Anglo Asian Mining says it has placed orders for the major items of equipment required for production from its new Zafar and Gilar mines in Azerbaijan, with a fleet made up of Epiroc drills, Caterpillar loaders and auxiliary machines from the likes of Paus and Tunelmak.
The company has also made progress with the upgrades to its Gedabek flotation plant, it noted.
The equipment for Zafar and Gilar includes an underground fleet from Caterpillar and drilling machinery from Epiroc. The total equipment cost is approximately $10 million, approximately 40% of which will be met from the company’s existing cash reserves with the remaining being funded through vendor financing. The equipment is a significant investment for the company, underpinning its confidence to achieve its stated ambition to transition to mid-tier copper production status, it said.
A day before this announcement, Anglo Asian said it had completed a scoping study for the Zafar underground mine, based on ore production of 700,000 t/y and a 0.5% copper equivalent cutoff grade. Development work and the construction of two portals has also started.
Included in the drilling fleet is an Epiroc Boomer S1 D, three Epiroc T1D jumbos, one Epiroc Simba S7 D and one Epiroc H1354. The Caterpillar machinery includes three 15-t payload R1700 LHDs and two UMA 980 wheel loaders.
Auxiliary units that will complement this fleet include a Paus TSL853 Central articulated steering telescopic swivel loader, two Tunelmak ADROIT 520-2 AH 4×4 hydrostatic basket platforms and one Tunelmak ADROIT 420AH 4×4 articulated hydrostatic shotcrete pump.
Anglo Asian produced 57,618 oz of gold equivalent for the year ended December 31, 2022, but, with the addition of Zafar and Gilar, it has an ambition to become a mid-tier miner producing over 100,000 oz/y of gold equivalent.
An expansion of the flotation plant at Gedabek, the company’s flagship opeation, is underway together with adding a further line to produce zinc concentrate, it said. The total cost of the expansion, which will see it add three new rougher/scavenger cells and four cleaner cells from Maelgwyn Mineral Services, is currently estimated at $3 million which will be paid from the company’s existing cash resources. Contractors have been appointed to supply materials for the new flotation line. Additional contractors will be commissioned to modify the existing building and provide electrical services and control equipment, it added.
The modifications to the flotation plant to increase its capacity have now been broadly completed. The installation of the new flotation line using hydraulic flotation cells will be completed by the end of the year.
Stephen Westhead, Vice President of Anglo Asian, said: “The new equipment will be used to expand the company’s mining and processing operations with the development of two new underground mines this year. The expansion of our flotation plant has been broadly completed, doubling capacity and creating additional processing flexibility. This represents an important step in our medium-term growth ambition to become a mid-tier production miner, and significantly increases our capabilities within copper.”