Greenshouse Gas Emissions

Oyu Tolgoi is committed to achieving a net positive impact to offset the mine’s activities. Oyu Tolgoi has received approval from the Government of Mongolia for its offset program, which includes a sustainable cashmere project and an anti-poaching initiative, that is in its fourth year of operation. Oyu Tolgoi has established Mongolia’s first Khulan and black-tailed gazelle satellite monitoring program. The mine also has an environmental, water and biodiversity monitoring program with local herders. Oyu Tolgoi undertook a powerline insulation pilot project that resulted in the successful reduction in mortality of raptors by 85%. The mine expects to expand the insulation project to non-Oyu Tolgoi powerlines and continue working with the national powerline committee in order to offset impacts on local bird populations.

Oyu Tolgoi has implemented an Atmospheric Emissions Management Plan that outlines the applicable national, Rio Tinto and international standards and defines Oyu Tolgoi’s key management atmospheric emissions controls. The plan also includes monitoring and reporting procedures. One of the key management controls is reporting on Oyu Tolgoi’s greenhouse gas emission performance against the estimated emission targets. Oyu Tolgoi has a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory and reporting process and continues to explore energy-saving opportunities through a registry focused on energy saving and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

Oyu Tolgoi LLC has been measuring monthly greenhouse gases (“GHG”) emissions since 2012 and completes an annual GHG workbook. Greenhouse gas emission control is constantly monitored and the performance for the year ended December 31, 2020 was 2.32 tonnes CO2/unit product against an annual target of 2.75 tonnes CO2/unit product. These emissions include both Scope 1 (direct emissions from owned and controlled sources) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy).

The following table highlights Oyu Tolgoi’s emissions intensity per unit of production and total emissions.

(1) The emissions intensity per tonne of product measures reflect the tonnes of metal concentrate produced and is impacted by variability of the grade of the ore mined, which is a function of the orebody.
(2) All figures exclude the Underground development project emissions.

Oyu Tolgoi LLC has been implementing programs and activities aiming to reduce its GHG emissions and to save energy since 2015. Such activities include:

  • ending the use of Diesel generators for remote infrastructure, as providing permanent power supply at:
    • training centre, Khanbogd soum, Umnugobi province (2015);
    • marshall yard, OT mine site (2017)
    • power camp, OT mine site (2018)
    • emulsion plant, OT mine site (2018) and
    • khanbumbat permanent airport (2018)
  • the installation of walkway lighting powered by solar energy on the way from the Oyut Camp to the Bagging Plant and the Northgate. Thirty-four sections of walkway lightings were installed in 2019
  • the installation of runtime management equipment on air conditioners in various facilities. Over 7,000 units’ runtime has been reduced which represents a decrease of 30% in energy use for these units; and
  • in 2020, replacement of existing lighting with more efficient LED lights at numerous buildings at site was implemented and will be completed in 2021.