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.
Petro Matad aims to define a low risk drilling programme in Mongolia
May 25 (Proactive Investors) Petro Matad (LON:MATD) outlined exploration plans for its assets in Mongolia for the rest of the year and 2013, hoping to refine their "enormous potential".
The company told investors today that a review of the extensive 2011 field season in Mongolia recommended that the company refines the work to date to generate drill and seismic targets.
Based on the review, the company has decided to suspend drilling and testing for the remainder of 2012, while the suggested studies and changes are conducted.
This work is now ongoing including re-processing of some seismic data and an update of the seismic interpretation.
"Whilst the 2011 programme at Davsan Tolgoi was a major disappointment for the company, the results have contributed significantly to our understanding of the assets," said chief executive of Petro Matad Douglas McGay.
"We have un-matched holdings of both prospectivity and size, all of which still offer enormous potential.
"The further exploration studies we have now planned and commenced will refine some of that potential and lead us to the next stages of our exploration."
The company said it aims to define a "balanced and lower risk drilling programme".
"The market will be informed once these studies have been completed and further exploration decisions are made by the board," said Petro Matad.
The company will undertake further technical studies on all three of its blocks in Mongolia over the next four months, focusing on blocks XX and V to identify drill targets and areas for future seismic surveys.
No further drilling or testing will be conducted on Block XX this year and Petro's exploration focus will be on the development of drilling and seismic programmes for all properties next year.
Future drilling on Block XX is likely to be in areas to the west and east of the Davsan Tolgoi Anticline.
At Block V, the company identified good source rock and reservoir potential from core samples obtained from the 2011 stratigraphic well, while 2D data acquired last year showed several prospective leads.
Further technical work is required to identify an area for the 2012/2013 winter seismic acquisition campaign with first drilling targeted for 2013.
Meanwhile, seismic data from the oil shale Block IV has identified several large structures and increased its prospectivity. Petro Matad said it will continue technical work to "enhance understanding of the block".
The company said two shallow core holes were drilled on the KUB oil shale occurrence in the south of the block, confirming that thick sections of oil shale occur over a large aerial extent.
Assay results from those core holes have indicated the high and potentially commercial values of organic content and yieldable hydrocarbons.
Preliminary studies carried out suggest the oil shale could be suitable for both in-situ and ex-situ processing, said Petro Matad, adding that it will undertake additional drilling to refine the extent and quality of the oil shale occurrence.
Petro Matad: Update on oil shale operations
May 25, Petro Matad Limited (MATD:LN) --
In addition to the operational update made by Petro Matad on its conventional oil exploration projects the Company is pleased to provide an operational update on its oil shale operations in the south of Block IV. The operational update on the Company's conventional assets has been made in a separate contemporaneous release.
Since Petro Matad's discovery of the occurrence of oil shale on Blocks IV and V was reported, work has proceeded with the evaluation of what the Company considers to be one of its most promising occurrences of oil shale, Khoid Ulaan Bulag ("KUB"), in the south of Block IV.
A summary of this work is outlined below:
· Two shallow core holes were drilled on the KUB oil shale occurrence in the south of Block IV, which confirmed that thick sections of oil shale occur over a large aerial extent.
· Assay results from those core holes complemented the previous surface samples over the outcrop area, indicating the high and potentially commercial values of organic content and yieldable hydrocarbons.
· Volumetric estimates from relatively limited data indicate a large tonnage of oil shale at what, in other parts of the world are considered economic grades.
· Preliminary studies carried out suggest the oil shale could be suitable for both in-situ and ex-situ processing.
· A bulk sample has been despatched to a test facility in the US for batch retort testing in order to determine the quantity and character of hydrocarbons which the rock could yield.
· The Company has contracted consultant Dr Jeremy Boak, a leading authority on oil shale, as prime consultant to assist in the examination of its oil shale prospects.
· Additional drilling will be undertaken to further refine the extent and quality of the oil shale occurrence.
The KUB oil shale occurrence occurs near the southern boundary of Block IV, 660km south west of Ulaanbaatar and 280km north of the border with China. It is one of 14 oil shale occurrences currently identified on Petro Matad's Blocks IV and V.
KUB consists of a well exposed area of oil shale with a minimum thickness of 265m, with an apparently more extensive continuation of the oil shale sequence beneath alluvial cover.
The exposed area of the occurrence is about one square kilometre in extent, and has been geologically and topographically mapped, sampled with 70 surface samples and tested with one drill hole (KUB-1). That drill hole encountered oil shale with minor thin sandstone and conglomerate horizons over its entire 250m depth.
The exposure dips gently to the south and is bounded to the south by a recent fault. South of the fault, the sequence dips gently to the north beneath a variable thickness of alluvial cover. Oil shale is exposed south of the fault 2-3km east of the main exposure. A single 4km high resolution seismic line was shot by the Company in 2011 and indicates approximately the same thickness of oil shale as that in the exposed area (approximately 250m).
A second core hole (KUB-2) drilled through about 200m of alluvial cover, encountering the oil shale sequence at 250m depth, as expected. The hole was terminated in oil shale at a depth of 307m. The seismic profile indicates the oil shale may continue for more than 200m. As in KUB-1, the oil shale sequence was logged and sampled on 1m intervals, with 5m composite samples being submitted for analysis.
