Rio Tinto approves $5.3 bln Oyu Tolgoi copper expansion in Mongolia

Fri May 6, 2016 2:39am EDT
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SYDNEY May 6 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto and its partners on Friday gave the final approval to a $5.3 billion expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia, paving the way for development of what will become the world's third-largest copper mine.

The expansion into underground mining is regarded as one of the world's best undeveloped copper projects and will drive Rio Tinto's ambitions to become a major global copper producer.

Rio Tinto is operator of the mine, which is 66 percent owned by its Turquoise Hill arm and 34 percent owned by the Mongolian government. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin)