Rail options open for Aspire's Mongolian coal

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The shareholders of coaldeveloper Aspire Mining on Monday smiled on the news that the company’s Ovoot project, in Mongolia, had been presented with a rail solution.
The Mongolian government recently approved a new national rail policy, which included the extension of a rail from Erdenet to Aspire’s Ovoot coking coalproject, and on to the Russian border at Arts Suuri.
The new rail line was considered an important connection between Russia,Mongolia, and through the Trans-Mongolian Railway, to China.
“The Mongolian Parliament’s decision provides the rail solution to unlock the value of the Ovoot project. We expect that this railway, along with the current expansion of the Trans Mongolian Railway towards 100-million tonnes a year, with have a dramatic effect on the competitiveness of Northern Mongolian coalin both the Chinese and seaborne coking coal markets,” said Aspire MD DavidPaull.
He noted that the new rail also brought major economic and social benefits to the Northern Mongolian provinces, as economic development and regional integration were fast-tracked.
With the Parliamentary approval, the Mongolian government was now empowered to negotiate a concession agreement for the railway between Erdent and Ovoot as the first stage of the Northern rail line, and Paull said that Aspire’s dedicated rail subsidiary was looking forward to providing a tender proposal for the concession agreement in the near-term.
The $144-million Ovoot project would have an initial production of five-million tonnes a year, with first production targeted for 2017. 
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