Logistics, Ports & Terminals, Mining and Heavy Industries

Dalai Lama drama suspends Oyu Tolgoi shipments

A visit to Mongolia by the Dalai Lama has led to the suspension of concentrate shipments from Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

The Dalai Lama – a Tibetan spiritual leader whom China considers to be a separatist threat – visited Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia recently.

Shortly after the visit, China imposed new levies and other restrictions on commodity shipments between China and Mongolia.

The Dalai Lama drama has impacted the supply chain for the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, which is owned by Rio Tinto through its majority-owned subsidiary Turquoise Hill.

Turquoise Hill said on December 1 shipments from Oyu Tolgoi had stopped.

“Oyu Tolgoi has suspended concentrate shipments to the Chinese border following a new requirement at the Chinese-Mongolian border to utilise one joint coal and concentrate crossing route,” Turquoise Hill said.

“The new requirement has led to safety and security concerns as well as unreasonably long waiting times to cross the border.

“Oyu Tolgoi is seeking to clarify the requirements with the relevant authorities in Mongolia and China. At present, it is not clear the potential duration of the shipment suspension.”

Turquoise Hill said it would provide an update when the situation changed, and had not done so at time of writing.

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