Airspan Networks expands Ulusnet’s WiMax network in Mongolia

The Mongolian WiMAX network, Ulusnet has been expanded by Airspan Networks.

The Ulusnet network consists of a combination of Airspan micro and macro-cell equipment operating in the 2.5 GHz frequency. The majority of the network is located in the city of Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city in Mongolia and home to about 38% of the nation’s population.

According to Ulusnet CEO Byambatseren Davaakhuu, the new expansion will continue to serve the city as well as target some of the more rural countryside. Ulusnet launched its WiMAX network in 2007. Airspan has served us well for several years. They have a strong partnership that supports their rapidly growing network. Mongolia is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and with a growing economy comes a higher demand for high-speed connectivity. Ulusnet is well positioned to continue to serve Mongolian resident and commercial customers with 4G data and voice services.

Source: wirelessfederation.com



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Wild Horses Drag You Away

By KIT GILLET

Deep within the mountainous Hustai National Park in central Mongolia, our guide Tserennadmid raises a leathery hand and, extending a bony index finger, points into the distance across the rolling valleys. I can see nothing but green hills and rocky outcrops.

But 69-year-old Tserennadmid—like most Mongolians, he goes by just one name—has spotted a group of the last truly wild horses on earth, the Przewalski's Horses, known to locals as takhi, or 'spirit.'

"I can see a group of ten in among those rocks," says our guide, pointing off into the far distance, before setting off at pace toward the tiny horses on the other side of the deep valley.

Hustai park was set up by the Mongolian government almost 20 years ago as a safe home to the takhi. The horses are smaller than most breeds, and have mottled brown coats. They were almost wiped out in the 19th and 20th century—when they were hunted for game and for their meat—and because of the shrinking of their natural habitat in the plains of central Asia and Mongolia due to competition from people and livestock.

Two decades ago, the species was officially extinct outside of captivity—the last wild takhi was seen wandering the Mongolian steppes back in 1969—though a few lived in zoos in Europe.

A conservation group based in the Netherlands started on plans in the early 1990s to introduce some of the animals from zoos in Prague and Munich back into their native environment, and the takhi have made their way back from the brink of extinction. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reclassified the breed from extinct in the wild to critically endangered. Their total number world-wide, in the wild and in captivity, is now approaching 2,000.
Between 1992 and 2000, 84 captive-born horses were brought to Hustai, a 50,000-hectare expanse of valleys and grasslands two hours' drive from the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator.

"In the beginning I think it was very hard for them to adapt," says T.Batbaatar, one of Hustai's resident biologists, sitting at his desk in one of the park's scientific observation centers. "For the first two years they were kept inside large enclosures."

A big concern is how to keep the takhi from interbreeding with domesticated horses, which the park does by wherever possible keeping domesticated horses away from the outskirts of the park. Wolves are also a problem—the park rangers try to deter them by driving loud motorbikes around the park at night.

Today, the horses at Hustai are in 20 breeding harems and bachelor groups—herds of young stallions or other males without a mate—and they have adapted much better to life in the wild, says T. Batbaatar.

In all, around 250 takhi live in Hustai now (there are about 400 wild takhi in total across China and Mongolia.)

At the entrance to the park, there are basic facilities including a visitor's centre and a small restaurant. Distinctive, round Mongolian Yurts are available for rent nearby for around $15/night per person. Once you travel beyond the entrance of Hustai, your best option is to hire a guide, and there are a number of tour operators in Ulan Bator organizing day or overnight trips to the park.

Our driver from Ulan Bator arranged for us to meet Tserennadmid, who had spent a decade working as an accountant at the park before retiring, who in turn agreed to take us to search for the horses for a few dollars we paid him to cover the cost of food and shelter.

A craggy-skinned, slightly stooped man with a warm smile, Tserennadmid moved to the countryside from the city a decade ago to enjoy his later years. He guides our group of four out along a rutted trail for thirty minutes deep into the heart of the park. We park the car at the bottom of a steep valley and set off on foot uphill.

The takhi are naturally shy animals and are not easy to find. But after just 20 minutes on foot, Tserennadmid stops and motions into the distance. Not seeing them, we follow our guide.

It's a shock to finally see them, a group of 10, exactly where Tserennadmid said they would be. Camouflaged by the rocks and boulders around them, the takhi appear 50 meters in front of us, peacefully grazing and altogether ignoring our presence

As we approach, the dominant stallion moves between us and the rest of the herd. We stay quiet. They look more like ponies than the steeds of Genghis Khan and his hordes. They're genetically different from domesticated or once-domesticated breeds of horses like the mustang—they have two more chromosomes (66 compared to 64) that make them a separate species, one thought to have diverged from a common horse ancestor half a million years ago.

The wild horses are 10 meters in front of us for just a few minutes before the clear blue skies start to darken. Lightning is visible in the distance, and the horses are startled at the sound of thunder. They turn and gallop away, presumably toward shelter.

It's time for us also to make our way back to the car and the comforts of Tserennadmid's home, a large, sparsely lit yurt, located behind the visitors center, that has two ragged cot-beds, an old-fashioned and blackened stove in the center, and a few photographs of family members hanging on the wall. Tserennadmid's wife cooks a hearty Mongolian mutton broth, followed by several glasses of strong Russian vodka.

"There are two other parks in Mongolia that have started to reintroduce the takhi," says our guide when we are back in the warmth of his yurt, "but Hustai is their home."

In central Mongolia, the last truly untamed wild horse is slowly making a return.

Source:Wall Street Journal

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Turner's top channels in Mongolia on Univision's IPTV platform

HONG KONG – Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific has launched a suite of its top channels in Mongolia,

after a groundbreaking agreement with the country’s first IPTV operator, Univision.

The multi-year deal will see a mixed genre package of Turner’s premium channels, CNN International, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and truTV, offered as part of Univision’s triple-play service to its network covering Ulaanbaatar and other major cities, using high-speed fibre-optic technology.

Ringo Chan, senior vice-president of Wireless and Interactive Content Solutions and Distribution at Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, said: “We’re delighted to partner with the clear leader in its field, Univision, as it offers its subscribers access to Turner’s line-up of unrivalled news programmes, top-rating children’s programming and actuality entertainment.”

Turner’s expansion into Mongolia marks the seventh Asian market for truTV, the broadcaster’s popular actuality channel, since its regional debut in April last year. The compelling must-see channel provides unscripted real-life situations about real people in dramatic situations, transporting viewers to the middle of the action. Programming highlights include The Smoking Gun Presents, World’s Wildest Vacation Videos and Disorder in the Court.

Added CEO of Univision, Naranbat N: “It is a significant milestone for our subscribers to have access to Turner’s top channels through Mongolia’s first IPTV service.”

The new IPTV service will also mean that Mongolian subscribers can stay on top of CNN’s breaking-news stories and world headlines at all times; and enjoy the best in animated entertainment from the world’s largest cartoon library of Warner Bros, MGM and Hanna Barbera titles as well as Cartoon Network’s original series including popular favourites Ben 10, Generator Rex, Chowder, and The Powerpuff Girls.

Univision will offer high-speed Internet and phone service to its subscribers, with the core 70-channel Internet TV service starting at US$9 per month.


Source:www.apb-news.com




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Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. Publishes April 2011 Monthly Letter to Shareholders

Calgary, Alberta CANADA, April 26, 2011 /FSC/ - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK - CNSX),is pleased to announce the release of its April 2011 letter to shareholders.

April 2011 Shareholder Letter

To the Shareholders of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.,

I am writing to you from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where our young company is making rapid progress. Naturally, we have had to deal with the growing pains of any new venture (corporate formations, account openings, etc.) and adding complexity to this; we have had to learn the rules in a new country. However, these hassles are increasingly in the past and we can now focus on building our business. Of course, nothing happens without capital, and I am thankful to everyone who subscribed to our recently completed $14,860,458 offering. As you know, management here at MGG eats its own cooking and nearly $4 million of the total proceeds came from senior management and the board.

We are now focused on deploying that capital in an intelligent manner. Upon receiving regulatory approval, we intend to invest US $5,000,000 in our new insurance venture. The whole point of insurance is the confidence that, when you have a claim, your insurer has the financial strength to cover your loss. Based on our research, we will be the best capitalized insurance company in Mongolia following this capital injection. If insurance is about strength, between our management team and our capitalization, we are off to a very strong start.

We have also been deploying capital into real estate. This is somewhat complicated by our strict return on capital hurdles and the small size of the market that we are targeting. To date, we have evaluated dozens of opportunities and acquired 11 residential apartments, over 1,000 meters of prime commercial space and 250 meters of leasable office space. Pending our due diligence process, we have a number of exciting properties that we hope to add to the portfolio in the near future.

Our focus is unchanged-we want to partner with businesses leveraged to the growth of Mongolia. Barring that, we want to own high quality real estate. While the returns on real estate may not be as good as other businesses, we can be very happy with the stability of the double-digit yields and the potential for capital appreciation.

The capital markets are quite fickle. I never want to rely on them for our funding. As a new company, profitability is paramount. Therefore, it's very exciting to see our first rent checks showing up in our accounts. Revenue is the first step towards profitability. Given our focus on low cost operations, it shouldn't be long before we have true earnings.

