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Anglo Asian Mining - Q1 2020 Production and Operations review

RNS Number : 6393J
Anglo Asian Mining PLC
15 April 2020
 

Anglo Asian Mining plc / Ticker: AAZ / Index: AIM / Sector: Mining

 

15 April 2020

 

 

Anglo Asian Mining plc

Q1 2020 Production and Operations review

 

Production of 18,609 gold equivalent ounces calculated using budget metal prices - in line with guidance

Increase in Net Cash to $26 million despite disruption to shipping of gold doré

Operations at Gedabek continue and Baku office remains open

 

Anglo Asian Mining plc ("Anglo Asian" or the "Company"), the AIM listed gold, copper and silver producer focused in Azerbaijan, is pleased to provide a production, sales and operations review for its Gedabek gold, copper and silver mining and production contract area ("Gedabek") in western Azerbaijan for the three months to 31 March 2020 ("Q1 2020").

 

Note that all references to "$" are to United States dollars.

 

Overview

 

·    18,609 gold equivalent ounces ("GEOs") produced calculated using budgeted metal prices - in line with guidance as announced on 11 March 2020

·    Reportable production at actual metal prices of 18,216 GEOs (Q1 2019: 20,287 GEOs) - price of gold continues to increase relative to copper

·    Current FY 2020 production guidance of 75,000 GEOs to 80,000 GEOs and revenue guidance of over $100 million at current metal prices remains unchanged

·    Gold production of 15,874 ounces (Q1 2019: 17,245 ounces)

·    Copper production increased to 559 tonnes (Q1 2019: 513 tonnes)

·    Gold doré production in March shipped to refiner in April due to COVID-19 delay - despite this delay, cash generation in Q1 2020 of $4.8 million

·    Company achieved debt free milestone - cash of $26.0 million at 31 March 2020

·    Operations at Gedabek continue and the Baku office remains open

 

Anglo Asian CEO Reza Vaziri commented, "I am very pleased to report the first quarter 2020 production in line with the Company's guidance despite the COVID-19 emergency. The protection of our staff remains paramount and all possible measures are being implemented at Gedabek to safeguard their health. We did not ship our March gold doré production until April but the Company still generated significant cash in the quarter due to the increasing gold price and is now debt free.

 

"These are unprecedented times which are placing exceptional demands upon the Company and its staff. Whilst the future evolution of the COVID-19 health emergency is currently unknown, your Company is well placed to weather the challenges and benefit from the increasing gold price."    

 

Production overview

 

·    10 per cent. year-on-year decrease in reportable GEO production to 18,219 GEOs (Q1 2019: 20,287 ounces)

·    Eight per cent. year-on-year decrease for Q1 2020 in gold production to 15,874 ounces (Q1 2019: 17,245 ounces):

o 15,041 ounces contained within gold doré

o Eight ounces from SART processing

o 825 ounces from flotation

·    Copper production for Q1 2020 increased by nine per cent. to 559 tonnes (Q1 2019: 513 tonnes):

o 114 tonnes from SART processing

o 445 tonnes from flotation processing

·    Silver production for Q1 2020 totalled 34,645 ounces (Q1 2019: 51,295 ounces):

o 3,852 ounces contained within gold doré

o 12,898 ounces from SART processing

o 17,895 ounces from flotation

 

Sales overview

 

·    Q1 2020 gold bullion sales of 11,236 ounces at an average of $1,577 per ounce (Q1 2019: 13,191 ounces at an average of $1,306 per ounce)

·    Q1 2020 copper concentrate shipments to the customer totalled 2,018 dry metric tonnes ("dmt") with a sales value of $2.9 million (excluding Government of Azerbaijan production share) (Q1 2019: 279 dmt with a sales value of $0.7 million)

 

Company financials

 

·    Cash of $26.0 million at 31 March 2020 with no bank debt (Cash of $22.9 million and bank debt of $1.7 million at 31 December 2019 giving net cash of $21.2 million)

·    Gold doré production from 5 to 31 March 2020 was shipped to the refiner in April due to the delay caused by COVID-19. An estimated 90 per cent. of the Company's share of the contained gold bullion was sold on 6 April 2020 for $5.9 million

 

Operations review

 

The Company mined the following ore in the three months ended 31 March 2020:

 


12 months to

 31 December 2019

3 months to

31 March 2020

Mine

Ore mined

Average

gold grade

Ore mined

Average

gold grade


(tonnes)

(g/t)

(tonnes)

(g/t)

Open pit

1,475,278

0.73

292,480

0.86

Ugur - o/pit

1,283,437

1.24

285,600

1.08

Gadir - u/g

147,316

2.73

20,243

2.64

Gosha - u/g

7,235

2.81

-

-

Total

2,913,266

1.06

598,323

1.03

 

Anglo Asian stacked 132,731 tonnes of dry crushed ore on to heap leach pads with an average gold content of 0.84 grammes per tonne of gold during Q1 2020 (Q4 2019: 98,280 tonnes with an average gold content of 0.86 grammes per tonne of gold). The Company also heap leached uncrushed Run of Mine ("ROM") ore. During Q1 2020, Anglo Asian stacked 258,121 tonnes of ROM ore on to heap leach pads with an average gold content of 0.49 grammes per tonne of gold (Q4 2019: 288,583 tonnes with an average gold content of 0.49 grammes per tonne of gold).

