Ivanhoe Mines‘ full-scale construction of its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold complex is on schedule with first ore expected to be processed during the fourth quarter of 2012.

The complex, which is being developed in partnership with Rio Tinto and The Government of Mongolia, will produce 544,000t of copper and 650,000oz of gold for the first ten years and process 100,000t of ore a day.

The $5bn project was approved last October with a construction budget of $754m and an additional $195m earmarked for operations.

Ivanhoe Mines CEO John Macken said the company expects to begin full commercial production at Oyu Tolgoi in 2013.