02/13/2013 10:03 EST | Updated 04/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Turquoise Hill selling stake in Kazakhstan gold project for US$300M

VANCOUVER - Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) is selling its 50 per cent stake in Kazakhstan miner Altynalmas Gold Ltd. for US$300 million to Sumeru Gold BV.

Altynalmas is a private company that owns the Kyzyl gold project in northeastern Kazakhstan.

Turquoise Hill — formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines — acquired an interest in the project in 1996 and acquired its stake in Altynalmas in 2008.

The Vancouver-headquartered company, now 51 per cent owned by Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), has been selling off non-core assets.

Its primary operation is a 66 per cent interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine in southern Mongolia, which is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2013.

Other assets include a 58 per cent interest in Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SGQ) and 57 per cent interest in copper-gold miner Ivanhoe Australia (TSX:IVA).

The sale of its stake in Altynalmas to closely held Sumeru is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals in Kazakhstan.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Turquoise Hill shares were up two cents at $7.67 in morning trading Wednesday.