 

The Company processed 163,379 dry tonnes of ore with an average gold content of 2.53 grammes per tonne of gold through the agitation leaching plant in Q1 2020 (Q4 2019: 181,710 dry tonnes with an average gold content of 2.44 grammes per tonne of gold). 126,354 dry tonnes of ore containing an average copper content of 0.49 per cent. were processed by the flotation plant (Q4 2019: 125,205 dry tonnes of ore containing an average copper content of 0.63 per cent.).

 

The Company produced gold doré containing 15,041 ounces of gold and 3,852 ounces of silver at Gedabek (Q4 2019: 15,912 ounces of gold and 3,880 ounces of silver) in the quarter. During Q1 2020, the agitation leaching plant produced 11,862 and 3,030 ounces of gold and silver, respectively, and the heap leach operations produced 3,179 and 822 ounces of gold and silver, respectively.

 

SART processing produced 221 dmt of copper concentrate containing 114 tonnes of copper, eight ounces of gold and 12,898 ounces of silver in Q1 2020 (Q4 2019: 165 dmt of copper concentrate containing 113 tonnes of copper, 16 ounces of gold and 11,159 ounces of silver).

 

In Q1 2020, flotation processing produced 2,773 dmt of copper concentrate containing 445 tonnes of copper, 825 ounces of gold and 17,895 ounces of silver (Q4 2019, 3,354 dmt of copper concentrate containing 616 tonnes of copper, 1,979 ounces of gold and 26,647 ounces of silver).

 

The Company sold 2,018 dmt of copper concentrate in Q1 2020 for $2.9 million compared to 3,723 dmt for $7.5 million in Q4 2019 (excluding Government of Azerbaijan production share).

 

The following table summarises gold doré production and sales at Gedabek for FY 2019 and Q1 2020:

 


Gold produced*

(ounces)            

Silver

Produced*

(ounces)

Gold sales**

(ounces)

Gold Sales price

($/ounce)

Quarter ended










31 March 2019

15,547

6,634

13,191

1,306

30 June 2019

16,073

4,773

13,467

1,332

H1 2019

31,620

11,407

26,658

1,319

30 Sept 2019

16,619

4,420

14,894

1,513

31 Dec 2019

15,912

3,880

12,509

1,481

H2 2019

32,531

8,300

27,403

1,498

FY 2019

64,151

19,707

54,061

1,410






31 March 2020

15,041

3,852

11,236

1,577

NOTE




 

* including Government of Azerbaijan's share

** excludes Government of Azerbaijan's share

 

The following table summarises copper concentrate production from both its SART and flotation plants for FY 2019 and Q1 2020:

 


Concentrate

Copper 

Gold

Silver


production*

content*

content*

content*


(dmt)

(tonnes)

(ounces)

(ounces)






2019





Quarter ended 31 March





SART processing

142

63

11

16,201

Flotation

2,871

450

1,687

28,461

Total

3,013

513

1,698

44,662






Quarter ended 30 June





SART processing

143

65

8

12,794

Flotation

2,252

383

1,068

15,491

Total

2,395

448

1,076

28,285






Quarter ended 30 Sept





SART processing

154

70

10

11,754

Flotation

2,793

450

1,168

17,142

Total

2,947

520

1,178

28,896






Quarter ended 31 December





SART processing

165

113

16

11,159

Flotation

3,354

616

1,979

26,647

Total

3,519

729

1,995

37,806






2020





Quarter ended 31 March





SART processing

221

114

8

12,898

Flotation

2,773

445

825

17,895

Total

2,994

559

833

30,793

 

* including Government of Azerbaijan's share.

Note that certain amounts for flotation production maybe different to those previously disclosed due to final reconciliation of production and sales.

 

The following table summarises total copper concentrate production and sales at Gedabek for FY 2019 and Q1 2020. Note that sales of concentrates are initially recorded at provisional amounts until agreement of final assay:

 


Concentrate

Copper 

Gold

Silver

 Concentrate

 

Concentrate


production*

content*

content*

content*

sales**

sales**


(dmt)

(tonnes)

(ounces)

(ounces)

(dmt)

($000)

Quarter ended














31 March 2019

3,013

513

1,698

44,662

279

718

30 June 2019

2,395

448

1,076

28,285

4,007

6,771

H1 2019

5,408

961

2,774

72,947

4,286

7,492








30 Sept 2019

2,947

520

1,178

28,896

2,255

3,438

31 Dec 2019

3,519

729

1,995

37,806

3,723

7,350

H2 2019

6,466

1,249

3,173

66,702

5,978

10,788

FY 2019

11,874

2,210

5,947

139,649

10,264

18,280








31 March 2020

2,994

559

833

30,793

2,018

2,863

* including Government of Azerbaijan's share.

** excluding Government of Azerbaijan's share.

Note that certain figures maybe different to those previously disclosed due to final reconciliation of concentrate production and sales.

 

Company financial review

 

Cash

The Company had cash at 31 March 2020 of $26.0 million and no bank debt, an increase in net cash of $4.8 million since 31 December 2019 when net cash was $21.2 million.

 

As estimated 90 per cent. of the Company's share of the contained gold bullion was sold on 6 April 2020 for $5.9 million from the gold doré production from 5 to 31 March 2020.  

 

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 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.

 

The Company has a production target for the year to 31 December 2020 of 65,000 ounces to 67,000 ounces of gold and 2,200 tonnes to 2,400 tonnes of copper. This total production target expressed as gold equivalent ounces ("GEOs") is between 75,000 GEOs and 80,000 GEOS.

 

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.

 

 

 

 


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