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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

[CPSI NewsWire: Kincora Acquires Remaining Stake in Bronze Fox for 20% of Company]

CPSI NewsWire brings you market updates on Mongolia, compiled by CPS International, a Mongolian marketing arm of CPS Securities, a Perth, WA based stockbroking and corporate advisory firm, specialising in capital raising for mining and junior stocks.

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Close: Mongolia Related ASX Listed Companies, August 30, 2011

Code

Last https://myasx.asx.com.au/images/price_unchanged.gif

$ +/-

Bid

Offer

Open

High

Low

Volume

VOR

 0.098  Up

 0.006

 0.098

 0.099

 0.115

 0.125

 0.098

 162,678,128

HUN

 1.295  Up

 0.085

 1.290

 1.300

 1.310

 1.320

 1.235

 395,671

HAR

 0.240  Down

 -0.005

 0.215

 0.240

 0.250

 0.255

 0.240

 323,138

AKM

 0.510  Up

 0.025

 0.510

 0.515

 0.500

 0.515

 0.495

 1,120,452

BDI

 0.017  Up

 0.003

 0.016

 0.017

 0.015

 0.018

 0.015

 37,142,010

CEO

 0.099  Down

 -0.001

 0.098

 0.099

 0.105

 0.110

 0.098

 7,526,398

GMM

 0.145  No change

 0.000

 0.145

 0.150

 0.145

 0.150

 0.145

 138,607

GUF

 1.120  Up

 0.100

 1.110

 1.120

 1.070

 1.130

 1.065

 1,443,170

MUB

 0.300  No change

 0.000

 0.250

 0.280

 0.000

 0.000

 0.000

 0

TVN

 0.052  Up

 0.001

 0.051

 0.052

 0.055

 0.055

 0.051

 13,758,086

XAM

 0.430  Down

 -0.025

 0.430

 0.455

 0.430

 0.440

 0.420

 42,960

LEI

 20.300  Down

 -0.270

 20.300

 20.330

 20.820

 21.110

 20.280

 2,189,089

RIO

 71.790  Up

 1.180

 71.740

 71.800

 71.470

 72.140

 71.340

 6,101,408

BHP

 39.350  Up

 0.200

 39.340

 39.350

 39.580

 39.670

 39.150

 12,212,295

 

Close: ASX Indices, August 30, 2011

Code

Index name

Last https://myasx.asx.com.au/images/price_unchanged.gif

Mvmt

Close

 XJO

 S&P/ASX 200

 4,269.2  Up

5.9

4,263.3

 XJR

 S&P/ASX 200 RESOURCES

 5,138.5  Up

5.9

5,132.6

Source: asx.com.au

 

KCC opened 17.4% higher at C$0.54

Kincora Copper Acquires Outstanding 25% of Bronze Fox and Provides Exploration Update

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2011) - Kincora Copper Limited (TSX VENTURE:KCC) (the "Company" or "Kincora Copper") –

·         Kincora acquires outstanding 25% of Kincora Group Limited in exchange for 20% of Kincora Copper shares.

·         Diamond drilling in 2011 has extended copper mineralization 4km east of West Kasulu zone.

·         Three rigs are currently on site and operating. Plan for 12,000m to be drilled by year end.

·         Hole F39 has intersected chalcopyrite and pyrite mineralization from 500m depth and has now stopped at 985.1m.

·         Duchintav Khojgor to join the Kincora Copper Board of Directors.

The Company is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement (the "Sale Agreement") with Mr. Duchintav Khojgor, the owner of the 25% interest in Kincora Group Limited not otherwise held by Kincora Copper, whereby Mr. Khojgor will sell his interest to the Company in exchange for 27,666,366 common shares of the Company, which shares will represent 20% of the then issued shares and outstanding shares of the Company. Concurrent with the closing of the Sale Agreement, Mr. Khojgor will be appointed to the Board of Directors of the Company.

Completion of the Sale Agreement remains subject to acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Kincora Group Limited is a BVI company, the principal asset of which is the Bronze Fox copper/gold project in Mongolia (the "Bronze Fox Project"). Following closing of the Sale Agreement, Kincora Group Limited will be owned as to 100% by Kincora Copper.

Kincora Copper is also pleased to announce an Exploration Update for the Bronze Fox project, which occupies 223.23 sq km of land 140km northeast of Oyu Tolgoi on the same metallogenic belt.

The Company has completed 7,155m of diamond drilling within the central part of the license covering an area of 30 sq km since April 2011. This has extended the potential zone of copper mineralization east to a distance of over 4km with the mineralization remaining open in all directions. 11 of the 13 holes intersected continuous low grade copper mineralization from surface which also contained high grade intervals.

Exploration highlights

·         In West Kasulu, copper mineralization extends to more than 900m in depth.

·         One drill hole (F39) was drilled in Leca Pass 4km to the east of West Kasulu intersecting over 150m of copper mineralization in diorite porphyry. This new copper mineralization sits in a high IP chargeability anomaly zone, stretching a length of about 6km.

