* Mongolia looks to resolution over Oyu Tolgoi dispute
* Official says will be a topic when parliament session
starts April 5
* Deadline for key financing expires March 31
SYDNEY, March 20 Mongolia will seek to resolve
an impasse with mining group Rio Tinto over
the $6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project during a
parliamentary session starting next month, a senior government
official said on Thursday.
The three-month session begins on April 5, five days after
Rio Tinto has warned that lender commitments on existing project
finance arrangements expire.
"It will all come together then," Mongolia's Minister for
Foreign Affairs Bold Luvsanvandan said in Sydney, when asked if
the impasse was slated for discussion during the session.
Rio Tinto did not immediately respond to requests for
The company has warned the finance agreement is due to
expire March 31, after having been extended last year by
lenders, which include International Finance Corp and European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
A major hurdle to getting Mongolia's largest foreign
investment project back on track has been $4 billion in
There is also disagreement over compensation for cost
overruns from an earlier stage of development.
Rio Tinto booked a $1.49 billion writedown post-tax on Oyu
Tolgoi in its 2013 results, largely due to the delay in
expanding the mine underground.
It has also warned investors to brace for a further $800
million writedown unless development work resumes after being
halted in August.
Rio Tinto holds majority control of Oyu Tolgoi via its 50.8
percent interest in Canada's Turquoise Hill, which in
turns owns 66 percent of Oyu Tolgoi. The Mongolian government
holds the remaining 34 percent stake.
The Parliamentary session is scheduled to run from April 5
to early July, according to the minister.
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Ed Davies)