D.Zorigt, MP and Minister for Mineral Resources has more on recent developments of Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi projects.
Q: What are recent developments on Oyu Tolgoi agreement implementation?
Minister D.Zorigt: Agreement is being implemented. Starting from April 6 2010, some provisions and clauses of the agreement must be implemented.
Q: What would you say about the conclusion of the Professional Committee on Mineral Resources to change the feasibility study?
Minister D.Zorigt: I believe that the most of findings of the Committee is received, such as the findings on production capacity and increase of production capacity by improving water resource reserve after five were received. Royalty fee of 2% is removed from the feasibility study. But energy and infrastructure issues are waiting for the solution.
Q: What was the main reason of decreasing reserve of the deposit?
Minister D.Zorigt: The Committee developed its plan based on the feasibility study of accepted deposit. It gives direction to bring increased reserve size by completing additional exploration work on the remaining areas. The feasibility study can be made on the accepted deposit and its size can be increased gradually after completion of exploration works. Erdenet went through the same path. Erdenet’s deposit was 4 million tons of copper, but it later increased up to 16 million tons. The reserve was approved in two phases. It is non-sense to talk that Oyu Tolgoi’s deposit is decreased with purpose. There are some members in the Committee who approved the reserve. The feasibility study was developed based on the approved reserve, not dropping 19 million tons of copper. The company will bring outcomes of additional exploration works.
Q: Can it be explained that it was affected by the political interests?
Minister D.Zorigt: Politicians are politicians. They make political conclusion. Let the professional do their job. There are many professionals in the Committee also.
I think we shouldn’t insert political intervention in the agreement implementation. Sometimes, it seems to me that there is a negative interest to stop or even cancel the whole agreement.
Q: Is there any guarantee that the Committee is not affected by the political interest?
Minister D.Zorigt: The working group is selected by their excellence and professional skills. I don’t want to emphasize an individual. They are all professionals, with zero politicians in the group. I think it’s the one that cannot be affected by the political interest.
Q: So you think that no political conclusions are required for the project?
Minister D.Zorigt: Politicians made their conclusions already. SGK made decision to sign the agreement. Now only technical works are left. Even I don’t have involvement in the procedure. Because I think that the Committee’s approach is pure political.
Q: What is the status of Tavan Tolgoi’s agreement?
Minister D.Zorigt: Second round meetings are concluded. Met with many representatives of bidders. Some companies established consortium with each other. The Government will decide which agreement shall be made with whom.
Q: Prime Minister said that this agreement will be presented to the spring session of SGK. Can you make it happen?
Minister D.Zorigt: As for time pressure, Prime Minister gave order to manage it. We are working under time pressure. We will do all the best to make it happen.