During early May, I will be returning to North America for meetings (and Mother's Day). If you live near Omaha, Los Angeles or New York City, contact Genevieve Walkden (info@mongoliagrowthgroup.com) if you would like to attend any of our presentations. In summary, we've been running this company for less than three months, but I am proud of the progress we have already made.


Sincerely,


Harris Kupperman

Chairman & CEO
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.

For further details on the foregoing document, please refer to the Corporation's filing on SEDAR.

For more information on Mongolia Growth Group Ltd., please see our website: www.MongoliaGrowthGroup.com

Or contact:

Jordan Calonego
jcalonego@MongoliaGrowthGroup.com
or
Harris Kupperman
hkuppy@MongoliaGrowthGroup.com


Forward-looking Information Cautionary Statement

Except for statements of historic fact, this news release contains certain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to delays or uncertainties with regulatory approvals, including that of the CNSX. There are uncertainties inherent in forward-looking information, including factors beyond MGG's control. MGG undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties that could affect financial results is contained in
MGG's filings with Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com. The CNSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.


Source:Mongolia Growth Group Ltd




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Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. Announces the Appointment of Byambaa Losolsuren to the Board of Directors

Calgary, Alberta CANADA, April 25, 2011 /FSC/ - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK - CNSX),is pleased to announce the appointment of Byambaa Losolsuren to the board of directors of MGG. Byambaa has extensive experience in Mongolian finance having worked for the Asian Development Bank as an investment officer and as a consultant to the Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC) in Mongolia. She is currently a partner and chief economist at UMC Group, MGG's partner in its recently announced insurance venture.

"As a company doing business in Mongolia, a local perspective is critical in all business endeavors. Byambaa strongly complements our existing board with her knowledge." said Harris Kupperman, President and CEO of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. "Byambaa is well respected in Mongolia and we are delighted to welcome her to the board of MGG."

"I am equally honored and pleased to be appointed as a member of MGG. By being able to bring to the board intrinsic knowledge about the financial sector and insights of business practices of Mongolia, I hope to serve the best interests of the Company and its shareholders," Byambaa said.

Upon joining the board of MGG, Mrs. Byambaa has been granted 75,000 3-year stock options to purchase shares of MGG. In addition, twenty-two Mongolian employees of MGG have been granted a total of 465,000 5-year stock options to purchase shares of MGG, and five consultants to both UMC and MGG have been granted a total of 360,000 5-year stock options for services rendered in accounting and other operational activities; all pursuant to the Company's stock option plan. All aforementioned options will have a strike price that is the higher of the April 25 or April 26, 2011 closing price of MGG shares.

For further information, please visit the Company's website at
www.mongoliagrowthgroup.com.

Or contact: Jordan Calonego, interim Chief Financial Officer
jcalonego@MongoliaGrowthGroup.com
(807) 622-9909

or

Harris Kupperman, Chief Executive Officer
hkuppy@MongoliaGrowthGroup.com



Forward-looking Information Cautionary Statement

Except for statements of historic fact, this news release contains certain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management relying on their experience at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to delays or uncertainties with regulatory approvals, including that of the CNSX, changes in the business environment that might impact the intended use of proceeds and changes in the intention of the parties to subscribe to the private placement. There are uncertainties inherent in forward-looking information, including factors beyond MGG's control. MGG undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties that could affect financial results is contained in MGG's filings with Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com. The CNSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Source:Mongolia Growth Group




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Opinion:Mongolia's next step - fame to fortune

April 20, 2011


As the world waits to hear in May which firms have won the rights to develop Tavan Tolgoi, one of the world's biggest untapped coal deposits, Mongolia's citizens and international investors are pressuring the government to change its outdated legislation and prepare the country for the boom ahead.

The high level of interest in Mongolia's coal reserves and the country as a whole was exemplified by two conferences over the past couple of months – "Coal Mongolia" gathered private and state representatives to discuss the country's rich source of coking and thermal coal for China, while the "Mongolian Economic Forum" opened up government house to discuss the state's decisions and future role in Mongolia's development.

Introducing the latter, Prime Minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold outlined the year ahead. "Mongolia's GDP per capita is $630, under the average of developing countries. We have high goals in front of us. Our focus must be on governance, and government regulations need to be clear," he said. "Our strategies cannot be based on a wish list but on research, and the development must be sustainable and direct to the people. We will eradicate corruption and clearly define the boundaries between state and private sectors. Last year, these issues were like a half-killed snake."

Last year's political mantra was "improving the business environment" and gathering interest for international investors to financially support the coming resource boom. As we head into 2011, however, it is becoming evident that the interest is already there. Mongolia has quickly become a hot spot for those investors looking for high returns in emerging markets.

On April 13, Erdenepurev Amarkhuu, director-general of fuel policy at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, told reporters in Beijing that Mongolia will probably choose in May more than one of the six groups short-listed for the Tavan Tolgoi project. The shortlist includes Peabody, a Shenhua Group-Mitsui joint venture, Vale, a Russia-Japan-South Korea group, ArcelorMittal, and Xstrata. "Definitely not one," Amarkhuu said. "It'll be a combination of the companies."

The giant Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit contains an estimated over 6.4bn tonnes of coal, 25% of which is coking coal used for steel production. With China only 240 kilometres away and desperate for more coking coal, Tavan Tolgoi is the name on every Mongolian's lips. The current tender is for the central and western part of the site, while the eastern half will be 51% kept by the Mongolian government, 10% given as shares to citizens, and 10% sold to domestic companies. The remaining 30% of this half will be sold on international exchanges, and the underwriters' shortlist includes BNP Paribas, Macquarie, Goldman Sachs and Deutche Bank.

Dutch Disease

Despite the bold plans, there are still some major concerns in Mongolia. With such a young judicial system and hazy implementation methods, citizens and investors are calling for the government to deliver on reforms so that this investment boom won’t end up wrecking the economy. "Good governance is just a catchphrase in Mongolia," complained Sambuu Demberel, CEO of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the "Mongolian Economic Forum". "There is a need for speed. We have become too comfortable with the revenues from mining and are caught in this 'mining mania'. We must go deeper into the economic issues."

Over the three days of panels and Q&A sessions, the problems that Mongolia faces in this next step became evident. The Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) is inefficient, infrastructure is dire, corporate governance is under par and political attitudes are outdated. Threats of "Dutch Disease" and high inflation are on the horizon. Last year, the ruling party promised over $1,000 cash to each citizen, widely condemned as a vote "bribe". This year, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj stood at the podium to apologise, saying: "We know now that promising cash is the wrong mechanism. We will never ever promise cash again."

A serious quantifiable error in many concerns was the timing of the government's proposed plans. The recently passed "Concession Law" listed over 120 public-private partnerships (PPP) to begin the huge infrastructure development needed to support the mining boom. "This is not a working document, but a political remark," says Phillip ter Woort, head of the Mongolian office for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). "PPPs are not easy instruments. People think it's to transfer burden, but it's not a free ride. It takes 18-24 months to finalise just one."

None of the proposed PPPs yet have sponsors, and the infrastructure issue is fast becoming a serious bottleneck. The government promises that Tavan Tolgoi's extraction will begin this year, but with no rail line to ship the loads, people are beginning to wonder: are these promises, along with the 10% stock "gift", another of the state's dodgy pledges? There was open and blunt criticism from audience members who expected more from their government, and they received direct replies assuring them that Mongolia was on the right track. "The private sector wants to show how well it can work without corruption. We have an open, democratic system and that's why it will work," the president said.



Oliver Belfitt-Nash is an expatriate living and working in UB.

Source:bne.eu/story2640 (European Business News)


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A new horde of invaders in the land of Genghis Khan

Mining promises fabulous wealth for Mongolia. Clifford Coonan reports from Ulan Bator


Edward Rochette, a hard-bitten American lawyer and a veteran of mineral exploration in 56 countries, pulls up a stool in the Square Grill Pub in central Ulan Bator and contemplates Mongolia's 21st century gold rush. The plush bar, with its fancy chairs and finger food, does not feel like an outpost of adventurers seeking their fortunes, but as it fills, the voices ordering the drinks are of Australian mining executives, British financiers and overseas-trained Mongolian consultants. They are here seeking coal, copper and gold – and lots of it.

"This is the place to be," declares Rochette as he extols the nation's virtues. "This is a frontier town."

Rochette's view of a land of opportunities is one at odds with many in this country, where about half the population live in tents (known as gers) and make their living from herding animals. Delicately poised between China and Russia, the buffer state is the size of Western Europe – but with just 3 million people, it is one of the least populated places on Earth.

However, Mongolia's fabulous reserves of gold and copper mean that it is on the brink of transformation, potentially making its people extremely rich. The International Monetary Fund expects the Mongolian economy to grow by 9.8 per cent this year – faster than China's.

The dramatic change in society is clear everywhere, no more so than on the streets of the capital where the manure from the horses of tribesmen is squelched beneath the wheels of the 4x4s of the new rich stuck in its traffic jams.

Rochette, who has his fingers in many pies in Ulan Bator and is married into one of Mongolia's premier horse breeding families, warms to his theme. "The only possible negatives are that the Government could screw it up, or commodity prices could crater," he says. "But the Government is good, and commodity prices are great."

For 16 years, Rochette worked with Robert Friedland, a controversial and charismatic mining financier who is one of the main figures responsible for discovering Mongolia's true natural resources potential. Friedland has few friends among environmentalists, but his uncanny ability to find rich veins of minerals is legendary and you will not hear a word said against him in The Square.