·         All drill holes in West Kasulu and Leca Pass intersected copper mineralization

·         6 holes were drilled in Buchanan Heights and Sophie North, with 5 holes intersecting gold and copper mineralization with those areas indicating a gold resource potential.

·         A third drill rig has been added to the exploration program to accelerate the drill out of an increasingly large mineralization area.

·         During April and May, geological mapping and vector IP surveys over the license area were completed simultaneously with the drilling program. 3 new geophysical high anomaly areas have been identified

·         The geological team on-site has now been expanded to five, which will allow additional work extending over the whole license area. This includes two senior geologists experienced in exploration work on porphyry copper and various types of gold and iron deposits, and three junior geologists who are enthusiastically tackling the regional work.

Stephen Fabian, Kincora Copper's President & CEO, comments, "We are extremely pleased to have Duchintav Khojgor show his confidence in the Company and elect to convert his 25% direct interest in Bronze Fox into a stake in Kincora Copper. We are also very excited by the results of the drilling which indicates that Bronze Fox has the potential to contain a large area of copper mineralization as well at the potential for a significant gold resource. With the addition of the third drill rig we expect to complete more than 12,000 m of drilling before the end of the year."

Link to release

 

MATD closed down 29.9% to 55p

Drilling disappointment for Petro Matad

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Shares in oil explorer Petro Matad (LON:MATD) took a sharp dive after it reported disappointing testing results from its operations in eastern Mongolia. 

The test on its DT-1 well at the Davsan Tolgoi project was judged to be a failure. 

“The failure of the DT-1 test, due to mechanical issues is considered to be a relatively minor setback in our overall progress at Davsan Tolgoi,” chief executive Doug McGay said. 

“The inexpensive well costs, in both monetary and time terms, mean that alternative actions can be taken quickly and the possible loss of the initial investment in the DT-1 well's drilling and testing is the only setback when viewing the larger picture of our company's and its programme's progress.” 

At DT-9, also in Davsan Tolgoi, the company experienced a “test failure.” 

McGay said: “While very disappointing, DT-9 was in both a separate structure and a different reservoir than previously drilled locations on Davsan Tolgoi. Thus the test failure is not seen as an adverse judgement on the overall Davsan Tolgoi complex.” 

At 09.00am, shares in Petro Matad were down by 29% at 56p. 

Link to article

Operational Update - DT-1 testingPetro Matad, August 30

Operational Update - DT-9 testingPetro Matad, August 30

 

VOR closed up 6.52% at 9.8c. Intraday high 12.5c

Voyager Resources reveals stunning copper intersections in Mongolia

August 30 (Proactive Investors Australia) Voyager Resources' (ASX:VOR) drilling program in Mongolia just took on new dimensions - intersections of 84 metres at 3.2% copper and 9.7 g/t silver are just the start.

The second batch of drill results indicate Voyager has a exceptional prophry copper project and the results obtained to date would not be out of place in the same breath as the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper gold disovery.

The results are from Voyager's Cughur Discovery at the KM Copper Porphyry Project in the South Gobi Region of southern Mongolia that has the potential to be a company making asset.

Highlights from the completed diamond tails and further reverse circulation (RC) drilling include:

- 84 metres at 3.2% copper and 9.7 g/t silver from 30 metres;
- 26 metres at 2.2% copper and 7.6 g/t silver from 70 metres;
- 110 metres at 1.0% copper and 2.7 g/t silver from 22 metres to End of RC hole;
- 72 metres at 0.9% copper and 3.1 g/t silver from 28 metres; and 
- 72 metres at 0.6% copper and 0.5 g/t silver from 28 metres to end of Hole.

Significantly, the Cughar discovery remains open at depth and along strike.

Voyager has now sourced a third diamond core drilling rig, bringing the total number of rigs operating at KM to four.

Drilling continues at Cughur with a total of 37 RC holes and 7 diamond core tails being completed.

The company expects further analytical results from Cughur and extents to the higher grade chalcocite mineralisation.

Link to article

Link to VOR release

Disclosure: CPS Securities raised capital for Voyager in the past. Most recently, placement and rights issue underwriting

 

GUF closed up 9.8% to A$1.12

Guildford: Hughenden Project Exploration Target & Investor Presentation

August 30, Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) --

Link to release

 

NAR closed down 1% to HK$0.475

NAR: INTERIM RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2011

August 29, North Asia Resources Holdings Limited (HK:61) --

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

BUSINESS REVIEW

Overview

During the period in review, we mainly focused on advancing our operational plans for the iron and gold mining businesses in Mongolia. In terms of corporate activities, a framework agreement for the acquisition of two additional iron mines in Mongolia, was terminated on 25 May 2011 based on mutual agreement. The Group did not complete any acquisitions of mining and resources businesses during the six months ended 30 June 2011. The maiden sale of our first batch of gold products from last year’s trial production was the highlight for the period.

Iron mining

The Group owns a 99.99% interest in Golden Pogada LLC (“Golden Pogada”), which holds a mining right license for a 12.01 sq-km iron ore mine located in south-central Mongolia (the “Oyut Ovoo Mine”).

