Turquoise Hill Annual Report 2014

Turquoise Hill is a Canadian mining company that jointly owns and operates the Oyi Tolgoi mine ,one of the world’s largest cooper and gold mines. This single mine has already transformed the Mongolian economy and its future economic resources. Its estimated that on completion it will by itself account for 30% of the Mongolian economy. As a partial investor the Government of Mongolia has made OT the largest economic investment in its history.  I was hired by Turquoise Hill to document a day in the life of the mine for its 2014 corporate annual report. OT is an open pit and underground mining project in Khanbogd Sum within the south Gobi desert.  Its isolated and difficult to reach location meant that it was necessary to fly in out of an airport built primarily for ferrying the large mining staff. The team is international with miners and experts from all over the world. Whether it is the logistics for the huge mining trucks or staffing the medical team each sector has flown in the best talent. Additionally, there is an emphasis put on training or locating Mongolian staff from Ulan Bator as well as locally. The mine is operated according to high international standards for both the environmental and worker safety. Given its isolated location the plant is like a small city with international medical staff, fire brigades,sports facilities, power plant, and houses of worship. Many from the local community that previously relied on herding have found work in and around the mine. The other staff work in monthly shifts so they can make regular family visits. The operation runs around the clock in some of the harshest conditions I’ve worked in. At the end of every day a convoy of tractor trailers ships concentrate to the Chinese border for processing. The basic idea was to tell the story from morning to night of how and where the mine operates.