With Ariana's principal exploration and development focused around western and north-eastern Turkey, the company believes that south-eastern Turkey is the next great frontier for gold and copper exploration in Turkey. Effective exploration in this region requires a unique and dedicated management capability with a focused exploration mind-set.
As a consequence, Ariana Resources made a strategic investment into Tigris Resources in 2010. Tigris is a private exploration and development company focused on gold and copper deposits in the highly prospective Tethyan Metallogenic Belt in southeast Turkey. Ariana is confident that the unique skills of the Tigris team will be applied to a region that hosts significant potential for the discovery of world-class deposits.
The focus area of Tigris will be the Bitlis Suture Zone and flanking structures, which are highly prospective for a range of mineral deposit styles including porphyry Cu-Au systems, epithermal to Carlin-style deposits, skarns and volcanogenic massive sulphides.
Ariana owns 3.85 million shares in Tigris Resources, following participation in several private placements in Tigris, at a total acquisition cost of CAD 353,000. Ariana owns 12.3% of the total shares issued by Tigris. Ariana has appointed Dr. Kerim Sener as a non-executive director to the board of Tigris.
Following extensive target generation work over the last couple of years, Tigris acquired several licences over an extensive new porphyry copper-gold prospect and has identified further prospective targets throughout Turkey's southeast. Funds from a recent placing will be used to complete on-going drilling programmes at Kolonkaya and Yalinkaya, and to implement a programme of ground or airborne geophysics across porphyry and other targets in the southeast.
Tigris commenced its first drilling programme in 2012, on an intrusion-related/porphyry system that has provided highly encouraging grades in surface sampling, returning rock-chip samples with grades of up to 37.8 g/t Au. The programme was budgeted for 1,500m and was designed to test sheeted-vein and veinlet gold targets at Kolonkaya and Yalinkaya South.
With this and other highly promising targets in the exploration pipeline, it is apparent that Tigris remains at the forefront of grassroots exploration in this region of Turkey. The company continues to secure prospective ground through licence applications via joint venture and through government licence auctions and we look forward to receiving further news from its exploration campaign in due course.
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