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Rio Tinto Subsidiary Seeks Arbitration To Settle Tax Dispute With Mongolia

Mining giant Rio Tinto Thursday said its Mongolian subsidiary Oyu Tolgoi LLC has initiated a formal international arbitration process to settle a dispute with the Mongolian Tax Authority related to taxes paid by Oyu Tolgoi between 2013 and 2015.

The dispute resolution provisions set out in the 2009 Investment Agreement (IA) and the 2015 Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan with the Government of Mongolia call for arbitration under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) arbitration rules, to be heard in London before a panel of three arbitrators.

On 16 January, 2018, Oyu Tolgoi received a tax assessment for about $155 million from the MTA relating to an audit on taxes imposed and paid by Oyu Tolgoi between 2013 and 2015. In January 2018, Oyu Tolgoi paid an amount of $4.8 million to settle unpaid taxes, fines and penalties for accepted items.

Arnaud Soirat, chief executive Copper & Diamonds, said "We have worked diligently with the government and tax office representatives in Mongolia to find a mutually acceptable settlement and came to the conclusion that arbitration is the best way forward to resolve this issue."

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