Rio Tinto: Insufficient preparations of mining operations in Mongolia

This report is part of our former “Harmful Cases” documentation, where we continuously and concisely recorded human rights violations, violations of international law or environmental destruction caused by companies.

Human Rights Violations in Mongolia

Mongolia possesses immense gold and copper resources.  Reportedly, the mine of Oyu Tolgoi attracts investments which are approximately three times the entire GDP of Mongolia. 66 % of the mine is owned by the Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines Ltd and 34 % by the Mongolian government. British Rio Tinto in turn is the largest shareholder of Ivanhoe Miners Ltd. Negotiations concerning the approval to start mining operations took several years, but were finally concluded n 2010.

Since then, the project has been criticized on various grounds such as the insufficient information on the project, its social and ecological consequences for the local population, lacking environmental impact assessments and inadequate compensation for the involuntary resettlement of farmers and their displaced families. The local population was given only limited time to find new pastures and settlement sites. Most families depend on their livestock which is likely to be threatened by the new inferior pastures and a potential water shortage caused by the mining operations.

Rio Tinto is a British mining company and among the three biggest mining corporations in the world.

Please find further information here:

The Guardian

OECD Watch

Reports on socio economic consequences of mining operations in Mongolia can be found here:

Bank Watch


Global Business Report

World Bank (2006)