Timeline of events
The timeline section shows you an overview of the most important events from 1990 – 2020. You can filter the events by theme (e.g. ‘Economy’) by clicking on one of the square buttons below. Click on an event title for more details and references.
Democratic revolution of 1990
The revolution started with demonstrations to overthrow the Mongolian People’s Republic and to support the writing of the new constitution.
Foreign Investment Law
Legislation was introduced to provide a framework for foreign investment. Amendments to this law took place in 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2013.
Member of IMF & World Bank
Mongolia becomes a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the Asian development Bank (ADB). It joins the International Monetary..Read more
New legislation passed
New legislation passed: law on economic entities and Law of Mongolia on privatisation, new banking law and banking system. These laws enabled the transition of..Read more
Second World Bank project
USD 20 million for an ‘economic transition project ’ that guides Mongolia from a state-economy to an open market.
Amended Foreign Investment Law is passed
The amendment encourages foreign investment and protects the rights and property of foreign investors in Mongolia, removing restrictions on profit transfers, exemption from customs duties..Read more
Third World Bank project
Mongolia receives USD 35 million for a coal project.
BHP finds copper deposit at Oyu Tolgoi
BHP Minerals International Exploration Inc. obtains licenses to explore for copper and gold in the South Gobi Desert and finds porphyry copper deposits at Oyu..Read more
Mongolia joins WTO and IMF loan facility agreed
The third IMF loan facility is agreed upon after Mongolia joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Mineral Law of 1997
This Mineral law, developed with support from the World Bank, passes and provides lax regulations on obtaining exploration licenses and promotes private sector participation and..Read more
Ivanhoe Mines becomes involved
Mining company Ivanhoe Mines signs an option agreement with BHP and in May 2000 Ivanhoe Mines secures 98% of the Oyu Tolgoi exploration license.
Ivanhoe Mines discovers extent of deposits
Ivanhoe Mines drills hole ‘OTD-150’ and confirms the extent of high grade copper and gold deposits, and for the first time indicates the scale of..Read more
Ivanhoe Mines acquires 100% of Oyu Tolgoi
In 2002 Ivanhoe Mines acquires 98% from BHP and acquires the last 2% in November 2003. Negotiations start with the Government of Mongolia.
Ivanhoe Mines joins Entrée Gold
This given Ivanhoe mines access to another 40,000 hectares that lies next to its Oyu Tolgoi field.
Windfall Profits Tax passes
The Mongolian government passes a 68% “Windfall profits” tax, the highest in the world, on copper in excess of USD 2600/tonne and gold USD500/ounce. The..Read more
New Mining Law
This law allows the Mongolian government to “acquire up to 34% of ‘strategic mineral deposits that were discovered in privately financed explorations and up to..Read more
Ivanhoe Mines signs strategic partnership with Rio Tinto
The two mining corporations form a strategic partnership for the construction and operation of Oyu Tolgoi.  Rio Tinto negotiates an exit clause in case..Read more
National Development Strategy
Millennium development goals-based comprehensive national development strategy of Mongolia. Aspiration to be a middle-income country by 2021, with an industrialised knowledge based economy and high..Read more
Initial Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement
The negotiation of an agreement results in a draft OTIA is approved by cabinet in June, but it is subsequently stalled by President Enkhbayar, who..Read more
Global financial crisis
The 2008 financial crisis hits Mongolia as food prices go up and copper prices go down.
Elections and demonstrations
The 2008 elections were accompanied by demonstrations, which were met with a four day State of Emergency, resulting in 4 dead and 300 imprisoned.
Negotiations on OTIA continue
The impact of the global financial crisis on the Mongolian economy, weakening not only the Mongolian economy but also Mongolian negotiating power, forces the government..Read more
World Bank Mining project approved
The 4th World Bank project is formally approved, after an Economic Policy Conference that is jointly organised by the World Bank and the government of..Read more
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj is elected (Democratic Party).
World Bank Policy Development Credit
Mongolia receives Development Policy credit worth USD 40 million, as a response to the economic downturn and the dramatic fall of commodity prices.
