Rio Tinto’s ‘hoarding’ of documents hampers Oyu Tolgoi independent review
- By Dulguun Bayarsaikhan -
- Apr 30,2021
State-owned Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC provided an update on the independent review on the cost overruns and schedule delays of the Oyu Tolgoi project.
Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi and Turquoise Hill Resources formed a special committee to conduct the independent review last November, forcing the project’s manager Rio Tinto into the review. In the end, Rio Tinto gave its assurances to the government of Mongolia that it will “fully support and cooperate” with the independent review.
The special committee appointed the Independent Consulting Group, a consortium of highly qualified and credible consultants in the fields of project management, mine planning, cost management, and related fields, a few weeks ago to start the investigation relating to the Oyu Tolgoi project delays and cost overruns. The Independent Consulting Group is making progress and reviewing technical data that is currently made available by the special committee but it is now facing some problems as Rio Tinto refuses to hand over several key documents relating to Rio Tinto’s technical expert reports and project management documents which Rio Tinto have to date failed to disclose.
“This investigation has been initiated to seek a full and transparent review of the underground project progress, and to report failures and lessons which may be learnt. Presently, the refusal by Rio Tinto to provide the data and reports requested by the Independent Consulting Group is hampering the expert’s efforts and causing potential delays to the final report/outcome of the review,” Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC stressed in a statement released on April 28.
The company “strongly urged” both Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill to fully cooperate with the investigation and provide all requested information and documents to the Independent Consulting Group without further delay and make their relevant technical personnel available for interviews with the group.
“Should Rio Tinto and/or Turquoise Hill Resources Limited continue to frustrate this process, and remain uncooperative, Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC as a shareholder of Oyu Tol- goi LLC reserves its right to gain access to the information required through legal channels or other methods as Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LL currently considers Rio Tinto to be in breach of its obligations as a project manager to pro-vide data to Oyu Tolgoi LLC’s shareholders when requested,” the Mongolian company warned.
NEW WORKING GROUP TO PROBE INTO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AT OYU TOLGOI
On April 28, the parliamentary taskforce responsible for implementing Parliamentary Resolution No. 92 assigned a working group to examine and make recommendations on Oyu Tolgoi project’s detailed environmental assessment, environmental management plan, environmental impact of groundwater use in the Gobi region, implementation of relevant laws and other regulations.
Led by lawmaker Sh.Adishaa, the working group comprises of P.Anujin, Yo.Baatarbileg, G.Ganbold, N.Ganibal, Kh.Gankhuyag, S.Byambatsogt, S.Ganbaatar, Ch.Undram and J.Bat-Erdene.
The taskforce supported the initiative to create a sub-working group to provide professional and methodological assistance to the working group.