Ariana Resources has announced the acquisition of four new exploration licences via auctions undertaken by the General Directorate of Mining Affairs (GDMA) in western Turkey.

The four new exploration licences are located in the Balikesir and Kutahya provinces and cover an area of 4,058 hectares.

Ariana Resources managing director Kerim Sener said the new licences add to the pipeline of exploration properties that are developing in western Turkey.

"We are particularly encouraged by Yukaricamli, the largest of these licences, which is located in the Red Rabbit Project Area, halfway along strike between our Karakavak and Kizilcukur prospects. Initial results from this prospect have proved encouraging, with rock chip samples demonstrating grades of up to 4.39g/t Au," said Sener.

"We look forward to commencing exploration activities on this licence and gauging its resource potential in tandem with the work programmes underway at the additional prospects housed within our flagship Red Rabbit Gold Project area, including exploration work focussed on our four recently discovered vein systems at Kiziltepe."

Ariana Resources is expected to start geological mapping and sampling followed with geophysical programmes towards the end of 2012.

Exploration programmes will be initiated in July 2012 in order to define targets for possible drilling testing in 2013.

The company is also expecting to secure more licences in a further auction to commence from the end of July 2012.