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Rio Tinto says Mongolian government will not be given controlling interest in Oyu Tolgoi mine PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 September 2008


Rio Tinto officials said on Tuesday that it would not agree to turning over control of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper and goal mine to the Mongolian government. 

It is believed mineral deposits at Oyu Tolgoi are valued at $3 billion. 

``We have made very clear that 51 percent ownership by the state is unacceptable and that the sharing of the pie has to be about 50:50,'' Bret Clayton, chief executive officer of Rio Tinto Copper, said Tuesday. ``We can look at different ways to share it, but we can't go any higher than that or the economics of the project don't stand up.'' 

Rio Tinto and partner Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. have spent five years negotiating and reaching agreements with various governments, only to see the agreements not enacted. 

Another reworking of Mongolia’s mining laws would allow the government to hold as much as 51 percent of ``strategically important deposits,'' the government announced this past January.  

The latest proposed agreement has the Mongolian government being a 34 percent owner in Oyu Tolgoi. However, with taxes, royalties and dividends, the Mongolian government would actually receive 55 percent of mining revenues. 

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