Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the exploration and development company operating in Turkey, is pleased to announce the grant of a new operational licence and the final results of a recent drilling campaign completed at its Salinbas Gold Project ("Salinbas" or "the Project"). Salinbas is located in the Hot Gold Corridor and is 100% owned by Ariana through its shareholding in Greater Pontides Exploration B.V. ("GPE").
· Hizarliyayla licence renewal to operational status approved for 10 years by the General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs ("MAPEG").
· Ardala operational licence awaiting renewal at MAPEG following positive regulatory site inspections and Ministerial approval.
· Salinbas operational licence forestry application submission under review by the Company to enable future drilling.
· Higher-grade and deeper intercept encountered in hole ARD022 in addition to the intercepts reported previously:
o 6m @ 2.38 g/t Au + 9.3 g/t Ag + 0.51% Cu + 0.25% Pb + 0.50% Zn (from 161m)
· Discussions being advanced with a number of other companies interested in developing the Salinbas Gold Project in partnership with Ariana.
Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:
"The grant of the Hizarliyayla operational licence is a significant step forward for the Company and adds further confidence to our ground-holding in this highly prospective region. With two 10-year operational licences now granted and a third operational licence awaiting its extension, the Project is reaching a decision point concerning a major new work programme involving further drilling and technical studies, including the preparation of a full statutory Environmental Impact Assessment. These studies will be undertaken in parallel with the commencement of a Pre-Feasibility Study in due course. Based on our earlier scoping level assessment of the Project, we are confident that there is an opportunity to develop a major new gold mine producing at a rate of 50,000 oz per annum over a mine life of about 10 years. The base case for this project demonstrated a NPV of US$108 million with an IRR of 28% (as announced on 1 April 2015). Accordingly we have engaged with a number of companies with active mining and construction interests in Turkey to develop the Salinbas Gold Project in partnership with the Company. We look forward to providing further updates as we continue to advance the Project."