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Ariana Resources in fine fettle as gold production climbs

Snapshot

The company is currently exploring and developing one million ounce Salinbas Gold Project in north-eastern Turkey

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Quick facts: Ariana Resources PLC

Price: 3.2966 GBX

AIM:AAU
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £34.93 m
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  • Ariana Resources PLC is an AIM-listed gold-silver exploration and development Company with operations in Turkey

  • Gold and silver production started in July 2017 at Kiziltepe, part of the wider Red Rabbit Gold Project in joint venture with Proccea.

  • The Company is currently exploring and developing one million ounce Salinbas Gold Project in north-eastern Turkey, where the 4mln oz Hot Maden project is 16km to the south

  • Wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Asgard Metals has investments in a number of lithium/antimony projects in that country

 

How it's doing

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) produced a record 27,985 ounces of gold in 2019 surpassing its forecast for the year by almost 12%.

The output from its Kiziltepe mine in Turkey in the fourth quarter was also close to a new record said Kerim Sener, the miner’s managing director.

Ariana added it now expects to repay the development loan taken out to build Kiziltepe in full in April.

Kiziltepe is part of Ariana’s joint venture with Turkish construction group Proccea over the Red Rabbit licence area.

What’s next

In the quarterly operational update in November, Ariana said mining operations had commenced in the Arzu North and Derya areas of Kiziltere, supplementing production from the Arzu South pit, which is nearing the end of its operational life.

Meanwhile, the company has also agreed to a potential partnership deal with a major Turkish construction firm for a number of its projects in the country.

The explorer said the proposed deal, outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MoU), will involve the sale of 17% of its Salinbas gold project for US$5mln.

The deal also proposes the sale of 53% of Zenit, Ariana’s joint venture (JV) with Turkish group Proccea which operates the Kiziltepe mine, for US$50mln to be split between the JV partners equally, as well as an US$8mln cash injection by the proposed partner to help bring the project into production.

Secure binding agreements and shareholder approval for the partnership are expected no later than February next year.

In December, Ariana said that its proposed new partner had started due diligence on the Kiziltepe, Tavsan and Salinbas projects.

What the boss says: Kerim Sener, Managing Director

Kerim Sener, Ariana’s managing director, said the partnership, if approved, “will create a formidable exploration, development and production group focused on Turkey”.

“This [MoU] will combine the unique skill-sets of each Partner in a mutually beneficial and synergistic manner. We look forward to advancing the proposed MoU into a joint venture capable of unlocking the full value of our assets in Turkey, which will also target the development of a future pipeline of high-value production projects.”

Video interview

Inflexion points

  • The company has now paid off 88% of the £26mln (US$33mln) loan taken out for its flagship mine Kiziltepe in Turkey, a 50/50 joint venture with Proccea Construction Co.

  • Once the construction loans are repaid, Ariana will receive a much larger, pro-rata share of Kiziltepe’s income.

  • Annual production rises to 50koz/year (from 25koz/year) following the hoped-for commencement of mine development at Tavsan during 2020.

  • LIcences at Salinbas renewed until 2024 with mining permit area at Ardala extended

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