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Oyu Tolgoi Shareholders to Meet March 20 on Financing Dispute

Shareholders in Mongolia’s $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine will reconvene on March 20 to try and resolve disputes that are holding up construction funding, Mongolia’s Minister for Economic Development Nyamjav Batbayar said.

The mine is currently operating on a month-to-month budget with funds from Rio Tinto Group, which owns 66 percent of the project through its Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. unit. Mongolia owns the rest. Batbayar identified six issues to be tackled by shareholders, according to a Tuesday report from the state-owned Montsame News Agency.

Among them is costs. The government alleges that the project has gone 40 percent over budget, while Rio Tinto says the figure is closer to 18 percent. Mongolia says it will only approve the 2013 budget when it sees a finalized feasibility study for phase two of the project.

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