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.
975 trading +1.7% at HK$5.33 in early minutes of trading
MMC: THE GOVERNMENT OF MONGOLIA SIGNED THE CONCESSION AGREEMENT FOR RAILWAY BASE INFRASTRUCTURE
May 31, Mongolian Mining Corporation (HK:975) --
The board of directors (the “Board”) of Mongolian Mining Corporation (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that on 31 May 2012, the Government of Mongolia (the “Government”), represented by the Ministry of Road, Transportation, Construction, and Urban Development of Mongolia, the State Property Committee, and the Railway Authority of Mongolia has signed the concession agreement with Energy Resources LLC (“ER”), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, and Energy Resources Rail LLC (“ERR”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Resources LLC (the “Concession Agreement”) to build and operate the railway base infrastructure between Ukhaa Khudag coking coal mine and Gashuun Sukhait border check point of Mongolia (the “UHG-GS Railway”).
The major terms under the Concession Agreement are as follows:
1) ERR has been granted a right to construct the UHG-GS Railway;
2) ERR has been granted a right to operate the UHG-GS Railway for a period up to 19 years from the date of the commissioning of the railway base infrastructure;
3) The UHG-GS Railway will be built using a 1,520 millimeter gauge;
4) Upon expiration of the concession term, ER shall transfer 51% of its shareholding in ERR to the Government in accordance with the conditions set forth in the Concession Agreement; and
5) Upon transfer 51% of its shareholding in ERR to the Government, ER has an option to swap certain portion of the remaining shares in ERR for 10 percent of shares in a state owned company, which will own an integrated railway base structure network between Sainshand – Tavantolgoi – Ukhaa Khudag – Gashuun Sukhait.
The UHG-GS Railway is expected to increase efficiency and reliability of the coal transportation of the Company while bringing further reduction in cost of transportation to the Company. Moreover, the railway is expected to improve safety in coal transportation operations and significantly reduce negative impact on the environment.
The Company will make further announcements on the progress of our railway construction in line with internal and external disclosure guidelines and regulations.
Shareholders and potential investors of securities of the Company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the Company.
AKM trading -5.71% at 16.5c at time of writing
Aspire Delivers Positive Ovoot Pre-Feasibility Study
May 31, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX:AKM) --
• Ovoot Project Pre-Feasibility Study confirms robust economics for a large, long life open pit coking coal project with an Internal Rate of Return of 43%
• Maiden JORC code compliant reserve confirms Ovoot as third largest coking coal reserve in Mongolia
• High value deposit driven by Life of Mine (LOM) 82% average conversion of Run of Mine (ROM) tonnes to a 100% high quality coking coal product
• ROM production of 185 million tonnes (Mt), producing 153 Mt of coking coal over 15 years to be mined as a contract mining operation
• Using an average long term coking coal price of US$2001 per tonne the average LOM EBITDA is US$681 per tonne
• LOM project operating costs of US$1181 per tonne excluding royalties and assuming 50\50 sales at FOB Russian Far East Port and into China
• Project to be developed in two stages
o Stage 1 capital expenditure of US$565 M including a 20% contingency (excluding Northern Railways rail infrastructure)
o Stage 2 mining capital expenditure of US$710 M including a contingency of 20% (including 222 km Rail Spur Line from Ovoot to Moron)
• The PFS assumes completion of the Multi-user rail line extending the TransMongolian railway at Erdenet through to Moron by 2016. A separate Rail PreFeasibility Study for this line has been approved by the Mongolian Rail Authority and Northern Railways LLC are in discussions with potential financiers to fund this line
• Optimisation opportunities identified to further enhance economics and unlock strategic project value
1 In 2012 real dollars
Aspire Managing Director David Paull said: “As the 100% owner of the Ovoot Coking Coal Project, Aspire is ideally placed to be the leader in unlocking the emerging northern Mongolian coal province. The positive PFS underpins our vision of developing a large scale coking coal mine and associated rail infrastructure.”
“Within a relatively short time period, Aspire has defined a globally significant coal project capable of producing high quality coking coal to meet long term regional consumption requirements. The PFS results validate our progress to date, but also identify significant operational optimisation and project upside.”
“Aspire remains well positioned to maximise shareholder value through the ongoing advancement of the Ovoot Project through exploration, reserve growth and a focus on the supporting rail development,” Mr Paull said.
