Advance International Assists Azerbaijan Go for Gold

Advance International Transport is playing a significant role in efforts by Azerbaijan to capitalise fully on its goldfield resources.

Gedabek, Azerbaijan, June 25, 2009 --( Heavy And Hazardous Shipments Demonstrates Freight Forwarder's Capabilities

Advance International Transport is playing a significant role in efforts by Azerbaijan to capitalise fully on its goldfield resources.

The international freight forwarder has provided invaluable project logistics support to help Anglo Asian Mining’s subsidiary, Azerbaijan International Mining Company to open the Gedabek gold/copper mine in western Azerbaijan.

Gedabek, located in western Azerbaijan, is an open pit, heap leach operation, which is targeted to produce approximately 70,000 oz Au of gold in its first full year of production.

Advance International, in its role as general transport and logistics contractor for Azerbaijan International Mining, has transported equipment and production material, and is now responsible for shipping multiple consignments of hazardous sodium cyanide from production centres in the Czech Republic, Germany and the USA to the Gedabek mine and countries in central Asia and the CIS.

Sodium cyanide is an important chemical in the production of gold from mined ore, but must be handled and transported with extreme care.

Advance International President & CEO, Mr Jawad Kamel says: “As an IMO Class 6.1 consignment, many forwarders are unwilling or unable to accept this type of shipment because of the many challenges that its handling and transportation presents. We were able to undertake this move as we have the experience, the skills, and, most importantly, the requisite certificates.”

Advance International arranged for the shipments to move by sea from European and US ports to the port of Poti in Georgia, where on-carriage to the new gold/copper mine was undertaken by accompanied trailers.

Whilst the mine has an initial six-year life expectancy, with target production in excess of 300,000 oz Au, the mine owner believes, through further exploration in the immediate region, this can be extended. Mr Kamel anticipates that the mine will use about 3000 tonnes of sodium cyanide per annum.

Adds Mr Kamel: “To be able to transport this cargo, special export and import licences, as well as equipment is required which was a challenge in itself. On this occasion, the sodium cyanide was in powder form and was packed in bags within cartons, then contained in waterproof cases. Each palletised case weighs around one tonne and we load around 20 cases per teu. Normally, we travel overland from port of entry in a convoy of five or ten container trucks, each with a security guard.

“Advance International is fully-equipped with technicians and managers who are experts in the transport of all types of hazardous cargoes. They are fully trained in all aspects of heath and safety regulations and can easily plan safe and timely movements by sea, air, land and rail within Europe, the CIS and Russia, as well as globally to any destination.

“I believe that there are few forwarders that are willing and truly able to handle these types of consignment. Advance International invites any shipper with IMO Class 6.1 cargoes, or similar, to consider ourselves when they next have to route a consignment from one country to another, or even as a domestic shipment.”

At the official opening ceremony of the mine, Anglo Asian CEO Reza Vaziri said, "Having poured our first gold and as the first operating gold mine in the country, Gedabek represents a significant step for both the company and Azerbaijan and one that we hope to see replicated in other areas of the country. We are grateful for the support that we have received from the Government, without which this achievement would not have been possible, and we look forward to working with them to fulfil our ambition of building a mid-tier gold and base metal production company focussed on Central Asia."

Concludes Mr Kamel: “Having an effective supply chain logistics partnership with a company like ours will certainly assist Azerbaijan International Mining Company to achieve that ambition.”

Advance International Transport
Ian Matheson
+44 (0) 1689 860660