Ivanhoe-Entree joint venture expands
Ivanhoe’s deep exploration drilling on the Ivanhoe-Entree licence finds high-grade copper and gold presence, resulting in the discovery of the Heruga Deposit and the Heruga..Read more
Windfall Profits Tax on copper and gold is repealed
Ivanhoe and Rio Tinto successfully negotiate that the Mongolian Parliament repeals the Windfall Profits Tax of 68%, so the Oyu Tolgoi project can proceed. Along..Read more
Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement is signed
The Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement is signed by Rio Tinto, Ivanhoe Mines and the Mongolian government. It lasts for 30 years with a possible additional..Read more
Rio Tinto gets rights over OT mine in exchange for financing
Rio Tinto becomes the operator of Oyu Tolgoi and with Ivanhoe seeks to complete an international project-finance package of up to USD 3.6 billion.
World Bank Policy Development Credit
Mongolia receives the second World Bank Development Policy credit worth USD 29,7 million
Phase 1 of OT open pit construction begins
The first phase of Oyu Tolgoi open pit construction begins.
Global copper prices peak
Mongolia experiences a mining boom. Global copper prices peak. The copper prices reach USD 4.50/lb in April 2011. In January 2009 this was still USD..Read more
Mongolia cancels its tax treaty with the Netherlands
Turquoise Hill Netherlands is a little-known Amsterdam-based company with three employees, no office, and not even its own mailbox. To the government of Mongolia, though,..Read more
Mongolian economy fastest growing in the world
Mongolia experiences 17.3% GDP growth, making it the economically fastest growing country in the world.
World Bank provides mining support
The World Bank provides Mongolia with a Mining Infrastructure Investment Support Project worth USD 25 million.
Oyu Tolgoi shareholders agreement signed
An ‘Amended and Restated Shareholders Agreement’ (ARSHA) is signed by Erdenes, Ivanhoe Oyu Tolgoi, Oyu Tolgoi Netherlands B.V., and Oyu Tolgoi LLC (formerly known as..Read more
Rio Tinto wins arbitration case about take-over
Rio Tinto wins in an arbitration case from Ivanhoe Mines, which tried to prevent a Rio Tinto take-over.
World Bank governance project
The World Bank provides a ‘Strengthening Governance Credit’ worth USD 1,2 million.
New Foreign Investment Law passed
The ‘Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law’ (SEFIL) / ‘Business Entities Operating in Sectors of Strategic Importance’ is passed. This law limits foreign investment and ownership..Read more
The Democratic Party wins the elections for the Mongolian parliament (State Great Khural) with 35% of the cast votes.
Rio Tinto acquires a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines
As Rio Tinto acquires a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines in January 2012, the name of Ivanhoe Mines is changed into Turquoise Hills Resources (TRQ)..Read more
Mongolia tries to amend the 2009 Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement
Mongolia aims to raise the government stake in the Oyu Tolgoi mine from 34% to at least 40%, change the set royalty rate of 5%..Read more
President openly questions Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement
President Elbegdorj questions the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement (OTIA) in a speech, and raises the question about the need for its revision, so that export..Read more
Rio Tinto suspends the USD 5.3 billion Oyu Tolgoi expansion
In response to a possible tax increase, dispute over costs, and increasing political will to renegotiate the Investment Agreement, Rio Tinto halts Oyu Tolgoi operations..Read more
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj is re-elected (Democratic Party).