276 trading flat at HK$0.52 in early minutes
James Schaeffer Retires as CEO of Mongolia Energy Corporation
May 31, Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (HK:276) --
The Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (“MEC” or the “Company”) announces that Mr. James J. Schaeffer, Jr. will retire from the office of Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 June 2012. He will continue to provide strategic and technical advice to MEC as a strategic adviser effective on the same date.
Mr. Schaeffer joined us in 2007 overseeing the technical and business development of our newly acquired resources projects in Mongolia. The Khushuut Coal Mine was at its inception stage by then. With his dedication and leadership, the Khushuut Coal Mine came into commercial production at last, bringing us to a new chapter of development.
Mr. Schaeffer confirms that he has no disagreement with the Board and that he is not aware of any matters relating to his retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the Company’s shareholders. The retirement of Mr. Schaeffer will not affect the management of the Company as we have already set up a professional team in Hong Kong and Mongolia, together with the help of external experts, for the mining and exploration operation, and they will continue to be led by Ms. Yvette Ong. The Board hereby expresses its gratitude to Mr. Schaeffer for his contribution to MEC over the past years.
In addition, the Board is please to announce that Ms. Ong, aged 47, the current Executive Director, will be appointed as Managing Director of the Company. She has been a Director to the Company since 27 September 1999. Ms. Ong is responsible for providing leadership for the management, implementing strategies and overseeing the operations of the Company. Ms. Ong has over 20 years of experience in business management. She holds a MBA degree in Management Information Systems and Marketing and a Bachelor degree in Finance and Management from the University of San Francisco.
Ms. Ong has not held any directorship in other listed companies in the last three years and does not have any relationship with any other directors, senior management, substantial or controlling shareholders (as defined in the Listing Rules) of the Company. There is no service contract entered into between the Company and Ms. Ong. However, she has an agreement with a subsidiary of the Company, which is terminable by either party by giving to the other not less than three months’ notice in writing.
In addition, Ms. Ong is subject to retirement by rotation and re-election at the annual general meeting of the Company in accordance with the Bye-laws. She was censured by the Listing Committee of the Stock Exchange for breach of the Listing Rules as announced on 28 October 2010 and she completed the required training course in April 2011. The annual remuneration of Ms. Ong is approximately HK$2,475,000 comprising the annual salary and benefits in kind, and contributions to pension schemes, which is determined in accordance with the policy reviewed by the remuneration committee of the Company.
Ms. Ong holds 5,500,000 share options under the Share Option Scheme and 1,090,000 Shares of the Company. Apart from this, she has no other interest of the Company which is required to be notified to the Company and the Stock Exchange under Part XV of the SFO. Save as disclosed above, there is no other matter that need to be brought to the attention of the Shareholders and there is no information to be disclosed pursuant to any of the requirements of the provisions under Rules 13.51(2)(h) to 13.51(2)(v) of the Listing Rules.
ABOUT LAW ON BANNING MINERAL EXTRACTION (in water basins, forests, …)
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia /MONTSAME/ On Wednesday, the cabinet members got acquainted with an implementation course of the law on banning mineral exploration and exploitation on and near riverheads, reserved areas with ponds, and with forests.
For the time being, 242 licenses for gold deposits have been suspended--69 of them have been fully canceled, and 36 have been annulled partly.
Boundaries for the areas, owned by 1,400 licenses except placer deposits of gold, have been set. At the next cabinet meeting, the final boundaries are expected to be approved, and issues will be considered such as suspending/canceling the licenses, and compensations. The Minister of Environment and Tourism D.Tsogtbaatar added that this law is becoming intensive.
The cabinet also discussed matters on erecting blocks on the deposit areas, doing a rehabilitation, intensifying the environmental monitoring. Then a decision was made to take some areas into state reserves for five years.
As of present, 14 per cent territories of Mongolia have been owned by special licenses. Approximately 20 per cent of lands that are eligible for special licenses has been taken into the state reserves. It means that these lands are to serve as a platform for geological studies and research works funded by the state budget.
TALKS ON JAPAN-MONGOLIA ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT TO LAUNCH SOON
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, May 31 /MONTSAME/ A first negotiation for establishing the Economic partnership agreement between Mongolia and Japan will take place on June 4-7 in Ulaanbaatar.