The surface samples from the exposed occurrence averaged approximately 15.0% Total Organic Content (TOC) with an average yield of 106.1 litres/tonne (l/t) of oil. Drill core samples from both core holes returned somewhat lower values of both TOC and hydrocarbon yield than surface samples, possibly because they were 5m composites. However, even on average the TOC and hydrocarbon yield from those composites were notable by world standards.
A bulk sample comprising 50kg of oil shale material from the exposed section has been collected and despatched to a test retort facility in Colorado, US. This batch retort test will provide baseline data on the hydrocarbons and volatiles generated during retorting, and on the characteristics of the spent shale and char. The oil produced in the test will be submitted for further testing to determine physical and chemical characteristics.
The Company has allocated a small proportion of its overall budget to the ongoing evaluation of this oil shale prospect. The work programme includes additional drilling to further refine the extent and quality of the occurrence, further testing of samples on shorter intervals than carried out to date and other studies associated with processing techniques.
CEO Douglas McGay said "We recognise the early stages of our exploration on the KUB oil shale occurrence as well as the yet-unanswered questions of extraction, treatment and infrastructure. However, the potential of the resource and the energy needs of the region compel us to continue evaluating it. The Company has taken care not to detract from its conventional oil exploration efforts in this and other Blocks."
Aspire Mining in pre open ahead of news of maiden coal Reserves and Resource update at Ovoot
May 25 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining (ASX: AKM) has been granted a trading halt by the ASX as it prepares to inform the market on the maiden Reserves and updated Resources at the Ovoot Coking Coal Project.
The company is very close to releasing a Pre-Feasibility Study for the Ovoot Project in Mongolia, where it is targeting the development of up to a 15 million tonne per annum run of mine open pit.
Importantly, the 500 square kilometre project could potentially evolve into a Tier 1 asset with five exploration areas and a comprehensive airborne magnetics program defining an extensive basin.
The halt will last until the earlier of an announcement being made available to the market, or the opening of trade on Tuesday 29 May.
DRAIG SEES PROMISING FUTURE FOR TEEG LICENCE, MONGOLIA
May 28, Draig Resources Limited (ASX:DRG) --
• Coal intercepted in 18 holes as Teeg licence logging data finalized
• Best cumulative seam thicknesses 86.28m, 66.75m, 37.80m & 36.12m
• All coal intercepted at open pit mineable levels
• Resource modelling underway, coal quality and petrographic testing continuing
• Maiden JORC statement expected June 2012
Mongolian coal explorer Draig Resources Limited (ASX: DRG) ("Draig" or "the Company") said its Teeg Licence ("Teeg") shows 'great promise', after the Company completed logging of final drill holes from its Phase I exploration program.
Draig intercepted coal in 18 holes during its Phase I drilling program on Teeg, completed at the end of April 2012. A series of steeply dipping coal seam intersections were logged at shallow depths of less than 175m (open pit mineable levels) along a north‐westerly trending strike length.
The collated data showed amongst the best coal seams intercepted were those with apparent seam thicknesses of 86.28m (BT_37), 66.75m (BT_36), 37.80m (BT_01), and 36.12m (BT_38). Holes BT_24C, BT_37 and BT_38 were twin cored with results that correlated to coal intersected in the original hole.
All logged coal intercepts are included in the tables below.
The 6,000m program was conducted solely on Teeg, which sits within Draig's parcel of Ovorhangay licences in central‐southern Mongolia.
Draig has commenced resource modelling to determine the structure of the licence and anticipates completing a maiden JORC estimate for Teeg by June 2012. Coal quality and petrographic testing is also continuing at ALS laboratories in Mongolia and Australia.
Draig Managing Director Mark Earley said: "All the coal we intercepted was relatively shallow and definitely at open pit mineable levels. I think the Teeg licence shows great promise, based on the drilling we have done to date.
"Our aim is to complement these results with the drilling to be undertaken in our Phase II program, which will include our South Gobi licences," Mr Earley said.
Draig owns eight coal exploration licences in Mongolia – four in the Ovorhangay province and four in the South Gobi province further south.
Phase II Exploration Update
Draig said that following on from its Phase I results it expected to commence a Phase II exploration program later in the year, which would involve exploring its South Gobi licences.
Phase II was likely to also include further exploration at the Teeg licence with some addition exploration also expected to be undertaken on the Nariin Teeg (Ovorhangay province), building on the geophysics survey completed over the licence in February 2012.
Draig added it had a strong cash position and was fully funded to undertake further exploration activities.
KRI last traded at C$0.155 on 23 May
Khan Resources (CNSX:KRI) Begins Trading on Canadian National Stock Exchange (CNSX) - Video Summary Posted on www.InvestmentPitch.com
Vancouver, British Columbia, May 25, 2012 - Khan Resources (CNSX:KRI) begins trading on Canadian National Stock Exchange (CNSX).
InvestmentPitch.com has produced a "video news alert" which provides a brief overview of Khan Resources. If this link is not enabled, please visit www.InvestmentPitch.com and enter "Khan" in the search box.
Khan Resources Inc. is a Canadian-based company that has interests in certain uranium properties that are located in the Dornod district of north eastern Mongolia, a district that contains a number of known uranium deposits. As a result of certain actions by the Mongolian Government, the Corporation's interests in the Dornod Properties are uncertain at this time. In January 2011, the Corporation commenced the International Arbitration process against the Government of Mongolia and certain of its agencies for actions taken by the Government to effectively expropriate Khan's licenses.
