Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/Oyu Tolgoi today announced an update on its production for the third quarter of 2015. Oyu Tolgoi has now crossed 1.5 million tonnes of concentrate shipments.

Andrew Woodley, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Oyu Tolgoi again achieved record production in the third quarter, building on our performance from the second quarter of 2015. We also crossed 1.5 million tonnes of concentrate shipments in September – continuing our momentum from reaching 1 million tonnes in only February this year.

“We have achieved this while maintaining an unrelenting focus on safety and, as a company delivering a higher level of productivity to ensure competitiveness and sustainability despite volatile market conditions. Our performance is clear evidence that we are headed, together, in the right direction, and that our strategy is delivering.”

During the third quarter, mined production increased 8.5 per cent over the previous one due to shorter hauling routes and ongoing productivity initiatives. Copper in concentrates for this quarter increased 1.3 per cent due to higher head grades.

Gold in concentrates for the quarter decreased 48.5 per cent over the second, due to slower than anticipated access to gold-rich ore. Increased copper and gold production is expected in the next quarter as higher-grade ore is accessed in the open pit.

Turquoise Hill continues to expect Oyu Tolgoi to produce 175,000 to 195,000 tonnes of copper and 600,000 to 700,000 ounces of gold in concentrates in 2015.

The Company expects copper production to be at the top of the range while gold production is expected to be in the middle of the range.

Following the filing of revised schedules for the 2015 Oyu Tolgoi Feasibility Study with the Mongolian Minerals Council in August, pre-start activities are underway in parallel with an update to the capital estimate, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

Pre-start activities include ramp-up of the owners and EPCM team, re-estimate activities, detailed engineering and early procurement for equipment and materials required for necessary critical works that are key enablers for recommencement of underground lateral development mining activity. The Company continues to expect signing of project financing by the end of 2015 and the decision for underground construction in the beginning of second quarter of 2016.