U.S. Abstains on Controversial World Bank Oyu Tolgoi Mine Project in Mongolia

Many of the US’s concerns overlap with those of the affected herder communities, local NGOs in Mongolia, and international civil society organizations, especially in regards to the gaps in project documentation, the need for an alternatives assessment for the mine’s power source, and robust management and monitoring and reporting plans/programs.

Local herder communities in the southern Gobi around the Oyu Tolgoi mine have complained of environmental and social consequences. Original image by flickr user mikeemesser(Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)

Inter Press Service News Agency | By Carey L. Biron

“WASHINGTON, Mar 7 2013 (IPS) – The United States has refused to vote for involvement by the World Bank Group in a massive but controversial mining project in Mongolia.

In abstaining, the U.S. representative cited concerns over the potential environmental consequences and an inadequate impact study of the mine plan.

The Oyu Tolgoi mine, a 12-billion-dollar project, is looking to massively expand copper-and-gold extraction in the South Gobi Desert. Its parent company, the London-based Rio Tinto, is currently fielding funding proposals from multiple international investors, including the World Bank Group.

If the four-billion-dollar expansion goes forward, income from the mine could make up a third of the gross domestic product in Mongolia, which has significantly expanded its mining sector in recent years. On Wednesday, Rio Tinto stated that it was on track to begin operations by June.”


Click here to read the complete article from Inter Press Service