December quarter production at Turquoise Hill Resources’ Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold Project was 50,300 tonnes of copper and 278,000 ounces of gold in concentrates. Higher ore grades during the quarter led to increased metal production over prior quarters partially offset by reduced processing rates as a result of the December concentrator fire.
Repairs from the fire were completed on January 2 and the concentrator has returned to full production.
Full year 2014 production was 148,400 tonnes of copper and 589,000 ounces of gold in concentrates. This was in-line with the company’s guidance.
Strong concentrate sales continued during the fourth quarter with sales exceeding production resulting in an inventory drawdown for the quarter. By year-end, marketing and logistics improvements throughout 2014 resulted in concentrate inventories being drawn down to expected levels.
Turquoise Hill’s chief executive officer Jeff Tygesen said: “Despite some operational interruptions during the year, Oyu Tolgoi continued to improve through 2014. We look forward to building on 2014 achievements throughout 2015.”
In 2015, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce 175,000 to 195,000 tonnes of copper and 600,000 to 700,000 ounces of gold in concentrates. Based on the 2015 mine schedule, production from the high-grade zone is expected to resume in mid-2015.