Vancouver, B.C., November 15, 2021 – Entrée Resources Ltd. (TSX: ETG; OTCQB: ERLFF – the “Company” or “Entrée”) has today filed its interim financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. All numbers are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
Q3 2021 HIGHLIGHTS
Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property
On October 21, 2021, Entrée reported it had filed an amended Technical Report (“2021 Technical Report”) for its interest in the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi joint venture property in Mongolia (“Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property”). The 2021 Technical Report has an original effective date of May 17, 2021, and an amended effective date of October 8, 2021.
Updated information provided by Entrée’s joint venture partner Oyu Tolgoi LLC (“OTLLC”) on the concentrate tonnes and grade to be produced from the first lift (“Lift 1”) of the Hugo North Extension copper-gold deposit resulted in changes to certain financial results and outputs for the Hugo North Extension Lift 1 Feasibility Study (“2021 Reserve Case”).
2021 Reserve Case after-tax NPV(8%) increased 15% from $114 million to $131 million as a result of an increase in Hugo North Extension Lift 1 payable copper in concentrate. (1)(2)
There are no changes to the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“2021 PEA”) on a conceptual second lift (“Lift 2”) of the Hugo North Extension deposit or to the mineral resource or reserve estimates based on the updated information provided by OTLLC.(2)
Oyu Tolgoi Underground Development Update
The Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia includes two separate land holdings: the Oyu Tolgoi mining licence, which is held by Entrée’s joint venture partner OTLLC and the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property, which is a partnership between Entrée and OTLLC. On November 2, 2021, OTLLC’s 66% shareholder Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (“Turquoise Hill”) provided an update on underground development on the Oyu Tolgoi mining licence:
During the third quarter 2021, underground development progress continued to be significantly impacted by COVID-19 constraints on-site and in Mongolia, including restrictions on movement of both domestic and international expertise.
Mongolia continued to experience a significant number of COVID-19 cases, which continued to limit the ability of OTLLC to maintain normal roster changes for workers. Average workforce numbers remained below 50% of planned requirements. OTLLC expects a return to normal workforce numbers by the end of 2021.
All workers at the Oyu Tolgoi site have had two doses of vaccine, and a third dose program is well advanced.
The scheduled mid-2021 commencement of the undercut on the Oyu Tolgoi mining licence remains delayed pending resolution of certain non-technical undercut criteria. Turquoise Hill continues to engage Rio Tinto and various Mongolian governmental bodies in an effort to resolve outstanding issues. Turquoise Hill reported that together with Rio Tinto, it recently tabled a proposal to the Government of Mongolia which Turquoise Hill believes addresses all major outstanding issues while ensuring that OTLLC will continue to deliver compelling value to all partners.
Design optimization study work continues on Panels 1 and 2. The Hugo North Extension deposit is located at the northern portion of Panel 1. To support these studies, additional data is being collected from surface and underground drilling. This data is used to refine the structural and geotechnical models, which form the basis of the mine design. Although drilling has been hampered by COVID-19 cases and restrictions on the movement of people, Turquoise Hill reported that study work remains broadly on schedule, with the Panel 1 study scheduled for completion in early 2023.
Progress on Shafts 3 and 4 has been impacted by quarantine requirements and international travel restrictions related to COVID-19. No significant development progress was made during the third quarter 2021. Shafts 3 and 4 are required to provide ventilation to support production from Panels 1 and 2 during ramp up to 95,000 tonnes per day. OTLLC has advised Turquoise Hill that a 9-month delay on Shafts 3 and 4 is currently forecast. Commencement of Panel 1 is currently forecast to occur approximately 11 months later than the Definitive Estimate. Efforts continue to minimize the delays to Panels 1 and 2 due to ventilation constraints ahead of commissioning of Shafts 3 and 4. Sinking of Shaft 4 recommenced in mid-October and preparatory work for Shaft 3 is continuing.
At the end of the third quarter 2021, cumulative underground development progress was 60,085 equivalent metres with cumulative conveyor to surface advancement of 15,174 equivalent metres. Turquoise Hill anticipates that development rates will continue to be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and controls into the fourth quarter 2021.
In September 2021, the updated Resources and Reserves (“RR19”) was approved by the Minerals Council of Mongolia. OTLLC expects to submit the 2020 Oyu Tolgoi Feasibility Study (“OTFS20”) for assessment once the RR19 registration process progresses further.
Q3 2021 operating loss was $0.5 million compared to an operating loss of $0.4 million in Q3 2020.
Q3 2021 operating cash outflow before working capital was $0.5 million compared to $0.3 million in Q3 2020.
As at September 30, 2021, the cash balance was $6.7 million and the working capital balance was $6.7 million.
The Company recognizes the unprecedented situation surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and is closely monitoring the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business and operations and will continue to update the market on the impacts to the Company’s business and operations in relation to these extraordinary circumstances.
The 2021 Technical Report assumes first development production from Hugo North Extension Lift 1 in H2 2022. The Company continues to monitor the situation in Mongolia including with respect to possible delays to commencement of Panel 1. The Company will assess the potential impact of any delays as it becomes aware of them and will update the market accordingly.
Long term metal prices used in the net present value economic analysis are: copper US$3.25/lb, gold US$1,591.00/oz and silver US$21.08/oz.
The 2021 Reserve Case and the 2021 PEA are based on information in OTLLC’s OTFS20 or otherwise provided by OTLLC. Neither OTFS20 nor the results of the 2021 Reserve Case and 2021 PEA reflect the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic or potential delays pending the resolution by OTLLC of certain non-technical issues, which are ongoing and continue to be assessed by OTLLC.
OUTLOOK AND STRATEGY
The Company’s primary objective for the 2021 year is to work with other Oyu Tolgoi stakeholders to advance potential amendments to the joint venture agreement (the “Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JVA”) that currently governs the relationship between Entrée and OTLLC and upon finalization, transfer the Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant mining licences to OTLLC as manager of the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi joint venture (the “Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV”). The form of Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JVA was agreed between the parties in 2004, prior to the execution of the 2009 Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement among the Government of Mongolia, OTLLC, Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill and commencement of underground development. The Company currently is registered in Mongolia as the 100% ultimate holder of the Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant mining licences.
The Company believes that amendments that align the interests of all stakeholders as they are now understood, would be in the best interests of all stakeholders, provided there is no net erosion of value to Entrée. No agreements have been finalized and there are no assurances agreements may be finalized in the future.
The Company’s interim financial statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021 are available on the Company’s website at www.EntreeResourcesLtd.com, on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov.
Robert Cinits, P.Geo., consultant to Entrée and the Company’s former Vice President, Corporate Development, and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101, has approved the technical information in this release. For further information on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property, see the 2021 Technical Report titled “Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi Joint Venture Project, Mongolia, NI 43-101 Technical Report”, with an effective date of October 8, 2021, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
ABOUT ENTRÉE RESOURCES LTD.
Entrée Resources Ltd. is a Canadian mining company with a unique carried joint venture interest on a significant portion of one of the world’s largest copper-gold projects – the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. Entrée has a 20% or 30% carried participating interest in the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV, depending on the depth of mineralization. Sandstorm Gold Ltd., Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill are major shareholders of Entrée, holding approximately 25%, 9% and 8% of the shares of the Company, respectively. More information about Entrée can be found at www.EntreeResourcesLtd.com.
Entrée Resources Ltd.
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