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Opinion

  • The political crisis is deepening as the New Year approaches. As we write this, Parliament, the highest institution of state authority, has not sat for several days because of internal disputes in The Mongolian People Party (MPP), which commands a very comfortable majority in it. People are watching how two groups in the same party are fighting with each other, one calling for the resignation of the government and the other trying to push the Speaker off his chair. The mining industry cannot escape being affected by the conflict between groups in the party in power, both likely to pose as more populist than the other, to get the support of citizens. 
  • Service and agriculture were the dominant sectors in the Mongolian economy before 2008, with mining contributing relatively little. As commodity prices in the world market started to rise sharply around that time, investors sought to explore new areas for mineral resources, and Mongolia was one of their destinations, It was at this very interesting turning point for our mining sector that The Mongolian Mining Journal brought out its first issue, giving our country its first magazine specializing in mining, technology and mineral economics. 
  • Ten years have passed since the freezing day in November 2008 when Boloroo– as our founder-editor Bolormaa Luntan was affectionately called -- carried copies of the first issue of The Mongolian Mining Journal to distribute them at various sales points. To our lasting regret, she is not with us as we publish the 120th issue of the first bilingual journal specializing in the Mongolian mining sector but we all know how proud she would have been that her brainchild has not skipped an issue in these 10 years and that it now occupies a place of honour on the Mongolian media scene.
  • In his speech at Coal Mongolia 2018, Yang Xianfeng, Director General of the Economic Operations Department of the China National Coal Association, asserted that the Blue Sky programme in China is opening up vast opportunities for Mongolia’s coal exporters and hoped they would make full use of these. 
  • A German journalist, Dr Dirk Asendorpf, once wrote that the interest of international media in Mongolian mining rose and fell according to the state of the relations between Oyu Tolgoi and the Mongolian government. That way, the interest should be quite high now as the company plans to take the government to the International Court of Arbitration.
  • The spring session of Parliament ended on a high note of hope, as on the closing day it approved the resolution to begin work on putting Tavan Tolgoi (TT) into economic circulation, thus giving the Government the formal green signal to realise a long-cherished dream.
  • Khuvsgul is now officially a non-mining aimag, following a decision taken by the 7th Citizens’ Representative Khural (CRK) on April 20 to bring the area south of the 50th latitude under special local protection. Earlier, in 2009 the Khural had kept apart the area north of that latitude for the aimag’s special needs for a period of 5 years, a period that was extended by 25 years in 2014.
  • As we near the halfway mark of the year, the commodity market continues to be good, bringing hope that the country’s economy will soon be restored to health. As things look brighter, old projects are brought out of storage, and their likely implementation discussed. Some changes to the State policy on railway are almost certain to be made, and there is talk of building some railways exclusively for minerals export. We have chosen railway as the focus of this issue and give you extensive and comprehensive information on these.
  • Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh, who is to pay an official visit to China on 10-13 April, will be followed there by President Kh.Battulga in June, the dates yet to be decided. There is no official word on the subjects to be discussed by them and the agreements to be signed, but the general expectation is that these will focus on collaboration in Mongolian mega projects so that economic growth is accelerated.
  • Some long-awaited amendments to the Mineral Law on 24 January, 2014 finally brought cheer to the gold sector. Royalty rates were reduced to 2.5 percent, the system of progressive royalties was withdrawn, and Mongolbank was made responsible for refining and exporting all gold mined in Mongolia. These amendments are to be in force until January next year, and it is now a good time to assess how beneficial they have been for the sector. On that evaluation will depend whether the amended regulations and practices should continue.
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