Source - GNW

13 June 2017
AIM: AAU

EXTENSIVE RESOURCE TARGETS AT TAVSAN GOLD PROJECT

Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the exploration and development company operating in Turkey, is pleased to announce the completion of resource-focused target assessments for the Tavsan Gold Project ("Tavsan" or "the Project").  Tavsan is part of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co. and is 50% owned by Ariana.

Please click on the link below in order to view the announcement to include Figures: http://hugin.info/138153/R/2112706/803561.pdf 

Highlights:

  • Extensive new geochemical target areas identified across Tavsan, demonstrating clear potential for resource growth.
     
  • Six significant target areas confirmed with some containing significant drill intercepts including 6m @ 3.37g/t Au + 3.67g/t Ag and 9m @ 1.30g/t Au + 4.32g/t Ag within c.20m from surface.
     
  • A new discovery, referred to as the South Zone, appears to represent a structural repeat of the Main Zone resource area, though is partly obscured by cover rocks.
     
  • Company completing a new assessment of the current Tavsan resource estimate (215,000 oz gold equivalent) based on improved geological understanding.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented: 

"The Tavsan Gold Project has continued to demonstrate substantial opportunity for further resource growth.  This new soil geochemical survey has identified a number of areas that require drill testing for the first time or which specifically require resource drilling.  Some of these areas are known to contain mineralised jasperoid and are dotted with old antimony workings.  We are confident that such areas will also host high-grade gold and silver mineralisation. 

Recent work completed by the Company has also demonstrated the potential to better characterise the current resource, improving our confidence in those parts of the resource that are located within the optimised pit shells of our scoping study.  The impact of this work is significant, including a probable substantial reduction in the drilling required to convert Inferred Resources to Indicated Resources.  In turn, this will enable the Company to fast-track its internal Feasibility Study on Tavsan during 2017 cost-efficiently."

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

Soil Geochemical Survey

Following the announcement of 22 February 2017, which identified multiple exploration targets at Tavsan, the Ariana Exploration Team undertook a portable X-ray Fluorescence ("pXRF") soil sampling programme across the Tavsan licences.  This work was completed in order to better define and characterise targets for a second phase of resource-development and to improve confidence in targeting for further resource drilling.  

As part of the previous data review, the Company identified sixteen target areas within the Tavsan licences.  Following this, the geochemical sampling programme commenced in order to: 1) establish surface geochemical trends across the sixteen exploration targets; 2) map all historic workings and characterise their geochemical signatures; 3) establish the number of mineralised zones based on the geochemistry of epithermal veins and outcropping jasperoid and; 4) improve confidence in the geological mapping by defining the unique geochemistry of various geological units. 

During Q2 2017, the Ariana Exploration Team spent 24 field days collecting a total of 8,265 pXRF soil samples, covering an area approximately 5km2. Sample spacing for the programme was defined by a 25m x 25m grid.  This is the highest resolution pXRF sampling grid completed by the Company to date and was necessary to ensure that adequate coverage was achieved over the mineralised jasperoid, any associated epithermal veins and historic workings.

Analysis of the soil samples was completed during May 2017 and a total of eighteen elements were modelled using inverse-distance weighted gridding methods.  Antimony (Figure 1) and arsenic (Figure 2) at dominantly trace levels showed substantial correlations to known mineralised zones.  Anomalies were noted across six well-defined zones located along the untested flanks of the current Tavsan resource model.  Such results suggest that significant potential exits to continue expanding the shallow (within 20m from surface) mineral resources already classified at Tavsan.  A geological cross-section through the northern part of a newly identified zone of mineralisation, which is referred to as the South Zone, confirms that this area could represent a structural repeat of the Main Zone resource area, though remaining partly obscured by ophiolitic cover rocks (Figure 3).

