Canadian copper miner Turquoise Hill declares force majeure on some Chinese contracts – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2021)

Canadian copper miner Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. is invoking force majeure related to its Chinese contracts for metal shipments from its Mongolian mine, amid COVID-19 border restrictions, and several employees testing positive for the deadly virus.

Force majeure is a clause that allows companies to limit certain legal liabilities in the face of an unforeseen catastrophe, such as a once-in-a-century pandemic.

The Montreal-based miner operates the Oyo Tolgoi copper and gold complex in Mongolia, a landlocked country in Asia that borders Russia to the north, and China to the south.

On Tuesday, Turquoise Hill said in a news release that COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delays in border crossings between China and Mongolia, affecting the shipment of copper concentrate from Oyo Tolgoi, and the movement of workers from the capital city Ulan Bator to the mine site.

In addition, the company said two people have tested positive for the virus at the mine site, after it conducted almost 10,000 tests.

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