Looking at this week’s photographs of a convoy of trucks heading out on the first delivery run of exports of copper and gold concentrate from the Oyu Tolgoi mine, I am reminded that it was almost exactly 12 years ago that Ivanhoe Mines announced the first of a series of five world-class mineral discoveries at Oyu Tolgoi.
On July 17, 2001, Ivanhoe Mines reported its deep drilling had discovered a zone of “potentially significant gold, copper and molybdenum mineralization” at Turquoise Hill (Oyu Tolgoi). This exploration breakthrough in Mongolia’s South Gobi region by Ivanhoe’s geological team opened the door to a decade of discovery and development that established Oyu Tolgoi as one of the great copper and gold discoveries of all time.
The first phase of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, now jointly owned by Turquoise Hill Resources and the Mongolian government, already has put Mongolia on the international resources map – attracting unprecedented foreign investment in the nation’s future. That investment will underpin economic growth and pay direct and very significant dividends to benefit all Mongolians for generations to come.
The initiation of mineral exports gives the people of Mongolia one more achievement to celebrate at their traditional Naadam summer festival this week.
I am proud to salute all those who have been involved in Oyu Tolgoi’s epic success.
Robert M. Friedland
Founder, Ivanhoe Mines