1. History of Oyu Tolgoi


    While the mine has only been operational since 2013, the history of the discovery of the deposit is far older. As far back as the bronze age, there is evidence that copper was extracted from the region around Oyu Tolgoi. Explore our history timeline to learn more about our journey so far.

  2. Exploration license received


    BHP receives an exploration license for the area around Oyu Tolgoi. BHP starts its first field exploration in April 1997.

    Exploration license received
  3. Ivanhoe Mines arrive


    BHP enters a joint venture with Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines to develop the Oyu Tolgoi project. In partnership with BHP, Ivanhoe Mines acquires 98 per cent of the exploration license for the Oyu Tolgoi area.

    Ivanhoe Mines arrive
  4. Hugo Dummett discovered


    Drilling establishes that the Hugo Dummett Deposit contains one of the highest-grade copper discoveries in the world. It is also one of the world’s largest gold and copper porphyry systems.

    Hugo Dummett discovered
  5. Ivanhoe Mines & Rio Tinto


    Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto agree to form a strategic partnership for the construction and operation of Oyu Tolgoi.

    Ivanhoe Mines & Rio Tinto
  6. Shaft 1 completed


    Shaft 1 for the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine is completed to a final depth of 1,385 metres. This marks the deepest underground shaft ever excavated in Mongolia and, at the time, one of the deepest in Asia.

    Shaft 1 completed
  7. Investment Agreement signed


    An Investment Agreement (IA) is signed between the Government of Mongolia, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto, with the Government taking a 34 per cent interest in Oyu Tolgoi, and setting the stage for the next phase of development of the project.

    Investment Agreement signed
  8. Rio Tinto becomes manager of Oyu Tolgoi


    Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines sign a new agreement appointing Rio Tinto the manager of Oyu Tolgoi. First phase construction of the open pit mine begins. A workforce of approximately 7,000 people is mobilized to build the project, and is delivered on time.

    Rio Tinto becomes manager of Oyu Tolgoi
  9. Rio Tinto takes controlling stake


    Rio Tinto announces on 25 January that it has acquired a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines.

    Rio Tinto takes controlling stake
  10. Concentrator switched on


    Oyu Tolgoi’s concentrator plant – the largest and most advanced industrial facility in Mongolia – is switched on for the first time.

    Concentrator switched on
  11. First concentrate


    Oyu Tolgoi produces its first batch of copper concentrate in January, 2013.

    First concentrate
  12. Commencement of shipments


    On 9 July, a convoy consisting of 16 trucks loaded with 576 tonnes of copper concentrate labelled “Product of Mongolia” leaves for the Chinese border, marking the start of export shipping from Oyu Tolgoi.

    Commencement of shipments
  13. Power Sector Cooperation Agreement secured


    The Government of Mongolia and Oyu Tolgoi secured a landmark agreement on 14 August 2014, aimed towards a power solution for the South Gobi, providing a pathway for strengthening the power supply network in Mongolia.

    Power Sector Cooperation Agreement secured
  14. Power line handed over to the Government of Mongolia


    Oyu Tolgoi transfers major power line asset to government of Mongolia. Oyu Tolgoi company signed two major agreements with the National Power Transmission Grid company to transfer and maintain the 96 km power line, built and owned by the company, running between the Oyu Tolgoi site in the Umnugobi region and the Mongolia-China border.

    Power line handed over to the Government of Mongolia
  15. 1.5 million tonnes shipped


    Oyu Tolgoi reaches 1.5 million tonnes of concentrate shipments – continuing our momentum having reached one million tonnes only in February 2015, just over 18 months after entering commercial production.

    1.5 million tonnes shipped
  16. Underground Development Plan


    At a meeting in Dubai on 19 May, representatives of the Government of Mongolia, Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill Resources sign an agreement on the pathway forward for starting development of the underground mine.

    Underground Development Plan
  17. Cooperation Agreement signed


    Oyu Tolgoi signs a Cooperation Agreement with its partner communities, the Umnogobi aimag, and Khanbogd, Bayan-Ovoo and Manlai soums.

    Cooperation Agreement signed
  18. Our Vision, Our Future


    Oyu Tolgoi revised its Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategic Focus, collectively called Our Vision, Our Future, which sets out our mission to together deliver a safe and globally competitive copper business that contributes to the prosperity of Mongolia.

    Our Vision, Our Future
  19. Oyu Tolgoi underground Project Finance signed


    The Oyu Tolgoi underground Project Finance package was signed in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 16 December 2015.

    Oyu Tolgoi underground Project Finance signed