Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


We continue to progress important growth opportunities and projects, to bring to market materials critical to the transition to a low-carbon economy: copper, lithium and iron ore, among others.

We have a strong portfolio of projects and exploration activity in seven commodities across more than 18 countries. We focus on investing in quality organic growth and use data and technology to improve our targeting, allowing us to uncover opportunities in areas that have been well explored by others.

Concentrator, Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia

Oyu Tolgoi

One of the world’s largest known copper and gold deposits

Global demand for copper is set to grow, driven by urbanisation, industrialisation and increasing requirements for renewable energy: copper plays a key role in electrification and power production. For example, a wind turbine capable of generating a megawatt of power – enough to supply several hundred homes – needs more than three tonnes of copper.

Oyu Tolgoi, in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, is one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in the world and when the underground is operational, it is expected to be the world’s fourth-largest copper mine. At peak production, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to operate in the first quartile of the copper cash cost curve1. Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce around 500,000 tonnes of copper per year on average from 2028 to 2036 from the open pit and underground, and an average of around 350,000 tonnes for a further five years2, compared to 163,000 tonnes in 20213.

The OT underground development will consolidate Rio Tinto’s position as a leading global supplier of copper at a time when demand is increasing, driven by its role in enabling decarbonisation and electrification in the race to net zero. We will also explore additional opportunities to decarbonise the OT operations, including sourcing renewable power.”

- Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Chief Executive

1 Wood Mackenzie copper equivalent cash cost curve (Q4 2021)

2 The 500ktpa target (stated as recovered metal) for the Oyu Tolgoi underground and open pit mines is underpinned 17 per cent by Proved Ore Reserves and 83 per cent by Probable Ore Reserves for the years 2028-2036. The 350kpa production target for the following 5 years is underpinned 18 per cent by Proved Ore Reserves and 82 per cent by Probable Ore Reserves. These production targets have been scheduled from current mine designs by Competent Persons in accordance with the requirements of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Minerals Resources and Ore Reserves, 2012 Edition (the JORC code).

3 Rio Tinto Annual Results 2021, published 23 February 2022.

Grow in materials enabling the energy transition

Our strategy also focuses on growing in materials required to support the energy transition, such as copper, lithium, aluminium and high-quality iron ore. This will ensure our portfolio remains relevant and is well-placed to meet the commodity needs of future generations.”

- Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Chief Executive

The pursuit of the Paris Agreement goals will create additional demand for materials such as copper, lithium, aluminium and high-quality iron ore. These are essential enablers of the energy transition and the development of infrastructure for a low-carbon world. Our ambition is to increase our growth capital to $3.0 billion annually in 2023 to 2024, depending on opportunities, while continuing to provide attractive returns to our shareholders.

We will seek to grow further in copper and battery materials, and to bring additional tonnes of high-grade iron ore to market from the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) and the Simandou project in Guinea. We will continue to align our exploration spend to supplement our existing growth pipeline.

Excel in development

Deliver organic and inorganic growth, on time, on budget

Our portfolio is well-placed to meet the commodity needs of future generations, but we also need to build a pipeline of organic and inorganic growth opportunities and establish a strong track record of capital-efficient delivery.

We are broadening our approach to developing our pipeline of growth options and are testing innovative ways of bringing projects online faster. Through it all, we will maintain our absolute commitment to capital discipline and only pursue opportunities that create value.

We are also focused on further building our capabilities in business development and project execution.

We continued to successfully roll out the Rio Tinto Safe Production System (RTSPS) and now have 15 deployments across the business at 11 sites, with 30 rapid improvement projects (Kaizens) either completed or in progress. In the first half of 2022, there has been a 9% year on year improvement in average operating time across processing plants and drills at deployment sites versus the same period in 2021. We are on track to meet our 2022 target of 30 deployments at 15 sites.

  • Rincon Project, Argentina


    Rincon is a long life, scaleable resource capable of producing battery grade lithium carbonate. It has the potential to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry that can help deliver on our decarbonisation commitment.
  • Gudai-Darri site


    Gudai-Darri will set a benchmark for our industry in terms of automation and the use of data – making mining safer and more productive.
  • Winu project

    Promising Copper Discovery in Australia

    Winu – a copper and gold project – is part of our high-quality pipeline of exploration projects globally. The Winu deposit is shallow and suitable for open pit mining, located in a great jurisdiction, in flat topography, and 100% owned. We announced the maiden Resource for Winu in July 2020 and believe it has the potential to become a large-scale operation over time.
  • Oyu Tolgoi Underground

    Oyu Tolgoi Underground

    At Oyu Tolgoi, in Mongolia, we are building a world-class underground mine. Oyu Tolgoi has reserves and resources that make it one of the world’s largest known copper and gold deposits. 
  • Modern exploration team

    Meet our Modern Explorers

    Our team of 400+ explorers is out searching the world for the next wave of commodities essential for human progress.