Tag Archives: Mongolia

IMARC 2023 organisers preparing for ‘grand slam’ event

The world’s mining and resource leaders are heading to Sydney, New South Wales, for the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) from October 31 – November 2 in what has become a “grand slam” event of the industry, globally, event organisers says.

IMARC Chief Operating Officer, Anita Richards, said this year’s event was looking to be the largest ever, with over 520 speakers from global giants such as BHP, Fortescue, MMG, Gold Fields, Wesfarmers, Worley, Perenti, IGO, the US Departments of Energy and Defense and the ICMM, coming together to collaborate on themes including digital transformation and innovation; sustainability, social value, environmental resilience, people and culture; trade, investment and project opportunities; and energy transition.

She said: “The mining and resources industry is evolving rapidly to meet the growing energy demands of today while developing the minerals needed for a decarbonised economy – under unprecedented scrutiny from communities, regulators and investors.

IMARC 2023 comes at a time when explorers and miners are diversifying portfolios to align with future demand, triggering the highest level of M&A activity across both mining and METS we have ever seen.”

This year’s conference will see the return of the IMARC NextGen Program, which will provide an opportunity for 200 NSW school children to learn about the diverse and exciting mining and resources industry.

IMARC 2023 also features:

  • A special ESG focus on creating social value;
  • An extensive look at First Nations engagement, human rights and transparency;
  • A look at best-practice mine rehabilitation;
  • A global perspectives on heritage and environmental custodianship and economic development;
  • A return of the successful Balance for Better Program which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of the mining and resources sector.

Richards added: “Mining and resources have never been more important for sustainable economic, social and innovative development across the globe. We need more exploration and development to match surging demand for the critical minerals that are central to the global energy transition. IMARC 2023 is where the most important conversations are being held about how mining and resources can help achieve global development sustainably and equitably.

“IMARC is a key forum to address these challenges, and the global profile of the event is reflected in delegations already confirmed from India, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Chile, Mongolia, United States, South Korea, Japan, Germany and many more.”

At IMARC 2023 a range of new features have been added to the program. These include the Low Emission Technology Australia session to help accelerate innovation in the clean technology sector, the 4,000 sq.m IMARC Mining Pavilion with over 150 exhibitors present and the final of the Unearthed Global Innovation Games where the winners will be announced and their technology displayed.

IMARC 2023 will take place at the ICC Sydney from October 31 to November 2 and will be a celebration of what has grown into one of Australia’s biggest business events, with a record 8,500 delegates from over 120 countries, including upwards of 50 government delegations expected to attend, organisers say.

International Mining is a media sponsor of IMARC 2023 and will be in Sydney reporting on the event.

Getech geoscience exploration solutions boost Asian Battery Minerals’ nickel mining hopes in Mongolia

Getech, a locator of subsurface resources, says it has successfully finished an exploration project for Asian Battery Minerals, a participant in the 2023 BHP Xplor accelerator program, targeting potential nickel deposits in Mongolia.

Getech was invited by BHP to the accelerator to offer its geoscience exploration solutions to the program’s cohort. Asian Battery Minerals, targeting nickel in Mongolia, elected to contract with Getech.

Getech employed its pioneering methodologies, such as terrain and structural analysis, gravity and magnetics data analysis, to assist Asian Battery Minerals. The team provided an extensive report analysing the structural and paleotectonic elements in the exploration area of interest.

The project has been deemed successful by Asian Battery Minerals, as the results have the potential to significantly enhance its exploration strategy in Mongolia, Getech says.

Richard Bennett, Executive Chairman of Getech, said: “While we are known to have extensive experience in mineral exploration for sedimentary basin ores, this project focused on ‘hard rock’ exploration. This challenge proved that our mineral systems analysis capabilities and data extend into deeper and older deposits such as magmatic nickel. Leveraging our proprietary data amassed over 30 years and our geological exploration expertise, complemented by AI-driven analytics, we can successfully locate potential new search spaces for a wide range of minerals.”

Gan-Ochir Zunduisuren, Managing Director at Asian Battery Minerals, said: “We are delighted with the results of our partnership with Getech. Their in-depth analysis and innovative approaches have provided us with valuable insights for our nickel exploration in Mongolia.”

