- Written by E&MJ News
Ivanhoe Mines reported in early December 2009 approval of a $758-million budget for 2010 to begin full-scale construction of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex in southern Mongolia. The budget remained conditional on successful completion of remaining conditions precedent required to give full effect to the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement signed by Ivanhoe, Rio Tinto, and the government of Mongolia on October 6, 2009 (E&MJ, November 2009, p. 20).
Work at Oyu Tolgoi during 2010 is planned to include resumption of the sinking of the 10-m-diameter Shaft No. 2, which will be used to hoist ore to the surface from the deep, underground, copper and gold-rich Hugo Dummett deposit; construction of a 97-m-high, reinforced-concrete headframe for the shaft; and pouring of the concrete foundation for the 100,000-mt/d concentrator. Earthworks will be started for the open-pit mine at the Southern Oyu deposits, and lateral underground development will continue off Shaft No. 1 at the Hugo Dummett deposit.
A 20-MW power station and 35-kV distribution system will be installed to provide power for the project. Construction will begin on a 105-km highway to the Mongolia-China border, which will be fully paved by the time production begins, and on a regional airport, which will have a concrete runway large enough to accommodate Boeing 737-sized aircraft.
The Oyu Tolgoi open-pit mine and concentrator are planned to produce about 450,000 mt/y of copper and 330,000 to 500,000 oz/y of gold in concentrates, with initial production in 2013. Under-
ground development is proceeding in parallel with construction of the surface mine and concentrator.