The company recently closed a private placement of 13.6 million shares at $0.17 per share, for gross proceeds of $2.3 million. The company plans to use these funds to advance its international arbitration case for $200 million against the Government of Mongolia and for general corporate purposes.
Khan also holds 15,523,330 common shares and 4,031,665 share purchase warrants of Macusani Yellowcake Inc., a Canadian exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "YEL". Macusani trades at $0.185, placing a value of approximately $2.9 million on the shares held by Khan.
Macusani holds properties and explores for uranium in the Macusani Plateau district in southern Peru. The Corporation's primary business objective is to obtain value for its interests in the Dornod Properties and its investment in Macusani.
The company currently trades at $0.155 and with approximately 68 million shares outstanding, is capitalized at approximately $10.5 million.
InvestmentPitch.com is a multimedia company that provides a combined solution for creating and hosting financial video content, and distributing it across multiple platforms to investors and financial professionals. InvestmentPitch.com specializes in producing short three minute videos based on significant news releases and research reports. InvestmentPitch is currently raising $500,000 from the sale of 5 million units at $0.10, by way of an offering memorandum. For more information email email@example.com.
MIG: EXCHANGE NOTICE - SUSPENSION OF TRADING
May 28 -- Trading in the shares (stock code: 00402) of Mongolia Investment Group Limited will be suspended at 9:00 a.m. today (28/5/2012).
MSE: MARKET CLOSES GREEN IN THE WEEK
25 May 2012 (BDSec) – The Mongolian equities market finished the week in green on Friday after consecutive four-day losing streak. MSE Top 20 gained 81.70 points or 0.41% to 20,103.40 while BDS index added 4.29 points or 0.10% to finish at 4,435.93 points.
Some 189k shares valued at MNT219m (US$167k) were traded on the exchange. Of the issues traded on the MSE, 17 gained, 12 suffered losses and 11 remained unchanged.
Today's top advancers were Khukh Gan (+6.84%) and Hermes (+6.33%) against decliners led by Makh Impex (-4.35%) and Darkhan Nekhii (-2.42%).
Local News in Brief
- The Parliament Speaker D.Demberel announced a break in the parliamentary spring session on Wednesday. He explained the session breaks due to the upcoming election and closed the session on the accomplishments of the Parliament. Within a period of four years from 2008 to 2012, a total of 111 independent laws have been established, 484 legislation amendments have been made. An additional 350 resolutions, 35 policy documentations and 59 international agreements have been ratified.
- In the wake of two successful deals out of Mongolia, XacBank, one of the country's largest private lenders, is said to have mandated a couple of banks for a dollar-denominated global debut. The rumour has it that ING, which has featured on all of this year's Mongolian issues, would be one of the banks mandated.
Mongolia tops the charts in risky frontier markets
May 27 (Financial Times) Frontier markets do not often work better for investors than Mongolia has over the last two years. Its stock market clocked up the best returns in the world in 2010 when share prices climbed 121 per cent and it was the second-best performing bourse last year with a rise of 73 per cent.
Aside from its well performing functional stock exchange, Mongolia has a strong freely traded currency and operates a liberal regime for investors. Foreign direct investment is reported to encounter few restrictions.
The potential for realising huge gains has not gone unnoticed by fund managers. Both Singapore-based Khan Investment Management and Hong Kong-based Quam Asset Management launched Mongolia investment funds in the second half of last year.
However, neither has made the bold statement that is implicit in the most recent launch – the FMG Mongolia Fund, unveiled in January. While Khan's fund ranges across real estate, private equity and bonds and Quam's fund bases its investments on the Silk Road index that includes overseas listed companies with exposure to Mongolia, FMG is obstinately investing only in stocks listed on the Mongolian Stock Exchange, which has a tiny market capitalisation of about $1.5bn.
"Any risk you can dream of, or you've heard of, is probably here," says Johan Kahm, founder of FMG, about his new fund launch.
The stock market trades for two hours a day, five days a week, but Mr Kahm says: "It's one of these things where you can acquire shares more or less by appointment." Although there is an electronic board with quoted prices, Mr Kahm says the quotes are meaningless because there is no volume.
Instead, he says, FMG will receive a phone call from a broker and decide whether to buy or sell, having independently made a decision about what a fair price ought to be.
While FMG, an emerging market specialist, is a multi-manager and started its existence managing funds of hedge funds, Mr Kahm says there is no advantage in operating through other managers or funds in frontier markets such as Mongolia. Instead, he says, FMG sat down with some local people and went through the published information about the largest companies on the Mongolian stock exchange and chose just 10 companies for its initial investment. "We'll do more as things grow," he says.
At the moment 40 per cent of the fund's holdings are in coal mining and 60 per cent in the non-metals industry. Surprisingly, its largest holding is in a vodka and beer producer and it is one of only two holdings that Mr Kahm and the FMG team have visited.
"There are some people who think for research you've got to go out and kick tyres," says Mr Kahm. But he has learned from experience that there is little to be gained by this sort of visit. "Either they don't tell you the truth, or they tell you nothing because they're not allowed to tell you anything." Instead, he says, he prefers to read the balance sheets and find out a little bit of history about the company.
