UPDATE 3-Mongolia tells Rio Tinto to delay Oyu Tolgoi copper exports

Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:53pm EDT
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* Oyu Tolgoi has all permits in hand

* Mongolia had pressed Rio to keep export revenue in country

* Oyu Tolgoi to boost Mongolia economy by a third by 2020

* Mongolia miners' shares sag on Oyu Tolgoi uncertainty

ULAN BATOR, June 21 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto said its plan to start exporting copper from the $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine on Friday has been delayed at the request of the Mongolian government, heightening investor concerns about the risks of mining in the country.

Uncertainty over what was behind the delay sparked an exodus out of shares in other Mongolian miners on Friday, with Canadian and Australian listed miners exposed to the country sliding between 10 and 20 percent.

Journalists had been invited last week to attend a ceremony at the copper and gold mine on June 14 to mark the first exports. That was postponed to June 21, but the event was again cancelled at the last minute. Mongolia is due to hold a presidential election on June 26.

"Oyu Tolgoi is ready to start its first shipments of copper concentrate from its Mongolian mine and all necessary permits to do so have been received from relevant authorities," Rio Tinto spokesman Bruce Tobin said on Friday.

"However, plans to start shipping on Friday 21 June have been postponed at the request of the government of Mongolia."   Continued...