Start of Ariana Resources’ Eastern European exploration
Through its interest in Western Tethyan Resources Ltd (WTR), Ariana Resources has announced the commencement of exploration activities in Eastern Europe. Ariana Resources plc is an AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe.
Dr Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: “As part of our long-term diversification strategy, involving investments in focused regional mineral exploration opportunities, Ariana has formally commenced exploration activities in Eastern Europe through its investee company, Western Tethyan Resources Ltd. We know the team at Western Tethyan very well, having worked with them all previously in Turkey and other jurisdictions. Western Tethyan operates out of its office in Pristina, in the Republic of Kosovo, and represents an ideal, centrally-located operational base for our interests across this region, with all national capitals within the easy reach of about 250 km.
“We are very pleased to be working with a very strong local exploration team, led by Mentor Demi, an accomplished exploration and resource geologist who has been involved in several successful exploration and development programmes across the region, including 7 years with Lydian International Limited based in Kosovo and Armenia. Our own exploration team, based in Turkey, is providing support to the activities of Western Tethyan, specifically in the areas of project generation, database management and sample preparation and analysis.
“As part of the project generative work being undertaken by our in-house specialists, we have already commenced an extensive remote-sensing study utilising ASTER and Sentinel-2 multispectral satellite datasets initially across Kosovo and North Macedonia. This work utilises various image processing algorithms to target key alteration minerals associated with mineral deposits. In addition, geophysical datasets are being acquired and reprocessed, which, when coupled with the remote-sensing studies, will improve exploration targeting.
“We look forward to updating the market on our progress regarding the licence applications in Kosovo and the other Eastern European project opportunities that we are currently reviewing in due course.”
Mentor Demi, Managing Director of Western Tethyan Resources Ltd, added: “We are absolutely delighted to have Ariana Resources as our strategic partner. Ariana is a highly respected company with a substantial track-record in the successful exploration and development of projects within the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, with the advantage of having significant financial strength.
“With Ariana’s investment, Western Tethyan Resources aims to complete the acquisition of three tenements in Kosovo (Cecelia, Hertica, and Terpeza covering 151 km2 in total), conduct detailed surface sampling and mapping of those projects, as well as conduct country-wide and other regional reconnaissance and project generative work.
“The benefit of our partnership with Ariana goes well beyond Kosovo and our goal is to build a successful regionally focused mineral exploration and development company.”
Adriatic and Tethyan merged group will expand footprint in the Balkans
The merged group will subsequently have an expanded footprint in two mining-friendly jurisdictions in the region as it looks to step up exploration and feasibility study activities.
Aspiring project developer, Adriatic Metals, has completed an all-scrip acquisition to the value of approximately C$15 million of fellow Balkans precious and base metals player Tethyan Resource Corp. Tethyan’s shareholders will receive 0.166 Adriatic shares for each share they hold in Tethyan. After the allotment of approximately 13.2 million new Adriatic shares, UK-based Adriatic will still have a tightly issued capital structure of about 196.2 million shares. The transaction was approved by Tethyan’s shareholders and the British Columbia Supreme Court in August and shares in the Vancouver-based junior were expected to be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange this week.
Adriatic owns the exciting Vares underground silver-lead-zinc project in Bosnia and Herzegovina that comprises two deposits at Rupice and Veovaca. Rupice hosts a very recently updated JORC-compliant indicated and inferred mineral resource of 12 million tonnes going 149 grams per tonne silver, 1.4 g/t gold, 4.1 per cent zinc and 2.6 per cent lead for a contained 58 million ounces of silver, 527,000 ounces of gold, 489,000 tonnes of zinc and 312,000 tonnes of lead.
The A$400 million market-capped company, which has seen a remarkable 10-fold rise in its share price since listing on the ASX in May 2018, hopes to use the updated Rupice resource estimate as a catalyst to a pre-feasibility study as it looks to flesh out the project economics for a possible Vares stand-alone development, prove up ore reserves and build its confidence in the metallurgy.
Initial projections provided in the scoping study, or “SS” undertaken by Adriatic last year were compelling. The SS suggested a CAPEX of US$178.4 million for the potential development of Vares and eye-catching free cash flows in the early years of mining starting around 2023 through to 2031 of between US$100 million and US$250 million per annum courtesy of very impressive average operating costs of US$57 per tonne. Capital payback period has been predicted at an incredible eight months.
