Turkey-focused Ariana Resources will start a 1 000 m diamond drilling programme at its Kizilcukur gold project, which is being developed with a view to truck and process its ore at the nearby Kiziltepe mine.
The objective of the diamond drilling is to define a high-grade zone amenable to openpit mining, Ariana MD Kerim Sener said on Wednesday.
Previous scoping-level work on the project outlined this openpit potential and the new drilling is designed to improve confidence in the mineral resource as part of an internal feasibility study.
“Following successful metallurgical testwork, announced earlier this year, we envisage the mining and trucking of Kizilcukur ore to the Kiziltepe plant for processing. We are looking to advance Kizilcukur to the point of a decision to mine during 2019, following which various options for the further development of the project will be considered,” said Sener.
A 2012 mineral resource estimate was prepared for the Kizilcukur project and Whittle optimisation conducted in 2016 identified the potential for the development of three openpits. The resource in the indicated and inferred categories stands at about 308 000 t at 2.11 g/t gold and 73.4 g/t silver (for 33 000 oz gold equivalent).
The management resource target for future exploration at Kizilcukur is currently 500 000 t at more than 2 g/t gold and 70 g/t silver, for 50 000 oz of gold equivalent.
Trial mining started within the central part of the Zeki pit during 2017. This pit is the largest and highest grade of the three pits defined following Whittle optimisation of the Kizilcukur resource.