Oyu Tolgoi President and CEO Cameron McRae announced last Friday that the Oyu Tolgoi Copper Concentrator produced its first batch of concentrate on schedule just one month after its commissioning. Mr.McRae noted “This is a big milestone for the project. We commissioned the concentrator, the largest and most technologically advanced machine ever built in Mongolia, on 27 December and have now produced the first concentrate.”
This initial batch of concentrate is a major indicator that Oyu Tolgoi is on track in its operational plan to ramp up production in the first half of 2013.
“Mongolia is expected to have the highest recorded growth in its economy this year, and most of this will be a direct result of Oyu Tolgoi concentrate production” he added. The ore for the concentrator is currently being harvested from Oyu Tolgoi’s Open Pit mine, which began producing raw ore earlier last year.
Future expansion of Oyu Tolgoi’s production capability will be driven primarily by the underground operations which will employ advanced ‘block-cave’ mining systems. Eighty percent of Oyu Tolgoi’s total value will come from the underground mine. Processing of ore harvested from underground efforts is scheduled for 2016. Two shafts and 12 kilometres of lateral tunnel are currently in development.