Anglo Asian copper, gold, silver miner moots maiden dividend

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) – Anglo Asian Mining, which focuses on copper, gold and silver mining in Azerbaijan, said on Thursday it was considering paying its first dividend now that it had reported a profit, cut debt and built up cash.

A dividend would set Anglo Asian apart from many London-listed junior miners, which typically are busy exploring and need to raise money rather than to hand it out.

"The company is currently preparing a plan for the payment of dividends," Anglo Asian said in a statement, adding an announcement was expected by the end of the third quarter.

In the past two years, Anglo Asian has moved into profit, reduced its debt to $18.1 million by the end of 2017 from $34.6 million at the end of 2016 and built up its cash reserves to $2.5 million.

For 2018, it forecasts production of between 78,000 to 84,000 gold equivalent ounces (GEOs), an increase for the mid-point of this guidance of more than 13 percent year-on-year.

Anglo Asian has also said it is actively seeking additional projects to fulfil its ambition to become a mid-tier gold and copper metal production company.

So far this year, its share price has rallied by more than 50 percent, and it gained another percent by 0945 GMT on Thursday.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Edmund Blair)