Oyu tolgoi Mine
Oyu tolgoi Mine

Going the Extra Mile

See how Caterpillar and Cat® dealer Barloworld Mongolia have helped Oyu Tolgoi mine take advantage of a booming mining economy.

By Caterpillar | Posted October 20, 2022

In mineral-rich Mongolia, mines like Oyu Tolgoi are hard at work in an effort to take advantage of a booming demand for resources. One of the world’s largest copper-gold mines, Oyu Tolgoi has the potential to operate for another 100 years from five known mineralized deposits, the first of which was put into production as an open-pit operation in the early 2010s.

Located in the South Gobi region, Oyu Tolgoi is jointly owned by the government of Mongolia, which has 34% ownership, and Turquoise Hill Resources, which owns 66%. Rio Tinto owns 50.8% of Turquoise Hill Resources and manages the operation on behalf of the owners.

Open pit mining began at Oyu Tolgoi in 2011 and the copper concentrator, the largest industrial complex ever built in Mongolia, began processing mined ore into copper concentrate in 2013. At peak production, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce 480,000 tonnes of copper per year on average from the open pit and underground mine currently in development.

In January 2022, the Oyu Tolgoi Board approved the beginning of underground operations. This step unlocks the most valuable part of the mine, with sustainable underground production expected in the first half of 2023.

With the current development schedule, Turquoise Hill expects that Oyu Tolgoi will be the world’s third-largest copper producer at peak metal production in 2025.

But achieving these high production goals will be no easy task in the challenging location and climate. Oyu Tolgoi is located about 550 km (342 mi) south of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and 80 km (50 mi) north of the Mongolia-China border. In addition, the climate can be severe, with very cold winters, extremely hot summers and large daily temperature ranges that take a toll on people and machines.

Oyu Tolgoi has come to rely on Caterpillar and Cat® dealer Barloworld Mongolia for support in this difficult environment. Together, they are going the extra mile to provide parts, maintenance and on-site support for the remote operation.

In this video, mine leaders and Barloworld Mongolia (formerly Wagner Asia/SGMS) representatives talk about their partnership and how it’s making a difference for this remote operation.

Oyu Tolgoi Mine story