Anglo Taps Hancock to Lead Drive Into Mongolia Amid Rio Troubles

Anglo American Plc. opened an office in Mongolia headed by Graeme Hancock, the former operating chief of the country’s biggest state miner, to expand its business in the coal- and copper-rich nation.

Hancock, who stepped down last month as COO of coal miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, becomes Anglo American’s chief representative and president in Mongolia, the London-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Anglo, the third-largest mining company, opened the office in the capital Ulan Bator to develop “preferred” commodities, according to the statement, which didn’t elaborate.

Mongolia is tightening regulation on overseas investment amid public criticism that the cash pouring in from mining projects is benefiting an elite not the broader society. Anglo rival Rio Tinto Group, Mongolia’s biggest investor, is locked in a dispute with the government over control of the $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project.

“I look forward to building strong working relationships with the government, the business community, civil society and the local communities,” Hancock said. “These relationships, built upon dignity and respect, are essential for the company to become a valued development partner for Mongolia.”

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