Ariana Resources Plc announces merger with Rockover Holdings

LONDON: Ariana Resources plc, a prominent AIM-listed mineral exploration and development company, has announced a landmark merger agreement to acquire Rockover Holdings Limited, thereby gaining full ownership of the Dokwe Gold Project in Zimbabwe. This move signifies a pivotal expansion beyond Ariana’s established Turkish operations and aligns with its strategic goal of establishing a global resource base.

Merger Details:

  • Merger Ratio: 62.5% for Ariana existing shareholders and 37.5% for Rockover shareholders, excluding Ariana’s current 2.1% stake in Rockover.
  • New Shares: Issuance of 687,817,998 new ordinary shares by Ariana to acquire the remaining shares in Rockover.
  • Project Reserves: Dokwe North boasts 1.21Moz in JORC 2012 Measured, Indicated, and Inferred Resources, including 0.8Moz in Proven and Probable Reserves.
  • Economic Forecast: A Pre-Feasibility Study predicts a 13-year mine life with a post-tax NPV10 of US$72 million and an IRR of 25% at a gold price of US$1,650/oz.

Management Commentary: Dr. Kerim Sener, Managing Director of Ariana, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, which marks a significant step toward their aim of a 5Moz global resource base by 2025. The Dokwe Gold Project, a feasibility stage project with over 95% of its resources in the Measured and Indicated categories, is seen as an excellent value proposition that mirrors Ariana’s historic discovery cost.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Board Expansion: The merger will introduce two experienced Zimbabwe-based directors from Rockover to the enlarged company board.
  • Production Goals: The Dokwe project is expected to commence production within three years, with an initial annual production rate of 60,000oz, potentially increasing to 100,000oz over ten years.
  • Resource Growth: Opportunities to expand the resource base at Dokwe are being explored, with feasibility work and resource expansion drilling set to begin post-merger.
  • Due Diligence: Ariana’s technical due diligence has been in progress for over a year, with positive developments in Zimbabwe’s economic and mining sector bolstering confidence in the project.

Future Prospects: Ariana Resources is strategically planning to dual-list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2024 to attract a broader range of investors and enhance market visibility. The company anticipates the merger to be completed by 28 June 2024, subject to shareholder approval and satisfactory due diligence.

This merger represents a transformative step for Ariana Resources as it aims to become a mid-tier gold producer and establish one of the largest modern gold mines in Zimbabwe.

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