A key advantage we bring to Oyu Tolgoi is the application of cutting-edge mining technology and global expertise that we have developed in other locations around the world.
Block-caving, for example, which is safer and less environmentally damaging than blasting, has been refined in many other Rio Tinto operations. It is now being used at Oyu Tolgoi.
Water management techniques
Water is the most precious resource in the South Gobi province of Mongolia. We are committed to protecting the quantity and quality of water in the region. With proper water management at Oyu Tolgoi, sufficient water resources are available to meet the needs of local communities, nomadic herders and the mine.
By using innovative and highly-efficient recycling and conservation practices, Oyu Tolgoi's water recycling rate is over 85 per cent and its water usage per tonne of ore is three times less than the industry average. We continually research and develop new technology to optimise the recycling rate.
To further enhance safety in our underground mining operations Rio Tinto worked with our industry partners to develop Cave Tracker – a revolutionary tracking system that can detect and monitor rock and air movement remotely, through 200 metres of solid rock.
The ability to monitor the flow of rock also enables better management of the flow of ore and waste, which can contribute a 10 per cent reduction in waste - hundreds of millions of dollars of value.
Water conservation, block-caving and robust flow modelling are just three examples of how Rio Tinto is aiding conservation, building capacity and improving safety.