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Close: Mongolia Related ASX Listed Companies, August 26, 2011
Voyager Resources in pre-open pending assay results announcement
August 26 (Proactive Investors Australia) Voyager Resources (ASX:VOR) has been granted a trading halt by the ASX pending the release of assay results, with the company's shares placed in pre-open.
Voyager has not yet indicated which project or what resource the assays are applicable to.
The company recently though has been having some drilling success in Mongolia, and earlier in the month announced the first three reverse circulation drill holes from the Cughur Discovery at the KM Copper Porphyry Project.
The bumper results included:
- 66 metres at 1.48% copper and 5.4 grams per tonne (g/t) silver from 14 metres;
- 50 metres at 3.51% copper and 10.8g/t silver from 30 metres; and
- 10 metres at 4.06% copper and 16.2g/t silver from 70 metres.
Importantly - the Cughar Discovery remains open at depth and along strike.
[I-bank focus] Citi cuts Mongol Mining (00975) TP to HK$10.2
August 26 (ETNet) Citigroup reduced its target price for Mongolian Mining (MMC)(00975) to HK$10.2 from HK$10.67 on higher transportation and royalty cost, and maintained its "buy" rating.
The house cut its EPS 8-25% for 2011-13 after weak 1H results, but it expects stronger 2H earning, commissioning of paved road and 2nd phase washing plant, and positive progress on railway to drive the share.
Citi added MMC may benefit from zero VAT tax from 2H for the washed coal exports. (KL)
Mongol Bank raises interest rate
August 26 (news.mn) Inflation fears have prompted Mongol Bank to raise its interest rate by 0.25 percent to 11.75 percent. Officials say they hope the increase will curb inflation, which has hit 10.1 percent in Mongolia, according to the National Statistics Committee. In Ulaanbaatar the rate is even higher: 11.4 percent. The inflation has been caused by rising consumer good, transportation, and fuel prices. The large amount of money issued to every Mongolian citizen through the Human Development Fund also plays a role. Mongol Bank officials expect the rate of inflation to continue rising into the first quarter of next year.
Mongolian government to increase spending by MNT 92.6 billion
August 26 (news.mn) Finance Minister S. Bayartsogt says the Government will revise its current budget. Usually this is only done when there is a budget deficit. But this time the Government is revising the budget to address an unexpected surplus. In July, revenues were MNT 248.8 billion more than projected. That was largely due to big increases in industrial production and mining production.
Over the last seven months, Mr. Bayartsogt says, revenues have been MNT 456.2 billion higher than expected. Therefore the Government will increase spending by up to MNT 92.6 billion, and increase investment up to MNT 288 billion. Our correspondent spoke with the Finance Minister.
- The Government is to increase spending by up to MNT 92.6 billion. What will this money be spent on?
- Of course, the most important needs will be addressed first. For instance, we have planned MNT 30 billion for the employment fund and MNT 10 billion for the government reserve fund. We will also increase funding for health programs. Also, MNT 4.3 billion is planned for transportation programs for students, older people, and the disabled, and MNT 6 billion for the health insurance fund. We have also planned MNT 1 billion to help Mongolian athletes prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games.
- World copper prices are falling. Will that affect the budget?
- A law was passed that limits the negative impact of market fluctuations on the budget. We are not always required to buy or sell commodities at the market price. That way, even when there are big fluctuations, the impact on the budget is minimal.
- The Prime Minister promised to increase salaries and pensions. When will that happen? And there is also money planned for the Prime Minister’s policy fund. What is that for?
- The Prime Minister’s policy fund was established in 2007. This is for addressing budget surpluses. We are focusing on salary and pension issues right now. A large amount of money in the Prime Minister’s policy fund will be spent for increasing salaries and pensions. The Government will officially announce that when the budget is delivered to MPs on October 1.
Senior CPC official calls for closer security, law enforcement co-op with Mongolia
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Zhou Yongkang said here Friday that China and Mongolia should step up cooperation in security and law enforcement.
Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the call at a meeting with Tsgaandari Enhtuvshin, secretary of the Mongolian National Security Council.
