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http://zgm.mn/post/1118/

Discover Mongolia 2018 promises opportunities

​Mongolia's mining stakeholders gather as new chances unveil​

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Continuing on from coal, Mongolia’s mining sector stakeholders and investors are gathering up for international mining investors’ forum Discover Mongolia 2018, which is being held under the theme Acknowledge to Advance, in which updated results of several noteworthy projects were disclosed. The 16th edition of the two-day forum is jointly organized by the Government of Mongolia, Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, Mongolian National Mining Association and Business Council of Mongolia, and aims to introduce advantages, opportunities of Mongolia’s mining sector, as well as pressing issues and solutions.

OPPORTUNITIES IN MONGOLIA'S NORTHERN REGION

At the forum, David Paull, Managing Director and Chair of the Aspire Mining Limited, delivered a speech themed Northern Mongolia’s Role As a Supplier of Coking Coal. He remarked, “Mining development in Mongolia’s northern region is highly beneficial. We have found a giant coking coal reserves that can account for 20-30 percent of the nation’s total coal export. Therefore, instead of the traditional method, we are planning to establish a plant with necessary technology to improve coal quality. These can be exported if transportation conditions improve. The transportation can be conducted by road and rail. Obviously railroad will create competitive price. Which is why, there are several companies interested in partnering with the railway corridor project. We perceive the corridor will run to black sea.” Although the company currently raised a small amount of investment of about USD 60 million, Mr. David Paull assured the amount will increase without much of a difficulty as the company has several major partners and several investors already expressed interest in the project.

GOLD DEPOSIT WITH 1.26 MILLION OUNCES OF RESERVE INTRODUCED

Later on, Bataa Tumur-Ochir, Director and Vice President Mongolia Steppe Gold, briefed that Steppe Gold successfully raised USD 25 million through an IPO at the Toronto Stock Exchange in May 2018. This allowed the company to complete the preparatory works for an exploration in July and thus, commencing construction works. “As of today, our company is implementing four projects in Dornod and Bayankhongor aimags. Our flagship project is the Atlan Tsagaan Ovoo (ATO) gold and silver project. The initial cost of the deposit is fairly low; for instance, we are extracting one ounce of gold with USD 430-450 cost. The reported gold reserves of the deposit is 1.26 million ounce,” addressed Mr. Bataa. Another advantage of ATO is that the company fully settled the necessary funding for the project. He added, “We are planning to utilize high-end technologies and some of them have already been landed at the site. We received all the related permissions to operate the mine and signed a contract with the key subcontractor. ”

KHARMAGTAI PROJECT CAN COOPERATE WITH OT AND TT ON INFRASTRUCTURE

Another key presentation was the Kharmagtai Project of Xanadu Mines. Andrew Steward, Managing Director and CEO of the Xanadu Mines, noted that the company spent around USD 25 million in the last 5-6 years for Kharmagtai deposit. He disclosed that the exploration work has been completed and the next phase of the project is expected to commence in early-October. “This project is generally similar to Oyu Tolgoi deposit. Copper extracts have high mineralization according to test results and the drilling showed significant potentials for a higher-grade open pit starter project. Since the deposit is near the earth’s surface, the cost is expected to be low,” stressed Mr. Andrew. He added, “As I mentioned earlier, the project has a huge advantage being similar to Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi, allowing these projects to cooperate on developing infrastructure.”

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2018 best of journalism awarded

​10th Baldorj Awards takes place ​

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The 10th Baldorj Awards, annual ceremony for the best journalistic works, took place yesterday. ZGM Newspaper journalist Z.Tselmeg's work was awarded as one of the Top 10 works of journalism. This year’s Grand Prix Prize went to J.Suvdmaa and T.Enkhbat, correspondents of the Today Newspaper for their “Mining Partnered Modern Herder” reportage and “In Search of Responsible Mining” series of articles, followed by the investigative broadcast series on Human Rights by G.Batzaya, J.Zolzaya and B.Lkhagvasuren of MNB television channel. Traditionally, the Baldorj Grand Prix is presented by the President of Mongolia; however, this year's winner was awarded by the former President Bagabandi Natsag as President Battulga Khaltmaa is currently on a working trip in Zavkhan aimag.

Top works of journalism are as follows:

1st-“Tragedy of the Buun Tsagaan Lake” and “How is life” series of articles by Kh.Uyanga /Today Newspaper/.

2nd-“Minus Degree: Gold Regrets or Power of Habitat” and “Abandoned Awe of Khuvsgul Lake” by D.Ganzorig of /TV-9/.

3rd-“We and Mongolian Steppe Love You” and “Pathway to School of a Six-year old Bayanduuren“ by B.Enkhmart /National Post Newspaper/.

4th -“One-time National Content: Once upon a time in Mongolia and South Korea” by D.Erdenebayar, J.Purevdavaa, G.Munkhbayar and G.Natsagdorj /TV-25/.

5th-“Uncultured Mongolia” by S.Batzaya /Mongolian Media Corporation/.

6th-“Give Mongolians the Right to Consume Clean Water” and “Protecting Wildlives Seeking Salvation” by B.Solongo /Zuunii Medee Newspaper/.

7th-“Tears Behind Handset” and “3 Million Living on Lead Meat in a Country with 60 Million Livestock” by Z.Tselmeg /Zasgiin Gazriin Medee Newspaper/.

8th-“One Day of Raging Mongolians at Zamiin-Uud” by E.Khurelbaatar /Daily News Newspaper/.

9th-“Time in Deepest Silence” series of articles of B.Altankhuyag /Montsame News Agency/.

10th-“Made in Mongolia” broadcasting series of N.Khongorzul / Bloomberg TV Mongolia/. Special Prize of the Ambassador of Canada - J.Mandkhai

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Legal dispute over EMC ownership comes to an end

​Supreme Court resotres MCC's 49 percent stake of EMC​

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(MCC) won over the Government of Mongolia at the Supreme Court for the second time yesterday. Thus, the property dispute over Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) between MCC and the Government that dragged on for two years finally came to an end. Earlier this year, the Cabinet decided to forcefully nationalize the 49 percent stake of EMC owned by MCC with its 7th resolution, which was followed by massive public backlash because the Supreme Court ruled against the Government on December 7, 2017. Therefore, the Government’s act has been confirmed unacceptable by several courts and the EMC board, which is fully formed by Cabinet members, was suspended. During the yesterday’s ruling, the Supreme Court revoked the Government’s 7th resolution on nationalizing EMC, resinstating the 49 percent stake of MCC. “With the Supreme Court's second ruling, the EMC will now be able to operate normally. We will now demand the Government to fulfill the court's decision and immediately hold the board meeting to address the facing issue as EMC is currently suspended by the international arbitration over a case involving the Government's share of 51 percent stake,” remarked Purevtuvshin Tsooj, CEO of MCC.


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Scholars disclose potential trilateral corridor on tourism

​Fourth Mongolia-Russia-China Think Tank Forum kicks-of​

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The fourth Mongolia-Russia-China Think-Tank Forum kicked off yesterday to discuss the establishment of a trilateral economic corridor between the three countries. The forum is organized by a trilateral think tank union, which was established in 2015 to give advices to industrial, economic, humanitarian, ecological, infrastructure and regional actions between the three countries and is being held in Mongolia for the second time after taking place in Russia and China respectively. During the two-day event, some 120 experts and officials from the three countries are expected to submit their proposals and exchange views on intensifying the establishment of the Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor and strengthen trilateral cooperation. Under the themed, "Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor: Innovation and Co-Development," the forum will focus on cooperation in energy, transportation, education, culture, science, technology and socio-economic issues through three panel discussions. "The trilateral economic corridor, an important part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, is related to not only the economy but also various fields such as culture, science, tourism and people-to-people exchanges," Tumurbaatar Yadmaa, President of the National University of Mongolia (NUM), said at the opening ceremony of the forum.

After reviewing the activities of the last three years, the authorities decided to add new members to the Think Tank Union, including National Development Agency of Mongolia, several governors of Chinese provinces and the administration of Chita, Russia. According to Battsengel Vandansambuu, a Professor at the NUM, the union is currently focusing on two projects, namely transit transportation corridor and tourism corridor in Khailaar-Chita-Choibalsan route. “Although China is making significant initiatives in the tourism route, Mongolia is in need to improve infrastructure as the majority of tourists are returning after reaching Buir lake. Dornod aimag has numerous natural and historical wonders and unique places; however, the poor development of hotel, tourist companies and road is becoming a giant obstacle,” addressed Mr. Battsengel. Scholars also pointed out that transit railway transportation will reach 48 million tons by 2020 and 76 million tons by 2030 if the trilateral economic corridor is successfully established. During the meeting of the heads of State of the three countries, a total of 32 programs have been approved, of which 13 are on infrastructure development. The forum is expected to continue with trilateral energy, resource usage and cooperation today.


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Ministry of Energy plans to take control of power plants following Saturday blackout

​Minister of Energy holds press conference on citywide blackout of last Saturday​

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Minister of Energy Davaasuren Tserenpil held a press conference on the citywide blackout affected Ulaanbaatar last Saturday. Due to the accident, two generators were damaged and the case is currently under investigation. Thermal Power Plant IV was also damaged by an accident last Spring. The Minister informed that an official letter has been sent to the Government Agency for Policy Coordination on State Property (PCSP) to demand accountability from the Administering Engineer responsible for the incident; however, PCSP did not give any response and a major accident occurred last Saturday. Therefore, Mr. Davaasuren noted the significance of taking power stations under the Ministry’s control to entail accountability and provide independent energy. He added, “Due to potential voltage fluctuations, I demanded to limit solar and wind energy, as well as Baganuur power station to generate 150MW power. Solar and wind powers are highly inefficient as the electrical voltage will fall due to natural circumstances. If Baganuur plant installs 350MW power generator, a malfunction similar to last Saturday will also affect the entire power system. Therefore, we must intensify the implementation of a hydropower plant.

We would have overcome the last incident with a single click of a button if we had a hydropower plant. Instead, we had to heat the generator for four hours to restart the system. We are barely managing consumption thanks to Russian reserve line.” The minister further blamed the PCSP for appointing unqualified staff to administrative positions and for the lack of accountability. He also highlighted that the aging equipment problem at power stations and necessity to expand Amgalan Thermal Power Plant, as well as to hold correct policies on renewable energy. “If the same thing were to happen during the cold season, the entire city will freeze. Thus, we have to settle this issue immediately,” warned Mr. Davaasuren. Additionally, the incident coincided with the Russian experts’ visit and caused the upgrading of four generators at Thermal Power Plant-IV to be postponed to deal with winter load. Minister of Energy then briefed about his plans to reform the energy sector. Due to the above-mentioned reasons, he plans to limit renewable energy to be not more than 300MW and force Baganuur station to have dual 150MW generators, instead of 350MW. Furthermore, the Minister plans to intensify the establishment 90MW hydropower plant in Erdeneburen in cooperation with China.