• By E.Saikhantuya

    It is a busy time in Mongolia. Meaningful economic activities have begun on the Tavan Tolgoi deposit covering 68,000 hectares of territory in Umnugobi aimag. The state will own 100% of the deposit and two parts of it will be developed along different lines. Bids have been received from companies or consortia interested to be strategic investors on the western part, though the profit-sharing formula is yet to be disclosed, and, in a related but separate exercise, a foreign company will be hired to work as a mining operator on the eastern part. All proposals are being evaluated. We have already reported that three foreign entities are competing for selection as the mining operator, and now there are 15 major foreign and local competitors for the status of a strategic investor. These 15 comprise some 50 foreign and local companies.
  • B.Enebish, CEO of “Erdenes MGL” Company informed that deadline of a strategic investor bid of “Erdenes Tavantolgoi” was postponed until January 24, 2011. “Only after January 24 it is available to announce a short list of companies that sent their materials for the bid. The deadline was delayed according to request of these companies” he explained. As announced in December, 2010 the closing day of the bid was January 17. Winner of the bid will invest in West Tsankh deposit of 1.7 billion tons coal and will be fully responsible for exploration, production as well infrastructure development. 
  • An Oxford Policy Management study of mineral dependent countries finds more than 20 low- and middle-income countries “have become dangerously dependent on the exports of minerals such as metals and hydrocarbons...leaving the countries highly vulnerable to a global economic downturn.” About 75% of all mineral-dependent countries are now low- and middle-income countries, while the number classed as mineral-dependent has increased by 33% since 1996 from 46 to 61 nations, according to the OPM report, “Blessing or curse? The rise of mineral dependence among low- and middle-income countries.”

  • There is not much economic research in Mongolia and the lack affects proper decision making. To redress the situation, a team from the Economic Institute of Mongolia took up a programme of applied economic research a year ago. N.Ariuntuya asks B.Tuvshintugs, Ph.D., Director of the institute, about the work and its relevance.

  • Over the last two decades, Russia has aggressively exploited and leveraged the nuclear legacy of the Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.  In places like Kazakhstan, Canada, Niger, Australia, the United States and Mongolia, Russia’s (AtomRedMetZoloto) Uranium Holding Co or ARMZ is seeking to dominate worldwide uranium production.  The United States - which counts the Russian reset as one of the few unambiguous geopolitical wins - is apparently happy to turn a blind eye to Russia’s uranium ambitions.

  • The following is an unofficial summary and translation of Prime Minister S.Batbold’s speech in Parliament on 7 October on the performance of the Government as regards implementation of the platform for its 4-year term.

  • One of the more important presentations  at last month’s “Discover Mongolia-2011” was made by Ya.Bayarkhuu, head of the research and planning department in the Auto Road Authority of Mongolia. Entitled “The present situation and perspectives of Mongolia’s auto roads”, the presentation for the first time offered information on the planned auto road map at mining locations. Altogether, the plan envisages building 6,300 km of paved  road.
    Since there has not been any report in the media on this very significant development pertaining to mineral haulage, MMJ is listing the new routes as announced by Bayarkhuu.

  • Just days before President Ts.Elbegdorj officially confirmed that the National Security Council (NSC) had rejected the draft proposal to award Tavan Tolgoi development rights to consortiums from China, Russia, and the United States, and has asked the Government to further review its original formulation, D.Sugar, Chairman of the State Property Committee (SPC), had said that the draft had not been discussed by the NSC and was being reframed by the Government working group on its own. With the President and the SPC chief in effect contradicting each other, people are left wondering, and not for the first time, just how our policymakers intend to sort out the issue.  

  • Nobody knows about the progress on the Tavan Tolgoi investors’ bid, and nobody is brave enough to hazard a guess. This is because the deadlock on economically transporting the coal through Russian or Chinese territory still persists, with no resolution in sight, making it impossible for any of us to say something new now.

  • The Mongolian Government plans to construct 1,100 km of railroad to connect Dalanzadgad, capital of the southernmost Omnogovi province to Choibalsan in Dornod province in northeastern Mongolia, both getting ready to become burgeoning industrial centers in an emerging resource-driven economy.

Do you agree with increasing state participation in the Draft New Mining Law?
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