Azerbaijan's largest bank ready to fully fund gold processing plant construction
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 24 / Trend A. Akhundov /
Anglo Asian Mining plc., the AIM listed gold produce, is pleased to announce that it has agreed a further loan from the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) of $10.5 million. The agreement is to fund the initial stages of the construction of an agitation leaching plant to improve gold recoveries at Anglo Asian's flagship Gedabek gold, copper and silver mine in Azerbaijan, with a view to commissioning in H1 2013, the company reported.
The IBA has already provided a $7.5 million loan to the company, of which $5.9 million has been drawn down to date.
Additionally, the IBA has provided Anglo Asian with a letter of intent stating that, subject to internal consideration and approval, it will provide up to an additional $42 million to the company for the construction of the new agitation plant. Including the $18 million already agreed, this would bring the total funding provided to the company by the IBA to $60million.
In 2011, the company significantly reduced its credit debt to $3.2 million (in 2010 it hit $25.6 million) and increased the amount of funds in bank accounts up to $9.8 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, an all-inclusive annual interest rate of 12 per cent will apply on funds drawn, payable on a quarterly basis.
The plant which will be built on the Gadabay gold and copper mine, is planned to be commissioned in the first half of 2013. The construction operations have been launched.
The plant will process ore and resources not suitable for heap leaching - a method of obtaining gold from the ore which is currently used in the field. The vat leaching technology allows for extracting more than 90 per cent of the gold contained in the ore, whereas, the figure is about 70 per cent while heap leaching. According to the preliminary estimates, gold recovery at the plant is expected to reach 85 per cent of the oxide ore and 69 per cent sulphide. However, the company continues conducting the tests to improve these indices. The new plant is designed to process 100 tons of ore per hour.
The Anglo Asian Mining Company has the rights to develop six deposits in the south-west of Azerbaijan - Gedabek, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gyzyl Bulag, Vezhnali and Soyutlu based on a PSA type agreement signed in August 1997 with the Azerbaijani government.
Gold produced at the deposits is sent for refinement to Switzerland. Bullions are brought to Azerbaijan and stored in the government's vaults. The first gold and silver was produced at the Gedabek deposit in May 2009.