“Our ministry will not rest until the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement is changed, and I would certainly resign if we failed.”
D.Gankhuyag, Mining Minister.
“Mongolia has benefited from the investment agreement since day one. Since that day, Mongolia has received MNT1 trillion in advance payments, and more when income tax paid by Oyu Tolgoi LLC, social insurance payments and indirect payments are accounted for.
Oyu Tolgoi has made the development of Mongolia’s infrastructure and its people a top priority, despite claims in the media to the contrary.”
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, in an unofficial statement.
“After choosing to confront Rio openly, the government needs at least a symbolic victory… Rio is facing power supply issues and opposition from local communities as well. The Mongolian government could use these to its advantage to force Rio’s hand.”
“If there appears to be an attempt at renegotiating or somehow reneging on the investment agreement, that could have a possibly catastrophic effect on the country. It could stop the flow of foreign capital into Mongolia.”
David Wyche, Economic Section chief at the United States Embassy.
“Mongolia does not have a choice but to compromise and adhere to agreements once signed, and it will… Just like in other former communist countries, corruption, red tape and bureaucracy continue to be major issues in Mongolia. The country is not as innocent, minimalist and beautiful as its landscape is, and is plagued by corruption, favouritism and plain fraudulent activities.”
“It may appear that the government is less receptive to foreign investment, but for most in the cabinet, it’s out of the question that there’s any turning away from foreign capital and knowhow. Elements of the government keep bringing it (renegotiating the Oyu Tolgoi agreement) up, but others wish to stop alarming the foreign investment with this controversy.”
Michael Aldrich, of Hogan Lovells.
“When a few parliamentarians push the government to renege on past deals it’s not just investors who are hurt, it’s Mongolians, Mongolian businesses, the entire supply chain.”
Houston Spencer, Rio Tinto spokesman.
“There needs to be a serious debate on where the Mongolian Government sees itself going.Will it be an owner? A beneficiary?”
Arshad Sayed, President of Peabody Energy for Mongolia and India and former World Bank Country Representative in Mongolia.
“We have invested nearly $6 billion, created thousands of jobs for Mongolians and are on the verge of production based on the investment agreement, which provides a stable legal framework and is a legally binding document. The investment agreement has been fundamental in building Mongolia’s reputation as an increasingly reliable and secure destination for foreign investment.”
KayPriestly, Turquoise Hill Chief Executive Officer.
“The feedback from the [newly elected] government is the IPO timetable is now driven by commercial rather than political consideration.”
Graeme Hancock, Erdenes-TT Chief Operating Officer.
“Mongolia is clearly benefiting from natural resource extractions... When a nation develops, customs and traditions can disappear... Socio-economic progress threatens to dilute Mongolia’s distinctive cultures and damage its pristine expanse of wilderness. This loss of traditions could influence the national psyche, which has, typically, enabled Mongolians to survive in this challenging land.”
Jonathan Booth, in PolicyMic.
“This is a critical moment in decision making about the future of Mongolia’s rural areas. Centuries old traditions of mobility, flexibility and reciprocity should not be lost. As other pastoral cultures have found, ‘modernity’ does not necessarily equate with sedentarisation or privatisation. Nomadic heritages and practices retain great value.”
Dr Caroline Upton, Principal Investigator for the project “Community, Place and Pastoralism: Nature and Society in Post-Soviet Central Asia”.
“Frankly speaking, the mine site itself has very poor water supplies but it (the construction) was a good time period to make impressive use of water recycling because... the water supplies would have become a hold up or a limit. We have records of all activities and permissions and there has been no violation. The Gobi has a lot more potential on water than is currently known and if that is really understood then it would take away a lot of the stresses that we are seeing.”
Mark Newby, Oyu Tolgoi’s principal advisor on water resources.
“The power supply agreement is great news for us.”
O. Erdenebulgan, vice-minister for mining.
“We have to make sure that we are designing everything, including the transport infrastructure and the wash plants for West and East Tsankhi ... So the sooner we have another partner ... to help us work through these issues, the better.”
Graeme Hancock, chief operating officer, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi.
“We have seen lots of mine companies having to shut down in Brazil, Australia and Indonesia because of the global economic slowdown, but our companies are surviving competitively in these difficult times.We do hope that in five months or ten months, Mongolian mines will be on service and will be competitive to supply the commodities to the Chinese market.”
O. Chuluunbat, Deputy Minister of Economic Development.
“Income from taxes has started to drop. Last year 56 percent of tax revenue was derived from mining. This year it was estimated that collection from this sector would account for 60 percent of tax receipts. However, it is clear this goal cannot be met.”
B. Erdenebat, professor at the School of Economics at the National University of Mongolia.
“Most countries that have natural wealth have failed. Those that succeed are open countries, meaning they have open policy and democracy.I regard my country as an open country.”
Ts. Elbegdorj, President.
“There’s no guarantee in these discussions, but we view it positively that they recognise our skill sets. Our preference would be to have a role in mining and have an equity component in the project. That’s the structure we’re working towards. I view Shenhua Energy Co.’s participation in the consortium as an advantage rather than a hindrance to our bid.Mongolia recognizes that the natural market for their products is China, so they seem very comfortable with it and we don’t see that as an issue.”
Gregory Boyce, Chief Executive, Peabody Energy.
“Mongolia’s current deficit to debt ratio of 47.7 percent is of little worry. With a huge flow of income coming, we should not fear such debt.”
The Mongol Bank.
“Absolute faith in the state is a legacy issue we are all struggling with.We assume that everybody is pretty much sure that the free-market enterprise system is what is needed to help Mongolia and its citizens succeed and approach this next wave of development. But obviously we can’t assume everyone is already convinced of that.”
Houston Spencer, Vice President of Communications and Media Relations,Oyu Tolgoi LLC.
“The rapid pace of mining development has outrun existing laws and standards, thus failing to balance such development with the interests of the local people. Local authorities took money and protected companies acting illegally. Government inspectors have no access to the Oyu Tolgoi site. The company has more power than the government.”
D. Ganbold, a civil society representative.
“No power is vested in the local authorities to protect the local environment. Between 2007 and 2012, the local government was against issuing certain licences, but these were granted nevertheless. Listening to local voices is very important. On our side, we are ready for cooperation and are not obstructionists.”
Ch. Dagva, Governor of Dundgovi.
“We have been working with (Mongolian) ministries for several years and they have made great progress in many areas. They do have transparency of revenues.”
Coralie Gevers, World Bank resident representative.