Azerbaijani gold-mining companies join EITI
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.16 / Trend I.Khalilova /
A committee on implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Azerbaijan has made a decision to connect the gold-mining companies to the EITI memorandum, SOFAZ (State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan) said on Sept. 16.
"The decision on joining of new companies in the extractive industries, engaged in the gold, oil and gas production, to the EITI was taken at the commission's meeting on Sept.15," the fund said.
At present, only 26 oil and gas companies have joined the memorandum, though more than 100 companies are engaged in this area. The Azerbaijan International Mining Company (AIMC), established by the RV Investment Services Group LLC is the only company involved gold mining in Azerbaijani gold fields. In summer, the company began to export the gold produced from the Azerbaijani Gedabek gold field to Switzerland for refinery.
The Azerbaijani International Operating Company will hold exploitation work on six sites, including one in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, two in Tovuz and Gedabek regions, three in the occupied territory (the Zod in Kalbajar, "Gyzylbulag" in Agdara and Vejnali in Zangilan). Under the agreement, it is planned to produce about 400 tons of gold, 2,500 tons of silver and 1.5 million tons of copper on the fields.
Generally, it is before planned to produce over 300,000 ounces of gold by late 2015 in Gedabek.
Azerbaijan (State Concern "Azergizil", whose powers were later transferred to the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry) signed its first gold contract in 1997. The country received the first gold bullion only in 2009. The Azerbaijani International Operating Company is involved in the agreement on sharing of mining, signed for a period of 30 years. Equity participation of Azerbaijan in the agreement is 51 percent, the British company Anglo Asian Mining Plc. - 49 percent.
The Chairman informed that EITI International Board meeting will be held on 14-15 October, 2009 in Baku. Movsumov invited the members of the EITI Committee actively participate at the round table which will be held during the Board meeting. Participants of the meeting also agreed to attract new extractive sector companies operating in the country to the EITI implementation process in Azerbaijan.
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