The Group faced some unexpected challenges during the first six month of 2011, in its efforts to establish a formal production plan for its iron mining operation. Mongolia experienced another cold and extended winter season which caused some delays to the preparation work for the commencement of trial production at the Oyut Ovoo Mine. Nevertheless, we were able to carry out some trial productions in May using the dry processing equipment which we had installed last year as reported in our 2010 Annual Report. However, towards the end of May, Mongolia experienced a nation-wide diesel supply shortage due to drastically reduced diesel imports from Russia, Mongolia’s main diesel supplier. The severe diesel shortage problem pressured the Mongolian government to tightly ration fuel sales to mining companies during that period. Aside from the diesel shortage situation, we also encountered some technical problems with our production equipment and machineries and are in the process of resolving them. As such, the trial production at the Oyut Ovoo Mine has been temporarily halted. Amid all the challenges, we have managed to produce approximately 13,000 tonnes of iron ore products during the trial production phase up to 30 June 2011. However, we have not sold any iron ore products during the period in review.

The abovementioned diesel problem and macro-economic factors not only affected the progress of the Group’s mining operation but also delayed the overall construction progress of the transit and loading dock (the “Docking Facility”) near the Choir train station, and the rail extension line linking the Docking Facility to the main rail line of the Choir station (the “Extension Line”). Choir, is a major transportation hub on the Trans-Mongolian Railway and the closest railway station to the Oyut Ovoo Mine. The strategic location of the Docking Facility will be instrumental in facilitating the delivering of bulk mineral resources from the Oyut Ovoo Mine as well as other mines around the area, from the Choir train station to the PRC market. We will continue to work closely with CRMI on the construction work to ensure that the Docking Facility and the Extension Line are successfully completed.

Gold mining

Dadizi Yuan LLC* (“Dadizi Yuan”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Group, holds mining and exploration licenses in respect of two alluvial gold mines (the “Gold Mines”), located in Khar Yamaat Khongor and Sharin Gol Soum of Darkhan Uul aimag, Mongolia.

After the end of the winter season, the Group immediately began preparation work and topsoil excavation for the commencement of mining operations at the Gold Mines. However, the preparation work at the Gold Mines was also hampered by the nation-wide diesel shortage during the months of May and June and we were only able to commence production at the Gold Mines in July 2011. We hope to recover some of the lost productivity during the inactive period, in the second half of the year, however for the first six months of 2011, there were no productions from the Gold Mines.

The raw alluvial gold previously recovered from the Gold Mines during the trial production last year was successfully sold during the period. After undergoing testing for purity, the gold was weighed and made into 5kg-gold bars which were sold to the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia.

Coal Trading and Logistics

To further expand our goals to become a gateway for resources between China and Mongolia, the Group diversified into the coal trading and logistics business towards the end of 2010.

During the period under review, we put dedicated efforts into the setting up of our new operations at both the Ceke and Gants Mod border crossings. Ceke and Gants Mod are two main border crossings for the transportation of coal at the Sino-Mongolian border in the coalrich South Gobi region.

In June 2011, a non-wholly owned Mongolian subsidiary of the Group, Global Link Logistics LLC (“GLL”), entered into a coal transportation agreement with a Mongolian coal mining company, whereby GLL has agreed to transport the coal products from one of its coal mines to the unloading station near the Gants Mod border using heavy-duty trucks. In meeting its undertakings on the agreement, GLL has purchased a fleet of heavy-duty trucks made for coal transportation and has set up an operation camp site near the coal mine. It recently completed a logistics test run for the transportation of approximately 400 tons of coal and it hopes to be able to commence formal operation shortly.

For the Ceke operation which will involve  both road and rail  transportation, we expect to initiate a logistics trial run around the third quarter of this year upon completion of operational and logistics set up.

During the period in review, this new business segment has not yet generated any income. We believe that the logistics business has potential in Mongolia as the country currently lacks a robust logistics infrastructure and an efficient transportation system, however, we will need to incur more time and capital into the setting up of this business before it can start generating profits for the Group.

FINANCIAL REVIEW

Review of Results

For the first six months ended 30 June 2011, the Group recorded a turnover from continuing operations of approximately HK$27,062,000 (2010: approximately HK$14,807,000), which represented an increase of approximately 83% as compared to the same period in 2010. The increase in turnover for this first half year was attributed to an increase in ATM equipment sales flowing from the strong economic growth in the PRC and the sale of our first batch of alluvial gold products recovered during last year’s trial production. However, in spite of the increase in turnover, gross profit for the Group decreased marginally by approximately 6.50% mainly as a result of the lower sales margin on ATM equipment as well as the increase in the costs of inventories sold and services rendered due to inflationary pressures in the PRC.

The Group recorded an increase in its loss for the period of approximately HK$186,041,000 as compared to a loss of approximately HK$37,508,000 for the same period last year which represented an increase of approximately 396%. The reason for the increase in loss for the period was mainly due to an impairment loss recognized in respect of the iron mining right of approximately HK$129,300,000 and the finance costs attributed to the 2010 Convertible Loan Notes which were issued in the second half year of 2010. The impairment loss was made as a result of a decrease in the business enterprise value of Golden Pogada. The fair value of the business of Golden Pogada was based on a valuation report issued by Greater China. The decision to further impair the carrying value of the iron mining right was made by the Board after taking into consideration the valuation report prepared by Greater China and the challenges encountered by the iron mining operation during the period in particular, the technical issues with the production equipment which will require more time to fix, test and fine tune and accordingly, pushed back the formal production schedule.

