Rio Tinto faces having to renegotiate terms of Mongolian copper project – by Anand Dairtan (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2019)

ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – Rio Tinto faces renegotiating the terms of an agreement underpinning its Mongolian copper mine project, after lawmakers on Thursday approved plans to revise the deal to make it more beneficial for Mongolia.

The Oyu Tolgoi mine, Mongolia’s biggest foreign investment project, has already been subject to delays and ballooning costs, leaving Mongolian lawmakers impatient for income, while Rio Tinto says it has invested billions.

Rio Tinto-owned Turquoise Hill Resources has a 66% stake in the multi-billion-dollar project and the Mongolian state owns 34%, with investment terms agreed in 2015 in a deal known as the Dubai Agreement.

Rio Tinto said in an email that it understood that the Mongolian parliament’s vote on Thursday to revise the deal needed to be finalised and it would provide a further update once that happened.

Thursday’s vote was the culmination of a two-year process after a working group was set up to establish the benefits of the Dubai Agreement and submitted its report to parliament.

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