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6 June 2014
AIM : AAU
FINAL AUDITED RESULTS FOR THE YEAR 31 DECEMBER 2013
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ("AGM")
Ariana Resources plc ("Ariana" or "the Company"), the gold exploration and development company focused on Turkey, announces its final audited results for the year ended 31 December 2013.
It gives me great pleasure to write my inaugural Chairman's Statement to you at this exciting juncture in Ariana's development. Michael Spriggs, our previous Chairman, worked tirelessly to progress the Company from a grassroots explorer with interests in Turkey, to the business which I inherited as Chairman in July last year - a gold-silver developer on the eve of production, with plenty of exploration upside from a world class greenfield database. I would firstly like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for all he has done for the Company over his tenure as Chairman, as well as congratulate the rest of the team for significant and material achievements over the past year; all of which have moved Ariana closer to our objective of achieving gold production in the near term.
I will leave it to our ever-competent Managing Director, Dr. Kerim Sener, to run through the bulk of the operational successes that we have achieved over the year, but I believe it would be remiss of me not to highlight the key milestones which we have passed, and hurdles overcome, as we move towards becoming a cash generative gold explorer, developer and producer during the next year.
Given that the Red Rabbit Gold Project ("RRGP") is the most advanced in our portfolio, we have focused our efforts in this area. Our emphasis in 2013 was marked by systematically securing the requisite permits ahead of targeted production in the next 12 months. The year began with our Environmental Project Summary Document being submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning for the Kiziltepe Sector of the RRGP, being the site of our initial mine. This marked the initiation of the formal process for the permitting of the mine. A further key milestone for the Company was the successful completion of the public and ministerial consultation process as part of our Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") submission, with positive EIA certification subsequently being received in December 2013. The public meeting was attended by approximately 100 people from the surrounding communities, and Ariana received overwhelming support for the proposed development of the mine at Kiziltepe. The Company also received confirmation from the Turkish authorities that the mine development site was also deemed suitable and appropriate by the Provincial Directorate.
Your company is fortunate to have developed a strong symbiotic relationship with a very successful and well respected Turkish mine construction firm in the form of Proccea Construction Co. Having such a technically and financially stable operator in partnership with Ariana, will enable us to jointly develop both the Red Rabbit project, as well as any new gold resources we are in the process of discovering. Proccea continues to fund the development of the Red Rabbit project under their earn in arrangement and have successfully advanced the arrangements for local project finance for the mine construction.
The support of the local community and regional authorities is very important to the Ariana team, and also to the success of the RRGP. We are now on the verge of creating a project that generates new revenue and local employment in the region, enhancing the overall socio-economic development of the area. Our plans for local employment include the employment of approximately 100 people directly in mining and processing and a further multiple thereof employed indirectly via support services and related enterprises.
With a current mine life of eight years from Kiziltepe itself and a further two satellite targets at Kizilcukur and Ivrindi, the road map for the next decade is well established. However the Ariana board is confident that this mine life can be substantially enhanced through the delineation of additional mineable resources in and around the Kiziltepe area, which, in due course, would feed into the main Kiziltepe plant. With this in mind, our specifications for the plant and Tailing Storage Facility surpass the current parameters of the project, ensuring our mining operations at the RRGP are sustainable in the long term.
One factor affecting the sustainability of our, and in fact all, gold projects is the long term gold price. I think I speak for most gold explorers, developers and producers in saying that 2013 was a truly dismal year for gold - dropping from highs almost touching US$1,900 to recent lows of below US$1,200. There was a marginal recovery during the first few months of this year. However, the long term message for gold companies, and investors in gold equities, is that low cost producers can still generate healthy margins and hence deliver attractive returns for investors. I am pleased to say that with projected cash costs at around US$600/oz, the RRGP enjoys robust economic fundamentals even at low gold prices. The importance of this cannot be overstated - by keeping our gold production costs low, we can support a long term sustainable and successful gold production project for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Our exploration interests fall into three distinct segments: proximal exploration of prospects in the wider RRGP area; exploration and development in tandem with our joint venture partner Eldorado Gold over the 1.09 Moz Ardala and Salinbas areas in north-eastern Turkey; and progression of targeted areas using the Newmont database secured in March 2013. These key exploration interests, together with Ariana's investment in Tigris Resources, which focuses on the frontier gold province of south-eastern Turkey, provide Ariana with extensive blue-sky upside over the coming months and years. Indeed, positioning ourselves as a soon-to-be cash generative gold exploration company with an exceptional mineralised footprint across Turkey gives us a unique competitive advantage.
Our focus on Turkey is not purely down to the country boasting world-class mineralised provinces, but also reflects on the very roots of Ariana. We have a strong Turkish identity, stemming from many of our senior management and board members having Turkish backgrounds and/or nationality, which, I believe has helped the evolution of the Company and kept it aligned with the requirements and desires of all stakeholders. Our Managing Director, Dr. Kerim Sener is a Turkish national, and is a strong proponent of doing business in this rapidly emerging European economic powerhouse. Despite the well-documented political developments over the past 12 months, Turkey remains a stable and supportive jurisdiction for the development of mineral resources and we remain committed to investing in the country in the coming years. Our strong affiliations within Turkey, both on a regional and national scale, have been critical to building a sustainable project with significant longevity creating a long-term revenue generator and employer for the local region.
I would like to take this opportunity to again thank the Ariana team and Proccea, whose unwavering support for achieving our strategic and operational goals has driven the Company's progress forward. I would also like to extend my thanks to the local communities in and around the RRGP area for their continuing support and guidance throughout this process, without whom we would not have been able to reach this point. Lastly, I would like to show my gratitude to our shareholders and reiterate my confidence that the next year will prove to be a transformational period for Ariana as we move into mine construction and begin generating revenues - a momentous occasion for any gold developer.
Michael de Villiers
5 June 2014
The Report and Accounts, together with a Notice of AGM, are being posted to shareholders and are available to download from www.arianaresources.com.
The AGM will be held at the East India Club, 16 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LH on 30 June 2014 at 11.00 am.
|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|
|Loeb Aron & Company Ltd.||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7628 1128|
|John Beresford-Peirse / Dr. Frank Lucas|
|St Brides Media & Finance Ltd||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1177|
|Susie Geliher / Lottie Brocklehurst|
About Ariana Resources:
Ariana is an Anglo-Turkish exploration and mine development company focused on advancing epithermal gold-silver and porphyry copper-gold deposits in Turkey. The Company is developing a portfolio of prospective licences selected on the basis of its in-house geological and remote-sensing database, on its own in western Turkey and in Joint Venture with Eldorado Gold Corporation in north-eastern Turkey. Eldorado owns 51% of this joint venture and are fully funding all exploration work on the JV properties, while Ariana owns 49%. The total resource inventory within this JV is 1.09 million ounces of gold.
The Company's flagship assets are its Kiziltepe and Tavsan gold projects that 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, are presently being assessed as to their economic merits and now form part of a Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co. The total resource inventory at the Red Rabbit Project stands at 475,000 ounces of gold equivalent.
Beaufort Securities Limited and Loeb Aron & Company Ltd. 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.
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