Anglo Asian's Azerbaijan H1 gold output down 18.8%, keeps outlook

TBILISI, July 16 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan's leading gold mining company, Anglo Asian Mining Plc AAZ.L, kept its 2020 guidance on Thursday as it reported an 18.8% decline in first-half gold output to 27,922 ounces.

Anglo Asian produces gold at Gedabek and other Azeri mines in a joint venture with the state in which the London-listed company holds a 51% stake.

The company said production of gold-equivalent ounces (GEO), which include other metals, fell to 32,501 GEO in the January-June period from 39,905 GEO a year earlier.

Copper output rose to 1,207 tonnes from 963 tonnes, while silver output declined to 58,529 ounces from 84,354 ounces.

Its gold sales totalled 23,979 ounces at an average price of $1,649 per ounce versus 26,658 ounces at $1,319 per ounce a year earlier.

The company said that restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic had some negative impact on production but that its 2020 output plans remained unchanged.

"Production guidance of 75,000 to 80,000 GEOs and revenue guidance of over $100 million at current metal prices remains unchanged with various measures being taken to increase production in the second half of the year," the company said in a statement.

Anglo Asian began production at Gedabek, the bigger of two mines it operates, in July 2009. The second mining project is Gosha, which is 50 km (30 miles) northwest of Gedabek and contains at least nine mineralised zones.

The company started a significant exploration programme at the end of 2016 after making a gold discovery at Ugur near its Gedabek processing facilities.

It produced 70,098 ounces of gold in 2019, down from 72,798 ounces in 2018.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Jason Neely)

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