Mongolia security chief loses UK extradition appeal

A top Mongolian security official lost his appeal Friday against extradition from Britain to Germany to face kidnapping charges, threatening to turn the case into a major diplomatic spat.

Bat Khurts, a key figure in Mongolia's National Security Council, is set to be extradited within weeks to face charges of kidnapping and abducting a Mongolian murder suspect from Germany in May 2003.

The High Court in London rejected claims that he was lured to Britain by officials from the Foreign Office, only to be detained on a European arrest warrant as he flew into London Heathrow on September 17 last year.

Khurts' lawyer, Duncan Macdonald, said he would accept the ruling.

But the government of Mongolia said it was "very disappointed" at the court decision and promised to take the case to the International Court of Justice.

"Other governments should take note," Ulan Bator said in a statement issued through Mcdonald.

"If the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) encourages (their) officials to come to London on official visits, it may secretly be planning their arrest for extradition.

"Also, how will countries around the world trust their British ambassadors in light of this court's decision? The Mongolian government will be taking this matter to the International Court of Justice."

A Foreign Office spokesman said Friday that Khurts' detention "in no way amounts to a diplomatic or political statement by the British government".

The spokesman said that the judges had acted entirely independently.

"This case should have no impact on the UK government's desire to strengthen bilateral relations with Mongolia," the spokesman added.

The European arrest warrant issued by Germany alleges Khurts and three other members of the Mongolian secret service kidnapped and drugged Mongolian refugee Damiran Enkhbat in France in May 2003.

It claims that Khurts drove a car carrying Enkhbat, wanted for the assassination of a Mongolian minister in 1998, to Brussels and then to the Mongolian consulate in Berlin, from where he was flown out to Ulan Bator.

A court ruled in February that Khurts could be extradited to Germany but his legal team appealed this at the High Court, arguing that he was covered by diplomatic immunity and should never have been detained.

Khurts claims he was encouraged by William Dickson, the British ambassador to Mongolia, to believe that he would be welcome in London for talks on security matters, while in fact Dickson was working with police to arrange his detention.

In his ruling on Friday, Lord Justice Alan Moses rejected this argument, and also dismissed the claim that Khurts was entitled to diplomatic immunity because he was visiting Britain on a special mission on behalf of his government.

Moses said there was "no question of any official in the United Kingdom luring the appellant to this country in the belief that he was going to meet United Kingdom officials to discuss security matters".

Dickson retired earlier this year but the Foreign Office said his departure was "unconnected" with Khurts' case.

Khurts' lawyer Macdonald said he would not take his appeal any further, telling AFP: "He's had enough. He's been in custody for nearly a year now. His (fourth) child was born while he was in custody."

He said Khurts could be extradited within two to three weeks, adding that the Mongolian "accepts he was part of the (kidnap) operation", but "at all times was acting on the orders of his state".


Source:www.expatica.com and AFP


Share:

Britain: Court Orders Extradition of Mongolian Security Official

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A top Mongolian security official lost his appeal Friday against extradition from Britain to Germany to face kidnapping charges. The High Court in London ruled that the official, Bat Khurts, a central figure in Mongolia’s National Security Council, should be sent to Germany, where he is charged with kidnapping a Mongolian murder suspect from Germany in 2003.

The court rejected claims that he was lured to Britain by officials from the Foreign Office, only to be detained on a European arrest warrant when he arrived in London in September. The Mongolian government said it was “very disappointed” by the decision and promised to take the case to the International Court of Justice.

Source:AFP



Share:

Mongolian spy chief faces extradition on kidnap charge

By Cathy Gordon

A Mongolian spy chief has lost an appeal against a ruling that he can be extradited from the UK to Germany to face charges of kidnap and false imprisonment.

Bat Khurts, who claims he was lured to the UK so he could be arrested under a European Arrest Warrant, had his case rejected by judges at the High Court in London yesterday.

He is alleged to have been involved in the abduction from Germany of the Mongolian national Enkhbat Damiran, who was wanted in connection with the murder of a government official.

Khurts was arrested when his flight landed at Heathrow last September. In February, District Judge Quentin Purdy, sitting at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, said 41-year-old Khurts should be sent to Germany on a European Arrest Warrant.

His legal team urged Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Foskett to overturn the decision, arguing that, as head of the executive office of Mongolia's National Security Council, Khurts should have been covered by diplomatic immunity and should not have been detained when he arrived in Britain. But the judges dismissed his case. The court heard that there would be no appeal against the decision.


Source:www.independent.co.uk





Share:

India Inks Defence Cooperation Pact With Mongolia

PTI | Ashwini Shrivastava | Ulaanbaatar

Giving a fillip to its ties with Mongolia, India today signed a defence cooperation agreement with the northeast Asian country and announced that it would extend a USD 20 million Line of Credit for a joint IT, education and outsourcing centre to be set up here.

India and Mongolia also inked two pacts on media exchanges and cooperation between their planning commissions in the presence of President Pratibha Patil, who is here on a three-day visit.

Patil is the first Indian President to visit Mongolia in 23 years.

After her half-an-hour restricted talks with this country's leadership, Patil said her parleys with President Tsakhia Elbegdorj were held in a warm, friendly and cordial atmosphere.

"My visit seeks to strengthen our relationship, building upon the momentum generated by the visit of President Elbegdorj to India in September 2009, when our ties were expanded to a comprehensive partnership," she said.

"We have signed an agreement of cooperation between the Planning Commission of India and its Mongolian counterpart. There is considerable expertise on plan formulation and implementation in India. We look forward to sharing our experience in this area with Mongolia," Patil said.

A bilateral defence cooperation agreement was also signed, she said. "...India is willing and ready to expand collaboration in this sphere."

Besides, she said that New Delhi will extend a Line of Credit of USD 20 million for the 'India–Mongolia Joint Information Technology, Education and Outsourcing Centre' to be established here.

The two countries also discussed ways to further cooperation in the peaceful use of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy.

"We also agreed to explore the possibilities of improving air connectivity between our two countries so as to enhance contacts between our peoples, including through tourism," Patil said.

With an MoU on media exchanges signed between the two governments, "we can now hope to see more media persons from Mongolia in India. We will also send more Indian journalists here," she said.

The agreements were signed in a grand hall at the National Assembly.

Patil, who arrived here yesterday following her three-day visit to South Korea, visited the historic Sukhbaatar square today and offered floral tributes to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi here. Members of the Indian community sang a song in praise of the Father of the Nation.

The President was given a ceremonial welcome by the Mongolian security services personnel at the Sukhbaatar square, which has a grand statue of Genghis Khan.

She took salute from the force during the grand ceremony and said 'thank you' in Mongolian language, which was applauded by a number of people present at the event, including politicians and officials.

Mongolia is celebrating the "Year of Anniversaries", including the 805th anniversary of the establishment of the Great Mongolian State under the leadership of the legendary Genghis Khan and 90th anniversary of the Mongolian Independence and Sovereignty.

Patil stressed on reviving Mongolia's contacts with Nalanda University, which is being rejuvenated as a regional seat of learning and excellence, in particular of Buddhist studies.

"It is encouraging that we also share other values such as democracy, rule of law and upholding the rights of the individual. This forms the bedrock of our bilateral cooperation," Patil said.

"My discussions with President Elbegdorj today were wide-ranging and covered the entire gamut of our bilateral relations as well regional and global issues of mutual interest," she said.

India will also upgrade and modernise the Rajiv Gandhi Art and Production School as well as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology here.

"We will complete this work soon. Further, we have agreed to work together on a joint India–Mongolia School," Patil said.

Mongolia is spread in an area of 1.565 million square km and has a population of about 2.7 million. About 92 per cent of its population follows Buddhism and the country shares its border with China and Russia.

India and Mongolia are good trading partners. India exports pharma products, veterinary medicines, automobiles and their parts to this country and the bilateral trade has touched USD 16.9 million.

India has also decided to increase the number of slots available to Mongolia under the Indian Technical Education Cooperation (ITEC) Programme to 150.

"The number of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarships available to Mongolia will be increased to 50. India will assist in human resource development and capacity building efforts of Mongolia," Patil said.

Extending her support to Mongolia "in any way," she thanked the country for backing India's bid for the permanent membership of an expanded United Nations Security Council.


Source:PTI or Press Trust of India




Share:

Indian President arrives in Mongolia

PRABAL KR DAS
ULAANBAATAR, July 27 – India and Mongolia will seek to enhance their bilateral ties after President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and her official delagation touched town at Ulaanbaatar today.

In a function organised by the Indian Community and Friends of India, the President appreciated the role of the small Indian community at Mongolia saying that the members of the community represent the spirit and soul of India in Mongolia'.

In her speech, she said that India will focus on the ways and means to impart more economic content to the relations with Mongolia. Not surprsingly, her address mentioned the role India could play in expanding and steel and coal industry of Mongolia which has rich reservoirs of gold and other minerals as well.

Appreciating the country's democratic credentials, President Patil said that democracy was the ideal platform for the welfare of citizens.

Her speech reflected on the ancient ties shared by India and Mongolia, and pointed out specifc instances of knowledge from India being absorbed by the landlocked country to India's north. She said that by co-operation and collaboration the two countries can leverage the strengths unique to them.

In the next two days, the Indian president will meet the President and Prime Minister of Mongolia, among other high officials and will lay the ground work for closer ties between the two democracies. She is also expected to visit a few cultural sights which exemplify Mongolia's Buddhist heritage.


Source:www.assamtribune.com



Share:

Mongolia expresses reservations about nuclear fuel repository plan

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Mongolia has reservations about a plan to build a facility there to store or dispose of spent nuclear fuel from other countries, Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said Wednesday.

Matsumoto told a parliamentary session that when he met with his Mongolian counterpart Gombojav Zandanshatar last Saturday, the Mongolian minister said his country would find it difficult under domestic law to take in nuclear waste from overseas.

The Japanese minister said Zandanshatar brought up the issue when the two were discussing cooperation on civilian nuclear power generation, including the development of uranium in Mongolia, during a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on the fringes of a regional security meeting there.

Japan, the United States and Mongolia have informally discussed a plan to establish a nuclear fuel repository in Mongolia, but the talks have not yielded any conclusions, Matsumoto said.