One of the deals Rochette worked on for Friedland was the 2002 agreement for the Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton to sell its rights in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine to Ivanhoe for £3 million.

Oyu Tolgoi, or Turquoise Hill, is the world's largest mining exploration project – it is bigger than Florida. When development of the mine is finished in a year or two, its output will account for more than 30 per cent of Mongolia's economy.

Oyu Tolgoi's neighbour in the Gobi Desert, Tavan Tolgoi, is the world's second largest coal deposit. Coal production doubled to 25 million tonnes last year to become Mongolia's top export, and the Government is trying to speed up the mine's development.

Robert Wrixon, the managing director of Haranga Resources, says: "Mongolia is awakening. The industry is about to take off. We are just starting out to help the Mongolians find what they've got."

But the influx of foreign interest has bred resentment. Outside of the bar, beyond the square and a huge statue of the country's most famous son, Genghis Khan, a group of fashionably dressed teenagers while away the hours at the Zaisan Memorial, a monument to Soviet soldiers killed in the Second World War.

They are keenly aware of the resources boom – and its implications. "We are a poor country. What options do we have? We need to do something today, otherwise we have to emigrate," says one young woman, Bolormaa.

There have been occasional attacks on mixed couples, usually foreign men with Mongolian women, and there are right-wing groups that oppose the arrival of so many foreigners. Much of this is focused on the Chinese, who ran Mongolia as a province until 1921 and for whom a visceral dislike lingers. However, China is set to be the prime customer for Mongolia's resources and is already its largest trading partner.

"The resources have to go to China, despite historical antipathies," says Wrixon. "Mongolia is happy to sell China commodities but is less comfortable about China having majority stakes in resource projects."

Since 1990, Mongolia has had a multi-party parliamentary democracy and – despite some violence after elections in 2008 – has largely been stable. Its Government is keen to transform the boom into meaningful jobs but there is a problem finding enough qualified locals to staff the mines. "The Mongolian Government is trying very hard to make things work," said Rochette.

The signs of the new wealth are emerging everywhere. In a pretty little pink building that was once a children's theatre on the city's main square stands the world's smallest – and fastest growing – stock exchange, founded by a descendant of Genghis Khan. The London Stock Exchange has just signed a partnership deal to take advantage of the massive international interest.

"We are pleased that we can become wealthy," says a foreign-educated young man named Bold, speaking in one of Ulan Bator's many bars. "We are very proud of our history but there is nothing much for the young people to do these days, so taking part in this is a great opportunity."

Mongolia transformed

* One of the world's great nomadic cultures, modern Mongolia represents only a fraction of the 14th century empire carved out by Genghis Khan. In the 20th century, Mongolia was treated by the USSR and China as little more than a Cold War buffer state, with little development outside the capital, Ulan Bator.

More recently, Mongolia has abandoned Soviet-style one-party socialism and adopted a democratic constitution. Relations with China have also begunto change. A traditionally wary stance towards Beijing has been steadily undercut by the growing economic opportunities offered by trade with China.

Source:www.independent.co.uk



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Ethnic culture highlighted as Mongolians honor national hero

People pay tribute to Genghis Khan with hada during the Spring Sacrifice ritual for Genghis Khan at the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in Ejin Horo Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, April 23, 2011.  (Xinhua/Zhang Ling)



HOHHOT, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of people from home and abroad flocked to the mausoleum of Genghis Khan on Saturday to honor the Mongolian national hero, as experts called for better preservation of this century-old custom.

About 50,000 people, including members of local Mongolian ethnic groups and visitors from the neighboring country of Mongolia, attended the annual memorial rite, said Qolubagatur, who presided over the ceremony.

"It's the 784th year that we held the sacrificial rite to our master, and the 'holy light' of the mausoleum has never gone out under the guard of our Dalhut families," said Qolubagatur. The Dalhut people are a branch of Mongolians who guard the mausoleum.

Hude, a 34-year-old engineer, said he carried on his family's duty to attend the ceremony after his aged parents could no longer make the journey.

"It has been a tradition that we have held for generations," said Hude, after presenting hada, a traditional white scarf, to the white jade statue of Genghis Khan.

To Hude and others of the Mongolian ethnic group, Genghis Khan was a national hero who united the grassland and founded the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. His grandson, Kublai Khan, established the Yuan Dynasty that ruled China from 1271 to 1368.

After the death of Genghis Khan, Mongolians placed his clothes, personal items, and a piece of camel hair that was believed to have preserved his soul in the mausoleum in the Ordos Highlands in what is now the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The real resting place of the Khan, however, remains unknown, as ancient Mongolians followed a custom of not marking their tombs.

For nearly 800 years, as many as 60 annual sacrificial rites, with the spring ceremony being the grandest, have continued.

The practice, however, is now facing a succession crisis, as younger Mongolians show less enthusiasm for sacrificial culture, said Naqige, deputy head of the mausoleum protection committee.

"Of the 16 Dalhut clans, eight have dropped the duty of guarding the mausoleum. Some descendants refused to follow the time-honored practice and chose other careers," said Naqige.

To step up protection of the culture, China listed the memorial rites as an intangible heritage under state protection in 2005. Now, those who guard the mausoleum are entitled to the same salary and benefits as a government worker.

Naqige and many other experts are also campaigning for UNESCO to list the practice as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

"For hundreds of years, the Dalhut people fought against all odds to protect the mausoleum and preserve the culture. That's why the mausoleum is so sacred to the Mongolians," said Qimeddorji, professor of Mongolian studies at the Inner Mongolia University.

Source:Xinhua, Chinese news agency


Monks stand with giant trumpets during the Spring Sacrifice ritual for Genghis Khan at the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in Ejin Horo Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, April 23, 2011. (Xinhua/Zhang Ling)





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Mongolia to host peace festival

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, April 22 (UPI) -- Mongolia is to be the site of a peace festival and conference, an event in August that will feature officials from around the world.

Officials from the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia and Mongolia are expected to meet in Ulan Bator in August to discuss Mongolia's role in peace efforts in the region, conference organizers announced Friday.

Mongolia has diplomatic relations with Pyongyang and the meeting is expected to propose track diplomatic initiatives, such as educational and sports exchanges, to open North Korea to its neighbors.

The conference will be part of the Global Peace Festival 2011 Aug. 25-27 in Mongolia with President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj among those scheduled to attend. The festival also marks the centenary of Mongolia's restored independence.

Mongolia, which has coal and mineral deposits, is attracting a growing stream of U.S. visitors. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expected to travel to the country this year.

Hyun Jin-moon, founder of the Global Peace Festival Foundation, is chairman of News World Communications, Inc., which owns United Press International.

Source:United Press International



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Prophecy Resource submits formal application for 600MW Mongolian power plant

Prophecy Resource Corp. (CVE:PCY) (OTCQX:PRPCF) said Thursday that after eight months of due diligence and studies, the company has submitted a formal request with the Mongolian ministry to build its planned Chandgana power plant.

Last August, the company, which is focused on energy, nickel and platinum group metals projects, appointed local Mongolian consultants to initiate feasibility and other studies on the planned 600MW Chandgana mine power plant, as Prophecy holds the Chandgana coal deposit in central Mongolia.

The necessary financial and technical analysis has been completed, including an environmental impact assessment for the facility, which was approved by the Mongolian ministry last November, and the feasibility study required to construct and operate the plant.

The 600MW thermal power plant will be connected with Mongolia's existing Central and Eastern energy systems, part of the long-term development policy of the country to supply cleaner energy.

The company said that as the project scales up to 4,200MW, there is potential to export the surplus power to China, with Beijing located just 1,000 kilometres to the south.

Once Prophecy receives the Ministry's formal endorsement, the company will proceed to work with the Mongolian Energy Regulatory Authority for the issuance of a permit. The application and permitting process is anticipated to take between three to six months.

Prophecy controls over 1.4 billion tons of surface minable thermal coal in Mongolia.

Source:Prophecy Resource




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S. Korean, Mongolian defense chiefs discuss closer military cooperation

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- The defense ministers of South Korea and Mongolia held talks in Seoul and discussed how to forge closer military cooperation between the two nations, officials said Thursday.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and his Mongolian counterpart Luvsanvandan Bold also exchanged views on regional security issues, including North Korea's two deadly attacks on South Korea last year, ministry officials said.

"The Republic of Korea and Mongolia have maintained a close relationship since the two sides established diplomatic ties 20 year ago," Kim said in his opening remarks, referring to South Korea by its official name.

"I hope that today's talks would become the impetus to further cement the relationship between the two nations," Kim said.

Bold arrived on Wednesday in Seoul for a five-day visit at the invitation of Kim to mark the Year of Mongolia in South Korea. The Year of Mongolia event is being held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties.

During the visit, Bold plans to tour the Korean Navy's 2nd Fleet headquarters and the truce village of Panmunjom, which sits in the middle of the heavily fortified border dividing the two Koreas, the ministry said.

North Korea torpedoed the Cheonan warship and shelled Yeonpyeong Island last year, killing a total of 50 South Koreans, including two civilians.

Source:Yonhap news agency of South Korea

Mongolian Minister of Defence Bold with his South Korean counterpart





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Mongolia Rail Boom Seen Breaking China’s Rare Earths Grip: Freight Markets

Mongolia’s aim of quadrupling its rail network will send coal, copper and rare earths to nations such as Japan and South Korea under a plan to reduce dependence on the Chinese market and boost economic development.

