Hundreds gather for traditional blessing ceremony and celebration of local cultural heritage
Oyu Tolgoi, South gobi aimag – Local people and employees at the Oyu Tolgoi mine enjoyed a day of tradition and culture today when His Eminence the Khamba Lama, Abbot of Gandan Tegchenling Monastery and Head of the Centre of Mongolian Buddhists, performed a special blessing ceremony of the entire Oyu Tolgoi project. The ceremony was also attended by MP Kh. Badamsuren, MP G. Bayarsaikhan, B. Badraa, Governor of Southgobiaimag and B. Dendevsamba, Governor of Khanbogdsoum.
The Khamba Lama enjoyed a tour of the mine and spent time talking with mine employees and representatives of the local community who had gathered for this special celebration of cultural traditions and heritage, set against the backdrop of the world class, cutting edge technology of the mine.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Khamba Lama stressed the importance of Oyu Tolgoi to the future prosperity of Mongolia “Today is a day when we can celebrate traditions that have existed for thousands of years while looking to the future and how Mongolia is developing thanks to new mining projects such as Oyu Tolgoi.”
Oyu Tolgoi’s Chairman, Batsukh Galsan, said “We thank the Khamba Lama for attending today and maintaining the traditional links between our mine and the cultural environment in which it sits. Every Mongolian will benefit economically from the Oyu Tolgoi project over the next half a century. But we are determined that Mongolia will also benefit culturally.”
The company has invested over 1.3billion MNT so far to record and restore regional heritage and culture through its Cultural Heritage Programme. The scope of the Programme covers sites of historical interest, archaeological treasures and significant artefacts, as well as intangible cultural features such as customs, language and various other aspects of the nomadic way of life.
The Oyu Tolgoi Cultural Heritage Programme has recorded many significant items discovered, including: 23 dinosaur eggs, which were donated by the company to the Palaeontology Department of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology; a previously undocumented burial site in Javkhlant bag; petroglyphs (rock engravings) in Khanbogd soum; and a castle made from mud in Galba Gobi, estimated to be approximately2,000 years old.
As mining gets underway, Oyu Tolgoi will retain a team of archaeologists, paleontologists, historians and local community representatives to observe and protect any significant cultural or historical finds which are revealed.
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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.