Turquoise Hill suffers another setback at Oyu Tolgoi mine

Tue Sep 9, 2014 8:58am EDT
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TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Turquoise Hill Resources announced yet another setback at its troubled Oyu Tolgoi copper project on Tuesday, saying the rake arms in one of the mine's two tailings thickeners had failed.

The Vancouver-based miner, a subsidiary of mining company Rio Tinto Plc , said an investigation was under way to determine the cause of the failure and that repairs had begun at the mine in southern Mongolia.

Oyu Tolgoi, which is 66 percent owned by Turquoise Hill and 34 percent owned by the Mongolian government, is one of the most promising copper assets in the world. But the project, initially discovered and developed by mining financier Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, has been plagued by a myriad of problems over the last decade.

In May, Turquoise Hill said rake blade failures had curbed production at Oyu Tolgoi in the first quarter, shutting down one production line for about seven weeks. Such teething issues at the mine, which began production in 2013, have followed a multitude of delays over the years, due to disputes with the Mongolian government over licenses and other matters.

Turquoise Hill said its concentrator at Oyu Tolgoi continued to operate at about a 60 percent production rate using the second thickener. The company said it would update the market as additional information becomes available. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)