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Mogi: still playing catch-up with things, but will make sure to sign off the week with style
Prophecy Coal Corp.: Chandgana Coal Project Signs 25 Year Coal Off-take Agreement
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 5, 2013) - Prophecy Coal Corp. ("Prophecy") (TSX:PCY)(OTCQX:PRPCF)(FRANKFURT:1P2) is pleased to announce the signing of a Coal Supply Agreement ("CSA") between Chandgana Coal LLC ("Chandgana Coal") and Prophecy Power Generation LLC ("PPG"), which is developing the 600MW mine mouth Chandgana power plant project ("The Project").
Chandgana Coal and PPG are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Prophecy, a Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. If Prophecy is successful in obtaining power plant project financing with debt and equity partners, Prophecy is expected to retain various ownerships of PPG and Chandgana Coal.
As per the CSA, Chandgana Coal will supply 3.6 million tonnes of coal annually, at a price of USD17.70 per tonne for a period of 25 years. The CSA coal price is competitive to Mongolian domestic thermal coal prices and is subject to annual indexing on based on the USA CPI Index, Mongolian Wage Index and Mongolian Diesel Price Index. PPG has committed to purchase a minimum of 2 million tonnes on a "take or pay" basis, with customary breakup fees payable by PPG. The CS A's coal delivery date is anticipated to be in the second half of 2016, subject to PPG signing a Power Purchase Agreement, obtaining all necessary governmental approvals, and project financing.
The signing of the CSA marks the accomplishment of another key project milestone. Besides a bankable Power Purchase Agreement ("PPA"), stable and guaranteed fuel supply is required to obtain project financing from equity partners and banks.
The CSA has been approved by Prophecy's independent directors, who after studying various coal supply options to the proposed Chandgana power plant project concluded that the coal supply from Chandgana Coal, with existing licenses to mine the coal from Chandgana Tal project adjacent to the proposed Power Plant site, represents a practical and cost effective solution to meet commissioning of a power plant targeted for 2016.
For Chandgana Coal, the CSA secures a long-term next-door customer on attractive and extended terms that will provide stable cash flow returns throughout the first 25 years of the mine.
The Chandgana Tal mining licenses contain an estimated 124 million tonnes of coal resources, all in the measured category. The average in-place gross calorific value is 3,306 kcal/kg of coal. The mine will be a surface open pit mine and will be located approximately 2 km from the proposed power plant site. The average waste to ore strip ratio is estimated to be 0.70:1 over the life of the mine.
In November 2012, Prophecy received a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its Chandgana Tal coal mining licenses prepared by John T Boyd Co. The independent PEA study reports that the Chandgana Coal project will produce a 36% IRR, 4 years pay-back period on USD 31 million initial capital invested and USD70.5 million Net Present Value (NPV) at 10% discount rate on a pre-tax basis. Total cash cost per tonne of coal production is estimated to be USD12.63 as per the PEA.
Mogi: The only explorer in Mongolia that seems unfazed by the unfair treatment the investment community has been giving to Mongolian stocks, aiming to finish 3 years' worth of exploration program in one year.
Wolf Petroleum gaining clearer picture of Mongolia petroleum block
June 3 (Proactive Investors) Wolf Petroleum (ASX: WOF) has redefined four sub basins within its Sukhbaatar petroleum block in Mongolia after reprocessing and re-interpreting gravity and magnetic data collected earlier in 2013.
The company has also completed a remote sensing program, which incorporated reprocessed gravity and magnetic data with satellite imagery and digital elevation model data.
Three of the sub basins are more than 4,000 meters deep, with Cretaceous-aged rocks, which are the main rocks where petroleum in Mongolia is produced from.
Notably, all four of the sub basins have areas of high heat flow, which can enhance hydrocarbon cracking and migration, while alteration minerals commonly found near petroleum seep areas have also been identified.
Wolf's geological team is now working in the field and verifying the remote sensing results.
The company has now started its second phase of exploration works.
This includes additional geological studies and the acquisition of 2D seismic.
Wolf has planned 441 kilometres of 2D seismic and preparation work has been completed.
The four sub basins are estimated to contain about 4,000 metres of sediment, which highly increases the petroleum generation potential in the sub basins.
In addition, Wolf is investigating three other potential sub basins in the western and southern portions of the block.
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. Publishes April 2013 Monthly Letter to Shareholders
Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA, June 4, 2013 /FSC/ - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK - TSXV) is pleased to announce the release of its April 2013 letter to shareholders.
April 2013 Shareholder Letter
To the Shareholders of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.,
During the month of April, we did not purchase or sell any properties. However, we have remained busy in terms of leasing properties and undertaking preventative maintenance that will likely save us substantially in terms of future maintenance expenditures. We have also undertaken a strategic review of our operations with the goal of improved business focus and reducing our costs. In particular, we are looking at disposing of additional assets that are either difficult to manage or too small to be material to our operations. Over time, we want to focus our company on those assets that are larger and have better returns.
Switching into economics, the last few months have been quite busy for Mongolia in terms of news flow and I think it's important to look at some of these events and what they mean for Mongolia's economy.
