Reference Business Russia's En+Group, Renova want to develop Mongolian coal deposit - govt

Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin confirmed on Wednesday that the Russian companies En+Group and Renova Group are interested in developing Mongolia's Tavan-Tolgoi deposit, together with Russian Railways (RZhD).

"We support new suggestions from the consortium to the working group of the Mongolian government on the integrated development of the deposit," Levitin said in a statement.

Tavan-Tolgoi is one of the largest coal deposits in the world, with reserves of nearly 6.5 billion tons of coal, including 40 percent of high-calorie coke-coal.

The Mongolian government wants to privatize Erdenes-Tavantolgoi company, the Tavan-Tolgoi developer, by selling 30 percent to foreign investors, 10 percent to households and a further 10 percent to Mongolian businessmen at a nominal value. Half of the shares will stay with the government.

In 2009, the Mongolian government transferred 50 percent of Ulan-Bator Railway (UBR) shares to RZhD for a five-year trust management. UBR's priority project is the construction of a 1,100 kilometer railway link between Tavan-Tolgoi and the Russian border.

Levitin said that the railroad would help transfer coal from the deposit to Russia's sea ports in the Far East.

In February, the Mongolian government cancelled an auction to sell 49 percent of Tavan-Tolgoi and decided to retain full control over the deposit.

Auction bidders included BHP Billiton, India's Jindal, Brazil's Vale, U.S. Peabody, China's Shenhua, and a consortium of South Korea's COPEC and Russian-Mongolian Infrastructure Development company.

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti)


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