Mongolia: Herders win landmark agreement concerning mine that threatened their livelihood, health, & culture

Author: Sophie Edwards, Devex, Published on: 9 August 2017

"How a group of Mongolian herders took on a mining giant — and won", 9 August 2017

...[H]erders...won a landmark agreement with the operators of one of the world’s largest copper mines — the World Bank-backed Oyu Tolgoi.... 

...[T]he mine...is...jointly owned by the Mongolian government, which has a 34 percent share, and Canadian mining company Turquoise Hill Resources, which is predominantly owned by British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. It is operated by Oyu Tolgoi LLC.

...[G]roup of herders filed a complaint with the CAO...claiming that the development of the mine was threatening their livelihoods, health and culture.

...[T]he herders filed a second complaint — this time, about the diversion of sections of two rivers running through the area to make way for the construction of roads and other infrastructure linked to the mine. According to the herders, these diversions caused wells and springs to dry up, leading to a scarcity of drinking water and the deterioration of pasture land. 

...[T]wo independent experts were appointed...to investigate. The final reports...supported the herders’ claims and criticized the company’s compensation processes and environmental assessment and monitoring practices. They also found that the mine had created conflict among the herders themselves, as they competed for land and water.

*Sourced by RepRisk due diligence on ESG and business conduct risks, www.reprisk.com.

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Related companies: Oyu Tolgoi LLC Rio Tinto Turquoise Hill Resources