Turquoise Hill cuts Q3 net loss, lowers 2014 production and spending targets

VANCOUVER – Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TSX:TRQ) had a smaller third-quarter loss as its Oy Tolgoi mine in Mongolia cut expenses, ramped up production and drew down its copper concentrate inventories by selling more than it produced.

The Vancouver-based mining company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said Monday it lost US$38.6 million or two cents per share, down from a loss of US$94.0 million or nine cents per share in the third quarter of 2013.

The huge copper-gold mining operation began production late last year and had no revenue in the third quarter of 2013.

In this year’s third quarter, Turquoise Hill had US$466 million in revenue after royalties, up from $436 million in the second quarter, $108 million in the first quarter and $51.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

It received $302.6 million from the sale of 53,600 tonnes of copper concentrate, $158.5 million from the sale of 144,000 ounces of gold and $5 million from 323,000 ounces of silver.

The revenue missed analyst expectations of $541 million, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters, while its net loss was below expectations of two cents per share in net earnings.

Turquoise Hill said its production was in line with the second quarter, but cut its 2014 copper and gold production guidance due to delays in mine advancements. It’s also reducing the 2014 capital spending estimate to $110 million from $160 million.

Oyu Tolgoi is now expected to produce between 135,000 and 150,000 tonnes of copper concentrate, a 10,000-tonne reduction at the high end of the range. Gold concentrate production this year is now estimated at between 550,000 and 600,000 ounces, down from the previous guidance of 600,000 and 700,000 ounces.

Turquoise Hill, formerly called Ivanhoe Mines, has a 66 per cent ownership stake in Oyu Tolgoi, in partnership with the Mongolian government. It also owns 58 per cent of SouthGobi Resources, which produces coal in southern Mongolia.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version mislabelled revenues from prior to the second quarter.