Mongolia itself has dazzling prospects. Its tiny population of less than 3m is sitting on huge deposits of coal, copper, uranium and iron. It shares a border with its largest customer, China. But Mr Khan says if China slows significantly, resources can still be sold to Russia, which Mongolia also borders, or Japan and Korea.
And improvements are also expected at the Mongolia Stock Exchange, which has hired the London Stock Exchange to help bring it up to international standards.
The FMG Mongolia fund has so far raised $500,000 on top of Mr Kahn's personal commitment of the same amount. FMG is aiming to raise $25m, mainly from wealthy private investors from whom he demands a minimum investment of $10,000. Fees are set at the typical 2 and 20 (2 per cent of assets and 20 per cent of profits), dropping to 1.5 and 10 for investments over $100,000.
Investors should not expect a hard sell, however. "I don't want anyone to invest unless they can afford to lose it, because this is high risk," says Mr Kahm. However, he points to FMG's success as an early mover in the Russia market. "The key was you had the guts to do it. That's when the money was made," he says.
MPP's candidates to the parliamentary election
May 25 (news.mn) --
Candidates by proportional list:
1. Mr. S.Batbold, Prime Minister
1. Mr. U. Khurelsukh, Secretary General of MPP
2. Mr. D.Demberel, Speaker
3. Mr. U.Enkhtuvshin, MP
4. D.Lundeejantsan, MP
5. Mr. Ts.Nyamdorj, MP, Justice and Internal Affairs Minister
6. Mr. N.Enkhbold, MP
7. Mr. Ya.Sodbaatar, Secretary of MPP
8. Mr. J.Enkhbayar, MP, Defense Minister
9. Mrs. D.Sarangerel, Secretary of MPP
10. Mr. D.Oyun-Erdene, Head of Youth organization of MPP
11. Mrs. Ts.Garamjav, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral
12. Mr. J.Sukhbaatar, MP
13. Mrs. B.Undarmaa, Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Science
14. Mr. E.Munkh-Ochir, MP
15. Mrs. B.Dolgor, Advisor of Prime Minister
16. Mrs. J.Tsolmon, Deputy Minister of Health
17. Mrs. B.Batstsetseg, Director of "Munkhiin Useg" printing company
18. Mr. Kh. Badelkhan, MP
19. Mrs. V.Udval, Deputy Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs
20. Mrs. D.Enkhchineg
21. Mrs. J.Saule, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Light Industry
22. Mrs. G.Munkhtsetseg, Head of Mongolian Writers Union
23. Mrs. D.Enkhchimeg, Director of Petrovis company
24. Mr. Sh.Radnaased, Advisor to the Secretary General of MPP
25. Mr. Ts.tsengel, MP
26. Mr. D.Dondog, MP
27. Mr. P.Bayanmunkh
Candidates by majoritarian constituencies:
1. Arkhangai- Mr. J.Munkhbat, Mr. B.Baatarbileg
2. Bayan-Ulgii- Mr. Kh,Jekei, Mr. A.Telekhan
3. Bayankhongor- Mr. G.Zandanshatar, Mrs. M.Bilegt
4. Bulgan- Mr. Yo.Otgonbayar
5. Govi-Altai- Mr. Ts.Dashdorj
6. Govisumber and Dornogovi- Mr. Ts.Anandbazar
7. Dornod- Mr.N.Nomtobayar, Mr. D.Odbayar
8. Dubdgovi- Mr. B.Amarsanaa
9. Uvurkhangai- Mr. L.Chinzorig, Mr. B.Tumurkhuu
10. Umnugovi- Mr. Kh. Badamsuren
11. Selenge- Mr. J.Erdenebat, Mrs. S.Gerelmaa
12. Sukhbaatar- Mr. R.Bud
13. Uvs- Mr. Ch.Khurelbaatar, Mr. B.Choijilsuren
14. Orkhon- Mr. O.Sodbileg, Mr. D.Damba-Ochir
15. Darkhan-Uul- Mr. D.Khayankhyarvaa, J.Sukhbaatar
16. Khentii- Mr. B.Bat-Erdene, Mr. N.Ganbyamba
17. Tuv- Mr. M.Enkhbold, Mr. S.Batbold
18. Khuvsgul- Mr. L.Enkh-Amgalan, Mr. B.Munkhbaatar
19. Zavkhan- Mrs. D.Oyunkhorol, Mr. D.Baldan-Ochir
20.Khovd- Mr. S.Byambatsogt, Mr. G.Nyamdavaa
21. Songinokhairkhan- Mr. D.Sumiyabazar, Mr. D.Tumengerel, Mr. G.Tenger
22. Bayangol- Mr. Ts.Munkh-Orgil, Mrs. L.Amgalan
23. Bayanzurkh- Mrs. D.Arvin, Mr. B.Batzorig, Mr. B,Munkhbaatar
24. Khan-Uul, Bagakhangai, Baganuur- Mr. Ts.Batbayar, Mr. B.Lkhagvajav
25. Chingeltei- Mr. D.Ochirbat, Mr. D.Zorigt
26. Sukhbaatar- Mr. Ch.Gankhuyag, Mrs. G.Tsogzolmaa
DP's candidates to the parliamentary election