Toshiba Corp. has lobbied a senior U.S. government official to realize an international nuclear fuel supply scheme that includes the construction of a nuclear waste repository in Mongolia, according to a copy of a letter by the company's president obtained by Kyodo News.

(Mainichi Japan) July 28, 2011


Source:Mainichi newspaper of Japan




Share:

Mongolia state-owned miner signs coal deal with China's Chalco

ULAN BATOR, July 27 (Reuters) - Mongolia's state-owned miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (TT) has agreed to sell $250 million worth of coal from the east Tsankhi deposit to Aluminium Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) , a move insiders said was aimed at raising cash to help fund its impending listing fees.

Under the agreement, Chalco would resell 30 percent of the coal to Japanese trading houses Itochu Corp and Mitsui as well as state-owned Korea Resources Corp (KORES), Erdenes TT LLC said in a statement seen on Wednesday.

Erdenes TT said a signing ceremony was attended by China's ambassador to Mongolia and delegates from Chalco. It has also signed purchasing agreements with Itochu, Mitsui and Kores.

The government has split the massive Tavan Tolgoi coal field into two sections for development. The east Tsankhi area is owned by Erdenes TT, which is planning an initial public offering worth as estimated $10 billion, while the west Tsankhi block is being auctioned to miners via an international tender.

A source involved in the listing of Erdenes TT said the government has been working hard to raise $500 million of initial funding needed to kick off the IPO process.

"The overall capex for the project is well into the billions over the life of the mine so $500 million is just a drop in the bucket to get this project moving," said the source who asked not to be identified as his firm was still competing to win deals related to the IPO.

Erdenes TT did not say how much coal would be sold to Chalco under the $250 million deal, but it said the agreement would expire within one to 1-1/2 years. However, a newspaper report quoted B. Enebish, head of state-run Erdenes MGL, as saying the deal would last for five years.

After the deal expires, Chalco would then have to pay market price for the coal, Erdenes TT said. But it was unclear whether Chalco would continue to be the sole recipient of the coal from east Tsankhi deposit when the agreement expires.

Erdenes TT could not be reached for comment.

The government has said that it hopes to list Erdenes TT by late 2011 or early 2012, and the company would likely be listed in London, Hong Kong, or both.

Land-locked Mongolia, which has an gross domestic product of just about $6 billion, is banking on the development of its massive coal and copper resources to lift the nation out of poverty and help fund much-needed infrastructure projects across the country. (Reporting by Khaliun Bayartsogt, additional reporting by David Stanway in Beijing; Writing by Fayen Wong; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Ken Wills)

Source:Reuters news wire service





Share:

Mongolia-India Business Forum to be organized in Ulaanbaatar

MONGOLIAN –INDIAN BUSINESS FORUM

Venue: “Altai” hall of Khan Palace Kempinsky hotel, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Date: July 29, 2011
Contact person: G.Selenge, Expert, Foreign Investment Agency of Mongolia
Contact tel: 326040, 88069779, Fax: 324076
E-mail: selenge@investmongolia.com
Website: http://www.investmongolia.com

Mongolia-India Business Forum to be organized in Ulaanbaatar

Foreign Investment Agency of Government of Mongolia and Indian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries and Central Indian Chamber of Commerce (ASSOCHAM) is organizing Mongolian-Indian Business Forum within the framework of Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil’s visit in Mongolia. The Forum will be held in Ulaanbaatar on July 29.

Objective of the Business Forum is expansion of trade and investment cooperation between the two countries and publicize legal environment of investment in Mongolia for Indian business enterpreuners and investors and establishing direct business contact and partnership between Mongolian and Indian business enterpreuners

From Indian side, representatives of about 30 companies in production of industrial machinery, coal, iron ore, mining, foreign and domestic trade, tourism, food production, light industry, pharmacy, chemical industry, information technology, education, business consultancy, investment and financial sectors. During the forum, Indian business enterpreuners will seek opportunity to work with Mongolian businesses.

Facts sheet about Indian and Mongolian business cooperation:
First Indian investment company in Mongolia was registered in 1995.Currently there are about 31 Indian invested and joint Indian-Mongolian companies are working in Mongolia. Total investment of these companies reached $ 7.5 million US. From this $ 4.9 million US invested in information and communication technology sector and $ 1.7 million US invested in trade, restaurant business and $ 1 million US invested in mining sectors each.

Source:Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency of Mongolia

МОНГОЛ – ЭНЭТХЭГИЙН БИЗНЕС ФОРУМ

Хаана: Кемпински Хаан Палас зочид буудал, “Алтай” танхим Улаанбаатар хот, Монгол Улс
Хэзээ: 2011 оны 07 дугаар сарын 29-ний өдөр
Харилцах хүн: ГХОГ-ын мэргэжилтэн Г.Сэлэнгэ
Харилцах утас: 326040, 88069779, Факс: 324076
Цахим шуудан: selenge@investmongolia.com
Цахим хуудас: http://www.investmongolia.com


Монгол – Энэтхэгийн бизнес форум зохион
байгуулагдах гэж байна.

Бүгд Найрамдах Энэтхэг Улсын Ерөнхийлөгч Эрхэмсэг хатагтай Пратибха Девисингх Патилын Монгол улсад хийх төрийн айлчлалын хүрээнд Монгол Улсын Засгийн газрын хэрэгжүүлэгч агентлаг - Гадаадын Хөрөнгө Оруулалтын газар /FIFTA/-аас Энэтхэгийн аж үйлдвэрийн холбоо /CII/, Энэтхэгийн Худалдаа, аж үйлдвэрийн танхимуудын холбоо /FICCI/, Энэтхэгийн Худалдаа, аж үйлдвэрийн нэгдсэн танхим /ASSOCHAM/ (KOTRA)-тай хамтран 2011 оны 07 дугаар сарын 29-ний өдөр Улаанбаатар хотноо “МОНГОЛ – ЭНЭТХЭГИЙН БИЗНЕС ФОРУМ”-ЫГ зохион байгуулах гэж байна .

Энэхүү бизнес уулзалтын зорилго нь хоёр орны худалдаа, хөрөнгө оруулалтын хамтын ажиллагааг өргөжүүлэх, Монгол Улсын хөрөнгө оруулалтын эрх зүйн орчныг Энэтхэгийн ажил бизнес эрхлэгч, хөрөнгө оруулагчдад таниулан сурталчлах, хоёр улсын бизнес эрхлэгчдийн хооронд ажил хэргийн шууд харилцаа тогтоож, хамтран ажиллах түншээ олоход чиглэгдэх юм.

Бизнес форумд Энэтхэгийн талаас үйлдвэрлэлийн машин тоног төхөөрөмж, нүүрс, төмөр, уул уурхайн бусад үйлдвэрлэл, гадаад дотоод худалдаа, аялал жуулчлал, хүнсний үйлдвэрлэл, хөнгөн үйлдвэр, эмийн үйлдвэрлэл, химийн үйлдвэр, мэдээллийн технологи, боловсрол, бизнесийн зөвлөгөө, хөрөнгө оруулалт, санхүүгийн салбарт үйл ажиллагаа явуулдаг 30 гаруй компанийн төлөөлөгчид оролцох ба Монголын ажил хэрэгч хүмүүс, аж ахуйн нэгжүүдтэй бүхий л салбарт хамтран ажиллах боломжийг судлах юм. Монголын талаас оролцох сонирхолтой бизнес эрхлэгчдийг тус газар дээр энэ сарын 27-ныг дуустал бүртгэж байна.

Монгол Улс дахь Энэтхэгийн шууд хөрөнгө оруулалттай холбогдох мэдээллийг хүргэхэд, 1995 онд Энэтхэг улсын хөрөнгө оруулалттай анхны компани бүртгэгдсэн бөгөөд өнөөг хүртэл 100 хувийн болон хамтарсан хөрөнгө оруулалттай нийт 31 компани бүртгэгдэн, нийт 7,5 сая ам.долларын хөрөнгө оруулалтыг оруулаад байна. Үүнээс мэдээлэл, холбооны технологийн салбарт 4,9 сая ам.долларыг, худалдаа нийтийн хоолны салбарт 1,7 сая ам.доллар, геологи уул уурхайн салбарт 1,0 сая ам.долларын хөрөнгө оруулалтыг хийсэн бөгөөд мөн эрчим хүч, аялал жуулчлалын салбарт хөрөнгө оруулан ажиллаж байна. 



Мэдээлэлийн эх үүсвэр:Гадаадын Хөрөнгө оруулалтын газар


Share:

Fresh Protests in Inner Mongolia

Herders protest seizure of their grassland, a rights group says.

Ethnic Mongolian herders in China's northern region of Inner Mongolia have protested against the local government for allowing a local businesswoman to illegally seize their land, an overseas rights group said, revealing fresh tensions after bloody riots rocked the region in May.

Over 1,000 herders demonstrated calling for the return of their land on July 18 in Bairin Right Banner and Sharmurun Som (in Chinese, Balin Youqi and Xilamulun Sumu), the U.S.-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) said in a statement on Saturday.

Around 300 riot police and local officials were dispatched to quell the protest, in which dozens were injured, the group said.

The protests were triggered after a local Han Chinese businesswoman allegedly hired more than 200 Han Chinese to kill livestock belonging to ethnic Mongolian herdsmen, by running them over with cars and bulldozers, and also beat up herdsmen who resisted the land grab, according to SMHRIC.

One herder was brutally beaten while tending sheep in his grazing land, and dozens others were hospitalized, the group said.

"Angry herders protested strongly against those Chinese thugs hired by Sui to kill the livestock grazing on the land," one Mongolian herder from Sharmurun Som who was on the scene told SMHRIC.

Continuing tensions

In May, Inner Mongolia saw its worst unrest in years after the death of an ethnic Mongolian herder in a standoff with mining company employees sparked large-scale protests across the region.

As students and herders took to the streets to demand better protection of the environment and their rights and traditions, Beijing poured large numbers of troops into the region and enforced a security lock-in at schools, universities, and government institutions.

A truck driver who caused the death of the local herdsman identified as Murgen was sentenced to death in June. A second driver was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the standoff over complaints by local herding communities that strip-mining operations are ruining their environment and livelihood.