The BHP Xplor program is a global accelerator initiative that supports innovative early-stage mineral exploration companies in finding the critical resources necessary for the energy transition. Over a period of six months, the program has aided seven selected companies in de-risking their geologic concepts and becoming investment-ready.

Rio Tinto and Mongolian Government ‘open’ Oyu Tolgoi Underground mine

The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, today joined Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, 1.3 km underground to celebrate the commencement of underground production from the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in the Gobi Desert.

This was followed by a ceremony with Oyu Tolgoi employees and leaders, Government of Mongolia representatives, Oyu Tolgoi Board members and local suppliers to mark this milestone towards Oyu Tolgoi ramping up to become one of the world’s leading copper suppliers.

Since the agreement between the Government of Mongolia and Rio Tinto in January 2022 to reset the relationship and move the Oyu Tolgoi underground project forward, 30 drawbells have been blasted and copper is now being produced from the underground mine. Oyu Tolgoi is expected to become the fourth-largest copper mine in the world by 2030, operating in the first quartile of the copper equivalent cost curve, Rio Tinto says. Ore is currently being processed from Panel Zero in Hugo North Lift 1 and production will ramp up over the coming years.

A partnership between Rio Tinto and Mongolia, the Oyu Tolgoi open pit and concentrator have been succesfully operating for over a decade. The total workforce of Oyu Tolgoi is currently around 20,000 people, of which 97% are Mongolian. Oyu Tolgoi works with more than 500 national suppliers and has spent around $15 billion in Mongolia since 2010, including $4 billion of taxes, fees and other payments to the state budget, according to the mining company.

Developing the underground mine is an investment of over $7 billion, unlocking the most valuable part of the copper resource for the benefit of all stakeholders. Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce around 500,000 t/y of copper on average from 2028 to 2036 from the open pit and underground, enough to produce around 6 million electric vehicles annually, and an average of around 290,000 t over the reserve life of around 30 years.

Oyun-Erdene said: “I am proud to celebrate this major milestone with our partner Rio Tinto as we look towards Mongolia becoming one of the world’s key copper producers. The start of underground production at Oyu Tolgoi demonstrates our ability to work together with investors in a sustainable manner and become a trusted partner. The next phase of the partnership will enable the continued successful delivery of Mongolia’s ‘New Recovery Policy’ and Vision 2050 economic diversification strategy. Mongolia stands ready to work actively and mutually beneficially with global investors and partners.”

Stausholm said: “We would like to thank the Government of Mongolia for their commitment as our partner in achieving this remarkable milestone. We are starting underground production 1.3 km beneath the remote Gobi desert from an orebody that will be critical for global copper production and Mongolia’s ongoing economic development. The copper produced in this truly world class, high technology mine will help deliver the electrification needed for a net zero future and grow Rio Tinto’s copper business.”

Rio Tinto now has a 66% interest in Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the mine operating company, following its successful completion of the acquisition of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd; with the Government of Mongolia retaining 34%.

Monadelphous receives work with Rio Tinto and Talison Lithium

Monadelphous Group says it has secured new contracts in the resources sector totalling approximately A$100 million ($70 million), which includes work on the Oyu Tolgoi underground project, the Greenbushes lithium mine and the Marandoo iron ore mine.

At Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia, Monadelphous is to construct surface infrastructure for the underground project. The work includes construction of two conveyors and an electrical substation, and associated integration to existing facilities.

Monadelphous has been operating in Mongolia since 2017 and will continue its focus on upskilling its Mongolian national employees as a key element of the contract execution strategy, Monadelphous said.

In addition, the company has been awarded a contract with Talison Lithium Australia for the construction of a range of facilities associated with the mine services area at its Greenbushes mine site in the southwest of Western Australia. The work, which includes structural, mechanical, piping and electrical and instrumentation services, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

Monadelphous’ fabrication business, SinoStruct, has secured a contract to fabricate over 2,000 t of structural steel for a construction project in Ashburton in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Work is expected to be completed in early 2023.

Also in the Pilbara region, Monadelphous has been awarded a contract with Rio Tinto for the upgrade of conveyor facilities at the Marandoo iron ore mine. Site works are scheduled to commence in early 2023 and are expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2024.

