TBILISI, April 10 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s leading gold mining company, Anglo Asian Mining, said on Wednesday its gold output rose five percent in the first quarter of 2019 to 17,245 ounces.
London-listed Anglo Asian produces gold at Gedabek and other Azeri mines in a joint venture with the Azeri state in which the company holds 51 percent.
The company said its total production of gold-equivalent ounces (GEO), which includes other metals, rose 11 percent in the first three months of this year to 20,287 GEO from 18,307 GEO.
Copper output doubled to 513 tonnes in January-March 2019 from 255 tonnes in January-March 2018, while silver output rose to 51,295 ounces from 40,583 ounces.
Anglo Asian began production at Gedabek, the bigger of two mines it operates, in July 2009. It eventually plans to develop seven mines in western Azerbaijan, including Gedabek, with estimated gold reserves of 430 tonnes in total.
“I am very pleased to report that over 20 metric tonnes of gold equivalent have now been produced since the company started operations at Gedabek in 2009,” Anglo Asian Chief Executive Reza Vaziri said in a statement.
The company’s gold bullion sales in the first quarter totalled 13,121 ounces at an average of $1,306 per ounce, down from 14,956 ounces sold in the same period a year ago at $1,328 per ounce.
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 produced 72,798 ounces of gold in 2018, a rise of 22 percent from 2017. The company’s total production rose 17 percent last year to 83,736 GEO.
The company forecasts total metal production of between 82,000 to 86,000 GEO in 2019. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Alexandra Hudson)