Thursday, February 16, 2012

[CPSI NewsWire: SouthGobi to Export 10Mtpa Within Three Years - CEO]

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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SGQ closed -1.26% to C$7.03, +17.17% YTD; 1878 closed flat at HK$55, +21.01% YTD

Talking Coal With SouthGobi Resources' CEO

February 15 (Peter Epstein via SeekingAlpha) The following in-depth interview was conducted by Peter Epstein with the CEO of SouthGobi Resources, Alex Molyneux. Paid subscribers to a premier coal industry newsletter published by Doyle Trading Consultants received this interview on February 10th. As the author of this content, I have been permitted by Doyle Trading Consultants to distribute this interview. Subsequent to its posting here on Seeking Alpha, this article will not appear anywhere else.

Alex Molyneux: Canadian company SouthGobi Resources (SGQRF.PK, TSX:SGQ, HK:1878), located 45 km from the Chinese border, is 1 of just 2 dominant Mongolian coking coal exporters. We are in the 3rd or 4th inning of explosive organic volume and earnings growth. Within 3 years, SGQ will be exporting 10 mm MT of coking coal. Our cash costs, averaging in the low US$20's per MT, are among the lowest in the world. China's 12th 5-yr plan clearly focuses on building out inland Chinese provinces where we have a distinct transportation advantage.

We have 535 mm MT of coal resources, which give us a +25-year mine life and we are actively exploring for more coal. SGQ is building a paved haul road to the Chinese border that will be able to transport in excess of 20 mm MT/year. Unlike many global players, SGQ effectively has no capacity constraints. Despite minor setbacks from time to time, we have to date delivered the volume and margin growth that we advertised when we listed in Hong Kong in May 2010.

Peter Epstein: Let's start with a recap of 2011, a year in which SouthGobi exported 4mm MT of coal. What was accomplished and where is SouthGobi headed?

Alex Molyneux: 2011 was an important year for us. We reached the 4 mm MT mark in sales and we made a lot of progress on de-bottlenecking our border crossing at Ceke. Four dedicated coal lanes into and out of China will be available to us this year. We got our paved haul road approved and formed a JV with a Mongolian partner to start building it this year. Most of our dry handling facilities were installed last year and we are weeks away from commissioning them.

We signed an important agreement with a Chinese partner to wet wash roughly half of our coal, giving us a nice boost in margins on those tonnes. We now have our fifth fleet of equipment in service and have excess capacity to satisfy our growth plans in 2012. We had another great year of exploration, which you will hear all about in March. And we had a good year on the safety front.

Peter Epstein: There are reports that demand for seaborne coking coal is weak. Peabody, Rio, Teck, Alpha Natural Resources and BHP have discussed this on recent earnings conference calls. Are you seeing the same thing?

Alex Molyneux: Yes, demand for seaborne coking coal is weak, and prices have fallen a lot. But, what's happening in our neck of the woods is totally different. Our prices are running flat to Q4 2011 and we've had no push back from customers on deliveries. We're not experiencing declines in our volumes. The benchmark Bowen basin coking coal index is down about 35% from its peak 3 quarters ago, but we have not lowered our prices at all since then, which we think is pretty amazing.

In the 12 quarters going back to the beginning of 2009, the price we've received for our raw semi-soft coking coal has increased with relatively low correlation to the ups and downs of the index price. For the full year 2009 our average sales price averaged 24% of the index price, in 2010, 26% and in 2011, 31%. We exited 2011 with our coal ASP at 36% of the benchmark semi-soft index price. We will continue to close that gap going forward.

Peter Epstein: You shipped 4 mm MT in 2011, that's a pretty good year and you expect to sell 5.0 - 5.5 mm MT this year and 6.5 - 7.0 mm MT next year. And, I guess that's your run-rate, 7 mm MT of semi-soft coal from 2014 on?

