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Turquoise Hill reports copper and gold production decline at Oyu Tolgoi in Q1 due to lower head grades

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(Kitco News) - Turquoise Hill Resources said today that as planned, Q1 2022 copper and gold production at Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia was lower year-over-year due to lower copper and gold head grade.

According to the company’s statement, copper production at Oyu Tolgoi was 30.3 thousand tonnes of copper in concentrate, a decrease of 33% vs Q1 2021 and a decrease of 22% vs Q4 2021.

In addition, Oyu Tolgoi produced 59 thousand ounces of gold in concentrate, a decrease of 60% vs Q1 2021 and a decrease of 25% vs Q4 2021.

Mill throughput of 9.58 million tonnes in Q1 2022 was 9% lower than Q4 2021 and 2% lower than Q1 2021, in line with expectations due to planned maintenance.

The company added that mill head grades will remain low through to the end of the year as mined material direct mill feed will continue to be supplemented by low grade stockpiles.

Copper production guidance for 2022 remains within the range of 110,000 to 150,000 tonnes, whereas gold production guidance has been revised from a range of 115,000 – 165,000 ounces to 135,000 – 165,000 ounces and is trending toward the higher end of the range.

Importantly, the company noted that Oyu Tolgoi concentrate shipment volumes to customers continued to steadily improve with on-site concentrate inventory levels reducing by 30% over the quarter.

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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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