The landlocked nation’s drive to lay 5,700 kilometers (3,542 miles) of track across the country and to Russia’s Far Eastern ports stands to benefit such companies as Australia- listed Aspire Mining Ltd. (AKM) and Canada’s Prophecy Resource Corp. (PCY), said Richard Harris, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based Quam Asset Management. His firm has raised $20 million for a Mongolia-focused fund that will start investing in a few months.

“The missing link in the Mongolian gold rush now is transportation infrastructure,” said Roland Nash, who helps manage about $150 million of Russian stocks at Moscow-based hedge fund Verno Investment Management Ltd. “The key for the Mongolians is to attract investments from as many different countries as possible to lessen their dependence on China.”

A mining boom in the world’s most sparsely populated nation promises the greatest influx of wealth for Mongolia since Genghis Khan conquered much of the known world in the 13th century. Mongolia’s benchmark MSE Top 20 Index is the world’s best performer in the past 12 months and its currency, the tugrik, the fifth-biggest gainer against the dollar.

Economic growth may surge to 23 percent in 2013, more than twice the forecast expansion in China, as large mining projects begin production, the International Monetary Fund says.
Giant Neighbors

Agriculture and mining each account for about 20 percent of gross domestic product. Aside from coal and copper, the country also holds oil, potash, iron ore and uranium, as well as rare earths used in electronics, wind turbines and smart bombs.

Mongolia has grown increasingly dependent on commerce with China’s 1.3 billion people since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union: More than 75 percent of exports went to its giant neighbor in 2009, according to European Union figures.

The relationship hasn’t always been easy. During a 2002 Mongolia visit by the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, trains were held up near the China-Mongolia border, a reminder of the country’s vulnerability to pressure from the rulers of the world’s second-biggest economy.

“Using the Russia route, Mongolia will have better access to a global market rather than just dealing with China,” said Chris Weafer, Moscow-based chief strategist at UralSib Financial Corp. “You need that to maximize the commercial value of its goods. Otherwise China dictates prices.”
Precious ‘Necklace’

Mongolia this year is to start building a 400-kilometer link from the Tavan Tolgoi coal basin and Oyu Tolgoi copper deposit, two of the world’s biggest untapped resources, joining with an existing rail line north to Russia and south to China.

The planned network eventually will stretch directly from Tavan Tolgoi to China and Russia and extend the railroad west and north to link with untapped metals deposits, according to Eurasia Capital, Mongolia’s biggest investment bank.

“A necklace of resource deposits lies across the south of Mongolia and the idea is to connect it to rail, connect it to China, and have options with a route via Russia,” said Eurasia Capital analyst Dosbergen Musaev. “It’s a policy that defines what Mongolia will do over the next decade.”

To prove Russia offers a realistic outlet, trucks filled with coal from Tavan Tolgoi drove to Ulan Bator, where their cargo was loaded onto a maiden 30-car train that left for Russia’s biggest Far East port, Vostochny, on Oct. 28 last year.
‘Historical Event’

The “historical event” shows that Mongolian coal can travel via Russia to South Korea and Japan, OAO Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin, who attended a launch ceremony for the train, said in a statement posted on the company’s website.

For now, Mongolia trucks its output into China. That won’t be possible when production at Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi comes onstream, Musaev said, given the scale of the projected output.

Tavan Tolgoi’s owner, state-controlled Erdenes MGL LLC, expects coal production of as much as 30 million tons a year, according to a presentation made in Moscow in November. That’s more than the record 25 million tons from all of the nation’s coal mines in 2010.

Copper production at the Oyu Tolgoi deposit will reach about 600,000 tons a year in its first decade, says Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which is developing the site with Rio Tinto Group, the world’s No. 2 mining company by sales, and the Mongolian government.

Moving those commodities by truck will be costly. The price of coal sold by Tavan Tolgoi Co. more than doubles to about $61 per ton by the time the fuel arrives at the Chinese border, according to a presentation by the Mongolia Mineral Resources and Energy Ministry made in Moscow in November.
Road, Rail Costs

On top of the $28 per ton in mining costs, the company pays $32.50 for trucking, road charges and loading, the presentation shows. Even with a rail connection, the cost of exporting via Russia versus through China would be higher given the distances involved, Musaev said.

The price will be worth it because the option offers advantages to Mongolia, including the opportunity to further develop its deposits, according to UralSib’s Weafer. Processing Mongolian freight will also help Russia boost its isolated Far Eastern economy, which suffers from labor shortages, he said.

“The future of Russia and modernizing the economy of Siberia and the Far East is closely tied with the Asia Pacific region,” President Dmitry Medvedev said April 15 in Boao, China. Integration in the region “should be comprehensive and involve all countries, without creating new dividing lines.”
Russian Help

In December last year, Russia wrote off about 98 percent of Mongolia’s $172 million debt. Russian Railways owns a stake in AO UlanBator Railways, Mongolia’s national operator, and guaranteed a loan for it from Russian state-controlled VTB Group in October 2010 to buy locomotives.

Russia plans to sell shares equal to about 12 percent of Russian Railways, a company Weafer said stands to benefit from Mongolia’s railway plans. The business may be worth several times its share capital of more than 1.5 trillion rubles ($53 billion), Yakunin said last year.

Aspire Mining is partnering with SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (SGQ) for a coking-coal project, while Prophecy Resource in February was given a license for its Chandgana Tal coal deposit.

“The opening of the rail line is really important for some of the mines to the north,” said Quam Asset Management’s Harris.

Still, while the economy has been growing at an average 6 percent rate during the last 10 years, the expansion has fluctuated “sharply” from 1 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2007 and minus 1.6 percent in 2009, the IMF said in a research paper this month.
Boom and Bust

The transition to a market economy in the early 1990s, severe winters and a collapse in copper prices after a sharp rise in 2006-2007 help explain some of the country’s “boom- bust” cycles, it said.

“You have to really do your homework” to pick Mongolian equities, said Javier Garcia, lead manager at Swiss & Global Asset Management of the 70-million-euro Julius Baer Black Sea Fund, 4 percent of which is in Mongolia. “I’m not bearish but I would be extremely selective.”

The nation must avoid developing “Dutch disease,” where the financial benefits of a commodity boom lead to a hollowing out of other sectors, according to the World Bank. In the Netherlands, the discovery of gas in 1960s drove up inflation and damaged manufacturing.
Balanced Growth

Mongolia needs to find a more balanced model of growth, Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold said in Ulan Bator in March. He is trying to boost living standards in a nation where about a third of the 2.7 million population lives below the poverty line.

UlanBator Railways, the company Russia helped, was established in 1949 as a joint venture between the Soviet Union and Mongolia, creating a legacy that includes a shared rail gauge. That gauge, which refers to the width between the tracks, differs from China’s.

The volume of cargo between Russia and Mongolia grew 10 percent to 1.15 million tons in the first nine months of last year over the same period in 2009. The volume of Russia-China rail freight, which transits Mongolia, was 2.3 million tons in 2009, according to Russian Rail.

In Russia’s Far East, Vostochny port plans to expand its coal-handling capacity, according to the terminal’s website. Eurasia Capital estimates Russia will need to spend $2 billion over three years to cope with major coal and ore export volumes from Mongolia.

By striving to boost transport connections with Russia, “Mongolia is making a geopolitical choice and gaining a stronger bargaining position,” Musaev said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yuriy Humber in Tokyo at yhumber@bloomberg.net; Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

Source:Bloomberg news wire service




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UNHCR encourages Mongolian Parliamentary support for 1951 Convention

(NewDesignWorld Press Center) - Laughter rocked a conference centre here as government and UNHCR negotiators faced off last weekend to hammer out an agreement to protect 20,000 refugees who had just fled an uprising and flooded into the country.

The scenario, which could have been ripped from the headlines, was only a role-playing exercise at a workshop for 66 executive assistants to the members of the Mongolian Parliament, The Great State Hural.

The goal was to familiarize them with the 1951 Refugee Convention, how refugees feel when they flee for their lives, and how UNHCR and countries around the world protect refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people.

"This is part of an effort by UNHCR to build alliances in key sectors of Mongolian society to support the government and parliament's intention to accede to the Convention," said Nai Jit Lam, one of the trainers, and senior regional protection officer from UNHCR's Regional Office in Beijing.

The workshop, held in this rugged windswept valley 30 km west of the Mongolian capital, Ulanbataar, was covered on prime-time news Saturday evening by two of Mongolia's top TV news channels.

Two separate UNHCR workshops earlier last week introduced lecturers from Ulanbataar law schools and officials of Mongolian non-governmental organizations – including human rights groups, and those working against human trafficking and domestic violence – to the 1951 Convention and the UN refugee agency's history.

"This would be a particularly auspicious year for Mongolia to accede to the convention, because in 2011 UNHCR is marking the 60th anniversary of the convention," Lam added. "Mongolia would attract considerable international attention and support if it signed in this very special year."

The role-playing game – in which the executive assistants had to negotiate under severe time pressure an agreement to handle a mass influx of refugees – dealt with extremely serious issues of balancing refugee protection with national security, very real concerns in Mongolia. The laughter was sparked by outrageous demands and resulting displays of outrage as they pretended to be the National Security Council of fictitious "Government B" and top officials of UNHCR.

