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Turquoise Hill: Oyu Tolgoi Q2 copper, gold-in-concentrate output decline YOY

Turquoise HillResources Ltd. said July 18 that total second-quarter concentratesoutput from its majority-owned Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia came in at 207,100tonnes at an average grade of 24.9 % copper.

This represents a decrease from 215,500 tonnes produced inthe year ago quarter and a substantial drop from 229,500 tonnes produced in theprevious quarter.

The Rio Tintounit's production of copper in concentrates for the quarter dropped slightly to51,700 tonnes from 55,300 tonnes produced a year ago, as well as from the57,600 tonnes produced in the previous quarter.

The production of gold in concentrate for the quarter fellsharply to 70,000 ounces from 238,000 ounces produced a year ago, as well asfrom the 144,000 ounces produced in the last quarter. The production of silverin concentrate, meanwhile, jumped up to 391,000 ounces from 297,000 ounces ayear ago, but dropped slightly from 395,000 ounces produced in the previousquarter.

Turquoise Hill CEO Jeff Tygesen said the company'ssecond-quarter mine production at Oyu Tolgoi, along with thequarter-over-quarter 10.3% decline for copper in concentrate production and 52%decrease in gold in concentrate output, was in line with expectations,reflecting reduced mining in phase two of the open pit which hosted highergrades of both copper and gold.

The lower production for the quarter is driven by the miningoccurring in areas with reduced grades, Tygesen added.  

Turquoise Hill maintained this year's gold-in-concentrate guidance atbetween 255,000 ounces to 285,000 ounces, and expected copper output for theyear at between 175,000 tonnes and 195,000 tonnes.

In May, Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources and the Mongoliagovernment approved a US$5.3billion investment for the next development stage for the OyuTolgoi, which is scheduled to start in mid-2016.