By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan sees growth in the production of precious metals this year.
Some 1,395 kilograms of gold were extracted in Azerbaijan in the first five months of 2019, which is 9.8 percent more than in the same period of last year.
According to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, silver production in the country increased by 18.1 percent in the reporting period, compared to the same period in 2018.
The total volume of extracted silver and concentrates amounted to 1,364 kilograms in January-May 2019.
At the same time, 805 tons of copper ore and concentrates were extracted this year, showing a 44.9 percent growth.
As of June 1, 2019, finished copper ore stocks amounted to 552.2 tons, gold ore - 219 kilograms, and silver ore - 590.4 kilograms.
Presently, two companies - Anglo Asian Mining and AzerGold - are operating in the sphere of mining of precious metals in Azerbaijan.
It should be noted that total of 4,238 kilograms of gold and 2,671 kilograms of silver were produced in the country in 2018.
Azerbaijan has rich gold deposits. Gold is mostly produced in Dashkasan (AzerGold) and Gadabay (Anglo Asian Mining) regions of the country.
AzerGold CJSC, established in 2015, envisages the study, research, exploration, management, as well as extraction, processing and sale of precious and non-ferrous metal ore deposits, implementation of new technologies in this field, modernization and efficient use of material and technical base, and implementation of other activities related to the development of the industry.
The company is engaged in the study, research, exploration, development and management of the gold-bearing and iron-ore areas of Garadagh, Chovdar, Goydag, Daghkesaman, Kohnamadan sites and the Kurekchay field.
Anglo Asian Mining Plc. is a gold, copper and silver producer with a broad portfolio of production and exploration assets in Azerbaijan.
The company produces gold in Azerbaijan within the framework of the production sharing agreement signed on August 21, 1997. The share of Azerbaijan in the contract is 51 percent, and the share of Anglo Asian Mining is 49 percent.
Under the production sharing agreement, Anglo Asian Mining has the right to develop six fields in south-west of Azerbaijan: Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gizil Bulag, Vejnali and Soyutlu.
According to the agreement, 400 tons of gold, 2,500 tons of silver and 1,500 tons of copper are expected to be extracted from these deposits.
The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources estimates that the country is able to produce about 10-15 tons of gold per year.
Azerbaijan, a country rich in mineral resources, started industrial production of gold in July 2009. About 900 fields were registered in Azerbaijan's state and territorial balance of reserves of mineral resources.
Azerbaijan is taking consecutive measures in the mining industry, which will ensure greater transparency and even greater attraction of foreign investment. It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s withdrawal from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative did not slow down the development of the country's mining industry.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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