Rio Tinto marks halfway stage of Oyu Tolgoi construction

Construction work on the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia has reached the halfway stage and to mark this milestone Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis hosted a landmark ceremony at the Oyu Tolgoi site today.

His Excellency Dashdorj Zorigt, Mongolian Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, local dignitaries and community leaders attended the ceremony with Rio Tinto Copper chief executive Andrew Harding and the Oyu Tolgoi president and chief executive Cameron McRae.

Jan du Plessis said “Oyu Tolgoi is one of Rio Tinto’s most exciting growth projects. The shared vision and courage of the government and its development partners, Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe, led to the creation and passing into law of the Investment Agreement. This solid framework gives us the confidence to invest billions of dollars in building this incredible mine. It’s thanks to this platform that we are standing here today celebrating the halfway stage of its completion.” 

Cameron McRae said “This is a momentous occasion and testimony to all the hard work of each of the 14,000 people who are working so tirelessly to deliver what will be one of the world’s greatest copper-gold mines, here in Mongolia. We now pick up the pace to reach the three-quarters complete stage by the end of the year and look forward to first commercial production in 2013.”

Oyu Tolgoi chairman G Batsukh said “Oyu Tolgoi is an investment in Mongolia’s future, creating employment for Mongolians and helping to build a more successful future for the country. But Oyu Tolgoi is already making a difference to the people of Mongolia and the South Gobi in particular. This region is very special to us and some of the important actions we have already undertaken have focused on efforts to preserve the area’s rich cultural heritage.”    

Oyu Tolgoi, a partnership between Rio Tinto, Ivanhoe Mines and the Government of Mongolia, is expected to be one of the largest and highest grade copper and gold mines in the world with average annual production of 450,000 tonnes of copper and 330,000 ounces of gold. As the country’s largest mining project, it will also generate significant long-term benefits for Mongolia and is expected to increase the Mongolian economy by more than 35 per cent by 2020.

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.

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