Oyu Tolgoi

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Oyu Tolgoi "is the world's largest undeveloped copper-gold project and is located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, approximately 550 km south of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and 80 km north of the Mongolia-China border...

"On October 6, 2009, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto signed a long-term, comprehensive Investment Agreement with the Government of Mongolia for the construction and operation of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex...

"Fluor Corporation is in charge of overall Oyu Tolgoi program management, as well as services related to engineering, procurement and construction management for the ore processing plant and mine-related infrastructure such as roads, water supply, a regional airport and administration buildings..." [1]

"Controversy has followed the Oyu Tolgoi project almost since exploration in the land-locked Central Asian nation began in 2000, leading to the discovery of the giant deposit where about 21 million ounces of gold and 17 million tons of copper lie. Water worries in the arid Gobi lie at the heart of most of the local concerns, and nomadic herders in the region have pressed objections to the project, arguing that the mining operations will suck up the sustenance needed for livestock."[2]

In January 2013 the World Bank's private investment arm the International Finance Corp. will vote on $1 billion in financing for a $12 billion Oyu Tolgoi project, including a 750-megawatt coal-fired power plant to fuel the mining operations. Activists want the IFC to follow a strict set of internal guidelines for approving coal plants, including an exhaustive analysis of cleaner alternatives. The agency says it should not have to, because the main project is a copper mine, "not a power investment per se."[2]

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  1. Oyu Tolgoi, Ivanhoe Mines, accessed December 19, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lisa Friedman, "Board to consider 750 MW coal plant for mining operation," E&E, January 2, 2013.