Turquoise Hill announces third quarter 2018 production and provides underground development update

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2018-10-19 17:25 GMT+8

Turquoise Hill Resources (Turquoise Hill or the Company) today announced third quarter 2018 production for Oyu Tolgoi and provided an update on underground development. Ulf Quellmann, Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill, said, “We continued to see the impact of higher gold grades during the third quarter as Oyu Tolgoi processed increasing amounts of Phase 4 ore. We are well positioned to meet the upper-end of our 2018 production guidance.

“Rio Tinto has undertaken a second annual re-forecast of underground development schedule and costs and preliminary results have concluded that capital costs remain in line with the overall $5.3 billion budget and the project remains on schedule to complete in 2022. However, there are certain delays, most notably to the completion of Shaft 2, which includes schedule contingency, that are ultimately expected to result in a revised sustainable production start from the first quarter of 2021 to late in the third quarter 2021.

We are undertaking a review of the cause and the impact of these delays and will announce the results as soon as possible.” Third quarter mill throughput decreased 5.0% over Q2’18 due to increased processing of harder Phase 4 ore as well as a planned maintenance shutdown during the quarter. Copper production was flat over Q2’18 as higher grades and recoveries were partially offset by lower throughput. Gold production increased 54.0% over Q2’18 due to higher grades and recoveries.

Third quarter sales volumes were impacted by torrential rain in July and August, which consequently affected Chinese road and rail availability. Additionally, Q3’18 sales volumes were generally lower than Q2’18, which benefited from the sales of deferred volumes related to the Q1’18 force majeure. Turquoise Hill has updated Oyu Tolgoi’s expected copper production for 2018 from between 125,000 and 155,000 tonnes of copper to between 140,000 and 155,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates. The Company continues to expect production of gold in concentrates from between 240,000 and 280,000 ounces for 2018.

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