Rio, TRQ and Mongolia agree on Oyu Tolgoi Underground development path

Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) and the Government of Mongolia have reached an agreement that, Rio says, will move the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) project forward, resetting the relationship between the partners and increasing the value the project delivers for Mongolia.

As a result, the OT Board, comprised of representatives of Rio Tinto, TRQ and Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi (EOT), the latter of which is wholly owned by the Government of Mongolia, has unanimously approved commencement of underground operations. This step unlocks the most valuable part of the mine and is expected to begin in the coming days, with first sustainable production expected in the first half of 2023, according to Rio Tinto.

As part of a comprehensive package, TRQ will waive the $2.4 billion EOT carry account loan in full, comprising the amount of common share investments in OT LLC funded by TRQ on behalf of EOT to build the project to date, plus accrued interest.

The Parliament of Mongolia has approved a resolution (Resolution 103) that resolves the outstanding issues that have been subject to negotiations with the Government of Mongolia over the last two years in relation to addressing Parliament Resolution 92 (December 2019).

With this approval, the Parliament of Mongolia has required that certain measures be completed in order for Resolution 92 to be considered formally implemented. Among the measures already addressed are improved cooperation with EOT, implementation of measures to monitor OT underground development financing mechanisms and enhance ESG matters and the approval of the Electricity Supply Agreement.

Rio says it is continuing to work with the Government of Mongolia and TRQ to finalise the remaining outstanding measures of Resolution 92, namely the formal termination of the Oyu Tolgoi Mine Development and Financing Plan (UDP) and resolution of the outstanding OT LLC tax arbitration.

An updated funding plan has been agreed to address TRQ’s current estimated remaining funding requirement for the OT Underground Project. Until sustainable underground production is achieved, OT will be funded by cash on hand and rescheduling of existing debt repayments, together with a pre-paid copper concentrate sales agreement with TRQ. This is in line with restrictions on debt financing contained in Resolution 103, passed on December 30, 2021.

Rio Tinto and TRQ have amended the Heads of Agreement signed in April 2021 to ensure they appropriately fund OT. The capital forecast for the project is $6.925 billion, including $175 million of known COVID-19 impacts to the end of 2021. Forecasted remaining underground capital expenditure is approximately $1.8 billion. A reforecast will be undertaken during the first half of this year to determine a revised cost and schedule estimate that will reflect:

  • Any further COVID-19 impacts;
  • Any additional time-based impacts and market price escalation arising from resequencing due to 2021 budget constraints (as a result of the OT Board not approving the capital budget uplift at the time the Definitive Estimate was finalised); and
  • Updated risk ranging reflecting the latest project execution risks.

The key elements under the amended Heads of Agreement include:

  • Pursuing the rescheduling of principal repayments of existing OT project finance to potentially reduce the OT funding requirement by up to $1.7 billion;
  • Seeking to raise up to $500 million of senior supplemental debt at OT from selected international financial institutions which could be put in place after sustainable underground production is achieved;
  • Rio Tinto providing a co-lending project finance facility to OT of up to $750 million to be made available after sustainable underground production is achieved (with up to $300 million of such amount being available under a short-term secured advance directly to TRQ pending such co-lending); and
  • TRQ agreeing to conduct equity or rights offerings of up to $1.5 billion (with an initial offering of at least $650 million by no later than August 31, 2022).

The re-profiling of the existing OT project finance and any additional senior supplemental debt at OT will be subject to availability and terms and conditions being acceptable to Rio Tinto and TRQ, according to the company.

The OT Board has also approved the signing of an Electricity Supply Agreement to provide OT with a long-term source of power from the Mongolian grid, under terms already agreed with the Government of Mongolia. In meeting OT’s commitment to sourcing power domestically, Rio Tinto will work with the Government to support long-term renewable energy generation in support of the Mongolian grid. The Government of Mongolia and OT are in constructive discussions with the Inner Mongolia Power International Cooperation Company (IMPIC) for an extension of current power import arrangements beyond the current agreement of July 2023. IMPIC has indicated its support for an extension and commercial terms are being finalised.

Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, said: “The commencement of Oyu Tolgoi underground mining operations demonstrates to the world that Mongolia can work together with investors in a sustainable manner and become a trusted partner. As part of our ‘New Recovery Policy’, I am happy to express Mongolia’s readiness to work actively and mutually beneficially with global investors and partners.”

