LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - Other mining firms have shown strong interest in buying a stake in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project, majority owner Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) said on Wednesday.
"We've had a lot of interest, we've had a lot of interest from other majors," Deputy Chairman Peter Meredith said on the sidelines of the World Mining Investment Congress.
Any sale would have to be done with the knowledge of Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX), the operator of Oyu Tolgoi, due to be one of the world's three biggest copper-gold mines, he added.
"Our partner is Rio Tinto, so we have to be respectful of what their dreams and desires are."
It made sense to consider a divestment since Ivanhoe was primarily an exploration company, he added.
"People don't judge us by earnings per share ... As it gets closer to production, it makes sense that somebody who wants copper revenues will come along and say maybe I need a piece of that."
Output is due to start in 2013 and the mine is due to produce an average of 544,000 tonnes of copper and 650,000 ounces of gold a year during the first 10 years.