Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – On September 12th 2011, The Australian newspaper published an article entitled ‘Rio warns Mongolia: Don’t become greedy’. The story was based on a speech given by Oyu Tolgoi CEO Cameron McRae to the Discover Mongolia Conference on September 8th, 2011.
We maintained the headline to the article was misleading and we asked The Australian to correct it.
To their credit, they responded and changed the headline.
At no point did Cameron state or infer that Mongolians were greedy.
Cameron’s argument was that:
- The Investment Agreement governing the Oyu Tolgoi partnership is fair and equitable
- Changes to such agreements alarm foreign investors who look for stability and predictability
- Even a few calls for changes to the Agreement risks Mongolia’s wider prosperity
In order to allow the public to judge what Cameron actually said, Oyu Tolgoi has published recordings of both the full speech and the relevant excerpt on its Facebook page, and Tweeted the link to followers.
What Cameron actually said:
“In Mongolia, investor confidence is high. But, as several speakers have said, maintaining this confidence requires stability and the rule of law. The signing of the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement in 2009, visibly demonstrated to the world that Mongolia understood this, was committed to such stability, and was open for business. And it worked.
On the strength of these pieces of paper, and the belief in Mongolia’s commitment to stability, Rio Tinto made the decision to invest. Remember that US$6billion will have been spent before the first truckload of concentrate leaves site.
OT’s investors needed the Investment Agreement to have the confidence to invest such mammoth sums and to pursue the mining industry’s largest ever project financing. As a result, Mongolia is now perfectly positioned to launch a series of world class projects, such as the IPO of Tavan Tolgoi, and numerous other infrastructure and industrial development projects. And we are seeing concrete growth in the economy, from foreign direct investment to job creation.
If even a few voices call for Mongolia’s commitments to be broken or agreements to be changed, there is a risk that this will undermine investor confidence. These few will have to answer to the many Mongolians whose jobs will be on the line, and the local businesses whose prospects will be damaged.
We are confident that Mongolia will not let this happen, that stability and the rule of law will prevail, and that Mongolia’s long-awaited economic promise will become a reality.”
Oyu Tolgoi wants what is best for Mongolia. That means more investment, strong economic growth, and the creation of high value jobs for Mongolians.
To achieve this kind of growth requires stability and the investor confidence that comes from stability.
We at Oyu Tolgoi will not stop making that case.
For further information please contact:
Office: +976-11-331880 (ext. 3371)
Office: +976-11-331880 (ext. 3374)
About Oyu Tolgoi
Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia (34 per cent stake), Ivanhoe Mines (66 per cent) and Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto is the major shareholder in Ivanhoe Mines and the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project. In addition to dividends from its 34 per cent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, the Government of Mongolia will receive taxes and royalties.
Oyu Tolgoi, located in the Gobi desert in southern Mongolia, will be one of the largest and highest-grade copper and gold mines in the world. It is the largest project ever developed in Mongolia, requiring a capital investment for Phase one of more than US$6 billion.
Oyu Tolgoi is committed to contributing to a sustainable future for Mongolia. At least 9 out of 10 employees will be Mongolian once the mine is in production and Oyu Tolgoi is investing US$58 million (78 billion MNT) in training and education and an additional US$27 million (36 billion MNT) in the Workforce Employment Project designed to help address the general skills shortage in Mongolia.
Oyu Tolgoi’s key priorities are the health and safety of employees, best-practice environmental management, contributing to sustainable communities and always doing business with integrity, for the benefit of all the project’s shareholders and the people of Mongolia.
For more information, connect with us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/oyutolgoi) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/OTMongolia).
About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (www.ot.mn)
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company, is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto. Located in the South Gobi, Oyu Tolgoi commenced shipment of product to customers in July 2013. Oyu Tolgoi is managed by Rio Tinto, which is investing global expertise and cutting-edge technology to help develop Mongolia’s mining industry and ensure Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world’s most advanced mines. For Oyu Tolgoi, nothing matters more than safety. The business operates under the principle that if a job cannot be done safely, it will not be done at all.