By Ayya Lmahamad
Anglo Asian Mining PLC, the AIM-listed gold, copper and silver producer in Azerbaijan, has restored three contract areas in Azerbaijan’s formerly-occupied territories, the company said in a presser published recently.
The contract areas include Soutely in Kalbajar region, Kyzlbulag in Nagorno-Karabakh and Vejnaly in Zangilan region.
The company announced that it will fully evaluate the potential of the three restored contract areas when permission to access is received from the Azerbaijani government.
The company underlined that mineral exploitation had been carried out illegally during the Armenian occupation at all three contract areas.
It stressed that considerable exploration potential exists both near the existing mines and on known geological trends in the restored contract areas.
"Anglo Asian Mining will work with the Azerbaijani government, pursuant to its contractual rights, in the three restored contract areas within the Zangilan and Kalbajar regions as well as in Nagorno Karabakh. The company will properly manage and invest in the mineral resources of the region to the benefit of the local communities and other stakeholders,” President and CEO of Anglo Asian Mining Reza Vaziri has said.
“The company intends to bring that commitment to high-quality development to its restored contract areas in the regions internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan and which have now been returned to Azerbaijan, following the declaration by the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan and cessation of hostilities,” he added.
The Soutely contract area in the Kalbajar region is the location of the Zod gold and silver mine, the largest in the Caucasus region, and which was reported to be producing approximately 120,000 ounces of gold per year prior to the conflict.
The Kyzlbulag contract area contains the Kashen deposit in Nagorno-Karabakh, hosting a copper and molybdenum mine. Estimates have been recently published that the deposit contains 275,000 metric tons of copper and 3,200 metric tons of molybdenum.
The Vejnaly deposit is located in the Zangilan region of southwestern Azerbaijan. There has been some mining carried out at the deposit during the Armenian occupation but this has now stopped. The potential for exploration and further production is currently unknown.
Gold mining in Azerbaijan is currently carried out by two companies - AzerGold CJSC and Anglo Asian Mining PLC. PSA type contract was signed on August 21, 1997.
Extraction of the first gold in Azerbaijan started in 2009, and silver in 2010.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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