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Press release: Oyu Tolgoi credit programme contributes to rural economic development in Mongolia

- About 50 small/medium size businesses are expanding involved in and creating jobs in rural areas via the Oyu Tolgoi Goviin Shim business development programme -

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - The increase in traffic along the Ulaanbaatar - Choir - Khanbogd - Tsagaan Khad route is a good indicator of the flow of people to Khanbogd soum in South Gobi. This migration has increased as mining develops rapidly in the region.

The larger population has created a demand for cafes, restaurants and hotels. Before this population spike, few restaurants that offered hot meal on regular basis. Ts.Tuyatsetseg, resident of the Manlai soum, saw this need and decided to open a restaurant. However, she lacked financing sources to get started. After participating in the Oyu Tolgoi’s “Local Business-Economic Development Programme,” she was able to obtain a loan and start her dream business - a restaurant.

Oyu Tolgoi launched “local business economic development programme” in January 2011 to support local small-medium enterprises, business entrepreneurs’ and herders. The programme covers local residents of the Khanbogd, Manlai, Dalanzadgad and Bayan-Ovoo soum of South Gobi aimag. So far, about 50 small-medium businesses obtained loan as part of this programme. For instance, 11 business entrepreneurs’ of Manlai soum received 67.5 million MNT loan and increased their capital and current funds.

The business and technological trainings Ts.Tuyatsetseg attended as part of the programme all proved useful, and the additional training she did to learn how to cook many European and Asian dishes set her on the path towards success.

“I first got involved in the business development programme to obtain financing to start restaurant and improve my skills,” said Ts.Tuyatsetseg. “I’m very satisfied with the result, as I learned a great deal from the programme along the way. I’m planning to continue training and accomplish a lot with my business.”

Oyu Tolgoi support for local small-medium size business entrepreneurs’ in the form of loans, training and information access is a long-term sustainable investment made for local development.

Through programmes like this, local residents are offered opportunity to reduce dependence from mining and other large markets and expand their business and develop. In addition, many new jobs are being created and the household incomes of local residents have increased as a result.

About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (http://en.ot.mn/)

Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia (34 per cent stake), Ivanhoe Mines (66 per cent) 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 34 per cent 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$58 million dollars (78 billion MNT) in training and education and an additional US$27 million dollars (36 billion MNT) in the Workforce Employment Project designed to help address the general skills shortage in Mongolia

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 (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.

For more information, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.