gold price situation suggests that with cash-flow from our JV, together with existing cash resources at Group level, the Company has the capacity to become self-financing during 2018.“
Kiziltepe is part of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co. and is 50% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S.