Rio Tinto recommences exploration in Mongolia looking for next Oyu Tolgoi

Rio Tinto recommences exploration in Mongolia looking for next Oyu Tolgoi

Rio Tinto (LSX:RIO) has begun a new exploration programme in Mongolia’s Gobi desert in search of the next Oyu Tolgoi after a five year break.

It is a positive sign for Mongolia which has struggled economically following a collapse in foreign investment, declining commodity prices and a downturn in coal demand. Mongolia received a $5.5 billion bailout to reduce debt.

Mining accounts for around 25% of Mongolia’s GDP and more than 80% of exports. Exports believe a return of foreign investment in the sector could potentially boost the country’s economic security.

The Asian nation has also revoked a controversial banking law that require companies like Rio Tinto to channel all sales revenues through local banks and proposed the wider exploration area.

“I can confirm that we have an exploration drilling programme in licenses outside of the Oyu Tolgoi licenses,” said Tony Schaffer spokesperson for Rio’s Canadian affiliate Turquoise Hill (TSX:TRQ).

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