The Mining Journal Awards 2012 were presented on December 7 in the following categories: Responsible Mining, Technology Use, Green Mining, Exploration, and Supply. Also honoured were the Person of the Year, the Grand Prix winner and the Best Provider of Support to the mining sector.
Erdenet Mining Corporation was chosen the Best Responsible Mining Company of the Year, pipping Shijir Alt, Energy Resources and SharynGol to the post. The judges were impressed by its achievements in technology and management, and noted how Erdenet had increased this year’s production to 25.9 million tons while meeting all seven international standards of social responsibility. It had raised the average salary of workers and taken up several mega construction works. Special notice was taken of how the company used its waste water to run a 1.5-MW power plant, the first time such recycling has been seen in Mongolia.
The Best Use of Technology award went to Erdmin Co. which has shown the way to produce final metal products in Mongolia. The company successfully adapted copper cathode production technology to the harsh weather conditions of Mongolia and is now making pure copper from ore using the solvent extraction method. Production has reached 2,500 tons of cathodes a year and Erdmin sells 3 million meters of 41 types of copper wire in the domestic market. This category had more competitors than in previous years and the competition, too,was fierce. Those who lost out to Erdmin were Elgen, Energy Resources, Major Drilling, Falcon Drilling, Shivee Ovoo, Beren Mining, Blast and Altain Khuder.
All who vied for The Explorer of the Year award had much to show for themselves. The judges gave the nod to Centerra Gold Mongolia whose plan to open the AltanTsagaan Ovoo gold-polymetal deposit in Dornod aimag, with estimated reserves of 26 tons of gold, 195,000 kg of silver, 191,000 tons of zinc and 105,000 tons of lead, was approved in May, 2012. Further exploration raised the reserve in October. The company has also discovered gold-silver and gold-polymetal deposits in Khailant and Bayangol, done additional exploration at its Undur polymetal deposit in Uulbayan soum, Sukhbaatar aimag. Centerra Gold’s biggest challenge for the award came from Kharanga Khuder and Erdene Mongol.
The increased number of candidates for the Best Green Miner of the Year award indicated the very welcome change in corporate attitude in this field. Such companies as Monpolymet, Altan Dornod Mongol, Shijir Alt, Baganuur, Boroo Gold, MAK, Energy Resources, Darkhan Metallurgy Plant, Urmun-Uul and Oyu Tolgoi showcased their rehabilitation work and environmental commitment. BorooGold was chosen the winner for its detailed research and rehabilitation work in the Gatsuurt, Boroo, Ulaanbulag and AltanTsagaan Ovoo deposits. The company did biological and technical rehabilitation on 41 hectares of area this year, using 21.5 million cubic meters of water of which 865,000 cubic meters were re-used. First in 2010 and then again this year, Boroo Gold set up two experimental fields of 19m by 14m each to study the most suitable method of technical and biological rehabilitation in its wastewater dam place. Bushes and aspens were planted and their growth progress was studied.
The judges’ choice of the Supplier of the Year came in for special interest this year, and they finally decided Wagner Asia Equipment was more deserving than Zamine Services, Mongolian Star Melchers, Mongol Motors Group, Mekhlopat, Natural Stone, AODE, and Technique Forum. Established in 1996, Wagner Asia is most well-known as the official dealer of Caterpillar products, but it also deals in Sullair air compressors, Multiquip generators, Miller welding equipment, Godwin pumps, Genie lifting equipment, Allmand Brothers light plants and drills, and SEM, Ground Force and Michelin products. It is one of the top tax payers in Mongolia.
The Grand Prix or the award for the Best of the Bests went to Energy Resources LLC, currently operating the Ukhaa Khudag mine. Energy Resources was a strong candidate in several categories and was selected for the Grand Prix for its total scores in them. The company this year commissioned the second module of its coal processing plant and increased the capacity of the plant to 10 million tons. It hopes to commission the third module soon.
The most awaited announcement was that of the Person of the Year. The 22 contestants included managers, researchers, investors, politicians, and professionals. Of the total 3362 votes cast, 553 or 18 per cent went to Odjargal Jambaljamts, Chairman of the Board of Mongolian Mining Corporation. This was more than what anyone else received. The people’s choice acknowledged that Odjargal’s management skills and efforts were behind Mongolia’s successful entry into the international financial world, as also behind the construction of power plants, water reservoirs, processing plants, high voltage lines and roads by local professionals.
The Best Provider of Support to the Mining Sector was also selected by popular voting. Altogether 1670 votes went to 18 organisations and Glogex took 382 or 23 per cent of them. Glogex has success fully organised many important mining events such as Coal Mongolia and Metals Mongolia. A close second was the School of Mining Engineering at the University of Science and Technology which got 365 votes or 22 per cent of the total. The School recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and is contributing a lot to preparing professionals to work in the mineral sector.
As in previous years, the Mining Journal Awards 2012 event was a huge success. The year has been tough in many ways for the sector, but with such active participation by mining companies and the fierce competition in almost all categories – especially for the Best Green Mine and the Best Use of Technology – there is no reason not to be robustly optimistic.