Speaking in China last night, Mr Walsh told Bloomberg television that a change of leadership in Mongolia could be a positive.
"I'm hoping it will be a positive sign," he said.
"Certainly there are a lot of things that are indicating that people want the project to proceed."
But outgoing Turquoise Hill chief executive Kay Priestley said this morning that the change in leadership, which some believe could remain unresolved until December, would likely impact the desired schedule for finalising those disputes.
"Last week's resignation of the Mongolian Prime Minister, an announcement that a new cabinet would be formed will likely impact the timing of those discussions," she said.
But Ms Priestley would not comment on the likely successor, nor their general stance toward the Oyu Tolgoi project.
"We are not in a position to make any predictions or comment on the the political environment," she said.
"We stand ready and willing to work with the new leadership when in place and continue our engagement."
The response earned a rebuke from some Turquoise Hill shareholders who said they were unhappy with the level of guidance over the issue. 
Rio and Turquoise Hill made an offer to the Mongolian government to resolve all issues in October, but there has been no significant break through in talks since then.
The delay has meant that a debt package worth just over $US4 billion from international banks has missed two deadlines.
Ms Priestley said many of those banks remained keen to help fund the project, but since the deadline was exceeded for the second time on September 30, further talks would be required to guarantee a renewed financing package.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has confirmed to Fairfax Media that its funding commitment did not expire on September 30, and is in fact valid until December 31.
The Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corporation is also believed to have a funding commitment for Oyu Tolgoi that lasts until the end of 2014.
Ms Priestley warned investors not to become too focused on the Mongolian government issues, saying they already had an operating copper mine that was improving its output, despite more rake arm failures in the September quarter.
"Concentrate sales in the third quarter were the best we've seen thus far. With so much discussion focused on the government negotiations I think it is important that we recognise that we have an operating copper and gold mine generating significant operating cash flow," she said.