Turquoise Hill reports 256% gold production increase at Oyu Tolgoi in third quarter
(Kitco News) - Turquoise Hill Resources announced Thursday that in Q3 2021, both copper and gold production from the open pit at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia were higher compared to Q3 2020 due to higher copper and gold head grade ore from Phase 4B.
According to the company's statement, in Q3 2021, copper production of 41,935 tonnes was 16% higher compared to Q3 2020 and gold production of 130,799 ounces was 256% higher compared to Q3 2020.
Importantly, the company added that copper and gold production guidance for 2021 remains within the ranges of 150,000 to 180,000 tonnes and 400,000 to 480,000 ounces respectively.
However, the company pointed out that the underground development delays and open-pit metal deferrals have caused an increase in the company's base case estimated incremental funding requirement to US$3.6 billion.
The company also reported that concentrate shipment volumes to customers from Oyu Tolgoi improved during Q3 2021; however, above target inventory levels remained at the end of Q3 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 related Mongolia / Chinese border restrictions that resulted in force majeure being declared from March 30, 2021.
"Shipments to Chinese customers recommenced on April 15, 2021, and Oyu Tolgoi continues to work closely with Mongolian and Chinese authorities to manage any supply chain disruptions," the company noted in a statement.
Turquoise Hill added that the force majeure will remain in place until there are sufficiently sustained volumes of convoys crossing the border to ensure Oyu Tolgoi's ability to meet its ongoing commitments to customers and to return on-site concentrate inventory to target levels.