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Rio Tinto Q1 copper production update

Metal News - Published on Thu, 19 Apr 2018

Image Source: SteelGuru
Rio Tinto announced that its mined copper production in the first quarter of 2018 was 20 % lower than the first quarter of 2017 due primarily to temporarily lower head grades, although refined copper production was 19 % higher due to the draw down in concentrate inventories that were built up during the smelter shutdown following the fatality in October 2017.

Rio Tinto Kennecott tolls third party concentrate to optimise smelter utilisation, with 41 thousand tonnes of concentrate received in the first quarter of 2018. Tolled copper concentrate is excluded from reported production figures.

The pushback of the south wall progressed during the quarter. It will extend the life of mine and remains on track for completion in 2020.

Mined copper production at Escondida in the first quarter of 2018 was significantly higher than the first quarter of 2017, due to the labour union strike that impacted production in the first half of last year. This second consecutive quarter of strong production reflects the operational capacity following commissioning and ramp up of the Los Colorados concentrator in the second half of 2017.

Oyu Tolgoi
Mined copper production from the open pit in the first quarter of 2018 was two per cent higher than the corresponding period of 2017, but 14 per cent lower than the previous quarter due to a planned plant shutdown in January 2018.

Due to protests by coal transporters that obstructed the main access road at the Ganquimaodu Border Zone, Oyu Tolgoi declared force majeure in connection with customer contracts for concentrate between 17 January 2018 and 1 March 2018. Safe and normal operations, including underground development, were maintained during the force majeure period, and there was no production impact.

Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project
New contractors continue to mobilise with the total project workforce at over 6,700 at the end of March, of which 89 % were Mongolian. Lateral development is tracking on plan, and sinking of shafts two and five is complete. Eight accommodation buildings in the Oyut II camp are now complete and occupancy of these buildings has begun. Construction of the first drawbell is still expected in mid-2020.

Through a joint venture agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Inc, Rio Tinto is entitled to a 40 % share of production above an agreed threshold until the end of 2021 and 40 % of all production thereafter. Rio Tinto’s full participation has been delayed due to the application of force majeure

provisions in the joint venture agreement. The first full year in which Rio Tinto will participate to the full extent of 40 % of production is now expected to be 2023.

In February 2018, PF Freeport Indonesia received an extension of its export permit to February 2019. PT-FI continues to engage with the Indonesian Government in relation to the basis upon which operations at Grasberg will continue beyond 2021 with regard to the rights conferred by its Contract of Work.

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 19 Apr 2018
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