Turquoise Hill Resources announced that Oyu Tolgoi has filed revised schedules for the 2015 Oyu Tolgoi Feasibility Study (OTFS 2015) with the Mongolian Minerals Council (MMC). The filing also aligned OTFS 2015 with the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan (Underground Plan), which was signed in May 2015.
The MMC has already tentatively accepted OTFS 2015, originally filed in March 2015, pending a revision of schedules and alignment with the Underground Plan. OTFS 2015 is based on the same feasibility study and aligns with the 2014 Oyu Tolgoi Technical Report, which was disclosed in October 2014. An update to the capital estimate will be completed in parallel with other pre-start activities, ahead of final approval of the project by the Turquoise Hill, Rio Tinto and Oyu Tolgoi boards. The preferred engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor has been engaged to complete some critical path detailed engineering and the re-estimate.
Funding for pre-start activities has been approved, including ramp up of the owners and EPCM team, re-estimate activities, detailed engineering and early procurement for plant, equipment and materials that are required for project restart as well as necessary critical works that are key enablers for recommencement of lateral development mining activity. The funding covers work scheduled to take place before the official ‘notice to proceed’ is approved, which is expected in early 2016. The intent of pre-start funding is to ensure the project is ramped back into production as soon as possible, while not making contract commitments ahead of completing the full project approval. Lateral mining development is targeted to restart in mid-2016.