Stressing that national security is a top priority, Zhou said that security and law enforcement cooperation is an important part of the China-Mongolia relationship.
The two countries, he said, have carried out effective joint efforts in fighting the three evil forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism and in maintaining their respective national security and social stability.
The current world is not trouble-free, and security threats, both conventional and unconventional, are on the rise, Zhou said, adding that such a situation necessitates closer bilateral cooperation in security and law enforcement between the two sides, which share a borderline of over 4,700 km.
The Chinese guest expressed the hope that the two countries' security and law enforcement establishments will further improve their cooperation mechanism, enhance intelligence sharing and make joint efforts in combating various criminal activities and securing border peace.
Enhtuvshin, for his part, said that promoting bilateral cooperation in security and law enforcement is very important to bolstering the recently established strategic partnership between the two countries.
The Mongolian National Security Council, he said, is willing to build on the past achievements in bilateral cooperation and forge a closer cooperation mechanism with Chinese counterparts.
The Mongolia-China border is an undisputed and peaceful border, and Mongolia is ready to work together with China to upgrade it into a link that helps the two sides to consolidate traditional friendship and boost practical cooperation, he added.
Earlier Friday, Zhou inspected some China-Mongolia cooperation projects alongside Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold and other senior Mongolian officials.
Mongolia was the last leg of Zhou's five-nation Asian tour, which had also taken him to Nepal, Laos, Cambodia and Tajikistan.
Q&A With the Ambassador: Biden Visit Signals Strong Mongolia Ties
August 26 (GlobalAtlanta) With natural resources poised to send its economy soaring, Mongolia has caught the attention of the international community, including Vice President Joe Biden.
During an Asia trip that also included stops in China and Japan, Mr. Biden touched down for a day of diplomatic and cultural immersion in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, becoming the first vice president to visit Mongolia since 1944.
In addition to meeting with President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold, Mr. Biden faced off with wrestlers, tried his hand at archery and received a horse, which he named Celtic.
GlobalAtlanta traveled to Mongolia in February to learn about its business climate and ties with Georgia. We also profiled Jonathan Addleton, the American ambassador to the country since 2009, who has deep family roots Macon.
We caught up with Dr. Addleton to find out what the vice president's visit meant for Mongolia, a democracy he praised as "truly remarkable" for its political progress over the past two decades.
The full interview is printed below.
GlobalAtlanta: Why did Mr. Biden choose to visit Mongolia now? What message was the U.S. trying to send by having its second in command make a stop in this country of 3 million people?
Addleton: Vice President Biden’s recent trip to Mongolia was meant to signal U.S. interest and appreciation for the progress that Mongolia has made over the last two decades, both economically and with respect to its continued commitment to democracy. 2011 also marks the 100th anniversary of Mongolian independence, providing an especially opportune time to affirm U.S. support.
GlobalAtlanta: Mr. Biden thanked Mongolia for its engagement in multilateral forums and praised the country for its peaceful and ongoing transition to democracy. What steps did he say the U.S. would take to continue assisting in that transition, and what did his visit mean for U.S. interests in the region?
Dr. Addleton: The U.S. and Mongolia enjoy a strong partnership across a broad range of areas. While the United States has provided assistance through both USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), the relationship is increasingly moving toward a more commercial footing. In recent years, U.S. exports to Mongolia have increased dramatically and there are new investment opportunities as well. Under a House Democracy Partnership, Mongolian parliamentarians and staffers occasionally visit the United States while members of Congress have paid reciprocal visits to Ulaanbaatar. The U.S. has also supported the Mongolian military in preparing for UN peacekeeping duty in Chad, Darfur, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and elsewhere. In these and other areas, the U.S. aspires to be a helpful “third neighbor."
GlobalAtlanta: How is Mongolia a shining example for nations in transition, as Mr. Biden said?
Dr. Addleton: Since embarking on the path of a multiparty democracy in 1990, Mongolia has carried out a series of regularly scheduled parliamentary and presidential elections. It also demonstrates a continued respect for human rights as well as freedom of speech and the freedom of its citizens to choose where and how to live, work, travel and worship.
