Anglo Asian Mining contract areas restored after conflict
Azerbaijan-focussed gold, copper and silver producer Anglo Asian Mining updated the market on its three restored contract areas in formerly-occupied territories and Nagorno Karabakh on Thursday, following the agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia ending the military conflict over the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh.
The AIM-traded firm said the three contract areas had been restored to the company, being Soutely in the Kalbajar district of the formerly occupied territories, Kyzlbulag in Nagorno Karabakh, and Vejnaly in the Zangilan district of the formerly occupied territories.
It said it would fully evaluate the potential of the three restored contract areas when permission to access was received from the Azerbaijan government.
The production sharing agreement over the three contract areas would be ‘reset’ to year zero upon notification of access, the board confirmed.
It said the two contract areas in the formerly occupied territories were fully under the control of the government of Azerbaijan, with Russian peacekeepers present at its Nagorno Karabakh contract area.
Mineral exploitation had been carried out illegally during the Armenian occupation at all three contract areas, the company said.
The directors said “very considerable” exploration potential existed both near the existing mines and on known geological trends in the restored contract areas.
It had been proposed, as part of the ceasefire agreement, that Armenia would grant territory in its Syunik region to Azerbaijan to allow construction of direct road and rail links between the exclave of Nakhchivan and the rest of Azerbaijan.
The proposed transport corridor would “greatly improve” access to its Ordubad contract area.
“It is a tragedy that this long-standing territorial dispute has resulted in a humanitarian crisis and significant loss of life,” said president and chief executive officer Reza Vaziri.
“Anglo Asian Mining very warmly welcomes the recent ceasefire agreement which ended the hostilities.
“The conflict has resulted in extensive damage across the region which will require substantial investment to repair and rebuild.”
Vaziri said Anglo Asian would work with the Azerbaijan government, pursuant to its contractual rights, in the three restored contract areas within the Zangilan and Kalbajar districts as well as in Nagorno Karabakh.
“The company will properly manage and invest in the mineral resources of the region to the benefit of the local communities and other stakeholders.
“Anglo Asian Mining has been a model of sustainable and sound mining practices at its current operations while working with, and investing in, the local communities.
“The company intends to bring that commitment to high-quality development to its restored contract areas in the regions internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan and which have now been returned to Azerbaijan, following the declaration by the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan and cessation of hostilities.”
At 1201 GMT, shares in Anglo Asian Mining were up 11.42% at 144.85p.