Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) is increasing its interim dividend and also mulling a special dividend as strong gold prices helped drive up first-half revenue and profit at its gold mining operations in Azerbaijan.
Financial results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, revealed total revenue of US$45.9mln, up 6% year-on-year from the US$43.4mln reported for H1 2019. Pre-tax profit was reported at US$11.8mln, up from US$10.3mln, and free cash flow amounted to US$13.4mln compared to US$10mln a year ago.
Anglo Asian Mining is to pay shareholders a 4.5 US cent dividend per share, up 29%, and said a special dividend will be considered in the first quarter of 2021.
“The company has continued to operate profitably throughout the period and our financial position remains robust,” Anglo Asian Mining chairman Khosrow Zamani said in the results statement.
At the end of June, 2020, the company held US$29.2mln in cash and had no debt, up from US$17.8mln of cash and US$1.7mln of debt at the start of the first half.
During the six months, Anglo Asian Mining produced delivered 32,501 equivalent ounces of total reportable production. That comprised 27,922 ounces of gold, 1,207 tonnes of copper and 58,529 ounces of silver.
Some 23,979 ounces of gold bullion were sold in the half, at an average price of US$1,649 per ounce, whilst the all-in sustaining cost (AISC) was marked at US$743 per ounce.
The company is anticipating a stronger second half with stronger precious metal prices and higher production volumes.
It is targeting full-year production of between 75,000 and 80,000 gold equivalent ounces, and expects to generate over US$100mln of revenue for the twelve-month period.
Elsewhere, Anglo Asian Mining continues to advance its asset base. Exploration is ongoing with five new discoveries at the Gedabek property. These are earmarked to fast track into mines, subject to satisfactory economic evaluation. Production could start from these mines by 2022, the group noted.
It also highlighted a routine process to extend the production sharing agreement for Gedabek that is presently underway. Meanwhile, talks are taking place with the Government of Azerbaijan to access further exploration areas in the country.
Anglo Asian Mining said it expects to shortly publish revised JORC reserves and resources for its existing mines.
Beyond Azerbaijan, the company recently inked a heads of terms agreement with Conroy Gold for the Clontibret project in the Republic of Ireland. Due diligence work is presently underway and is finalising a joint venture agreement, although it noted that progress has been impacted slightly by coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions.