By Rob Delaney
July 21 (Bloomberg) — Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. said it will resume talks with Mongolia on July 27 aimed at concluding an investment agreement on the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project it plans to develop with Rio Tinto Group.
Mongolia’s government said it “will work with the companies to reach an agreement that is ‘mutually beneficial, fair and sustainable,’” John Macken, chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Ivanhoe, said today in a statement.
Ivanhoe has tried for more than five years to reach an agreement from Mongolia to develop Oyu Tolgoi and benefit from demand in China, the biggest metals buyer. London-based Rio called Oyu Tolgoi “the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold resource” when it agreed to buy 10 percent of Ivanhoe in 2006.
Mongolia’s lawmakers voted to authorize the government to complete an agreement that would allow Ivanhoe and Rio to develop the deposit, Ivanhoe said last week.
Oyu Tolgoi is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Mongolia’s border with China. In March 2008, Ivanhoe estimated the copper resources in the project at 78.9 billion pounds and the gold resources at 45.2 million ounces.
Ivanhoe fell 23 cents, or 2.6 percent, to C$8.46 at 4:10 p.m. in Toronto Stock Exchange trading. The shares have declined 29 percent in the past 12 months.