GlobalAtlanta: How was his visit perceived by Mongolian leaders that you've spoken with? What did it mean to them?
Dr. Addleton: Mongolians welcomed this visit. Many recall that Vice President Biden was the first US Vice President to visit Mongolia in more than 67 years – the last such visit occurred in July 1944, during World War II.
GlobalAtlanta: He spoke of increasing commercial cooperation with the country. How important is this and what specific ideas did he put forth to increase the quantity and depth of interactions between American and Mongolian companies?
Dr. Addleton: Increasingly, Mongolia is moving from aid relationships to commercial relationships based on trade and investment. In 2010, U.S. exports to Mongolia surpassed $100 million for the first time; in 2011, they will almost certainly exceed $200 million. Mining equipment is an area of special interest but U.S. consumer goods and food products are finding their way to Mongolia as well. During meetings with senior Mongolian leaders, Vice President Biden emphasized the fact that American companies can bring important assets to bear in Mongolia, including a commitment to training, effective management, social responsibility and the latest technology.
GlobalAtlanta: Mr. Biden mentioned a transparency agreement that the two sides are working to establish which he said will make Mongolia an even more attractive place for U.S. and foreign investment. What does this agreement entail.
Dr. Addleton: A transparency agreement would introduce and strengthen international “best practices” in Mongolia, thereby improving the business environment. Among other things, it would provide opportunities for the business community to provide input into pending new legislation that affects trade and investment. It would also ensure that U.S. companies can compete on a transparent and “level” playing field when they invest and do business in Mongolia.
GlobalAtlanta: What role does the U.S. seek to play in helping Mongolia develop its natural resources?
Dr. Addleton: Several U.S. companies are currently involved in Mongolia’s mineral sector and others have expressed interest in further investments. Much of the recent growth in U.S. exports to Mongolia consists of mining equipment made in America by Caterpillar and other well known American companies.
GlobalAtlanta: How did preparing for the vice president's visit compare to other tasks you've undertaken as ambassador?
Dr. Addleton: We’ve had a number of official visitors to Mongolia in recent years, some of them quite senior. However, a visit involving the vice president entails a much higher degree of preparation and planning. Fortunately, we received additional assistance from the White House and other U.S. embassies in the region to ensure that this visit was a success.
GlobalAtlanta: Did you get a feel for which part of the visit he enjoyed most? What was his reaction to the Mongolian cultural offerings - archery, wrestling, singing and dancing?
Dr. Addleton: Substantive meetings with President Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Batbold formed the heart of this visit. However, it concluded with a brief cultural festival involving both traditional music and a demonstration of Mongolia’s “three manly arts” – horse racing, archery and wrestling. From what I saw, Vice President Biden very much enjoyed the unique aspects of Mongolian culture, including the traditional throat singing and the unique style of Mongolian wrestling. He was also impressed with the Mongolian horses and the skill of the young jockeys who ride them.
GlobalAtlanta: What did he say about increasing the interaction between Mongolian and U.S. students?
Dr. Addleton: Increasingly, Mongolians are studying in the United States. We estimate that approximately 1,000 Mongolians are now studying at American colleges and universities. In fact, President Elbegdorj attended Harvard University a decade ago and Prime Minister Batbold’s son attended the University of Chicago. During his meetings in Ulaanbaatar, the vice president noted the study opportunities as well as the quality of higher education available in the U.S.
GlobalAtlanta: What will happen to Celtic, Mr. Biden's new horse?
Dr. Addleton: Celtic will stay with a herder family and continue to range freely on Mongolia’s open steppe. Should Vice President Biden visit Mongolia again, he will be able to visit his horse and see that it has been well cared for during his absence.
Groundbreaking ceremony held for Shine Yarmag apartment block
A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for the Shine Yarmag apartment block on Yarmag hilltop in Ulaanbaatar. Shine Yarmag is part of a Government plan to build 75,000 new housing units in the city. Shine Harmag will include 15,000 units, as well as shops, a school, and a hospital. Attending the ceremony were Prime Minister S. Bartbold and Zhou Yongkang, a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official. The construction of Shine Yarmag is being funded in part by loans from China.