May 25 (news.mn) --
Candidates by proportional list:
1. Mr. N.Altankhuyag, Leader of DP
2. Mr. Z.Enkhbold, MP
3. Mr. Kh.Temuujin, MP
4. Mr. Ch.Saikhanbileg, MP
5. Mr. D.Erdenebat, Secretary General of DP
6. Mr. Sh.Tuvdendorj, Head of City committee of DP
7. Mrs. R.Burmaa, Head of Voters Education Center
8. Mr. Ts.Bayarsaikhan, MP
9. Mrs. M.Batchimeg, Advisor for the President of Mongolia
10. Mr. B.Medree, President of Trade and Development Bank
11. Mr. L.Gansukh, MP
12. Mr. R.Gonchigdorj, MR
13. Mrs.B.Urgamaltsetseg, Secretary of DP
14. Mr. A.Gansukh, Former Depury Minister of Construction and City Planning
15. Mrs. N.Baigalmaa, Secretary of Mongolian Democratic Union
16. Mr. D.Baatarkhuyag
17. Mr. P.Baatarbek
18. Mrs. Z.Narantuya
19. Mr. J.Batbold
20. Mr. D.Bolor
21. Mrs. N.Suvdaa
22. Mr. P.Purevsuren
23. Mrs. Ts.Enkhtuya
24. Mr. B.Battuvshin
25. Mrs. B.Uuriintuya
26. Mr. N.Batbileg
27. Mrs. Ts.Oyundari, Director Mongolian National Public Television
28. Mr. N.Ariunbold
Candidates by majoritarian constituencies:
1. Arkhangai- Mr. N.Batbayar, Mr. B.Bolor
2. Bayan-Ulgii- Mrs.Ch.Kulanda, Mr. A.Bakei
3. Bayankhongor- Mr. Kh.Battulga, Mr. D.Ganbat
4. Bulgan- Mr. D.Tumenjargal
5. Govi-Altai- Mr. B.Ariunsan
6. Govisumber and Dornogovi- Mr. Ya.Batsuuri
7. Dornod- Mrs.B.Munkhtsetseg, Mr. P.Altangerel
8. Dubdgovi- Mr. B.Narankhuu
9. Uvurkhangai- Mr. G.Batkhuu, Mr. D.Zorigt
10. Umnugovi- Mr. D.Bat-Erdene
11. Selenge- Mr. S.Bayartsogt, Mr. D.Tsogt-Ochir
12. Sukhbaatar- Mr. M.Zorigt
13. Uvs- Mr. D.Nyamkhuu, Mr. B.Mendsaikhan
14. Orkhon- Mr. Kh.Zoljargal, Mr. D.Odkhuu
15. Darkhan-Uul- Mr. N.Gantulga, Mrs. B.Munkhtuya
16. Khentii- Mr. D.Khuderbaatar, Mr. B.Garangaibaatar
17. Tuv- Mr. B.Dorjpurev, Mr. G.Bayarsaikhan
18. Khuvsgul- Mr. Ts.Sedvaanchig, Mr. L.Gundalai
19. Zavkhan- Mr. L.Shinebaatar, Mr. Ya.Sanjmyatav
20.Khovd- Mr. D.Batbayar, Mr. D.Purevdorj
21. Songinokhairkhan- Mr. D.Ganbold, Mr. L.Erkhembayar, Mrs. L.Erdenechimeg
22. Bayangol- Mr. S.Erdene, Mrs. S.Odontuya
23. Bayanzurkh- Mrs. I.Narantuya, Mr. J.Batzandan, Mr. D,Gankhuyag
24. Khan-Uul, Bagakhangai, Baganuur- Mr. L.Bold, Mrs. Ts.Oyungerel
25. Chingeltei- Mr. G.Bayarsaikhan, Mr. B.Batbaatar
26. Sukhbaatar- Mr. R.Amarjargal, Mr. L.Gantumur
Mongolian FM to visit Seoul for talks to boost ties
SEOUL, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian Foreign Minister Gombojav Zandanshatar will pay an official visit to South Korea next week for talks with his South Korean counterpart, the foreign ministry here said Friday.
Zandanshatar will sit down with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan next Thursday to discuss deepening bilateral ties, such as increasing the number of flights between the two countries and enhancing cooperation in energy and resources.
His visit comes after South Korea President Lee Myung-bak visited Mongolia last year, when the leaders agreed to upgrade their relations to a "comprehensive partnership".
The Mongolian diplomat's trip, his third official visit here, will help further strengthen the friendly ties, the ministry said.
Mongolian Renewable Energy – 2012 Conference
May 25 (Mongolia Economic Forum) The conference creates a forum that brings together stakeholders in renewable energy development in Mongolia for the exchange of information, experience sharing and to discuss pressing issues facing the sector development.
2nd Coaltrans Mongolia Conference Emphasises Infrastructure
May 25 (UB Post) For the past two days, the 2nd Coaltrans conference took place in the Chinggis Khan Hotel, with delegates arriving from far and wide to discuss Mongolia's resources potential.
The clear emphasis throughout the conference was on how best to provide viable "development" and solid "sustainability" as well as clear infrastructure improvements.