Rights groups said the punishment failed to appease the local people, reflecting a deep and widespread anger over continuing exploitation of the region's grasslands, the heartland of Mongol culture.

"After the death of Mr. Murgen that ignited the large scale protests in May, this is another serious case in which again Mongolian herders risked their lives for defending their land," according to an online appeal letter rallying Mongolians to protest in solidarity.

On Thursday, Chinese state media announced new guidelines that require mining companies to include herders in their development plans, as Beijing moves to address anger at miners in the region.

According to the guidelines, mining companies must give priority to employing herders and their families whose land is affected by mining and also offer other compensation.

In addition, on Sunday, the ruling Communist Party of China's disciplinary watchdog said that former vice chairman of the region, Liu Zhuozhi, has been expelled from the party for corruption.

Liu, who was identified with promoting the region's mining boom, was sacked from his position last December.

Mongols are a recognized ethnic minority in China and number around 6 million according to government statistics.

They now make up less than 20 percent of the population of Inner Mongolia, which is China's biggest coal-producing region.

Reported by Rachel Vandenbrink.

Source:Radio Free Asia

Dead livestock lie on top of a car in this undated photo from SMHRIC. Ethnic Mongolian herders said that Han Chinese ran over their livestock with trucks and bulldozers.





Share:

Letters from Mongolia

From:Mongolianviews.com editorial staff

Interesting notes by a American mormon missionary boy in Mongolia. Mormon missionaries are probably one of very active proselytizing faith groups in Mongolia. One can easily note them in Ulaanbaatar by their clean cut shaved head and formal white shirts and ties.


ELDER MATT HUFF Guest writer

Editor’s Note: Elder Matt Huff, son of Roy and Jeanna Huff of Rexburg, is serving in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. He left in June 2010 and is expected to return home in June of next year. His mother was kind enough to provide some excerpts from his letters to his family. This article appears in the July edition of Upper Valley LDS Life


Sept. 6, 2010

So I finally made it! I’m in Mongolia and living the missionary life. My companion’s name is Elder Munkhtulga and he is from here in Ulaanbaatar. We wake up at 6:30, get ready for the day, exercise, shower and make breakfast. Then at about 8 we start our personal study, 9 our companionship study, and 10 we have language study. Then we make our lunch or head out to an appointment, depending on if we think they’ll feed us. Being in the middle of town, it is a bit hard to find people, because most of the people we talk to live outside of our area.

Since we teach English here in Ulaanbaatar, we will probably serve here for our entire mission. The way we were able to get our visas is by being sponsored by a company or school to teach English, and so I was sponsored for one year to teach at the Science and Technologies College of UB.

Well, probably the most exciting stuff to talk about is the food. They don’t drink cold milk. They buy milk that is 6 percent and then mix it with water and boil it. It’s called Xiram. And they drink it boiling! Not quite, but hot enough that I drink it incredibly slow, and I’ve still got blisters on my tongue. They love meat. They eat something a lot like hotdogs all the time called Xyam, and we have it almost every meal – in boiling milky water, plain, cold and fried. It isn’t bad, but my stomach is just the most confused it has ever been.

Sept. 13, 2010

It is hard for my companion to have me as a companion because I’m not really allowed to talk to people about the gospel unless it is in their home. The Mongolian elders can talk to people on the street, but can’t tract. However, I’m not even technically called here as a missionary – just an English teacher. When I’m not in the church buildings, I’m not allowed to wear my name tag, which was a big surprise to me. It isn’t quite what I expected it to be, but I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Mongolian people by teaching English, as well as the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

We do a lot of service projects as well. For example, this week we participated in a handicapped awareness project. We pushed people in wheelchairs down the streets of Ulaanbaatar, blocking traffic to get people aware of the situation that people in wheelchairs have to go through. The sidewalks in Ulaanbaatar are hard to walk on, let alone push a wheelchair on, so there were probably about 150 people in wheelchairs all gathering at the main square in Ulaanbaatar. We also helped an elderly Mongolian couple move, so we took apart their ger or yurt, packed it up into this little Mitsubishi truck and drove about two miles and rebuilt it again.

Oct. 3, 2010

My stomach has fully gotten used to Mongolian food and enjoys scorching hot food. However, my tongue doesn’t enjoy hot food as much, and is perpetually burned. But I’m working at it, and burn my tongue every day. So hopefully soon I will be able to eat boiling soup as well. Someday I am going to grab the little thermometer that came in my first aid kit and see how hot the food really is, because I swear it is boiling!

Oct. 11, 2010

My new companion’s name is Syxzorig, and he is a great guy. He has been on his mission for almost one year now, is from Hovt, and doesn’t speak English. So this will probably be the best thing for my Mongolian, and I’m looking forward to becoming better and better at speaking. Before my companion was transferred, we were able to meet with our English investigator! He just showed up at our church the week before last and sat through some of sacrament meeting before he had to leave. We talked to him a little bit and were able to get his number. Then this week we called him up and set up an appointment to meet.

When we arrived at his apartment, he was extremely excited to meet us, and we were a little weirded out. His name is Martin, he is from India and is here in Mongolia teaching teachers how to teach English. He accepted an assignment to work here for at least nine months, and thought that he would be fine with being away from his wife and kids for nine months. But he was wrong, and has been going crazy being alone, and has only been here in Mongolia for like two weeks. But we met with him, taught him about the Restoration of the Church, gave him a Book of Mormon that he was happy to read, and invited him to watch General Conference with us on Sunday. He loved conference and is looking forward to our next meeting when we can explain more about it.

Oct. 14, 2010

In other news, this coming week is going to be an exciting one. My first baptism! And it’s four baptisms! I may have mentioned before a family I have been teaching, and they are all finally ready to be baptized! Then one other sister will also be baptized this Friday, her name is BaasanSvren, and she is somewhere in her 20s. She has a great testimony of the Plan of Salvation, and officially declared me a disturber of the peace. She talked about after having heard about the Plan of Salvation, she couldn’t sleep all that night, and just knew that she needed to be baptized. I have had two other investigators say the same thing, but they are still in progress. So hopefully I will be able to continually disturb people’s sleep, until they know that they need to be baptized. That is my new game plan anyway.



Dec. 12, 2010

We walked to church yesterday morning, and I was being a good boy and wearing ear-muffs, a scarf, my coat and what-not. However, while we were at church some little kid stole my ear-muffs, and I just let it go. I figured I’d be fine, and he could probably use them more than I could anyway. However by the time we were heading home from church it had gotten way colder, and my ears kinda froze.

All in all, things are going great, and I love the work, the people, and the food is actually really good. My language is still in the works, but I have been blessed with understanding, and now just need to continue to work on my speaking. I have also been blessed with a companion who is a great teacher, and I need to take advantage of this time that I have with him, and learn how to better teach in Mongolian.

Jan. 9, 2011

Yesterday I did my first baptismal interview as district leader, and I must say I was kind of worried. It was with a 77-year-old grandmother (here in Mongolia they call all old people grandma or grandpa, no matter whose grandparents they are) and it went very well. She was well prepared by our sister missionaries, and had some very spiritual experiences. She had been religious before her husband died, and after he died she quit going to church. About 20 years ago. However a few months ago she was praying to God for help and guidance, and had a dream that the following day, God would send her a message. And our sisters found her on the street and invited her to learn more about our church, and that was her answer.

Jan. 23, 2011

Well all in all, things are going great here, and I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve. The Sister Missionaries in our district called us on Thursday and asked us to visit the house of one of their less active members, named Oyunchimeg, and Oyunga. Oyunchimeg is the Mom, and Oyunga is her 14 year old daughter. About 2 weeks ago we gave Oyunga a Priesthood Blessing because she has been REALLY sick for almost 2 months now. In Mongolian they just describe it as “falling and pulling” which must be something like seizures. She just lies in her bed, moans and sweats, can’t eat and can’t sleep. When we gave her a blessing 2 weeks ago, they rushed her off to the hospital right after we gave her a blessing, and I wasn’t ever quite sure what had happened. When we arrived on Thursday, she was in the same condition, just lying in her Ger. So we gave her another blessing, and then after wards shared some scriptures, read “The Living Christ” and sang some songs. And she started getting better! I have given a lot of priesthood blessings since arriving here, but hadn’t ever really seen the results. As she started to get better, she told us she was hungry so I made Huushuur, (It was good!). By the time we left, she was walking around, talking and laughing, which she hadn’t done in months.

Jan. 30, 2011

Things have been going great, and everybody is pretty busy preparing for “Tsagaan Sar” or the “Festival of the White Moon” which is going to happen this coming week. It is a three day celebration, where people gather together as families and friends, eat lots of food, wear traditional clothes. The main food that they are going to eat is “Buuz”, which is just a dumpling really. Some families make 1500 of them, and some make up to 4000. So we have been doing service as we visit people’s houses, helping them make buuz and I have probably made 400 or so myself. At first I was terrible, and they were some pretty ugly dumplings, but I have gotten pretty good, even better than a lot of the Mongolians! So when I get home, I will teach anyone who wants to learn how to make buuz, (If I ever feel like eating them again).

The Missionaries visit lots of houses during Tsagaan Sar, and have made it a tradition to count how many buuz they eat, so I’ll let you all know next week how fat I am going to get!

April 11, 2011

As for the work here in Han-Uul, things are going great, we have a number of investigators, we just need to get them to church! It’s hard to have to stop meeting with people who aren’t progressing, but there are so many people here in Mongolia, that we don’t know who to meet with them all. Hopefully, we can get things figured out and meet with the people that the Lord needs us to meet with. The sisters in my district have a baptism this Friday, and then my companion and I have one coming up soon, but we just need them to come to church a few more times.

April18, 2011

Things are going great in Han-uul,. We had a baptism in our ward this past Friday, but that was sort of a night-mare getting it all figured out. Since I am the district leader, I prepare everything for the baptisms in our district, and on Friday a little 9-year-old girl named Mandokhai was baptized. So I went to the church at about 1 p.m. to turn on the water and clean up the building for the baptismal service that night at 6:30. However, our bishop didn’t have time to come over to the church and give me the keys to the baptismal font, or the changing rooms or anything, so I had to pick a lock to the door in front of our baptismal font, climb over the glass that is in front of the font so people can watch the baptism, and unlock all the doors from that side. So I conquered that obstacle.