About This matter was agreed by S.Batbold PM and Noda Yoshihiko, Japan's PM, on March 12 in Japan.
The agreement is supposed to cover many aspects such as trade of goods and services, rules on origin, customs activity rules, investments, intellectual property, competitiveness policy, collaboration, business environment improvement, technological ban and quarantine in trade, and plants quarantine.
At the negotiation, the Japanese side will be chaired by Shinichi Nishimiya, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Mongolian--by V.Enkhbold, the Ambassador-at-Large of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.
The Economic partnership agreement is expected not only to contribute to strengthening of the trade and economic relations between the two countries, but also to develop their Strategic partnership ties.
OSCE LEADERS TO VISIT
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, May 31 /MONTSAME/ A delegation of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) headed by Mr. Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE Secretary-General, and Eoin Oleary, a head of the permanent mission of the Republic of Ireland that is serving as the OSCE chairperson, will pay a working visit to Mongolia on June 3-6.
This visit is the follow-up of Mongolia's official request to become a participating state of the OSCE.
During the visit, the OSCE authorities will meet with the Premier S.Batbold and other officials such as G.Zandanshatar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; J.Enkhbayar, the Minister of Defense; E.Monkh-Ochir, a head of the parliamentary Standing committee on security and foreign policy.
In addition, the OSCE Secretary-General Mr. Zannier will leg the Institute of Strategic Studies to give a lecture on the OSCE's activities.
The first pilot wastewater treatment plant with integrated wood production opened in Mongolia
UFZ researchers are developing new concepts for the combination of ecological wastewater treatment and energy production.
Darkhan/Leipzig, May 31 (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research) Long winters with low temperatures of -40°C and extended hot and dry periods with sand storms are significant challenges for people and infrastructure in Mongolia. Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) the MoMo - project (Integrated Water Resource Management in Central Asia: Model region Mongolia (MoMo) is focused on identifying appropriate water management solutions to the vast and sparsely populated and resource rich nation.
One task of the researchers is to identify an integrated concept for decentralised wastewater treatment and to test it in local Mongolian conditions. Last week the decentralised wastewater pilot plant with integrated wood production was commissioned and handed over to the Mongolian University of Technology in Darkhan. The innovative concept was developed with the cooperation of Mongolian and German partners in order to contribute in solving the following three problems that face Mongolia: the lack of appropriate sanitation; increasing water scarcity and deforestation caused by a high demand of heating materials.
Yurts, yaks and Chingis Khaan, these are the first things that come to mind when you think of Mongolia. This vast country with the lowest population density world wide is a land of contrasts. Since political change in the 1990’s a third of the population have lived in poverty. Recently, mining activities have lead to an increase in economic growth. This increased wealth can be seen in the urban centres while significant poverty issues persist in the fast growing suburbs as traditional herders choose to migrate to move away from their traditional lifestyle.
This dynamic change in population pattern is a challenge to infrastructure delivery including appropriate sanitation in the urban and peri-urban areas. Meanwhile the poor status of the existing sanitation systems represents serious risks for environmental and human health.
Professor Dietrich Borchardt (MoMo-project leader, UFZ) and Prof Dorlingsuren Lkhanag, the director of the MUST University opened a research pilot plant which is a component of the second phase of the MoMo research project. The project involves researchers, private organisations and Ministerial Departments from Mongolia and Germany to develop an integrated water resources management concept for the Kharaa basin.
The basin lies in the north of Mongolia and incorporates the city of Darkhan which has a very low annual level of precipitation of 280 mm. Continued logging and grazing pressure is leading to increased deforestation in the region. Willow stands along the Kharaa river floodplain have been heavily impacted, which has lead to the loss of important ecological services.
The harsh Mongolian climate provides several significant challenges to drinking and wastewater infrastructure with pipework required to be between 3.5 and 4.5 m below surface in order to avoid freezing. In addition, the biological treatment step common too many conventional wastewater treatment plants require heating or additional housing. This leads to significant cost increases, which are often unaffordable in Mongolia.
This combination of environmental, social and demographic conditions together with old and unreliable infrastructures represents a large challenge for the development of appropriate wastewater treatment technologies.
