Oyu Tolgoi’s gold production up 44%, copper production down 1%

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Turquoise Hill announced on July 15 that Oyu Tolgoi produced 39,156 tons of copper and 71,825 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2019.

Compared to the same period of last year, the copper production decreased by 0.6 percent as gold production surged by 43.7 percent.

Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill Ulf Quellmann stated, “In addition to the solid second-quarter operational performance, we have also made good progress towards the completion of the definitive estimate. Working with Rio Tinto, we have identified a number of mine designs to address the stability risks associated with the original design, and continue to assess the impact on the cost and schedule of the project. Oyu Tolgoi is a world-class ore body with a very long life of mine. Developing the right new mine plan is essential in delivering maximum value for Turquoise Hill’s shareholders.”

The Canadian mineral exploration and development company updated that the mill throughput increased by 2.3 percent year-over-year and 12.3 percent sequentially.

The transition from mining Phase 4A to Phase 4B and stockpiles resulted in:

  • Lower copper head grade of 0.46 percent compared to 0.57 percent in Q1 2019
  • Lower gold head grade of 0.31g/t compared to 0.58g/t in Q1 2019
  • Concentrate production decreased 14 percent since Q1 2019
  • Copper production decreased 14.6 percent since Q1 2019
  • Gold production decreased 40 percent compared to Q1 2019

Copper and gold grades are expected to decline over the remainder of the year as Oyu Tolgoi processes a higher proportion of Phase 4B and Phase 6 ore, but the company is well positioned to meet its 2019 copper and gold production guidance.

The focus for the construction team remains completing Shaft 2, where works are progressing. Rope up preparation is well advanced and related work is expected to commence in July. The commissioning of Shaft 2 remains on track for October. Other critical infrastructure components such as the control room facility and the jaw crusher system are now complete and construction on shafts 3 and 4 is progressing well, according to the company.

By implementing productivity improvements, the underground mining team achieved a record performance of over 1,000 meters of lateral development in June. Record monthly development was also achieved in June in the convey-to-surface decline as a result of excellent productivity in improved ground conditions.

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan