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http://zgm.mn/post/3153/

Lab test indicates processed coal briquette is unharmful

Lab test indicates processed coal briquette is unharmful
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http://zgm.mn/post/3153/

The Central Geological Laboratory, the Laboratory of Mineral Resources Authority, and the Central Customs Laboratory have examined the processed coal samples after the incident of poisoned people. According to the laboratory inspection results, the samples qualified for the “Processed coal briquette” standard 5679: 2019.

Thus, the ingredient of the briquettes will be tested in Irkutsk, Russia, and South Korea.

The government issued a decision to impose legal liability on raw coal consumption in the capital city on May 15. However, 35 people from 16 households have been hospitalized and four were killed, diagnosed as poisoned from the processed coal vapor. In this regard, the Special Commission of Ulaanbaatar held an urgent meeting on Sunday and decided to analyze processed coal samples to find out if it contains the form of toxic chemicals.

Badamhathan Gurjav, a consultant engineer of Mongolia, Professor of Technical Sciences, and Senior Advisor to Tavan Tolgoi Tulsh LLC, made an explanation on the composition of briquette produced by the company.

-In the last weekend, people were poisoned, and some died in processed fuel fumes. What are the ingredients of processed coal?

95 percent of our processed coal comes from Umnugobi province as a washed thermal coal. And we use dry dopant named SB which produced in China. The composition of this element is carbon C-41.93 percent, hydrogen H-6-7 percent, oxygen O-49.93 percent, nitrogen N-1.25 percent, and PH 6.8-7.2 percent.

The component is originated from herbs, grains of corn, and sugar beets by processing the stalks of the plants, so there are no harmful chemicals. This substance accounts for 2.5 percent of processed briquettes. Also, it contains a liquid that reduces soot, which is qualified by the health organization in Korea.

-Did the poisoned incident occur due to the wrong usage?

-People should close the chimney plugs and stove closures when the fuel is fully burned. Furthermore, the completeness of stoves has a significant impact on fuel combustion. I assume that the unfortunate incidents occurred recently were due to the incomplete combustion of processed coal.

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World Bank: 15% of the population is just above the poverty line

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  • National poverty rate of Mongolia fell slightly to 28.4 percent in 2018

According to the Na-tional Statistics Office (NSO), the national poverty rate of Mongolia fell slightly from 29.6 percent in 2016 to 28.4 percent in 2018. As much as 15 percent of the total population is clustered just above the national poverty line, risking to slip into poverty in an event of any unanticipated shocks, the report released by the World Bank highlighted. The new joint report by NSO and the World Bank, “Mongolia Poverty Update”, provides the latest analysis on poverty trends and people’s profiles in Mongolia based on the 2018 Household Socio-Economic Survey. Despite robust economic growth, Mongolia is struggling to translate the benefits of growth into house-hold-level welfare, especially for the poor. Many of the poor, in particular low-skilled wage workers, are missing out on the benefits from the recent capital-intensive mining sector-led growth. Between 2016 and 2018, poverty reduction was uneven, declining in rural but not in urban areas. Growth in rural areas was faster and favorable to the poor, contributing to reducing rural poverty by 4 percentage points from 34.9 percent in 2016 to 30.8 percent in World Bank: 15% of the population is just above the poverty line 2018. By contrast, less-inclusive consumption growth in urban areas was accompanied by stagnation in poverty, leaving the poverty rate unchanged at 27 percent from 2016 to 2018. The lack of progress in poverty reduction in urban areas was mainly driven by stagnant wage growth in the poorest population group, while strong growth in farm income supported by rising livestock prices, together with the expansion of poverty-targeted social protection programs, contributed to robust poverty reduction in rural areas. Consequently, poverty is increasingly concentrated in urban areas. Although the incidence of poverty is still higher in rural areas (30.8 percent) than in urban areas (27.2 percent), with two-thirds of the population living in urban areas, more than six out of ten poor people now live in urban areas.

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One more COVID-19 case recorded, totaling 11

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  • A person who tested positive is now staying under mandatory isolation after arrived in Mongolia on a charter flight from Istanbul Turkey last week

On Thursday, a new positive case of COVID-19 has confirmed in Mongolia, reaching the total number to 11. A person who tested positive is now staying under mandatory isolation after arrived in Mongolia on a charter flight from Istanbul Turkey last week. According to the Director of the National Center of Communicable Diseases (NCCD) Mr. Nyamkhuu, 221 passengers were aboard and the government arranged charter flights. All of them went under testing for coronavirus and one person has been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. In addition, random samples taken from 25 people who are being treated at local hospitals for disease, tested all negative. On March 25, one suspected case had been isolated and 184 people are being monitored under isolation at the NCCD. There are 7 people working in the medical group including a doctor, nurse, medic and attendant. He also mentioned that MNT 800,000 is being spent on each coronavirus patient, containing costs for protective equipment for the healthcare team members. 

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The copper decline may widen budget deficit

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Copper is one of the crucial mineral products which defines its falls and rises of Mongolia’s economy, however, the price has been decreasing since January. As included in the 2020 State Budget, officials are expecting to benefit MNT 1.1 trillion from copper export, estimating the price at USD 5,991 per ton but the metal has been continuing to decline in previous weeks.In 2019, the copper price reached USD 6,250 per ton and it fell dramatically by 25 percent from earlier months. According to the analysts, the copper price may fluctuate between USD 4,500-5,000 during the period. Economist Mr. Enkhbayar said, “Global economy is deteriorating due to COVID-2019 spread, and metals, specifically copper price has been plunging in the commodity market. Additionally, Mongolia’s total revenue from copper concentrate export is likely to drop by 15-20 percent in line with price fluctuation. There is a risk that the budget revenue might be cut with a deficit of MNT two trillion so that officials are required to make budget amendments.” Moreover, budget revenue in 2020 expected to be around MNT 11.7 trillion and expenditures MNT 13.7 trillion. However, the foreign trade surplus decreased 10 times from a year ago. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the Primary industry declined by 13.5 percent and investment had shrunk by 24.5 percent. For Mongolia, budget revenue is likely to cut off due to China’s economic crisis.

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One thirds of entities cut jobs as pandemic hits economy

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  • More than 20,000 companies are on the brink of collapse
  • 30 percent of the companies had decreased their operational costs
  • By the result of Labour force survey of the first quarter of 2020, unemployment rate of Mongolia reached 8.1 percent

According to a survey conducted by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), over 33 percent of enterprises cut jobs amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the restriction to prevent its infection. If the Government can not take appropriate measures immediately, roughly 260,000 people will their jobs and more than 20,000 companies are on the brink of collapse. The survey included over 1,500 entities; of these, 65 percent of them had a decrease in revenue, 42 percent could not continue normal activity, and 30 percent of the companies had decreased their operational costs. By the result of Labour force survey of the first quarter of 2020, unemployment rate of Mongolia reached 8.1 percent. At the end of February, the number of registered job seekers reached 35.6 thousand, of which, 20,600 (57.9 percent) were registered as unemployed and the remaining 15,000 (42.1 percent) were employed but looking for a new job. Moreover, budget deficit remained high during the time in which, the country faces major challenges. Some economists are not satisfied with the Governments measures, saying that the lack of effectiveness may lead to economic crisis in the long term. About 60 percent of the entities that have involved in the survey said, “financial support is essential to save jobs”, while the other 50 percent agreed that delaying the due of social insurance fee is important.