AIM-listed gold-producer Ariana Resources (AAU) has updated the market this morning on progress with the Ozaltin deal which will bring Ariana’s ownership of its Turkish assets to 23.5% and result in a nice tasty $37.75 million cashpile before taxes and costs. The deal is conditional on shareholder and Turkish government approvals and Ariana has now published a circular, with a GM due on December 30 – and there was a pleasant surprise...
The pleasant surprise was that Ariana has already received $1.5 million out of $2.5 million handed over by Ozaltin (the rest going to Proccea) by way of a deposit, returnable if shareholders reject the deal or Turkish regulatory approval fails to materialise. Given that Turkish companies are to take the box seat in the revised joint venture, it is hard to see how regulatory approval will not be given and since Ariana’s shareholders expect to benefit not only from the increased firepower of Ozaltin, but also in the form of a special dividend which I believe will be around 0.75p per share, the GM on 30 December appears to be a shoe-in. We are also told that the deal is expected to complete in January, although given the slow progress of the deal up until now I would not be surprised for completion to drag on a little more (although I hope not). After that, there is to be a capital reorganisation to allow payment of the special dividend which will itself need GM approval and Court sanction. But this latest news suggests that it is finally full steam ahead and we shouldn’t have to wait too long for that payout.
There were other tit-bits with regard to exploration: at Kiziltepe plans are afoot for 5,000 meters of drilling commencing early next year and I will be very interested in results from that at Arzu South, which was the higher-grade deposit now fully mined. At Tavsan - where we should hear of the go-ahead for a mine fairly soon - plans for further drilling are at an advanced stage, the intention being to pull out the drill bit once winter has receded, and the results from which are to be incorporated into the feasibility study. Ariana’s shares are unchanged on all of this, but it is good news all round for us loyal shareholders and at the current 5.2p to buy and at up to 5.5p my stance remains buy with a 7.5p target firmly in mind: in just a few weeks, Ariana's £55 million market cap should be half backed in cold, hard cash.
Filed under: Ariana Resources, Catenae Innovation, CyanConnode, TomWinnifrith.com, Yu Group
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