Anglo Asian's H1 Azerbaijan gold output rises 3.3% yr/yr

TBILISI, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s leading gold mining company, Anglo Asian Mining, said on Thursday its gold output rose 3.3% year-on-year in the first half of 2019 to 34,349 ounces from 33,255 ounces.

Anglo Asian produces gold at Gedabek and other Azeri mines in a joint venture with the state in which the London-listed company holds a 51% stake.

It said total production of gold-equivalent ounces (GEO), which includes other metals, rose 7% year-on-year to 39,905 GEO from 37,349 GEO a year earlier.

Copper output rose to 963 tonnes from 587 tonnes, while silver output declined to 84,586 ounces from 84,785 ounces.

The company said in a statement that total revenues in January-June 2019 rose 8% to $43.3 million “due to higher gold bullion and copper sales.” Profit before tax was $10.3 million, up from $8.1 million a year ago.

Its production target for 2019 is in a range of 82,000 and 86,000 GEO. Total production last year was 83,736 GEO.

Anglo Asian began production at Gedabek, the bigger of two mines it operates, in July 2009. The second mining project is Gosha, which is situated 50 km north-west of Gedabek and contains at least nine mineralised zones.

The company started a significant exploration programme at the end of 2016 after making a new gold discovery at Ugur, 3 km (2 miles) from its Gedabek processing facilities.

It eventually plans to develop seven mines in western Azerbaijan, with estimated gold reserves of 430 tonnes in total. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alexander Smith)