By Rasana Gasimova
Mining industry is one of the leading sectors in Azerbaijan’s economy. It holds the largest share in the country’s industrial production.
British Anglo Asian Mining Company recently revealed its plans to mine from 70,000 to 72,000 ounces of gold in Azerbaijan in 2019. Thus, the comapny increased its forecast for the gold production in Azerbaijan in the second half of 2019.
“Our forecasts for gold production in 2019 has increased to 70,000-72,000 ounces from the original of 65,000 to 67,500 ounces,” a source within the company said.
Anglo Asian Mining produced 34,394 ounces of gold in the first half of 2019, which is 3.3 percent more compared to the same period in 2018.
In 2018, the company mined 83,736 gold equivalent ounces of precious metals in Azerbaijan, including 72,798 ounces of gold. According to new forecasts, the decline in gold production will be from 1.1 to 3.8 percent.
Anglo Asian Mining also notes that it plans to extract 1,800-2,000 tons of copper in Azerbaijan this year, although it had previously predicted mining 3,100-3,300 tons of copper. In 2018, the company mined 1,645 tons of copper.
Currently, Anglo Asian Mining is mining precious metals in the Gadabay contract area from three mines: gold, silver and copper from two open mines (Gadabay and Ugur) and one underground mine (Gadir).
The PSA type contract was signed on August 21, 1997 and provides for the development of six fields. The share of Azerbaijan in the contract is 51 percent, while Anglo Asian Mining accounts for 49 percent.
It is planned to mine 400 tons of gold and 2,500 tons of silver from these deposits, according to the contract.
The extraction of the first gold began in 2009 from the Gadabay deposit, the extraction of silver in 2010. In September 2013, the company began to develop the contract area of Gosha, in the summer of 2015 from the Gadir mine, and from September 2017 the Ugur mine.
963 tons of copper (a 39 percent increase), about 84,580 ounces of gold (a 0.3 percent decrease) were produced over the first six month of 2019.
Under the production sharing agreement signed with Azerbaijani government in August 2017, Anglo Asian Mining PLC Company has the right to develop six fields in the south-west of Azerbaijan. These are 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.
Anglo Asian Mining and Swiss Industrial Minerals SA company signed a three-year agreement to sell copper concentrate mined at the Gadabay field. The companies signed the second agreement for sale of copper concentrate produced in the company's flotation plant in March 2016, which was valid until late 2018.
Gold mined in the fields is sent to Switzerland for refining. Ingots are shipped to Azerbaijan and stored in government’s account.
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 were 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.
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