Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold Project in Mongolia to Start Production in Q3
The $6-billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project in Mongolia is on track to meet its initial production targetted to commence in the third quarter of this year with the construction of the mine’s first phase reaching 73 percent completion, owner Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. announced on Monday.
This, after the Vancouver, British Columbia-based miner said in a statement that it had received a lot of written expressions of interest on potential asset sales that could raise additional capital to support the ongoing development of Oyu Tolgoi.
“Installation of the two production lines in the concentrator and pre-commissioning works are progressing ahead of plan. The concentrator, which will have an initial capacity of 100,000 tonnes per day, now is more than 80 per cent complete. The first production line is scheduled to be completed during the third quarter, followed by completion of the second production line in the fourth quarter this year,” Robert Friedland, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., said in a statement.
Once at commercial production in 2013, the Oyu Tolgoi Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project, touted to become one of the world’s five biggest copper mines, is expected to produce an average of more than 544,000 tonnes of copper, 650,000 ounces of gold, and 3 million ounces of silver a year over the next 10 years. The property is being developed for open pit mining with a 100,000-t/d mineral processing plant, according to the www.canadianminingjournal.com. The site contains deposits estimated at 81.3 billion pound of copper and 46.4 million ounces of gold, it added.
“After achieving the scheduled milestones of the production of first ore and the production of the first copper, gold and silver concentrate this year, Oyu Tolgoi will ramp up to reach commercial production during the first half of next year.”
Meanwhile, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which has spent more than $5 billion over the past decade on exploration and development of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project, considered selling assets to gather additional funds for the Mongolian mine.
Last month, global mining giant Rio Tinto, its co-developer in the project, increased to 51 per cent its stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. said it is considering to sell mining interests in Australia and Kazakhstan, as well as including a rights offer.
Mr Friedland said it is working on a comprehensive financing plan for the completion and startup of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold projectwith Rio Tinto.
“We are continuing to work together in an attempt to reach agreement on a comprehensive financing approach that will accommodate our mutual interests in advancing the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project.”
The Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project is located about 50 miles or 80 kilometers north of Mongolia’s border with China.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. owns 66 per cent of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project, with the Mongolian government holding the rest.