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Azerbaijan-focused miner Anglo Asian sees H1 2023 profit slump, shares down

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(Kitco News) - Azerbaijan-focused miner Anglo Asian Mining (AIM: AAZ) announced today that in H1 2023, its total gold equivalent (GE) production was 23,391 ounces, down 19% compared to H1 2022 (28,772 ounces) due to lower gold grades at Gedabek.

The company said that all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of gold production increased to $1,357 per ounce in H1 2023 (H1 2022: $983 per ounce) due to lower gold production.

Anglo Asian added that its performance in the period was in line with expectations given the declining grades of the Gedabek open pit.

However, according to Anglo Asian, the curtailment of its agitation leaching and flotation processing from the beginning of August presented the company with “significant challenges” in the latter half of the year.

The company said that only heap leach production expected to be carried out between August and December 2023. It expects the restart of agitation leaching and flotation processing in the first quarter of 2024.

Anglo Asian also reported profit before taxation of $1.4 million for H1 2023 (H1 2022: $5.7 million), adding that no interim dividend declared for 2023 due to curtailment of processing subsequent to the period end.

The company said it revised its production guidance for 2023 to between 30,000 to 34,000 GE ounces due to the curtailment of processing in the second half of the year.

Importantly, Anglo Asian noted that the company is “closely monitoring” the very recent events in Karabakh.

“There have been reports in the press that the Azerbaijan Government has taken back control of the Demirli/Kyzlbulag mine, which is located in our contract areas. We will keep shareholders fully updated regarding future events,” it said.

Anglo Asian Mining is a gold, copper and silver producer with a portfolio of production and exploration assets in Azerbaijan. The company has a plan to transition to a multi-asset, mid-tier copper and gold producer by 2028.

By 2028, copper will be the principal product of the company, with forecast production of around 36,000 copper equivalent tonnes. It plans to achieve this growth by bringing into production four new mines during 2023 to 2028 at Zafar, Gilar, Xarxar and Garadag.

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