Recent news

  • J. Zoljargal, CEO of Mongolian Coal Association, is not too enthusiastic about expensive infrastructure development projects as, to him, what exporters need most is better facilities to take their coal to the buyer in China faster and freely. In a wide-ranging conversation he tells B.Tugsbilegt that coal prices would not always stay high, but in a positive development Chinese state policy is bringing buyers geographically closer to Mongolian coal mines.  What is the current coal export situation? Export volume in the first half of the year was 1.5 percent less YoY, down from 19 million tonnes in 2018 to 18.6 million tonnes, but this is a marginal drop and our goal for the full year is to achieve 42 million tonnes.
  • In keeping with the hot days of summer, Mongolians are carrying out a heated debate on amending the Constitution, though their mood is frequently not as sunny as it is outside. The Parliamentary Office has been collecting people’s opinions and views since June 25.  Members of parliament have been touring in their electoral districts, sampling popular response to the bill which, if approved, would give us a significantly altered Constitution on July 1, 2020, as promised in the Action Plan of the Mongolian People’s Party, which has majority in the present Parliament. This is not the first time the Constitution has been sought to be amended in a major way, though all such efforts have failed up to now, for various reasons. The Constitution was adopted in 1992, to help establish a humane, democratic, fair and compassionate society and, more importantly, to encourage an independent political system in the country which had just recently decided to abandon the Soviet model.
  • Major companies in the extractive industry in Mongolia recently came together to launch a campaign to encourage the practice of responsible mining. Among those who attended the meeting at Tuushin Hotel were those representing Oyu Tolgoi, Erdenet Mining, Energy Resources, Aspire Mining, SouthGobi Sands, Terra Energy and Baganuur. Later, they all joined the Responsible Mining Voluntary Code.  The campaign was initiated by the Mongolian National Mining Association (MNMA) and is to be implemented together with the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry. Those who joined the codex and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) included Kh. Badamsuren, Director General of the state-owned Erdenet Mining Corporation, Armando Torres, CEO of Oyu Tolgoi, G. Battsengel, CEO of Energy Resources, Z.Gan-Ochir of Aspire Mining, Ch. Munkhbat, President and CEO of SouthGobi Sands, Sam Bowles, CEO of Terra Energy, and O.Tuya, Vice Director of  Baganuur JSC. The MoU has 30 clauses in 5 sections.
  • Russian President Putin will be in Mongolia to attend the 80th anniversary celebrations of our two countries’ joint victory in the battle of Khalkh Gol. The visit is expected to take bilateral relations to a new phase and there is talk that a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement will be signed during the visit. Much has happened in the five years since Putin was last here.  For example, the agreement to establish the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor was signed in 2015 at Tashkent; Mongolia and Russia signed a 25-year interim discount tariff agreement for railway transit; Russia re-opened a transport corridor through its territory after nine years; and a consortium of Russian companies led by Russian Railway made a bid for the Tavantolgoi deposit along with global mining giants; and when coal prices were at their highest ever, Mongolia made a special offer to the Russian side. 
  • Even as mining in Omnogobi lifts the economy there and at the national level, herders in the aimag continue to feel that the steps taken by local authorities have failed to arrest its negative impacts – specially on water availability, pasture lands and the environment. N. Enkhtsetseg finds out from N. Naranbaatar, Governor of the aimag, what the actual situation is and how issues arising from increased mining are tackled.  
  •  The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia now invites eligible consulting firms (“Consultants”) to express their interest in developing a detailed feasibility study on the construction of a copper concentrate smelting and refining plant in Mongolia. Interested Consultants shall meet the criteria and requirements specified in Articles 14, 15 and 16 of Public Procurement Law of Mongolia and submit the following documents to indicate their capacity:
  • David Sproule, Ambassador of Canada to Mongolia, tells E.Odjargal that his country is eager to share its experience in mining but investors will not come here until they feel the environment is stable, with rules for them not changing with every change in government. He also sees risks as being an inevitable corollary of ownership, and would prefer a government not to own mines, but to be satisfied with receiving taxes and royalties. Let’s start with the 8th round table meeting between our two governments in Ulaanbaatar on 4 June. What important decisions were taken to increase cooperation in areas such as the economy, trade, investment, mining, and infrastructure, and what was noted as the major accomplishments of the past cooperation? We have these meetings every two years. We reviewed the full range of issues, programmes and projects to make sure both countries are working hand in hand to get towards a common goal. The recent meetings were very successful.
  • Under a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority GOH LLC, an Australian company, will conduct exploration activities for coalbed methane gas in Omnogobi aimag. The environment will be much safer if the methane is stopped from escaping into the air. Ch. Sumiya talks to B. Achitsan, General Manager of GOH, to find out more about the project.  
