20 April, 2016

Anglo Asian Mining Azerbaijan gold mines drop production

Gold is produced at Gedabek and other Azeri mines under a production venture with Anglo Asian, in which the government owns 49 percent.

Azerbaijan’s top gold producer, Anglo Asian Mining Plc, cut its output by 17.6 percent to 14,172 ounces in the first quarter and set a target of 73,000 to 77,000 ounces for 2016.

The company increased its gold output by 19 percent year-on-year to 72,032 ounces in 2015, hitting its target for the year.

The London-listed firm said it increased production of copper at Azerbaijan’s main mine, Gedabek, and the Gosha mine to 432 tonnes in January to March, from 182 tonnes a year earlier. Silver output rose to 1,958 ounces from 597 ounces.

“The first quarter of the year has always had lower production due to the difficult winter weather conditions,” Anglo Asian CEO Reza Vaziri said in a statement on Wednesday.

He said that the company had contracted for a second semi autogenous grinding (SAG) mill to be installed. These are used to crush and grind ore.

“We expect the SAG mill to be operational in the third quarter of 2016,” Vaziri said.

The company commissioned its new flotation plant at Gedabek in the third quarter of the last year. It began commercial production in the fourth quarter.

Gold dore sales in the first quarter of this year totalled 12,058 ounces at an average price of $1,184 per ounce.

Gold is produced at Gedabek and other Azeri mines under a production venture with Anglo Asian, in which the government owns 49 percent.

Anglo Asian began production at Gedabek, 350 km west of the capital Baku, in July 2009 with plans to extract a total of 22 tonnes of gold.

Overall, Anglo Asian plans to exploit seven mines in western Azerbaijan with estimated gold reserves of 430 tonnes.

Source: Reuters