However, earlier in the month one of the toilets in the girl’s bathroom got a leak, and some plumbers came and fixed it; however the baptismal font had no water. Right about then, Elder Wilson called me (he is one of the assistants to the president) and informed me that our mission president, President Clark, might come to see our baptism! So I started looking around, trying to figure out how I could get water to the font, and finally decided we would have to go underneath the building and check out the plumbing. That was an adventure. But we found the pipes that had been closed, opened up the valves, and got us some water. However, the valves had been closed for a while, and we got some really nasty, rusty, black water coming out of those pipes.

Eventually clean water started to flow, so we cleaned up the baptismal font, and got the font filled up with nice, warm clean water. The mission president didn’t end up coming to see our baptism, but everything turned out right, and she is now the newest member of our Han-Uul Ward.

April 24, 2011

The work is good. We are just having trouble getting people to come to church. They don’t understand that the reason that we want them to come to church isn’t for us; it is for them and their families! We don’t just wander around Mongolia trying to get people to come to our church, we are trying to bring them happiness. True happiness, that won’t fade when money runs out, or even when we die.

This past week my companion and I did a little service project for one of the families in our ward. A 28-year-old woman and her mother live alone out in one of the ger districts that surround Ulaanbaatar, and they don’t have anybody to go to the well to get them water. The daughter could get their water, but they live on the far side of the hill from the well, and she couldn’t get their water in the winter, so we have been getting their water weekly ever since I got here. Anyway, they wanted to plant a garden (because the church is advising everyone to) so we told them we would dig up the earth for them, and get it all ready for them to plant. We told them the day that we could come, and when we arrived they had left a little note that said they had gone into town, but had hid the shovels in the outhouse, and then also asked us to get some more water. So we thought, it wouldn’t take too long, even with just the two of us.

We got the shovels, and man were those things small, and not sharp. So my companion called one of his friends, and he came over to help us, but brought a shovel that was almost broken, and wasn’t any help at all. Anyway, we spent about five hours, got the dirt all tilled up, got some water for them, and then headed home. MAN did I get sunburned. But we got the job done. Now I am starting to wonder, who is going to get their water for the garden that they are going to plant?

May 30, 2011

All of the missionaries from the countryside came to join us for a mission conference, and we had two of them stay in our apartment. This caused a bit of fun today, as I only have one key to our apartment, and we weren’t going to be at home at the same times throughout the day. Anyway, to make a long story short, my companion Elder Haas and I were leaving the apartment after they had left, but they had the key, and we needed to lock the apartment door. So I got this crazy McGyver streak in me, and quickly grabbed my journal and pulled out the little bookmark string that it has in it. On one end it has a wad of sticky gluey stuff, and I put that on the knob on the inside of the door, shut the door, and was able to lock it from the inside, while standing outside. I was pretty proud of myself. However, turns out the two locks are different, and the key doesn’t work that lock. So when the other two elders arrived at our apartment, they couldn’t get in (as it was locked from the inside with nobody there). That was a mess. So we ended up calling a locksmith, having him bang on some stuff with a screwdriver and a hammer, and get us in, (if only I had had some tools...). Anyway, that was pretty fun, and I had my Macgyver streak in me kind of squashed, but I was still proud of being so resourceful, even though it ended up being for our worse. But maybe if I hadn’t done that, somebody could have just walked into our apartment and stolen everything... so who knows? Anyway, that was fun!


Source:www.rexburgstandardjournal.com

Rexburg native Elder Matt Huff is ready for a baptism in Mongolia



Share:

Draft accord notes Mongolia as home for spent nuclear fuel

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A draft Japanese-U.S.-Mongolian agreement over the creation of a nuclear fuel production and spent fuel disposal cycle clearly refers to Mongolia as the destination of such fuel, according to its text, which was obtained by Kyodo News on Monday.

The draft statement of intent among the three countries on the so-called "comprehensive fuel services" would create the world's first framework in which Mongolia exports uranium fuel to other countries and disposes on its soil of the fuel spent there.

The draft agreement mentions the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, in possibly providing technical support to Mongolia in developing used fuel storage facilities there.

While the concept appears difficult to implement in light of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, hopes for such an initiative linger among those involved, including some private-sector firms.

Establishing a system of permanently disposing of spent fuel that gets generated at nuclear power reactors presents a significant challenge to countries intent on adopting atomic power. Even Japan and the United States, advanced nuclear power users, have yet to establish such a system.

At the same time, Japanese and U.S. companies are eager to capitalize on the initiative as a possible deal-making solution as they go about marketing nuclear power infrastructure to countries interested in adopting nuclear power, critics say.

The draft agreement notes the importance of developing "multilateral approaches" to the nuclear fuel cycle and possibly creating mechanisms for assuring nuclear fuel supply to such countries.

The document also says the three countries should meet regularly to develop "commercial arrangements to provide comprehensive fuel services at the front-end and back-end of the fuel cycle in a safe, secure, responsible and peaceful manner."

In Japan, the initiative was led by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry. The ministry aimed to have the agreement, drafted by the United States, signed last February, but the move was postponed after the Foreign Ministry lodged an objection, Japanese sources said.

An internal document at the industry ministry's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, which was created in February and later obtained by Kyodo, noted that the Japanese ministry and Toshiba Corp. were engaging in behind-the-scenes talks with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Mongolian government over the initiative.

The document went on to say Mongolia had already begun contacting the United Arab Emirates over the possible supply of Mongolian uranium fuel and acceptance of the fuel after its use.

Source:Mainichi newspaper of Japan




Share:

US Promotes Nuclear Waste Dump in Mongolia

By Ken Timmerman

The Obama administration is seeking to help Mongolia become a vast nuclear waste dump for commercial reactors in Japan, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates, according to a draft nuclear cooperation agreement obtained by Newsmax.

The protocol, drafted by Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman in February and revised in May, also expresses the U.S. intent to facilitate commercial projects to develop Mongolia’s uranium deposits, to help the country become a fuel supplier to new nuclear power plants to be built in the UAE and elsewhere in the developing world.

The U.S. Congress approved a “123 Agreement” of nuclear cooperation with the UAE in 2009, with a clear view of warning Iran and reassuring Arab countries in the Gulf that the U.S. would counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions with technology and political support.

The U.S.–UAE agreement specifically states that the UAE will not engage in uranium enrichment, a sticking point with Iran. However, the new protocol with Mongolia calls for U.S. assistance to Mongolia to “cover all aspects of the fuel cycle, including supplying, converting, and enriching uranium.”

The protocol calls for Mongolia to begin providing nuclear fuel services within just 12 months of its adoption, an unusually short time period for matters of such sensitivity, especially since Mongolia has just begin exploration of its uranium deposits and has no known nuclear fuel production facilities.

The immediate purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) appears to be to build a new spent fuel repository in Mongolia, not nuclear fuel fabrication. A Mongolian government delegation will visit the Idaho National Nuclear Laboratory in August to get briefed on advanced fuel cycle technologies developed for use at the now shuttered Yucca Mountain disposal site in Nevada.

Given the extreme poverty of Mongolia, the Obama administration may believe its efforts to build an international spent fuel dump in Mongolia will encounter fewer objections and little oversight, in stark contrast to the longstanding U.S. government plans to bury spent fuel deep beneath Yucca Mountain.

After decades of research that cost taxpayers billions of dollars, Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko summarily shut the Yucca Mountain site earlier this year without even consulting his fellow commissioners.

Long unpopular with environmental groups and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, Yucca Mountain was the only site worldwide that was designed as a long-term repository for spent nuclear fuel.

NRC chairman Jaczko is a former staff assistant to Sen. Reid and was widely criticized by NRC staff members and by fellow commissioners during Congressional oversight hearings last month.

When Japan’s Mainichi newspapers first revealed the plans to build a nuclear fuel repository in Mongolia in May, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo issued a sharply worded denial.

"The U.S. government is not negotiating a deal to send spent nuclear fuel to Mongolia," the U.S. Embassy said in an official statement on May 10.

But the draft nuclear cooperation agreement obtained by Newsmax shows to the contrary that building a spent fuel repository in Mongolia and helping Mongolia to become a nuclear fuel supplier were precisely the intent of Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman and his deputy, Edward McGinnis.

In discussions with Japanese nuclear regulatory officials on Feb. 3-4, McGinnis said the U.S. has “no interest” in short-term nuclear fuel storage in Mongolia, but was seeking a long-term repository to replace Yucca Mountain.

One reason for this emphasis is purely commercial. Companies such as Toshiba, which now owns the Westinghouse nuclear power division and was deeply involved in negotiating the four-party protocol, must pay significant fees for short-term storage of spent fuel. But once the fuel is buried in a long-term repository, title passes to the host country as does all liability for what happens to it hundreds or even thousands of years later.

The four-party MoU recognizes this problem, since the “expansion of use of nuclear energy is highly dependent on the existence of a global nuclear liability regime” that allows power-plant operators to manage their liabilities in case of accident.

The MoU bears the stamp of the Obama administration’s commitment to nuclear energy as a solution to “the challenges of climate change, energy security, and economic development,” the draft protocol states.

The MoU makes extensive reference to international agreements, and emphasizes the United States commitment to “multi-lateral” solutions for the supply of nuclear fuel and nuclear waste disposal, rather than unilateral American solutions such as Yucca Mountain.

In regard to Mongolia, it recognizes “the intent of the Government of Mongolia to develop a comprehensive fuel services (CFS) program for Mongolia origin fuel, with an emphasis on emerging markets.”

But even though Mongolia’s president came to Washington in May, he was not handed a copy of the MoU, informed sources tell Newsmax.

One reason for the delay was the ongoing crisis in Japan’s own nuclear power industry, following the earthquake and tsunami in March that caused a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

In an apologetic email sent to Poneman last week, a senior aid to Japan’s nuclear power minister, Banri Kaieda, wrote that the minister was preoccupied with restarting Japan’s nuclear power industry and answering critics of nuclear power. “To be frank, I am not sure if Minister Kaieda has read your e-mail at all.”