The proposed solution of the research group from Leipzig is to pre-treat wastewater for irrigating and the production of willow trees. The irrigation of such rotating coppice is an integral part of the treatment process while also providing an important resource. There are large amounts of available space in Mongolia which can be used for the treatment of wastewater from suburbs or small settlements. The research program focuses on water quality requirements for sustainable irrigation which considers risks associated with groundwater and soil contamination. The research also considers the extreme climatic conditions such as the storage of the irrigation water and the operation of the plant during winter.
Results of the research work in Mongolia will contribute to optimising the system and identifying its feasibility as an important component of an IWRM at a wider regional scale.
Mongolia will be one of the few countries to possess a satellite
May 31 (UB Post) This year is the 31st anniversary of the Mongolian First Flight into space. Mongolia is very proud about being the tenth country to send its own astronaut into space. Mongolia is still trying to develop cosmology further and is working to have its own satellite. A joint forum and exhibition of Japanese and Mongolian Cosmology was held on May 29 and 30 by the Information, Communications, Technology and Post Authority of Mongolia (ICTPAM) with the purpose to promote and introduce cosmologic technology. As Japan is one of the leading countries in this field, they agreed to cooperated with Mongolia.
The research work of the procedure for satellite launching was introduced to journalists for the first time in the forum and exhibition by ICTPAM. The aim of the event was to inform the public about cosmologic technology, to prepare professional personnel and to connect citizens with vocational training schools. Cosmologic technology is an effective method to improve global issues such as international communication system and the forecasting of long term weather. Only 50 of all countries worldwide have their own satellites and moreover Mongolia is planning to launch its own satellite by 2015. It will benefit the communication, economy and technology fields of Mongolia greatly.
In the exhibition, 17 Mongolian and Japanese communication companies introduced their activities and products. For the event, the student and pupil winners of an essay and a painting competition on the subject of ‘The National Satellite Influences on Our Life’ were awarded. First prize went to 4th grade pupil of 33rd School M.Tengis in the painting competition and in the essay competition 11th grade pupil of ‘Jargalan’ Complex School Amarbat. The art creations of the competitions and models of spacecraft were displayed in the exhibition too.
Teachers Development Institute Re-opens
May 31 (UB Post) The government decided to re-establish the Teacher’s Institute for Higher Learning which was closed down two decades ago. The opening ceremony for the Teacher’s Palace was held on May 29th. It was designed to provide opportunities for teachers to improve their education, teaching techniques and ability so that they might better the quality of education provided by schools, universities and colleges in Mongolia. The Minister of Education Culture and Science Yo.Otgonbayar built the establishment with a donation of 6.1 billion MNT from the Japanese government.
The Teacher’s Palace has five centres for teaching development, two study halls and a conference room large enough for over two hundred people.
During the opening ceremony, Prime Minister S.Batbold stated, “The most important sector to Mongolia’s development is the education sector. Though the Oyutolgoi and Tavantolgoi mines pay a large part in Mongolia’s development, the minds of the Mongolian nation is the biggest resource we have. The duty and role of a teacher is vitally important to bringing up educated and able citizens. I hope the Teacher’s Developmental Palace will become the national developmental palace.”
Teachers and student planted trees in front of the establishment during its opening to symbolise its growth. The establishment is to become the national centre for teaching development and branches will be established in other provinces, districts and regions. In the future, 31 national and 3 international laboratories in schools will be established under the Teacher Developmental Institute. It is projected that in the academic year of 2014-2015 the Mongolian educational standard will reach a new level and in the academic year of 2017-2018 there will be a third party evaluation from the University of Cambridge, England, bringing Mongolian education to international levels.
The Minister of Education Culture and Science Yo.Otgonbayar noted, “New laws have been passed that will provide free health and medical care to teachers. The salary of teachers has been increased and a housing project to build a teacher’s town in Buyant-Ukhaad has been approved and drafts of its design and plan are ready. The financing has also been arranged.”
During the opening of the Teacher Development Palace, an elementary teacher of school no 84 S.Tungalag stated, “I have been anticipating its completion for a long time. We teachers have a duty to our students to educate with knowledge as well as morals and to do that we have to be knowledgeable, educated and wise ourselves. I think the Teacher Development Institute will greatly benefit and improve the standard of education in Mongolia.”
The Growing Vegetarian & Vegan Culture in Mongolia
May 31 (UB Post) In 1991, Russia cut off all aid to Mongolia causing a severe economic crisis. Mongolia had little to no access to fruits or vegetables for many years, forcing many Mongolians to experience serious hunger. The traditional diet of meat, milk and flour helped many people through the crisis.