Loss per share for the first half of 2011 were HK21.67 cents compared to HK6.57 cents per share for the same period in 2010.

Link to report

 

Press Release: ENVIDITY SUBMITS ITS APPLICATION FOR A UCG AGREEMENT TO THE MONGOLIAN GOVERNMENT

August 29, 2011, Ulaanbaatar (Wire Service Canada) – Timely action on the UCG Investment Agreement (fiscal stabilization agreement) between Envidity and the Mongolian government would bring our USD 1 billion Shivee Ovoo Coal Gasification and Gas to Liquids (“UGC/GTL”) project closer to realization. This project is expected to create approximately 3,000 construction and 150 permanent higher salaried jobs, reduce fuel dependency and prices, introduce patented technology, and raise millions of dollars in royalty and tax revenue for Mongolia.

Mongolian and United States officials have discussed this UCG/GTL project recently. I encourage the Mongolian government to move our application for a UCG Investment Agreement expeditiously through the necessary reviews and approvals” said retired General Wesley Clark, Chairman of Envidity. “Everybody wins with this project – especially the average Mongolian.” “We have provided introductory briefings to Government officials on our project to convert Mongolian coal to clean, lower cost fuel for the Mongolian people. We are encouraging Mongolian, United States and Canadian Governments to move forward together so that we can begin to use patented technology and our unique process to provide something that will benefit almost every person in Mongolia” added Jeff Brookman, CEO of Envidity.

With this project Mongolians will get an abundant stable supply, high quality fuel that will cost less at the fuel pump because Mongolians will not have the hefty Russian export duty included in their price of fuel”, he remarked. “What I like best about the Shive Ovoo UGC/GTL Project is that Mongolians will be making liquid fuel, in Mongolia, with Mongolian raw materials, and distributed to market by Mongolians” emphasized General Clark, referring to Envidity’s Mongolian partners, Shine Shivee and Live Energy Group, together with Petrovis, with whom Envidity has a distribution MOU.

“The initial phase of the project will supply 10% of Mongolia’s current demand for diesel within 24 – 36 months. Within five years, we’ll be producing 15,000 barrels a day of premium clean diesel. That would supply all of Mongolia’s current demand for diesel, with some left over for export” put in Mr. Brookman. “This fuel is almost as clear as water, so no more black smoke when the bus pulls away from the curb. It also works much better in cold weather than normal diesel. You’ll notice the difference when you start your engine on cold mornings. It’s even biodegradable”.

“Another aspect that I find exciting is that our raw material is otherwise valueless, low quality brown coal that is too deep to mine conventionally. What makes this possible is the “Western” patented technology we’re bringing to Mongolia. Our process creates no open pit, no tailings, no produced water and no vented fumes. Our equipment has a very small footprint and is compatible with multiple surface use of the land, so existing and planned coal mining operators lose nothing. Grazing or farming operations would see little or no impact” said General Clark.

“Clean diesel would be emphasized in the first phases of the project, but other products can also be made. Jet fuel, chemical feedstocks, gasoline, cooking gas, even fertilizer could be produced. Significant amounts of low cost electricity will be generated by using the waste heat from our unique UCG/GTL process” interjected Mr. Brookman. “Other technologies could provide some of these things, but our process is the only one that can bring all of the benefits together.” This is important because the exploration licenses covering some 77,410 hectares near the city of Choir may be able to support six additional 15,000 barrel a day projects.

Envidity has secured $120m of cash and access to an additional $850m in debt for a total of $1B in foreign direct investment into Mongolia over five years.

Link to release

 

Aussie coal prices soften after cut in steel production, higher coal buys by large purchasers from Mongolia

August 30 (The Economic Times) KOLKATA | MUMBAI: A cut in production by steel producers and higher purchases of coking coal by large countries, from Mongolia, has led to a softening of benchmark coal prices from the traditional coal producing country, Australia. 

The fall in coal prices will give steel companies, including those from India, a chance to recover lost margins after the sharp erosion in profits seen in previous quarters due to high iron ore and coal prices, said industry executives. 

Prices of coking coal had surged to above $300 a tonne, from $200 last year, due to supply restrictions from Australia following flooding of mines and increased demand from China. However, with China now buying more coal from Mongolia, demand for Australian coal has fallen, leading to a softening in prices. 

"There is a pressure on Australia as large purchasers such as China and South Korea have started buying from alternate markets. Moreover, coal prices at $300-310 were too high for steel companies, who did not find it viable at that level," said Jayant Acharya, commercial director with JSW Steel. China alone last year bought 35 million tonnes of coal from Australia. 

This year they have already bought 30 million tonnes from Mongolia, which is fast emerging as an alternate destination for critical resources. Even South Korea, that is home to large steel producers such as Posco, has been looking at Canada and the US for its coal supplies. Both iron ore and coking coal account for three-fourths of the cost of production of steel. 

