By David Winning 
 

SYDNEY--Rio Tinto PLC said an updated study of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-mining operation in Mongolia had confirmed the feasibility of an underground mine costing up to $7.1 billion to build.

Rio Tinto said the study incorporated a new mine design for Panel 0 of the Hugo Dummett North underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi. It will now submit the findings to the Mongolian government.

"This amended mine design is another positive step in the development of the underground mine which will unlock the most valuable part of Oyu Tolgoi," said Arnaud Soirat, chief executive of Copper & Diamonds. "We remain focused on delivering the underground project safely and within the guidance ranges we have announced on both cost and schedule."

Those ranges include a delay of 21 to 29 months for first sustainable production compared to the original feasibility study guidance in 2016 and an increase of $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion from the original $5.3 billion development capital, Rio Tinto said.

Rio Tinto owns 33.5% of Hugo Dummett North and 29.5% of Hugo Dummett North Extension.

 

Write to David Winning at david.winning@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 02, 2020 18:46 ET (22:46 GMT)

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