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Batmunkh Batkhuu: We need to create a reserve without halting coal mining

Batmunkh Batkhuu: We need to create a reserve without halting coal mining
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http://zgm.mn/post/4346/

Domestic coal export companies have faced great challenges these days. One of the representatives of those companies, Batmunkh Batkhuu, Chairman of Big Mogul Fund, emphasized that as a mining dependent nation, the government of Mongolia should pursue trade policies and implement a program to support private sectors. Additionally, he noted that companies need to stock up coal during the quarantine. 

-Big Mogul Fund exports coal through the border crossing in Zamiin-Uud. How did China's procurement affect the import of Mongolia? 

-Currently, the ports of Erlian and Zamiin Uud have not been suspended for export and import transportations. However, restricting the movement of citizens tend to affect export. We were planning to export nearly 300,000 tons of coal concentrate this year however, the situation is unpredictable as China’s economy continues to shrink. 

-The researchers believe that imports will increase significantly to recover the industry loss when the Covid-19 stops. How does your company estimate the risk? 

-China’s economy has not been collapsed with decline in both supply and demand before. The country’s supply and demand had declined simultaneously. As of today, China is the largest exporter in the world and the second-biggest importer. It seems that economic conditions are being measured as with the SARS, which happened about ten years ago. But at that time, China’s economy was much smaller than it is now and its impact on the global economy was negligible. Also, China’s large labor force migrates through Wuhan, from north to south. The cessation of millions of labor migration has made it impossible for a coastal industrialized zone to be restored quickly. 

-How long do steel factories and power plants take to restore after infection ends? 

-Our company is a thermal coal exporter. But we are not big enough for China’s market. It is impossible to live without electricity so that the industry is likely to be recovered quickly. 

-After quarantine, how will the commodity price effect on the regular operation of the plant? 

-Obviously, it positively affects commodity prices and creates growth. Thus, we have to prepare the amount of material reserve.

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Xanadu Mines: Exploration at the Kharmagtai deposit was suspended in February

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On Tuesday, Xanadu Mines Ltd., copper and gold exploration company with several advanced exploration projects in Mongolia’s highly mineralised and vastly underexplored south Gobi region, made a statement related to the COVID-19 impact on its operation. The company’s main project, diamond drilling at the Kharmagtai deposit in Umnugovi province, temporarily halted in February. “We have not seen a significant impact on our business to date. However, although there are currently no restrictions on transportation locally, any further deterioration of the situation may result in quarantines and affect Xanadu’s ability to undertake exploration activities in the South Gobi,” the company said in a report. “It is not possible to estimate the impact of the outbreak’s near-term and longer effects or Governments’ varying efforts to combat the out-break and support businesses. This being the case, we do not consider it practicable to provide a quantitative or qualitative estimate of the potential impact of this outbreak on the Group at this time.” Subsequent to end of the financial year, the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. In March 2020, Mongolia reported its first transported case of COVID-19. As a response, the country closed its borders and halted all international flights. As of today, Mongolia had reported 14 cases of COVID-19. Xanadu also revised its 2020 action plan and canceled or postponed activities it considered unimportant. In 2020, the company aims to cut management spending by AUD 1.3 million, or 35 percent, from 2019. On March 24, 2020, the company announced that it entered into an earn-in agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to sole fund up to USD 7.2 million in exploration expenditure at the Company’s Red Mountain copper-gold Project in Mongolia.

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Two more imported cases of COVID-19 registered

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The Ministry of Health and the National Center for Communicable Diseases on Wednesday reported that two more imported cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Mongolia. On March 28, the Republic of Korea sent a charter flight to repatriate its citizens in Mongolia and three family members of the staff of the Turkish Embassy in Mongolia arrived by the flight to Ulaanbaatar. “On March 28, three family members of the staff of the Turkish Embassy arrived by a flight of South Korea, but the two of them have been confirmed with COVID-19. Just after landing, they were immediately isolated and tested three days later. 10 people who had close contact with them as well as the others who served them have been also isolated for medical supervision and tests,” said General Director of the National Center for Communicable Diseases. 

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Gold purchase rises fourfold in Q1

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  • 3.6 tons of precious metals is gold and 1.7 tons is silver
  • As of february, foreign exchange reserves amounted to USD 4.3 billion. This is an increase of 0.22 percent from the previous month and 21 percent from the same period of the previous year 

In the first three months of this year, the central bank purchased 5.3 tons of precious metals, increasing fourfold from 1.2 tons in the same period last year. 3.6 tons of precious metals are gold and 1.7 tons is white silver. The dramatic decline in gold purchases in the first quarter of 2019 was mainly due to the uncertainty of the legal environment in royalties. It may have resulted in this year’s rise as well, according to the officials. In the first months of 2020, increase gold prices dominated. For example, in March, the average purchase price of gold was MNT 141,500 per ounce, which is about 30 percent higher than the same period of the previous year. In addition, the closure of passenger traffic may have restricted the smuggling of gold. Purchasing gold is one of the key instruments for the Mongolian central bank to increase its official foreign exchange reserves. As of February, foreign exchange reserves amounted to USD 4.3 billion. This is an increase of 0.22 percent from the previous month and 21 percent from the same period of the previous year. The central bank aims to increase the reserves to at least USD 6.5 billion in the medium term.

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ETT exports 22.6 tons of coal since border reopening

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Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT) JSC has been exported 22.6 tons of coal since the coal export resumed. The Head of Public Relations Manager of ETT said, “Even though our country follows the government measures in connection with COVID-2019 prevention, the company operates normally. ETT has extracted approximately 2.2 tons of coal, loaded 2.1 tons of coal and exported nearly 800,000 tons of coal during the period from January 1st to March. However, coal price dropped and the risk was estimated previously. ”Moreover, the Mongolian Central Securities Depository (MCSD), Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC) and the State Bank, as well as the Customs, Taxation and Financial Information Technology Center will be involved in organizing efficient work regarding dividends distributing from May. ETT will distribute a total of MNT 1 trillion dividends from the beginning of May. Of these, 85 percent or MNT 199.7 million will be allocated to ETT shareholders and entities. In addition, the company has signed an agreement to cooperate with 30 broker-dealers who want to use the ETT application and open a stock account.