Following Rio Tinto’s incomplete impact assessment from 2012, the Mongolian parliament passes a resolution in November 2019 demanding that assessments of environmental and social impacts are carried out for the underground mine construction, operations, and the new tailing storage facility section. However, Rio Tinto continues to refuse to carry out these assessments and has failed to disclose its reports on water quality and availability.
Herders are demanding that Rio Tinto carry out a detailed environmental and social impact assessment for the mine’s Phase 2 underground mine. What Rio Tinto issued previously has not addressed loss of access to water, loss of more pasture due to post-mining land subsidence, or potential risks of tailing dam failure due to land instability. Moreover, since 2010, civil society organisations have been demanding the disclosure of reports to show whether there is enough water available for the project’s life span without affecting water resources of traditional users. Additionally, herders are demanding the disclosure of reports on water usage and recycling with scientific monitoring data to prove the company’s claims about best water management practices. Questions regarding the mine’s environmental impacts are raised again at the 2020 AGM but left unanswered.
The many problems and objections to the Oyu Tolgoi mine are noticeably absent from Rio Tinto’s own timeline.