"The UN just promised money but we wanted national security," the mock president of "Country B" complained as he briefed the whole group on their outcome of negotiations.

"The UN did not make any promise of giving money," protested the man playing the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "We just said we could share some costs."

A second group's report on the same exercise turned into an impromptu press conference as participants spontaneously hurled criticism from the floor.

"You put your economic interests ahead of your humanitarian obligations," one executive assistant yelled at the second "president" who had made economic aid a condition of helping the refugees. "You want to make slaves of these refugees."

"I didn't bring them, they just came," he shrugged.

At the Sunday closing session, one participant, Myagmardash Batbayar, confessed: "The day before yesterday if you had asked us, we would probably have said that we would not join the Convention. But because of this training, our minds have changed and we now have a much better understanding of the Convention."

To loud applause and cheers from his colleagues, who are mostly in their twenties and thirties, he told the UNHCR trainers: "We should be able to extend our hospitality to refugees and take care of them like their parents."



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Mongolia halts coal exports to China - mining group

* China closed part of border citing technical problems - group

* Mongolia suspended deliveries following accidents - Xinhua (Adds details, comment from South Gobi Resources)

BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) - Mongolia has halted truck deliveries of coal from the South Gobi region to China, with the ban expected to last about two days, after China closed a part of the border on Tuesday citing a technical glitch, a lobby group for the Mongolian mining sector said.

The South Gobi region is the location of the Tavan Tolgoi property, one of the world's biggest coal deposits. Mongolia has yet to build railway infrastructure in the region and exporters continue to depend on trucks.

"The Chinese side said they had some problems (at the border crossing of Zamyn Uuud) with their computer software registering the vehicles," said Baasanjav Enkhbaatar, chairman of the Mongolian Mining Club.

"It affected all the traders in Mongolia and so the Mongolian government is taking countermeasures."

Official Chinese news agency Xinhua said Mongolia suspended coal deliveries following a spate of accidents on a dirt road running from Tavan Tolgoi.

Citing local media, it said 23 people were killed in 31 road accidents on the Tavan Tolgoi highway in 2010, with another three fatalities in the first quarter of 2011.

Officials at the Mongolian Mining Corp were not immediately available for comment.

"The Mongolian government does close off shipments for a day or two when there has been an accident -- sometimes there is so much dust caused by the trucks and local herds or herdsmen are hit," said Jim Reichert, senior infrastructure specialist with the World Bank in Ulan Bator.

"They need to build a railway as soon as possible to transport the coal -- there are any number of reasons to do that," he said.

Private financing was available to build railways south to China, but the Mongolian government blocked construction in order to concentrate on a cross-country rail network that would link Tavan Tolgoi with Russia and the Pacific coast.

The Tavan Tolgoi project is estimated to contain 6 billion tonnes of coal reserves and its eastern block is scheduled to be listed on an overseas stock exchange within a year.

The government is currently assessing bids for the western block of the project from ArcelorMittal , Vale and Xstrata , among others. [ID:nL3E7FD0IE]

China imported 16.59 million tonnes of coal from Mongolia in 2010, up 176 percent on the year and behind only Indonesia, Australia and Vietnam.

Mongolia hopes to become China's biggest foreign supplier, but its transportation infrastructure is already creaking under the strain.

The Mongolian Mining Corp and South Gobi Resources also have mining operations in the South Gobi region.

David Bartel, vice-president in charge of Mongolian operations at South Gobi Resources, said deliveries from the company's mine were not affected.

"The block is just from the Tavan Tolgoi area -- they have not stopped shipments from our mine," he said.

The mine is about 400 km from Tavan Tolgoi and 45 km from China and the company is currently building a dedicated road to the border, he said. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Ken Wills and Vinu Pilakkott)


Source:Reuters news wire service



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Mongolian herders sweep into capital in protest

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia -- Several hundred Mongolian herders joined by environmental activists are setting up camp in the capital to protest international mining deals and demand elections.

The herders on horseback and horse-drawn carts swept into the central square in Ulan Bator on Tuesday and erected their traditional round tents for what activists said would be a lengthy protest.

The protesters are criticizing mining deals with international companies that they say are despoiling grazing lands. They also accuse political parties of sacrificing the national interest to please the mining firms.

Herders have become increasingly hard-pressed in largely poor, landlocked Mongolia as overgrazing, rough winters and industrialization degrade grasslands.

Source:AP news wire service




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Mongolia's Uranium Boom

In March, a few international media outlets quietly reported that Mongolia and the U.S. had been holding informal discussions on a proposal that would have Mongolia serve as a regional depository of spent nuclear fuel. The arrangement would allow South Korea and Taiwan, which the U.S. supplies with nuclear rods, to dispose of their spent fuel, resolving what has become an increasingly thorny problem for the U.S.

News of the story spread quickly in the Mongolian press, and public opinion came out decidedly against the proposal. The Japanese nuclear crisis in Fukushima has compounded opposition in Mongolia to nuclear energy. Whether popular concerns are realistic or not is irrelevant to most Mongolians.

The Mongolian Foreign Ministry officially denied the reports of the talks over the spent fuel depository, claiming that it was inconsistent with the country's laws "prohibiting the import of dangerous waste to Mongolian territory." However, while the Mongolian government remains publicly adamant that it will reject such a depository, it has demonstrated its diplomatic savvy by approaching the issue as a legal constraint rather than a strategic decision. By framing the discussion around legal principles, the government of President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has avoided disappointing its emerging strategic partners in Washington and Moscow.

The Elbegdorj administration also made sure not to let its repudiation of the proposal cast any doubt on its interest in the continued growth of its uranium exports. Mining is Mongolia's largest export sector, accounting for nearly half its outgoing trade. While its most heralded industries are coal, copper and gold, Mongolia also has a substantial investment and industrial vision attached to uranium exploration. The country's most important uranium mine is located in Dornod province, in the easternmost region of Mongolia. Despite its isolation from the capital, Dornod's population has boomed as a result of economic opportunities attached to the mine. There are now several daily flights between the national capital, Ulan Bator, and Dornod's capital, Choibalsan, to accommodate investors and workers.

Uranium exploration is not a recent development in Mongolia. After the conclusion of World War II, the Soviet Union carried out geological studies to determine and identify regions for uranium extraction. The context of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race contributed to drive the hunt for uranium in Mongolia. Subsequent tests in the 1960s and 1970s identified four provinces in northern Mongolia, including Dornod, as having potential for future mining production. Ironically, it was not until 1989, with the Soviet Union in its final days, that uranium production began in Dornod. It is estimated that Russia has spent more than $500 million on developing Mongolia's uranium infrastructure since its early involvement after World War II.

In mid-2009, the Russian-Mongolian partnership was codified when both governments signed a high-level agreement to cooperate in identifying and developing Mongolia's uranium resources, with special reference to Dornod. Russia's state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, continues to maintain an exclusive and cozy relationship with the Mongolian Nuclear Energy Agency (MNEA), despite the efforts and presence in the country of international suitors such as Canada, France, Japan, South Korea and China.

In addition to MNEA, Mongolian state-owned uranium corporation Monatom LLC maintains a big stake in the country's nuclear future and continues to express interest in finding global business partners and investors. Nevertheless, further strengthening Moscow's hand is its friendly posture toward Mongolia's declared intention to construct its first nuclear reactor by 2020. Despite this, Rosatom will have to compete with international companies such as French nuclear giant Areva, which recently signed an agreement authorizing it to explore and mine uranium in Mongolia. South Korea has also demonstrated an interest in Mongolia's nuclear industry, as evidenced by a memorandum of understanding on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, inked March 25.

Mongolia's geostrategic location has prompted some observers to suggest that it might be interested in developing a nuclear weapons program or in housing strategic warheads of allied nations. However, this scenario seems highly unlikely considering that Mongolia has little capacity or desire to project force outside of its borders. Mongolia unilaterally declared its territory a nuclear-weapons-free zone in 1992, 14 years before the five Central Asian post-Soviet republics -- Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan -- followed suit by formally declaring their territories a nuclear-weapons-free zone in 2006. The treaty formalizing the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone was ratified in May 2009. While Mongolia has yet to institutionalize its zone, it is clear that it intends to remain outside the nuclear fray.

Mongolia is also a strong proponent of the nonproliferation regime as a state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Furthermore, the Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- ensuring more-robust verification standards -- has been in force since 2003. The Additional Protocol will also help to ensure that the construction of any nuclear reactors in Mongolia is consistent with IAEA standards for safety and monitoring.

Through continued coordination with the IAEA and respected international investors, Mongolia can successfully continue its march toward nuclear power. While the recent events in Japan are sure to shape public opinion, this is unlikely to change the Elbegdorj administration's calculus that nuclear energy will enhance Mongolia's economic and energy security in the future. Moreover, debate surrounding Mongolia's willingness to house spent fuel remains a peripheral issue in the context of its greater strategic vision on nuclear energy. Attracting international investment in its nuclear sector will continue to be a priority for Ulan Bator as it seeks to exploit its substantial uranium reserves.

Jonathan Berkshire Miller is a public sector analyst on the Asia-Pacific region and has considerable research and policy experience in issues relating to nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, counterterrorism and intelligence. He is also a regular contributor to the Diplomat on Asia-Pacific security issues.

