Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – The Government of Mongolia and Rio Tinto today formally celebrated the major milestone of Oyu Tolgoi LLC shipping one million tonnes of copper concentrate.
An official ceremony of celebration was held at the mine site in the South Gobi desert, attended by the Minister of Mining, R Jigjid, the Chief Executive of Rio Tinto, Sam Walsh, and Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive of Copper & Coal, Jean-Sébastien Jacques.
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mine, has already unlocked tremendous value for the country in the form of investment inflows, job creation, and the introduction of international safety, technical, environmental, managerial, procurement and accounting standards.
Since 2010, more than US$6.4 billion has been invested in the operation and approximately US$1.3 billion has been paid in taxes, royalties and other fees to the Government of Mongolia. In 2014 alone, US$300 million was spent on procurement with Mongolian companies and US$7.8 million invested in education, training, and sustainable development projects
Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh said, “It is wonderful to see the Oyu Tolgoi open-cut operation first-hand, and witness what is, by any standard, an extraordinary achievement by the national Mongolian workforce. To reach one million tonnes of copper concentrate shipped, in less than two years of operation, is a major milestone for such a young business and something we are tremendously proud to be a part of”.
Mongolia’s Minister of Mining, R. Jigjid, said, “Oyu Tolgoi is a great national asset. Today’s ceremony is testament to the hard and impressive work of the employees, 95 per cent of whom are Mongolian nationals. I am confident that Oyu Tolgoi will continue to go from strength-to-strength, and make a significant net contribution to Mongolia’s social and economic fabric for many years to come. I send my heartfelt – and sincere – congratulations to the management and employees on this wonderful achievement”.
Batsukh Galsan, Oyu Tolgoi LLC’s Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “It is a great honour to host Minister Jigjid and Rio Tinto’s chief executive, Sam Walsh, at our world class mining operation. This significant milestone allows us to showcase the quality of the operation and its workforce, and provides a strong platform to realise further efficiencies and prepare for future growth.”
Speaking on the milestone, Andrew Woodley, CEO of Oyu Tolgoi said: “This achievement clearly demonstrates our commitment to deliver a safe, globally competitive copper business that contributes to the prosperity of Mongolia. We are very pleased and grateful to have Minister Jigjid and the Government of Mongolia celebrate this important event with us."
About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (www.ot.mn)
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.