ULAN BATOR, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The underground production of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining project in the southern Mongolian province of Umnugovi started Monday.
"The Oyu Tolgoi underground project is very important for the implementation of 'Vision 2050,' which is the Mongolian government's long-term development policy. Thanks to the development of the underground mining, our country's goal or dream of bringing per capita GDP to 10,000 U.S. dollars can be realized," said Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene at a ceremony to mark the start of the mine's underground production.
"With the start of underground mining today, Oyu Tolgoi is taking its first step towards becoming one of the world's most important copper producers," Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto Jakob Stausholm said at the ceremony.
At its peak capacity, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce around 500,000 tons of copper per year on average from 2028 to 2036 from the open pit and underground. ■