Statement of United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes

Dear All,
Greetings from the United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes! We would like to inform you our brief activities since May this year.
Until last May, you all had received regarding implementation process for the new law on the prohibition of mineral exploration at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forest areas of 2009. The law imposes the following restrictions on exploration and mining rights:
- Revokes or modifies licenses to explore or mine any and all mineral resources within an area no less than 200 meters from a water resource.
- Requires the government to compensate rights holders for exploration expenses already incurred or revenue lost from actual mining operations.
- Empowers local officials to determine the actual areas which can be mined. In effect, the local official can extend the 200 meter minimum at his discretion.
Between last April and June, the officials of the Water Agency of Mongolia and representatives of environmental NGOs as well as local citizens worked together on delineating boundaries in every place of the country. Basically, the boundaries had already set up between 200 and 5000 meters. Because of conflict of interest, the law on the prohibition of mineral exploration at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forest areas was not implemented until now. Because Mongolian Government did not approve regulation to enforce this law, the law has not yet implemented.
There were some protests and conflicts between mining companies and local citizens happened in several places such as Darvi soum of Gobi-Altai province, in Umnugobi soum of Uvs province, in Khyargas soum of Uvs province, in Jargalan soum of Gobi-Altai province, in Airag soum of Dorno-Gobi province, and at River Khug of Khuvsgul province. These clashes occurred because of illegal mining operations, lacks of drinking water and livestock pastures for local people because of the illegal mining operations.
Approximately 1.2 year has already passed since passing of the new law. On behalf of the United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes, we have submitted the official documents to the President, Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker with request to meet with us and enforce the law. This request includes 9 official documents addressed to S.Batbold, Prime Minister, 6 official documents addressed to Elbegdorj, Mongolian President.

Therefore, On Sep 2, the UMMRL was announced that we will implement the law by force of local citizens if the Mongolian Government could not implement the law. Until now, the UMMRL did not receive any responses from them. In order to stop illegal mining operations, four men including Ts.Munkhbayar (Head of Onggi River Movement), G.Bayaraa (Head of Khuder River Movement) with two members shot at heavy mining machineries and techniques for “Puraam” and “Centerra Gold” companies located in Tunkhel village of Selenge province. Last June, “Boroo Gold” company invited some NGOs to Tunkhel village, Mandal soum of Selenge province. Durin the visit, Mr. John Cazakov, director of “Boroo Gold” company said “Mining Association and mining companies are trying to pass a new law which will stand against the law on prohibition of mineral exploration at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forested areas of 2009. We have lobby group in the Parliament and hope that law will be passed very soon.”
Activities of “Puraam” and “Centerra Gold” companies are illegal; their licenses should be revoked within the law. Basically, about 2800 mining licenses have to be revoked.

If you have any questions regarding our activities please feel free to contact us.

Best regards,
UMMRL



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