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President hands a draft law banning new license issues to Speaker
May 7 (summarized from Mongolian) President Elbegdorj's website reports that the president's office submitted a draft law banning new issuance of exploration licenses to the speaker on Thursday, May 6.
Mogi: As you know the President, as head of the National Security Council, initially issued a decree banning all transfers and issuances of licenses on April 23. But last week we found out that the Council, which has 2 other members, the speaker and prime minister, lifted this ban on April 30.
What's been strange is that no foreign media has covered this new development. Even local media was late in announcing this. From what I could gather, the first mention of this was found in a local newspaper almost a week after April 30. Even English versions of Mongolian media outlets have failed to mention this, as far as I could find. (if any English news reporting exists, forwarding it to me would be deeply appreciated)
Perhaps as a counter action to the council's decision, the President has decided to take this to the next step and make it illegal by law to issue new licenses, but the announcement does not mention banning "transfer" of licenses, perhaps to ease the passing of the draft.
Power struggle stirs inside Mongol-999 as it "elects" its board members
May 10 (Mogi) Trouble has already started in what many people hoped would give birth to a major "national" player in Mongolia's mineral interests. Some local news articles suggested that it had amassed over 1600 companies in its scope, all who invested a million MNT each.
One article this morning (http://news.gogo.mn/r/70036) suggests that Mongol-999 has already elected its 3 board members (just 3 sounds odd) during its meeting on Saturday, which supposedly lasted till 4 am. They are "Tsagaan Shonkhor"'s Ch. Enkhtaivan, "Ajnai" Group's A. Bat-Erdene (ex-MP) and "Mongol Gazar's" E. Myanganbayar.
Mr. Enkhtaivan, as many know, is a dark figure in world of business here. He's influence reaches all aspects of politics and business. He's often referred to as the "Godfather" of Mongolia's mafia scene.
Mr. Myanganbayar, as you also know, is referred to as the guy who bankrupted 2 banks here (Anod, Zoos) with unpaid loans.
Another article this morning (http://economy.news.mn/content/10794.shtml) suggests that even the initial founders of the consortium are being pushed out of the picture by the "criminal world's" big boys. Also, it says the board member slots to be 15. The article quotes 1 of the founders as not even knowing what's happening to the board election and being surprised to hear the above names.
Ivanhoe Mines' Shareholders' Rights Plan Approved at Annual General and Special Meeting
Peabody Cuts Macarthur Offer 6.3% on Mining Tax (Update1)
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Peabody Energy Corp., the biggest U.S. coal producer, cut its takeover offer for Macarthur Coal Ltd. by 6.3 percent to A$3.8 billion ($3.4 billion) after Australia proposed a new resources profit tax. ... Increased “resource nationalism” and higher taxes will be a major risk for mining companies in the next few years, BlackRock Investment Management Ltd., owner of the $14.3 billion World Mining Fund, said last month. The tax, announced by the government on May 2, could have a “serious impact” on mergers and acquisitions, according to Xstrata Plc. ... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ao27TlWndz6Y&pos=5
Euro Gains for Second Day as Europe Leaders Agree Fund Package
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- The euro rose for a second day as European finance ministers put together an unprecedented loan package worth nearly $1 trillion for debt-swamped governments to restore faith in the common currency.
... The Australian and New Zealand dollars gained as investors bought higher-yielding assets.
Strikeforce Mining, Swire Lead Hong Kong IPO Delays
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Strikeforce Mining & Resources Plc and Swire Properties Ltd. may not be alone in delaying initial public offerings in Hong Kong after the Hang Sang Index posted its biggest weekly drop since November, according to Fulbright Securities Ltd. and Louis Capital Markets HK Ltd. ... “Who at the moment is going to dare to have an IPO in Hong Kong?” said Francis Lun, general manager at Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong. “Companies want to raise money selling shares, but the market is so volatile there simply isn’t the appetite from institutional investors.” ... SMR produces more than 6 percent of the global supply of ferro-molybdenum, which is used to make stainless steel. The company also owns a stake in Buka Mining, which holds a development license for gold, silver and copper deposits in Mongolia, according to its Web site. ... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=accfxxj1LnkI
OPEC Secretary General sees oil oversupply, too early for action
May 9 (Reuters) - OPEC's Secretary General said on Sunday global oil markets were oversupplied, but it was too early to talk about the producer group taking action to halt the sharp price fall sparked by the euro zone debt crisis.
May 10 (news.mn) Former Prime Minister S.Bayar, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy D.Zorigt, Chairman of the State Property Committee B.Sugar, Chairman of the Mineral Authority B.Erdenebileg, Director of MIAT R.Bat-Erdene, and Bayangol district Governor L.Amgalan are among those who have been sent notice by the Standing Committee on Justice to attend a public hearing on May 12. Other important officials to have been sent the notice include S.Tsetsegee, chairman of the Customs Authority of Ulaanbaatar, and B.Hurts, recently appointed head of administration at the National Security Council. ... It is not clear why the committee has summoned S.Bayar. In any case, he is abroad for medical treatment, and Ch.Khurelbaatar, head of the Government Office, will represent him. Bayar’s declaration showed his income increased 20 times in just a year.
May 10 (news.mn) Parliament has begun discussing the revised budget for 2010 submitted by the Government. Increased global copper prices have earned more for the State while the decision to raise public servants’ salaries by 30 percent will mean more expenses. The revised income is MNT2.79 trillion, MNT364.2 billion more than in the present budget, while the expenditure figure has been increased by MNT465.9 billion to MNT3.2 trillion. The deficit goes up by MNT101.7 billion to reach MNT460.3 billion which equals 6.4 percent of the GDP.
May 7 (news.mn) B.Batkhuu, Head of the Mining and Heavy Industry Department at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, has told The Mongolian Mining Journal he supported demands for a new mining law as the present one is more about licensing and exploration of specific deposits than about mining proper. ... ... However, the cardinal principle of State control over the strategic deposits should never be diluted.
Government has a “visionary development policy”, says Minister
May 7 (news.mn) Denying criticism that the coalition government’s only success has been its decision to allocate MNT1.5 million to each citizen, Minister of Roads, Transport, and Urban Construction Kh. Battulga has said the government has actually adopted a long-term and visionary development policy. ... ... Another showpiece project will be the new railway routes, he said. They will ultimately connect Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi in the southern Gobi region with the Trans-Siberian Railway, affording direct access to export markets through Vladivostock. ... Integrating our railway only with China’s will make us 100% economically dependent on one country. This is something no nation can afford to risk,” Battulga said.
May 7 (Reuters) - Here's a movie idea to make a studio executive's head spin: document the raising of four babies in four countries, offer no dialogue and ask audiences to show up in theaters against big-budget "Iron Man 2."
"Babies," which opened on Friday in the United States and Canada does exactly that and is winning many good reviews. Focus Features, the specialty film label of giant Universal Pictures, hopes it can be the next "March of the Penguins." ... http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE64666P20100507
Dalai Lama writes to Elbegdorj supporting move on death sentence
A Radical Way To Treat Autism: The Horse Boy on PBS
May 8 (Wired) The Horse Boy is a touching documentary about one Texas couple’s struggle to understand their child’s autism and find ways for all of them to cope with it. Their journey starts with Rowan’s chance encounter with a grumpy old mare on their ranch and takes us all the way to a shaman in the far reaches of Mongolia. The trip is filled with anxiety, doubt, and plenty of temper tantrums, but in the end they all agree that it was worth it and the results are amazing. ... http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/05/a-radical-way-to-treat-autism-the-horse-boy-on-pbs/