The price of shares in AIM-listed explorer Ariana Resources (LON:AAU) tumbled 5.12% to 3.42p (as of 13:10 BST) as quarterly gold production and ore processing dropped. Management said that despite the decline, gold production remained above annualised guidance and open pit ore was mined at record levels during the three months ended 31st March.
Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener commented: “We have entered 2020 with a strong first quarter of production from the Kiziltepe Mine. Unlike the same period last year, production was not impacted by unusually poor weather, resulting in operations proceeding as planned across the Arzu South, Arzu North and Derya pits.
“Material movements from the pits were maintained at near all-time highs, while ore production for the quarter broke a new record. This higher production rate is in part to compensate for the expected reduction in grades from the satellite pits. Production from our highest-grade pit, Arzu South, is due to be completed during Q3 2020 and production thereafter will be focused on Arzu North and Derya. In addition, the mine has built up a stockpile of over 130,000 tonnes of ore, sufficient to cover at least eight months of mill feed.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the mine team for their efforts during a period which coincided with the advent of a global pandemic. All necessary precautionary measures have been implemented at the mine in order to mitigate the health risk as much as practically possible, and the team has continued to operate without interruption during these trying conditions. In addition, the Turkish Government has implemented restrictions on movement around Turkey to limit the spread, although this has not impacted the mining industry specifically. We wish the team and their families well during this time and look forward to maintaining production for the foreseeable future”.