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BEIJING, May 3 (Reuters) - Landlocked Mongolia sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth and analysts say it could be one of the fastest growing economies of the next decade, as well as a key investment target for global mining giants. ... Following is a summary of key Mongolia risks to watch:
POLITICAL INSTABILITY ... DEPENDENCE ON CHINA, RUSSIA ... BALANCING "THIRD NEIGHBOURS" ...
May 3 (news.mn) Parliament is presently discussing the Government’s draft policy on railway transportation. It proposes three railway routes totaling 5,000 kilometers in length, and will have three sections – Tavantolgoi to Sainshand, Tavantolgoi to China, and Tavantolgoi to Russia. Rail tracks in Mongolia are in the Soviet-style broad gauge, now used in Russia, Finland, and in some countries in the former USSR and the Eastern bloc (some others have changed over to the narrower gauge that is more the international norm). The narrow gauge is used in China.
May 3 (news.mn) Countering MPs who favor a narrow-gauge railroad, Minister for Road, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development Kh. Battulga has said the only option before landlocked Mongolia to link its economy with that of the world is to get an access to the Trans-Siberian Railway. That uses the broad gauge and so the proposed Tavantolgoi-Sainshand-Choibalsan railroad should be similar to facilitate export of natural resources, refined and raw, he said.
Mining body chief urges role for professional advice when laws are framed
May 3 (news.mn) Saying that unwise laws harm the mineral sector which is the mainstay of the national economy, D.Damba, President of the Mongolian National Mining Association, has found it a matter of regret that the mining sector in Mongolia has a history of 85 years, but the country is yet to have a comprehensive mining law reflecting a long-term policy. “This will not do,” he has said in The Mongolian Mining Journal, calling for “a clear, realistic and sustainable policy and a law that will both reflect and implement that policy in the mineral sector”. ... http://english.news.mn/content/9697.shtml
Australia plans 40% tax on mining sector
May 3 (FT) Australia’s centre-left government angered the country’s mining industry on Sunday when it announced plans for a 40 per cent tax on profits generated by resource companies.
... Analysts estimated that the new tax would cut earnings at BHP Billiton, the Melbourne-based mining group, 19 per cent. London-based Rio Tinto, which operates highly profitable iron ore mines in Western Australia, could suffer a fall of nearer 30 per cent.
KHAN RESOURCES: CENTER OF RUSSIAN-CHINESE RESOURCE WAR IN MONGOLIA
May 3 (Uranium Investing News) Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj finished off a nearly week-long state visit to China Monday and the question on the minds of some in the uranium market is whether or not the battle over Mongolia’s Dornod uranium deposit was discussed between the two nation’s heads of state. ... But, the joint venture is not merely speculation. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Yuriy Humber reported last month that Mongolian state-owned KOO MonAtom (51 percent) and Russia’s ARMZ, along with potential Japanese or Chinese partners, are forming a joint venture called Dornod Uranium. The group has already been granted a license on the property after Khan’s was revoked, according to The Voice of Russia. ... http://uraniuminvestingnews.com/3573/khan-resources-center-of-russian-chinese-resource-war-in-mongolia.html
China May ‘Crash’ in Next 9 to 12 Months, Faber Says
May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Investor Marc Faber said China’s economy will slow and possibly “crash” within a year as declines in stock and commodity prices signal the nation’s property bubble is set to burst.
... Faber joins hedge fund manager Jim Chanos and Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff in warning of a crash in China. ... The clampdown on property speculation may prompt investors to turn to the nation’s stock market, Faber said. Still, shares are “fully priced” and Chinese investors may instead become “big buyers” of gold, he said. ... Housing prices nationwide may fall as much as 20 percent in the second half of the year on government measures to curb speculation, BNP Paribas said April 23. ... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601010&sid=aMbfBKW.uKn4
Ministry lists new geological projects
April 30 (news.mn) The Ministry of Minerals and Energy has announced areas totaling 25,412.7 square km will be covered by geological survey and study this year. Ten new projects will be surveyed in the 1:50,000 scale, and preliminary geophysical study will be made along the border areas. Three-dimensional geological structure and metallogenic study under the North-Central-East Asia project is also expected to begin.
April 30 (news.mn) The State Specialized Inspection Agency is preparing a list of areas left unrehabilitated after extraction and other mining activities in Khentii, Bayankhongor, Arkhangai, Uvurkhangai, Umnugovi, and Dornogovi provinces. A preliminary check has found that altogether 858.1 hectares of land has been degraded.
Agreement signed on Chinese grant for CNY40 million
May 3 (news.mn) Chinese and Mongolian Ministers signed several agreements on bilateral cooperation in Shanghai on Saturday as President Ts.Elbegdorj looked on. Foreign Minister G.Zandanshatar and China"s Minister of Commerce Chen Deming inked an economic and technical cooperation agreement on a Chinese grant worth CNY40 million. ... http://english.news.mn/content/9700.shtml
Mongolian Engineers’ Breakthrough In Zero Emission Vehicle
April 30 (UB Post) Mongolian engineers have achieved rare feat of assembling an electric motor vehicle for the first time in Mongolia. ... The electrical vehicle consumes the energy equivalent to MNT 1000 for 200 kilometers and it takes 6-8 hours for the vehicle to collect complete charge. Maximum speed is estimated to be 60 kilometers per hour.
Extremely Aggressive Worm Chokes Instant Messaging (Mogi: for those who were attacked yesterday)
New Variant of Palevo Blasts Unprotected Systems via Fake Photo Gallery Links
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - May 3, 2010) - BitDefender®, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions, today warned that the latest offspring of the Palevo family has begun spreading via a massive wave of automatically generated IM spam. The unsolicited message incites the recipients to click a link accompanied by a grinning smiley face, which purportedly leads them to an image or photo gallery. ... "We recommend users to be extremely cautious and to not click any suspicious links they receive via IM clients before checking with the links' sender to verify the validity of the websites to which these links point," said Catalin Cosoi, BitDefender Senior Researcher. "The Palevo offensive is highly aggressive and during the very beginning of the outbreak we have witnessed rates of infection which easily exceeded 500 percent growth per hour for countries like Romania, Mongolia or Indonesia." ... http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Extremely-Aggressive-Worm-Chokes-Instant-Messaging-1157851.htm
World Cup expected to net $1bn in income
May 3 (FT) Fifa, soccer’s governing body, expects this year’s World Cup in South Africa to generate a net gain of $1bn in income thanks to commercial deals but is eager not to call it a profit, its secretary-general has told the Financial Times.
Jerome Valcke said the 2010 tournament would generate $3.3bn (€2.5bn, £2.2bn) in income from commercial deals, and see Fifa spend $1.2bn on the tournament, including $700m spent in South Africa. About $1bn is being spent on development programmes, financial assistance to national associations and other projects. ... http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2e62f2be-56c2-11df-aa89-00144feab49a.html
Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting
(Bloomberg Special Report) Buffett Expects Economic Rebound as He Seeks $10 Billion Deal, Adds Staff Billionaire Warren Buffett said the U.S. economy is recovering as his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. seeks an acquisition for as much as $10 billion and hires workers after swinging to a profit in the first quarter. ... Berkshire Would Consider `Significant' Acquisition in Japan, Buffett
Says Warren Buffett said he’d like Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to make a “significant” acquisition in Japan.