Cultural Heritage Management

Oyu Tolgoi is committed to protecting and preserving the cultural heritage of Mongolia, in particular in the region of the South Gobi. To meet our cultural heritage management commitments, we have established a Cultural Heritage Management System (CHMS) which outlines the various processes to ensure the management and protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Cultural heritage includes tangible heritage in the form of archaeological and paleontological finds, historic buildings, and natural landmarks and also intangible heritage in the form of the traditions of the local people, nomadic herding, technology, and folk legends. Local communities and other stakeholders want mining to bring economic opportunities that also allow traditional nomadic animal husbandry and related cultural heritage to be protected and preserved.

The following are examples of activities carried out as part of Oyu Tolgoi’s Cultural Heritage Management programme:

Protecting tangible heritage:

  • A project to protect and preserve dinosaur tracks in Shar Tsav
  • A project to restore Khanbogd soum’s historical and cultural sites

Protecting intangible heritage:

  • Providing support to the annual camel festival and traditional ovoo worship ceremonies
  • A project to publish a manuscript and recordings of long songs from the Gobi region
  • Providing support for the Khanbogd anklebone team
  • Operation of the ‘Ger of culture and tradition’ at the Oyu Tolgoi site. The ger is designed to raise awareness of traditional Gobi culture and traditions amongst employees at the mine
  • Training local people on new methodologies for documenting local oral history
  • Preserving clothing used in concerts at the cultural centres of local soums
  • Provision of lighting and equipment for the Khanbogd soum cultural centre

In addition to the activities listed above, an assessment of cultural heritage is required before we disturb any land.