Poneman had written Kaieda on July 6, urging him to move ahead to approve the agreement “by the end of calendar year 2011.”

“Putting together a concrete commercial deal would go a long way to realize President Obama's vision for a new international nuclear framework and Mongolia's vision for its Nuclear Initiative,” Poneman wrote.

“For the UAE and Japan this could offer a solid business opportunity, but far more than that — it is a political commitment to nonproliferation and a new nuclear energy future," Poneman added.

Poneman and his top aide have developed very close ties to Toshiba and urged the Japanese company to negotiate the nuclear fuel agreement between Mongolia and the UAE, sources in Japan indicated.

Indeed, DoE took the unusual step of inviting Toshiba officials to attend a negotiating session in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 2-3 with Mongolian and other government representatives.

But Kaieda’s aide now frowns on the Toshiba involvement in the Mongolia project. “I know Toshiba is still very positive but the [Government of Japan’s] position is not necessarily the same as the position of a certain private company,” the aide wrote Poneman last week.

Why U.S. officials would be more vigorous in promoting the interests of a Japanese company than the Japanese government remains unclear.

But in conversations with Japanese officials, McGinnis said the United States was unhappy that Russia had offered to supply nuclear fuel for the UAE reactors and that the United States was looking for an alternative.

According to the Mainichi newspapers in Japan, “the deal would enable Japan and the U.S., which lack disposal sites of their own, to counter efforts by Russia and France to market nuclear technology internationally by selling reactors and the disposal of nuclear waste services together as a set.”

Source:www.newsmax.com





Share:

Al Jazeera reports on Mongolian religious scene

Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan reports on religious scene of Mongolia. Representing Buddhism, head of Mongolian New Buddhist Center,  Sanjdorj and representing Shamanism, Bobo zairan gave interviews.




Source:Al Jazeera


Share:

Mongolia works to avoid curse resource wealth

Government looking to Norway, Canada, Chile for development model

No one missed the symbolism when earlier this month the Mongolian government announced which companies are getting the rights to develop the western block of the world's largest known coal reserve, Tavan Tolgoi, in the Gobi Desert.

The Chinese company Shenhua Energy won the right to develop 40 per cent of the block, a Russian consortium got 36 per cent and America's Peabody Energy won 24 per cent.

Those proportions represent a reasonably accurate picture of how the government in Ulan Bator manages its relationships by both courting and holding at arms-length its two overpowering neighbours, Russia and China, with the help of a longrange economic and military alliance with the United States.

But 21 years after Mongolia escaped from the collapsing Soviet Union and achieved renewed independence, the state-owned Tavan Tolgoi deposit, believed to contain 6.5 billion metric tons of metallurgical coal, has even greater significance.

Early next year, Erdenes MGL, the state company in charge of developing the remainder of Tavan Tolgoi, will float 29 per cent of the company in international exchanges. The public offering is expected to raise more than $10 billion.

Already, however, 10 per cent of those shares have been distributed to every one of Mongolia's 2.7 million citizens.

As the government of Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold wrestles with the challenges of developing one of the world's last known great deposits of mineral wealth, he also must confront the monumental social and cultural pressures involved.

It's a matter of how a culture and an economy based on the produce and virtues of the life of semi-nomadic herders on Mongolia's vast plains of open steppe can adapt to take advantage of its mineral deposits, estimated at current values to be worth at least $1 trillion.

These are not easy matters and successive Mongolian governments have struggled to evolve a workable policy toward mineral development while establishing a vigorous democracy, even as a tumultuous rush to grab stakes to the country's mineral resources is underway.

Those governments have been well aware that for underdeveloped countries - 30 per cent of Mongolians still live in poverty - sudden wealth from natural resources can be more a curse than a benefit.

The prime minister has said repeatedly that Norway, Canada and Chile are the examples of resource-based economies he wants Mongolia to follow.

Hence the issuing of Tavan Tolgoi shares to Mongolians rather than the failed voucher system in a round of privatizations of stateowned companies when the government adopted free-market reforms after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But Mongolia is also borrowing from Chile's experience and establishing a fiscal stabilization fund, which will set aside money for long-term development and tide the country through the inevitable roller-coaster ride in commodity values.

There is also a new Mongolian Development Bank, which will gather mineral revenues to provide loans for infrastructure projects. A Human Development Fund will use mine revenues to finance education, housing, health care and other social development programs.

Not everyone is delighted with the direction Mongolia is taking, even if it does offer a more prosperous future.

There is a loud and sometimes violent anti-mine movement led by an iconic nomadic herder, Tsetsegee Munkhbayer, who heads a group called Fire Nation.

Munkhbayer is in prison after he and followers shot at equipment at a mine in the southern province of Ovorkhangai.

This is not the first time Munkhbayer and his group have used dramatic acts to draw attention to what they say is irresponsible mining operations that they claim are destroying grass land and polluting rivers.

In September, the group riddled a bulldozer with bullet holes at the Boroo gold mine in Selenge province, which is owned by the Toronto-based Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc. And in April, Fire Nation activists charged on horseback into Ulan Bator's central Sukhbaatar Square demanding the government impose stricter environmental controls on mining operations.

Munkhbayer began his campaign by leading demands that the Ongi River, one of the country's largest, be cleaned up. The river had run almost dry because of unchecked mining activities.

Munkhbayer was successful in getting the government to shut down 35 of the 37 mines in the area. As a result, he was awarded in the U.S. in 2007 the Goldman Environmental Prize, which is given to grassroots conservation activists.


Source: The Vancouver Sun







Share:

Tenth Anniversary of First Major Gold and Copper Discovery at Oyu Tolgoi by Ivanhoe Mines Coincides With Period of Peak Construction on Mongolia's Largest Mining Complex

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA, Jul 17, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Ivanhoe Mines' CA:IVN +2.78% IVN +3.33% IVN +3.33% Chief Executive Officer and founder, Robert Friedland, and Senior Vice President of Exploration, Douglas Kirwin, observed today's 10th anniversary of the company's first major mineral discovery at Oyu Tolgoi with a tribute to the 14,000 workers who now are building the Oyu Tolgoi mining complex in southern Mongolia.

"Oyu Tolgoi already is one of the mining world's great stories, thanks to the legions of people who have figured in its discoveries and development," Mr. Friedland said.

"It began with the perseverance of an international fraternity of geologists who believed that Oyu Tolgoi's green-stained surface rocks were clues to deeper secrets. Ivanhoe's geological team started working with the drillers in 2000 and successively lifted the lids on this extraordinary chain of mineral deposits that now extends over 23 kilometres. Designs of the open-pit and underground mines evolved with experts who have incorporated some of the industry's most advanced techniques and technologies. We listened and found common ground with aspirations of the people of Mongolia. And now the skills of a construction workforce, which surpassed 14,000 on July 15, are bringing the Oyu Tolgoi dream closer to reality with every passing day."

Mr. Friedland said that the news release issued by Ivanhoe Mines on July 17, 2001, announcing the discovery of "potentially significant gold, copper and molybdenum mineralization" at Oyu Tolgoi (Turquoise Hill), in fact proved to be a highly significant understatement.

The 2001 news release reported that Hole 150, Ivanhoe's first deep diamond hole that tested the hypogene potential of the Southwest Oyu Zone at Oyu Tolgoi, "was drilled to a depth of 590 metres and averaged in excess of one gram of gold per tonne and 0.81% copper over a distance of 508 metres, from 70 metres to 578 metres. It included a zone of 278 metres from188 to 466 metres, grading in excess of 1.0% copper and approximately 1.50 grams of gold."

(A reproduction of the 2001 news release, a photograph of Oyu Tolgoi from the site of the discovery drill hole, taken before the start of full-scale construction, and a recent construction photograph accompany this release.)

Mr. Kirwin said that following Ivanhoe's initial discovery hole in 2001, the company marshalled a fleet of 21 drill rigs. "We were producing more than one kilometre of drill core every day. At the time, this was the single largest drilling campaign being conducted anywhere in the world."

A total of approximately 940 kilometres of core has been drilled since the start of Ivanhoe's exploration program at Oyu Tolgoi in 2000. Three active rigs are continuing to expand the known resources. The current Measured and Indicated resource contains an estimated 40.6 billion pounds of copper and 20.9 million ounces of gold, with an additional Inferred resource of 40.6 billion pounds of copper and 25.3 million ounces of gold.

"Oyu Tolgoi remains on track to begin producing ore around next year's anniversary of the initial discovery and ultimately to become one of the world's top three copper-gold mines," Mr. Friedland said.

Commercial production is scheduled for 2013. During the first 10 years of production, Oyu Tolgoi is projected to produce an average of 1.2 billion pounds (544,000 tonnes) of copper, 650,000 ounces of gold and three million ounces of silver every year.

A photo gallery, updated weekly and recording the progress being made on the construction of the Oyu Tolgoi mining complex, may be viewed on the Ivanhoe Mines website, www.ivanhoemines.com .

Qualified Person - Disclosure

Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature in this release have been reviewed by Stephen Torr, P.Geo, an employee of Ivanhoe Mines and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

SGS Mongolia LLC prepares the split core at the project site and assays all samples at its facility in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Ivanhoe's QA/QC program is monitored by Dale A. Sketchley, M.Sc., P.Geo. In-house, matrix-matched copper-gold-molybdenum standards and blanks are inserted at the sample preparation lab on the project site to monitor the quality control of the assay data.

About Ivanhoe Mines

Ivanhoe Mines CA:IVN +2.78% IVN +3.33% IVN +3.33% is an international mining company with operations focused in the Asia Pacific region. Assets include the company's 66% interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine development project in southern Mongolia; its 57% interest in Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources CA:SGQ +1.55% (hk:1878); a 62% interest in Ivanhoe Australia CA:IVA -1.26% (asx:IVA), a copper-gold-uranium-molybdenum-rhenium exploration and development company; and a 50% interest in Altynalmas Gold Ltd., a private company developing the Kyzyl Gold Project in Kazakhstan.