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, said: “We would like to thank the Government of Mongolia for their commitment to working productively with Rio Tinto and TRQ to reach this crucial agreement that will see one of the world’s largest copper growth projects move forward and firmly establish Mongolia as a global investment destination. This agreement represents a reset of our relationship and resolves historical issues between the OT project partners. We strongly believe in the future of this country and I am personally committed to ensuring that the people of Mongolia benefit strongly from OT along with our shareholders.

“I have visited Mongolia twice in the last few months and I cannot help but be proud of what has been achieved by our workforce, hand-in-hand with communities, suppliers and other partners. I would like to thank the many thousands of people involved for what they have achieved.

“The OT underground development will consolidate Rio Tinto’s position as a leading global supplier of copper at a time when demand is increasing, driven by its role in enabling decarbonisation and electrification in the race to net zero. We will also explore additional opportunities to decarbonise the OT operations, including sourcing renewable power.”

Steve Thibeault, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill Resources, added: “Today is a landmark day for Turquoise Hill and a major milestone in the development of the Oyu Tolgoi underground development project. We are very excited to be starting work on the undercut, which is critical to unlocking the immense potential of this world-class, high-grade deposit for the benefit of all stakeholders. Following the agreements with the Government of Mongolia and the Amended Heads of Agreement with Rio Tinto being put in place, we now have greater certainty and confidence to complete construction of this once-in-a-generation mine that, when finished, is expected to be one of the largest copper producing mines in the world and a generator of vast economic value and employment in Mongolia and of returns for our shareholders for years to come. I want to thank the Government of Mongolia for its commitment to securing a balanced agreement that helps to advance the project while ensuring that all stakeholders including the people of Mongolia truly benefit from the development of this resource. This agreement says a lot about the positive environment for foreign investment in the country.”

By 2030 OT is expected to be the fourth largest copper mine in the world. It is a complex greenfield project comprising an underground block cave mine and copper concentrator as well as an open-pit mine which has been successfully operating for almost 10 years. It is also one of the most modern, safe, sustainable and water-efficient operations globally, with a workforce which is more than 96% Mongolian. Since 2010, OT has spent a total of $13.4 billion in-country, including $3.6 billion of taxes, fees and other payments to the state budget. The size and quality of this Tier 1 asset provides additional expansion options, which could see production sustained for many decades.

At peak production, OT is expected to produce around 500,000 t/y of copper on average from 2028 to 2036 from the open pit and underground, and an average of around 350,000 t for a further five years, compared with 163,000 t in 2021. The underground Ore Reserve has an average copper grade of 1.52%, which is more than three times higher than the open pit reserve, and contains 0.31 g/t Au.

Oyu Tolgoi adopts Cohda Wireless V2X vehicle positioning solution

Cohda Wireless is applying its vehicle positioning solution at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia aiming to drive safety and productivity in an initiative that could pave the way for, it says, a new industry standard.

Cohda Wireless is headquartered in Australia and has offices in Europe, the US and China. Its V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) technology connects vehicles with each other and with roadside infrastructure to create a cooperative and intelligent transport environment, the company says.

Now, its V2X-Locate technology is being deployed at the Rio Tinto-managed copper and gold mine in Mongolia to provide “unheralded vehicle and personnel location accuracy”, Cohda says.

This solution was initially developed to solve the vehicle positioning accuracy challenges inherent in the urban canyons of cities where large buildings, underground car parks and tunnels interfere with GNSS signals. Using DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) signals, Cohda’s signal processing and positioning algorithms provide accurate vehicle position irrespective of GNSS availability and/or quality and is therefore suited to mining environments.

As Russell Kennett, Manager Underground Technology at Oyu Tolgoi explains, Cohda’s technology has now been adapted to serve a mining environment for the first time.

“Cohda’s V2X-Locate allows all equipped mobile fleet, fixed plant and personnel to be reliably tracked in real time to sub-metre accuracy in a GNSS-denied environment, to prevent incidents and assist in emergency evacuations and to enable traffic management and schedule optimisation,” he said.

Cohda Wireless CEO, Dr Paul Gray, said the widespread adoption of connected, intelligent transport solutions in the mining sector will greatly reduce the risk of injury or death and will also drive productivity gains.

