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  • One of the key objectives of the long-term development policy Vision-2050, which the government has submitted to parliament for discussion and approval, is to put Mongolia among the top ten countries in the world in terms of happiness and freedom from corruption. Among the other goals of what the Prime Minister has called the “most ambitious” roadmap for national prosperity, are expanded use of innovation and technology-based knowledge, economic diversification, green development, raising the GDP by 6.1 times, and taking annual per capita income to $15,000. If these goals are indeed achieved in the next 30 years, Mongolia would have a seat at the table of the world’s developed countries, of which the top ten today are Singapore, the USA, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Competitiveness Report, Mongolia ranks 102nd out of 141 countries  considered.
  • Sales revenue from the Salkhit and Asgat silver deposits would be used to compensate the loss to the exchequer from the writing off of pensioners’ loans, but will there be any revenue from Asgat at all in the near future, given that the appropriate technology for extraction there has not been identified? Nobody knows if there has been a breakthrough, but it seems unlikely.   Two other hurdles stand in the way of any quick start to sales from Asgat. First, it is about 3000 m above sea level and there is no infrastructure. Second, there are no processing facilities and ore is uneconomic to transport.
  • Following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus in worldwide to inform that we are forced to postpone Mongolia’s largest international mining and oil expo 2020 originally planned to take place from 8 – 10 April 2020 in Ulaanbaatar, due to emergency situation related with the 1st Covid 19 case in Mongolia. A new date for the expo is yet to be scheduled. We aim to organize Mongolia Mining 2020 prior to this summer's mining season for the best benefit of our exhibitors, partner and mining industry. Dates for the expo will be set depending on further circumstances and we will officially inform you at least 30 days prior to the new dates.
  • BAYAN-UUL   The Bayan-Uul silver-mixed metal deposit is under an exploration licence. Its central part is in Choibalsan soum of Dornod aimag, 790 km from Ulaanbaatar, some 20 km from the Khavirga border checkpoint and 27 km from the Khavirga railway relay of the Choibalsan-Ereentsav railway station. Geologically it is part of the Tsav ore node and is 25 km east from the Tsav silver-mixed metal deposit which is currently under mining.  Prospecting on 1:500000-1:200000 scales was taken up in 1975 by a Mongolia Geological Mapping Expedition team of the Geological Ministry of the former Soviet Union. This led to the preparation of a geological map, and the discovery of the Tsav ore node, the Tsav and Bayan-Uul silver and mixed metals deposits, as well as of the Salkhit, Modot, Altantolgoi and Omnod occurrences. Parts in these were identified where further detailed work was to be done. 
  • An agreement on setting up a gold refinery in Mongolia was signed during Prime Minister U. Khurelsukh’s visit to Kazakhstan in October 2019. The signatory on behalf of Mongolia was B. Achitsaikhan, CEO of Erdenes Alt Resource. G. Iderkhangai finds out from him the terms of the agreement and the progress on the ground.   A viable refinery must have adequate raw material to feed it. How successful has been Erdenes Alt Resource in prospecting, exploring, and extracting the precious metal?   Our company’s key goal is to build a gold refinery in Mongolia. From the very beginning we have been working with support from the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry and our parent company, Erdenes Mongol, on preparing for this. We have chosen the location and are now studying what kind of infrastructure we shall need.
  • Whenever and wherever mining is discussed, the talk soon veers to responsible mining and the hope it holds for the economic, social and environmental well-being of Mongolia. However, most of us would fumble if asked to define what exactly responsible mining is. A presentation by B. Mendbayar, Head of the Internal Auditing and Monitoring Division at Erdenes Mongol and the man who worked out the assessment methodology for responsible mining in an IFC-sponsored programme, at a seminar of the Local Journalists’ Network 2019 training project, went into details of how to evaluate a company’s record in responsible mining. E. Od, who took notes, now presents what was said. 
  • Towards the end of last year, an important event took place in the history of modern mining in Mongolia. It was the completion of a production shaft, one of the key infrastructure facilities of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project, with its headframe tower rising to the sky.  On the vast plains of Khanbogd, two distinct landmarks now catch our eye. First is Mt. Khanbogd, proud to be blessed by the sun. This sacred mountain, created by God, contains the best of minerals, and is also a storehouse of history and legends, a slice of human culture. God only knows how and when it was created and what it has seen since then. The second landmark, not far away from the sacred mountain, is the Oyu Tolgoi tower – built only recently by human intelligence and hard work. It looks mesmerizing, especially at dawn and dusk. I ask for your forgiveness for daring to compare these two “creations”, but, as it is said, there is always some connection between things. 
  • We have often noted how the US-China “trade war” can, even if obliquely, affect Mongolia’s exports to its southern neighbour, but just when the two countries announced a truce in mid-January and raised hopes of smooth sailing in the new year, came news of an unexpected threat – the coronavirus. The infection from this virus, almost crippling life in China and threatening to spread worldwide, is endangering the global economy, and nearer home, Mongolia’s trade with its biggest and almost sole export destination.
