The Oyu Tolgoi mine was predicted to become a key driver of the Mongolian economy with its copper and gold production accounting for a third of Mongolia’s GDP by 2021. Instead, the Mongolian government has missed out on over US$200 million in taxes while the expansion project is delayed by two years and costs $1.5 billion more than expected. This has prompted Mongolia to demand a renegotiation of the deal with Rio Tinto. Meanwhile, herders from Khanbogd are still demanding that Rio Tinto fulfils the promises it made 10 years earlier to not disrupt access to safe and sustainable water sources in their traditional pastures in the Gobi Desert.
The many problems and objections to the Oyu Tolgoi mine are noticeably absent from Rio Tinto’s own timeline.