Mongolia may kill Aussie coal: Friedland

Mongolia's lower-tax coal sector could rob global market share from Australia, Canadian billionaire mining executive Robert Friedland says.

Mr Friedland, who chairs the Toronto stock exchange-listed miner Ivanhoe Mines Ltd and its 90 per cent owned Ivanhoe Australia Ltd, said "Mongolia could kill Australian coal" because its mining tax was lower than in Australia.

Ivanhoe Mines' 79 per cent-owned coal company South Gobi Energy Resources Ltd is the largest coal producer in Mongolia in terms of export sales.

The tax on mining profits in Mongolia was 25 per cent compared to Australia's proposed 30 per cent mining tax, Mr Friedland said.

Mongolia had a clear advantage in that it neighboured its Chinese customers.

"They're closer to China than your lucky island," Mr Friedland told the Diggers and Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia on Wednesday.

Mr Friedland said the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mining joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto Ltd in Mongolia contained at least $US1 trillion ($A1.1 trillion) worth of ore.

He said the project was on track to become one of the world's top three copper gold mines.

The project, which was 34 per cent held by the Mongolian government, could easily have a mine life of 59 years, Mr Friedland said.

Rio Tinto believes it could be producing for 100 years, and first production is slated in 2013.

Mr Friedland said Oyu Tolgoi had an after tax net present value at recent metal prices of $US16 trillion.

Source: AAP or Australian Associated Press



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