Alex Molyneux: I can't speak to the exact timing, but 7.0 - 7.5 mm MT is achievable. Assuming we reach 7 mm MT, that would imply a run-of-mine 5-yr CAGR of about 30%. Then you could add to your figures production from our new Soumber premium hard coking coal mine from 2014 on. We're assuming Soumber will produce 3 mm clean MT per year.

Peter Epstein: In our last interview you said, "And with some re-planning, I think we can get Ovoot Tolgoi and Soumber to 12 - 13mtpa, but we haven't completed those studies." What's your latest view?

Alex Molyneux: Once open-pit mines like ours are running smoothly, it's almost always feasible to increase production. We would be more likely to expand beyond 10 mm MT if we could get some incremental tonnes from Soumber.

Peter Epstein: Are you experiencing any delays or setbacks in obtaining a water license for Soumber?

Alex Molyneux: No, no problems, we remain on track.

Peter Epstein: Roughly what margin could you get if you were selling the Soumber coal today?

Alex Molyneux: As you can imagine, we're doing a lot of work on that, but Soumber is a good quality coking coal that will command a premium price. In today's market, I'm guessing it would generate a margin of about $100/MT. But, please don't try to extrapolate costs or realized pricing from that figure, it's just an estimate.

Peter Epstein: Switching gears, when will the on-site dry crushing/screening facilities be commissioned?

Alex Molyneux: We experienced a delay due to faulty equipment. But we expect it to be commissioned by the end of the month.

Peter Epstein: What impact will this have on your operations?

Alex Molyneux: It will be significant. Right now, our run-of-mine coal comes out as 8%, 13% &18% ash. Roughly speaking, after screening & crushing, our 18% ash might become ~15% ash, our 13% ash ~11% ash and our 8% ash ~7% ash. Today, about 30%-40% of our run-of-mine coal is blendable to the 8% spec, about 30% to a 13% ash level and the remainder is the 18% ash product. After on-site dry handling, approximately half of the coal will be blended to a semi-soft coal with 9.0% or 9.5% ash and will be sold as is. The other half will get sent to China for wet washing. Importantly though, the ash reduction is only half the story, delivering more consistent ash levels AND consistently sized coal means a great deal to our customers.

Peter Epstein: When will third-party wet washing in China commence?

Alex Molyneux: By the end of March.

Peter Epstein: What margin uplift do you expect from the wet washing?

Alex Molyneux: If half of our ROM coal is first sent through dry handling on-site and then sent to China to be wet washed, the impact on the overall margin line will be about $7.5 per MT.

Peter Epstein: Can you touch upon liquidity? You burned a fair amount of cash last year. Will you need to raise debt of equity capital in the future?

Alex Molyneux: No, we still have ample liquidity. 2011 was by far our biggest cash burn year. We try hard to run a tight ship, we're budgeting 2012 to be a cash neutral year.

Peter Epstein: When will we get an update on reserves/resources?

Alex Molyneux: An update will be released in March. We're excited about the continued success of our exploration efforts. We think we will be able to report a meaningful increase. We've pushed back our work on an underground mine plan at Ovoot Tolgoi due to our findings in and around Soumber. It's possible that Soumber will be a bigger mine than we expected.

Peter Epstein: How much bigger?

Alex Molyneux: It's hard to say, but we're excited about what we're finding. As we prove up additional tonnage at Soumber, we can either extend the projected mine life or increase annual production. Equally important, we think we will be able to extend our Ovoot open-pit mine life at by several years.

Peter Epstein: You said that your 20% stake in Mongolia's Aspire Mining could become very valuable as Aspire could be producing up to 20mm MT of premium hard coking coal by 2020. Can we get your latest thoughts?

Alex Molyneux: We're very pleased with our investment in Aspire. They remain on track to becoming a truly world class producer. Since our investment, the Company has confirmed the very superior quality of its coal, identified a new, nearby, highly prospective exploration target and signed a comprehensive marketing, logistics and off-take agreement with Noble Group. Aspire is sitting on a 330 mm MT JORC resource (80%) measured & indicated, with ~250mm MT less than about 250 meters deep. Aspire believes there's substantial upside to their 330mm MT resource.