Forward-looking statements

This document includes forward-looking statements regarding Ivanhoe Mines' plans. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the development and expected start of commissioning and commercial production of the Oyu Tolgoi Project. When used in this document, the words such as "expected", "intend", "plan", "scheduled", "on track" and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. Although Ivanhoe Mines believes that its expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the corporation's periodic filings with Canadian and US securities regulators.


Source:Ivanhoe Mines




Share:

China, rich with coal, seeks more next door in Mongolia to meet its energy needs

By Andrew Higgins


Andrew Higgins/The Washington Post - Od Jambaljamts, a former Mongolian diplomat who is now a businessman, at a coal mine in the Gobi Desert that have made him and his brother billionaires.



TAVAN TOLGOI, MONGOLIA — Overlooking a deep black gash in the Gobi Desert, Od Jambaljamts watched Caterpillar trucks rumble across the rim of the world’s biggest undeveloped coal deposit — and mused on Mongolia’s good fortune to have the world’s most voracious consumer of coal just a few scores of miles away.

“China is so big that even if they cut their economy in half they will still need what we have here,” said Od, a former Mongolian diplomat in Washington who, along with his younger brother, now controls the Mongolian Mining Corp.
With China so close and so hungry for energy — and Mongolia so rich in what China needs — locals with mining licenses and a swelling swarm of foreign investors believe that only the absence of modern transport links to China clouds Mongolia’s future as a would-be Saudi Arabia of coal.

It should therefore have come as good news when Mongolia recently started preparations for a new railway line from Tavan Tolgoi, the first such link with the epicenter of this landlocked nation’s nascent, China-driven mining boom.

But there is a problem: The new track will not go to China. Instead, it will head hundreds of miles in the opposite direction toward Russia — and carry a heavy freight of suspicion and wariness that impedes China’s global quest for energy.

China’s demand for the coal, uranium and other minerals that Mongolia has in abundance — but has so far barely touched — is gargantuan and growing. China, which surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest energy user in 2009, needs to find enormous quantities of new fuel to meet what, according to the International Energy Agency, will be a 75 percent increase in its energy needs by 2035.

But as China scours the globe for coal, oil, uranium and natural gas — and hunts for rivers just beyond its borders on which to build electricity-generating dams — it increasingly confronts a stubborn reality: What Beijing and foreign businessmen embrace as a simple law of supply and demand stirs complex, and sometimes dangerous, political passions, security fears and big power rivalries.

“In the 21st century, whoever controls energy controls everything,” said Sanjaasuren Oyun, a member of the Mongolian parliament, Cambridge University-educated geologist and former foreign minister. She says that Mongolia needs a railway to the Chinese border but that it has to make sure the country doesn’t just become a grab bag for China-bound minerals.

Mongolia last year nearly doubled its sales to China, which absorbed 84 percent of all its exports — three-quarters of which were coal and other minerals. But this is just the start. The vast bulk of Tavan Tolgoi is still untouched and eagerly eyed by Chinese, Russian and American companies that want to profit from China’s insatiable demand. Mongolia could multiply its coal exports across its southern border many times over — if only it could get the stuff there swiftly and cheaply.

Coal is transported in convoys of trucks across unpaved desert tracks, a method that is expensive, slow and hazardous.
“A railway line to China is a no-brainer,” said Od, the former diplomat. (China is due to finish a line to its side of the frontier later this year.)

Battulga Khaltmaa, a former wrestling champion who is in charge of Mongolia’s railway-building program, said that a track to China will come one day but that first Mongolia needs to start laying rails away from China. That, he said, will curb dependence on the Chinese market by opening up alternative export routes to Japan and South Korea and also anchor a planned industrial zone at home. Mongolia, he said, doesn’t want to just shovel raw materials into China and end up “lazy” like oil-fattened Saudi Arabia, with a “few families controlling the country and making all the money.”
“We have to think about national security, our traditions, our lifestyle — not just profit,’’ said Battulga, Mongolia’s minister of roads, transportation, construction and urban development.

China has large quantities of coal, which provides around 70 percent of its energy, but it still needs more and is now a major importer. It particularly needs what lies just below the surface at Tavan Tolgoi: huge quantities of high-quality and easily mined coking, or metallurgical coal, which is used to manufacture steel. Mongolia’s Gobi Desert contains enough to meet China’s current level of import needs for at least 160 years.

Over the past five years, China has increased its imports of coking coal tenfold. Mongolia last year accounted for a third of those, and it could play an even bigger part in firing its neighbor’s steel mills as China’s mines run out of the high-grade coal required by modern blast furnaces.

The license that Od and his brother Odjargal have to dig up a tiny part of Tavan Tolgoi dates from 2006, a time when foreigners and many locals saw little profit in the remote, inhospitable region. They have since built a small airport, a power station and a coal processing plant — and even tried to build a private railway to the Chinese border, but that got snarled in politics. They are building a road instead.

When Mongolian Mining Corp. listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange last year, investors, impressed by its China prospects, splashed out $650 million to buy 20 percent of the company. That means that Od, president of a holding company called MCS, and his brother, the executive director of the mining company, are billionaires, at least on paper.

Wariness of China

Bitter rivals for centuries, with each ruling the other at various times, China and Mongolia get on for the most part.

But China’s sheer size, its past claims on Mongolian territory and its desire for Mongolia’s mineral wealth stir a deep wariness of what will come from ever-closer ties between an authoritarian and sometimes truculent would-be superpower with 1.3 billion people and a mostly uninhabited, democratic land with a population of 2.8 million.

Asked in a recent nationwide opinion poll “which country is the best partner for Mongolia,” respondents ranked China last — behind Russia, the United States, Japan, South Korea and the European Union.

There are now more students studying Chinese in Mongolia than Russian, once a lingua franca in what was until 1991 an effective Soviet colony. But suspicion of the Chinese is strong, at times rising to the level of hostility.

Nearly a quarter of the 25 Chinese teachers at the Ui-Tsai Secondary School, in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, have been mugged this year. Lou Zhengquan, the head of a Chinese construction firm building a tall office block in the center of the city, said he never walks the street alone and advises his Chinese laborers to stick to the building site.

Around the world, China — much like the United States in the past century or Britain before that — offers hope of greater prosperity but is also a target for anger, fear and resentment, despite its oft-stated insistence that it just wants to do business and doesn’t tangle itself in the affairs of other states.

In the past few weeks, Chinese oil-drilling contractors working for a subsidiary of state-controlled Sinochem have been kidnapped by leftist guerrillas in Colombia, a Chinese hydropower project in Burma has gotten caught up in fighting between Kachin rebels and government forces, and some 35,000 Chinese workers on oil projects and other enterprises have fled Libya to escape violence there.

In April, Mongolia shut down all traffic traveling across the Gobi Desert from Tavan Tolgoi to the Chinese border after protests by nomadic herders furious about convoys of coal trucks throwing up huge clouds of grit and a series of fatal accidents.

Many of the drivers, according to Battulga, the transport minister, were Chinese trespassing deep into Mongolian territory to collect coal.

China has also at times interrupted border traffic. It closed the frontier briefly in 2002 to protest a visit to Mongolia by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has many followers here.

Limiting China’s clout

Mongolian leaders play down anti-Chinese sentiment and cheer the opportunities offered by China’s growth, but they also try to keep China’s clout in check.

When Mongolia invited bids for the development of huge Tavan Tolgoi deposits still in the hands of the state, it promoted the idea of an alliance between China’s state-controlled Shenhua Energy and Peabody Energy, a coal company based in St. Louis. But the hoped-for Sino-American partnership collapsed, Mongolian officials said.

Now, after repeated false starts, authorities are due to announce a decision soon on competing bids from China, Russia, the United States, Japan and elsewhere. Beijing, Moscow and Washington have each leaned on Mongolia to opt for its candidate.

Making a decision “is not an easy job,” as it involves “big politics, geopolitics and also economics,” said Enebish Baasangombo, executive director of Erdenes MGL, the state company in charge of the bidding process and overall development of state-held portions of Tavan Tolgoi.

Eager to juggle its various suitors, Mongolia will probably ask Shenhua of China, America’s Peabody and Moscow’s entry, state-owned Russian Railways, to develop a big chunk of Tavan Tolgoi together.

Mongolians “are nomadic people” but “cannot just move away from here,” said President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, a former military journalist and a big fan of Genghis Khan, whose grandson conquered China in the 13th century. Geography, the president said, means that Mongolia has to balance the interests of China and Russia while nurturing close ties to the United States.

China and Russia have offered money to help finance Mongolia’s railway-building plans from Tavan Tolgoi. Beijing wants the line to head south and use Chinese-gauge tracks. Moscow wants it to go toward Russia and to use Russian-width track, which is incompatible with China’s network.

For the moment, tangled feelings toward China have trumped linear economic logic. But, predicted Od, the former diplomat in Washington, this will change. China is “like a big vacuum that sucks everything in,” Od said. “We are very lucky.”

Elbegdorj is not so sure.

“The challenge of our generation is how to deal with that sucking,” the president said.



Source:www.washingtonpost.com





Share:

Mongolia: Vibroseis 2D survey to cover two blocks

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, July 14 -- A second seismic survey is starting on the Zuunbayan-XIV and Tsagaan Els-XIII blocks in Mongolia, said Manas Petroleum Corp., Baar, Switzerland.

Gobi Energy Partners GMBH, operator of the blocks, said the 2D Vibroseis survey will cover as much as 1,700 line-km over 10 prospective areas identified by integrated interpretation on both blocks. The program is laid out in 8 phases without interruption between the phases; however, some phases show interdependencies.

Gobi Energy Partners signed the agreement for seismic services with Sinopec Mongolia LLC, a subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corp., on July 12. Sinopec has extensive seismic experience in the area. Project cost of $4.2 million includes mobilization and demobilization.

This seismic survey is being carried out in an effort to improve the quality of existing data and increase the chances of success of exploratory wells the company intends to drill upon completion and interpretation of the new data. The first well is anticipated to be spudded in second-quarter 2012.


Source:Oil and Gas Journal




Share:

Leica provides equipment to monitor Mongolian mineral works

By Doug Murphy


Leica Geosystems has provided crucial surveying equipment for a joint German-Mongolian surveying project, aimed at monitoring the increasing extraction of the Central Asian nation's rich mineral reserves.

