Turquoise Hill jumps 10% on robust production numbers

Shares in Turquoise Hill (TSE:TRQ) rose sharply on Thursday after the company announced strong growth in output and improving grades at its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia.

By midday Turquoise Hill stock was changing hands at $4.29, up 10.6% on the day, bringing its year-to-date gains to more than 21%.

The Vancouver-based company said in a statement Oyu Tolgoi produced 76,700 tonnes of copper in concentrates during 2013, after fourth quarter production surpassed Q3 by 8%. Gold in concentrate output rose 18% to 74,000 ounces. 208,000 ounces of silver were produced.

Mill head grades improved across the board as did recovery rates with copper recovery jumping from 73% in the first half of last year to 86%, but the company said shipments are "not yet aligned with production rates" and it has been building inventories.

Full year 2014 output targets – 150,000 to 175,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates and 700,000 to 750,000 ounces of gold in concentrates – have not been revised.

Turquoise Hill owns a 66% interest in Oyu Tolgoi in the Gobi Desert close to Mongolia's border with China with the government of the Asian nation holding the rest. Turquoise Hill is controlled by Anglo-Australian giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).

Talks between Rio and the Mongolian government on the underground expansion of the $6.6 billion mine and the reworking of the initial Oyu Tolgoi deal signed in 2009 is ongoing.