Peter Epstein: Some look at the price you're receiving on your raw semi-soft coal of about $65 per MT and assume that SouthGobi will never grow into a highly profitable company.

Alex Molyneux: I hope prospective investors dig a bit deeper than that! Think of it this way, coal from the Bowen basin trades at $220 per MT. But that coal is from a very mature basin. Strip ratios there are 10 or 12 or even 15 to 1 and rising. At our Ovoot Tolgoi open-pit complex, we are mining a coal seam with an average thickness of 53 meters!! Our strip ratio is about 4 to 1. While some Australian mines have costs of $100 per MT, SouthGobi's costs average in the low $20's. I would argue that looking at our margins and where they are headed is a better starting point.

Peter Epstein: Which leads to a question of margins, how will SouthGobi increase margins to $60-$70 per MT in the next few years from roughly $30 today?

Alex Molyneux: I can't give forward guidance to a specific margin, but there are a number of things that when taken together will make a big difference. To be clear, our margins will grow substantially without the necessity of higher benchmark pricing. We expect an up-tick of about $7.50 per MT from the increased quality and enhanced blending opportunities of the fully processed coking coal. We will capture $25-$30 per MT in margin over the next 2-3 years from transportation & logistics efficiencies. These include the use of a new 45 km paved haul road, new rail options, eliminating intermediaries, further de-bottlenecking of the border, and greater acceptance of our coal.

Peter Epstein: Can you flesh out that, "$25-$30" per MT of savings? That sounds like a lot.

Alex Molyneux: Again, it's a number of things, but an easy example is transportation. Rail spurs currently under construction or planned will help immensely. Using new rail spurs will greatly reduce our customer's reliance on trucks. More importantly, it will reduce the trans-loading of coal back and forth between truck and train, i.e. double & triple handling. For example, to get coal to Wuhai, it's either trucked the entire distance or trucked to the Ceke-Linhe rail, sent to Linhe, trans-loaded back onto trucks, and then sent to Wuhai. Once the rail spur is complete, coal can be railed directly from the Ceke border to Wuhai, which will save a lot of time and cost.

The same applies to Yinchuan. To get our coal to the Hebei region, the Ceke rail spur will save a 70 km truck run plus 1trans-loading. And at Jining, coal is trans-loaded back onto trucks because it cannot be railed straight through to Datong. Once the rail east of Jining is open, coal will be able to be railed directly from Ceke to Hebei markets.

Peter Epstein: Has anything changed now that Rio owns 51% of SouthGobi's majority shareholder, Ivanhoe Mines?

Alex Molyneux: In our August interview, I indicated that Ivanhoe was receiving expressions of interest in our company. That continues to this day. We were not surprised to see Macarthur get taken out by Peabody and Xstrata by Glencore. These are key strategic assets. There's a finite number of well positioned, established mining companies that are located in highly desired geographies and are selling highly sought after commodities. We think we're one of them.

Honestly, I'm hard pressed to come up with a reason why Macarthur and Riversdale are accepted as key strategic assets and SouthGobi is not. All three companies have (or had) similar sales, EBITDA and margin expectations by street analysts. Both Macarthur and Riversdale were acquired for 8 to 9 times EV/EBITDA multiples... Not 8 or 9 times 2012 or 2013 EBITDA, but 8 or 9 times 2014 or 2015 numbers. Those aggressive multiples were paid on 3-yr forward earnings because the acquirers wanted those assets badly. Within 3 years we will be a 10mm MT pure-play low-cost coking coal producer, situated 45 km from the Chinese border.

Peter Epstein: Presumably then, you think that your stock is undervalued?

Alex Molyneux: Yes, I do, especially given the heightened interest in M&A in the mining space. I've received articles this week on how a merged Xstrata & Glencore will look to acquire more iron ore assets. Of course they will, and Vale, BHP, Anglo, or Peabody or Teck Resources will be going after coking coal, copper, manganese, potash, etc. Scale is vitally important. Those with scale can issue long-term debt at under 4%! I find it strange that there's no discernible takeout premium in our stock price.

