First ever cultural heritage risk assessment in Mongolia

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Ganzorig Tsend
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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ( – The Oyu Tolgoi Cultural Heritage programme has developed and implemented Mongolia’s first ever cultural heritage risk assessment. This unique approach to defining the risks to cultural heritage within the South Gobi region, which included close collaboration with community members and local and national government officials, is a landmark model that can be applied to other regions of Mongolia.

Dr.Ch.Amartuvshin, member of the Oyu Tolgoi Cultural Heritage programme, who led this assessment said: “It was an amazing experience to work directly with community members, local government and public and private sector representatives on the ground. They provided valuable real-world insight for us researchers – we usually only deal with theories!” he said.

“The stakeholders participated in our assessment and touched on important issues in a professional manner. This confirmed our belief that together we can implement this programme efficiently. Their ideas were very important in our work.”

The Cultural Heritage programme development team worked with a broad range of stakeholders to understand the potential risks to cultural heritage in the South Gobi region, agreed on the limits of acceptable change, and identified priority areas that need to be addressed.

This risk assessment model can be fully implemented in other regions of Mongolia.

About Oyu Tolgoi LLC

Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Ivanhoe Mines 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 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$85 million dollars (110 billion MNT) in training.

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.

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