Presentations such as "Developing a rail project" from Baasandorj Batzaya, CEO of "Mongolian Railway" and Steve Lewis-Workman, Senior Transport Economist at ADB, who spoke on "Creating financial partnerships to develop Mongolia's infrastructure" all focused heavily on Mongolia's desperate need to enhance infrastructure to improve productivity, something that hasn't seen major investment for the last twenty years.
Executive Director of the Business Council of Mongolia, Jim Dwyer, stated, "Sustainability is vital to Mongolia's economic future".
A view that was shared by Paulius Kuncinas, Regional Editor of Oxford Business Group as he commented: "After the Elections we hope for the Government to put out a clear long term infrastructure development plan". Kuncinas also highlighted the need to exploit the "huge investment potential for thermal energy" as well as claiming, "Nuclear Power from the Uranium sources could make Mongolia a major player in the Asian fuel market".
On the effects of coal and mining projects, John Miragliotta, of Sustainability East Asia LLC, stressed the importance to "share long term projects to local communities", this, he claimed, was an integral message of the conference. He spoke of his admiration of Peabody Energy's presentation on Wednesday detailing the reclamation of their mines. Miragliotta mentioned how Peabody's approach was "unique...highly credible" and that they are "walking the walk before they start talking the talk".
Henry Hely-Hutchinson, Managing Director of Coaltrans Conferences LTD told The UB Post: "We're very pleased with how it's gone, we've been pleased with the number of attendees and very pleased with the number of countries attending, I think we've had 25 countries. I think the speaker papers have been really good this year. I think it's obviously very interesting to have the senior coal miners here, people like Graeme Hancock, CEO of ETT and having him on the same panel as Dr. Battsengel, CEO of Mongolian Mining Corporation. There was a certain amount of positive interaction between each other which was very interesting. I also thought it was interesting and quite unusual that we covered some slightly different topics about how the coal sector may be able to develop its profitability so we had some good sessions on coal bed methane and underground coal gasification which are not classic things that people would expect. They present whole new revenue streams for the Mongolian coal industry. I would like to compare the Mongolian conference to the Mozambique one. Mozambique is also a relatively new coal market, which people haven't recognized until recently and holds large reserves that are receiving increasing interest from coal buyers. This conference gives a large number of people the opportunity to meet more and more people within the coal community in one place so I think compared with our other conferences it's done well. The Government officials who attended have been very constructive and supportive. We're very honoured in particular to have Mr Erdenepurev, such is the demand for information of coal in Mongolia, we have invited him to speak at our World Coal Conference in Istanbul in October and I'm hoping very for him to come and participate in that conference."
Next year's Coaltrans Conference is set to be held in late June.
Elders and disabled receive MNT 330,000
May 25 (UB Post) As a part of the arrangement to grant MNT 1 million to every citizen of Mongolia, the first phase is now being initiated with the elderly and disabled people of Ulaanbaatar receiving MNT 330 thousand. 272,582 elderly and disabled people have made the request expressing the wish to receive the national resource shares in cash. In total, MNT 334 billion will be distributed to elderly and disabled citizens. The handout started to be distributed through branches of the Savings Banks on May 23th.
In accordance with the law on the 2012 budget of the Human Development Fund and in compliance with the Parliamentary resolution 53, 1 million MNT will be handed out to the elderly and disabled people in this first phase. The government decided to distribute this cash handout by dividing it into three portions by month; April, May and June. In the 2012 budget of the Human Development Fund it was pre-estimated that 334.2 thousand elderly and disabled people would receive cash handouts.
"The decision to grant cash, divided into three parts, was made on the basis of financial income and potential and if the government was to give MNT 1 million all at once, the inflation rate could be increased. We plan to finish distributing cash handouts to the people within June" said Prime Minister S.Batbold when he visited one of the Savings Bank branches in order to be shown the procedure being used to distribute the cash.
Spring Session of the Parliament Takes Break
May 25 (UB Post) The Parliament Speaker D.Demberel announced a break in the parliamentary spring session on Wednesday. He explained the session breaks due to the upcoming election and closed the session on the accomplishments of the Parliament.
Within a period of four years from 2008 to 2012, a total of 111 independent laws have been established, 484 legislation amendments have been made. An additional 350 resolutions, 35 policy documentations and 59 international agreements have been ratified.
Economic growth reached 17% in the previous year, whereas growth is expected to increase up to 19% in the following year. The overall state budget should reach 7.5 trillion MNT. Four years ago, this number was at 2.1 trillion MNT. The budget framework for 2013 and the vision of the years 2014-2015 were recently ratified.
Building improvement projects have been actively administered in Mongolia with 3 trillion MNT worth of investment was made in a period of 4 years. A total of 1,486 km length of paved roads has been built and the construction work for another 1,456 km road has started. Also, 120 sub-power plants with 5,634 km long voltage lines have been established. The Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi strategic mines have been launched into economic turnover. A substantial foundation was also established for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).
Over the past few years, significant improvements have been made in the livelihood of Mongolian citizens. Economic promotion has been effectively used to strengthen the market condition. In the past three years, 40 billion MNT has been allotted for animal husbandry product promotion and almost 50 billion MNT has been allotted for agricultural promotion. Mongolia has started to domestically supply its own crops of potatoes and vegetables.
