Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. today announced its financial results for the period ended June 30, 2020.
“Faced with the challenges of operating within the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oyu Tolgoi team posted outstanding safety and production performance in the second quarter of 2020. The open pit operations have continued uninterrupted, and the underground development, while experiencing restrictions on workforce numbers and the ability to repatriate specialists from around the world, has continued to progress. The team’s focus on optimization initiatives has resulted in, among other things, an increase to our 2020 gold production guidance.
We look forward to completing the 2020 Technical Report in the third quarter. This report will provide shareholders with an updated ramp-up schedule, which will highlight once again the quality of the Oyu Tolgoi ore body and the value proposition for investors. In addition, the updated data will greatly assist in our on-going efforts to advance our long term funding strategy and address our incremental liquidity requirements.
I’d like to thank the entire Turquoise Hill and Oyu Tolgoi teams, who have come together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver yet another quarter of strong safety, production and financial results,” stated Ulf Quellmann, Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill.
- Safety is our top priority. Oyu Tolgoi delivered a strong safety performance as evidenced by an AIFR of 0.22 per 200,000 hours worked for the six months ended June 30, 2020.
- Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oyu Tolgoi open pit has continued to operate uninterrupted.
- In Q2’20, Oyu Tolgoi produced 36,495 tonnes of copper and 31,150 ounces of gold.
- Copper production remains on track to achieve guidance of 140,000 to 170,000 tonnes.
- Gold production guidance for 2020 has increased to 155,000 – 180,000 ounces from 120,000 – 150,000 ounces. The increase in gold production guidance is due to a change in the open pit schedule which has brought forward higher grade gold ore from the southwest pit.
- C1 cost guidance range is being lowered to $1.60 - $2.00 from $1.80 - $2.20 per pound of copper due to the positive impact from the increased 2020 gold production forecast.
- Q2’20 mill throughput was 7.2% lower compared to Q2’19 due to higher scheduled maintenance hours as well as the processing of harder ore from the southwest pit.
- Revenue of $278.0 million in Q2’20 decreased by 27.4% from $382.7 million in Q2’19, primarily due to both a 56.7% decrease in gold production and a 6.9% decrease in copper production. Further, the average price of copper fell by 12.3% from Q2’19 to Q2’20 primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on global copper demand. This was partly offset by the 30.6% increase in average gold price from Q2’19 to Q2’20.
- Income for the period was $72.3 million compared with a loss of $736.7 million in Q2’19. This difference was primarily due to a $0.6 billion impairment charge that was recorded in Q2’19 following the announcement on July 15, 2019, wherein the Company confirmed projected increases in underground development capital as well as a range of possible further delays to sustainable first production. In addition, there was an increase of $300.2 million in the amount of deferred tax recognized in Q2’20 compared to Q2’19. Deferred tax of $252.8 million was de-recognized in Q2’19 again reflecting the impact of the July 15, 2019 announcement. These increases in income in Q2’20 compared to Q2’19 were partly offset by the $104.7 million reduction in revenue from Q2’19 to Q2’20. Income attributable to owners of Turquoise Hill in Q2’20 was $84.8 million or $0.04 per share, compared with a loss of $446.5 million or $0.22 per share in Q2’19.
- Cash generated from operating activities before interest and taxes in Q2’20 was $34.7 million, a decrease from $262.6 million generated in Q2’19, primarily reflecting the impact of reduced revenue and unfavourable movements in working capital. Trade receivables increased significantly in Q2’20 due primarily to the impact of rising copper prices on the revaluation of trade receivables at June 30, 2020. Conversely, the impact of falling copper prices at the end of Q2’19 led to a decrease in the amount of trade receivables. Trade payables decreased in Q2’20 whereas trade payables increased in Q2’19 primarily as a result of the impact of lower capital expenditure spend in Q2’2 0 ($254.3 million) compared to Q2’19 ($335.0 million).
- In Q2’20, cost of sales was $2.08 per pound of copper sold, C1 cash costs1 were $1.61 per pound of copper produced, and all-in sustaining costs1 were $2.18 per pound of copper produced.
- Total operating cash costs1 of $180.8 million in Q2’20 decreased 12.5% from $206.7 million in Q2’19. This was principally due to lower mining costs as a result of lower fuel and maintenance costs. Additionally, royalty costs were lower as a result of lower sales revenue.
- Work on the Oyu Tolgoi underground continued, achieving strong productivity in underground advancement during Q2’20 achieving 1,8302 equivalent metres (eqm) in June and a monthly average of 1,8312 eqm for the quarter.
- During Q2’20, underground development spend was $242.4 million, resulting in total project spend since January 1, 2016 of approximately $4.0 billion.
- Routine Shaft 2 rope shortening was successfully completed in May with remote presence technology from the vendor being used to assist onsite teams to safely perform the task. Payload and speeds have returned to planned levels and people and materials movement via the service hoist continue to operate normally.
- Shafts 3 and 4 continued on care and maintenance during Q2’20, and this is expected to continue until expert service providers can return to site to complete technical commissioning of specialised equipment and commence sinking activities. Work also slowed on some essential underground material handling infrastructure, in particular the construction of primary crusher one, which has now returned to 24 hour shifts following a period of day shift only. Personnel numbers on site have been limited in order to manage the risks around COVID-19.
- On May 13, 2020, Turquoise Hill announced a new block cave mine design for Panel 0 which anticipates a base case development capital cost of $6.8 billion, with a range of $6.6 billion to $7.1 billion, and a target to first sustainable production of February 2023, with a target range between October 2022 and June 2023, inclusive of an allowance for schedule contingency.
- Subsequently on July 2, 2020, Turquoise Hill announced completion of the 2020 Oyu Tolgoi Feasibility Study incorporating the revised mine design and updated Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources.
- As at June 30, 2020, Turquoise Hill has $1.5 billion of available liquidity, which under current projections is expected to be sufficient to meet the requirements of the Company, including its operations and underground development, into early 2022.
- The Company recognises the unprecedented situation surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Turquoise Hill has established a business resiliency team and is closely monitoring the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business, operations and our people will continue to update the market on the impacts to the Company’s business and operations in relation to these extraordinary circumstances. See the “RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES” section of the Company’s management discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations for the six months ended June 30, 2020 (the Q2 2020 MD&A).
*All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.
Source: Turquoise Hill
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