Tinto Plc plans to begin exporting copper from its $6.6-billion
Oyu Tolgoi Mine in Mongolia June 21, a mine source told
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.
Oyu Tolgoi has
received all approvals, he said, and plans to start shipments
to smelters in China with a consignment of about 576 tonnes of
copper concentrate. The company delayed its initial shipment
from June 14 as it awaited final government approvals (
amm.com, June 13).
At full capacity, the
concentrator will produce 345,000 tonnes of copper concentrate
per year, the source said. "This is a huge project, and the
ramp-up is happening," noting that "we have some stockpiles of
copper concentrate" for future shipments
The Oyu Tolgoi project
is an open-pit mine currently, but "the underground mine will
be operational hopefully in 2018-19," the company source said.
Over its life, the Oyu Tolgoi project is expected to produce
425,000 tonnes of copper and 460,000 ounces of gold per
company plans to hold an event June 21 to mark the first
shipment, the source said. Mongolian prime minister Norovyn
Altankhuyag is expected to attend.
Oyu Tolgoi said
recently it had no plans to send concentrate to plants in
Indonesia or elsewhere that have been hit by the force
majeure following a fatal accident at Jakarta-based PT
Freeport Indonesias Grasberg Mine.
Oyu Tolgoi production
may partially offset the loss of copper due to the force
majeure at Grasberg and by a wall slide at Rio
Tintos Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah (
amm.com, April 16).
government has a 34-percent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, while
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., a unit of Rio Tinto, owns the
rest. The operation is expected to account for 35 percent of
Mongolias gross domestic product by 2020.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.