By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan increased its silver production by 22.1 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.
The country produced 3,218.1 kg of silver in January-October 2019, the State Statistics Committee has told to local media. In particular, silver mining in Azerbaijan amounted to 348 kg in October 2019.
Statistics show the reserves of mined silver in the warehouses of manufacturing companies were 36.3 kg as of October 31, 2019. In 2018, silver mining in Azerbaijan amounted to 2,671.1 kg, which is 3.8 times more than in 2017.
Silver mining in Azerbaijan is currently carried out by two companies. In particular, on August 21, 1997, Azerbaijan signed a contract with Anglo Asian Mining PLC. In addition, production is carried out by AzerGold CJSC, created on February 11, 2015.
Today, there are three main contract areas for silver production in Azerbaijan - Gosha, Gadabay and Ordubad.
Gosha Contract Area
Mining commenced at Gosha Contract Area in the first quarter of 2014. Currently, based on a non- Joint Ore Reserves Committee report by SRK, the Gosha resource is about 40,000 ounces of gold.
A total of 10,988 tonnes of ore of average grade 3.44 grammes per tonne were mined at Gosha in 2018.
Gadabay Contract Area
The principal mining operation at the Gedabek contract area is conventional open-cast mining using truck and shovel from the Gadabay open pit (which comprises several contiguous smaller open pits) and the Ugur open pit.
Production commenced from the new Ugur open pit mine in September 2017. To enable production, a 4.6 km road was constructed between the mine and the Company’s processing facilities. All necessary surface infrastructure, including geology, medical and Health Safety and Environment offices, hygiene facilities, a mechanical workshop, lubricants and spares stores, a weighbridge and a diesel store was also constructed at the mine site. Due to the composition of the Ugur ore, mining of ore in the first few months of operation was by free digging, with drilling and blasting not required. Ore was mined from the Ugur open pit mine throughout 2018.
Ordubad Contract Area
The 462 square km Ordubad Contract Area is in the Nakhichevan region of Azerbaijan and contains numerous targets including Shakardara, Piyazbashi, Misdag, Agyurt, Shalala and Diakchay, which are all located within a 5 km radius. Exploration activities are ongoing at the Contract Area including a preliminary remote sensing study, adit cleaning and re-sampling of adits in two regions, Pyazbashi and Agyurt, and trenching and sampling in the Daste Bashi region.
Development at Ordubad forms part of the Group’s longer-term development portfolio as a mid-tier gold, copper and silver mining company.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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