May 17, 2020

Rio Tinto Settles Tax Dispute with Mongolia; Oyu Tolgoi Mine Back On Track

Rio Tinto
Oyu Tolgoi mine
copper mine
2 min
Rio Tinto Settles Tax Dispute with Mongolia; Oyu Tolgoi Mine Back On Track
UK mining giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) is on the verge of getting its $6.5 billion Oyu Tolgoi project back on track after resolving a lingering tax dispute...

UK mining giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) is on the verge of getting its $6.5 billion Oyu Tolgoi project back on track after resolving a lingering tax dispute with the Mongolian government.

The mine, which is expected to become one of the largest copper-gold resources in the world, was temporarily side tracked after the government threatened to delay the project over ongoing tax issues.

Mongolia’s vice-minister of mining, Oyun Erdenebulgan confirmed to reporters the government would settle for a $30 million payment from Rio, which is much less than the $130 million the Mongolian government originally said was owed.

"I understand both parties are now working closely and effectively and nobody wants to delay because of this tax issue," Erdenebulgan said.

The first stage of the copper and gold mine is already in operation, but the second stage is where the majority of the value lies. Once construction is fully completed, the Oyu Tolgoi mine will produce more than 300,000 tons of copper concentrate a year.

According to Oyun, all remaining disputes between Rio Tinto and the government regarding the project are now settled, and both sides are waiting for the completion of the new feasibility study.

"When it has been received, we will appoint a committee to approve it," he said.

The timing of the tax resolution is right in line with a September 30 deadline that lenders have set for Rio Tinto and Mongolia to settle their differences. Banks have already pledged more than $4 billion towards development of the second stage of Oyu Tolgoi.

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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