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Mar 23, 2020 4:09 AM ET

Turquoise Hill announces financial results and review of operations for 2019


iCrowd Newswire - Mar 23, 2020

MONTREAL,- Turquoise Hill Resources today announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019. All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.

“For 2019, the Oyu Tolgoi mine recorded another year of excellent operational results, and record industry-leading safety performance,” stated Ulf Quellmann, Turquoise Hill’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our team at Oyu Tolgoi continues to maximize our production efficiencies, which resulted in our full year copper production to fall within our original guidance, and our gold production exceeding our original targets. In addition, the mill throughput achieved its fourth year in a row of operating at above name-plate capacity.”

“2019 was also a pivotal year for the underground development with the completion of the above-ground infrastructure and Shaft 2. Shaft 2 is a critical piece of infrastructure that allows the team to accelerate the underground development. Productivity gains in the underground development over the last five months of 2019 have shown steady improvements with December achieving a new record of over 1,800 meters of lateral equivalent meters.”

“Today, COVID-19 presents a pandemic on a global scale that is affecting everyone and certainly also our business.  We have got measures in place including a business resilience team at Oyu Tolgoi to monitor, manage and mitigate the effects of COVID-19.  At this stage, the situation is very fluid and hence we are not in a position to specify the impact on cost and schedule. In the meantime, we continue to work closely with our customers, our suppliers and the Government of Mongolia“.

Highlights

Full Year 2019

 

Fourth quarter 2019

OPERATIONAL OUTLOOK FOR 2020

Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce 140,000 to 170,000 tonnes of copper and 120,000 to 150,000 ounces of gold in concentrates in 2020 from both the open pit and the beginning of the underground development material being processed. Although the mid-point copper production range guidance is higher in 2020 versus the 2019 guidance, a lower gold production year is expected for 2020. This is due to the need to mine through lower grade material on the periphery of the South West pit as Phase 4B sinks towards the highest gold and copper grades in the bottom of the pit. It is anticipated that the higher grade ore will be accessed in 2021, resulting in a significant increase in gold production in 2021. Mill throughput for 2020 is expected to be approximately 40 million tonnes.

Operating cash costs2 for 2020 are expected to be $800 million to $850 million.

Capital expenditure for 2020 on a cash-basis is expected to be approximately $80 million to $120 million for open-pit operations and $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion for the underground development exclusive of any expenditure on power.

Open-pit capital is mainly comprised of deferred stripping, equipment purchases, tailings storage facility construction and maintenance componentization. Underground development capital includes both expansion capital and VAT.

C1 cash costsare expected to be in the range of $1.80 to $2.20 per pound of copper produced, up from 2019 guidance largely reflecting the reduced gold production estimate. Unit cost guidance assumes the midpoint of expected 2020 copper and gold production ranges and commodity assumptions of $2.71 per pound copper and $1,362 per ounce gold.

 

2021 OUTLOOK

Production in 2021 is expected to increase to a range of 170,000 to 200,000 tonnes of copper, and 450,000 to 500,000 ounces of gold, as we transition to the higher grade ore in the lower benches of the pit and continue to increase the amount of underground development material processed.

OUR BUSINESS

Turquoise Hill is an international mining company focused on the operation and continued development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, which is the Company’s principal and only material mineral resource property. The Company’s ownership of the Oyu Tolgoi mine is held through a 66% interest in Oyu Tolgoi LLC (Oyu Tolgoi); the remaining 34% interest is held by Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC (Erdenes), a Mongolian state-owned entity.

The Oyu Tolgoi mine is located approximately 550 kilometres south of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city, and 80 kilometres north of the MongoliaChina border. Mineralization on the property consists of porphyry-style copper, gold, silver and molybdenum contained in a linear structural trend (the Oyu Tolgoi Trend) of deposits distributed over a 12 kilometres interval of a 25 kilometres corridor of mineralization. The first of those (the Oyut deposit) was put into production as an open-pit operation in 2013. A second deposit, Hugo North (Lift One), is under development as an underground operation.

The copper concentrator plant, with related facilities and necessary infrastructure, was originally designed to process approximately 100,000 tonnes of ore per day from the Oyut open pit. However, since 2014, the concentrator has improved operating practices and gained experience, which has helped achieve a consistent throughput of over 105,000 tonnes per day. Concentrator throughput for 2020 is targeted at over 110,000 tonnes per day and expected to be approximately 40 million tonnes for the year due to improvements in concentrator performance and ore characteristics.

At the end of Q4’19, Oyu Tolgoi had a total workforce (employees and contractors), including underground project construction, of approximately 13,800, of which 93% were Mongolians.



Contact Information:

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd








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