Abu Dhabi helps Mongolian falcon revival
August 28 (The National, UAE) BAYAN SOUM, MONGOLIA // On the road south to the Gobi desert, Gankhuyag Purev-Ochir cuts a left on to a spider web of dirt roads.
Whistling along to an Abba song, he scans the steppes for nests, binoculars at the ready.
In the distance, there is a single structure in a fragrant field of wild grass and white flowers: a turquoise barrel atop a crooked pole.
It may not look like much, but to the saker falcon it's home.
To conservationists such as Mr Purev-Ochir, it is hope.
The recycled juice barrel is one of 5,000 artificial nests erected across the steppe last year in a breeding project introduced by the UAE and Mongolian governments.
"Our project really wants to produce conservation through sustainable trade," says Mr Purev-Ochir, the project leader of the Mongolian team.
"We will have a number for export based on the chicks that we are checking. It's a good estimation, a real estimation."
Since 1993, Mongolia has traded saker falcons to the Middle East, where the birds are prized by Bedouin hunters.
Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, trapping grounds that were once limited to Pakistan and North Africa have expanded to Central Asia - a situation that has not benefited the bird's population.
Mongolia is the exception. Saker populations are believed to be stable. Trade is transparent and follows the framework of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), with an export quota of 300 birds last year.
The saker falcon (or falco cherrug) is listed as a globally vulnerable species by Cites, downgraded from endangered last year. But the bird can be traded as long as there is no effect on the wild population.
Cites considered banning the trade in Mongolia in 2009 because there were no population estimates available, so it was impossible to determine whether the population was being harmed.
But things changed last month when Cites ruled to continue the saker falcon trade based on the results of the Dh8.6 million breeding project implemented by the Environmental Agency - Abu Dhabi, in association with the Wildlife Science and Conservation Centre of Mongolia and the UK's International Wildlife Consultants.
In July, the Cites animal committee recommended Mongolia maintain its quota of 300 birds this year. The country can set its own quotas from next year on.
The programme's first-year results show that 174 saker falcon pairs had an average brood size of 3.1 fledglings in the nests built over 10,000 square kilometres.
A slightly rusted bin on a three-metre pole may seem like a step down from a rocky perch in the Gobi desert, but the birds share a problem faced by many couples: they must find the right home before they can start a family.
"We're thinking there is a big non-breeding population of sakers, that's why we put nests there," Mr Purev-Ochir says.
The nests cater to the notoriously lazy nature of the saker, which does not build its own nest but takes over those of ravens and buzzards.
Artificial nests on the steppe come with a steady diet of Brandt's vole, the Mongolian gerbil, horned larks and Mongolian larks.
The programme is forecast to produce an estimated 1,500 chicks from 500 saker pairs by 2015.
Sakers are prized by falconers from the Gulf and Syria who fly to Mongolia for the trapping season between July and October.
Trappers prefer strong and broad-shouldered females, which are larger, better hunters and more aggressive. The younger the better: their instincts are wild but they can still be easily trained and managed.
Trappers must buy permits from Mongolia's environment ministry that specify when, where and how many sakers can be trapped.
Mongolia exported 3,141 sakers between 1997 and last year, and 99 per cent went directly to the Gulf and Syria. The number of illegally exported sakers, gyrfalcons and peregrine was thought to be at least 3,900 in that same period.
"There are still some problems because buyers don't want microchips," Mr Purev-Ochir says. "They say they're not wild."
He has helped to microchip 594 saker chicks from 172 nests this year. Last year, 612 nestlings were microchipped.
Microchips are now placed near the flank feathers, where they are hard to find and impossible to take out without damaging the feathers, making it difficult for the birds to be resold if smuggled.
Scientists hope the microchip can become a trademark of the bird's standard and a falconer's commitment to the sport.
Scientist tracks falcons – The National, August 28
Falcons reduce number of pests for herders – The National, August 28
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