Wednesday, February 27, 2013

[Entree shares tumble but no formal notice received, Rio/Mongolia Showdown: Part II today, and Elbegdorj says Draft Minerals Law is for autumn session]

CoverMongolia NewsWire

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Blue Wolf Mongolia Countdown: 53 days left till liquidation


Update: It's "Ulaanbaatar" not "Ulan Bator" Petition

February 25 (Mogi) 243 signatures since 20 February 2013

I've recently learned that names of places and people, and many other terms, are dictated by the Associated Press' Stylebook, basically a spelling manual for journalists, and not the authors of news articles. So I've started aiming the petition at AP as well.

Link to petition (Please sign up if you haven't)


Update: It's "Chinggis Khaan" not "Genghis Khan" Petition

February 28 (Mogi) 106 signatures since 24 February 2013

I think it's only fair if Mongolians themselves write Chinggis Khaan on their airports, on their vodkas, and on their cash bills that maybe the rest of the world can too. Genghis just doesn't accurately portray how the founder of it all is called.

But, a few other things I've learned and from comments I received, is that Kh in Khaan also doesn't actually portray how the word is called, and I've started to think about it a little bit. Soon I realized that Russia also spells UB as Улан Батор and also their h sounds Kh, like Mikhael. So, yeah, I blame the Russians. Sorry мои друзья!

Once you realize this a few possible and perhaps better variations came up. Like Chingis, Chinghis and Haan. Buuuut, maybe that's a battle for later.

Link to petition (Please sign up if you haven't)


Entree Gold Statement Regarding Mining Licences in Mongolia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2013) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") has recently become aware of reports in Mongolia regarding the status of Shivee Tolgoi mining licence #15226A and Javhlant mining licence #15225A. At this time, the Company has not received formal notification from any government agency regarding the status of the licences and is seeking clarification.

The Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant mining licences are subject to a joint venture with Oyu Tolgoi LLC, a Mongolian company jointly owned by the Government of Mongolia and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. Under the joint venture, Entrée retains a 20% interest in the production from the mining licences, while Oyu Tolgoi LLC has the remaining 80% interest. Oyu Tolgoi LLC is currently developing the world class Oyu Tolgoi mining complex in southern Mongolia.

The Company will continue to investigate this matter and advise our shareholders accordingly.

Link to release


EGI fell 10.56% in NY, 10% in Toronto

Mongolia Pulls Entree Permit in Oyu Tolgoi Saying Invalid

February 27 (Bloomberg)  Entree Gold Inc.'s licenses in Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi deposit, the world's biggest copper and gold project under construction, were withdrawn because the government said they were authorized incorrectly in 2009.

Entree Gold in 2009 upgraded its exploration permits to mining licenses, the mining ministry said yesterday in a statement on its website. The award of a mining license can only be granted by the Mineral Resource Authority, not the mining ministry, and is therefore invalid, according to the statement.

"The current mining minister has annulled the 2009 resolution and transferred the matter to the Mineral Resource Authority," according to the statement. Entree is 23.6 percent owned by Rio Tinto GroupMona Forster, a spokeswoman for Entree said by telephone yesterday.

Rio, the world's second-largest mining company, controls 66 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi venture and Mongolia's government the rest. Mongolia President Tsakhia Elbegdorj this month said it wants more control of the project and requested Rio transfer all licenses connected to the mine to the joint venture. Rio is meeting with Mongolian officials today to discuss the project.

In 2010, Mongolia stopped issuing new licenses beyond the existing 2,253 exploration licenses and 1,255 mining licenses, pending revision of the country's mineral laws.

Entree, based in Vancouver, is investigating reports that its licenses were canceled, Forster said. An Entree official in Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator said he wasn't authorized to comment.

Entree fell 10 percent to 45 Canadian cents at the close in Toronto. The shares have tumbled 66 percent in the past 12 months.

Link to article


TRQ recovered from -3% to close -1.07% in NY

Rio Tinto Said to Clash With Mongolia Ahead of Meeting

February 26 (Bloomberg) Rio Tinto Group's crucial meeting with Mongolia tomorrow follows weeks of disputes over control of the world's biggest copper and gold mine under construction, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Financing for the $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine runs out in three days and tomorrow's talks to extend the funding come amid allegations of unpaid taxes, and frozen and then unfrozen bank accounts that raise doubts about the project's future.

Mongolia's government blocked some of London-based Rio's bank accounts in the capital Ulan Bator over unpaid tax claims, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn't public. The accounts were unfrozen yesterday, the people said. That may help improve relations at the talks, one of the people said.

President Tsakhia Elbegdorj this month criticized Rio for cost overruns and said Mongolia wants more control of a project that will represent 30 percent of the economy once in full production. Rio, the world's second-biggest mining company, has considered suspending work until these issues are resolved, two people familiar with the matter said last month. Oyu Tolgoi is scheduled to start production in June.

Tax Dispute

A spokesman for Rio Tinto (RIO) in London declined to comment. An assistant to Puntsag Tsagaan, the senior adviser to the Mongolian president on mining, yesterday said Tsagaan was out of the country and unavailable. Tsagaan didn't reply to e-mailed questions sent yesterday. Finance Minister Chultem Ulaan said he couldn't discuss the issue when contacted by phone today.

Rio fell 0.8 percent to close at 3,500 pence in London trading. It earlier slid 0.9 percent to A$65.57 in Sydney.

The company is paying for most of its operational needs in Mongolia through offshore accounts while the dispute continues, two of the people said.

The tax disagreement hinges on $150 million in payments made by Rio in 2010 and 2011, which the company said entitled it to tax credits from 2012, one of the people said. When Rio sought to use the credits, Mongolia's tax authorities said that the payment wasn't completed correctly and needs to be renegotiated, the person said.

Rio Concerned

"Some people incorrectly accuse Oyu Tolgoi of not paying its taxes," Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the unit that operates the project, said in a Feb. 5 statement on its website, following the president's remarks. From January 2010 through November 2012, Rio paid $803 million in taxes and payments to the government, as well as $150 million in the form of a tax pre-payment, according to the statement.

Rio Tinto won't start commercial production as planned until matters such as implementation of the investment and shareholder agreements and project finance are resolved, the company said this month.

"I'm concerned by recent political signals within Mongolia calling into question some aspects of the investment agreement," Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh said on Feb. 14 during a webcast presentation, remarks that he repeated yesterday at a mining conference in Florida. "This undermines the partnership we've built and the stability on which a project of this size and scale depends," he said.

