As Oyu Tolgoi prepares to begin commercial production in 2013, it has taken a major step forward with the completion of the concentrator – the largest and most technologically advanced machine ever built in Mongolia. To mark this major milestone, Oyu Tolgoi today celebrated the commissioning of the concentrator with Mongolian Mining Minister D.Gankhuyag, who commemorated the occasion by pressing the activation button on the concentrator for the first time. The event was also attended by Members of Parliament, Members of the Cabinet and Ambassadors.
In his opening remarks, Mining Minister D.Gankhuyag said “I am pleased to be participating in the ceremony to commission the concentrator at Oyu Tolgoi’s world-class mine. On behalf of the Mongolian Government, I congratulate all who contributed to the project, which is being constructed on schedule. Oyu Tolgoi’s progress as the guarantee of our mineral wealth left for us by our ancestors is the result of Rio Tinto’s effective project management and financial capabilities.”
Completed in record time, the commissioning of the concentrator represents a significant advance for Mongolia. Oyu Tolgoi brought the specialised expertise of over 18,000 people from 44 countries to the complex project.
Batsukh Galsan, Oyu Tolgoi LLC Chairman added, “Equipped with world-class knowledge, the next generation of Mongolians now possesses the ability to operate the most advanced mining machinery in the world. We are pleased that the technical skills we impart will bring economic prosperity to the people of Mongolia”.
“From the signing of the Investment Agreement to activating the concentrator, Oyu Tolgoi’s progress has been remarkable. We are doing more than just constructing the most technologically advanced mine in Mongolia’s history. We are also helping to usher in a new wave of economic development. The concentrator represents how far we have come in a short time. There is much more do to, but today is a great step forward for this business and for Mongolia’s economy,” said Cameron McRae, Oyu Tolgoi President and CEO.
With the concentrator online, Oyu Tolgoi will begin producing the copper concentrate in the early stage of first quarter of 2013. Commercial production is expected within the first half of next year. The ore is coming from Oyu Tolgoi’s Open Pit mine, which began producing raw ore earlier this year. 80 per cent of the value of Oyu Tolgoi is in the extensive underground mine, which is still in early stages of development, and expected to begin producing in 2016.