The average salary was at 250 thousand MNT in 2008, whereas this number has doubled, becoming 500 thousand MNT. The monthly salary of state servants has increased from 300 thousand MNT, reaching 630 thousand MNT. The pension of senior citizens has increased 2.2 times, with the minimum amount being at 80 thousand MNT in 2008 and now reaching 180 thousand MNT. Students are receiving a monthly stipend of 70 thousand MNT. The promise of allotting 1.5 million MNT to citizens is being realized. Also, another 250,000 people gained new employment.
By establishing new diplomatic relations with 13 countries, Mongolia now has diplomatic relations with 163 countries in the world. Diplomatic relations are being established with many other countries. The Parliament of Mongolia expresses its gratitude for countries and international organizations that have supported democracy in Mongolia and have aided the development of our country.
At the closing of the session, MPs heard a draft resolution of parliament on taking some territories under the special state protection, as well as draft amendments to the laws on the government of Mongolia, on the State Great Khural or parliament and on the regime of parliamentary session. The MPs additionally discussed some ten draft resolutions.
Harris & Moure Announces New Office in Mongolia
Seattle-based international law firm Harris & Moure, pllc has announced the opening of its newest office in Ulaanbaatar.
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) May 26, 2012
International law firm Harris & Moure, pllc has announced the opening of its newest office in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a move that will further establish the firm's significant Asian presence.
Managing partner Charles Moure explains that the Mongolia office is a logical next step for Harris & Moure, which already has lawyers officed in Beijing and Qingdao, and which regularly assists clients doing business in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
"As one of the first U.S. law firms to enter Mongolia," says Mr. Moure, "we are excited to grow our practice in this fast-growing emerging market."
Heading up Harris & Moure's Mongolia office is attorney Russell Murphy, who has extensive experience working as an attorney, investor, and entrepreneur with early-stage and middle-market companies in North America and Asia. Mr. Murphy's areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, business entity formation, and intellectual property protection.
"Russell is an ideal leader for our Mongolia practice," says Mr. Moure. "His deep roots in international business, combined with his familiarity with the Mongolian market, make him an extremely valuable resource for clients doing business in or with Mongolia." Mr. Murphy has been handling Mongolian legal and business matters since 2006.
Harris & Moure has earned international recognition for its expertise in foreign business law and for its award-winning China Law Blog. The firm looks forward to developing the breadth of its Asian practice in the years ahead.
"Developing countries such as Mongolia are becoming major players in the global economy," explains Mr. Moure. "Harris & Moure's Ulaanbaatar office embodies our commitment to helping our clients thrive in these burgeoning markets."
Vetting presidents, setting precedence
May 25 (UB Post) Tense and emotional, confused and distressed, angry and shocked, these words fail to describe the sentiments of the early morning crowd gathered outside of N. Enkbayar's home on April 13th, the day the former president of Mongolia was arrested.
I was at the airport when the first arrest attempts were made, waiting for my brother to arrive from America. I became curious about the event as I watched a mob of people gravitate toward a flat screen television hooked to the wall. The television was fixed to a news channel showing live images of policemen holding back a crowd and covering themselves with their riot shields.
Puzzled as to what was going on, I asked my Mongolian friend whom I had come to the airport with what all the commotion was about. She walked over to the television and stood with the crowd for a moment, read the caption on the bottom of the screen. She came back a few minutes later to inform me that the ex-president of Mongolia, N. Enkbayar, was being arrested.
After spending nearly a month in jail and going on a hunger strike in which he lost 16kg, Enkbayar was released on bail by the Sukhbaatar District court. Many believe his release was heavily aided by international pressure, through groups like Amnesty International and the UN, who cried foul play when the details of the arrest surfaced. With parliamentary elections soon to take place, an election cycle Enkbayar plans to participate in, the arrest and the publicity could not have come at a worse time.
There seems to be a trend this year in executive arrests, a trend that some see as dangerous and others see as necessary. In February, the Maldives issued an arrest warrant for Mohamed Nasheed, a founder of the Maldivian Democratic Party and former president of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012. A political prisoner during his youth, the reasoning behind this call to be taken into custody is still unclear.
In March, the Malawi government arrested Austin Atupele Muluzi, son of former President Bakili Muluzi. Guinea-Bissau's interim president Raimundo Pereira was arrested at his home in April. Also in April, Malian soldiers began arresting allies of ousted President Amadou Toumani, after a coup that forced him into hiding. While some of these cases differ from the recent Mongolian situation, common themes and the possibility of future scenarios are frighteningly clear.
In the United States, the term "executive privilege" is used to describe the ability of the President and close members of his or her branch to resist certain types of intrusion from the judicial and legislative branches of the government. While governmental systems differ around the globe, I will use this term to define a president or prime minister's ability to defy arrest.
To be a president is to naturally be the one to take blame for everything. A citizen lost his or her job? It's your fault. The economy's performance is lackluster? You'd better fix it. Some people feel they don't have the same rights as others? Again; your fault. The roads in some faraway city are deteriorating? You should be fixing this. Foreigners are investing in your country? How dare they! There's a drought? It must be because you forgot to make it rain. The hot water isn't working? You should have heated the water yourself. Someone got hit by a car? You should have added more traffic lights. Someone is overweight? Stop feeding them candy.
The need for executive privilege arises from all these scenarios. It is easy to blame a president for anything and everything that went wrong during his or her term. The need for executive privilege is anchored by the fact that being president is a double-edged sword. Lives are taken into your hands, peoples livelihoods depend on you, and the things you do or say can affect your country's economic outlook during your term and for decades after. This coupled with the fact that the ears of a former president have been filled with sensitive information regarding a variety of subjects only adds to the argument for executive privilege.