Mongolia's Say

Mongolia owns 34 percent of Oyu Tolgoi and Rio the rest through its Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ) subsidiary. The government is seeking to boost Mongolian participation in management and increase the number of local companies that can benefit from the project, including the use of Mongolian banks.

The country should have representation "in all the most important decision making departments, for example the financial department, procurement department, legal department, sales and project services department," Elbegdorj said this month.

The mining ministry today said it canceled two licenses held by Canada's Entree Gold Inc. (ETG) on land that forms part of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit. Elbegdorj this month requested Rio Tinto to transfer all licenses connected to the mine to the venture between the government and Rio. That included Entree Gold, which is 23.6 percent owned by the company.

Entree Gold in 2009 upgraded its exploration permits to mining licenses, the ministry said today in a statement on its website. Only the Mineral Resource Authority is allowed to award mining licenses by law and so therefore those are invalid, according to the statement.

Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia's biggest foreign investment project, was the sixth-largest taxpayer in 2011. The country is seeking extra revenue from the mine to fill budget gaps, one of the people said.

"The Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement that was signed in October 2009 was a game changer for Mongolia," said Jackson Cox, CEO of Woodmont International, an Ulan Bator-based consultant. The conflict over the accord is damaging to Mongolia's economy, he said.

At the same time, "Rio has failed miserably at winning the hearts and minds of the Mongolian people," Jackson said. "This support should have been built and cultivated over the years."

Link to article


XAM trading up 17% to 8.2c this morning


February 25 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (Xanadu) (ASX:XAM) is pleased to announce that George Lloyd has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Xanadu commencing 25 February 2013.

George is based in Hong Kong and has over 12 years of corporate finance and direct investment experience in the natural resources sector in emerging markets. George has accumulated substantial experience in Mongolia including in his most recent role as Managing Director of Resource Investment Capital. George holds a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours and Master of Business Administration, both from the University of New South Wales.

George's appointment complements the recent additions to the Board of Denis Gately, Mark Wheatley and Dr Darryl Clark and completes the restructure of the company's management and Board as announced on 9 November 2012. Xanadu's founder, Brian Thornton, will continue as Non Executive Director and will work closely with George to facilitate a smooth transition in the leadership of the company. Xanadu has a strong and stable Board and executive team in place with the necessary legal, commercial and technical experience in exploration and development to advance the company's projects.

Commenting on his appointment, George said "Xanadu has established an impressive project portfolio in Mongolia that is supported by an outstanding national team. The company is in an excellent position to unlock the value in these assets for its Mongolian stakeholders and shareholders alike."

Xanadu's Chairman, Denis Gately, said "George's corporate and emerging markets experience will enhance Xanadu's outstanding exploration team, technical capabilities and local partners. We are excited by the potential of Mongolia and believe that the executive capability George brings to us will greatly assist Xanadu unlock the value of its assets and people."

Biographical details of George are attached:

George Lloyd – Biography

·         George has a background in engineering, corporate finance and direct investment primarily in the natural resources and related sectors;

·         He has evaluated and participated in a wide variety of mining and energy transactions including project acquisitions and arranging funding for public and private companies;

·         He has focused on emerging markets, particularly over the last five years, with direct experience in a number of Asian countries (including Mongolia, Indonesia and Myanmar) and East Africa. He has lived in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Jakarta;

·         He has accumulated significant experience in Mongolia, largely through his role with Resource Investment Capital. He has been instrumental in funding and corporate transactions for coal, copper and mining services companies in Mongolia;

·         He is also the Founder of Manaslu Capital Advisors which arranges early stage funding for natural resources projects and has recently participated in opportunities targeting base metal and oil resources;

·         His earlier roles include research and investments at a Singapore-based hedge fund, business development at Wesfarmers Limited and corporate finance with Grant Samuel & Associates;

·         George has a B.E. (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, an M.B.A. from the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW) and he attended the NYU Stern School of Business International Management Program; and

·         George is an Australian citizen and currently resides in Hong Kong.

Link to release


MUB lasted traded at 6c on 19 Feb.

Mongolian Resource Corporation secures US$2m line of credit from Ulaanbaatar City Bank

February 26 (Proactive Investors) Mongolian Resource Corporation (ASX: MUB) has recently been looking at funding options, and has now secured a US$2.0 million line of credit from the Ulaanbaatar City Bank.

The company said that the facility will be repaid from gold production and enable its mining plans to be implemented, and to achieve a positive cash flow.

Mongolian Resource Corporation is currently focused on the development of two historic high-grade gold deposits in Mongolia, which have the potential for near-term production to commence in 2013.

The company outlined in the December 2012 quarterly that late in the period the Sujigtei Gold Project was put on care and maintenance for the winter period, with staff and overhead costs
reduced accordingly.

Sujigtei Project is an Underground Mine with Open Pit Potential, and has been previously mined and has extensive underground workings in place.

The second project is the Kargana Underground Mine (Blue Eyes Plant location). Geology of the asset replicates the nearby Boroo deposit (2Moz) in potential size, scale and surface grade.

The company also has some interests in Australia.

Link to article

Link to MUB release


GUF trading +4.6% to 45.5c this morning

Guildford: New Board Appointments

February 26, Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) --

Group Managing Director – Mr Peter Westerhuis

Following on from the announcement on 8 February 2013 regarding the appointment of Peter Westerhuis as the CEO of Mongolian Operations, the Board of Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford) is pleased to announce Peter Westerhuis has accepted the position of Group Managing Director of Guildford Coal Limited effective 27 February 2013.

Mr Westerhuis has a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of WA and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Queensland. Prior to joining Guildford, Mr Westerhuis was an Executive Director with Idemitsu Resources Australia and the CEO of the Ensham Joint Venture. The Ensham JV owns leases in Central Queensland with reported coal resources of more than 1Bt.

Mr Westerhuis led the development and expansion of Ensham from a small open cut to a world class 9Mtpa open cut and underground mining complex employing up to 1,000 people and producing 10 different energy products for export to customers worldwide.

In addition to his technical capabilities, Mr Westerhuis has strong experience in the key areas of strategy, business development, customer relations, government & stakeholder relations, risk management and sustainability. He is particularly passionate about health & safety, people relations, operational effectiveness, aggressive business improvement and project delivery.