Source:worldpoliticsreview.com





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Ministry of Rural Development signs agreement with Mongolia

Hungary's Ministry of Rural Development and Mongolia's Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Light Industry have signed an agreement to cooperate in the areas of agricultural technology, trade, training and science, Hungary's government portal kormany.hu said.
The site reported that the document was signed by state secretaries Endre Kardeván of Hungary and Gantulga Tudevkhuu of Mongolia.

According to the agreement, Hungary will help Mongolia set up cattle farms, drought-resistant grain fields, irrigation systems and develop new methods of forestry management on harsh terrain.

Source:bbjonline.hu/ (Budapest Business Journal)



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Mongolian Province to Attract Foreign Investment

A two-day investment forum aimed at boosting development in Mongolia's Dornogobi province will be a new start to attract investors to the landlocked Asian nation, a senior official has said.

"Many companies are interested in investing in our province as we are going to have a large infrastructure project in the province," Dornogobi governor P. Gankhuyag said at the forum, which ended Saturday. He was referring to the Mongolian government's plan to develop a heavy-industrial park in Sainshand that includes a cooking coal plant, a copper smelter plant and an oil refinery.

Dornogobi, which borders China, has Mongolia's only railroad running through its provincial capital Sainshand to China. Known for its rich mineral resources, the province has seen operations of many international companies such as Dongsheng Petroleum of China and Areva Group of France.

As Mongolia is also going to build new railways from large mining sites in South Gobi region to eastern province, "Sainshand is going to be a key hub of railroad and motor-road," Gankhuyag added.

Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia Wang Xiaolong, who also attended the forum, hailed Dornogobi's rich natural resources, saying he believed the province would have a bright future.

"Development of the province not only contributes to Mongolian economy, but also to the development of China and strengthening of friendly relations between China and Mongolia," Wang said.

Cooperation between the two sides goes beyond the mining sector, said the ambassador, adding it has also covered humanitarian and other valued-added production fields.

Source:Xinhua News Agency of China




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Mongolia to pick more than 1 winner for Tavan Tolgoi coal mine

By Fayen Wong

(Reuters) - Mongolia plans to pick more than one winner in bidding to develop the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, with results expected in May, a government official said on Wednesday.

ArcelorMittal , Vale and Xstrata are among six bidders short-listed to develop the mine, the world's largest untapped coking coal deposit. [ID:nL3E7E70CI]

U.S. coal miner Peabody , a consortium of Chinese energy firm Shenhua and Japan's Mitsui & Co , and a separate consortium of Japanese, South Korean and Russian firms are the other preferred bidders.

"It is likely that there will be more than one winner ... We will make a combination of the six bidders," Erdenepurev Amarkhuu, director general of the fuel department of the Mongolian Ministry of Mineral Resources, told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing.

The government is still considering all six bidders and has not eliminated any party from the list.

Amarkhuu said key issues being discussed include the investment amount, percentage of upfront payment, construction of infrastructure, safety and environmental considerations as well as the development of other value-added projects.

"We are looking for someone who can also bring in new technology and potentially develop things such as coal-to-gas, coal-to-liquids or coal upgrading projects," he said.

The government is also hoping the final winners will use Mongolians for as much as 90 percent of the project's total workforce, as an effort to create jobs and train workers.

"Strategic investors can first bring in foreign workers but they will then make Mongolians into qualified personnel to replace the foreigners," Amarkhuu said.

The six bidders are vying to develop Tavan Tolgoi's west Tsankhi block, which has 1.2 billion tonnes of coal reserves and could produce 15 million tonnes annually for more than 30 years.

Mongolia is widely regarded as one of the last mining frontiers. Some analysts say it could be one of the fastest growing economies of the next decade because of its vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Michael Urquhart)

Source:Reuters news services




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Turkey, Mongolia sign cooperation deal on energy resources

Turkey and Mongolia signed a cooperation agreement on oil, natural gas & mineral resources on Wednesday.

Turkish Energy & Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz and Mongolian Minerals & Energy Minister Dashdorj Zorigt signed the agreement on behalf of their countries during a ceremony held on the sidelines of the 14th Eurasia Economy Summit in Istanbul.

Speaking at the ceremony, Yildiz said the agreement envisaged the establishment of a technical delegation that would focus on mining and oil exploration activities.

Pointing to Mongolia's 5th position in the world with its coalfields, Yildiz said the two countries had the opportunity to cooperate in numerous areas.

Mongolian Minister Zorigt said in his part that Mongolia particularly had a great potential concerning energy raw materials.

The minister said there were currently Turkish investors doing business in Mongolia and other major Turkish investors were invited to take part in energy and infrastructure projects in his country.

Zorigt also said Mongolia accepted Turkey as a key partner, adding that today's agreement would provide the two countries with various cooperation opportunities on gas, oil, mines and geology researches.

Source:AA



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Xanadu finalises Noble JV in Mongolia

Mongolian-focused Xanadu Mines Ltd has finalised the terms of an alliance with Noble Group that will give the Hong Kong-based commodities trading house a 9.9 per cent stake in the minerals explorer.

Xanadu shares had jumped six cents, or 10.71 per cent, to 62 cents by 1403 AEST.

Xanadu and Noble's 50:50 joint venture company will explore and develop coking coal, iron ore and ferro alloy projects in Mongolia.

Xanada's existing assets will not form part of the alliance.

"The initial focus of the joint venture will be the pursuit of a number of opportunities already identified," Xanadu said in a statement on Thursday.

Xanadu will place up to 9.68 million shares with Noble at 69.89 cents each, worth $6.7 million.

Funds from the placement, together with a similar amount contributed to the joint venture by Noble, will be applied to opportunities in Mongolia, Xanadu said.

"The alliance ... will also allow Xanadu to continue to advance its existing Galshar and Khar Tarvaga thermal coal deposits and its copper gold assets in north west Mongolia and south east Gobi," Xanadu chairman Brian Thornton said.

Source:ninemsn.com.au




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Foreign firms aim to win big on Mongolia coal mine

ULAN BATOR — Mongolia is pushing forward with plans to develop a massive coal deposit in the Gobi desert, narrowing the field of foreign miners hoping to get a piece of the potentially lucrative action.

Ulan Bator has shortlisted several major foreign firms to develop part of the Tavan Tolgoi mine, one of the world's largest coal fields with 6.4 billion tonnes of reserves located 270 kilometres (165 miles) from the China border.

Authorities are hoping the nascent mining industry -- and the deep-pocketed foreign firms interested in it -- can help pull thousands of people out of poverty in the mineral-rich but still undeveloped Asian country.

"It?s an exciting time. It?s like being in the beginning of the gold rush in the Yukon in Canada," industry analyst Gerard McCloskey told AFP last week on the sidelines of a coal conference in the capital.

The government will announce the results of the bidding on the mine "as soon as possible, certainly this year", Tsogt Tsenguun, head of investment at state-run Erdenes MGL LCC, the parent of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT), told AFP.

ETT owns the rights to mine the Tsenkhi block of Tavan Tolgoi, which contains 2.2 billion tonnes of coal. It will be developed by a number of companies working in conjunction with the government.

US coal miner Peabody Energy, Brazil's Vale and steel giant ArcelorMittal are among six preferred bidders to develop the western portion of Tsenkhi, which contains mostly coking coal -- a key ingredient for steel production.

The others in contention are Anglo-Swiss group Xstrata, a joint venture between China's Shenhua and Japan's Mitsui, and a consortium of Russian, South Korean and Japanese companies.

Damjin Damba, president of the Mongolian National Mining Association, said it was "possible that more than one of the mining companies would be selected".

"Choosing more than one is the best at the moment," he told AFP.

ETT will retain full ownership of the eastern portion of Tsenkhi and will hire a contract miner to get the coal out of the ground.

Australia's Macmahon Holdings, Germany's BBM and India's Nesco are on that shortlist.

"The fact that all the coal mining giants are here stresses what is going on. A lot has been learned about the government?s approach to its resources and the way it is tackling this industry," McCloskey said.

In 2009, Mongolia sealed a long-awaited multibillion-dollar deal with Canada's Ivanhoe Mines and Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto to develop Oyu Tolgoi, one of the world's richest copper deposits and a key gold source.

An initial public offering of ETT slated for early next year is expected to raise up to $2 billion and includes a plan to distribute shares to every Mongolian.

"The distribution of shares is a good idea for Mongolia," Bold Baatar, chief executive of investment firm Newcom Group, told the coal conference.

"Mongolians like to share and we intend to share the wealth among all Mongolians. From an economic point of view, it makes sense when you have thousands of shareholders standing behind you."

Ulan Bator will retain a 51 percent stake in ETT, while 10 percent of the shares will be distributed to the Mongolian people and 10 percent to domestic companies.

The remaining 29 percent will be floated on either the Hong Kong stock market, the London Stock Exchange, or both.

Foreign investment banks Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Macquarie will manage the share sale, Erdenes' Tsenguun said, adding Goldman and Deutsche will jointly lead the IPO.

The IPO is a landmark deal for the impoverished country. Money raised will be used to develop the mine, coal washing plants, power stations and rail links to take the minerals to overseas markets -- creating huge job opportunities.

The government of landlocked Mongolia is currently considering proposals to build a 1,000-kilometre rail line to shuttle Tavan Tolgoi coal to the Russian rail system and its ports in the far east of the country.

That could open up access to markets in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, leaving Ulan Bator less dependent on resource-hungry China.

