- Ariana Resources announced Monday that it expects to produce 20,000 ounces of gold in 2018, up 47% annually from 2017, while monthly production of ore will be between 15,500 tonnes and 17,000 tonnes during the year.

Ore throughput to the mill during 2018 is expected at to reach approximately 180,000 tonnes, representing a 20% increase over the feasibility plan.

Average grade of gold expected to be processed during the year will be close to 4 g/t Au and gold recovery is expected to exceed 90%.

Open-pit mining will continue to focus on the Arzu South pit during 2018, while mining on satellite pits are expected early 2019.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, said: 'We are very pleased to have reported in early February a strong operational finish to 2017. The Kiziltepe mine continued to perform very well and maintained positive operational momentum throughout Q4 and in to Q1 2018.'

'With our gold production guidance for the JV indicating circa 20,000 oz for the year, we look forward to delivering further towards our solid growth trajectory as a Company benefitting from JV operations. In particular, we are pleased to note that repayments of loans made by the Company to the JV for the purposes of exploration and development since 2010, commenced in instalments during Q1 2018.'

'As a low-cost open pit operator, ranked in the lowest 30% of cash costs# globally, the JV continues to target increases in production and life of mine. In due course, the JV will provide a mineral reserve update, to reinforce our expectations for expanding the current open pits or possibly towards developing underground operations in the future.'

At 9:39am: [LON:AAU] Ariana Resources PLC share price was 0p at 1.3p

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