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SouthGobi Resources restarts operations at Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine

HONG KONG – SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ) said Friday that it has resumed operations at its Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine in Mongolia after an eight-month shutdown and plans to produce 3.2 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal this year.

The company stopped production at the mine in June 2012 due to weak market conditions and regulatory issues.

The halt also came amid a controversial bid that would have seen a Chinese company buy a controlling stake in the Toronto-listed mining company from Turquise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ).

Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd. (Chalco) and Turquoise Hill (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto PLC formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines) cancelled that deal in September amid concerns in Mongolia about Chinese ownership of the company.

SouthGobi said Friday it would resume operations “in a conservative and therefore cost effective, cash positive and sustainable manner.”

“While a certain amount of volatility remains in the coal markets, signs of improvement justify this restart of operations,” the company said in a statement.