The Investment Law of Mongolia passes
This new Investment Law reverses the 2012 Investment Law (SEFIL), provides foreign investors with the same protections as domestic investors, and eases regulatory approval requirements..Read more
Mongolia adopts the Minerals Policy
Otherwise known as “The Policy,” this new policy on the minerals sector serves as a framework for further amendments to the existing mining law and..Read more
Agreement signed to provide Oyu Tolgoi with power from Tavan Tolgoi
An agreement is signed between the IFC, the ERBD-financed Oyu Tolgoi LLC, and the Mongolian government for the purchase of power domestically, as well as..Read more
Mongolian currency continues to weaken
The Mongolian currency (tugrik) has weakened nearly 40% against the US Dollar since 2013  https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2015/cr15109.pdf retrieved 7 September 2018
‘Dubai Agreement’ on Oyu Tolgoi phase 2 is signed
The finance agreement for a USD 4.4 billion underground expansion of the OT mine (OTUMDFP) is signed in Dubai. Not only is it largely publicly..Read more
Mongolia’s debt nears 80% of GDP
Mongolia’s national debt is nearly 80% of its GDP
Phase 2 of Oyu Tolgoi construction is projected to begin
This phase includes the Hugo North lift 1 underground mine and the Southern OT open pit
Mongolian People’s party wins the Mongolian State Great Khural elections with a landslide result: 46% of the votes.
IMF and Mongolia agree upon a 6th loan facility
The IMF agrees with Mongolia on a USD 434 million three year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which is part of the larger USD 5.5 billion..Read more
Mongolia puts in place a new Banking regulation: obligation to use local bank services. The law requires all foreign multinationals to use local commercial banks..Read more
Rio Tinto responds to new regulation and taxes
Rio Tinto files a complaint against the IMF, which consequently delays the release of the first IMF bailout payments
Mongolia reverses its stance on the banking regulation
In response to Rio Tinto and IMF, the government of Mongolia retracts its banking regulation.
IMF approves 6th loan facility
After the government of Mongolia has retracted the banking conditions the IMF Executive Board on May 24th approves Mongolia’s 6th loan facility. 
Khaltmaagiin Battulga (Democratic party) is elected.
Entrée / Oyu Tolgoi Joint Venture construction begins
The Joint project includes the Hugo North Extension and Heruga deposits. Rio Tinto is managing the construction. 
Rio Tinto / TRQ embark on new mining area
TRQ and Rio Tinto have acquired a license to start a drilling programme for fields unrelated to Oyu Tolgoi.
TRQ faces a USD 155 million Mongolian tax bill
Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) receives a USD 155 million tax bill from the Mongolian Tax Authority, as a result of a tax audit covering 2013..Read more
Publication of SOMO report ‘Mining Taxes’
The publication “Mining taxes” explains how the mining giant Rio Tinto, and its Canadian subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources, avoided nearly $470 million in Canadian taxes..Read more
Major shareholder questions governance structure
Majority shareholder Sailingstone Capital demands more transparent corporate governance, questioning the independence of TRQ management from majority shareholder and operator Rio Tinto. Shareholders receive little..Read more
3 ministers accused of corruption
Former Mongolian finance minister Bayartsogt Sangajav is arrested early April by Mongolia’s Independent Agency Against Corruption. This happens after a Swiss federal court ruled legitimate..Read more
Rio Tinto under fire from shareholders during Annual General Meeting
Simon Thompson, chair of Rio Tinto on 26 November 2018: “We do face some intractable problems, including our reliance on coal-fired power in Mongolia and..Read more
Power agreement signed on Tavan Tolgoi
The Power Source Framework Agreement is signed between the government and Oyu Tolgoi LLC, in order to develop Tavan Tolgoi Power plant. Tavan Tolgoi, the..Read more
Parliamentary Working Group recommends revision of Investment Agreements
The parliamentary Working Group appointed to review the implementation of the Investment Agreement, submits a report to the National Security Council in March. It recommends..Read more
Shareholders vote against re-election of TRQ Board
Shareholders reject the re-election of board members supported by Rio Tinto and blame Rio Tinto for delays, as shares value drop by 44%.
Rio Tinto announces further delays of production
Rio Tinto announces that production is projected to start at least a year later than expected (between May 2022 and June 2023), and subsequent costs..Read more
Mongolian Parliament votes to revise Oyu Tolgoi
The parliament voted to replacing the 34% interest with a special royalty and to bring forward the date to receive dividends from the mine, currently..Read more
Rio Tinto posts biggest profit in eight years
Rio Tinto announces its biggest profit since 2011, on the back of booming iron ore prices.