- Process recoveries of gold and silver at the Kiziltepe mine in Turkey continue to trend considerably higher than feasibility-study expectations and leach times remain faster than predicted, according to an operational update by Ariana Resources.

Kiziltepe is part of the Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction Co and is 50% owned by Ariana.


- Processing plant operating to design specifications, with mill availability having increased to over 97% during June.

- Grade of ore produced from the open-pit is continuing to increase with target grades of >3 g/t gold and >40 g/t silver expected to be met from July 2017 onwards.

- Approximately 1,930 oz gold and 14,520 oz silver has been sold by the refinery to date; gold and silver sales during the period to end June realised at prices ranging from US$1,295-1,225/oz and US$18.2-16.2/oz respectively.

- Further dore pour of up to 354 oz gold and 3,215 oz silver expected today, completing production during June 2017; gold and silver in circuit after this pour will be 621 oz and 9,064 oz respectively.

- Waste movement from the open-pit is occurring at the expected rate to support the construction of the second stage of the tailings dam; further interim capacity of the tailings dam will be ready for use by mid-July.

- Operation in process of transitioning to commercial production, with formal quarterly operational reporting expected accordingly.

- Loan repayments to Turkiye Katilim Finans Bankasi have been made on their scheduled basis and have amounted to over US$4 million as at the end of June.

Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said: "We are very pleased to provide this further interim report on the operational ramp-up of the Kiziltepe mine.

"The operation continues to deliver at or beyond our expectations and we are encouraged by the continuation of several positive factors which remain substantially above feasibility design parameters.

"In particular, the higher than expected recoveries and lower leach times, will contribute towards enhanced operational efficiencies.

"In time, this may enable other aspects of the operation, such as mill throughput, to be further improved.

"We are expecting to make the transition in to commercial production shortly, particularly once we have achieved consistent high-rate mill throughput and our monthly gold and silver output achieves its target.

"The ramp-up period has proceeded smoothly and to a significant degree has met our internal production estimates.

"We have encountered some issues with the clay content of the ore at times, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall, as such material has a tendency of decreasing the feed rate to the mill.

"However, we are investigating ways to mitigate this and in any case we are not expecting this to remain a concern over the very dry summer months ahead of us."

At 9:35am: [LON:AAU] Ariana Resources PLC share price was +0.03p at 1.35p

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