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COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Cairn Energy, Chaarat Gold Holdings, Ariana Resources, Serabi Mining, New World Oil, Roxi Petroleum, Europa Oil & Gas, Leni Gas & Oil, Mediterranean Oil & Gas, Greka Drilling, Sirius Minerals, Cupid


This morning, investors in London had a batch of updates from small cap precious metal miners to digest, while in oil and gas, Cairn Energy (LON:CNE) reported further progress sin the sale of a 30 percent stake in Cairn India to Vedanta Resources (LON:VED).

Cairn told investors that Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is likely to give its “no objection certificate” to the stake sale.

ONGC expects to soon sign a tripartite agreement for the Cairn-Vedanta deal to proceed.

Moving to the mining sector, Chaarat Gold Holdings (LON:CGH) said the latest results from its ongoing drilling programme in the Tulkubash project in Kyrgyzstan were positive, extending the Tulkubash mineralisation from a previous strike of 360 metres to 920 metres.

Of the 20 holes drilled in the northwest extension, 19 drill holes intersected mineralisation at the predicted depth, while nine holes drilled in the southeastern extension intersected mineralisation approximately where predicted.

The best results included intersections of 26.25 metres grading 3.66 grammes per tonne (g/t) gold and 10 metres at 6.91 g/t gold.

Sector peer Ariana Resources (LON:AAU) provided an update on its exploration campaign at the Kepez gold prospect, part of its flagship Red Rabbit gold project in western Turkey.

The company called the silver results “excellent”, saying they “make the already high-grade Karakaya Vein at Kepez an even more valuable prospect”.

The average silver grade stood at 65 g/t with a maximum of 277 g/t.

High gold equivalent grades could potentially lead to a doubling of the resource estimate for Kepez, added Ariana, which would mean that the prospect is mined earlier in the Red Rabbit project than scheduled.

Another precious metals focused company Serabi Mining (LON:SRB) reported the final processed results of its recently completed 2011 'Eastern Block' induced polarization (IP) ground geophysical survey in the Jardim do Ouro project in Brazil.

The results indicated a number of IP chargeability anomalies coincident with airborne electromagnetic (VTEM) geophysical anomalies obtained in earlier surveys.

The IP survey has also outlined a number of resistive anomalies which correlate well with the VTEM conductive anomalies, and represent further areas of geological interest.

“We are most encouraged by the tenor of the two anomalies that lie towards the north of the eastern block, as they exhibit many of the same characteristics of the Currutela, Piaui and Espeto discoveries, as well as those of the Palito gold deposit itself,” said chief executive of Serabi Mike Hodgson.

Meanwhile, other news in oil and gas included New World Oil’s (LON:NEW) successful completion Phase 2 of seismic acquisition at Blue Creek - 70.95 line kilometres acquired bringing the total for Phases 1 and 2 to 139.15 kilometres (km).

Field and processed data to be interpreted shortly by the company's geophysicist and competent person's report (CPR) to be updated by mid December 2011.

The updated CPR is expected to include P10, P50, P90 mean volumetrics, scoping economics and an estimated market value for Blue Creek.

Roxi Petroleum (LON:RXP) also released an exploration update today.

The firm told the markets that its NK-9 well in Kazakhstan has encountered oil bearing reservoir sands. Following the final interpretation of the wireline logs data, the well will be perforated and tested.

The rig is currently being moved to the second well location, NK-10, which will be spudded in early December.

Fellow oil and gas firm Europa Oil & Gas (LON:EOG) said its chairman Bill Adamson bought 150,000 company shares at 6.7 pence each for around £10,000 yesterday.

Following the purchase, he is interested in 325,000 shares - or 0.24 per cent of the firm's share capital.

Sticking with oil and gas, Leni Gas & Oil (LON:LGO) has raised £176,000 by issuing 19 million shares at a placing price of 0.93 pence per share to Dutchess Opportunity Cayman Fund under the Equity Line Facility of up to £5 million.

“LGO has some very exciting new opportunities, most especially in Trinidad where we have recently acquired new oil exploration leases and the Goudron Field reactivation project,” said chief executive of Leni Gas & Oil Neil Ritson.

“The funding was completed in a difficult period in the market and the funds will be used to provide a small amount of working capital to maintain the momentum behind these projects.”

Elsewhere in the sector, Mediterranean Oil & Gas (LON:MOG) reported that following the beginning of production from the offshore Guendalina gas field on 25 October, its gas output has reached 630,000 cubic metres per day, representing 120,000 cubic metres per day net to the company.

This has quadrupled the Company's production from 40,000 cubic metres per day to 160,000 cubic metres per day.

“The Guendalina field is performing very well and has significantly increased MOG's net gas production and revenue,” said chief executive of Mediterranean Oil & Gas Sergio Morandi.

Meanwhile, Greka Drilling (LON:GDL) has now received five new rigs as part of its fleet expansion programme with all five rigs expected to be working on contracted drilling sites by the end of this month.

They are bespoke rigs designed specifically for Greka’s own coal bed methane drilling methodology, which is known as the Surface-to-in-Seem (SIS) technique.

There are now twelve rigs in the Greka fleet.

In other news, Sirius Minerals (LON:SXX) has appointed mine shaft design specialists Alan Auld Engineering to develop lining design and sinking concepts for the York potash project in North Yorkshire.

Sirius is still collecting the necessary data to decide on the exact location of the minehead for the York project.

Away from resource stocks, online dating service Cupid (LON:CUP) reported that with just over a month to go until the end of the financial year, revenues and profits are substantially ahead of last year and the group is confident that its full year performance will meet market expectations.

The acquisitions made in the past four months in Brazil and Germany have been integrated into the company's platform and the planned increase in marketing spend is also expected to deliver growth in revenue and profits in both these markets, said Cupid.

Quick facts: Ariana Resources PLC

Price: 5.65 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £60.04 m


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