First copper exports from Rio Tinto's $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia - believed to have been delayed due to populist pressures arising in the run-up to presidential elections last week - may start this month after incumbent Tsakhia Elbegdorj secured a second four-year term, analysts said this week.
The country's election commission said Elbegdorj got 50.23 percent of the votes after polls closed on Thursday, beating a former wrestling champion, Bat-Erdene Badmaanyambuu of the Mongolian People's Party, and health minister Udval Natsag, of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, Reuters reported.
Oyu Tolgoi, which has been at the center of a prolonged dispute over revenue sharing between the government and its private sector partners, once again became mired in the political mud when Ulan Bator requested just days before the election the delay of first copper concentrate shipments from the project, which was due to start shipping on June 21.
(Read More: Investors Back Mongolia Despite Rio Mine Dispute)
The stoppage appears to have been "politically motivated and requested by the government," Emily Stromquist of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group wrote in an analysis on June 27. Rio Tinto reportedly disagreed with demands by the government that all revenues from shipments stay inside the country at a Mongolian bank, the Eurasia Group said.
"Delays to shipments were a last resort leverage tactic by the government ahead of the elections," Stromquist wrote. "President Elbegdorj aimed to use the delays to prove to Mongolians ahead of the elections that he would not soften his stance in negotiations with Rio Tinto."
However, following Elbegdorj's victory, "first shipments are likely to occur in the coming week or so, and while the targeted deadline to begin shipments by the end of June is likely to be missed, which is symbolically a negative development, at least for now first shipments are anticipated to begin by the first week of July," Stromquist said.
When contacted by CNBC, Rio Tinto spokesman Bruce Tobin said the company wasn't immediately able to provide a time-frame on the start of copper concentrate exports from Oyu Tolgoi.
Ratings agency Moody's said the delay of copper exports from Oyu Tolgoi "lowers investor confidence and underscores institutional weaknesses" and is 'Credit Negative' for Mongolia.
"Apart from adding to investor wariness, the smooth operation of Oyu Tolgoi is crucial for another reason: initial export proceeds are to be used to repay advance tax payments and a loan used to finance the government's equity stake," according to Tom Byrne, Senior Vice President of Moody's Sovereign Risk Group and analysts Anushka Shah and Cynthia Mar writing in a June 27 briefing.