  • Propped up by the IMF bailout programme, the economy seems stable on its feet. Just one year is left before the programme is wrapped up, and we are already ready to say ‘Bye Bye Stand-By’, as MMJ did in its September 2010 issue, when the previous bailout programme was about to end. Thanks to the programme, forex reserves should increase dramatically, growth should be stabilised at between 6 and 8 percent, debts should be reduced and fiscal discipline should be an accepted way of life. However, the tranche of money following the IMF’s sixth review is still awaited, as some work remains to be done in regard to checking banks’ capitalization and its sources. That money should have come four months ago but politics intervened.  
  • D. Batmagnai, Head of the Environment and Tourism Department in Govi-Altai, talks to A. Nyambayar on how watch is kept on the activities of mining companies in the aimag. Let me start with a general question. Any mining work has a negative impact on the environment, so do you then think no fresh mining licences, whether exploration or extraction, should be granted? I think it is right to keep the virgin status of our homeland as much as possible. At the moment, 51 percent of the territory of Govi-Altai aimag is under special protection, not open to mining, and also to preserve our cultural heritage sites
  • O.Badarch, Governor of Tsogttsetsii soum in Umnugovi aimag, tells Ch. Sumiya that while mining has brought prosperity there and to the 20,000 people now calling it home, its negative impact on the environment is taking disastrous proportions.  How many mines are active in Tsogttsetsii soum?  Our aimag has 15 soums, and Tsogttstetsii is the smallest of them, only about 7,000 square hectares. Some 16 percent of this is under mining licences. Three large projects -- the State-owned Erdenes Tavantolgoi, the locally-owned Tavantolgoi, which is the first mine of the aimag, and the privately-owned Energy Resources -- are extracting at the Tavantolgoi group of deposits, together exporting about 20 million tonnes of coal annually. There are 20-30 subcontractors removing soil. 
  • There cannot be ‘one recipe’ for good resource governance in all countries with mineral wealth, given their variety, but most such countries can, and are trying to, improve their governance practices. That is the impression this reporter gathered at the CIRDI (Canadian International Resources and Development Institute) workshop on Leading Practices in Mineral Resource Governance, held on April 24-25 in Vancouver, Canada. Officials and non-officials from 13 countries -- Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Senegal, Sweden, Mongolia, Guyana, Chile, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Colombia, Kenya, and Canada -- participated in the workshop, exchanging experiences. Some of them are in an initial stage of developing their mineral sector, while some others are in an advanced stage of such development. 
  • S. Batkhuu, CEO of Tsairt Mineral, tells D. Ulaanaa that his company wants to be a model of responsible mining and asserts that constructive cooperation with the local community is very much possible.  Zinc is the main mineral processed at the Tomortiin Ovoo plant. Has any other mineral been found at the deposit?  Tomortiin Ovoo is primarily a deposit of zinc, but the ore has other minerals mixed in it. It is not yet known if they have any commercial value. Minerals of many types are found underground but it is impossible to extract all of them. Our zinc ore has in some cases silver mixed in it. We can sell this but if any mineral is found in the concentrate we export, we have to pay royalty on it. 
  • As he laid the foundation stone of the 414.6-km railroad between Tavantolgoi and Zuunbayan on May 24, President Kh. Battulga noted that something was at last happening on the ground to implement the State Policy on Railway Transportation adopted by Parliament in 2010. For nine years, he said, domestic politics and politicians with personal stakes in coal mining had not allowed anything to move. Recalling his days as Minister of Road Transportation in the coalition government, Battulga said he had tried to build the railroad in the northern part of the country. He had formed a team, determined routes, signed agreements, laid foundation stones, obtained loans and had spent some of the money, too. Yet, not one km of railroad has been built. There is only piled earth and crumbling embankments on the route from Tavantolgoi to Gashuunsukhait.
  • Mongolia is of great interest to companies in the field of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with Smart Mining solutions market to reach $10 million soon, says report of Finnish-Russian developer of Artificial Intelligence and IIoT solutions ZYFRA.  “Mongolia is of great interest to companies in the field of Industrial Internet of Things. Digital solutions for mining are one of the prospective areas. Currently, this market is valued at around $5-7 million annually. According to my estimates, it will reach USD 10 million very soon
  • RPMGlobal is a global leading mining technology products and consulting services provider with 50+ years of experience. We are publicly listed in ASX since 2009 with 23 offices in 13 countries and have worked in over 125+ countries to keep the mining industry at the forefront of change, incl. Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China in the North Asia Region. We operate in the major mining regions by a global team structure with our over 400 technical consultants and 2000+ leading associates in a broad network. We have operations in all of the world’s key mining locations enabling us to provide experts who understand the local language, culture and terrain.  
  • Aspire Mining is a public company registered at the Australian Stock Exchange. Its operations in Mongolia began in 2010, and it has always tried to contribute to the social and economic development of Mongolia and to observe or even go beyond the high standards of environmental protection here. The company has more than 2,400 shareholders, the majority of them Mongolian, who together own more than 30 percent of shares.
