Rio Tinto ramps up its Mongolia mine with Chinese power deal

ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN copper miner Rio Tinto yesterday said it is set to start production in the next three months on the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, after signing a deal with a Chinese power company to supply electricity to the site.

Within the next few weeks, the flagship $6bn (£3.8bn) copper and gold mine will start a seven-week commissioning of ore-processing equipment. First concentrate production is expected after a month, and the start of commercial production will begin three to five months later.

The FTSE 100 miner expects group copper production to increase from next year, due to improving grades at existing mines and the start of production at Oyu Tolgoi. It forecasts an annual growth rate of 13 per cent from until 2015.

Once it reaches production, Oyu Tolgoi will be a top-five copper producer with “significant” gold production, said Rio.