The project was proposed after more and more mining and ore extraction operations started up on the previously untouched, remote steppes of Mongolia. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research began sponsoring a research project at the beginning of this year, to see how the extraction processes could best be managed sustainably.

The Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Ulaanbaatar - which is carrying out the research along with scientists from Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Science in Höxter - did not have the necessary equipment to carry out the task, however - which is where Leica Geosystems stepped in.

They made two GPS systems available to the university, from the winter semester in 2010, to allow them to undertake the appropriate training and tests with the equipment before beginning work on the surveying field campaign this summer.

It is hoped that the use of remote sensing data will allow for the differentiation between various types of land affected by mining activities, such as open-cast mines, reclaimed areas, and sites abandoned without restoration, as automatically as possible. This could help cut down on illegal extraction and unsustainable exploitation of the resources.


Source:surveyequipment.com



Share:

Mongolia Mining Report Q3 2011 in terms of coal production report forecasts an annual average growth rate of 17.0% reaching 27.0mntpa by 2015

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7bfe20/mongolia_mining_re) has announced the addition of the "Mongolia Mining Report Q3 2011" report to their offering.

Mongolia Mining Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, mining associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Mongolia's mining industry.

Mongolia is set for a rapid increase in production of gold, copper and coal leading to fast growth in the mining sector. BMI expects that mining sector output will grow to US$11.5bn by 2015, marking a fourfold increase from 2010 levels of US$2.6bn. Most of this rapid growth will occur in 2012 and 2013 as the Oyu Tolgoi mine comes online.

Rapid Growth Across All Metals

BMI expects a dramatic reversal of the trend of static growth in mining output, with rapid rates of growth across the mining complex over the coming years. From 2011 to 2015, BMI forecast an annual average growth rate of 31.4% in gold output to reach 791kozpa (thousand ounces per annum), and 46.2% growth in copper production to 720ktpa (thousand tonnes per annum). The phenomenal rates of growth in copper and gold output will be largely driven by the Oyu Tolgoi mine, a joint venture (JV) between Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines, which is due to come online in 2013. This mine is set to be one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world and will make Mongolia a significant producer of both metals.

In terms of coal production, BMI forecasts an annual average growth rate of 17.0%, reaching 27.0mntpa (million tonnes per annum) by 2015. This increase will be driven by South Gobi, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe, which is increasing production at Ovoot Tolgoi, the country's largest coal mine, to 6.5mntpa by 2014. This growth will reverse the decline experienced over the last three years. There are substantial upside risks to our coal outlook as the Tavan Tolgoi mine, currently owned by the Mongolian government, is due to commence output by 2015.

The annual production figures have yet to be released, but the mine is believed to contain 6bnt (billion tonnes) of reserves, making it one of the world's largest untapped coal deposits. Aside from these developments, Mongolia has great potential for further growth in mining output across all metals as very little of the country has been mapped. Therefore, it is likely that significant deposits of minerals are yet to be discovered.

Regulatory Environment

Mongolia has made significant progress over the last decade to improve its business environment. Most importantly, the government recently rescinded the 68% windfall tax which had been a great impediment to foreign investment into the country. The repeal of the tax led to a wave of investment including the completion of the Oyu Tolgoi agreement, which will bring billions of dollars of investment into the country. Recently, however, there has been a slight deterioration in the country's business environment as the government suspended almost half of the country's mining licenses on environmental grounds, having previously cancelled two exploration licenses for the Canadian miner Khan Resources.

Companies Mentioned:

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd
Erdene Resource Development Ltd
Centerra Gold

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7bfe20/mongolia_mining_re

Contacts

Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager,
press@researchandmarkets.com
U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907
Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716


Source: Business Wire





Share:

Al Jazeera reports on Tavan Tolgoi coal mine

Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan reports from Tavan Tolgoi-motherlode of Mongolian mining. The report is short but precise.





Source:Al Jazeera International


Share:

Rains that Don’t Wet


by Daniel Grossman of Environmental Journalist, News Watch Contributing Editor


Hatgal, Mongolia

If you visit a Mongolian ger, be prepared for a few things. First, you’ll be served a thin-walled bowl of weak tea. Sometimes it tastes salty. Sometimes the surface glistens with a few spots of fat that’ll coat your lips. It’s always served with milk—yak, cow or camel—and never with sugar. A ger, in case you’re wondering, is what Russians and some American’s call a yert: a round felt tent held up by wooden stays tied together with animal-hide thongs. Even though Mongolia was occupied by the Soviet Union for about 70 years, here this white, domed hut, with a name that rhymes with fur and begins with a hard “g,” is never called a yert.

In Mongolia’s countryside—almost everywhere outside the capitol, Ulanbaator—hosts invariable also offer visitors rustic snacks, such as crispy chips of salty homemade yak cheese. I anticipated these pleasant customs with eagerness when I ducked through the low doorway of the livestock herder Hurelchuluun. (As is customary here, Hurelchuluun uses only one name. He generally goes by the nickname Hurlee, pronounced just as it looks: HER-lee.) Hurlee lives with his wife, whose name, unfortunately, I never learned. Several of their nine grown children and, two grandchildren live with them in their snug ger. The members of Hurlee’s extended family are the sole human residents of the emerald-colored Dalbay valley in Northern Mongolia. They share the mountain steppe pasture, nestled between larch-covered mountains and Lake Hovsgol, with a flock of several hundred goats, sheep, yaks and cows. When I visited the family, I knew they’d offer me food and drink. I didn’t expect the exotic food I got.

I had joined a scientific research team led by Clyde Goulden, an ecologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Goulden had set up a seasonal research camp in the valley in 1994, and he’s been returning there every year since. At first Goulden studied the ecology of Lake Hovsgol, a long skinny body of water nicknamed the Blue Pearl, in testimony to its beauty and purity. Lake Hovsgol is 100 miles long and contains about 70% of all of Mongolia’s surface water.

About a decade ago Goulden noticed that the government meteorological station in Hatgal, the town nearest to his study site, had recorded rapidly rising temperatures. It made him wonder if global warming might be causing mischief at his research site, 70 miles away. Studies by others have since shown that Mongolia has heated up more than almost anywhere else on Earth. Averaged over its entire surface, Earth has gotten about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter in the last century. Mongolia, in contrast, has grown nearly four degrees hotter since 1960. Many of Mongolia’s lakes and rivers have shrunken or disappeared entirely. Its rangeland has become less lush, a fact one leading Mongolian scientist says is due in equal parts to over grazing by livestock and to soil desiccated by higher temperatures.

Goulden wanted a detailed, long-term record of how the weather had changed all around the region by lake Hovsgol. But he couldn’t ask a weatherman which way the wind blows—since the entire region had only one meteorological station with a good long-term record. Fortunately, though, he didn’t need one. He realized that the herders he had gotten to know casually in years of bumping along the jeep trails here watch the weather vigilantly. He decided to survey them on local weather changes and whether any differences in weather had affected their lives. What he found surprised and disturbed him.

When I had arrived at Goulden’s research camp, he was just completing his third season of surveying herders. Our stop at Hurlee’s ger was one of the last interviews of this year. As with all the season’s visits, Goulden’s Mongolian wife, Tuya Goulden, came along, to translate. In response to a series of standard questions, Hurlee and his wife described changes they’d seen in the 30 years they’ve grazed animals in the valley.

Hurlee and his wife told Goulden that summer winds are colder and stronger now than they used to be. The two herders also said that when they were younger they could easily anticipate a day’s weather and dress accordingly. Now they can’t.

They said that when they were young the pastures were watered by long gentle rains known in Mongolian as shivree rain. Now showers fall torrentially and only briefly, events called adar rains. They said the adar downpours fall so hard and pass so quickly that the water flows directly into nearby streams and the lake instead of soaking into the soil. A Mongolian wildlife biologist calls adar showers “rains that don’t wet.” Hurlee said their pasture’s vegetation is stunted, making it harder to fatten their livestock. “If the animals die, what’s the future for us?”

Goulden has not yet systematically analyzed the approximately 100 herder surveys he’s conducted in the last two years. He hasn’t published his results in any scientific journal. But eyeballing his data, he says that what Herlee and his wife said tracks closely the responses of the vast majority of his informants. He says he was surprised to hear about changes in rainfall patterns. He hopes to confirm what the herders said by inspected rainfall records collected by the Mongolian government. Goulden say that if what the herders say is borne out, and if past trends continue, “they’ll have to invest more time looking for good pastures.” The extra work will make herders’ tough lives tougher.

When Goulden’s interview with Hurlee was done, the couple offered us dinner. They had slaughtered a sheep, and a meal of mutton had been simmering on a wood stove since we’d arrived. It took a few seconds for the steam to clear after Hurlee’s wife lifted the lid off the big stew pot. Inside I saw a taut soccer-ball-size orb of meat, shiny with melted fat. It reminded me of a well-basted Butterball turkey. The illusion dissipated, though, when they cut it open. The bulging ball was the intestine, and it was stuffed with the other organs. Hurlee’s wife dumped the assorted parts onto a well-worn platter of wood. She served us the meal’s centerpiece: the stomach, itself stuffed with blood sausage.

We carved brown chunks off the congealed blood stuffing with a bone-handled knife and ate with our hands. I sampled other delicacies as well, including kidney, lung, heart and liver. I could claim that I was just humoring our hosts, but it would be more honest to admit that I was curious about the flavors.

Later, after vodka toasts, Hurlee’s wife realized she had forgotten something, and she brought it to our table, though we were already sated. It was a bottle of ketchup. “Foreigners like it with their meat,” she muttered.

For more information about Daniel Grossman’s reporting on climate change, see http://pulitzercenter.org/projects/europe/heat-moment

Source:newswatch.nationalgeographic.com




Share:

Lucky Strike Resources to acquire 80% of 6 Mongolian coal licenses

Lucky Strike Resources (CVE:LKY) reported Wednesday that it has signed definitive agreements with five private Mongolian companies to acquire an 80% stake in six mining exploration licenses and coal properties.

The Choir-Nyalgia properties, which encompass an area of 13,096 hectares, are situated 170 kilometres from the Trans-Mongolian Railway.