Executive privilege can also be a dangerous thing. There are many scenarios that have been played out globally in which a president took advantage of their position. This can cost lives, produce economic turmoil and create unnecessary wars. Executive privilege creates a situation where bringing warranted justice to a president is difficult, generating gross circumstances in regards to accountability. If presidents are not held accountable for certain types of offenses, then the very foundations of democracy and justice fracture.
If executive privilege is not administered, problems also arise for former presidents when the incoming government is that of a political rival. Regardless of true intent or bona fide evidence, this snag in the democratic process makes it difficult to bring presidents to justice, whether they are guilty or not. After all, all current presidents wanting to bring former presidents to justice should remember that they too will be former presidents at some point. The sword of supposed justice caters to no man.
With many global news organizations mentioning how Enkbayar's arrest has poked holes in the Mongolian democratic system, the elections this summer should prove to be interesting. Democracy is always in a process of experiencing growing pains, as the whims of the people changes daily and this whim can help or hurt the future prospects of a country. Since a president is a person, he or she falls too into this category.
Presidents should be held accountable for decisions made during their time in office; otherwise, nothing will separate a president from a king besides the term limits. However, due process is a right afforded to all citizens of a democratic nation, a right that must extend to the president. In Mongolia's case, the fact that Enkbayar was taken into custody in such a forceful way added international pressure where international pressure wasn't needed. This pressure has built over the last month, and is waiting in the rafters like hungry media dogs for the predicted political explosion this summer. If Mongolia can learn or modify anything from this recent experience, it will be to take things lightly this summer. And if power changes hands, seeking revenge will only exacerbate an already ugly situation. Revenge never helps anyone in the long run.
Mistakes are constantly made in the democratic process. If more politicians and citizens recognize and embrace this, changes to the system are possible and these modifications only enhance the outcome of the system. If discussions are greeted by anger and resentment, the spiral downward only hastens the possibility for revenge politics and outward violence. While executive privilege is a good thing, it must not be used as a shield to shelter presidents from responsibility and accountability. Democracy is secured by justice, and once these strings begin to unravel, whatever it was democracy was protecting us from becomes chillingly apparent.
Amnesty International Annual Report 2012
Head of state: Tsakhia Elbegdorj
Head of government: Batbold Sukhbaatar
Death penalty: retentionist
Population: 2.8 million
Life expectancy: 68.5 years
Under-5 mortality: 28.8 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 97.5 per cent
Parliament continued to debate abolishing the death penalty, although a moratorium was declared in 2010. No executions had taken place since 2009. Impunity for torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread. Corruption in the justice system was reportedly commonplace.
In late 2010, the Prosecution Office reopened investigations into the cases of four senior police officials, accused of authorizing the use of live ammunition to suppress the riot which broke out in Ulaanbaatar on 1 July 2008. The original investigation yielded no prosecutions.
Bat Khurts, Chief Executive of Mongolia's National Security Council, who was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London in 2010, was extradited to Germany in August 2011 but was released in September after the German Federal High Court cancelled the arrest warrant. Bat Khurts was wanted in connection with the kidnapping in France of Mongolian national Enkhbat Damiran in 2003. According to the UK High Court ruling, a letter delivered to the German Public Prosecutor from the Mongolian authorities in January asserted that Bat Khurts had participated in the kidnapping. He returned in September and was later appointed Deputy Chief of the Independent Authority Against Corruption of Mongolia.
Complaints of torture and other ill-treatment against law enforcement officials did not, according to available information, result in any convictions. As in previous years, the government did not publish information and statistics on investigations, prosecutions and convictions of law enforcement officials accused of torture and other ill-treatment.
There were no executions. According to the Supreme Court of Mongolia, use of the death penalty was declining. The President commuted all death sentences of those who appealed for clemency to 30 year prison terms. Parliament did not vote on ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aimed at abolishing the death penalty.
The government passed a resolution in May on the implementation of recommendations issued by UN treaty bodies. This included plans to amend the Criminal Code to define torture as a crime in line with the UN Convention against Torture. The working group, established under the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs in 2010 to draft amendments to the Criminal Code, appeared to make little progress. The pre-trial detention facility 461, which opened in early 2011, had installed video cameras in interrogation rooms but there were insufficient safeguards or procedures in place to monitor and prevent misuse of this equipment.
A working group, set up in June 2010 by the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Human Rights, continued to investigate allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of Enkhbat Damiran and his lawyer. Enkhbat Damiran was kidnapped in France in 2003 and brought to Mongolia where he was charged with the murder of Zorig Sanjaasuren, a prominent pro-democracy activist and politician. Enkhbat Damiran claimed he was tortured while in detention. He died in 2007. His lawyer, Lodoisambuu Sanjaasuren (no relation to the victim), was also arrested and convicted of exposing state secrets.
Lawyers and government officials told Amnesty International that courts were corrupt and unfair trials common – including those that used confessions extracted through torture as evidence. The new pre-trial detention facility 461 and others like it lacked provisions to ensure privacy for meetings with lawyers.
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
Senior Client Manager / Executive Director
CPS International LLC
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