Anglo Asian president and CEO Reza Vaziri says it is a tragedy that this long-standing territorial dispute has resulted in a humanitarian crisis and significant loss of life.
“Anglo Asian Mining very warmly welcomes the recent ceasefire agreement which ended the hostilities. The conflict has resulted in extensive damage across the region which will require substantial investment to repair and rebuild.”
Gold, copper and silver producer Anglo Asian Mining welcomes the agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia which has ended the military conflict over the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, subsequently opening up the region for the miner to restore its three contract areas in formerly occupied territories and Nagorno Karabakh. Nagorno Karabakh is a mountainous enclave within the borders of Azerbaijan and is bordered by seven districts of Azerbaijan which were occupied by Armenia in 1994 (the occupied territories). Anglo Asia’s projects in the region include Soutely, in the Kalbajar district of the formerly occupied territories; Kyzlbulag, in Nagorno Karabakh; and Vejnaly, in the Zangilan district of the formerly occupied territories.
Soutely, which is the location of the Zod gold and silver mine, is the largest in the Caucasus region and reportedly produced about 120 000 oz/y of gold prior to the conflict.
Kyzlbulag is the location of the Kashan deposit hosting a copper and molybdenum mine. Vejnaly has been a host to mining operations, but the current situation is unknown.
The two contract areas in the formerly occupied territories are fully under the control of the government of Azerbaijan, with Russian peacekeepers present at Anglo Asian’s Nagorno Karabakh contract area. Going forward, the company will fully evaluate the potential of the three restored contract areas when permission to access is received from the government of Azerbaijan. The production sharing agreement in respect of the three restored contract areas will be reset to year zero upon notification of access to the areas. Meanwhile, Anglo Asian notes that mineral exploitation and mining have been carried out illegally during the Armenian occupation at all three contract areas, but adds that considerable exploration potential still exists both near the existing mines and on known geological trends in the restored contract areas. The company will evaluate its newly restored contract areas as soon as it is able to access them. Anglo Asia reports that, as part of the proposed ceasefire agreement, Armenia will grant territory in its Syunik region to Azerbaijan to enable construction of direct road and rail links between the exclave of Nakhchivan and the rest of Azerbaijan. The proposed transport corridor will greatly improve access to Anglo Asian’s Ordubad contract area.
“Anglo Asian Mining will work with the government of Azerbaijan, pursuant to its contractual rights, in the three restored contract areas within the Zangilan and Kalbajar districts, as well as in Nagorno Karabakh,” Vaziri says.