Source: AFP




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Mongolia May Unveil Winning Bids for Tavan Tolgoi Next Month

Mongolia may announce the winning bids to develop Tavan Tolgoi, one of the world’s biggest untapped coal deposits, next month, said an official at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy.

“Negotiations are still ongoing,” Erdenepurev Amarkhuu, director-general of fuel policy at the ministry, told reporters in Beijing today. Mongolia will choose more than one of the six groups shortlisted for the project, he said.

Talks are underway on the contract for the central and western part of the site, Baterdene Ragchaa, a spokesman for Erdenes MGL LLC, the state-controlled owner of the deposit, said on March 31. The shortlist includes Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), a Shenhua Group Corp.-Mitsui & Co. venture, Vale SA (VALE3), a Russia- Japan-South Korea group, ArcelorMittal (MT), and Xstrata Plc (XTA), Erdene Executive Director Baasangombo Enebish said on March 5.

“Definitely not one,” Amarkhuu said, when asked about the number of winners. “It’ll be a combination of the companies.”

The government is seeking mining expertise and infrastructure development, including railway construction, Amarkhuu said. Mongolia is also targeting “value-added production” including coal-to-liquid and coal-to-gas projects, he said.

The western and central part of Tavan Tolgoi holds more than 1 billion metric tons of coal, 68 percent of which can be used for steelmaking and the rest as fuel in power plants, Enebish said in March.
Local Staffing

The government hopes 90 percent of the employees at Tavan Tolgoi will be locals, Amarkhuu said.

“It’s difficult because it heavily depends on qualified personnel,” he said. “We should think of whether Mongolia has sufficient qualified personnel.”

Foreign companies can bring in their own staff while training locals “as fast as possible” and replacing the workforce with Mongolians after that, Amarkhuu said.

Coal production doubled to 25 million tons to become Mongolia’s top export last year, encouraging the government to speed up Tavan Tolgoi’s development.

--Chua Baizhen. Editors: Ryan Woo, John Chacko.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bloomberg News in Beijing at bchua14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Clyde Russell at crussell7@bloomberg.net.

Source:Bloomberg News Service





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Mongolia will announce results of bidding to develop the prized Tavan Tolgoi coal mine "very soon", a government official said on Wednesday.

"The results of the bidding will be announced very soon", Erdenepurev Amarkhuu, director general of the fuel department of the Mongolian Ministry of Mineral Resources told an industry conference in Beijing.

ArcelorMittal , Vale and Xstrata are among six bidders short-listed to develop Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi mine, the world's largest untapped coking coal deposit. [ID:nL3E7E70CI]

U.S. coal miner Peabody , a consortium of Chinese energy firm Shenhua and Japan's Mitsui & Co , and a separate consortium of Japanese, South Korean and Russian firms are the other preferred bidders. (Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Ken Wills)

Source:Reuters news wire services




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Redwood Capital Announces the Acquisition, ASX Listing and $10 Million Public Offering for Mongolian Resource Corporation

DANVILLE, Calif., Apr 12, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) --

S3 Investment Company, Inc. (Pink Sheets:SIVC)/Redwood Capital today announced the completion of the acquisition transaction, ASX listing and a $10 million Public Offering capital raise for Redwood Capital client Mongolian Resource Corporation (MRC). As a result of the acquisition, Alamar Resources Limited, which is traded on the Australian Stock Exchange under the ASX Code ALG, will change its name to Mongolian Resource Corporation Ltd. Redwood Capital acted as the Asian merchant banking financial advisor for MRC.

Alamar Resources Limited announced that it has completed a capital raise of 40,000,000 shares at $0.25 per share. These proceeds will be used to fund the acquisition, exploration and development of the MRC Mongolian assets and for general working capital purposes. Information regarding the exploration and development 2011 plans for the assets of MRC will be announced when it becomes available.

Jim Bickel, Chairman and CEO of S3/Redwood, is one of three new directors appointed to the Alamar Resources Limited board as part of the transaction. In its announcement regarding the appointments, Alamar Resources Limited noted that the new directors "bring a wealth of international and Mongolian business experience to the board and will be critical in managing the growth of the Company in the future."

"We are very pleased to announce this closing and financing for MRC, the first Redwood Capital Mongolian client to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange," commented Mr. Bickel. "Our staff and partners in the UK, Mongolia and Australia, have worked tirelessly on behalf of this client, and to see the hard work of all of the parties involved culminate in a successful close is extremely rewarding. I look forward to continuing our work with MRC as a company publicly traded in Australia, as well as continuing to expand the reach of Redwood Capital with new partners, clients and new markets."

Redwood's Managing Director Matthew Totty stated, "I am extremely excited about Mongolia and working full time in country on a number of new projects with our local partners. We feel the ASX is a natural place for Mongolian mining companies to list and MRC has been well received."

MRC is a diversified mining company engaged in the acquisition, development and operation of resource properties in Mongolia, particularly late stage or current producing mines. MRC's objective is to build shareholder value by maximizing the potential of its current properties and leveraging its financial strength and experience to acquire new long-life, low-cost projects. The company's current assets include gold, coal and iron ore.

To receive email alerts from the company whenever new information is released, please visit http://www.redwoodgroupint.com/investors.

About S3 Investment Company, Inc./ Redwood Capital

S3 Investment Company, Inc. (http://www.redwoodgroupint.com) and its Redwood Group International subsidiaries are focused on building and advising businesses operating in the Mongolian and Greater China market, including Redwood Capital, Inc., which assists private companies in the capital markets. Additional Redwood subsidiaries include Redwood Medical, Inc., which assists companies seeking to import and distribute Western medical technologies and products into the China market, Redwood Asia Fund, and Redwood Capital Securities.

Any statements contained herein related to future events are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. S3 Investment Company, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update any such statements to reflect actual events.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

SOURCE: S3 Investment Company, Inc.






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Rio Tinto to be challenged on environment and human rights abuses: Mongolian representative to participate in the claim

An alliance of solidarity, human rights, development and environmental groups is calling London-based Rio Tinto Plc, the world’s third largest publicly traded mining company, to account for what it says are numerous human rights and environmental abuses.
The London Mining Network (LMN) intends to raise concerns at Rio Tinto’s 2011 AGM on Thursday 14 April 2011 at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.

The LMN has arranged that representatives from local organisations in regions where Rio Tinto operates will attend the meeting. Visitors from Indonesia, and the United States will confront the company with the impacts of its activities on their communities. It is hoped that there will also be a visitor from Mongolia.
One of the visitors, Chalid Muhammad, is chair of the Indonesian Green Institute and acted as a witness in negotiations between the company and communities around its now-closed Kelian gold mine in Indonesia, where numerous human rights abuses occurred.
Meg Townsend works in a New York City law firm handling high-profile environmental litigation and represents Michigan groups concerned about water pollution and violations of Indigenous rights at the Eagle Mine. Cherise Udell from Utah Moms for Clean Air leads the Utah delegation.
Still to be confirmed is Sukhgerel Dugersuren, Executive Director of Oyu Tolgoi Watch, a coalition of Mongolian human rights organisations monitoring the impacts of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in the arid South Gobi region of Mongolia, where mining operations will deplete scarce water resources.
Chalid Muhammad of the Indonesian Green Institute said yesterday: “Rio Tinto is not what it seems. It claims to be socially responsible but it is not.”
Community representatives, with banners, will be available for comment and photo opportunities outside the AGM from 10.00am on Thursday 14 April.
Protestors from Utah, challenging the company over air pollution from its mining and smelting operations at Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, will put on a colourful street theatre presentation as part of their demonstration outside the Rio Tinto AGM.

Source:MonInfo news service





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Study Group To Call For Launch Of Japan-Mongolia Trade Talks

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan and Mongolia should promptly start bilateral economic partnership talks, according to forthcoming recommendations by a study group comprising government officials and private-sector experts.

The report will stress the importance of the partnership, which would help Japan raise automobile exports and secure steady supplies of mineral resources, while bringing more foreign investment to Mongolia.

The nations agreed to work toward spring negotiations at a summit last November.

Japan intends to put the talks on a fast track in light of the need to reduce its dependence on China for rare-earth metals. But with Tokyo coping with the fallout from the Great East Japan Earthquake, including the nuclear power plant crisis, uncertainty hangs over the talks.

Japan's trade with Mongolia totaled about 10.4 billion yen in 2009, accounting for less than 0.1% of its overall tally. Mongolia imposes tariffs on about 99.7% of items shipped from Japan, including cars and electronics.

Source: Nikkei April 8 morning edition




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Mongolia eyes first nuclear power plant by 2020-MonAtom

* Mongolia sees foreign investment in nuclear energy sector to "be huge"

* MonAtom sees Japan nuclear crisis impact on industry short-term

By Rujun Shen

SINGAPORE, April 7 (Reuters) - Mongolia plans to have its first nuclear power plant by 2020 and build nuclear fuel production capacity by tapping the country's rich uranium resources, undeterred by the recent nuclear crisis in Japan, a senior official at the state-owned MonAtom LLC said on Thursday

Japan's nuclear crisis is not seen to have a lasting impact on the global nuclear industry, said Tsogtsaikhan Gombo, deputy chairman of MonAtom, which represents the government in mining and developing the country's uranium resources.

"We don't think it's a big problem for the industry as a whole. It's a little bit of set-back in time frame, but as a whole it will go on," said .

