Ariana Resources PLC said subsidiary Western Tethyan Resources has completed a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the Slivova gold project in Kosovo, with the result a pre-tax net present value of US$27 million.
Using an 8% discount, WTR estimated an internal rate of return of 29% at a gold price of US$1,835/oz based on capital costs of US$33.4 million upfront and US$9.4 million ongoing.
Production is forecast at 13,000 ounces of gold a year over a seven-year mine line, both underground and open pit, at recovery rates of between 92-94.5%.
WTR has an earn-in agreement with Avrupa Minerals whereby it can earn up to 85% of the project by spending €1.8 million and up to 85% of the cost of a more detailed feasibility study.
A net attributable interest under the earn-in has yet to be estimated, said the statement.
Kerim Sener, Ariana’s managing director, commented: “This is an excellent outcome for the Slivova gold project, demonstrating its potential economics and highlighting opportunities to enhance the project in the longer term.
“The broader exploration potential of the Slivova project area, in particular the opportunity to define further mineralisation down-plunge of the existing orebody, bodes well for further economic upside.
“We are now looking to complete further work to demonstrate this upside, via a phased exploration programme.”
WTR added this work will involve a trenching program to enhance exploration in the areas bordering the primary resource zone, specifically targeting Dzemailj and Valijevishte.
Over the rest of 2023, the company intends to initiate the environmental baseline study, the social impact assessment, and complete the planning for a drilling program.