Peter Epstein: Some would say it's because your stock is expensive based on 2012 and 2013 earnings estimates.

Alex Molyneux: We're not cheap on this year's numbers, although I would argue that we look a lot better on next year's numbers, but the point is that we're still in the 3rd or 4th inning in terms of ramping up production. Within 3 years, we will be a 10 mm MT company. That will make us perhaps a top 15 producer globally.

Peter Epstein: Thank you, Alex.

Disclosure: I am long ACI, CNX, PCX, BTU, ANR. I am a consultant for SouthGobi Resources.

Link to article



February 15 (BDSec) Top 20 Index of the Mongolian stock market in a session on Wednesday edged down 0.27% to 20,740 points. Trading of shares during the session was 55 companies. Shares of 26 companies were high, while the prices of shares of 11 companies were decreased and 18 companies preserving the prices of shares. 410,968 shares were traded at today's bourse with total value of MNT 114.6 million (or US$85.8 thousand).

Main contributors to the market decline today were coal mining companies. All 5 coal mining companies traded today finished weaker, with Sharyn Gol (SHG) down by 4.11%, Baganuur (BAN) down by 3.98%, Mogoin Gol (BDL) down by 1.85%, Aduunchuluun (ADL) down by 1.72% and Tavantolgoi (TTL) down by 0.17%.

Today's winners were Hermes (up 4.00%), Eermel (up 3.64%) and Material Impex (up 2.51%).

Link to article


CPSI is a supporting organization to MEF

МЭЗФ Хэлэлцүүлэг: Эрүүл мэндийн салбар – Асуудал ба шийдэл

February 16 (MEF) Монголын эдийн засгийн чуулганыг угтан зохион байгуулж байгаа цуврал хэлэлцүүлэг 2 сарын 16 буюу Өнөөдөр Эрүүл мэндийн салбар - Асуудал ба шийдэл сэдвээр үргэлжилж байна. Хэлэлцүүлэг 16:00 цагт Хууль зүйн үндэсний хүрээлэн дээр болноТаныг хүрэлцэн ирэхийг урьж байна

Эрүүл мэндийн салбар – Асуудал ба шийдэл

(Урьдчилсан хэлэлцүүлэг)

Хэзээ:                                      2 сарын 16–ний 16:00 цаг

Хаана:                                    Хууль зүйн үндэсний хүрээлэн

Үргэлжлэх хугацаа:              120 минут

Хөтлөгч:                                  Д.Энхтуяа,  NTV Телевизийн сэтгүүлч

Хэлэлцүүлгийн зорилго:      Монголын Эдийн Засгийн форумын эрүүл мэндийн салбарын чиглэлээрх салбар хуралдаанаар хэлэлцэх тулгамдсан асуудал, түүний цар хүрээг тодорхойлох


Хэлэлцүүлгийн хөтөлбөр

16:00-16:05                Нээлт

16:05-16:15                Илтгэл 1:  Эрүүл мэндийн санхүүжилтийн тулгамдаж буй гол асуудлууд, шинэчлэх хэрэгцээ шаардлага /ЭМЯ, АХБ-ны ЭМСХ3 төслийн зөвлөх Ц.Нацагдорж/

16:15-16:40                Хэлэлцүүлэг

16:40-16:50                Илтгэл 2: Эмнэлгийн менежментийн өнөөгийн байдал, шинэчлэлийн зорилтууд /ЭМЯ, ЭМСХ4 төслийн зөвлөх А.Болд/

16:50-17:20                Хэлэлцүүлэг

17:20-17:30                "Эрүүл хот" хөтөлбөрийн танилцуулга /Нийслэлийн Иргэдийн Төлөөлөгчдийн Хурлын Тэргүүлэгч С.Одонтуяа/

17:30-18:00                Хэлэлцүүлэг

Link to MEF


Second "Miner & Supplier" forum to be held

February 15 ( The NGO Mineral Resources and Mining Exchange is holding its second "Miner & Supplier" forum at the Chinggis Hotel on March 15 and 16

The forum is designed to bring together mining companies and mining supply companies. The National Development and Renovation Committee, the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, and the Business Council are helping the Mineral Resources and Mining Exchange organize the event.

