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Anglo Asian Mining - Operational Update

RNS Number : 6296H
Anglo Asian Mining PLC
26 March 2020
 

26 March 2020

 

 

Anglo Asian Mining plc

Operational Update

Company Continues to Maintain Production at Gedabek

Sales of Gold Doré Temporarily Suspended

 

Anglo Asian Mining plc ("Anglo Asian" or the "Company"), the AIM listed gold, copper and silver producer focused in Azerbaijan provides an update on its operations and the impact of the global health emergency COVID-19 ("Coronavirus"). The Company is monitoring the situation as it evolves and is implementing precautionary measures to maintain the safety of its employees and ensure the sustainability of its business.

 

Note that all references to "$" are to the United States Dollar.

 

Government of Azerbaijan actions to combat the spread of Coronavirus

The Company is continuing in operation despite the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan (the "Government") implementing a series of restrictions to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. Air travel to and from Azerbaijan is significantly curtailed and people entering the country are subject to 14 days compulsory quarantine. Most of its land borders (including Georgia and Iran) are closed to people but freight movements are currently continuing. Domestic travel for people between towns and cities in Azerbaijan is prohibited with public transport suspended and many shops and restaurants etc. operating very limited opening hours or permanently closed.

 

The Government has curtailed some activities of non-essential industries and Government departments.

 

Gedabek and Gosha operations continuing

The operations of Gedabek and Gosha are not included in the Government restrictions and continue to operate normally. Mining and production, as well as essential maintenance, are continuing. The planned raise of the tailings dam wall is also continuing. The Company is still able to procure necessary supplies from outside of Azerbaijan such as cyanide and is continuing with its exploration programme.

 

Many actions to safeguard the health of its workers have been carried out. These include:

 

-     An extensive communication programme to educate staff about all necessary hygiene measures including use of hand sanitisers and antibacterial sprays, avoidance of social gatherings, avoiding handshaking and other physical contact;

-     Deployment of hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial sprays;

-     Access to an on-site doctor 24 hours per day;

-     Deep cleaning of office, work areas and key employee's homes;

-     Extension of mealtimes, cessation of canteen meals and provision of take-away food to staff; and

-     Redeployment of accommodation at Gosha as a camp for self-isolation for staff returning to Gedabek.

 

During this time, the Company is experiencing an impact on the rotation of staff including management, due to the travel restrictions. However, actions have been put in place to enable senior staff to work remotely from home.

 

Sale and shipment of product

Although production of gold doré is continuing, the Company is currently unable to ship gold doré to its refiners in Switzerland due to cessation of air flights. The refiners have also temporarily suspended operations on the instruction of the Swiss Government. However, gold doré production through to early March has been shipped and the sale proceeds received. The Company is actively looking at other logistical, refining and sale options for gold doré should the suspension be prolonged.

 

The Company continues to ship copper concentrate by road.

 

Financial position of the Company remains strong

The Company's financial position is strong with approximately $25 million in cash and no debt. The Company is also in discussions with its banks in Azerbaijan to put in place a stand-by credit facility of up to $20 million. The purpose of the stand-by credit facility is to provide additional financial flexibility and ensure the continuation of the Group's operations during this time of global economic uncertainty.

 

Production guidance for the full year ending 31 December 2020

Due to production continuing in Azerbaijan, the Company currently maintains its production guidance for the year ending 31 December 2020 of between 75,000 to 80,000 gold equivalent ounces.

 

Annual results for 2019 and Annual General Meeting

The Company is well advanced in preparing its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2019. It is currently planning to announce these in mid-May 2020, as in previous years, and post an annual report to shareholders around the end of May. The Company has scheduled an Annual General Meeting at 10:30am on Tuesday, 23 June 2020 at the Washington Hotel in Central London. The Company is actively monitoring developments regarding the holding of annual general meetings and looking at alternative arrangements should it be impossible to convene the meeting.

 

Summary

In common with many businesses around the world, the Coronavirus has affected the Company's operations. However, Anglo Asian is proactively taking all possible measures to safeguard its business and employees. The Company will update its shareholders on its operations along with its first quarter 2020 production in mid-April. However, the situation in Azerbaijan and the rest of the world is evolving quickly and should any developments further significantly affect its operations before mid-April, they will be separately reported.

 

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

 

**ENDS**

 

For further information please visit www.angloasianmining.com or contact:

Reza Vaziri

Anglo Asian Mining plc

Tel: +994 12 596 3350

Bill Morgan

Anglo Asian Mining plc

Tel: +994 502 910 400

Stephen Westhead

Anglo Asian Mining plc

Tel: +994 502 916 894

Ewan Leggat

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Nominated Adviser and Broker

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470

Soltan Tagiev

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Nominated Adviser and Broker

Tel + 44 (0) 20 3470 0470

Camilla Horsfall

Blytheweigh Financial

Tel: + 44(0) 20 7138 3224

Megan Ray

Blytheweigh Financial

Tel: + 44(0) 20 7138 3224

 

 

Notes:

Anglo Asian Mining plc (AIM:AAZ) is a gold, copper and silver producer in Central Asia with a broad portfolio of production and exploration assets in Azerbaijan. The Company has a 1,962 square kilometre portfolio, assembled from analysis of historic Soviet geological data and held under a Production Sharing Agreement modelled on the Azeri oil industry.

The Company's main operating location is the Gedabek contract area ("Gedabek") which is a 300 square kilometre area in the Lesser Caucasus mountains in western Azerbaijan. The Company developed Azerbaijan's first operating gold/copper/silver mine at Gedabek which commenced gold production in May 2009.  Mining at Gedabek was initially from its main open pit which is an open cast mine with a series of interconnected pits. The Company also operates the high grade Gadir underground mine which is co-located at the Gedabek site. In September 2017, production commenced at the Ugur open pit mine, a recently discovered gold ore deposit at Gedabek. The Company has a second underground mine, Gosha, which is 50 kilometres from Gedabek. Ore mined at Gosha is processed at Anglo Asian's Gedabek plant.

 

The Company produced 81,399 gold equivalent ounces ("GEOs") for the year ended 31 December 2019.  Gedabek is a polymetallic ore deposit that has gold together with significant concentrations of copper in the main open pit mine, and an oxide gold-rich zone at Ugur. The Company therefore employs a series of flexible processing routes to optimise metal recoveries and efficiencies.  The Company produces gold doré through agitation and heap leaching operations, copper concentrate from its Sulphidisation, Acidification, Recycling, and Thickening (SART) plant and also a copper and precious metal concentrate from its flotation plant.

 

Anglo Asian is also actively seeking to exploit its first mover advantage in Azerbaijan to identify additional projects, as well as looking for other properties in order to fulfil its expansion ambitions and become a mid-tier gold and copper metal production company.

 

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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Price: 139.5

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £159.58 m
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