Anglo Asian Mining (LON: AAZ), Azerbaijan’s leading gold mining company, has been awarded three new copper concessions in the country, which the company thinks could turn it into a mid-tier copper-gold producer.
The miner said it is currently evaluating how best to exploit the economically mineable copper resources contained within the new assets, which cover a combined area of 882 square kilometres and have considerable synergies and geographical proximity with its existing mining properties.
“The agreement [with the Azeri government] is a transformational milestone in the history of the company with the Garadagh porphyry deposit alone containing over 300,000 tonnes of copper with an in-situ value of over $3 billion at current prices,” Anglo Asian said.
Two of the new concessions border the existing Gedabek and Gosha Contract Areas and contain the large-scale Garadagh porphyry deposit and the adjacent Xarxar copper deposit.
As part of the deal, Anglo Asian will relinquish its rights to the open-pit Soyudlu gold mine (also known as Soutely, Zod, or, in Armenian, Sotk), located on the border between Azerbaijan’s Kelbajar district and Armenia.
Until work was halted in November last year, the mine was being operated by GPM Gold, the fourth-largest taxpayer in Armenia in 2020 according to the State Revenue Committee, paying over 30 billion drams ($58 million) into government coffers.
Giving up its rights to Soyudlu, follows “ongoing security concerns, the impracticality of operating a mine straddling the border with Armenia, the high level of risk developing the mine and an absence of infrastructure on the Azerbaijan side of the border,” the company said in the statement.
The new concessions will be incorporated into Anglo Asian’s updated production sharing agreement with the Azeri government, which will need to be ratified by parliament before becoming effective.