Other elements, including iron, chromium and nickel highlight the distribution of ophiolitic rocks within the study area.  The thrust-fault between older ophiolitic rocks and younger limestone units is a particularly important boundary to map accurately, as it represents the primary locus of the jasperoid-related mineralisation.  Due to the high-resolution sampling grid, this NE-SW trending fault boundary was mapped to within a few meters.  Furthermore, the high-resolution sampling defined a secondary NW-SE trending fault fabric cutting across the jasperoid horizons.  Some of these faults relate to a series of historic workings for antimony which probably targeted narrow (up to 2m wide) epithermal quartz veins, the majority of which sit outside of currently drill tested areas. 

Over twenty historic workings for antimony were mapped during the sampling programme.  Previously identified workings typically correlate with some of the highest gold and silver grades recorded at Tavsan and hence represent excellent indicators for outcropping or near surface precious metal mineralisation.  These areas will be prioritised for further resource-development work as they have the potential to boost the overall grade of the resource at Tavsan. 

In addition to the new surface geochemistry, the Company has also been working on better characterising the current resource based on a thorough geostatistical assessment (Figure 4).  This work has demonstrated that good lateral continuity exists across the orebody and that a large part of the current resource potentially can be upgraded to the Indicated category with minimal additional confirmatory drilling. 

Figure 1: Map of the Tavsan project area showing the location of outcropping mineralised jasperoid (in red) and currently designed open-pits (light grey outlines), superimposed on the pXRF soil geochemical data for antimony.  Most of the exploration targets lie along NW- and NE-trending axes associated with a thrust-fault and its subsidiary structures. Among several other target areas, the South Zone discovery is very apparent.

Figure 2: Map of the Tavsan project area showing the location of outcropping mineralised jasperoid (in red) and currently designed open-pits (light grey outlines), superimposed on the pXRF soil geochemical data for arsenic.  Most of the exploration targets lie along NW- and NE-trending axes associated with a thrust-fault and its subsidiary structures. Among several other target areas, the South Zone discovery is very apparent.

Figure 3: Geological cross-section through the northern extension of the South Zone based on limited previous drilling. This shows good continuity of mineralised jasperoid (in pink) occurring relatively near surface, though partly covered by overlying ophiolitic rocks (in green).  The vertical scale represents altitude in metres above sea level and there is no vertical exaggeration. 

Figure 4: Three-dimensional model of resource in the Main Zone, looking northeast, showing the current extent of Inferred and Indicated mineral resources.  Recent geostatistical work has demonstrated that good lateral continuity exists across the orebody (in red) and that a large part of the current resource potentially can be upgraded to the Indicated category. 

Tavsan Description

Mineralisation at Tavsan largely occurs on two dominant structural trends, with the majority of mineralisation located along the gently dipping and undulating plane of a NE-SE trending thrust-fault. The second, subsidiary trend for mineralisation is controlled dominantly by a unit of neritic limestone and a series of NW-SE linkage faults, trending at about 90 degrees to the primary fault plane. The JORC resource at Tavsan currently stands at approximately 215,000oz gold equivalent across four main areas.  Trial mining at the Main Zone has produced a stockpile of c.28,000 tonnes to date at an average grade of 1.41 g/t gold, which is consistent with the estimated grade of the resource of between 1.6 and 1.1 g/t gold. 

Database evaluations and target generation was initiated in January 2017 following a thorough review of all drilling completed at Tavsan. Isolated anomalous intercepts on the southwest flank of the Main Zone shows significant potential to expand the current resource. Drill holes ODX53 (6m @ 3.37g/t Au + 3.67g/t Ag) and OR3 (9m @ 1.30g/t Au + 4.32g/t Ag) display potential for mineralised extensions to occur between the Main Zone and Western Zone, with mineralisation proven from surface (OR3) to a depth of 22 metres (ODX53), where drilling ended in mineralisation (1m @ 0.32g/t Au).

One kilometre north of Main Zone, another significant drill intercept (ODX99A) 11m @ 5.11 g/t Au + 6.83g/t Ag, outlines additional potential for immediate near surface resource growth. As a result, Whittle pits generated for the purposes of the 2016 scoping study, located NE and SW of ODX99A, may have the potential to expand along an 800 metre gap between the planned pits.  Highly anomalous trench results and rock-chip samples have also been defined in this area indicating that such an expansion of the pits, especially near surface, is a distinct possibility.   

