Anglo Asian Mining cuts gold output in Azerbaijan

BAKU, July 12 Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:20pm EDT

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BAKU, July 12 (Reuters) - Anglo Asian Mining reduced its gold production in Azerbaijan to 21,641 ounces in the first half of 2012 from 28,610 ounces in the same period in 2011, but said it would maintain annual production target at 54,000 ounces.

"Due to an unreasonably harsh winter H1 2012 production figures fell marginally below management's internal estimates," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"However Q3 and Q4 2012 are expected to be stronger in terms of production levels due to revised processing targets."

Gold production at Gedabek in the second quarter of 2012 was 11,716 ounces, up from 9,925 ounces produced in the previous quarter, while silver ore production in the second quarter totalled 4,504 ounces, down from 7,670 ounces produced in the first three months of this year.

Anglo Asian Mining began gold production at Azerbaijan's Gedabek gold and copper mine, 350 km west of the capital Baku, in July 2009. The company plans to extract a total of 22 tonnes of gold from Gedabek.

The AIM-listed company is controlled by R.V. Investment Group Services. The Azeri government owns 49 percent.

It reduced its gold production in Azerbaijan by 15 percent year-on-year to 57,068 ounces in 2011 from 67,267 ounces in 2010.

The company said in January 2012 it had planned to produce first gold from the neighbouring Gedabek Gosha mine in Azerbaijan in the first half of 2013. The Gosha mine was discovered in February 2011.

The company plans to increase gold production in the country to 300,000 ounces per year by 2015.

It envisages exploration of seven mines in western Azerbaijan with estimated gold reserves of 430 tonnes.

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