This appointment follows Michael Avery's resignation from the position of Managing Director and Company Secretary on the 21 January 2013. Louis Chait will continue to be the Company Secretary of Guildford.

As a result of this appointment Craig Ransley will return to his former position as a Nonexecutive Director of the Guildford Board. Guildford would like to thank Craig Ransley for his efforts as the Executive Deputy Chairman whilst the search for a replacement Group MD was in progress.

Non-executive Director – Mr Tsogt

The Board of Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford) is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Tsogt as a Non-executive Director of Guildford Coal Limited. This appointment is part of the agreed restructure of Terra Energy Ltd whereby Guildford increased its equity in the majority of its South Gobi and Middle Gobi tenements. The restructure provided Terra Holdings Limited with the right to appoint a nominee director to the Board of Guildford Coal Limited.

Mr Tsogt has close to two decades of experience in the Mongolian public sector. He worked in the senior management of the Mongolian National Oil company and was in charge of the commercial and operational functions of the company, such as petroleum product imports and internal distribution to filling stations.

Mr Tsogt also worked as the head of the Privatisation Division of the State Property Committee and has played extensive roles in the privatisation of Mongolia's most valuable state-owned companies. He was in charge of the privatisation of the national oil and aviation companies, restructuring power generation and energy distribution enterprises and the deregulation of the energy, oil, aviation and mining sectors.

Mr Tsogt has a Masters of Business Administration from the Leeds University Business School, United Kingdom and Master of Economics and Bachelor of Economics degrees from the Mongolian State University of Agriculture with First Class Honours.

These appointments further augment the Guildford Board and will assist the Company as it remains on its exciting path transitioning from explorer to coking coal producer from the South Gobi Project.

Link to release


OPP closed -5.4% since Friday

Origo Partners enter into JV in Myanmar

February 25 -- Origo Partners PLC ("Origo", OPP:LN) is pleased to announce the formation of a new joint venture company ("the Joint Venture") with Serge Pun & Associates (Myanmar) Limited ("SPA"), one of Myanmar's leading conglomerates, to identify investment opportunities across the natural resources and other sectors in Myanmar. Following the start of liberalisation in Myanmar, the country has the potential to become a significant supplier of goods and raw materials to global markets, in particular China, and it is hoped that the Joint Venture will enable Origo to capture this opportunity.   

The Joint Venture, SPA Origo Myanmar Holding Co Pte Ltd, will be owned 50:50 by Origo and SPA, and will benefit from the combination of Origo's transactional and strategic expertise, as well as SPA's extensive financial and operational experience in Myanmar. The Joint Venture will initially focus on opportunities in metals and minerals exploration, specifically in copper, gold, nickel and other mineral deposits and is undertaking country wide geological mapping. In addition, business opportunities are also being reviewed in the broader natural resources sector, particularly in agriculture with SPA's affiliate Yoma Strategic Holdings Limited. It is anticipated that once opportunities are identified, both Origo and SPA will make investments either directly or through affiliates or funds. 

Origo has been present in Myanmar for the past 14 months and, following considerable research and investigation, we are confident that the country will present attractive opportunities in the medium-term. Myanmar has undergone significant transformation since 2010 taking initial steps towards the creation of a democratic state, ranging from the release of political prisoners, lifting of censorship laws and the redrafting of the foreign investment law. The Government is working hard to drive reform across all sectors, and has received support from the international community with the suspension of US and EU sanctions and high profile visits by international leaders. 

The Joint Venture's Board will consist of Luke Leslie, Head of Mining Investments at Origo who will oversee the Joint Venture, Chris Rynning, CEO of Origo, Mr Serge Pun, Chairman of SPA and Mr Melvyn Pun CEO of SPA who will become Chairman of the Joint Venture. 

The Joint Venture will be headquartered in Yangon, Myanmar within SPA's offices allowing it access to infrastructural and logistical support. To effectively explore opportunities, Origo will redeploy a number of staff to support the existing team. 

Commenting on today's announcement Chris Rynning, CEO of Origo said: 

"The Joint Venture represents an excellent opportunity to strengthen our presence in Myanmar, at a time when the country is undergoing a period of rapid transformation and opening up to foreign investment. Despite this transformation there remain many risks to investing in a country dominated by the military and with little infrastructure. 

However, the strategic partnership with SPA, one of Myanmar's most well established companies, coupled with the progress our team made on the ground in 2012 in understanding the local investment environment, positions us well to take advantage of opportunities as the country continues to reform and moves towards democracy."

Link to release


MIBG Breaking News: Draft Minerals Legislation Not To Be Addressed Before Elections

February 26 -- MIBG has learned that President Elbegdorj Tsakhia has announced that the Draft Legislation will not be used as a political platform for his re-election campaign in the June Presidential elections. As such, the Draft Minerals Law will not be addressed in the spring session of Parliament and will instead be presented in the second half of the year. Additionally, President Elbegdorj has acknowledged that various stakeholder interests have not been included in the Draft. To this end he wishes to broaden the membership of the Steering Committee by diversifying participation to include further industry representation.

In addition to those announcements directly concerning the Draft Legislation the President has also ordered the Minister of Mining, Mr. Gankhuyag Davaajav, to develop an Official Minerals Policy that will act as a guide to the Government's decisions within the Minerals Industry.

Upon completion of the Minerals Policy the President has advised that the Draft Legislation will be assessed based on the principals of the Policy in order to ensure compliance with the Government's mandate. Additionally, President Elbegdorj has stated that the assessment should focus on the possibility of subjective decision making in order to further the fight against corruption in Mongolia.

Once the Draft Legislation has been assessed against the Government's Policy the Draft will again be brought to stakeholders and the Steering Committee, including wider industry participation. During this time the Steering Committee will again assess the viability and acceptance of the law by the wider public sector community.

MIBG believes that the announcements made today at the Presidential Steering Committee meeting represent a true acknowledgement of the diverging opinions between foreign investors and market participants to those of the Government of Mongolia. We maintain that further prolonging of the Draft Legislation has the potential to extend uncertainty in the market. However, our core view that the Draft Legislation will be passed in H2 after being softened through industry participation is playing out. We strongly believe that Mongolia will remain "open" to foreign participation and that the new Legislation will be amicable to all involved parties.

Link to report


5 billion 28 week government bills sold at 10.49% weighted interest

February 5 (Cover Mongolia) 100% completion with 5 billion bills on offer and 9 billion bid.

