Rio Tinto to help Mongolia tackle climate change, desertification

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The Rio Tinto logo is displayed on a visitor’s helmet at a borates mine in Boron, California, U.S., November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

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June 24 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) on Friday signed an agreement with Mongolia's environment ministry to address climate change and desertification issues in the country where the global miner operates the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

Between 2022 and 2026, the Anglo-American miner's local unit will help the east Asian country tackle its national climate change commitments, as the region faces increasing number of natural and climate disasters, including forest fires and droughts.

Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world's largest-known copper and gold deposits located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, a land-locked nation between China and Russia prone to earthquakes and natural disasters.

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Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ.TO) holds a 66% stake in the mine, with the remaining 34% interest owned by the Mongolian government. Rio Tinto has a 51% stake in Turquoise and is vying for the full control of the Canadian miner.

While the global average temperature has warmed by 0.86 degree Celsius (33.548 Fahrenheit) in the last century, Mongolia's average temperature has risen by 2.25С in the last 80 years, Rio said in a statement.

Rio Tinto's local unit, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia will establish a joint team to develop and execute projects to tackle climate change and desertification. The team will also to an extent implement 2030 sustainable development goals.

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Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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