Mongolia Said to Delay Signing of Ivanhoe’s Mining

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia’s government will delay for a few days the conclusion of an accord to let Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. develop the country’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposits, three officials familiar with the situation said.
The agreement, which President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj hoped to seal Sept. 30, will be delayed until the end of this week or next because of scheduling conflicts, according to officials at the parliamentary office, minerals and foreign-affairs ministries, who declined to give their names.
The deposits, situated about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Mongolia’s border with China, were described by Rio Tinto Group in 2006 as “the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold resource.” In March 2008, Vancouver-based Ivanhoe estimated the copper resources in the project at 78.9 billion pounds (35.8 billion kilograms) and the gold resources at 45.2 million ounces.
Mongolia is seeking $25 billion of overseas investment in mining over the next five years, Prime Minister Sanjaa Bayar said July 17. Ivanhoe may invest between $30 billion to $50 billion during the mine’s 30-year lease.
Mongolian president Elbegdorj said in a Sept. 25 interview with Bloomberg he expected the accord, which has taken six years to conclude, to be signed in September. Baast Zolbayar, the Mongolian parliament’s media director, could not be reached in the capital Ulaanbaatar to comment.
Ivanhoe spokesman Bob Williamson didn’t return a call to Bloomberg News before regular business hours.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eugene Tang in Ulaanbaatar on



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