Anglo Asian Mining PLC (AAM), a producer of gold, copper and silver in Azerbaijan, is pleased to announce that a subsidiary of the Group, Azerbaijan International Mining Company Limited, plans to spend about $6 million for its new geological exploration and evaluation programme for 2018, the company said in a message.
The company said that 2018 to be the first year of a three-year rolling programme of geological exploration of near mine, brownfield and greenfield areas. The aim is replacing mined ounces, extending the current mine life to a 10-year minimum, increasing the company’s inventory of resources and discovering new mineral deposits similar to the Ugur open pit mine (“Ugur”) which have the potential to be quickly developed into operating mines.
Reportedly, the programme will build on the results of the 2017 geological work and comprehensively cover the Company’s three operating contract areas, including Gedabek gold, copper and silver contract area in western Azerbaijan which is the location of the Gedabek and Ugur mines and the Gadir underground mine, Gosha contract area, which is located 50 kilometres from Gedabek; and Ordubad contract area (“Ordubad”) which is located in Nakhichivan.
A total of around 43,500 metres of surface and underground drilling is planned within the program.
“I am very pleased to announce this programme of geological exploration of our three operating contract areas,” Anglo Asian CEO Reza Vaziri said.
“This will build upon the success of the previous few years during which we discovered the Ugur and Gadir deposits. In addition to demonstrating that our exploration can produce results, we have importantly shown that we can quickly produce value from any new discoveries as exemplified by Ugur, which we brought into production in less than 12 months from discovery.”
Anglo Asian Group Director of Geology & Mining Stephen Westhead, in turn, said that the company will carry out an airborne geophysical survey over the entire Gedabek contract area and also investigate the potential of Gosha and Ordubad.
Anglo Asian Mining PLC is a gold, copper and silver producer with a broad portfolio of production and exploration assets in Azerbaijan.
AAM and Swiss Industrial Minerals SA signed an agreement in May 2014 on selling cooper concentrate produced at Gadabay field in Azerbaijan. Based on the production sharing agreement signed with Azerbaijani government in August 1997, Anglo Asian Mining PLC has the right to develop six fields in south-west of Azerbaijan: Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gizil Bulag, Vejnali and Soyutlu.
The gold produced at the fields is sent to Switzerland for purification. The ingots are delivered to Azerbaijan and are stored in the government’s account.
In 2017, AAM produced 59,617 ounces of gold, 1,991 tons of copper and 172,853 ounces of silver in Azerbaijan. This year the company plans to produce 84,000 ounces in gold equivalent.