TBILISI, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s leading gold mining company, Anglo Asian Mining Plc, said on Tuesday its gold output declined 4.4% in the first nine months of 2019 to 52,198 ounces from 54,573 ounces in the same period last year.
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, declined 2.7% year-on-year to 60,122 GEO in January-September from 61,761 GEO a year earlier.
Copper output rose to 1,478 tonnes from 1,057 tonnes, while silver output declined to 117,708 ounces from 144,362 ounces.
“Production guidance is maintained at the lower end of 82,000 to 86,000 GEO due to the decrease in copper price in relation to the increase in gold price since the start of 2019,” the company said in a statement.
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 (31 miles) northwest 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 in Tbilisi Editing by Matthew Lewis)