  • As far as I knew, it was the first time a mining company in our aimag would be opening its doors to media people.  I had earlier been on such acquaintance tours to large mine sites such as Oyu Tolgoi and Erdenes Tavantolgoi and had realized how important it was for journalists to know at first hand how mines worked, given that Mongolia’s mining sector is the main pillar of the country’s development and generated the energy for our national prosperity.  Most of us are guilty of believing rumours without checking if they are true and talking bad  about others without any first hand evidence.  This is very much true when we talk about mining. Many believe what they hear, that mining is destroying the country, is the worst thing to happen in Mongolia, that it is toxic.
  • I have been in diplomatic service for 30 years and have served in Vietnam, Thailand, Cuba, Canada, the UAE and the UK and have travelled to 100 plus countries across continents in the course of my Protocol duties.  Immediately before assuming my position here just weeks ago, I was Director in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, in charge of international conferences and multilateral summit level meetings and ex-officio Chairperson of the Operations Committee of the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra for the Indian diaspora spread around the world.
  • State-owned Erdenes Mongol is at a critical point of its life. The working group led by L. Oyun-Erdene, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat, has given final touches to the draft law on the planned wealth fund which should be discussed at a government meeting very soon and then sent to parliament where it is expected to have an easy passage. The draft proposes to make Erdenes Mongol solely responsible for management of the fund. The company runs Mongolia’s strategic deposits which have abundant mineral resources but the question before every citizen is: can it run – or, be allowed to run -- them well enough to earn the kind of profits that would make the fund truly a wealth for future generations?  Hectic activities are on at the sectoral ministry to give more assets to Erdenes Mongol.
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  • 15 цаг 53 минутын өмнө
    J. Zoljargal, CEO of Mongolian Coal Association, is not too enthusiastic about expensive infrastructure development projects as, to him, what exporters need most is better facilities to take their coal to the buyer in China faster and freely. In a wide-ranging conversation he tells B.Tugsbilegt that coal prices would not always stay high, but in a positive development Chinese state policy is bringing buyers geographically closer to Mongolian coal mines.  What is the current coal export situation? Export volume in the first half of the year was 1.5 percent less YoY, down from 19 million tonnes in 2018 to 18.6 million tonnes, but this is a marginal drop and our goal for the full year is to achieve 42 million tonnes.
  • 2019-09-05 16:29
    In keeping with the hot days of summer, Mongolians are carrying out a heated debate on amending the Constitution, though their mood is frequently not as sunny as it is outside. The Parliamentary Office has been collecting people’s opinions and views since June 25.  Members of parliament have been touring in their electoral districts, sampling popular response to the bill which, if approved, would give us a significantly altered Constitution on July 1, 2020, as promised in the Action Plan of the Mongolian People’s Party, which has majority in the present Parliament. This is not the first time the Constitution has been sought to be amended in a major way, though all such efforts have failed up to now, for various reasons. The Constitution was adopted in 1992, to help establish a humane, democratic, fair and compassionate society and, more importantly, to encourage an independent political system in the country which had just recently decided to abandon the Soviet model.
  • 2019-09-05 16:24
    Major companies in the extractive industry in Mongolia recently came together to launch a campaign to encourage the practice of responsible mining. Among those who attended the meeting at Tuushin Hotel were those representing Oyu Tolgoi, Erdenet Mining, Energy Resources, Aspire Mining, SouthGobi Sands, Terra Energy and Baganuur. Later, they all joined the Responsible Mining Voluntary Code.  The campaign was initiated by the Mongolian National Mining Association (MNMA) and is to be implemented together with the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry. Those who joined the codex and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) included Kh. Badamsuren, Director General of the state-owned Erdenet Mining Corporation, Armando Torres, CEO of Oyu Tolgoi, G. Battsengel, CEO of Energy Resources, Z.Gan-Ochir of Aspire Mining, Ch. Munkhbat, President and CEO of SouthGobi Sands, Sam Bowles, CEO of Terra Energy, and O.Tuya, Vice Director of  Baganuur JSC. The MoU has 30 clauses in 5 sections.
  • 2019-09-02 10:50
    Russian President Putin will be in Mongolia to attend the 80th anniversary celebrations of our two countries’ joint victory in the battle of Khalkh Gol. The visit is expected to take bilateral relations to a new phase and there is talk that a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement will be signed during the visit. Much has happened in the five years since Putin was last here.  For example, the agreement to establish the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor was signed in 2015 at Tashkent; Mongolia and Russia signed a 25-year interim discount tariff agreement for railway transit; Russia re-opened a transport corridor through its territory after nine years; and a consortium of Russian companies led by Russian Railway made a bid for the Tavantolgoi deposit along with global mining giants; and when coal prices were at their highest ever, Mongolia made a special offer to the Russian side. 
  • 2019-08-26 11:42
    Even as mining in Omnogobi lifts the economy there and at the national level, herders in the aimag continue to feel that the steps taken by local authorities have failed to arrest its negative impacts – specially on water availability, pasture lands and the environment. N. Enkhtsetseg finds out from N. Naranbaatar, Governor of the aimag, what the actual situation is and how issues arising from increased mining are tackled.  
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Do you agree with increasing state participation in the Draft New Mining Law?
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