  • S. Enkhtuya, CEO, writes:    That eight of the largest mining companies have come together to join the Voluntary Code of Responsible Mining has great importance in that this will enthuse other companies to join them in strengthening the case for responsible mining. It will also create pride among citizens working in mining as opening the way for raising the sector’s reputation in the public mind. 
  • Z. Gan-Ochir, CEO, replies to questions sent by MMJ: How does your company see the importance of joining the Voluntary Responsible Mining Code?  Mining is the main lever of Mongolia’s economic development. It accounts for one third of the state budget. If mining stops, not only will 60,000 people become unemployed, but also public services such as schools and hospitals will be seriously inconvenienced. Thus mining cannot be allowed to stop. That being the case, it is crucially important that the extractive industry operates with responsibility. This is why we are happy to be part of the Join for Responsibility initiative. We hope the campaign will go a long way in correctly explaining to the people the role and activities of the mining sector and thus giving it its deserved space in society. 
  • The Mongolian Mining Journal, the first journal in Mongolia to specialize in economic and mining topics, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Mongolian National Public Radio and Television (MNB)’s MNB World channel. Under this, the English-language contents of The Mongolian Mining Journal are now featured regularly in a programme on MNB World TV channel starting from January 2020, allowing the journal to add television viewers to its print and online readership. The editorial team at The Mongolian Mining Journal, popularly known as MMJ, has more than 11 years of experience in covering mining, economic and business topics.
  • Armando Torres, CEO, replies to questions sent by email:  Why do you consider the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Voluntary Code of Practice for Responsible Mining to be significant?   I believe this MoU lays out a strong foundation to promote best practices of responsible mining across the mining industry and streamline cooperation among major mining companies in Mongolia. What is the next step for your company after signing  the MoU? We see it as an opportunity to share our best practices with our mining peers, broader stakeholders and the public and also to learn from others. Together with our partners of the MoU, we will support development of responsible mining in Mongolia by fostering a better understanding of what the industry needs to do in order to create mutual trust and shared responsibility for responsible mining in society. 
  • Almost two months have passed since the Constitution was amended to include a provision mandating that profits from underground resources would be put into the National Wealth Fund to be distributed equally among the people of the country. The passage of the amendment was preceded by a prolonged period of debate, often acrimonious, on the exact words and terminology to be used but there was never any dispute that natural resources were state property and the results from their exploitation should be for the public good. 
  • Ch. Munkhbat, President and CEO, talks to B.Tugsbilegt Why did you think it was important to join the Voluntary Responsible Mining Code?  Studying the Mongolian National Mining Association initiative, we felt its implementation could lead to a significant reduction in irresponsible mining, developing responsible mining instead. We cannot continue with the kind of mining that only degrades the land by digging, or with how “ninjas” work.   Eight of us working together can do a lot for responsible mining. The mining sector takes many risks as it is and cannot afford to have the public against it. It must consider the attitude of citizens in areas where there is mining.      We are the only coal company in Mongolia which is registered in two stock exchanges. Stock exchanges require a company to operate in a transparent manner and its reports and financial statements to be open to the public quarterly.
  • Among the guests at the ceremony held on 2 November to present the Local Mining Journalists Awards was P. Ochirbat, the first President of Mongolia after the transition from socialism. We give below a summary in his own words of what he told the awardees.  Specialised mining journalism was introduced in Mongolia by a talented woman, L. Bolormaa, when she founded the Mongolian Mining Journal. It published reports and features on Mongolian mining in Mongolian and English but apart from the contents, its appearance was also of international standards. The English section carried information on our mining sector throughout the world. Over the years this brainchild of L. Bolormaa has informed people about developments in the Mongolian mining industry, celebrated the fame of Mongolian miners and respected their hard work. That is true journalism.  
  • Over the last few years, The Mongolian Mining Journal and its affiliate Journalism for Development NGO have been working to enhance the capacity of journalists working in the provinces. On 2 November, a milestone was placed on that road to better journalism when the first “Local Mining Journalists Awards” were given away at a ceremony in Ulaanbaatar.  The happy occasion, culmination of months of hard work by both trainers and trainees, was inaugurated by Mongolia’s first President, P.Ochirbat, who is also a celebrated name in the country’s mining sector. In his brief but impassioned address (published elsewhere in this issue), he said human society would not have developed to its present stage, and would not develop further, without mining.  “Even with rapid digitalization, technology will always need minerals.
  • Baganuur JSC has been operating for 41 years, since 1978. Its corporate culture as a state-owned company was formed in what now seems different times, but in 2014, in cooperation with GIZ, we prepared the Strategic Paper on Social Responsibility, which introduced fresh concepts. It is this document that provides the guidelines for the corporate social responsibility activities that we now follow.  When in 2018 Erdenes Mongol evaluated the progress and performance of the responsible mining system towards reaching five key goals, Baganuur’s rating was 39 percent. Considering that we had started on this only recently this was quite creditable, and since then we have improved our compliance with international standards and requirements.  