"We want green development and nuclear is the number one choice."

Mongolia has proven uranium reserves of about 80,000 tonnes, ranking it among the top ten in the world, and putting it on the map of mining giants, which have been attracted by world-class deposits such as the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project. [ID:nL3E7F70A3]

"We have the ambition to build the capability of nuclear energy in Mongolia, and the ambition to supply nuclear power plants in Northeast Asia with nuclear fuel," Gombo told reporters on the sidelines of a mining conference in Singapore.

GLOBAL COMPETITION

Gombo said the country is seeking investment from around the globe to develop its nuclear energy sector, adding that uranium reserves in the country could rise to above one million tonnes.

"Currently there is not much, but we expect there will be huge investment in Mongolia's nuclear energy sector, because the super powers are interested," said Gombo, adding that the United States, Russia and China are competing with each other to get into the country's nuclear sector.

But for the country sandwiched between Russia and China, choosing business partners is a delicate task, Gombo said.

"The government is quite selective, and is opting to cooperate with the most developed countries in the industry, like the United States, Japan and France," he said.

"I wouldn't say we don't want them (China and Russia), but we want a balance of interest."

Last October, Mongolia and France's governments signed an agreement to let France's Areva (CEPFi.PA: Quote) to explore and mine uranium in Mongolia, Areva said on its website (www.areva.com).

(Reporting by Rujun Shen)

Source:Reuters news service






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LSE seals deal to develop Mongolian Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange Group ("LSEG") and the Mongolian State Property Committee ("SPC") today announce that they have signed a Master Services Agreement ("MSA"), confirming their intention to modernise the Mongolian Stock Exchange ("MSE"), and agreeing details of how the partnership will be implemented.

LSEG Chief Executive Xavier Rolet met with Mongolian Prime Minister Sükhbaataryn Batbold at a signing ceremony in Ulan Bator today to confirm the agreement, which will see LSEG contributing to the modernisation of the MSE through the provision of technology, education and regulatory and capital markets expertise.

Sükhbaataryn Batbold, Prime Minister of Mongolia, said:
"I am delighted that we have been able to confirm this partnership.
"Mongolia's economic potential is recognised across the globe, and matched by our ambition to build a world class capital market at the centre of a modern, internationally focused economy.

"We believe that the London Stock Exchange Group is the best possible partner to support these ambitions, and look forward to a long term, mutually productive relationship."

Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of LSEG, said:
"We are hugely proud to have been chosen to develop the MSE into an institution befitting Mongolia's growing importance on the world stage. We are strong believers in the benefits of an equity culture like that advocated by the Mongolian government, and are thrilled to participate in the construction of a high quality financial infrastructure which best facilitates that ideal.
"The project we've finalised today underlines the increasingly diverse, international nature of LSEG's business strategy, and will facilitate Mongolia's speedy integration into the global financial community."

Mr. D. Sugar, Chairman of the Mongolian State Property Committee, said:
"LSEG's diverse expertise will be invaluable as we continue to develop, modernise and privatise Mongolia's financial infrastructure. We are excited about the months ahead, and look forward to working together to implement this crucial project."

Under the agreement LSEG will collaborate with the SPC in a number of areas, including:
• LSEG will appoint a management team at the MSE to oversee its development and privatisation;
• LSEG's MillenniumIT, the leading global exchange technology provider, will provide trading, surveillance and post trading infrastructure to the MSE;
• Using the LSEG Academy, both parties will conduct a comprehensive training programme on capital markets infrastructure and legislative framework for MSE officers, clients and officers of the Mongolia Financial Regulatory Commission;
• LSEG will advise the MSE on the modernisation of market rules, procedures, structure and operation at the MSE;
• LSEG will provide assistance in the broadening of tradable asset classes at the MSE, to derivatives and ETFs; and
• LSEG will work to implement an international standard Mongolian market index.

Source:www.finextra.com



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Mongolia Nuclear Push to Take Cue From World Sentiment

Mongolia will take its cue from the global reaction to Japan’s nuclear disaster before continuing with plans to build atomic power plants, according to the deputy chairman of state-owned nuclear company Monatom.

“It will depend on how the world community reacts” to the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station that occurred last month, Tsogtsaikhan Gombo said in an interview in Singapore. “We don’t think it’s a big problem for the industry as a whole. It may be a little set back in the timeframe.”

Mongolia, which has at least 1 percent of the world’s uranium resources, was planning to start operating its first nuclear power plant by 2020 and build a nuclear fuel center, Gombo said. Russia’s Rosatom Corp. last year set up a venture with Monatom to mine uranium, used to make nuclear fuel, at the Asian nation’s Dornod deposit. Rosatom agreed also to help Mongolia develop its nuclear industry strategy.

Almost a month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out backup generators at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant, workers are still using emergency equipment to try to cool the reactors and plug radiation leaks. China, India, the U.K. and Germany have said they plan to review further development of domestic nuclear industries.

Japan’s situation is unlikely to damp interest in Mongolian uranium deposits or stop the nation from working with Japanese nuclear companies, Gombo said.

“Currently there is not much foreign investment in the uranium sector, but we expect there would be huge investments because the superpowers -- U.S, Russia and China -- are all interested and competing with each other,” Gombo said.

Mongolia would favor developing its nuclear industry together with the U.S., France and Japan, as opposed to its two neighbors Russia and China to “balance” its interests, Gombo said. China accounts for about 80 percent of Mongolia’s imports and exports.

--Xiao Yu in Singapore and Yuriy Humber in Tokyo. Editors: Alan Soughley, Keith Gosman

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yuriy Humber in Tokyo at +81-3-3201-3521 or yhumber@bloomberg.net; Xiao Yu in Singapore at +86 1390 117 2363 or yxiao@blooomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs in Sydney at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

Source:Bloomberg News Wire Service





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Australian Gene research project boosts links to Mongolia

A new joint project between Western Australia and Mongolia aims to strengthen ties between the two countries through collaborative genetic research.
The Western Australian Family Study of Schizophrenia (WAFSS) is one of the largest genetic databases in the southern hemisphere. Using DNA donated by volunteers, it is building up a picture of the genes involved in schizophrenia, which will hopefully pinpoint the genetic causes of this disabling condition.

WAFSS has formed a partnership with the National Center of Mental Health, Mongolia, which will offer training in advanced diagnostic methods and help to develop genetic-based mental health research in Mongolia.
Two psychiatrists from the Center, Dr Oyunchimeng and Dr Guljanat, will travel to WA in April to undertake advanced training in the diagnosis of psychosis with Winthrop Professor Assen Jablensky, Director of the Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry (CCRN).
CCRN, a joint UWA-Department of Health research facility, will host the visit, which forms the first stage of the collaboration. This will be followed by collection of DNA samples in Mongolia which will be sent for testing to Western Australia.
WAFSS staff will then travel to Mongolia to carry out electrophysiological testing on research participants, and the data will also be added to the project.
Winthrop Professor Jablensky said the collaboration would help extend research into the genetic origins of schizophrenia.
"We have here an excellent opportunity to add to our genetic database and also to improve the delivery of mental health care in Mongolia through the Centre for Mental Health," Professor Jablensky said.


Source:MonInfo News Service


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Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine to begin production in Aug 2012

Reuters) - Mongolia's massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project is expected to begin production in August 2012, sooner than forecast, said Temuulen Ganzorig, Deputy Director of Erdenes MGL which partners with Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto in developing the site.

Ganzorig said expedited construction helped to move the production date ahead. Ivanhoe Mines had earlier said commercial production would begin in the first half of 2013. [ID:nN28173188] (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Lane)

Source:Reuters




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Mongolian Gold and Copper Mine Project Ahead of Schedule

Representatives of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd released a statement last week, saying that the massive Oyu Tolgoi mining project in Mongolia is actually developing ahead of schedule.

Oyu Tolgoi is not scheduled to start production until the first half of 2013, but 2011 represents the peak year for construction activity, and will see the start of ‘prestripping’ of the open pit. The company plans to start moving material from over the Southern Oyu deposits over the course of 2011, and all the major mining equipment has now already been secured on time or ahead of the original schedule.

The Oyu Tolgoi project has 7,000 people working on it, including about 5,500 actually on-site each day. There are a series of major infrastructure projects in development around the site, including a 97 kilometer paved road to the Mongolia-China border and a permanent domestic airport. Between Ivanhoe and the top shareholder Rio Tinto, the companies have invested an estimated $3.6 billion into the gold and copper mine.

Move One is a valued logistics partner in the project, delivering vital equipment to the mine’s extremely remote and inhospitable location. Noah Glassco, Move One’s Country Manager in Mongolia said ”As Oyu Tolgoi’s development marches on ahead of schedule, cargo volumes entering Mongolia are rising significantly, which has translated into increased business for our operations in the capital and in the south Gobi. Thanks to our innovative supply-chain solutions and competent local staff, we are confident that we will be able to adapt to the rising demand and still deliver the high standard of customer service our clients are used to receiving from Move One.”

The Oyu Tolgoi mine is expected to produce more than 1.2 billion pounds of copper and 650,000 oz. of gold a year in the first ten years of operations, Ivanhoe said in May last year.


For further information about Move One’s operations in Mongolia, please contact Noah Glassco at noah.glassco@moveoneinc.com.

Source:www.moveoneinc.com





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