Anglo Asian, a gold, copper and silver producer focused in Azerbaijan, said Monday it produced 18,307 gold equivalent ounces from its Gedabek project in Azerbaijan in the first quarter, up 26% compared to the same period a year ago.
Gold production grew 49% year-on-year to 16,479 ounces, while first-quarter gold bullion sales were 14,956 ounces at an average of $1,328 per ounce, up from 8,283 ounces at an average of $1,220 per ounce.
The uptick in production was driven largely by the start of production Anglo Asian's new Ugur open pit.
'This strong increase in performance can be attributed to the optimisation and expansion initiatives which we implemented during the course of 2017, and, perhaps most importantly, the commencement of production from our new Ugur open pit,' the firm said.
Copper production fell to 255 tonnes, from 606 tonnes. While, first-quarter copper concentrate shipments to the customer fell to 608 dry metric tonnes with a sales value of $1.7m, from 2,230 dry metric tonnes with a sales value of $4.2m.
Silver production rose to 40,583 ounces from 39,369 ounces.
Net debt fell by 43% in the first quarter to $10.4m from $18.3m on 31 December 2017. 'The increased production that Anglo Asian is now achieving, coupled with improved metal prices, is flowing through strongly to our cash generation. I am delighted to report that net debt was further reduced by $7.9 million during Q1 2018, down from $33.1 million at end March 2017, with a healthy gross cash balance of $8.6 million at the end of the period,' said Anglo Asian CEO Reza Vaziri.
'The discovery of new potential mines, such as Ugur, together with the conversion of already known but under-explored prospects across our contract lease areas, is crucial to the continued growth and enhancement of our total production profile.' At 8:04am: (LON:AAZ) Anglo Asian Mining PLC share price was +2.5p at 42.5p