Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) surged on Thursday as the firm reported a 50% increase in the joint ore reserves at the Tavsan project in Turkey, part of its Red Rabbit joint venture (JV) with Proccea Construction.
The AIM-listed firm said the resource has increased to 4.49mln tonnes for 253,000 ounces of gold and 723,000 ounces of silver, while the estimate was also further de-risked with 77% of the resource now in the measured and indicated JORC categories.
WATCH: Ariana Resources PLC's Kerim Sener welcomes resource update for Tavsan and talks development plans
An additional JORC exploration target of up to a further 9mln tonnes at 1.0-1.3 grams per tonne of gold has also been updated to reflect the latest estimation.
Ariana also said the JV has completed a pre-feasibility for the project, while an environmental impact assessment was being finalised.
Discussions with potential lenders are also expected to commence “imminently” for the JV to secure funding for the development of the project.
"We are extremely pleased with this latest resource update for the Tavsan project”, Ariana’s managing director Kerim Sener said in a statement, adding that the company also expected to “proceed with land acquisitions over the coming months”.
“Under ordinary circumstances we expected that Tavsan would have achieved first production by late 2021, although due to the difficulties imposed by [coronavirus], we are now expecting some delays to this timeline”, Sener noted, although he said in the meantime all capital requirements for the development of the project were being funded by cashflow from the company’s Kiziltepe project.
Shares in Ariana jumped 10.4% to 4.1p in early deals.