Ariana Resources, an AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company with gold mining interests in Europe, as well as copper-gold exploration and development projects in Cyprus and Kosovo, has released its unaudited interim results for the six months ending June 30, 2023.
According to the results, Ariana’s share of profits from the Kiziltepe Mine, in which Ariana holds a 23.5 per cent stake through its investment in Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. (“Zenit”), for H1 2023 amounted to £0.7 million (compared to £2.5 million in H1 2022).
The company explained that this decrease is primarily attributed to higher administrative and project-related costs associated with the Tavsan Mine’s development.
In addition, the results revealed that Zenit successfully repaid all bank loans during this period and continues to fund the construction of the Tavsan mine from internal resources, covering additional operational and administrative expenses.
A profit before tax of £0.3 million was recorded for the period, with operating costs aligning with expectations and the previous year.
However, a significant decline (38 per cent as of the reporting date) in the Turkish Lira led to substantial foreign exchange charges and a corresponding reduction in other comprehensive income.
Regarding any significant post-period end highlights, the company noted that Venus Minerals, a subsidiary of Ariana Resources, which holds a portfolio of copper-gold assets in Cyprus, made significant progress in Q3 2023, with an IPO planned for Q4 2023.
Also, positive results were reported from an airborne magnetic survey, along with the commencement of drilling at Kizilcukur, utilising the Geotek BoxScan technology to construct a revised 3D model.
In terms of operational highlights, the company reported that drilling operations at the Salinbas project continued with two drill rigs, yielding several noteworthy results, including the first discovery holes drilled at the Hizarliyayla prospect.
Moreover, new geophysical survey findings at Kiziltepe and Kepez identified numerous new drilling targets near known vein systems, prompting further investigation through drilling.
Elsewhere, Western Tethyan finalised the acquisition of the Slivova Gold Project in Kosovo after the reporting period, providing an updated resource estimate (0.18 million ounces) and a favourable Preliminary Economic Assessment.
The Kiziltepe Mine, meanwhile, produced 9,646 ounces of gold in H1 2023 (compared to 13,378 ounces in H1 2022), with an annual target of approximately 18,000 ounces expected to be met by year-end.
Construction of the Tavsan Mine was briefly halted in March 2023 following a local court decision, which was subsequently reversed shortly after the reporting period, allowing construction to resume.
Additionally, as part of the Project Leopard greenfield exploration initiative in eastern Turkey, Ariana Resources acquired three new 100 per cent-owned licences.
In terms of strategic highlights, the company reported that WH Ireland was appointed as a joint broker to the Company alongside Panmure Gordon.
Kerim Sener, Managing Director of Ariana Resources, provided insights into the company’s recent accomplishments and future prospects. He emphasised the commitment to their exploration and development strategy, aiming to de-risk their asset portfolio and elevate their value. Sener mentioned their diverse project portfolio, with some assets to be developed independently, like Venus Minerals and Western Tethyan Resources, and others in significant partnerships.
“We have remained committed to our strategy to pursue targeted exploration and development programs across our portfolio, systematically de-risking our pipeline of robust assets, and propelling them up the value curve,” Sener said.
Regarding operational activities, he highlighted the encouraging drilling results from the Salinbas Project, including a record-breaking mineralised intercept. Additionally, they identified an epithermal base-metal-rich gold system at the Hizarliyayla prospect, an exciting development within the same structural corridor as the Hot Maden deposit.
Sener explained that “this is an exciting development, as the area represents the most technically and operationally complex exploration ever undertaken by our team and is the subject of further deep drilling for which assay results will be available in due course.”
Despite temporary setbacks due to a court decision suspending construction activities at the Tavsan Mine, the issue was resolved swiftly, allowing for the resumption of construction. The Kiziltepe Mine continued to perform exceptionally well, with ongoing drilling activities and the expectation of discovering more mineable ounces.
Sener discussed their strategic exploration alliance with Newmont Mining Corporation, emphasising the acceleration of activities with Western Tethyan Resources in Kosovo. This alliance has prompted Ariana to resume greenfield exploration in eastern Turkey after a decade, aided by technical experts and innovative techniques.
He also highlighted the establishment of Asgard Metals, their own accelerator fund, designed to identify significant opportunities in response to the increasing demand for commodities, particularly in renewable energy technologies.
“As ever, Ariana has shown itself to be ahead of the curve, having established its own accelerator fund, in the form of Asgard Metals, a year ahead of this much-needed initiative by BHP,” Sener said.
“We look forward to providing company updates for the second half of the financial year, as we continue to operate an exciting pipeline of projects in gold and copper within Southeast Europe and as we look to grow our portfolio further afield,” the Ariana Resources managing director concluded.
Source: Cyprus Mail