May 25th, 2006
Arian Silver Corporation (‘Arian Silver’) was admitted to trading on AIM today, and has become the only pure silver play currently listed on AIM. Arian Silver was formerly called Hard Assets Inc. and changed its name following its merger with Arian Silver Corporation Limited, a private company registered in the British Virgin Islands. Arian Silver’s relocation of registration to the British Virgin Islands from Canada, change of name and merger were approved by its shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting yesterday. The Board of Arian Silver now comprises those individuals referred to below.
Shares in Arian Silver Corporation (ISIN: VGG0472G1063) will commence trading on AIM today. They will trade under the name Hard Assets Inc. and the symbol ‘HAI’ on Thursday, 25 May 2006, but will be changed to Arian Silver Corporation and trade under ‘AG.’ as of Friday, 26 May 2006.
Arian Silver has 12 mineral concessions covering an aggregate area of approximately 1,493 hectares. The group has options over seven further concessions and is in negotiations to acquire three others. Arian Silver has a portfolio of silver focused exploration concessions located in the Zacatecas region of Mexico, the world’s largest silver producing country. Many of the concessions have extensive workings or are former producers, and the directors believe that this reduces the risks and uncertainties associated with grass-roots exploration. Arian Silver has been carrying out underground exploration at its two most advanced projects, Calicanto and San Celso, since mid-2005, whilst actively investigating further acquisition opportunities.
The Calicanto project comprises three concessions which are under option to Arian Silver and includes the past productive Nevada-Calicanto epithermal vein system. Arian Silver is currently focused on the Calicanto vein system and has employed local mining contractors to advance the decline along the vein. The average width of the vein is 1.5 to 2.0m but the vein system (including the quartz stockwork and parallel veins) can exceed 5m. Assay results from vein material returned values of >10,000g/t Ag and 10.90g/t Au over 1.2m. The decline is approximately 4m wide by 4m high and has been advanced some 65 m. Run-of-mine material from the decline is being processed at a local flotation mill. Results from a 165 tonne bulk sample returned grades of 393 g/t Ag, 1.42 g/t Au, plus base metal credits, with 60% recovery for gold and 73% recovery for silver. A 2,100m drilling programme is planned for 2006, subject to the Company raising additional funds.
At San Celso, Arian Silver has accessed and re-laddered two mine shafts to over 100m depth and has been undertaking underground sampling, surveying and mapping. Historic mining appears to have been focused on high grade shoots near to surface, however, economic mineralisation is found in structures in the hanging wall and footwall of the main veins and in places can be up to 6m wide. Assay results from these structures have returned values assaying 3.5 g/t Au and 2,683 g/t Ag over 1m. The potential of the San Celso property is thought to lie in the extension of these veins along strike and to depth. It is also possible that there are other mineralised structures on the property, either partially exploited by the San Celso old mine workings or undiscovered.
Jim Williams, Arian Silver Chief Executive, commented:
“The Merger with Hard Assets has enabled us to achieve our goal of bringing Arian to AIM as well as providing us with a larger international investor base. Access to international capital markets should allow us to expedite our exploration and development programmes at our Calicanto and San Celso properties, where initial results have been very encouraging.
“In addition, we are in negotiations to secure tailings projects which have the potential to generate near-term cash-flow. Our initial target is to have in excess of 50 million JORC-compliant ounces of silver. We anticipate continuing strength in the market for silver and aim to establish Arian Silver Corporation as the prime silver play on the UK market.”
Canaccord Adams Limited acts as Nominated Adviser and Broker to Arian Silver Corporation.
Mr Jim Williams, Eur Ing, MSc, DIC, FIMMM, CEng, CGeol, and Chief Executive Officer of Arian Silver Corporation is a “competent person” as defined in the AIM guidelines for mining companies. This press release has been prepared under Mr Williams’ supervision. Mr Williams has verified the data disclosed in this press release including the sampling, analytical and test data underlying the information.
On Admission, the Board of Arian Silver will comprise 3 executive and 3 non-executive directors:
Anthony (Tony) Joseph Williams, Chairman and Director, age 55
Tony Williams, Chairman, is the founder and Chairman of the Dragon group, a privately owned group of companies with interests in international mining finance and project management. Prior to founding the Dragon group in 1995, he spent nine years in investment banking where he co-founded and led the Natural Resource Group at Yorkton Securities. He is a director or chairman of several public (AIM, TSX) exploration and mining companies developing precious metal, base metal and diamond deposits worldwide. Earlier in his career he held senior appointments in the mining industry and specialized in mineral valuation and acquisitions. He qualified as a mining geologist in 1972 from the Royal School of Mines in London and is a member of several professional mining industry associations.
James (Jim) Thomas Williams, Chief Executive Officer and Director, age 45
Jim Williams is an exploration and mining geologist with more than 20 years’ experience worldwide in a variety of minerals. For the past three years he has been evaluating silver (and gold) projects in Mexico and is very familiar with epithermal, skarn and VMS systems. He is a Fellow of the UK IMMM, a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Chartered Geologist (CGeol). He is also a European Engineer (Eur. Ing.) and a European Geologist (Euro. Geol). In addition, he is involved with project financing for the Arian Group and is conversant with the US, Canadian and UK financial markets and is a director or has been a director of a number of mineral and mining companies. He holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and D.I.C. (Diploma of Imperial College) degrees in geology and exploration.
James Seymour Cable, Finance Director, age 53
James Cable is a Finance Director with extensive experience at board level in quoted and private companies. He has significant international and commercial experience gained in the Middle East, Africa, the Far East and Europe in several business sectors including oil and construction. He has been a Chartered Accountant for 27 years.
David William Cohen, Director, age 43
David Cohen has over 20 years’ experience in operations, project development and financing of the mining industry. Formerly with Anglo American Corporation and Fluor Daniel Corp., he has worked in South Africa and internationally in the mining and oil and gas sectors and has initiated and closed major resource acquisitions and equity raisings. He is the President and CEO of Northern Orion Resources Inc., a Toronto and AMEX listed intermediate copper and gold producer in South America and a director of Eastern Platinum Limited as well as a number of resource companies.
Thomas (Tom) Anstey Bailey, Director, age 63
Tom Bailey qualified as a solicitor in 1975 and worked as an in-house lawyer for a number of years with Citibank and Chase Manhattan before returning to private practice, to establish a law firm. He was the senior partner of his firm specializing in commercial law. He has for a number of years carried out consultancy work for various companies and now acts as a consultant to the Dragon group.
John Merfyn Roberts, Director, age 56
Merfyn Roberts holds a B.Sc. Honours Geology from Liverpool University and a M.Sc. in Geochemistry from Oxford University. He started his career in 1976 working as a geologist in the UK and in North America. He is also a Chartered Accountant (England and Wales) having qualified in 1980. He has gained extensive experience in finance, particularly with respect to the natural resource sector. This experience includes investment analysis, managing specialty investment products, the establishment and management of an equity fund specialising in natural resources, and serving as the investment director for a securities firm and an investment fund. He is also a director of a number of TSX and AIM listed companies including Rambler Metals and Mining plc and Eastern Platinum Limited.
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