"There is a substantial drop in prices when compared to the peak levels of $330 or even $315 per tonne in the previous quarter," said Angel Broking senior research analyst Bhavesh Chauhan. "Since it is for hard coking coal which is the best grade, prices of other grades of coal too will be affected. However, at this stage, it is indicative of where prices could be headed. We will have to see whether other major mining companies also follow suit and lower prices," he added. 

International reports said Anglo-American has settled Oct-Dec quarter for hard coking coal at $285 due to the downward price trend in the backdrop of weak global steel prices.

Link to article

 

M. Batchimeg: No nuke waste to be buried in Mongolia

August 30 (news.mn) Our correspondent spoke with M. Batchimeg, the president’s national security adviser, about nuclear waste and other issues.

- It’s been a year since the president’s national security statement was released. Has it been implemented?

- The president’s national security statement is crucial to Mongolia’s national security policy. It is a pragmatic statement focused on resolving important issues. It is being updated and we keep working on it. And the foreign affairs statement is also being updated. But the important thing is policy, not just what is written on paper. Whenever the Government makes a decision, it must consider national security as a rule.  

- What kind of national security issues are you talking about?

- Tavantolgoi, for example. There is a certain article that the Government adheres to that foreign investment should not exceed 1/3 of total investment. This is an important policy based on Mongolia’s self-interest. It is not meant to oppose any other country. But this could limit the amount of investment from China or other countries. We must consider national security policy before accepting foreign investment in the future. I want to ask the Government if is considering the 1/3 policy when selecting bidders for the Tavantolgoi project. Tavantolgoi will show if the Government will implement or ignore the national security rules. 

- What national security issues are most important?

- There is a so-called internal security function in national security policy. The thing is, we need the Government which is promised in the Constitution. I could say that this is the most crucial issue that we face. Mongolians are now in a critical time. To manage our natural wealth and live in peace – that depends on the Government`s decision. It only depends on only a few people’s decisions. If the Government stands on Mongolian self-interest, Mongolia will see great future. 

- There is a widespread fear among the public about the possibility of burying nuclear waste from other countries in Mongolia. What is your stand on it?

- The Government and the president have clearly stated that there is no such deal. It is well known that Mongolia is a nuclear-free state. And Mongolia does not allow nuclear waste to be buried or transported, according to law. Such gossip has been around since 1990.

- What is the reason behind it?

- There are a few reasons. Firstly, Mongolia is developing its own energy industry based on our own uranium resources. And we have spoken with other countries about cooperating on this. That makes people suspicious. It has been said that some foreign countries have asked Mongolia to consider burying waste, but that does not mean there is a deal on it. Another reason is that there must be a political reason behind it because the election is approaching.

Link to article

 

“Ninja” miners form group to protect their rights

August 30 (news.mn) Unlicensed gold miners – known as “ninjas” – have formed an organization to protect their rights.

They hope the group will improve their working conditions, as well as their relations with government officials.

The number of ninja miners is increasing annually. One report puts the current number at 100,000, but other estimates say the actual number might be twice that.

Ninja miners earn their living by digging for gold. Many would like to become legitimate miners by working together in a small mine under a new law that regulates small mining operations.

Many small mines have already been created under the law. According to reports, most ninja miners are people who migrated from the countryside after losing livestock in zud disasters since 1999. It’s estimated that at least 60 ninja miners die every year due to mining accidents.

Link to article

 

Gas and Pipeline Forum underway in Ulaanbaatar

August 30 (news.mn) The 12th Northeast Asia Gas and Pipeline Forum got underway at Khaan Palace in Ulaanbaatar on Sunday.

The members of the forum are South Korea, Japan, China, and Mongolia.

Russia is the only possible supplier of gas to those countries. Building a pipeline to supply gas to Northeast Asian countries is the key issue of the forum.

The Gas & Pipeline Cooperation Center of China, Asian Gas Pipeline Research Institute, South Korean Pipeline Association, and a Japanese association are taking part in the forum. The head of Mongolia’s Petroleum Authority, J. Amarsaikhan, is the chairman of the forum this year.

Mongolia would like a pipeline to pass through its territory. The forum ends on Tuesday. 

Link to article

 

Government officials to start work at 08.00 to reduce traffic jams

August 30 (news.mn) Ulaanbaatar Mayor G. Munkhbayr has ordered city officials  to start work at 08.00 beginning September 1. The current start time is 09.00.

The mayor says the change will help reduce traffic jams in the city.

The change was approved on Monday. Colonel S. Enkhjargal of the Traffic Police noted that traffic jams are expected to be reduced by ten percent when the change takes effect.

An estimated 9,000 city officials will be affected by the change.

Link to article

 

60 percent of road construction completed

August 30 (news.mn) With the new school year just beginning, fears of traffic jams abound.

Today a high-ranking official in the Auto Road Office said 60 percent of planned road construction has been completed.

S. Tumendemberel, a senior engineer for road operation and repair for the Auto Road Office said 4.2 meters of a planned 6.7-meter road project in Dari-Ekh has been finished.