  • The “Join for Responsibility” campaign initiated by the Mongolian National Mining Association (MNMA) and implemented together with the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry received a big fillip last June when eight leading mining companies of the country signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Voluntary Code of Practice for Responsible Mining. MNMA expects its initiative to encourage mining companies to follow best practices and be “responsible” and now the move by their more successful peers is certain to popularize and strengthen the concept of responsible mining in both theory and practice.  The eight companies – Oyu Tolgoi, Erdenet Mining  Corporation, Monpolymet, Energy Resources, Aspire Mining represented by its subsidiary Khurgatai Khairkhan, SouthGobi Sands, Terra Energy and Baganuur
  • N. Batbayar, Head of the Mining Inspection Department of the Specialized Inspection Agency, tells G. Iderkhangai that much of the present emphasis on responsible mining is misplaced. In any case, why should only mining companies be “responsible”?  Everybody wants to have more responsible mining in Mongolia.  With your work experience, do you think it is a realistic expectation?  I have always found it strange that responsibility should be demanded of only one sector. Only mining companies are expected to pursue transparent and responsible policies and activities. Should this not be applied to units in all sectors? Also, in general talk about responsibility in mining, the emphasis is always on the environment and relations with the government, and on exactly what has been given to the local community, but rarely is it considered what contribution mining has made to the economic prosperity of the country.
  • After a period of uncertainty, the Oyu Tolgoi underground project ends the year on a high note. Belying apprehensions, in late November the Mongolian Parliament gave an unconditional go-ahead to continuing with the work under the existing agreements – admittedly with the proviso that the Government must try to derive more benefit from them for Mongolia – and construction of shaft 2 -- the major shaft to transport underground ore to the surface – was complete. Ulf Quelmann, CEO of Turquoise Hill Resources, was present at the ceremony on 13 December to inaugurate operations of the shaft, and MMJ spoke to him on the state of the project and the mood of the investors.
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  • Уржигдар 11 цаг 13 минутад
    One of the key objectives of the long-term development policy Vision-2050, which the government has submitted to parliament for discussion and approval, is to put Mongolia among the top ten countries in the world in terms of happiness and freedom from corruption. Among the other goals of what the Prime Minister has called the “most ambitious” roadmap for national prosperity, are expanded use of innovation and technology-based knowledge, economic diversification, green development, raising the GDP by 6.1 times, and taking annual per capita income to $15,000. If these goals are indeed achieved in the next 30 years, Mongolia would have a seat at the table of the world’s developed countries, of which the top ten today are Singapore, the USA, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Competitiveness Report, Mongolia ranks 102nd out of 141 countries  considered.
  • 2020-03-18 14:23
    Sales revenue from the Salkhit and Asgat silver deposits would be used to compensate the loss to the exchequer from the writing off of pensioners’ loans, but will there be any revenue from Asgat at all in the near future, given that the appropriate technology for extraction there has not been identified? Nobody knows if there has been a breakthrough, but it seems unlikely.   Two other hurdles stand in the way of any quick start to sales from Asgat. First, it is about 3000 m above sea level and there is no infrastructure. Second, there are no processing facilities and ore is uneconomic to transport.
  • 2020-03-16 11:14
    Following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus in worldwide to inform that we are forced to postpone Mongolia’s largest international mining and oil expo 2020 originally planned to take place from 8 – 10 April 2020 in Ulaanbaatar, due to emergency situation related with the 1st Covid 19 case in Mongolia. A new date for the expo is yet to be scheduled. We aim to organize Mongolia Mining 2020 prior to this summer's mining season for the best benefit of our exhibitors, partner and mining industry. Dates for the expo will be set depending on further circumstances and we will officially inform you at least 30 days prior to the new dates.
  • 2020-03-10 10:55
    BAYAN-UUL   The Bayan-Uul silver-mixed metal deposit is under an exploration licence. Its central part is in Choibalsan soum of Dornod aimag, 790 km from Ulaanbaatar, some 20 km from the Khavirga border checkpoint and 27 km from the Khavirga railway relay of the Choibalsan-Ereentsav railway station. Geologically it is part of the Tsav ore node and is 25 km east from the Tsav silver-mixed metal deposit which is currently under mining.  Prospecting on 1:500000-1:200000 scales was taken up in 1975 by a Mongolia Geological Mapping Expedition team of the Geological Ministry of the former Soviet Union. This led to the preparation of a geological map, and the discovery of the Tsav ore node, the Tsav and Bayan-Uul silver and mixed metals deposits, as well as of the Salkhit, Modot, Altantolgoi and Omnod occurrences. Parts in these were identified where further detailed work was to be done. 
  • 2020-03-10 10:33
    An agreement on setting up a gold refinery in Mongolia was signed during Prime Minister U. Khurelsukh’s visit to Kazakhstan in October 2019. The signatory on behalf of Mongolia was B. Achitsaikhan, CEO of Erdenes Alt Resource. G. Iderkhangai finds out from him the terms of the agreement and the progress on the ground.   A viable refinery must have adequate raw material to feed it. How successful has been Erdenes Alt Resource in prospecting, exploring, and extracting the precious metal?   Our company’s key goal is to build a gold refinery in Mongolia. From the very beginning we have been working with support from the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry and our parent company, Erdenes Mongol, on preparing for this. We have chosen the location and are now studying what kind of infrastructure we shall need.
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