Oyu Tolgoi is Supporting Local Herders. This is a Great Initiative that Preserves Families’ Livelihoods

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Bayarmagnai Puntsag
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Unurzayil, 26, Executive Director of Altan Nutag NGO

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ( – The leader of a herders’ NGO based in Khanbodg Soum has spoken out to support Oyu Tolgoi’s efforts to help herders in the area.

Unurzayil from Altan Nutag represents herders from four bags, the smallest divisions of Khanbodg Soum. She supports them with better animal husbandry techniques and assists them to better manage their pastureland, and consults with 14 Pasture Users’ Groups in Khanbodg – which includes up to 25 families.

One of the schemes introduced by Oyu Tolgoi is a programme to source camel curd from local herders. This generates about 40-50m MNT per month for families in the area.

“This really helps sustain herders’ livelihoods – the families are milking their animals more and that supports traditional dairy-making techniques”, she said.

Unurzayil is also involved in the construction of the recently-finished milk processing factory in Khanbodg, which will eventually produce 3,000 litres a day.

Cameron McRae, CEO of Oyu Tolgoi said that he was delighted to be working with Unurzayil and Altan Nutag.

“This is a really important scheme that allows herders to maintain an ancient way of life, and one that proves that the old can co-exist with the new”, he said. “Unurzayil does a great job of representing the views and concerns of our neighbours”.

Altan Nutag was founded in 2010 and has one full-time employee and nine board members.

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, 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 1 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 tugriks) 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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