Ariana Resources (LON: AAU)
Ariana Resources has announced a maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate for the Magellan Project in Cyprus. The resource totals some 8.5mln tonnes at a copper grade of 0.63% along with additional potential for gold, silver and zinc.
The Magellan Project is 100% owned and operated by Venus Minerals Ltd. However, Ariana will be earning up to 50% from Venus in the project through the achievement of certain milestones.
The completion of this maiden JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource estimate for the Magellan Project marks a major advancement for Venus Minerals. At a time when the industry has been brought to a standstill due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Magellan project is the latest resource to be announced in over a decade in Cyprus.
Upon close examination, the mineral resource has set a JORC exploration target of 2.7 – 8.4 million t within a grade range of 0.5 g/t Au to 0.8 g/t Au, for 42 000 – 216 000 oz of gold and 3.3 g/t Ag to 8.2 g/t Ag, for 297 000 – 2 218 000 oz of silver. This will catapult Ariana Resources and Venus to the forefront of copper-gold exploration on the island.
The new exploration campaign is planned with up to 3,000 metres of drilling testing several target areas.
“Ariana remains excited by the progress of the Venus exploration team who have remained active and deployed in Cyprus despite the recent difficulties associated with travel.”Dr Kerim Sener, Ariana managing director said in a statement.
“We would like to congratulate the team on its first resource estimate, which is already demonstrating scalability, and look forward to seeing the results of their latest exploration efforts. Accordingly we intend to continue supporting Venus financially and progressing our earn-in to 50% within the next two years.”
This is the latest development in a string of recent undertakings that Ariana Resources has pursued. The exploration and development company recently proposed a new joint venture with Ozaltin Holding and Proccea Construction. Under the agreement, the AIM-traded firm said Ozaltin would be acquiring 53% of both the Salinbas Project and the existing Zenit Madencilik joint venture, which is currently owned by Ariana in a 50-50 partnership with Proccea.
With regards to the Magellan Project in Cyprus – the mineral resource was based on the drilling undertaken by Ariana Resources along with a detailed review of all available drill data acquired from the 1950s through to 2007. This data comprises 201 open-hole percussion drill holes at Kokkinoyia (totalling 41,316m) and 184 open-hole percussion and 2 diamond drill holes at Klirou (totalling 21,140.45m) for a combined total of 62,456.45m of drilling.
Ariana (LON: AAU) completed the geological modelling of the mineralised zones in Leapfrog Geo 5.0.4 for both sectors of the Magellan Project with findings about additional potential for gold, silver and zinc-rich zones (up to 0.6 % Zn) across the Klirou and Kokkinoyia Sectors.
Overall, both Venus and Ariana Resources remain optimistic about the progress of exploration activities, which have carried on in Cyprus despite the recent difficulties associated with travel. Shareholders and investors are following all developments and the first resource estimate with interest as they are already demonstrating scalability. However, the full effect of the results of their latest exploration efforts on the company’s share price remains to be seen.
Following Ariana’s recent announcement about a rise in quarterly production in the third quarter, share prices for the exploration and development company are up +0.15p at 6.1p. This maiden JORC Compliant Mineral Resource is the culmination of several months of stable performance. Based on the findings shared by the company in an announcement, the Magellan Project has the potential to become a globally significant mine. On top of the potential for expansion based of the initial JORC resource, there is further exploration upside to the project – something that will be a defining factor for Ariana’s foothold in Cyprus.