London - The incoming boss of Rio Tinto said on Thursday he was “concerned” with official comments on the agreement underpinning its $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, as Mongolia comes under pressure to increase its share of mineral wealth.
Rio has faced growing speculation in recent weeks that the Mongolian government could press it for more funding outside an original 2009 investment agreement, which includes a 5 percent royalty on all sales.
Mongolia faces a revenue squeeze, despite being touted as the world's fastest growing economy as recently as 2011.
“I am concerned by recent political signals in Mongolia calling into question some aspects of the investment agreement. This undermines the partnership we have built and the stability on which a project of this size and scale depends,” newly appointed Chief Executive Sam Walsh told analysts.
“It puts at risk future investment not only by Rio Tinto but by others considering investing in Mongolia.” - Reuters