Link to summary (in Mongolian)


Summary of the Government Bills Auction held on February 13th, 2013

February 13 (Ministry of Finance) Total of 25.0 billion tugrik bills was announced to be sold on this auction, 25,000 quantities with 12 week maturity. Bids received totaled 38.0 billion tugriks and 25.0 billion tugrik bills were sold successfully at weighted average interest rate of 11.03.

Link to release


Summary of the Government Bills Auction held on February 20th, 2013

February 20 (Ministry of Finance) Total of 10.0 billion tugrik bills was announced to be sold on this auction, 10,000 quantities with 52 week maturity. Bids received totaled 25.0 billion tugriks and 10.0 billion tugrik bills were sold successfully at weighted average interest rate of 10.985.

Link to release


Mongolia to negotiate with JIBC on Darkhan oil refinery loan

February 25 (InfoMongolia) The Prime Minister's cabinet meeting was held on February 23, 2013 and reached the following decisions.

- Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar and Minister of Finance Ch.Ulaan were instructed to negotiate with Japan Bank for International Cooperation about taking a loan and giving the Government a guarantee on the building project of "Darkhan-Petroleum" oil refinery. Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag was instructed to complete the environmental impact study on the oil refinery project and negotiate with the Japanese side.

Link to article



February 13 (MEF) The annual forum organized by the Mongolia Economic Forum (MEF) NGO will be held in Parliament House during March 4-5, 2013. 

Mongolia Economic Forum, organized annually, is the main forum for government officials, business and public organizations, academia, civil society, and the other industry leaders to debate and discuss about development policy options. Aside from the debates and discussions, participation of more than thousand leaders from various sectors will provide an excellent opportunity to build business networks and facilitate mutual understanding and cooperation. 

Click here for details about the previous forums organized in 20102011 and 2012

Please click here for further details on the upcoming 2013 forum and cooperation with us.  

Sign up for Mongolia Economic Forum 2013

Link to forum


Mongolia's Nomsys selects Ruckus for its Nomad Wi-Fi access network

February 25 (Telecom Lead) Nomsys, an Internet service provider in Mongolia, has selected Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products and technology to create Wi-Fi access network in Ulaanbaatar.

The goal of the large-scale Wi-Fi network is to make Wi-Fi access easy and ubiquitous within underdeveloped rural areas of the city's capital.

Nomsys is deploying Ruckus indoor and outdoor access points (APs) in the city's suburbs as well as providing free Wi-Fi access points to select families that will, in turn, use that device to provide paid wireless access to others within a given area.

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), penetration of fixed line broadband reached 2.6 inhabitants per capita within Mongolia. Wi-Fi is a key technology that is helping Mongolia increase accessibility to telecommunications and bypass fixed line infrastructure.

Over 250 indoor and outdoor Ruckus ZoneFlex access points are being installed by Nomsys to deliver high capacity, reliable Wi-Fi access to people.

Bat-Erdene Gankhuyag (G.Bat-Erdene), founder and CEO, Nomsys, said: "While more than 30 ISPs operate in Ulaanbaatar's urban center, few serve the rural district. This prompted the Nomsys Nomad Wi-Fi project to give residents connectivity to the digital world."

In the outer areas of Ulaanbaatar, Wi-Fi connectivity has become a necessity as 3G and WIMAX networks have proven to be cost-prohibitive – both for carriers needing to install the required infrastructure, and for users who must purchase special receivers to get connectivity.

Link to article

Link to Ruckus release


Monvest Group Receives Landmark Three-Year Lottery License Extension from Ministry of Finance Mongolia

The Mongolian Ministry of Finance granted a three-year license extension to the Mongolian National Lottery (MNL), owned by license holder BizInvin LLC (BizInvin) and operated by Modern Capital Vest LLC, Mongolian subsidiaries of Singapore-based Monvest Group Pte. Ltd. (Monvest). The license extension allows Monvest to move into the next phase of its expansion in Republic of Mongolia.

Ulaan Baatar (PRWEB) February 25, 2013

The Mongolian Ministry of Finance granted a three-year license extension to the Mongolian National Lottery (MNL), owned by license holder BizInvin LLC (BizInvin) and operated by Modern Capital Vest LLC, Mongolian subsidiaries of Singapore-based Monvest Group Pte. Ltd. (Monvest). The license extension allows Monvest to move into the next phase of its expansion in Republic of Mongolia.

Since inception in 2010, Monvest has launched three major products under the Mongolian National Lottery brand4D Lottery, 6/42 Jackpot Lotto and 6D Lottery. Over 70 lottery outlets are operational in Ulaan Bataar, and there are plans to double the number of outlets. Approved to list shares on Boerse Berlin, a leading German stock exchange, Monvest is currently restructuring its business under Monvest Asia AG, a German-based enterprise designed to support the Berlin listing.

"The license extension was critical to the completion of the Berlin listing," notes Dr. Yap, Monvest Chairman. "We wanted to show the market that we are in the lottery business for the long-term and this license is a major step in that direction. With this license in hand, we can move ahead with our capital raising program and speed the development of the business with larger advertising and public relations campaigns."

Ready to Grow

Monvest is the originator of the only active jackpot lottery operating in Mongolia, and holds the exclusive brand names of Mongolian National Lottery and Mega Lotto. The management team is successful in lottery management in other countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, and oversees a work force of over 80 employees. The models of these countries have been used to design the Mongolian lottery product.

"Mongolia National Lottery is in the early development stage compared to the history of Asian lotteries, particularly when compared to China," remarks Yap. "Mongolia's lottery market has great potential for expansion as the country has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years due to an abundance of resources, and this expansion is reflected in the major increase in GDP and income per capita. For these reasons, we believe this market is primed for lottery ticket sales."

Government-regulated lotteries are proven businesses and popular in developed and emerging nations. Experience shows that lotteries increase consumer spending significantly, contribute to economic expansion and raise funds for charities or sports. In addition, the introduction of the Mongolia National Lottery will not cost the local government anything from a cash outflow perspective due to the granting of a franchise to Monvest.

Monvest operates major lottery in Mongolia and there is ample room for revenue expansion in this market for a number of reasons. In the next phase of expansion, Monvest plans to accelerate tickets sales with a comprehensive marketing campaign as a future growth catalyst. In addition, Monvest management has aggressive plans to use its well-positioned locations to move into retail sales and outdoor advertising.