“The system can integrate and manage location data from multiple sensor types with sub-metre accuracy throughout the mine site and is a significant improvement on using a combination of disparate collision avoidance systems across the mining environment, as is usually the case,” he says.

“When you have hundreds of vehicles and personnel operating in close proximity underground, a metre matters! And, whilst the prevention of injury and death is always the top priority, we also know that the ability to visualise, optimise and monitor vehicles brings significant operational benefits and efficiencies.”

A Cohda V2X-Locate system is in place and ready to go live at Oyu Tolgoi. Over 200 mining vehicles of all types are being fitted with Cohda’s XBU-V specially adapted On-Board units, which connect vehicles to each other and to XBU-I Road-Side Units that are installed in mine tunnels. Over 2,000 personnel will use V2X-Locate compatible cap lamps so that the collective system can use time-of-flight analysis of wireless signals to resolve spatial locations, the company explained.

Mining vehicles are fitted with a human machine interface that will notify operators of potential collisions. The system supports EMESRT Level 7 (Alert) and partial Level 8 (Advise) controls with full Level 8 controls and Level 9 (Intervention) controls on the Cohda product roadmap, it said.

Kennett believes this deployment could be instrumental in adopting an industry peer-to-peer communications and location standard.

“This project allows us to benefit from a highly tested, future-proofed, automotive-level safety technology that has proven reliability, scalability and robustness,” he says. “This potentially opens the door for the introduction of mine-wide peer-to-peer V2X networks that OEMs and vendors can integrate into their products to ensure interoperability regardless of the setting.”

Aspire signs up Sedgman for Ovoot coking coal project FEED study

Aspire Mining Ltd has contracted Sedgman Pty Limited to prepare a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study on coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) infrastructure to support commencement of operations at the Ovoot coking coal project (OCCP) in Mongolia.

Sedgman, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIMIC, is a leading provider of integrated minerals processing solutions with experience delivering processing solutions. It has provided technical input and various studies supporting the economics of the OCCP from discovery of the deposit in 2010.

The FEED study will be conducted in a phased approach, over a period of approximately five months. Stage 1 will comprise trade-off analyses to identify the most appropriate concepts and technologies, which will take approximately eight weeks. Stage 2 will then focus on the agreed path and will produce accurate estimates of capital and operating costs, and designs to enable tendering for construction. The work will be completed under a schedule of rates arrangement, with total cost of A$600,000 ($464,583) estimated, Aspire said.

The intended CHPP infrastructure to be investigated will be based on existing modular designs and will enable low impact processing of approximately 1.5 Mt/y of run-of-mine coal, with capability for later expansion, Aspire said. Important criteria for the design include low energy and water consumption, and stringent dust control.

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “Sedgman appreciated the opportunity to work with Aspire and is focused on delivering value through progressing an innovative solution for the project.

“This study is a great opportunity to work with one of our longstanding clients to support the future development of the OCCP.”

Turquoise Hill and Rio Tinto sign Oyu Tolgoi UG funding HoA, agree to end arbitration

Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto have entered into a binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) to provide an updated funding plan for the completion of the Oyu Tolgoi underground copper-gold project in Mongolia.

The funding plan is designed to address the estimated remaining funding requirement of around $2.3 billion and replaces the non-binding Memorandum of Understanding that Rio and Turquoise Hill previously entered into on September 9, 2020.

Under the HoA, subject to securing approval by Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the project joint venture, and any required support from the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill and Rio Tinto will:

  • Pursue re-profiling of existing project debt to better align with the revised mine plan, project timing and cash flows to reduce the currently projected funding requirements of OT by up to $1.4 billion; and
  • Seek to raise up to $500 million in senior supplemental debt (SSD) under the existing project financing arrangements from selected international financial institutions.

In addition, Rio Tinto has committed to address any potential shortfalls from the re-profiling and additional SSD of up to $750 million by providing a senior co-lending facility on the same terms as Oyu Tolgoi’s project financing, while Turquoise Hill has committed to complete an equity offering of up to $500 million.

