Brent Cook, right. Eric Roth, MARL COO, left.

Brent Cook, right. Eric Roth, MARL COO, left.

Mariana Resources outlined a few tantalizing drill hits on its 30%-owned Hot Maden gold-copper project in Turkey this morning highlighting, yet again, why the story remains one of the most interesting discoveries in recent years. The recent hits add near-surface extension of uber-grade gold and copper, including 71 metres @ 32.7 g/t Au and 1.99% copper in the central zone of the deposit.

So far Hot Maden contains some 2 million ounces of gold-equivalent in indicated resources and a million ounces gold-equivalent inferred. About half of the resource has grades near an ounce gold-equivalent. The latest drilling also defines the limits of mineralization, or high-grade mineralization, with one of the deeper holes on the deposit in the central zone hitting low grades with 126m @ 0.3 g/t Au and 0.6% about 300-350 metres below surface and much higher gold grades.

It's the consistent high-grade hits that caught Exploration Insights' Brent Cook's attention in Hot Maden. Cook has been in and out of the stock and in a recent analysis of the project in a Q&A with Mariana COO Eric Roth, he said, "It's probably the biggest discovery, last year, given what you've done." Cook also said he would consider getting back in. (VIDEO HERE.)

What is Cook looking for?

Cook considers upcoming metallurgical results as key to adding comfort that the mineralization is simply recoverable. Mariana's Roth noted early-stage metallurgy looked good, without nasties like arsenic, and that the company is working toward a PEA with partner Lydia, a Turkish company that is earning in to 70% of Hot Maden. Cook is also keen to see Mariana list on the Venture. He asked about the potential there and Roth signalled it was under consideration, especially given recent interest in the project from new North American shareholders. Roth said a TSX Venture listing "makes sense."

Cook's watching.

"I like that project," he concludes after his visit to Mariana's core booth at Roundup 2016. "I've been to it. They've got a significant deposit. Metallurgy is the next thing we got to look at. Looks like it should float. But until we get the metallurgy - that's the big question. Then how they actualy raise the money... and get to list on the Venture excahnge. But it's a good project. It's certainly one I've got my eye on and I may buy back into again."

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Mariana Resources (MARL-L)
Market cap: US$23 million
Cash: $2 million