"To this point we have worked mainly on refining the lottery management systems and developing awareness," concludes Yap. "The next phase of our development will accelerate with the Berlin listing and access to European capital pools. The listing of this business combined with the attraction of new financing opportunities signifies an important step for the Company and the country in the global capital markets."

Link to release



February 25 (InfoMongolia) The Prime Minister's cabinet meeting was held on 23rd of February and reached the decision that raw hides and skins shall not be exported; rather it needs to be processed first.

Raw and processed hides, skins, fur and other processed animal products take 1.1 percent of total Mongolian exports. In 2011, the export rate of hides and skins was increased by 17 percent compared to the 2007 rates. Currently, about 30 hides and skins processing plants and about 80 finished products manufacturing plants are in business in Mongolia. In a given year, about 10.3 million hides and skins are prepared and 74.2 percent of them are exported to China in raw and semi processed forms. The remaining 25.8 percent is processed by national producers. Approximately 40 percent of national production meets with Western standards and are exported to about 10 different countries such as Italy, Spain, Turkey and South Korea. Annual market value of total raw hides and animal product production is 151.6 billion MNT and out of that; 38.2 billion MNT worth of materials are purchased by national producers and 113.4 billion MNT of materials are exported to China.

Developed nations, especially Western countries, set high standards and technical requirements on processing and production of hides and skins in order to protect health and safety of their workers. Therefore, the Mongolian government has ruled that all raw hides and animal products need to be fully and semi processed according to all related standards and requirements before being exported to different countries.

Link to article


Green Party disputes use of "green" in Civil Will-Green Party

February 25 ( The Mongolian Green Party is demanding the Civil Will-Green Party to remove the term "green" from its name. 

The Green Party said in a statement that "The former chairman of the Green Party D.Enkhbat and E.Zorig started attempting to cause trouble, intending to rally to the Civil Will Party against the will of members and the rules of the party in 2009. But the Mongolian Green Party stood against these agitators and expelled them from the party after a restructure at the party meeting. 

The former chairman of the Green Party N.Enkhbat and E.Zorig had the name of the Civil Will Party changed into the Civil Will-Green Party as a result of the conspiracy. 

In regulations it states that names of political parties and legal parties should not coincide according to a law. But the name of the Civil Will-Green Party violates the law. And voters` rights. Therefore the Mongolian Green Party will fight until the Civil Will-Green Party drops the term green from its name." 

In the past, the Civil Will Party and the Mongolian Green Party registered under the name of the Civil Will-Green Party to the State Supreme Court. However the State Supreme Court opposed the registering of the names, so some members of the Mongolian Green Party had the rule changed regarding party registration by the State Supreme Court. 

At this time the former chairman of the alliance of the Civil Will-Green Party, D.Enkhbat said that "We will not sue against any decision made by the Court if they make the decision to register a party as the Green Party. I officially announce that I will not assume the name of Green Party if any people can register the name according to law. So anyone who is united under one belief can create a party by collecting 801 signatures." 

Link to article


Ulaanbaatar might face drinking water shortage by 2030

February 25 ( There is a high risk that citizen of Ulaanbaatar will face drinking water shortages by 2030. This estimation has come from a study that shows that citizens use 300 thousand cubic meters of drinking water a day. 

This means the current water reserve is used at full capacity. Therefore officials who are working in this area noted they need to find a new water reserve in order to prevent a drinking water crisis.

For Mongolia, focusing on exploration to find a new water reserve is more vital than reaping the mining benefits. But there also needs to be consideration of water saving tactics due to wasteful usage of water. 

Officials working in this sector have considered using grey-water for the past years, but no progress  is yet in place to make this a reality. 

Link to article


Global Partnership for Social Accountability Call for Proposals for Mongolia

Deadline to submit proposals: Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Indicative Funding Range: US$500,000-US$1,000,000

February 19 (World Bank) The Global Partnership for Social Accountability is pleased to announce its First Global Call for Proposals. In Mongolia, the GPSA seeks proposals on Social Accountability from Civil Society Organizations that will enhance open contracting practices so that relevant government agencies can take the necessary corrective measures to improve contract management and implementation.

Proposals should aim to:

(Proposals may focus on one or more of these areas. )

·         Make procurement data and associated contract information available and user friendly for citizens and key stakeholders, such as media and academic institutions.

·         Monitor the award and implementation of contracts at national and aimag levels with a focus on priority areas of infrastructure and service delivery.

·         Foster a national policy dialogue to improve the national procurement system and institutionalize open contracting. 

GPSA Funding Modalities  

·         Social Accountability Initiatives and Programs.

·         Mentoring and capacity-building of nascent CSO, including on-granting. These proposals must be submitted by CSOs with proven track record on social accountability, that are legal entities in one of the "opted-in" countries and the activities should take place in one of these countries.

·         Strengthening Institutional Capacity of CSOs working on SAcc.

Grants can support:

·         Up to 100% of project's total cost

·         Up to 50% of total organization budget

·         Projects with an estimated duration of 3 to 5 years

What is a Civil Society Organization for the purpose of a GPSA?

·         Non-government organizations

·         Not-for-profit media organizations

·         Charitable organizations

·         Faith-based organizations

·         Professional organizations

·         Labor unions

·         Workers' organizations

·         Associations of elected local representatives

·         Foundations

·         Policy development institutes

·         Research institutes

Eligibility Criteria for Civil Society Organizations

·         Legal status: the recipient needs to be a legal entity in Mongolia and provide proof of such legal status;

·         Representation: key criteria are community ties, accountability to members or beneficiaries, diversity and gender sensitivity;

·         Governance: sound internal management policies and practices, comprising organizational dimensions, such as clear management roles and responsibilities, clear methods of planning and organizing activities, human capital, financial and technical resources, and partnerships;

·         Transparency: including disclosure of sources of funding, financial accountability and governance transparency;

·         Fiduciary capacity: ability to meet applicable World Bank policies for grants;

·         Institutional capacity: appropriate scale of operations, facilities, and equipment;

·         Competence: proposed executing team possesses relevant skills and experience across all areas for which activities have been proposed;

·         Proven track record: organization can provide evidence of its experience (at least 3-5 years) in the area of the call for proposals, and a vision matching the goals of the GPSA.

The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) is a coalition of donors, governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) that aims to improve development results by supporting capacity building for enhanced citizen feedback and participation. The GPSA will contribute to country-level governance reforms and improved service delivery. To achieve this objective, the GPSA provides strategic and sustained support to CSOs' social accountability initiatives aimed at strengthening transparency and accountability.