An updated feasibility study on the underground expansion at Oyu Tolgoi from June 2020 included a delay of 21 to 29 months for first sustainable production compared with the original 2016 feasibility study guidance and an increase of $1.3-$1.8 billion from the original $5.3 billion development capital. The process also saw 1.22 Mt of copper, 850,000 oz of gold and 7.01 Moz of silver removed from the Hugo Dummett North reserve base compared with the December 31, 2019 calculation, with some 80,000 t of copper, 70,000 oz of gold and 550,000 oz of silver added to the Hugo Dummett North Extension reserve base.

Since this announcement, Rio, Turquoise Hill and the Government of Mongolia have been trying to agree on a new funding pact for the sustainable development of the underground operation, which, in combination with open-pit mining, could produce around 500,000 t/y of copper at full capacity.

Steve Thibeault, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill, said: “We are pleased to have reached a constructive and equitable agreement with Rio Tinto to fund the Oyu Tolgoi underground development. With a binding funding agreement now in place that sets out a process along a known timeline, we will be able to move ahead as expeditiously as possible with the development of the underground project at Oyu Tolgoi.

“We remain committed to continue delivering a benefit to all stakeholders, including Mongolia and its citizens, and to delivering significant long-term value for Turquoise Hill as this project progresses.”

Rio Tinto Copper Chief Executive Bold Baatar, added: “This agreement and alignment with Turquoise Hill represents a major milestone in the continued development of Oyu Tolgoi, which is expected to become one of the world’s largest copper mines and a significant contributor to the Mongolian economy for years to come. Commencing the re-profiling whilst concurrently listening, engaging and resolving the concerns of the Government of Mongolia are critical steps to maintaining momentum on the timely delivery of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground project.”

Following the HoA, Turquoise Hill and Rio have agreed to obtain an order dismissing the current arbitration on a “without prejudice basis” and without costs, including an order vacating the interim measures order, the companies said.

Techking custom-made tyres hit the ground at Rio Tinto WA operations

Equipped with Techking custom-made tyres 23.5R25 ETD2S, XCMG XC958 front-end loaders have arrived at Rio Tinto’s operations in Western Australia to begin transporting ore to cargo ships.

To gather user feedback on these tyres, Techking Australia branch business employee, Steve Coles, made a recent site visit.

The tyre model is specially designed for XCMG XC9 series high-end loaders to undertake ore transportation tasks. By adopting proprietary formula and chevron patterns, these custom-made tyres dramatically improve performance in cut resistance and overall sidewall strength, achieving a longer life cycle under special working conditions.

Allen Zhuo, an XCMG Field Service Engineer, told Coles that the Techking tyres and XCMG loaders had been put into use at Rio Tinto’s operations and were, at present, working well.

The delivery of customised tyres for XCMG loaders marks the second time Techking has rendered tailored tyre services to two international giants.

“This is another milestone made towards Techking’s goal of becoming a leading global tyre solution supplier for large mining machinery,” the China-based company said.

While Coles was visiting Rio Tinto, a test report with satisfactory results was received regarding the 27.00R49 SUPER ROCK tyres. These tyres were customised for Komatsu 785 rigid dump trucks working at a Rio Tinto copper mine in Mongolia.

“It is shown from the tracking data in March that the 27.00R49 SUPER ROCK tyres have reached an average service life of 4,201 hours to date and could go beyond Rio Tinto’s expectation by reaching an estimated service life of 10,406 hours,” the Techking field service engineers’ report read.

Vuzix Smart Glasses keep Rio global teams connected at Oyu Tolgoi Underground

Rio Tinto has deployed Vuzix Smart Glasses at the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia to continue progressing the development of the underground project in the face of travel restrictions tied to COVID-19.

Vuzik, a supplier of smart glasses and augmented reality technology and products, says the company is using its smart glasses to enable technical experts from all over the world to work with local teams on the underground project.

Rio, in its 2020 Annual Report, said it had been increasing its use of drones and mine pit cameras, and introduced video headsets (including smart glasses) to conduct visual inspections of tailings facilities and equipment while complying with travel restrictions and physical distance requirements.

“Vuzix Smart Glasses usage continues to expand across an ever-widening array of industry verticals,” Paul Travers, Vuzix President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Companies like Rio Tinto, which is a global leader in its field, continue to provide validation of the value and effectiveness of our products in real world situations.”