• On January 7, 2019, G. Zandanshatar, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat, issued directives tothe Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry (MMHI) and the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority (MRPAM) to transfer the ownership of the Asgat polymetallic deposit from Mongolrostsvetmet to the state-owned Erdenes Mongol. 
  • Parliament’s approval of a resolution supporting steps to get the Tavan Tolgoi deposit into economic circulation was a tribute to the persuasive skills of the sector minister, D.Sumiyabazar, though the tacit backing of the Prime Minister and the absence of opposition from the President also played a part.
  • How Oyu Tolgoi LLC decides to source the electricity to meet the needs of its mine will also decide the fate of the Tavan Tolgoi power plant, a proposed mega project that would meet the power needs of both industrial and domestic users across a large swathe of the country. As the Mongolian Government and Oyu Tolgoi seek to reach an agreement on the matter, the two partners in the company charged with taking the Tavan Tolgoi power plant (TTPP) project forward – Japan’s Marubeni (66%) and MCS Energy (34%) -- must be wondering what would be left for them to do. 
  • This year’s Presidential election was the first time a second round of polling was necessary, but apart from that, what was most notable about this election was that if the candidates’ expenses ran into hundreds of billions of MNT, the campaign promises exceeded that amount by several times.
  • Overturning the previous Government’s decision to build the proposed copper concentrate smelting and refining plant in Bor-Undur soum of Khentii aimag, the present Government recently approved an old suggestion by the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry to set it up in Khanbogd soum of Umnugovi aimag.
  • In late 2016, the price of coking coal surged, the oil industry outlook brightened, and there were positive signs in other commodity markets also. As producers and exporters celebrate the return of good times, however temporary these might turn out to be, Mongolians have another reason to feel optimistic about 2017, when work on several mega projects, including Tavan Tolgoi and Gatsuurt, is slated to begin, after years of false hopes, dashed expectations, and broken promises. Let us see how things stand with some of these projects that will change Mongolia’s economy and Mongolians’ life in many ways.
  • The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry has completed work on the draft of a brand new mining law which will soon be offered for public discussion. This does not seek to replace or supersede the current mining law but would be a separate and independent law containing regulatory provisions.
  • Following the initial one in Ulaanbaatar in May 2016 and a second in Myanmar in July, the next in the series of workshops on various facets of the State’s role in large resource projects organised by the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI) was recently held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
  • During a working visit to the Southgobi earlier in November, Prime Minister J. Erdenebat had a meeting with senior executives of the three companies operating in the Tavan Tolgoi deposit to explore the possibility of selling their coal from one point.  The outcome of the talks has been positive as Energy Resources and Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi have started cooperating with each other.
  • According to the National Statistical Office Mongolia exported 16.24 mln tons of coal in the first 9 months of 2016, which is 6 mln tons or 55% more than in the corresponding period last year. Similarly export revenue has increased by 18% to reach $509.8 mln. We asked three coal export companies  how they have fared in this somewhat unexpected bonanza, and also to get some information on their individual performance and tax payments.
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