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Oarsman meets Oresman at London 2012 medal metal handover


Oarsman James Cracknell met ’oresman’ Tom Albanese when the Rio Tinto chief executive delivered the first metal ore to be made into London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today.

The ore was mined on opposite sides of the globe at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper Mine near Salt Lake City in the US and from its Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. From the ore, over eight tonnes of gold, silver and copper will be extracted and refined to make the 4,700 gold, silver and bronze medals.

To mark the arrival of the ore in London, Tom Albanese presented a rock containing glittering veins of copper to Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of LOCOG. Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, who is a London 2012 ambassador and will be engaging with Rio Tinto employees ahead of London 2012 on what it takes to be an Olympic athlete, also attended.

Tom Albanese said “In just over a year’s time, the lumps of rock and metal arriving today will have been turned into the gleaming medals around the necks of the world’s elite athletes at the peak of their sporting careers. This is a truly exciting moment for me and for our 77,000 employees around the globe, from Brazil to Mozambique and Australia to Canada.”

Paul Deighton said “Receiving the ore from Rio Tinto that will become the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals is an exciting moment for us all at LOCOG and for everyone involved in the staging of the Games. With just over one year to go to, this is another milestone that brings the Games even closer for athletes across the globe who are training in the hope that they will win an Olympic or Paralympic medal.”

James Cracknell added “Nothing beats the incredible feeling of winning an Olympic medal. Seeing the ore that will make the London 2012 medals brings the Games a step closer for the 14,700 athletes expected to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

About Kennecott Utah Copper

As one of the top producing mines in the world and the second largest copper producer in the United States, Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC) comprises nearly 25 per cent of US copper production.

Rio Tinto purchased the Bingham Canyon Mine and related facilities in 1989 and has invested more than US$2 billion in the modernisation since that time. KUC has also spent more than US$350 million on the cleanup of historic mining waste and US$100 million on groundwater cleanup.

Each year, Rio Tinto employs 2,400 people and influences 14,800 indirect Utah jobs while spending about US$1 billion in the state of Utah in wages, taxes and purchases from nearly 1,000 Utah area businesses.

Facts about KUC:
• KUC’s Bingham Canyon Mine has produced more copper than any mine in history.
• The mine is 2-¾ miles across at the top and ¾ of a mile deep. You could stack two Eiffel Towers on top of each other and still not reach the top of the mine.
• The elevation of the Bingham Canyon Mine drops from 8,040 feet above sea level to 4,390 feet above sea level. The Visitors Center is located at 6,440 feet above sea level.

For more information on KUC visit

About Oyu Tolgoi

Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia (34 per cent stake), Ivanhoe Mines (66 per cent) and Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto is the major shareholder in Ivanhoe Mines and the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project. In addition to dividends from its 34 per cent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, the Government of Mongolia will receive taxes and royalties.

Oyu Tolgoi, located in the Gobi desert in southern Mongolia, will be one of the largest and highest-grade copper and gold mines in the world. It is the largest project ever developed in Mongolia, requiring a capital investment of more than US$5 billion.

Oyu Tolgoi is committed to contributing to a sustainable future for Mongolia. At least 90 per cent of the workforce will be Mongolian once the mine is in production and Oyu Tolgoi is investing US$58 million (78 billion tugrugs) in training and education and an additional US$27 million (36 billion tugrugs) in the Workforce Employment Project designed to help address the general skills shortage in Mongolia.

Oyu Tolgoi’s key priorities are the health and safety of employees, best-practice environmental management, contributing to sustainable communities and always doing business with integrity, for the benefit of all the project’s shareholders and the people of Mongolia.

For more information on Oyu Tolgoi visit


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