The mining supply sector has been developing rapidly around the Tavantolgoi and Oyutolgoi projects, the Erdenet Factory, and other mining projects. Mining company directors, mining supply companies, mining engineers, managers, and financial specialists will take part in the forum. They will discuss the latest environmentally-responsible mining techniques, mining technology, and mining equipment.

The forum will also address Mongolia's long-term policy regarding domestic mining supply companies. 

Link to article



Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, February 15 /MONTSAME/ The parliamentary faction of the Democratic Party (DP) has decided to set up a working group in charge of the Ukhaa khudag coal deposit and of a matter on newly-discovered reserves at the Oyu tolgoi gold-copper deposit.

The decision was made on Monday by the faction in accordance with the 27th clause of the law on State Great Khural and some clauses of the DP's charter.

The working group is supposed to draw up proposals and conclusions on matters concerning new reserves discovery in the OT deposit, to inspect whether exploration special licenses for the Tavan tolgoi have been altered to the extraction licenses, and to consider isolating of the Ukhaa khudag deposit from the Tavan tolgoi deposit in accordance with laws.

Headed by D.Gankhuyag, the group has comprised R.Amarjargal, B.Batbayar, N.Batbayar, L.Gantomor, Ts.Sedvanchig and S.Erdene MPs.

Link to article



Peacekeepers to leave for South Sudan

February 16 ( A battalion of 850 Mongolian Armed Forces soldiers is preparing to take part in peacekeeping operations in South Sudan. Lieutenant Colonel L.Ganselem will lead the contingent.

The soldiers have trained at the Armed Forces Training Center in Tavantolgoi. The first detachment of 350 soldiers will soon leave for South Sudan, and their arms and equipment have already been shipped to the country. 

The United Nations is sending peacekeeping troops to South Sudan because the country has experienced much conflict since declaring its independence in July 2011.

Link to article


Journalists Charged with Criminal Defamation in Mongolia

February 16 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) in condemning the laying of criminal defamation charges against Mongolia's TV9 television station and its investigative news team, in response to the airing of a documentary disclosing allegations of corruption against government officials.

On December 17, 2011, TV9 broadcast a story concerning the alleged illegal privatisation of a publicly owned building located in the center of the country's capital, Ulaan Bataar. The documentary, titled "Detective-2", linked the sale to corrupt activities of high ranked government officials and urged police to investigate.

Shortly afterwards, on December 22, P.Otgonjargal, police major of the State Investigation Authority investigating the privatisation, filed a criminal defamation claim against TV9 and its news team at the Sukhbaatar District Police Department in Ulaan Bataar.

TV9's documentary team including senior producer D.Turmunkh, reporter N.Binderya, director N.Bayarsaikhan and presenter L.Erdenebaatar were questioned by police. The station's director, Ts.Enkbat, was also questioned. It is reported that police implied the possible forced detention of the team during the questioning.

In December 2010, another Mongolian journalist, Bolormaa Damdinsuren, was charged with criminal defamation after publishing a news report implicating a well-known Mongolian businessman in criminal activity.

"The IFJ is concerned that the quick recourse to criminal defamation action has a chilling effect on free and fair journalism, and does little to advance the public interest," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"The IFJ has long maintained its opposition to criminal defamation laws, and urges the Government of Mongolia to repeal current defamation laws and institute defamation as a civil offence, with relevant safeguards for press freedom and journalists' ability to report on matters of public interest."

Link to release


Mongolia as Minegolia? Paying the Price

Youtube: Gobi Desert Coal Mining, the Dark View

February 15 (NYT Blog) Mineral riches beneath the arid soil of Mongolia could soon make the sparsely populated country the world's fastest-growing economy.

There are different ways of looking at this. The video above focuses on ruined landscapes and displaced herders. The one below emphasizes the economic benefit of exporting mineral riches to China.

