Mining Intelligence and News

Hugo North Lift 1 Expansion Mine

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Mine TypeUnderground
StatusArchived Information
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Block caving
Mine Life... Lock
Snapshot13th March 2023 - Commencement of underground production from the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in the Gobi Desert.

Ore is currently being processed from Panel Zero in Hugo North Lift 1 and production will ramp up over the coming years.

The joint venture partner has advised that first development on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property is expected to commence in H1 2024 with production from Panel 1, which includes the Hugo North Extension deposit on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property, now scheduled for H1 2027.
Related AssetOyu Tolgoi


Rio Tinto plc (operator) 66 % Indirect
Oyu Tolgoi LLC (operator) 100 % Direct
13th March 2023 - Rio Tinto now has a 66% interest in Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the mine operating company, following its successful completion of the acquisition of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd; with the Government of Mongolia retaining 34%.



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Deposit type

  • Porphyry
  • Vein / narrow vein


The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold porphyry deposits are situated in a poorly exposed inlier of Devonian mafic to intermediate volcanic, volcaniclastic, and sedimentary rocks that have been intruded by Devonian to Permian felsic plutons. These rocks are unconformably overlain by poorly consolidated Cretaceous sedimentary rocks and younger unconsolidated sedimentary deposits.

Oyu Tolgoi consists of Oyut, Hugo Dummett (Hugo South and Hugo North) and Heruga deposits. The
Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposits currently comprise, from north to south:
• Hugo North – The Hugo Dummett Deposit north the 110 Fault.
• Hugo South - The Hugo Dummett Deposit south the 110 Fault.
• Oyut - The Oyut Deposit includes the Southwest Oyu, South Oyu, Wedge, Central Oyu,
Bridge, Western, and Far South zones.
• Heruga – is within the area governed by the arrangements between Oyu Tolgoi LLC and
Entrée LLC except for a small northern portion that lies within the Oyu Tolgoi.

Hugo Dummett deposits
The Hugo Dummett deposits, Hugo North and Hugo South, contain porphyry-style mineralization associated with quartz-monzodiorite intrusions, concealed beneath a sequence of Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The deposits are highly elongated to the north northeast and extend over 3 km. The Hugo North zone is virtually contiguous with the Hugo South zone and lie within a similar geological setting. The two deposits are separated by a 110°-striking, 45° to 55° north-dipping fault that displaces Hugo North vertically down a modest distance from Hugo South. The dividing line between the two deposits is approximately 4766300 N, a location marked by the thinning and locally discontinuous nature of the high-grade copper mineralization (defined by greater than 2% copper). The east-striking 110° Fault for the projections of the major faults in the area of the Hugo Dummett deposits), delineates the gold- and copper-rich zone hosted in augite basalt and quartz?monzodiorite of the Hugo North deposit from the more southerly, goldpoor, ignimbrite- and augite basalt-hosted mineralization at Hugo South.

Oyut deposit
The Oyut deposit includes the most mineralized domain called Southwest Oyu (Southwest), but also includes South Oyu (South), Wedge, and Central Oyu (Central) domain and several smaller, fault-bounded zones. The open pit incorporates most of these domains. They form contiguous sectors of mineralization representing multiple mineralizing centres, each with distinct styles of mineralization, alteration, and host rock lithology. The boundaries between the individual zones coincide with major faults. Faulting has resulted in different erosional histories for the zones, depending on the depth to which a zone has been downfaulted or uplifted relative to neighbouring zones.

The Southwest Oyu zone is a gold-rich porphyry system characterized by a south-west–plunging, pipe-like geometry that has a vertical extent of as much as 700 m. The high-grade core of the zone is about 250 m diameter; the low-grade shell (0.3% Cu) surrounding the core may extend for distances as much as 600 m by 2 km.

The Central zone is about 2,300 m wide and tapers from about 200 m long in the east to more than 600 m to the west (Figure 7.6). Mineralization extends to depths of over 500 m. The Central zone is hosted within a swarm of feldspar-phyric quartz-monzodiorite intrusions, emplaced into porphyritic augite basalt and overlying basaltic tuff of the Alagbayan Group. The basaltic tuff is in turn overlain by unmineralized sedimentary and mafic volcanic rocks of the Alagbayan Group unit DA4, which dip moderately to the east (30–60°).

The South Oyu zone is developed mainly in basaltic volcanics and related to small, stronglysericite altered quartz–monzodiorite dykes. Zone dimensions are about 400 m by 300 m in area, and mineralization extends to depths of more than 500 m.

The Heruga deposit is the most southerly of the currently known deposits at Oyu Tolgoi. The deposit is a copper–gold–molybdenum porphyry deposit and is zoned with a molybdenum-rich carapace at higher elevations overlying gold-rich mineralization at depth. The top of the mineralization starts 500–600 m below the present ground surface.

Porphyry copper mineralization occurs in a distinctive sequence of quartz-bearing veinlets as well as in disseminated forms in the altered rock between them. Magmatic-hydrothermal breccias may form during porphyry intrusion, with some breccias containing high-grade mineralization because of their intrinsic permeability. In contrast, most phreatomagmatic breccias, constituting maar-diatreme systems, are poorly mineralized at both the porphyry copper and lithocap levels, mainly because many such phreatomagmatic breccias formed late in the evolution of systems, and the explosive nature of their emplacement fails to trap mineralizing solutions.

Alteration zones in porphyry copper deposits are typically classified based on mineral assemblages. In silicate-rich rocks, the most common alteration minerals are potassium (K) - feldspar, biotite, muscovite (sericite), albite, anhydrite, chlorite, calcite, epidote, and kaolinite. In silicate-rich rocks that have been altered to advanced argillic assemblages, the most common minerals are quartz, alunite, pyrophyllite, dickite, diaspore, and zunyite. In carbonate rocks, the most common minerals are garnet, pyroxene, epidote, quartz, actinolite, chlorite, biotite, calcite, dolomite, K-feldspar, and wollastonite. Other alteration minerals commonly found in porphyry copper deposits are tourmaline, andalusite, and actinolite. Figure 8.2 shows the typical alteration assemblage of a porphyry copper system.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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CommodityProductUnitsAvg. Annual (Projected)LOM (Projected)
Copper Concentrate kt 1,00031,100
Copper Payable metal M lbs 19610
Gold Payable metal koz 2608,000
Silver Payable metal M oz 1.546

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.


Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jun 30, 2020
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jun 30, 2020
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 15, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 15, 2023

Aerial view:


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