March 8 (Reuters) - Canada's Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd
posted a surprise rise in quarterly profit on Monday,
helped by increased production of copper and gold at its Oyu
Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.
The results come a week after Chief Executive Officer Ulf
Quellmann resigned amid a protracted dispute between the company
and its top shareholder, Rio Tinto, over funding for the
underground expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine.
Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world's largest copper-gold-silver
mines. Rio owns 51% of Turquoise Hill, which in turn owns 66% of
the mine. The rest of the mine is owned by government of
Turquoise on Monday also cut its 2021 capital expenditure
outlook for the open-pit mine to between $110 million and $140
million from a prior range of about $120 million to $160
million, to reflect the deferral of certain non-critical
Copper production rose 26.4% to 41.6 thousand tonnes in the
fourth quarter, while gold production surged 266.7% to 88
thousand ounces, the company said.
Copper prices rose 21.7% and gold prices rose 26.5% as parts
of the world, particularly China, began to recover from the
COVID-19 pandemic. Copper demand is closely linked to economic
All-in sustaining costs halved to $1.45 per pound of copper
produced in the quarter, the company said.
Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise said income attributable to
owners of the company was $159.9 million, or 79 cents per share,
for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $113.1
million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting profit to fall to 41
cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar and Praveen Paramasivam in
Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)