Youtube: Mongolian Mining, the Bright Side

The first, released by the European environmental groups C.E.E. Bankwatch Network, Urgewald and O T Watch, anticipates the repercussions from the promised public offering of shares in Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a state-run company that controls one of the world's richest coal deposits. The second is an upbeat advertisement for a northern iron ore mine, showing a microcosm of the mining boom that has been accelerating since this former Soviet satellite began to emerge as a free-market economy.

How accurately do these dueling worldviews anticipate the economic gains or the environmental and social costs? Can Mongolia avoid the scarred landscapes of West Virginia or Russia's Sakhalin Island and the acid drainage into watersheds in South Africa and Indonesia?

The first video envisions a bleak future of lost nomadic livelihoods and an expansion of the tent cities in Ulan Bator, swelled by herders who could not keep their herds. Its tone echoes the citation that accompanied the awarding of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize to the herder and environmental activist Tseetsegee Munkhbayar in 2007.

The potential environmental troubles on the open steppes, the site of much of the mining activity, are mirrored by the dwindling of the country's forests, according to a recent World Bank review.

Mr. Munkhbayar's group, the United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes, sued the country's government for failing to protect watersheds and forests as required by a 2009 law. Last fall, the country's Supreme Court ordered the government to enforce its environmental laws.

An article in the Guardian newspaper last November quoted a herder as saying that the dust kicked up by mining vehicles and extraction machines "makes us cough."

"Even the animals cough," he said. "The animals eat the dusty grass. Then the humans eat the poisoned animals. Soon it will be impossible for us to stay here."

Yet the chief executive of the state mining company has emphasized that the company will pass out shares to all Mongolians when a public offering is made this spring.

The second video is a paean to industry, with stirring music and images of large trucks on parade and miners comfortably at rest in a more prosperous tent city. The tone evokes over-the-top Soviet-era inspirational films about worker heroes and the glories of Communism, but here it is the company that is the hero.

The economic victories and machinations around the country's mining bounty are reflected a bit more straightforwardly in daily reports from the Mongolian Metal Exchange or the Business Council of Mongolia. The latter's Web page has been buzzing with the news of the final steps in consolidation ofcontrol 

over the Oyu Tolgoi mine and its gold and copper deposits by Rio Tinto, the mining giant.

The Oyu Tolgoi mine, whose name means "turquoise hill," is one of the richest known in Mongolia. The Guardian has reported that the revenue from the total output of its minerals may amount to $200 billion and eventually represent one-third of Mongolia's gross domestic product, which is now only about $2,500 for each of the country's 2.8 million people.

At least one group, the Zorig Foundation, has tried to promote a future that is not a wasteland environmentally or economically through its work with the Oyu Tolgoi scholarship program. This program offers undergraduate and graduate study overseas in subjects like mining engineering and environmental and earth sciences. At the same time, the foundation is increasingly turning its attention to identifying and curbing government corruption, which is exacerbated by the mineral boom.

One of the most sober overviews of Mongolia's prospects — albeit without the mournful music or the images of bedraggled camels in the first video — was offered by The Economist. Its take, boiled down, is that to pay for dreams of prosperity. "Mongolia is being dug up and sold to China."

Link to article



"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral

Senior Client Manager / Executive Director

CPS International LLC

Telephone/Fax: +976-11-321326

Mobile: +976-99996779


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Suite 1213 · Level 12 · 2 Sukhbaatar Square

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CPS International is a marketing arm of CPS Securities in Mongolia. CPS Securities is a Perth, Western Australia based AFSLicense Holder. To trade ASX and international stocks, feel free to contact me at or +976-99996779.



CPS Securities, its directors and employees advise that they may hold securities, may have an interest in and/or earn brokerage and other benefits or advantages, either directly or indirectly from client transactions mentioned in correspondence from CPS International.

CPS International advise this email contains general information only and does not include advice. In preparing this communication, CPS International did not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any person. As with any speculative mining company there are significant risks.




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