Tinto Plc has delayed the first copper exports from its
$6.6-billion Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia until the end of
June as it awaits final government approvals, a source at Oyu
Tolgoi told AMM sister publication Metal
"We have received
almost all government authorizations," he said, but some
technical details need to be sorted out before Oyu Tolgoi can
An Oyu Tolgoi source
earlier this week said the first shipment might take place June
14, subject to government approval (
amm.com, June 11), and the company reportedly had
arranged an event for local media and traders that Mongolian
prime minister Norovyn Altankhuyag was expected to attend.
The source said that
he "cannot speculate at this point of time" if the prime
minister will attend the first shipment at the end of June.
The first shipment
will be sent to smelters in China, and for the time being Oyu
Tolgoi has no plans to send concentrate to plants that have
been hit by the force majeure at Phoenix-based
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.s Grasberg Mine in
Indonesia, he said.
Progress on the Oyu
Tolgoi project may partially offset the loss of copper
production caused by the force majeure declaration
following a fatal accident at Grasberg (
amm.com, June 12) and by a wall slide at
London-based Rio Tintos Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah (
amm.com, April 16), market participants have
Oyu Tolgoi had entered
into sales contracts for 75 percent of concentrate production
from the project on international terms, Rio Tinto had said in
amm.com, Jan. 11). "In addition to the signed
contracts, Oyu Tolgoi has committed in principle to sell up to
25 percent of concentrate production on international terms to
smelters in Inner Mongolia for the first 10 years, subject to
the conclusion of detailed sales contracts."
government has a 34-percent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, and Turquoise
Hill Resources Ltd., a unit of Rio Tinto, holds the rest.
Oyu Tolgoi is expected
to account for 35 percent of Mongolias gross domestic
product when it is fully operational in 2020. Over its life,
the project is expected to produce 425,000 tonnes of copper and
460,000 ounces of gold per year.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.