Why Mongolia Needs Oyu Tolgoi Copper Mine More than Rio Tinto Plc

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After Rio Tinto fired some 1,700 Mongolian mining workers at Oyu Tolgoi mine, it appears as though the country has much more to lose than the mining major.

“If the Rio Tinto investment does go sour, it would put Mongolia off the map for virtually any western company for decades. Given the absence of a good relationship with China, it is unlikely Mongolia wants to become dependent on investment from its southern neighbour,” according to this article. “Landlocked Mongolia would love to be able to sell its resources, such as coal, to countries other than China, but a lack of infrastructure to ship through northern neighbour Russia is a major obstacle.”

With global copper supply being tighter than that for, say, iron ore, both sides have a lot at stake – we’ll see how quickly they’ll work it out with potentially billions on the line.

What are today’s prices of copper?

With a decline of 0.9 percent on the LME to $7,305 per metric ton on Tuesday, August 20, the 3-month price of copper recorded the biggest decline of the day. The cash price of primary copper weakened by 0.7 percent on the LME, settling at $7,285 per metric ton.

The Japanese copper cash price gained 0.8 percent.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

The prices of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 declined 0.7 percent.

Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. Chinese copper bar closed 0.6 percent lower. The cash price of Chinese copper weakened by 0.6 percent. Following two days of rising prices, the price of Chinese copper wire dropped 0.5 percent. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap held flat.

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