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Turquoise Hill sees lower 2017 copper, gold production for Oyu Tolgoi mine

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. expects the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia to produce 130,000 tonnes to 160,000 tonnes of copper and between 100,000 ounces and 140,000 ounces of gold in concentrates in 2017.

Those figures are lower compared to expected 2016 output and are primarily the result of approximately one-quarter less copper head grade and about one-half less gold head grade, according to a Dec. 16 release.

Operating cash costs for 2017 are expected to total approximately US$720 million, down from US$800 million for 2016, reflecting cost improvements and the impact of lower logistics costs from weaker production.

CapEx on a cash basis, meanwhile, are expected to be about US$100 million for open-pit operations and between US$825 million and US$925 million for underground development.

The Rio Tinto-backed company continues to expect production from the first underground draw bell in mid-2020 and first sustainable production starting in early 2021.