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Concerned Mongolia

February 24 (Business-Mongolia) Recent news around Mongolia regarding so called "resource-nationalism" and Rio Tinto's strong position against re-negotiation request by the Mongolian government is being reported and reviewed by major international news agencies. However, in order to understand the problem it is helpful to get familiar with the project. Business Mongolia has done a research to bring a comprehensive introduction of the project along with the recent developments around it. The analysis came from the sources widely open to the public.

Investment Agreement

The Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement between the Mongolian government and world's second biggest mining company Rio Tinto,  and its' subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources Inc. (formerly Ivanhoe Mines Inc.) was signed back in 2009. At the time Oyu Tolgoi deposit licenses were owned by Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia Inc. LLC – owned 100% by the Ivanhoe Mines Inc. In order to commence the project under the Investment Agreement Mongolian government and the investors have changed the license holder's name into perhaps more politically suitable Oyu Tolgoi LLC. The 34% of Oyu Tolgoi LLC is owned by Mongolian government through state-owned company Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC, and the other 66% is owned by Turquoise Hill Resources Inc. through its' subsidiaries Ivanhoe Oyu Tolgoi BVI in Virgin Islands, and Oyu Tolgoi Netherlands BV in Netherlands for tax and financing purposes. Finally, the world's biggest untapped copper-gold mine was set for development.

Tax-prepayment and government bond

In addition to the Investment Agreement and Shareholder's Agreement there are few more agreements. It is tax-prepayment and government bond purchase agreement. Tax prepayment is USD150 million and bond is USD100 million. The total sum of USD250 million was understood to the public as a prepayment to the Mongolian government.

The management

The shareholder's agreement clearly states Turquoise Hill Resources Inc. or its' affiliates will carry out the day-to-day management of the company without any involvement from the government. The management fee or the cost of managing the mine development is 3% of the capex plus opex till the production day, and 6% after the commencement of the production. According to Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the scheduled production day will be reached Q2 of 2013.

In December 2011 Rio Tinto won the arbitration process against Ivanhoe's shareholder-rights plan or poison-pill and acquired Ivanhoe's 2% on top of its' 49% ownership in the company earlier in 2012. The shares were purchased on an open market after the cap of 49% was no longer valid. The strategy has changed since then, and Ivanhoe Mines Inc.'s name was changed to Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ). Major changes occured in the board and a former Rio Tinto senior officer Kay Priestley took over the CEO position. Changes occurred in the Oyu Tolgoi LLC as well, replacing the expats from TRQ with Rio Tinto's.

The cost

According to the Investment Agreement the planned initial investment for the project is USD4 billion. However, as end of 2012 the invested amount totalled over USD6.6 billion. Also, there are 2 quarters to go to hit the production day.

The cost of the project to the Mongolian government is a tricky one. Although, Mongolian government owns 34% of the project, it is not a free carry. Initial Shareholder's agreement stated that the shareholder loan will have interest 9.9%+USCI. The parties made an amendment to the agreement and it is effectively 6.5+LIBOR from last year. Mongolian government will have to either invest into the project to avoid the interest or pay it back to the investors by future dividends.

Government of Mongolia

If we carefully analyze what has been discussed in the Mongolian parliament earlier February, 2012 we can understand the concerns clearly. In last year's parliamentary election we had many candidates calling for higher share in the project and better return. After the election the newly appointed mining minister Mr. D. Gankhuyag stated that he would resign if he fails to amend or re-negogiate the Investment Agreement. Although, he changed his position slightly after that, Mongolian government is still pushing for re-negotioation.

The concerns of Mongolian government is understandable. The enormous capital intensive mining project was new to Mongolia. In addition to the inexperience, Mongolian government will have to pay for 34% share plus interest if it chooses not to invest billions of dollars pari-passu. In the other hand, investing directly without having representations in the day-to-day activities and operations of the project is commercially unacceptable. Mr. Ts. Sedvanchig, Executive Director of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC has stated in parliamentary session that enough information has not been provided to support the increase in investment and the change in approved feasibility study which requires the approval of Minerals Council.

After the Oyu Tolgoi LLC shareholders meeting attended by the senior officers of Rio Tinto and number of relevant ministers, Mr. N. Batbayar, Economic Development Minister told the press that the investors complained about the parliamentary session and its' reflection to the general public of Mongolia. His response was that Mongolia is a democratic country and it is open for the parliament to discuss, and public to have an opinion.

Mongolian government also wants to have representations in the project company's executive level and same pay-rate for local Mongolian professionals as expats. Mr. President Ts. Elbegdorj mentioned in the parliamentary session that Mongolians understand that there are highly skilled expats and their necessary additional costs, but the same level professionals should get same wage as expats.

More trouble

In addition to the piled problems between the parties, there are two more issues. One is the Entrée Gold's surrounding license profit arrangement and the other is 2% royalty to be paid to Turquoise Hill Resources from Oyu Tolgoi LLC. The Entrée arrangement seems to go back to as far as 2004. It is the same company that has been blamed by the Minerals Authority for false statements on their website and got a warning to correct the news back in 2011. The arrangement is Oyu Tolgoi LLC gets 70-80% of the Entrée licensed deposits depending on the depth deeper or above 560 meters. Since, Oyu Tolgoi LLC holds that interest the Mongolian government is holding 34% indirectly. It is a dissatisfaction for Mongolia as it is a group of deposits according to the officer in the Mining Ministry familiar with the matter.

2% royalty payable to Turquoise Hill Resources LLC is a new thing for the Mongolian government. Apparently, the company states that the 2% royalty interest on Oyu Tolgoi licenses had been bought from BHP Billiton back in 2003. However, the royalty is now claimed by Turquoise Hill Resources LLC from Oyu Tolgoi LLC which was its' 100% owned subsidiary company at the time.

All these arrangements and contractual agreements would have not come up if there was a newly established company formed by both parties and licenses were re-issued as fresh ones.

The tension is growing and neither of the sides are likely to compromise. The back-door deal mentioned in the Bloomberg News is also unlikely to happen because of the involvement of the president and the upcoming presidential election.

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Is Rio Tinto leaving Mongolia?

