Anglo Asian Mining back in the black as copper output doubles

Azerbaijan-focused miner Anglo Asian Mining (LON:AAZ), the country’s top gold producer, has swung back to profit and sharply reduced outstanding debt on the back of higher copper output and a better bullion prices.

The London-listed miner doubled its copper production from 969 tonnes to 1,941 tonnes last year, thanks mainly to the first full-year of production from a new flotation plant. Silver production also rose, increasing six-fold in 2016 to 165,131 ounces.

Anglo Asian plans to develop seven mines in western Azerbaijan with estimated gold reserves of 430 tonnes.

Both metals helped offset a more than 16% drop in gold sales as the company ran into lower grades at its Gedabek mine, its main operation in Azerbaijan.

Copper and silver increased output, together with improved precious metal prices, also helped the company’s profit, which surged to $79.2 million from $78.1 million a year earlier.

For 2017, Anglo Asian expects copper production to reach between 2,000 tonnes and 2,400 tonnes, while it has a gold output target of between 52,000 ounces and 58,000 ounces.

The company, which started mining at its flagship Gedabek operation seven years ago, still plans to develop seven mines in western Azerbaijan with estimated gold reserves of 430 tonnes.

Shares soared on the news and were trading 7.83% higher in London to 18.60 pence at 2:15 PM GMT. So far this year, however, the stock is down almost 24%.