Oyu Tolgoi has secured Project Finance for the underground mine development with funding by international financial institutions and export credit agencies representing the governments of the United States, Canada and Australia, along with 15 commercial banks.
Today’s signing in Ulaanbaatar follows the agreement earlier this year of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan by the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto, which set out a pathway towards development, including the basis for the funding of the project.
Rio Tinto and all Oyu Tolgoi shareholders will now continue to work towards updating the feasibility study, including the revised capital estimates, and securing all necessary permits for the development of the underground mine. Once these steps have been completed the project will be submitted to the various boards for approval and the $4.4 billion tranche will be drawn down.
Rio Tinto CEO for copper and coal, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, said:
This Project Finance agreement is significant in the industry and is the next important step towards further development of the world class Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. This kind of mining development partnership model sets the industry benchmark for future schemes and underscores Rio Tinto’s commitment to responsible and prudent growth. Long-term copper fundamentals remain strong and Oyu Tolgoi as a tier one asset will be a globally important source of supply as the market moves back into structural deficit over the next few years.