Tavşan is located in western Turkey about 210 km north-east of Izmir. Tavşan and the Kiziltepe mine, located 72 km away, form the Red Rabbit Gold project owned in a 50/50 joint venture between Ariana Resources plc and Proccea Construction Co.
Gold mineralization at Tavşan is epithermal in style, with associated silver and antimony, broadly situated along the thrust contact between Jurassic massively-bedded limestone and an overlying Cretaceous multi-lithic ophiolite sequence. Gold was discovered in an area of outcropping mineralized jasperoids covering 4 km by 4 km that up to 30 metres thick. The mineralized jasperoid units at Tavşan are extensive and represent exploration potential for the project.
The Tavşan Feasibility Study proposes an open-pit, heap leach operation with ore being trucked to the Kiziltepe mill. Preliminary column-leach test work has shown recoveries of 80% for gold and 26% for silver. The Environmental Impact Assessment and associated permitting work is underway.
A JORC Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource estimate updated in June 2020 consists of 3.2 Mt at 1.9 g/t gold and 4.7 g/t silver for a total of 194.0 kozs of gold and 522 kozs of silver. Another 1.3 Mt were listed in the Inferred Mineral Resource category (0.7 g/t cut-off grade).
The Tavsan royalty was part of the royalty package acquired from Teck Resources in January 2016. The royalty is a 1.0% NSR on the first 100,000 ozs of gold equivalent produced, 1.5% on the next 100,000 ozs and then is a 2.0% NSR royalty thereafter.
The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Tavşan project was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. Ariana expects construction to commence following receipt of final permits and plans to follow up on resource expansion opportunities by completing additional drilling in late 2021.
Environmental, community, and permitting activities are ongoing at Tavşan. Ariana expects drilling activities on the project to start in the spring of 2021.
Ariana announced a resource update for Tavşan, with resources increasing by 50% over the 2018 estimate.