- Gold exploration and development company Ariana Resources has provided its second operational update on the Kiziltepe Mine within the Red Rabbit Gold-Silver Project in Western Turkey.


Stage 1 Tailings Storage Facility ("TSF") completion remains delayed by below average temperatures and wet weather (Figure 1) though conditions are improving.

Process CIL/CIC and ADR plant operational under manual mode; nearing full automation.

Commissioning of ball mill and thickeners is complete, with first ore due to be fed to the CIL system shortly.

Carbon regeneration kiln is operational and the detox system and tailings pumps are ready for testing once the TSF is commissioned.

Recent drilling to be incorporated in to a new resource and reserve estimate and an improved mining plan and schedule is in the process of being examined.

Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director, commented:

"While much of the Kiziltepe mine site is effectively operational, the below average temperature conditions (to -7 degrees C overnight) and rainfall experienced through much of January has inhibited the completion of the tailings dam. However, we are pleased to note that the weather forecasts for the next 10 days are looking more favourable. At this stage, the Joint Venture team is expecting to be in a position to complete the remaining work at the tailings dam within this better weather window. Laying of the final geomembrane for the Stage 1 TSF is the last critical path element of the build before the mine becomes formally operational; commissioning tests of various process plant components and sub-systems have gone smoothly to date.

In the meantime, the Company is continuing to demonstrate the potential for an enhanced operation at Kiziltepe, through the positive results of its recent drilling programmes. These results are sufficiently encouraging to warrant integration in to a longer-term developmental plan for the project involving larger and/or additional open pits. The Company remains focused on increasing its production profile once Kiziltepe enters production, through several practical development strategies across its projects. We will be updating the market on these activities on a regular basis."

Kiziltepe is being advanced towards production through a 50:50 Joint Venture with Proccea Construction.

At 1:24pm: [LON:AAU] Ariana Resources PLC share price was -0.05p at 1.65p

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