Rio Tinto sponsors two of Mongolia’s top Olympians

Rio Tinto, manager of the world-class Oyu Tolgoi mine in South Gobi, is sponsoring Lkhamdegd Purevjargal and Mandakhnaran Ganzorig, two leading Mongolian athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The sponsorship will help fund training, travel and other preparation costs for P. Lkhamdegd, a judo champion, and G. Mandakhnaran, a free-style wrestler, as they prepare to compete for medals at the London 2012 Games.

Rio Tinto is a Gold Partner of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee and also the official provider of all the precious metal used to produce the 4,700 gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded during the London 2012 Games. The metal has come from Oyu Tolgoi as well as Rio Tinto’s copper mine in the USA.

Lkhamdegd Purevjaral said “I am very grateful for Rio Tinto’s financial assistance as it will enable my training to be of the highest standard and allow me to focus on winning an Olympic medal. I am proud and honoured to be representing Mongolia later this year in London and would like to thank Rio Tinto for their vital support.”

Mandakhnaran Ganzorig said “This is a wonderful gesture and I am glad that Rio Tinto is such an enthusiastic and visible supporter of Mongolian sporting ambition. Winning a medal is my biggest ambition and winning one containing Mongolian metal would be an added bonus.”

P. Lkhamdegd, 2011 Mongolian Athlete of the Year, won gold medals last year at the Grands Prix in Germany and the Netherlands, the World Cup in the Czech Republic and Mongolia’s own Chinggis Khaan World Cup. G. Mandakhnaran won gold medals at the 2011 Ulaanbaatar International Championship as well as the 2010 Asian Games.

Cameron McRae, Rio Tinto Mongolia Country Director and President and CEO of Oyu Tolgoi, said “We wish P. Lkhamdegd and G. Mandakhnaran the best of luck as they prepare for the Olympic Games and hope that our support helps them to bring some medals back to Mongolia. Rio Tinto is proud to be a partner of the Mongolian Olympic team and we wish all the athletes the best of luck. We believe the London Games will be a major moment for Mongolia and look forward to our sponsored athletes celebrating their own historic achievements.”

Tsend Damdin, Vice President of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee, said “We are very happy that Rio Tinto, one of our Gold Partners for this year’s Olympic Games, is sponsoring these great athletes. Rio Tinto’s support could make all the difference, and we are delighted that the company is such a major supporter of Mongolian sport.”

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

About Rio Tinto in Mongolia

Rio Tinto is the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project and major shareholder in Ivanhoe Mines, which holds a 66 per cent interest in Oyu Tolgoi LLC. Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto.

Oyu Tolgoi, located in the Gobi desert in southern Mongolia, will be one of the largest and highest-grade copper and gold mines in the world. It is the largest project ever developed in Mongolia, requiring a capital investment for phase 1 of more than US$6 billion.