Tethyan brings a couple of intriguing brownfields assets to the table in the form of the historic Kizevak/Sastavci silver-lead-zinc project and the Rudnica copper-gold porphyry project, both in Serbia. Adriatic is aiming to deliver a maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate for Kizevak/Sastavci in the March 2021 quarter.
Early signs have been encouraging with a round of confirmation diamond drilling encountering a high-grade, lead-zinc-rich mineralised structure in one of the holes at Kizevak. It returned an impressive 12.9m polymetallic intersection grading 8.2 per cent zinc, 4.1 per cent lead, 98.3 g/t silver and 0.4 g/t gold within a broader interval of 35.3m at 4.2 per cent zinc, 2.2 per cent lead, 46.7 g/t silver and 0.4 g/t gold from 124.8m.
According to Adriatic, a potential bonus in terms of operational synergies is that Kizevak/Sastavci’s metallurgical characteristics may be favourable for concentrate blending with Vares ore. Nonetheless, the low strip ratios of the project’s open pittable resources offer the company a route to maximising tonnages and generating revenues based on potentially enviable costs of mining.
Following the Tethyan takeover, Adriatic now holds advanced projects – roughly 200km apart as the crow flies – in the two jurisdictions of Bosnia and Serbia that have established mining pedigrees and infrastructure, skilled workforces and low-cost operating environments.
The company has a first-mover advantage in the region, and with the two countries attracting significant investment from the likes of Rio Tinto, Toronto-based Dundee Precious Metals, Chinese group Zijin Mining, Vancouver-based Mundoro and Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver, it’s a case of watch this space.
Mundoro Capital’s strategic mining project locations in Serbia and Bulgaria, disciplined capital
Mundoro Capital Inc. is a Canadian-based junior mining company that is utilizing the proven partner model to boost mining exploration in Serbia and Bulgaria’s Tethyan belt and is focused on investing in base metal and precious metal projects in the western portion of the Tethyan belt in Bulgaria and Serbia. The company focuses on copper and gold discoveries and is well equipped with an experienced team, a strategic investment portfolio and fiscal discipline.
The company has projects in world-class districts paired with an experienced team and proven partner model and has a clear and achievable vision to create long-term shareholder value. By utilizing the company’s chosen business model, they are able to offer their shareholders a decreased investment risk as well as major benefits.
head of TSX Company Services at TMX Group, Arne Gulstene, spoke with Teo Dechev, CEO and president of Mundoro Capital, about the company’s focus on making more copper and gold discoveries, and ways that they are leveraging their expertise in the mining industry to fund future projects.
Dechev believes that copper, in the long run, will continue to have strong demand due to the electrification of cities and the growing popularity of electric vehicles. While there has been a decrease in the short-term demand of copper due to COVID-19, Dechev sees copper recovering as a strong long-term and stable investment.
Budgets across the mining industry have been constrained and there has been a decrease in exploration due to a lack of capital. In response, Mundoro Capital has been driven to find new creative ways to continue financing vital mining exploration.
With the capital markets having changed their view on what risks they are willing to take, Mundoro Capital is establishing itself with the partner model to continue to finance their programs. This means that the company is partnering with major mining companies that will ultimately develop and mine the assets that are discovered. Mundoro Capital is also exploring streaming and royalties as an alternative to the traditional capital markets.
Dechev emphasizes the importance of mining in every society. She highlights Mundoro’s approach to responsible mineral development and the company’s three pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and governance. The company is proud to work with local communities to build relationships and create new opportunities.
Mundoro Capital’s business model includes targeting strategic locations, identifying potential exploration areas, and partnering with major mining companies for asset development. This process decreases risks and presents major benefits for the shareholders.
So, how does Dechev sum up Mundoro Capital’s investment proposition? She believes that the company offers stable cash flow, an experienced management team, and an excellent roster of partnering companies. The company is using its international expertise in mineral finance, project evaluation, exploration and project development to create long-term shareholder value. It will be great to see how they progress with their goals.