Under the agreement's terms, Lucky Strike will pay vendors US$5.8 million in cash to acquire the 80% interest in the Choir-Nyalgia properties and commit US$2.5 million in exploration expenditures.

Lucky Strike said it already paid non-refundable deposits of US$100,000 to certain vendors, and upon the acquisition's acceptance will make additional cash payments of US$400,000.

It is estimated that Mongolia has potential coal resources of 162.3 billion tonnes, and 20.3 billion of coal resources in the Choir-Nyalgia coal basin, which exported 18.2 million tonnes of coal last year, Lucky Strike said.

"Mongolia has vast coal resources with significant potential at an early stage of development in the nation's mining industry," said Lucky Strike’s chairman and chief executive officer, Cathy Fong.

"Lucky Strike's decision to acquire coal exploration licenses within the Choir-Nyalgia coal basin was based on favourable geological conditions."

Further, as part of developing the properties, it intends to carry-out a drilling program to determine the extent of the mineral resource potential.

Additional geological, engineering and feasibility studies are expected to be required to assess whether the Choir-Nyalgia coal properties have the economic potential to ship product to Ulaanbaatar, and to be a fuel source for a power generating plant.

The acquisitions are subject to TSX approval, as well as legal and technical due diligence.

Lucky Strike's shares rose 30 cents, or 4.29% to $0.73 in Wednesday’s afternoon trading session.


Source:proactiveinvestors.com




Share:

Mongolia: Looking East, Looking West

Written by Jonathan Berkshire Miller

President demonstrates considerable flexibility in balancing strategic relationships

Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj continues to ascend up the list of priority partners in the capitals of North Asia’s key power brokers. Elbergdorj has demonstrated remarkable tact in his management and enhancement of Mongolia’s complex relations with China, Russia and the United States.

The Mongolian head of state is fluent in English and Russian and has a master’s degree from Harvard in government. His own personal narrative continues to further Ulan Bator’s diplomatic push to enhance ties with both neighbors – China and Russia – and foreign markets in Europe and North America.

The current Mongolian government’s nuanced approach to its foreign policy is accruing benefits. Elbegdorj continues to follow a policy similar to that of newly re-elected Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that advocates “zero problems” on its borders. While Mongolia does not have to deal with the same problems as Turkey from a security perspective, the challenge of managing its relationships with China and Russia is considerable.

Mongolia has historically been blessed and cursed by its geostrategic location between two great powers. Elbedorj is now making it a priority for Mongolia to manage these problems – ranging from historical disputes, energy security to corruption – in order to chart out a prosperous and sustainable future for his country.

Sino-Mongolian relations have improved under Elbedorj’s watch, both economically and politically. Defense cooperation with China is still a sensitive issue for Mongolia but there have been signs of a gradual move towards increasing these ties with Beijing. Last August, the two countries concluded the 5th China-Mongolia Defense Consultation aimed at promoting regional and bilateral defense cooperation.

China recognizes Ulan Bator’s increased engagement with the US and NATO and is anxious to act as hedge and second avenue for the Mongolian government. Following the last round of consultations, a senior official from the People’s Liberation Army remarked that the bilateral discussions had made ‘positive contributions to advancing mutual trust between the two.’

Mongolia’s dialogue with China on security issues is largely based on its preeminent economic relationship. Beijing continues to be Mongolia’s largest trading partner and primary source of foreign investment. There have also been early discussions on a potential China-Mongolia free trade agreement, which could serve as a lever to further Chinese commercial interests in Mongolia’s booming mineral sector. Energy security continues to be a predominant policy in Beijing and it is keen to enhance relationships with additional markets outside of the Middle East and Russia.

Elbegdorj’s experiences as an expatriate in the former Soviet Union (Ukraine) and the US have helped fuel Mongolia’s relations with the other two key power brokers in the region: Russia and the United States. He just finished up a state visit to Russia earlier this month – marking the 90th year of bilateral relations between the two countries - with stops in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Speaking fluent Russian, Elbegdorj stressed his government’s push to increase Mongolia-Russia ties in the areas of defense cooperation, energy security, trade facilitation and people-to-people exchanges.

Of primary importance to Elbegdorj is the secure flow of energy products across the border from Russia – which Mongolia relies upon to keep its economy churning. Previous interruptions to the energy supply chain have had detrimental effects on Mongolian industries including the agricultural sector and even a smooth public transit system in Ulan Bator. The national interests of Moscow and Ulan Bator intersect on these key two issues. Russia is a big investor in Mongolia’s surging mining sector, while Mongolia continues to prioritize the exploitation of its minerals and energy resources to hungry foreign markets.

This leads us to Elbegdorj’s recent June visit to the US, which ended with a bilateral meeting with President Obama in Washington. Elbegdorj also had separate meetings with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Speaker of the House John Boehner. During his visit, Elbegdorj met with Mongolian students and business leaders and emphasized that the US remains the “Pacific gateway” to Mongolia. After meeting with President Obama, a joint statement was released committing to strengthened trade and investment in areas such as Mongolia’s energy and mineral resource industries.

But it is not only trade and investment that bind the two nations. Elbegdorj continues to place emphasis on leveraging Mongolia’s strategic cooperation with Washington on domestic and international security issues. The Joint Statement pointed to enhanced regional cooperation through the United Nations and “other multilateral organizations”. While NATO was not pointed to in the statement, it is clear that defense cooperation with Mongolia and the alliance has been growing at steady pace. Through the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Mongolia contributed about 150 soldiers - a considerable number considering the size of its army - to help train the Afghan National Army in mobile field artillery techniques.

While most of Mongolia’s forces in Afghanistan have now returned home, such moves have bolstered the broader relationship with both NATO and the United States. Moreover, Mongolia has agreed to redeploy troops to Iraq and continue its support for UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.

The Obama administration has indicated that it intends to build on this progress. Last summer, the Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) and the US Pacific Command conducted its annual joint-training exercise, ‘Khaan Quest,’ which was first undertaken in 2004 and is aimed at further enhancing the MAF’s expertise in peacekeeping and counterterrorism. Khaan Quest continues to attract observer and participating nations from across the globe, with South Korea, Thailand, Canada, India, Japan, and Fiji all in attendance recently.

Elbegdorj’s vision is commendable as much for its restraint as for its ambition. Unlike aging kleptocratic rulers in Central Asia, Elbegdorj seeks enlightened growth for his country that accommodates national interests and a diverse group of international partners. Rather than seeking an authoritarian fiefdom, the Mongolian president leads by keeping in mind his own experience as one of the leaders of Mongolia’s peaceful democratic revolution in 1990.

While not without its flaws, the current government in Ulan Bator understands its limitations – as well as its opportunities – and continues to navigate its international relationships with astute stewardship in a region that continues to lack reliable partners.

(Jonathan Berkshire Miller is a public sector analyst on the Asia-Pacific region in issues relating to nuclear non-proliferation, arms control, counterterrorism, and intelligence.)

P.S:
misleading!
written by Bat, July 13, 2011
This is misleading: Although Mongolia tries to balance its relationships with Russia, China and the West - USA, Japan, Korea and Europe, there is a split within the Mongolian government about how to handle the relationship with China. The split is serious and through the party line: Ex-communists (Mongolian People's Revolutionary party) who has the majority in the Parliament and whose chairman is Mongolia's Prime Minister Suh-Baatar Bat-bold is trying to develop the strategic partnership with China. But the President - Tsahia Elbegdorj who was elected from the Democratic coalition - Democratic Party and Civil Green Party, sees the relationship with China not more than "good neighborly relationship". Elbeddorj wants good economic and trade relations with China so that Mongolia can sell the all sorts of stuff to China but NO THING MORE NOTHING LESS. Elbegdorj thinks Mongolia as a democracy has nothing to do with ugly communist dictatorship like China.

According to the Mongolian constitution, the President is charge of foreign policy, and all international agreements must be signed by him to become a valid legal document.

Source:www.asiasentinel.com


Share:

Facebook page

Powered by Blogger.

Categories

Advertising in Mongolia An Culture Editorial of the Mongolianviews education Environmental protection Famous Mongolians Foreigners in Mongolia Inner Mongolia Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia agriculture Mongolia analysis Mongolia and Australia Mongolia and Belorussia Mongolia and Cambodia Mongolia and Canada Mongolia and central Asia Mongolia and China Mongolia and Cuba Mongolia and EU Mongolia and Germany Mongolia and Hongkong Mongolia and Hungary Mongolia and India Mongolia and Inner Mongolia Mongolia and Iran Mongolia and Italy Mongolia and Japan Mongolia and Kazakhstan Mongolia and Korea Mongolia and Kuwait Mongolia and Malaysia Mongolia and Nato Mongolia and North Korean Mongolia and Poland Mongolia and Russia Mongolia and Singapore Mongolia and South Korea Mongolia and Taiwan Mongolia and the world Mongolia and Tibet Mongolia and Turkey Mongolia and UK Mongolia and Ukraine Mongolia and UN Mongolia and USA Mongolia and Vietnam Mongolia Banking Mongolia civic society Mongolia crime Mongolia diplomacy Mongolia Economy Mongolia Education Mongolia Energy Mongolia Finance Mongolia Health Mongolia History Mongolia holiday Mongolia in international media Mongolia Industries Mongolia Joke Mongolia law Mongolia LGBT Mongolia medical Mongolia military Mongolia Mining Mongolia Mining Developments Mongolia Mortgage Mongolia natural disaster Mongolia Petroleum Mongolia public announcements Mongolia railways Mongolia Religion Mongolia society Mongolia Sports Mongolia Stamp Mongolia telecommunication Mongolia tourism Mongolia Urbanization Mongolia Wild Life Mongolian Agriculture Mongolian Archeology Mongolian Food Mongolian Gay Mongolian Government news Mongolian History Mongolian Military Mongolian Mining Development Mongolian Movie Mongolian News Mongolian Parliament Mongolian Political news Mongolian Press Mongolian Songs Mongolian Women Mongolian Youth Mongolians abroad Moninfo Opinion Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement Photo news Press Release Rio Tinto Tavan Tolgoi coal mine Ulaanbaatar development Weird expatriates in Mongolia

Blog Archive

Followers

Live Traffic