In a street named Ajilchnii gudamj, a 1,680-meter long stretch of road from Gurvaljin Bridge has been completed.

And a road to Sonsgolon is scheduled to be opened today.

However, a road from Dund gol to TETS-3 is still blocked by road construction.

Link to article

 

Buildings tested for earthquake safety

August 30 (news.mn) A Russian research team recently came to Ulaanbaatar to test buildings for earthquake safety.

The researchers were led by G. I. Tatkov, of the Russian Scientific Institute, and L. P. Berjinskay, an expert in earthquake-proof construction who had previously worked in Mongolia.

They came at the invitation of Mayor G. Munkhbayr to examine buildings, determine their ability to withstand earthquakes, and enter the information in a database.

The researchers inspected five apartment buildings in Bayngol district, nine in Baynzurkh district, and one in Chingeltei district. They analyzed each building with special equipment.

The results of their inspections will be released in about 45 days, after they finish analyzing the data they collected.

The visit is part of a wider effort by officials in Mongolia to inspect apartment buildings for earthquake readiness. More inspections by Russian and Mongolian scientists are planned.

Each building will be graded according to its projected ability to withstand varying magnitudes of earthquakes. In all some 2,460 buildings are to be examined.

Link to article

 

MONGOLIAN CIVIL ENGINEERS TOL COOPERATE WITH SWISS ENGINEERS

August 30, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia /MONTSAME/ The Mongolian Association of Civil Engineers /MACE/ has concluded a cooperation contract with Swiss Association of Architects and Engineers /SAAE/. 

The contract has been signed by E.Ganzorig, the President of the MACE and Daniel Kuendig, the President of SAAE. 

Aims of the collaboration are to study construction norms and regulations, exchange experiences, cooperate on standards, implement a program on exchanging professional experiences between construction students and young engineers. 

The Swiss Association of Architects and Engineers will attend international expo "Construction Expo-2011" to be open o September 2 with a project of “Mongolian Circus tower” created by Swiss construction engineers. The project demonstrates ways of using renewable energy for the reduction of air pollution. 

Established in 1996 MACE numbers 109 member organizations and over 2000 construction engineers. It has cooperation agreements with the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council, the Civil Engineering Associations of the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Republic of Korea, China and Turkey. 

Link to article

 

Ts. Shinebayar creates new party

August 30 (news.mn) Ts. Shinebayar, a Member of Parliament and former deputy in the MPRP, has announced that he has established a new party called the Khamug Mongol Labor Party.

Mr. Shinebayar, who is the head of the Khamug Mongol Alliance, said he decided to establish the party at the urging of young people in the alliance.

“We must now solve structural issues,” he said. “But this is separate from the activities of the Khamug Mongol Alliance.” His resignation from the MPRP was only recently accepted by that party.

Link to article

 

CPC, Mongolian People's Party conclude seminar on party-building

HOHHOT, Aug 30 (Xinhua) -- A seminar on party-building and national construction between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) concluded on Tuesday in Hohhot, capital city of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

"The successful holding of the seminar enhanced mutual understanding and trust, intensified strategic consensus, and inspired in-depth thinking over cooperation expansion. It was a successful attempt to promote the comprehensive development of the China-Mongolia strategic partnership," said Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

MPP Secretary Sukhbaatar Tserensonom said the seminar between the two parties is important for mutual trust and China-Mongolia ties. The ideas and suggestions proposed in the seminar are believed to be put into use in the two parties' building and cooperation.

The seminar, themed "Practice and Experience on Ruling Parties' Building," attracted nearly 200 government officials, party officials and scholars from the two countries.

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Related:

CPC vows to enhance exchanges with Mongolian People's PartyXinhua, August 29

China, Mongolia eye closer youth exchangesXinhua, August 30

 

HH the Amir departs to Mongolia on private visit

KUWAIT, Aug 30 (KUNA) -- His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah departed Tuesday to Mongolia on a private visit.

HH the Amir is accompanied by Deputy Chief of the National Guards Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

HH the Amir was seen off at Kuwait International Airport by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Acting Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and other senior officials. 

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PRESIDENT OF FINLAND MRS. TARJA HALONEN ARRIVES

August 30, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia /MONTSAME/ The President of the Republic of Finland Mrs. Tarja Halonen and her spouse Pentti Araj√§rvi arrived on Tuesday, August 30 in Ulaanbaatar city to pay a state visit. Mrs. Halonen has been invited by her counterpart of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj. Official events of the state visit will start on Wednesday. At 10.00 a.m on the Sukhbaatar Square, the State Head Ts.Elbegdorj and his spouse Kh.Bolrmaa will welcome their counterparts from Finland. 

After the ceremony, the State Heads of the countries will hold a meeting and official talks, and then will call a press conference on the bilateral relations.
Within the state visit, Mrs. Halonen will receive D.Demberel, the Parliament Speaker; S.Batbold, the Prime Minister. The Minister of Social Welfare and Labor and head of the Mongolia-Finland intergovernmental commission on economics, science and technical cooperation T.Gandi will host a reception in honor of the Finland President. 