February 26 (Business-Mongolia) It has been almost a week since the iconic Oyu Tolgoi logo lights are out on Monnis Tower in central Ulaanbaatar where the main Oyu Tolgoi LLC and Rio Tinto Mongolia offices are located. Month of February, 2013 has been very turbulent for the world's second biggest mining company. All the optimism Rio Tinto and Oyu Tolgoi LLC public relations teams were feeding international news agencies throughout last year seems to take a different turn after the Mongolian parliamentary session and open discussion on Oyu Tolgoi project this month.

Cost overruns, failure to update the feasibility study, Entree Gold profit-sharing arrangements, 2% royalty to Turquoise Hill Resources, lack of Mongolian shareholder involvement in the day-to-day activities, lack of transparency to the government were the main issues that triggered the fierce dispute.

Finding a common language with Mongolians has become difficult for Rio Tinto after their aggressive takeover of Turquoise Hill Resources and Oyu Tolgoi LLC.

Proposed over USD7 billion project financing was refused support by the government. Mongolia is not willing to support to project finance in the ground of solving the outstanding issues mentioned above. Moreover, Mongolian government is not interested in pledging the project license and involve costly loans while there are many unsettled issues.

Perhaps Rio Tinto should have chosen a different strategy approaching Mongolia that once has been a Great Empire and still managing to be an independent and democratic state with gigantic neighbors. The blame should be weighed mostly on Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill Resources, because it has failed to adhere the laws and regulations, and to build trust-based relationship with their Mongolian partners.

The feasibility study update has been delayed 3 times previously and it is the 4th time. You cannot develop and operate a mine on the fly. Either the Oyu Tolgoi LLC management is ditching to disclose the document on purpose or the study team has been underestimating the scope of the project. Both of the cases are not acceptable by Mongolian laws and regulations.

We must not forget the positive effects the Oyu Tolgoi project is bringing to Mongolia internationally. Mongolia drew a lot attention from international investors and various sectors of the country is booming. However, we must not forget the trade-offs and think of the long-term economic diversification. It is in our best interest to welcome companies with good international reputation and best track record on social responsibility.

Meantime on last Monday, Standard and Poor warned that it is considering to lower the credit rating of Rio Tinto if it does not lower its' debt. Surely, it will negatively reflect on project financing process for Oyu Tolgoi project that has been in negotiation with international financial institutions and commercial banks for over 2 years.

However, change in strategy, more transparency, efficient usage of resources, compliance with Mongolian laws and regulations could amend the relationship with the government. It is worth to note that Mongolia is not asking for higher stakes in project. It is all about compliance and improved partnership.

We all hope that Rio Tinto would not give up on company's long-term plans. It is early to say if Rio Tinto is considering a withdrawal from the project and settling the matters by arbitration process. It will not do good for any of the sides. Tomorrow, on 27th of February, the shareholders' meeting will resume in attempt to solve the issues.

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Mongolia: Legal proposals signal rocky spell for mining

February 25 (Oxford Business Group) A controversial draft Minerals Law that the government hopes will steer Mongolia's mining industry into a new era has divided opinion across the country, with supporters highlighting the need for change, while critics say its implementation could put the industry's future at risk.

The government says the planned legislation forms part of a broader bid to ensure the mining industry is developed fairly and sustainably in a way that benefits the country economically, while putting more social responsibility on companies and providing added protection for the environment.

However, critics say the proposals come down too heavily on investment and licensing regulation, adding that the draft law threatens the very industry it should be trying to strengthen.

On January 18, the President's Office, with the support of the World Bank, Germany-based GIZ and the Mongolia Mining Journal, held an initial, open-hearing discussion on the planned legislation.

The meeting was organised following concerns from officials that debate on the subject was becoming politically charged, with some critics claiming the law had been designed ahead of an election to fuel the emotions of many locals who feel they are still not benefitting sufficiently from the mining boom.

"The draft Minerals Law should not be politicised for the upcoming presidential election [in June]," said P Tsagaan, head of the Office of the President, in response to the claims. "As you may know, the draft-making procedure started about two years [ago] and it can be even approved by parliament after the election."

The law proposes a number of new provisions, including an obligation on foreign mining companies to hand over a stake of at least 34% in their existing projects to indigenous groups. It also requires companies to mine lower-ore grades even if the process is not profitable. Under the planned law, exploration and mining licences will be granted only to legal entities in Mongolia, although foreign investors are permitted to set up wholly owned subsidiaries in the country.

External investors are concerned that the proposed legislation will give the government excessive control over foreign mining interests. The proposed law has also come in for criticism from the Business Council of Mongolia, which wrote an open letter to the Office of the President in January that said in part, "The impact of the draft law on the minerals industry will be to halt current minerals exploration and development in Mongolia and greatly discourage any future investment."

Critics also point out that the draft law leaves key issues unresolved. Luke Lesley (Mogi: Leslie), head of mining at London-listed Origo Partners, told Dow Jones that the legislation raised concerns about security of licence tenure, while failing to identify a dispute resolution process or body.

Mongolia's economy is largely dependent on mining and resource extraction, which accounts for a third of GDP and some 85% of exports. GDP growth, which hit 17% in 2011 and is expected to remain in double digits until 2020, is mostly generated by the Oyu Tolgoi gold-copper mine and coking coal at Tavan Tolgoi. Gold production has increased some 17-fold in the past decade, while copper and molybdenum ore production rose 32%. Annual coal production reached 30m tonnes in 2011, according to officials, up from 4.8m in 1995.

D Bat-Erdene, head of geology at Ulanbaatar-based Biluut Mining and a member of the group that drafted the legislation, defended the proposals when speaking at the open hearing, saying change was necessary. He pointed out that while earlier laws designed to attract foreign investment had created jobs and brought in both foreign capital and technology, they also led to speculation, tensions with local communities and corruption. The proposed law, he said, sought to fix that.

The draft legislation comes on the back of a new law passed last May which made parliamentary approval necessary for foreign investments valued at over MNT100bn ($76m). Supporters of the law see it as a crucial stage in Mongolia's economic evolution. However, critics say there have already been repercussions, citing reports that global miner Rio Tinto Group is considering a temporary halt to construction work at the $6.2bn Oyu Tolgoi project over government demands for a bigger stake in the project and new mining royalty rates.

The furore over the draft law comes at a time when the government is already reconsidering the possible impact of declining Chinese demand on the economy's pillar industry. On January 28, The Aluminium Corp of China (Chalco) warned it would seek legal redress if Mongolia breaks what it describes as a loss-making coal supply deal.

