It was reported yesterday that shipments of concentrate from the mine would begin 6/14/13. The very next day that has been cancelled. This is the kind of yo-yo decision making and information management that is, in my view, killing Mongolia's credibility with foreign investors. The good news is that Rio Tinto continues to mine and concentrate is piling up at the mine awaiting an agreement in order to begin shipping. Hopefully this will begin after the presidential elections on 6/26/13.
Reuters and traders had been invited to a ceremony on June 14 at the site in Mongolia's South Gobi Desert to witness the first exports from the copper and gold mine to China, but were informed late on Wednesday the trip was off.
Oyu Tolgoi LLC said nothing had changed from previous statements that it was expecting first exports before the end of June. Rio Tinto declined to comment.
Start-up of the mine, the biggest in the country, is being closely watched by other companies and investors in Mongolia, who have been rattled over the past year by new regulations and concerns raised by the government over Oyu Tolgoi.
"We're hopeful come the second half of the year people will become a bit more positive on Mongolia," said Sam Spring, chief executive of Kincora Copper, a copper explorer with a project near Oyu Tolgoi.
"Hopefully, Oyu Tolgoi ramping up and the completion of the project financing helps, as does the presidential election."
Disclosure: I am long TRQ.