AKIPRESS.COM - On 24 May, Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company - a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto, released its latest performance scorecard, highlighting key performance metrics for the first quarter of 2021, providing an update on the underground development, and its ongoing COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Some highlights from the performance scorecard are: continued its globally competitive safety performance; strengthened COVID-19 response and mitigation measures; maintained its highest water use efficiency per tonne of ore production; in-country spend reaches US$12.3 billion; spent US$98 million on national procurement.
“The first quarter of 2021 has been challenging due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and increase of community cases in Mongolia. We are constantly adapting to the changing circumstances to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce, suppliers and communities,” the update says.
Mined copper production from the open pit was 29 percent higher than the same quarter of 2020 with the anticipated move to higher grade from the open pit, leading to higher head grade and copper recovery. In the first quarter, pit phasing delivered higher gold production (+457%) compared to the same period in 2020. Access to higher copper and gold grades is expected to continue throughout 2021.
However, the open pit wall failure experienced in the fourth quarter of 2020, combined with the cumulative effects of COVID-19 mitigation measures, have resulted in a downward revision in gold production guidance for 2021, from 500,000 – 550,000 ounces to 400,000 to 480,000 ounces, while the copper guidance range has expanded from 160,000 – 180,000 tonnes to 150,000 – 180,000 tonnes.
96 percent of Oyu Tolgoi’s workforce are Mongolian citizens. It paid US$417 million in the form of taxes, fees and other payments to the Government of Mongolia in the first quarter of 2021. Since 2010, Oyu Tolgoi has paid US$3.3 billion in taxes, fees and other payments, including VAT to Mongolian suppliers. It partnered with 494 suppliers in the first quarter of 2021, including 431 national businesses, accounting for 77 percent of the total operations procurement spend.