Chaarat Gold PLC (LON:CGH) said it is changing focus to hit its production target this year due to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is 150 kilometres from its Kapan gold mine in Armenia.
Artem Volynets, Chaarat's chief executive, said that In preparation for any possible operational disruptions during this current quarter it is targeting higher-grade ore at Kapan to offset potential lower capacity through the plant and to ensure that full-year guidance is met.
In a statement, Volynets added: "The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and events in our countries of operation have presented unprecedented challenges for Chaarat during this quarter.“
So far, the overall operational impact of the hostilities and COVID-19 has been limited, said the AIM-listed miner, though it added the size of the workforce has been reduced temporarily and output in the fourth quarter could be affected should the fighting continue.
Kapan produced 15,175 equivalent gold ounces in the three months to end September 2020, which has put it on track still to meet its target of 55,000 ounces for the full year.
At Tulkubash in the Kyrgyz Republic, Chaarat is also having to deal with political unrest following recent elections but it said the latest drilling programme was completed as planned in September with assay results due shortly.
Chaarat added that it has received two further non-binding term sheets for project finance for the Tulkubash though given the political situation in the country, closing is now expected in the first half of 2021.
Last week, the company completed a refinancing of a US$19.4mln investor loan.