Mongolian president blames politicians for blocking China-based joint mining projects

Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj on Thursday blamed populist politicians for blocking large mining projects, which has caused an economic crisis in the land-locked country.
On the last day of Mongolia's annual Economic Forum, Elbegdorj said that "politicians of our country are really irresponsible," referring to Erdenechimeg Luvsan, head of the parliamentary working group that stopped a large mining deal involving an international consortium led by China Shenhua Energy, Mongolian Mining Corporation and Japanese Sumitomo.
Luvsan is a female lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party.
In December 2014, the consortium won the bid to develop the large coking coal deposit Tavan Tolgoi, 270 km from Mongolia's border with China.
With a total estimated reserve of 6.4 billion tons, Tavan Tolgoi is one of the world's largest untapped coking and thermal coal deposits.
The Mongolian government regards the deal as necessary to boost the Mongolian economy as it will inject much-needed cash into the domestic economy and send a positive signal to the land-locked country's international investors.
However, the parliament's working group blocked the project in 2015 before it started.
Elbegdorj demanded that such irresponsible politicians be held accountable and not be elected a second time. He warned the voters not to be cheated again by such populist politicians, with parliamentary elections drawing near.
Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg on Wednesday also blamed populist lawmakers and politicians who often called to review foreign investment agreements with international investors and criticized them for pretending to be patriots, saying the business community needs to be respected and trusted. Endi

Source:Xinhua news agency
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