Oyu Tolgoi underground mining operations commence

2022-01-25 17:45:58

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/. Within the framework of the Revival of the Industrialization, a part of the New Revival Policy of the Government, Oyu Tolgoi’s underground mining operations have commenced today.

At Oyu Tolgoi mine, the Prime Minister of Mongolia L.Oyun-Erdene and CEO of Rio Tinto Jakob Stausholm together have pressed a button to commence the first blast to start the initial stage of Oyu Tolgoi's underground mine development.

In his speech, Prime Minister L. Oyun-Erdene emphasized, “The commencement of the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine production is a sincere desire of the Mongolian people giving investors the trust again.”

“The commencement of Oyu Tolgoi underground mining operations demonstrates to the world that Mongolia can work together with investors in a sustainable manner and become a trusted partner. As part of our ‘New Revival Policy’, I am happy to express Mongolia's readiness to work actively and mutually beneficially with global investors and partners."

He also expressed confidence that the operations of underground mine, which commences today under the resolution No: 103 approved by the Parliament of Mongolia, will be completely operational within the agreed period of time or in the first quarter of 2023, without incurring additional debts for Mongolian side, making any delays or technical and economic errors again.

“As a result of our constructive talks and the joint efforts and support of many people here, we have determined ways to move forward issues that are important to Mongolia and reached agreement on many issues that have been controversial over the years. In addition, Oyu Tolgoi's Board of Directors unanimously agreed to commence the underground operations. Oyu Tolgoi is a model company in the world for its water-efficient and recycling operations, with a workforce whose 96 percent are Mongolians, and  partners with over 600 national suppliers,” noted Mr. Jakob Stausholm.

He also emphasized that today's event demonstrates to the world that Mongolia is a country that can attract international investors and work together successfully by creating shared values.

When the underground mine becomes fully operational, Mongolia will have the world's fifth-largest high-tech underground mine and become one of major players in the international copper market. In addition, benefits to the country’s economy and state budget will at least triple.

It is preliminarily estimated that Oyu Tolgoi LLC will have sales worth about USD 5 billion, with tripled royalties to Mongolia, reaching MNT 700 billion a year.

Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill Resources will be fully responsible for additional financing until the first half of 2023, when sustainable underground production is achieved. Over 80 percent of Oyu Tolgoi’s total value lies deep underground; thus, the company uses the block caving method of mining.