Apart of these official events, Mrs. Halonen and her spouse will leg the Gandantegchilen Monastery, the Chingis Khaan's Khuree camp, and will enjoy a small festival of the Three Manly Games (wrestling, archery and horse-race). 

* ** ** Mongolia and the Republic of Finland established diplomatic relations on July 15, 1963. In 1964, the countries appointed their Ambassadors.

Leader of the Finland-Mongolia inter-parliamentary group P.Tiusanen paid a visit to Mongolia on July 10-13, 2006 for attending celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Great Mongolian State, whereas the President Ts.Elbegdorj visited Finland on October 5-7, 2010. As for the ties in the commercial and economic spheres, Mongolia has imported goods from Finland, costing USD 12.9 million, and exported products to Finland, costing USD 24.7 million. The trade turnover reached USD 13 million in end of the last year, showing an increase by 3.5 times against the year 2009. The Mongolian side mostly imported machines and techniques for factories and mining and their spare parts, and supplied to Finland ready-made clothes, shoes, wool and cashmere.

In 1990-2008, three companies with Finn investments of USD 35.7 thousand were registered in Mongolia at light industry, trade and tourism sectors. Moreover, the “Outukumpu” company of Finland has supplied a copper-melting technology to Mongolia, and also the Sandvik Sweden-Finland joint company of mining equipment has opened its representative in Mongolia.

The Finn side has made investments of USD 42 million to Mongolia. The sides established an agreement on mutually protecting investments in 2008. 

Link to article

 

Oda’s trip highlights growing Canada-Mongolia links

August 30 (iPolitics.ca) Bev Oda arrived in Toronto Monday night after wrapping up a lightly publicized trip to Mongolia that highlighted bilateral ties just as some Canadian firms stand to enjoy the fruits of the country’s more open economy.

We welcome the desire of the Mongolian government to model their future development on Canada,” Oda said in a statement. ”Their recognition of our shared values can contribute greatly to a prosperous and democratic future for the Mongolian people.”

Oda’s comments echoed last year’s joint statement between Mongolian prime minister Sukhbaatar Batbold and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, when Batbold praised Canada as a development model for the landlocked Asian country.

Justin Broekema, press secretary for minister Oda, defined the “Canadian model” in an email to iPolitics as a commitment to democratic values and strengthening bilateral co-operation.

To that end, during prime minister Batbold’s visit last September three memoranda of understanding were signed involving the Public Service Commission of Canada, the Standards Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and their Mongolian equivalents.

On Monday, CIDA confirmed it continues to support efforts by Mongolia’s Civil Service Council and the Public Service Commission of Canada to reform Mongolia’s civil service along the Canadian legislative and regulatory models.

It channels that support through the deployment for Democratic Development program, and provides general development assistance through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

According to the release, the federal government spent $11.34 million on development initiatives in Mongolia in 2009-2010.

Tightening political ties, though, have followed rather than led commercial links.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada is the second largest investor in Mongolia after neighbouring China, with more than 20 mining and exploration firms and approximately $400 million in assets.

Among them, Vancouver-based Invanoe Mines is preparing to exploit what its website calls the “world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold project,” the Oyu Tolgoi mine, 80 kilometres north of the Chinese border.

Ivanhoe estimates the mine, which it expects to bring into commercial production by early 2013, holds about 36.8 billion kilograms of copper and 46 million ounces of gold.

The Mongolian Growth Fund — a conglomerate looking to benefit from growth in real estate, insurance, and financial services that could accompany mining investment in the country — says Oyu Tolgoi could come to account for 30 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.

Mining accounts for nearly 22 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. Copper counts among its most valuable exports. The enormous country — roughly the same size as Iran — also boasts deposits of coal and uranium.

CIDA, though, points to the social advances still needed to ensure Monglians share in the country’s massive resource wealth. “Despite the high levels of literacy and primary education in Mongolia, a larger technical and skilled workforce was identified as a primary need to help Mongolian women and men secure long- term employment in the country’s growing open market economy,” the development agency said.

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Mongolia's rapid growth masks its vulnerability

August 30 (FinanceAsia) Mongolia's vast, sparsely populated, landlocked country offers a bonanza to miners that is fuelling double-digit economic growth, but is also exposing it to internal and external dangers.

While fears have mounted about a double-dip recession in the US and Europe, Mongolia’s small, open economy grew a staggering 17.3% year-on-year during the first half of 2011, according to a World Bank report released late last week.

The country’s booming copper and coal mining industry is driving the economy, but at the same time makes it vulnerable to a global downturn. Mining comprises 22% of overall GDP and the sector expanded 40% in 2010, despite continued political controversy about how best to exploit the natural riches held in the two vast mining complexes of Oyu Tolgoi (copper) and Tavan Tolgoi (coal).

The surge in economic growth marks a prelude to a further five years of average annual real GDP expansion of at least 13%, said leading Mongolia brokerage, Frontier Securities. The country’s small stock market was the best performer in the world in 2010, and has already risen more than 50% so far this year. And, in a further boost to the small nation's standing, US vice-president Joe Biden made a visit to Ulan Bator last week as part of his China trip.

