“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.”