Contacts:

Ariana Resources plc Tel: +44 (0) 20 7407 3616
Michael de Villiers, Chairman  
Kerim Sener, Managing Director  
   
Beaumont Cornish Limited Tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 3396
Roland Cornish / Felicity Geidt  
   
Beaufort Securities Limited Tel: +44 (0) 20 7382 8300
Jon Belliss  
   
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Adam James / Tom Salvesen  
   

Editors' Note:

Competent Person

Dr Kerim Sener, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, is the Managing Director of Ariana Resources plc.  A graduate of the University of Southampton in Geology, he also holds a Master's degree from the Royal School of Mines (Imperial College, London) in Mineral Exploration and a doctorate from the University of Western Australia.  He is a Fellow of The Geological Society of London and has worked in geological research and mineral consultancy in Africa, Australia and Europe.  He has read and approved the technical disclosure in this regulatory announcement. 

About Ariana Resources

Ariana is an exploration and development company focused on epithermal gold-silver and porphyry copper-gold deposits in Turkey.  The Company is developing a portfolio of prospective licences originally selected on the basis of its in-house geological and remote-sensing database.

The Company's flagship assets are its Kiziltepe and Tavsan gold projects which form the Red Rabbit Gold Project.  Both contain a series of prospects, within two prolific mineralised districts in the Western Anatolian Volcanic and Extensional (WAVE) Province in western Turkey.  This Province hosts the largest operating gold mines in Turkey and remains highly prospective for new porphyry and epithermal deposits.  These core projects, which are separated by a distance of 75km, form part of a 50:50 Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co.  The Kiziltepe Sector of the Red Rabbit Project is fully-permitted and is currently in construction.  The total resource inventory at the Red Rabbit Project and wider project area stands at c. 525,000 ounces of gold equivalent.  At Kiziltepe a Net Smelter Return ("NSR") royalty of up to 2.5% on future production is payable to Franco-Nevada Corporation.  At Tavsan an NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Sandstorm Gold.

In north-eastern Turkey, Ariana owns 100% of the Salinbas Gold Project, comprising the Salinbas gold-silver deposit and the Ardala copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry among other prospects.  The total resource inventory of the Salinbas project area is c. 1 million ounces of gold equivalent.  A NSR royalty of up to 2% on future production is payable to Eldorado Gold Corporation.

Beaufort Securities Limited and Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited are joint brokers to the Company and Beaumont Cornish Limited is the Company's Nominated Adviser.

For further information on Ariana you are invited to visit the Company's website at www.arianaresources.com.

Glossary of Technical Terms:

"Ag" the chemical symbol for silver;

"Au" the chemical symbol for gold;

"g/t" grams per tonne;

"Indicated resource" a part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, densities, shape, physical characteristics, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a reasonable level of confidence. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes. The locations are too widely or inappropriately spaced to confirm geological and/or grade continuity but are spaced closely enough for continuity to be assumed;

"Inferred resource" a part of a mineral resource for which tonnage, grade and mineral content can be estimated with a low level of confidence. It is inferred from geological evidence and has assumed, but not verified, geological and/or grade continuity. It is based on information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that may be limited or of uncertain quality and reliability;

"JORC" the Joint Ore Reserves Committee;

"pXRF" portable X-ray Fluorescence handheld device that uses X-rays to excite matter at the atomic level. A built in CPU and display on the back of the unit provide live geochemical results within seconds for elements ranging from magnesium through to the heaviest metals such as uranium.  A three filter 50 second sample scan is typical. Taking multiple readings across a sample grid allows the user to very rapidly build up a geochemical map, outlining potential pathfinder elements associated with mineralisation, lithological boundaries and intensity or zoning of mineralised areas;

"m" Metres;

"oz" Ounces;

"t" Tonnes;

"Whittle" computer software that uses the Lerch-Grossman algorithm, which is a 3-D algorithm that can be applied to the optimisation of open-pit mine designs.  The purpose of optimisation is to produce the most cost effective and most profitable open-pit design from a resource block model.

Ends




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Source: Ariana Resources plc via Globenewswire