Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ), the miner controlled by Rio Tinto Group, said all parties in the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia agreed to seek a funding extension for the underground expansion amid talks with the government.
Requests to extend the funding commitments to Sept. 30 will be sent to lenders, Kay Priestly, chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill, said in statement yesterday.
Mongolia’s government and Rio Tinto have been in talks over disputes related to the mine including cost overruns and the financing conditions. Rio laid off 1,700 workers and put the underground tunneling on care and maintenance mode in August.
“All parties remain committed to the underground development of Oyu Tolgoi and to resolving the outstanding shareholder issues,” Turquoise Hill’s Priestly said. “Constructive discussions between all parties have resulted in significant progress being made in resolving the issues, and those discussions are continuing.”
Oyu Tolgoi is the largest single investment in the history of Mongolia, according to the project’s website. Rio controls the project through its 51 percent stake in Turquoise Hill Resources, which owns 66 percent of Oyu Tolgoi LLC. The Mongolian government holds the remaining 34 percent.
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