Rio Tinto has gained the majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines. This will give it better control over the development of gold and copper deposits in Mongolia. The control of the Oyu Tolgoi project has been a bone of contention between the two companies for a long while now.
By buying the additional two percent stake Rio Tinto now owns 51% of the Canadian mining group. It bought 15.1 million shares of Ivanhoe for Canadian $302 million. This move will hopefully put an end to the long running conflict that the two had over the development of the Oyu Tolgoi project. The two companies had first come together in October 2006 when Ivanhoe needed capital and local political support in Mongolia.
The investment in the Oyu Tolgoi project is the largest that Mongolia has seen in two decades. The construction of the mine at the property gave jobs to 9,000 Mongolian workers. It is deemed to be 70% complete by Rio Tinto.
The multi billion dollar Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper project is owned two third by Ivanhoe and the Mongolian government holds the rest of the stake. The first sale of copper produced from the mine is likely to take place in the beginning half of 2013. It is believed that Rio Tinto will sell off the subsidiaries of Ivanhoe and make a bid for the company before that comes to pass.