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Ariana Sees $10 Million Profit in 2013 From Turkish Gold Project

Ariana Resources Plc (AAU), developer of a $26 million gold mine in western Turkey, expects as much as $10 million in annual profit from 2013, Managing Director Kerim Sener said.

The company, which is developing the open-pit mine in a venture with Turkish builder Proccea Construction Co., aims to begin output by the end of next year, Sener said today in an interview in London. Ariana is in talks with three Turkish banks to borrow $20 million to fund construction, he said. The remaining will be funded by Proccea, he said.

Ariana, which owns gold projects in northeast Turkey with European Goldfields Ltd., wants to acquire mining licenses in the largest gold-producing country in Europe, Sener said. Turkey is likely to produce 25 metric tons of gold this year compared with 17 tons last year, he said.

The company aims to produce 14,400 ounces of gold at an operating cost of $500 to $600 an ounce at its mine in the Red Rabbit area of western Turkey in 2013, the first year of production, Sener said. The mine would be profitable at gold prices above $1,058, he said. Production is estimated to rise to 21,400 ounces in 2015 before beginning to decline until the end of the mine’s life in eight years.

Ariana will seek to pay back the debt it takes on to develop the mine and may then consider offering a dividend, he said. European Goldfields owns an 11 percent stake in Ariana.

To contact the reporter on this story: Firat Kayakiran in London at fkayakiran@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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