Turquoise Hill brings Oyu Tolgoi up to nameplate capacity
Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ)(NYSE:TRQ)(NASDAQ:TRQ) on Monday announced third quarter 2013 production at its massive copper-gold-silver Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, broadly in line with expectations.
Kay Priestly, CEO of the Vancouver-based company said: "During the third quarter, the Oyu Tolgoi concentrator continued to ramp up and is now operating at nameplate-capacity of approximately 100,000 tonnes of ore processed per day. Concentrate shipments began early in the quarter and Oyu Tolgoi's customers are making good progress with Chinese customs officials to resolve matters with purchased concentrate at the border."
"Head grades improved in the quarter with a lower proportion of stockpiled ore processed as open-pit mining activities ramped up after being reduced in the second quarter to preserve cash. Given the mine and concentrator are still early in development and operation, ore grades and recovery rates are expected to continue to improve throughout the fourth quarter."
Turquoise Hill owns 66% of the mine located in the South Gobi desert and the government of Mongolia the rest.
Turquoise Hill said it expects the $6.6 billion mine which shipped its first copper in July to produce between 75,000 and 85,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates for 2013 and that shipments of concentrate are expected to be aligned with production rates by the end of 2013.
Turquoise Hill and controlling shareholder Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) is currently locked in talks with the Mongolian government about phase two of the Oyu Tolgoi mine which could push the final bill for the mine to as much as $13 billion.