Emotions over the draft law will continue to run high as the government struggles to find a balance between pleasing both its population and investors, while also attempting to develop a legal framework that ensures the mining boom benefits future generations. While the divide runs deep, observers suggest that improved communication from the government's side could help discussions in the interim, perhaps reducing the impact on industry players and investors longer term.

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February 26 (InfoMongolia For the first time, The Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center researched competitiveness of Mongolian provinces according to internationally accepted methods. They held a press conference on February 25, 2013 and announced the results.

By this research, the development rate of 21 Aimags of Mongolia was compared and came out with the comprehensive competitiveness index. About 180 variables were considered during this research such as business owners' appraisement, economic and social indicators.

Orkhon aimag led the index with Umnugovi and Darkhan-Uul aimags in second and third. Orkhon received a total 100 points whereas Dundgovi aimag received 27.6 points which is four times lower than Orkhon's. This indicates that not only the development rate of urban and rural areas are remarkably different but also different provinces have extremely different development rates. Director Interim of Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center Ms. Boojoo LAKSHMI said "This research is unique because of its comprehensive study about advantages and disadvantages of provinces and their competitive abilities. The research forms an elaborate database that can be used to process and plan long term development strategies for provinces. This gives us the understanding of advantages every province holds and the steps we need to take to use those advantages".

Competitiveness of provinces

1. Orkhon 100 points

2 Umnugovi 92.77 points

3 Darkhan-Uul 83.86 points

4 Dornogovi 77.10 points

5 Selenge 73.91 points

6 Dornod 70.00 points

7 Govisumber 65.02 points

8 Sukhbaatar 64.39 points

9 Tuv 63.50 points

10 Bayan-Ulgii 61.36 points

11 Uvs 60.76 points

12 Bulgan 59.56 points

13 Khentii 58.52 points

14 Khovd 57.62 points

15 Zavkhan 51.66 points

16 Govi-Altai 50.11 points

17 Khuvsgul 49.76 points

18 Uvurkhangai 44.53 points

19 Bayankhongor 43.85 points

20 Arkhangai 37.57 points

21 Dundgovi 27.65 points

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February 26 (InfoMongolia) --

Leader Rankings on Twitter 2012. The President of the United States of America Barak Obama, led this ranking this year.

Out of 123 world leaders, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj is ranked at 49th.

But at the time when this list was generated, Elbegdorj's twitter followers were 36,928 whereas 49,186 followers he has today. This increase is probably related to the President's recent validation of his Twitter account.

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Link to rankings report



FYI: How Do You Ship A Dinosaur Halfway Around The World?

A large Mongolian dinosaur fossil, subject of a legal battle last year, is now finally free to return to its home country. How will it get there?

February 25 (Popular Science) Tarbosaurus bataar is going home. And the journey, though long, won't be that bad--especially for a 70 million-year-old like him (or her).

The 8-foot-tall, fully mounted Tyrannosaurus rex relative first found itself in the news last May, when it went to auction in New York. In an unusual move, the Mongolian government decided to sue, saying that the Tarbosaurus must have come from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, as that's the only place Tarbosaurs have ever been found. (Like several other countries, though not the U.S., Mongolia considers fossils to be a part of its national heritage, and it's illegal to sell Mongolian fossils privately.) Private fossils dealer Eric Prokopi pleaded guilty to smuggling the bones in December. On February 13, a ruling from a U.S. district judge found the fossil legally free to return to Mongolia, as no other claimants stepped up after Prokopi's plea.

The story got us wondering: What's it like to ship such a large and precious specimen halfway across the globe?

Turns out it's typically pretty easy, several paleontologists we contacted say. But the geopolitical circumstances surrounding Tarbosaurus bataar might make this case more challenging than most.

Here's what usually happens: "You'd take all the bones apart, and all the bones go in individual cases," Kenneth Lacovara, a Drexel University paleontologist, says. Researchers can easily build made-to-measure plywood cases for the bone pieces, cushioning the fossils with foam. "We use packing peanuts. We use foam that is meant for home insulation," Lacovara says. "Sometimes we use the foam that you'll see in, like, expensive camera cases." What foam he and his lab members use depends on the size of the bone, he says.

The Tarbosaur is currently mounted in an open-mouthed, predatory run. It will probably be broken down into a few dozen parts, Lacovara says. He guesses the entire fossil could weigh 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, although many variables about how the specimen fossilized and how it was prepared may change its weight.

Once packed, dinosaurs, like timber, olive oil, care packages or any other cargo, may go by air or by sea.

"We ship a Tyrannosaurus skull back and forth, usually air freight, but sometimes on a ship," says Jack Horner, a Montana State University paleontologist who does field work in Mongolia. He and his students often ship specimens between the U.S. and Japan for traveling shows. "Shipping is easy these days!" he wrote in an email.

A few paleontologists rely on a Chicago-based company, called Rocket Cargo, that specializes in shipping for rock bands. "They're used to shipping big things, and they're used to dealing with odd cargo," Lacovara says.

The Mongolian Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism will be responsible for shipping the Tarbosaur, but the ministry doesn't yet know where it'll get funding, whether the T. bataar will go by air or by sea, or many other details, says Minister Tsedevdamba Oyungerel. "Logistical talks just started but nothing is clearly cemented yet," she wrote in an email.

The talks include hammering out when and where to hold a handover ceremony in New York City. The fossil is now with law enforcement in New York.

Oyungerel expects the Tarbosaur to land in Mongolia in mid to late May, about a year after it first found itself in a marked lot at an auction house in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

"I'm happy how the case turned out. I hope this is a real good model they can use in the future to have Mongolian dinosaurs returned to the country," says Bolortsetseg Minjin, a paleontologist who first saw a TV report about the Tarbosaur's auction and alerted the Mongolian government. Minjin splits her time between Mongolia and New York and founded the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs in 2007.

The Mongolian government is now working to build a new museum to hold the Tarbosaur, as the country's existing natural history museum is in disrepair. Oyungerel's ministry has also put out a call for companies to bid to build three more dinosaur parks across the country. In spite of the Gobi Desert's rich fossil resources, many Mongolians are unaware of paleontology, Minjin told the Guardian.

When the time comes, Oyungerel hopes for some outside advice on bringing T. bataar home. "We hope we'll receive some assistance from concerned organizations and companies in these matters," she said. "It is quite a challenging task for us."

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"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral

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