07/29/2013 09:29 EDT | Updated 09/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Turquoise Hill says Oyu Tolgoi may be delayed as Mongolia seeks more approvals

VANCOUVER - Shares in Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) were down nearly 20 per cent Monday after the mining company announced it's expecting a delay in developing its Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia due to the government's financing process.

The shares fell $1.07 or 19.63 per cent to $4.38, just a penny shy of a new 52-week low of $4.37 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Vancouver-based company formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines said it continues to work toward finalizing project financing, and says that operations of the open-pit mine — commissioning of the concentrator and the ongoing export of concentrate — from Oyu Tolgoi will continue.

But it says it will likely take some time to gain the necessary parliamentary consent, so funding and development of the Oyu Tolgoi underground will be delayed until matters with the Mongolian government can be resolved and a new timetable is set.

Turquoise Hill's primary operation is its 66 per cent interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine.

The final cost for Oyu Tologi, including development, equipment, plant and property costs, has been pegged at $6.2 billion.