Ivanhoe Mines announced in mid-May 2012 that the company will propose and recommend that shareholders approve a resolution to change the company’s name from Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. to Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. at its 2012 annual general meeting of shareholders, scheduled for June 28, 2012. Turquoise Hill is the English translation of the name of the company’s Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver project in the South Gobi region of Mongolia.
Ivanhoe also reported that overall construction of the first phase of the Oyu Tolgoi complex had advanced to 82.2% complete at the end of April. Mining and stockpiling of the first ore from the project’s phase-one Southern Oyu open-pit began in late April. Construction remains on track to meet the project’s targeted start of initial production in the second half of 2012, with commercial production projected to begin in the first half of 2013.
A copper concentrator, with related facilities and necessary infrastructure to support an initial throughput of 100,000 mt/d, is being constructed to process Southern Oyu ore. The concentrator was 84.7% complete at the end of the first quarter.
In conjunction with the surface activities, an 85,000-mt/d underground block-cave mine is being developed at the Hugo North deposit. As of mid-May the headframe for the underground mine had reached a height of 78.5 m and was approaching its planned final height of 97 m. Shaft-sinking had reached a depth of 224 m below surface.
The underground mine is scheduled to begin operations in 2016. Throughput capacity of the concentrator will be expanded to 160,000 mt/y to process ore from both the open-pit and underground mines. The concentrator expansion must be in place by 2018 to meet the increasing tonnage available from underground production.
Work is ongoing to ensure that electrical power from China will be available for the start of production at Oyu Tolgoi. Ivanhoe anticipates that construction of all transmission infrastructure necessary to import power from China will be completed by July 2012.
Long-term sales contracts have been signed on a substantial portion of Oyu Tolgoi’s total concentrate production. Most of the concentrate initially produced at Oyu Tolgoi is expected to be delivered to customers in China.