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Joint response from Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto delivered to Mongolian Government and members of the National Security Council

Late last week Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN)(NYSE:IVN)(NASDAQ:IVN) and Rio Tinto received a letter from a representative of the Mongolian Cabinet inviting the companies to discuss potential changes to the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement. The changes related to the conditions under which the Mongolian Government may negotiate with Ivanhoe Mines to acquire, on mutually agreed terms, an additional 16% interest in the project and the application of a sliding-scale royalty to the project. In response to this letter, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto have formally advised the Mongolian government that the companies are not prepared to renegotiate the investment agreement.

What happened at Bougainville

SBS World News Australia reports that Bouganville copper mine, one of the world's largest deposits of copper, could open if past combatants could be fairly compensated. The report also alleges new complicity in the conflict that cost the lives of around 15,000 to 20,000 people. The open pit mine was established in Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s by Bougainville Copper Limited, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. While operating, it accounted for 20% of the country's national budget.

Indian cabinet passes new mine law; coal producers hit with 26% tax

A draft law approved by the Indian cabinet today directs miners to share their profits with people displaced by mining. The Wall Street Journal reports that the law, which has been pending for over two years, would have mining companies pay a royalty to create a fund to help for those displaced by mining and related industries. Coal producers would pay a 26% tax on profits. A regulator has also been set up to monitor illegal mining and prosecute violators, in a direct response to recent scandals in the states of Karnataka and Goa respecting the illegal export of iron ore.

PNG nickel mine ready to start dumping 200 million tonnes of waste in ocean

Despite a rancourous dispute with local landowners over compensation and infrastructure upgrades and an appeal against a Papua New Guinea High Court ruling approving the dumping, Australia's Highlands Pacific on Friday said it is confident it could power on its already built mine next year after the intervention of a provincial governor. The wrangling over the $1.5 billion Ramu nickel and cobalt mine that over its life will dump 100 million tonnes of waste 400m offshore comes as the new PNG's government moves to quell concerns about proposed changes to mining rights that would potentially force projects worth billions of dollars into renegotiation.

Rio Tinto pays Can$73 million for 49% of Ivanhoe Mines

Rio Tinto announced on Tuesday that it paid Can$73 million for 49% of Ivanhoe Mines. Rio Tinto acquired an additional 3,700,000 common shares in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Rio Tinto International Holdings Limited, increasing Rio Tinto's ownership in Ivanhoe Mines by 0.5 per cent to a total of 361,858,442 common shares or 49 per cent through a privately negotiated share purchase agreement.

Spooked investors dump Ivanhoe despite reassurances – shares crash 21%

A statement put out by Ivanhoe Mines on Monday telling investors that its Oyu Tolgoi project remains on track and pooh-poohing rumours about the Mongolian government reneging on the deal that Ivanhoe and partner Rio Tinto spent five years negotiating did little to ease the fears of investors. By lunchtime Ivanhoe had plummeted more than 21.3%, crashing through the $10 billion market valuation level and taking the week's losses to 33%, with the number of shares changing hands already exceeding the daily average. Ivanhoe also appeared to have patched things up with Rio Tinto on Monday after it said last week it's unhappy that the world's number two miner told investors about possible delays to the mega-project.

Ivanhoe Mines expects the Mongolian Government to support the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement

Ivanhoe Mines said in a statement today that the investment agreement for the Oyu Tolgoi Project remains a fair and legally binding contract that deserves and requires the unqualified support of all parties. Media reports during the weekend quoted Mongolia's Mineral Resources and Energy Minister D. Zorigt as indicating that Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto would receive a letter from the Mongolian government asking the companies to consider entering into discussions to address a possible change to the investment agreement. A reported potential proposed change would see acceleration of the government's right to increase its current 34% interest in Oyu Tolgoi to 50% by purchasing an additional 16% at fair market value at some future point, after Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto recoup their capital investments in the project.

India, China and Russia will be driving uranium’s future

Although its future is unclear, significant expansion of nuclear power capacity is projected to occur in non-OECD countries, especially China, India and Russia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The government agency released its International Energy Outlook 2011 last week. "China, Russia, and India account for the largest increment in world net installed nuclear power from 2008 to 2035: China adds 106 gigawatts of nuclear capacity over the period, Russia 28 gigawatts, and India 24 gigawatts."