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Turquoise Hill says COVID-19 restrictions adversely impacted Oyu Tolgoi operations in Q2

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(Kitco News) - Turquoise Hill Resources today announced second quarter 2021 production results for one of the world’s largest Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia.

According to a press-release, Oyu Tolgoi’s copper production of 36,735 tonnes was in-line with Q2 2020 and a decrease of 19% compared to Q1 2021, and gold production of 113,054 ounces increased by 263% compared to Q2 2020 and declined by 22% compared to Q1 2021.

The company said that in Q2 2021, open pit mining activities were impacted by personnel shortages due to COVID-19 restrictions. This resulted in an increase of lower-grade stockpile material being processed during the quarter.

Q2 2021 mill throughput was impacted by reduced personnel numbers due to COVID-19 in addition to planned maintenance activities. Consequently, Q2 2021 mill throughput of 9.4 million tonnes was 2% lower than Q2 2020 and 4% lower than Q1 2021.

The company said that COVID-19 cases increased significantly in Mongolia during Q2 2021, causing a series of lockdowns in the country and South Gobi region which limited the ability of Oyu Tolgoi to maintain normal roster changes for its workers. This resulted in personnel numbers below 25% of planned requirements at certain points during the quarter.

The company added that COVID-19 restrictions adversely impacted both open pit operations and underground development progress. The additional 2021 development cost impact of the known COVID-19 delays up to June 30, 2021 is estimated to be approximately $100 million.

Turquoise Hill is an international mining company focused on the operation and further development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in southern Mongolia. Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world’s largest new copper-gold mines and is located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, approximately 550 km south of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and 80 km north of the Mongolia-China border.

Turquoise Hill expects average production from 2025 to 2030 to be more than 550,000 tonnes of copper and over 450,000 ounces of gold per year, all from the Oyut open pit and the Hugo North Lift One underground operation.

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