By Leman Mammadova
Mining holds the largest share in the industrial production in Azerbaijan. Mining of precious metals such as gold and silver is increasing in volume.
Thus, gold mining amounted to 2,405 kg in January-August 2019, which is 7.2 percent more compared to the same period in 2018, the State Statistics Committee stated.
In August alone, 344.8 kg of gold was mined in Azerbaijan and tranferred for processing. Gold is mostly produced in Dashkasan and Gadabay regions of the country.
As for silver mining, it amounted to 2,460 kg in January-August 2019, which is 19.3 percent more compared to the same period of 2018. In August alone, silver production amounted to 317.8 kg.
As of September 1, 2019, the reserves of mined silver in the warehouses of manufacturing companies made up 127.4 kg.
Presently, two companies - AzerGold and Anglo Asian Mining - are operating in the sphere of mining of precious metals in the country.
AzerGold 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. Under 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.
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.
A total of 4,238 kilograms of gold and 2,671 kilograms of silver was produced in the country in 2018.
The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources estimates that the country is able to produce about 10-15 tons of gold per year.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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