The traditional Mongolian plate is heavily based off of six meats: beef, horse, camel, goat, sheep/mutton, and yak. Mongolian dishes must contain foods with higher calories and vitamins due to the cold, dry and windy weather. Meat is not only the most suitable staple to the Mongolian diet, but also, historically, the most available.
Even more than meat, Mongolian’s diet focuses heavily on creative variations of dairy products. According to Eurasianet (June 2010), traditionally, milk is seen as sacred. Women in the countryside and urban apartments make offerings to the sky with milk, tossing a spoonful in the four cardinal directions every morning. With this milk, they then make many variations including; dried curd (aaruul), yoghurt (tarag, aarts), cream that forms on top of boiled milk (orom), dried cheese (eetsgii), home-brewed vodka made from aarts (nermel), melted butter from curds and orom (shar tos), cottage cheese (byaslag), fermented mare’s milk (airag). Airag is often further distilled to produce a Mongolian vodka (shimiin arkhi).
Over the past decade, international trade relations have developed, specifically with China. Markets are growing and flourishing with a greater variety of foreign fruits and vegetables. With the development of technology and internet access, there is a constantly escalating access of information about healthy diets and nutrition.
Undral Tumurkhuyag, the official contact of Loving Hut Association in Mongolia, shared that most new comers to vegetarianism are hearing about it on the television and the internet. The awareness of health and a balanced diet is becoming more important and many homes focus to have at least half the plate filled with vegetables.
In 2006, Ananda’s Café opened as the first vegetarian restaurant in Mongolia. It’s quickly caught on, and today there are over 20 vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. Every year, more and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants are opening throughout Mongolia. One of the most recent restaurants, the Vegan Lounge, opened in May of 2011. Of the 130 Loving Hut Restaurants throughout the world, 25 are in Mongolia, specifically with 15 in Ulaanbaatar. There are currently 2,500 vegans in Mongolia. It is unsure how many vegetarians are in Mongolia.
As a vegan for five years, Undraa explains that the Loving Hut’s Association’s biggest goal for Mongolians is to not only eat vegan but to also live vegan and organic. “In Mongolia, we have so much land, yet most of our fruits and vegetables are coming from China. We should plant our own vegetables in our own soil... In fact, right now, many of our association members are planting sea-buckthorn seeds. They are planting sea-buckthorn by their own hands. Then hope to sell the fruit to the people and get people to consume organic, Mongolian fruit.” Undraa also promoted many benefits for Mongolians to convert to vegan or even vegetarianism.
Vegetarianism is becoming a trend in Ulaanbaatar. People are turning to vegetarianism in reaction to the extreme meat consumption and becoming conscious of healthy diets and meditation. Spiritually, “by eating meat, we gain a lot of bad karma and retribution. Following veganism (not only food but also the clothes and products one uses), we will not gain bad karma. Killing any animal is never right,” explains Undraa. Most vegan and vegetarian restaurant owners in UB are Mongolians following Christian or Buddhist spiritual movements.
Many new vegan and vegetarian restaurants focus on soy-based meat substitutes to copy traditional Mongolian dishes such as buuz, huushur, bantaan and tsoivan. Luna Blanca sells frozen-faux mutton dumplings in local supermarkets. Lastly, Undraa explained that most customers are surprised at how easy and energetic vegan diets make you feel. “It’s very soft. Meat is heavy and hard on our bodies and vegan is more comfortable in our bellies. Most of our customers eat vegan because it’s healthy or often because they have diabetes, then choose to eat vegan…If regular meat eaters decide to become vegan, of course, it’s very difficult. But if you sincerely wish it, becoming a vegan is very easy and healthy.”
Why not try it, or even just cut back? Right now in Mongolia, the meat cost is high. It’s beneficial to become a vegan in our economy and Loving Hut, along with many other restaurants and organizations, agree on how much more energetic and healthy it will make you feel. Although traditionally, many Mongolians believe meat is essential to fatten up in the winter, it’s really not necessary in the progressive day and age.
Some vegan and vegetarian restaurants in UB include: Luna Blanca, The Vegan Lounge, Soyolj, Tsengel khairkhan, and 15 of the 25 Loving Hut locations throughout Mongolia.
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
Senior Client Manager / Executive Director
CPS International LLC
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