Oyu Tolgoi acknowledges milestone anniversary

Original geologists highlighted on 15th anniversary of exploration license

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ( – Oyu Tolgoi commemorated 15 years since an exploration license was first granted for a team of geologists in the South Gobi region.

From its early stages, the story of Oyu Tolgoi, or Turquoise Hill, has been one of international collaboration. Key points in Oyu Tolgoi's history include: 

  1. 1994: Erdenet invited Magma Copper to review investment propositions for joint cooperation in Mongolia.
  2. May 1995: Magma Copper signed agreement with Erdenet for joint exploration in Mongolia.
  3. 17 September 1996: After a series of exploration trips in the Gobi, one field crew (Dennis Cox, D. Garamjav, T. Munkhbat) found a strong leached cap at Oyu Tolgoi. Additional exploration in the surrounding areas (central and south Oyu) led to the discovery of the main Oyu Tolgoi deposit.

A small reception was held for the original geologists and Oyu Tolgoi employees on the anniversary.

“Many have contributed during the long journey to get from the first stages of the project to now” noted Oyu Tolgoi CEO Cameron McRae. “It has taken 15 years of hard work and billions of dollars to get this point, so we cannot let this moment pass without acknowledging the great work of the early team of geologists who spearheaded the project.”

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 dollars (78 billion tugriks) in training and education and an additional US$27 million dollars (36 billion tugriks) 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.

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About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (

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.

For more information, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.