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Rio Tinto - OT mine design and update to Reserves & Resources

RNS Number : 9222R
Rio Tinto PLC
03 July 2020
 

Oyu Tolgoi mine design confirms project schedule and cost ranges and update to Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources

 

3 July 2020

 

Oyu Tolgoi LLC has completed an updated feasibility study (OTFS20) and is in the process of submitting this to the Government of Mongolia.  The OTFS20 has been prepared in accordance with Mongolian regulations and standards which require mining companies to submit updated feasibility studies every five years.  The updated study incorporates a new mine design for Panel 0 of the Hugo Dummett North underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi.  The new design also confirms that the caving method of mining remains valid and that the underground schedule and costs remain within the ranges previously disclosed.

 

These ranges include a delay of 21 to 29 months for first sustainable production compared to the original feasibility study guidance in 2016 and an increase of $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion from the original $5.3 billion development capital.  Detailed study, design, engineering and optimisation work is ongoing to support the definitive estimate of Panel 0 for the development of this world-class orebody, which remains due in the second half of 2020.  These estimates are subject to any additional scheduling delays or increases in capital costs arising from the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Arnaud Soirat, chief executive of Copper & Diamonds said "This amended mine design is another positive step in the development of the underground mine which will unlock the most valuable part of Oyu Tolgoi. We remain focused on delivering the underground project safely and within the guidance ranges we have announced on both cost and schedule."

 

The updated mine design is the result of the review announced by Rio Tinto in July 2019 when enhanced geotechnical and geological information obtained from drilling and mapping at depth suggested there may be some stability risks associated with the original mine design.  The updated design retains two in-situ rock pillars on either side of Panel 0 for geotechnical stability. In the original mine design, these pillars were within the mining area.  The updated design is supported by extensive geotechnical modelling and industry leading technical assurance. 

 

As a consequence of leaving the pillars in place, the material contained in the pillars has been reclassified from Ore Reserves to Mineral Resources.  It is expected that part of the material contained in these pillars will be recoverable at a later stage following additional studies which are currently underway.

 

Ore handling infrastructure will be relocated to the pillars, located immediately north and south of the current Panel 0 boundaries. Panels 1 and 2 will now be initiated as independent panels or mine blocks.

 

Optimisation of mine designs for Panels 1 and 2 is ongoing and it is anticipated that this next phase of study may result in further movements in classifications of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources. Any such movements will be reported following completion of the studies.

 

On 3 July 2020 Rio Tinto released to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) updated Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves for the Oyu Tolgoi mine.  Changes in the Hugo Dummett North Ore Reserves are shown below in Table A.  Updates to Mineral Resources are shown in Table B.  Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources are reported in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, 2012 (JORC Code) and the ASX Listing Rules.

 

Ore Reserves are presented in this release on a 100 per cent ownership basis.  Rio Tinto's ownership share is 33.5% of Hugo Dummett North and 29.5% of Hugo Dummett North Extension.  Mineral Resources are reported exclusive of Ore Reserves and on the same ownership basis.

 

Table A: Changes to the Hugo Dummett North and Hugo Dummett North Extension Ore Reserves estimates between 31 December 2019 and 01 July 2020.

 

Hugo Dummett North

 

Probable Ore Reserves

Average Mill Recovery

Recoverable Metal

 

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Cu
(%)

Au
(%)

Ag
(%)

Cu
(Mt)

Au
(M oz)

Ag
(M oz)

Reserves at end 2019

447

1.64

0.34

3.35

93

79

81

6.81

3.84

39.02

Material removed

-47

2.75

0.68

5.36

94

82

86

-1.22

-0.85

-7.01

Reserves at 1 July 2020

400

1.51

0.29

3.11

93

79

80

5.60

2.99

32.00

Hugo Dummett North Extension

 

Probable Ore Reserves

Average Mill Recovery

Recoverable Metal

 

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Cu
(%)

Au
(%)

Ag
(%)

Cu
(Mt)

Au
(M oz)

Ag
(M oz)

Reserves at end 2019

32

1.64

0.57

3.84

93

81

83

0.49

0.47

3.28

Material added

7.7

1.10

0.38

2.75

92

80

81

0.08

0.07

0.55

Reserves at 1 July 2020

40

1.54

0.53

3.63

92

81

83

0.57

0.55

3.84

 

 

Table B: Changes to the Hugo Dummett North and Hugo Dummett North Extension Mineral Resource estimates between 31 December 2019 and 01 July 2020.

 

Hugo Dummett North

 

Measured Mineral Resources

Indicated Mineral Resources

Inferred Mineral Resources

Total Mineral Resources

 

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Resources at end 2019

41

1.58

0.42

3.74

349

1.18

0.31

2.92

765

0.80

0.28

2.40

1155

0.94

0.29

2.61

Material added

17

2.54

0.64

5.34

52

2.39

0.54

4.63

 

 

 

 

69

2.43

0.57

4.81

Resources at 1 July 2020

58

1.86

0.48

4.21

401

1.34

0.34

3.14

765

0.80

0.28

2.40

1224

1.03

0.31

2.73

Hugo Dummett North Extension

 

Measured Mineral Resources

Indicated Mineral Resources

Inferred Mineral Resources

Total Mineral Resources

 

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Tonnes
(Mt)

Cu
(%)

Au
(g/t)

Ag
(g/t)

Resources at end 2019

 

 

 

 

87

1.59

0.54

4.11

167

1.02

0.36

2.78

254

1.21

0.42

3.24

No change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources at 1 July 2020

 

 

 

 

87

1.59

0.54

4.11

167

1.02

0.36

2.78

254

1.21

0.42

3.24

A copy of the full announcement to the ASX is available on Rio Tinto's website at riotinto.com/invest/financial-news-performance/resources-and-reserves.

 

 

 

Competent Persons Statement

The information in this release that relates to Ore Reserves is based on information compiled by Ferrin Prince and Mark Bixley, Competent Persons, who are a Member and Fellow respectively of The Australasian Institute of Mining and MetallurgyFerrin Prince and Mark Bixley are full-time employees of Rio TintoFerrin Prince and Mark Bixley have sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as Competent Persons as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Each of Ferrin Prince and Mark Bixley consents to the inclusion in the release of the matters based on the information that each of them has prepared in the form and context in which it appears.

 

The information in this release that relates to Mineral Resources is based on information compiled by Oyunjargal Dendev, a Competent Person who is a Member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Oyunjargal Dendev is a full-time employee of Oyu Tolgoi LLC. Oyunjargal Dendev has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Oyunjargal Dendev consents to the inclusion in the release of the matters based on the information that he has prepared in the form and context in which it appears.

 

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This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Rio Tinto's Group Company Secretary.

 


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