However, the reliance on natural resources and its attraction to hungry overseas investors has fuelled inflation and led to a widening trade deficit — major investments lead to large imports of machinery and equipment — and raised concerns that Mongolia might be afflicted by the so-called Dutch disease, whereby manufacturing might be squeezed out by an uncompetitive currency caused by capital inflows. The Mongolian togrog was the second best-performing currency against the US dollar in 2010.

The transportation and construction sectors grew at 39.9% and 38.4% respectively in the first six months of this year, and retail and wholesale trade grew at 24.7%. Mongolians are also spending more on consumption as a result of higher incomes, contributing to an inflation rate of 11.4% (year-on-year) in July that is further stoked by higher government spending, food prices and by imports — up 106% during the past year.

The sustainability of Mongolia’s rapid growth will depend heavily on global macroeconomic factors. In particular, China’s policy reaction will be crucial.

If China reacts as fast and as strongly as it did in 2008-09 then the effects of a global recession on Mongolia will be mitigated, largely owing to Chinese demand for minerals from Mongolia, said the World Bank.

As Frontier Securities pointed out, 85% of total exports go to China and more that 60% of mining exports are either coal or copper. The reliance on China forces Mongolia to sell coal at a 40% discount, and while this is obviously a disadvantage it means “current revenues are coming from a low base with more upside in the long run”, argued the brokerage. In addition, the country should be able to deliver coal and copper more cost efficiently than any other producer.

Although Frontier expects those exports to start outpacing imports from 2013, it also warned that market diversification is needed, which can only be possible if railway lines are built. But, “while there are plenty of plans for new lines, financing is difficult and significant results are probably many years down the road”.

Industry estimates indicate that mining-related foreign investment in coal, copper and gold could exceed $10 billion in the next five years alone, higher than the country’s total GDP of around $6 billion in 2010.

Yet, there is apparently widespread domestic opposition to China and Russia enjoying the benefits of the country’s natural resources — especially if they seem to be grabbing them cheaply. This causes headaches for the government, which is starkly aware of Mongolia’s dependence on and vulnerability to its two powerful neighbours. China, of course, is its main export destination, but Russia is the source of almost all its fuel.

Trying, but failing, to balance its domestic and foreign constituencies led to the failure of the bidding process in July for the western block of the 7.5 billion tonne Tavan Tolgoi project, the world’s biggest coking coal deposit. The chaos surrounding the bid has now put in jeopardy the proposed IPO of the mine’s eastern block, which had been slated for later this year.

Link to article

 

Mongolia's nomad president

August 30 (CNN) -- President Elbegdorj has walked in the steps of his country's history.

Born into a nomad family, he spent his young years on horseback as a herdsman. It was a life he loved with his parents and brothers. He could have stayed but change was sweeping across Mongolia.

After a stint in the army and university in Ukraine to study journalism he was swept up in his country's revolution over throwing decades of communist rule.

Now years later as President, the 48-year-old Elbegdorj is retracing his steps.

With our CNN crew he followed his heart to the mountains of western Mongolia and the memories of a boy raised a herdsman.

As we fly over the place of his birth the President points excitedly below. Nomads have come for miles around to greet him.

"Can you believe you came from here to President?" I ask. "No, I can't believe it. So many memories. I was like these boys just a herdsman boy riding horses," he says.

To the people here he's less a president than a nephew or a brother or a long remembered classmate. Here the President sleeps in a nomad's "ger" or tent.

He can enjoy the food of his childhood. He carves open the insides of a sheep to share with us. To President Elbegdorj this not a way of life, this is his country's soul.

"Many people call this primitive," he says, "but this is not primitive it is close to nature it is a good life."

But this is also a way of life increasingly under threat. Change is sweeping Mongolia. Big mining companies have struck mega-rich deals to tap the vast reserves of copper, gold and coal.

To many it's a blessing bringing great wealth and development; to others a curse. There are fears of corruption and exploitation. Warnings of the so-called "Dutch disease" where mining dominates the economy, forcing up the currency, choking off exports and stifling efforts to diversify the country.

Once the Prime Minister, now the President, Elbegdorj says his country needs to get it right to share the wealth of this land.

"There is a risk of corruption, of money falling into the hands of a few. We must make sure the money doesn't end up with those who have power who already have wealth," he says.

Watching the President's homecoming are people like Zoiloi. She is 70 years old and has lived through Soviet rule, the democracy revolution and now the so-called mining boom. She's heard the promise of great riches, but for now, she says, so many nomads are trapped in a cycle of poverty.

"Prices are going up if you have a paid job you can be ok perhaps," she says.

"For example the price of gasoline is rising, the price of sugar. That's why people without cash on hand like these herders are falling into poverty."

Sitting around her family ger, surrounded by three generations of her family she leads a song dedicated to the mothers who have born generations of nomads. It could just as easily be a song of defiance; a reminder that they will not easily give up the traditions of thousands of years.

President Elbegdorj tells me it is his duty to oversee changes, to make sure his people -- the nomads -- are not lost or that he doesn't lose that bit of himself either.

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