Despite a concentrator fire at its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia earlier in December, Turquoise Hill Resources says the copper-gold operation is on track to meet its expected full-year output. The company has, however, lowered its production estimate for 2015 to 600,000-700,000 ounces of gold and 175,000-195,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates.

Operations at the concentrator recommenced after three days on December 6 with both SAG mills and three of four ball mills now operating. Repairs to the concentrator’s damaged cyclone pack are progressing well and are expected to be complete by mid-January.

Turquoise Hill owns 66% of Oyu Tolgoi with the remainder held by the government of Mongolia. It expects the mine to produce between 550,000-600,000 ounces of gold and 135,000-150,000 tonnes copper in concentrates this year.

Turquoise Hill says the variance in volume for 2015, when compared with the 2014 Oyu Tolgoi Technical Report is driven by minor differences in the mine schedule and design as a result of timing.

Operating cash costs are expected to be about $900 million and capital expenditures are expected to be $230 million, of which roughly $185 million is related to sustaining capital. Oyu Tolgoi continues to focus on operating efficiently with cost reduction and productivity initiatives designed to generate increased cash flow and improve financial performance.

Rio Tinto, which owns just over half of Turquoise Hill, has been in talks with the Mongolian government for a $5.4 billion expansion of Oyu Tolgoi for nearly two years, but no deal has been reached due to disagreements over funding of the underground project.

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