Rio Tinto, the project manager of the Oyu Tolgoi, in Mongolia, has concluded a review of the fit-out and commissioning issues at Shaft 2 – the main production and services shaft of the underground development – and expects the shaft to be completed by the end of October.
Rio Tinto-owned Turquoise Hill in February said that a review of the Shaft 2 commissioning was under way and described the installation as “technically challenging”.
The TSX- and NYSE-listed mining company said that the impact of these changes, including the further delay to Shaft 2, would be included in a definitive estimate review, which would be completed towards the end of the year.
In parallel, Turquoise Hill would incorporate the impact of any further delay to sustainable first production beyond the end of the third quarter of 2021 in its cash flows, liquidity and financing projections.
Turquoise Hill, which holds the giant mine in a 66:34 partnership with the Mongolian government, added that it would explore potential mitigation options.
Meanwhile, the Oyu Tolgoi openpit mine’s first-quarter copper production increased by 18% to 45 800 t and gold output surged 187.6% to 120 000 oz, placing the company on track to meet its 2019 guidance.
Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce 125 000 t to 155 000 t of copper and 180 000 oz to 220 000 oz of gold in concentrates for 2019.
Mill throughput for 2019 is expected to be about 40-million tonnes.