Repeal of SEFIL or Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law- The repeal of this law will open numerous sectors of the economy to foreign investment as long as the investor company is not a state-owned entity. In addition, the repeal of SEFIL reduces restrictions on the sizes of various investments. The goal of repealing SEFIL is to allow numerous deals to move forward more rapidly and should lead to increased foreign investment in Mongolia. This repeal is part of an overall trend to attract foreign investment.
Turquoise Hill Funding Negotiations- Rio Tinto is in discussions with various lenders including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee (MIGA), 14 banks from 7 countries and sovereign trade organizations from the US, Canada and Australia in order to obtain approximately USD $4 billion in funding to continue the expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi mine1. Mongolia's GDP in 2012 was $10.0 billion. This increase in funding will clearly impact future GDP growth substantially.
Chinggis Bond Expenditures- To date, USD $1.153 billion of the total USD $1.5 billion of capital raised in the low-cost Chinggis Bond has been earmarked for various sectors, mainly related to infrastructure or support for various industries. The list of financing projects includes the: power plant at ETT, streets and city infrastructure, new railway project, paved road projects, re-planning of ger districts, and some other financing projects to support national manufacturing3. As this money is spent, productivity should improve and so should economic growth.
Securities Markets Law-The Securities Markets Law has recently been passed by parliament. This law will modernize the securities markets and put in place much of the legal infrastructure needed for the capital markets of Mongolia to mature. In particular, the law will allow the dual listing of foreign company's shares, a custodian banking legal framework, more flexible regulation regarding public offerings, introduction of new forms of securities and a more enlightened regulation of companies on the Mongolian Stock Exchange.
I mention these are important because they are key growth drivers of future economic growth in Mongolia. Most of these items are in progress and are worth watching.
On May 9th, I gave a presentation to investors in New York City. For those who were unable to attend the event, we have posted the presentation slides on our website. Please go to the following link for more information http://mongoliagrowthgroup.com/?page_id=666.
On a final note, I look forward to meeting shareholders at our annual general meeting on June 7th in Thunder Bay, Ontario. If you wish to attend, please contact Genevieve Walkden at Gwalkden@MongoliaGrowthGroup.com
Chairman & CEO
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.
Altan Rio Announces Appointment of New CFO
VANCOUVER, June 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Altan Rio Minerals Limited, TSX.V: AMO ("Altan Rio" or the "Company") announces the appointment of Anthony Jackson as Chief Financial Officer of the Company.
Mr. Jackson is a Principal of BridgeMark Financial Corp. ("BridgeMark") and a founder of Jackson & Company Chartered Accountants, a company that assists private and public companies with their accounting and tax requirements.
As part of an ongoing overhead reduction initiative, BridgeMark has been engaged to provide back office and management services. BridgeMark already provides accounting and financial services including administrative, compliance, reporting and finance functions to a number of TSX Venture listed mineral exploration businesses.
Prior to his time at BridgeMark, Mr. Jackson spent a number of years at Ernst & Young LLP before working as a senior analyst at a boutique investment banking firm. During this time he provided services to a broad range of public and private companies in a variety of industries including the mining and minerals sector.
Mr. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, and holds the professional designation of Chartered Accountant (CA), where he is a member of the BC and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Mr. Jackson has had extensive experience as a Director and CFO of numerous publicly traded corporations in the metals and mining industry.
Mr. Jackson replaces Robert Scott as the Company's Chief Financial Officer. The Company wishes to thank Mr. Scott, CFO of Corex Management Inc., for his contribution to the Company over the past years and wishes him well with future endeavors.
Mogi: what in the world is happening to MRC these days. All the original 4 directors, including 3 Mongolian directors have now been removed, they were Jargalsaikhan Naidansuren, Tony Bainbridge, Tanan Jargalsaikhan, Galsanjamts Sereeter. Interestingly Hayden Lynch, formerly with Xanadu Mines, has been elected to board.
MRC: Results of the General Meeting held on 4th June 2013 and Request for Continued Suspension
June 6 --
1. At a General Meeting of Mongolian Resource Corporation Limited (ASX:MUB) on 4th June 2013, shareholders voted to remove the one existing Director and elected 4 new Directors.
2. On the 14th of May 2013, the ASX suspended MUB on the grounds that MUB, contrary to ASIC and ASX regulations and listing rules, had only one Director, and no directors ordinarily resident in Australia.
3. At the General Meeting yesterday, the 4 newly elected Directors are all ordinarily resident in Australia, and accordingly we believe MUB has resolved the deficiency that led to the ASX suspending MUB from trading.
4. At a Board meeting held 4th June 2013, the Directors agreed to seek a suspension of trading of MUB shares whilst the Directors could confirm cash balances in Australia and Mongolia and review funding sources. If approved, we would seek continued suspension until Tuesday 11th June 2013.
5. Separately, the Directors are seeking to apprise themselves of the current state of company affairs in Mongolia. A Director is travelling to Mongolia, and together with professional advisers, will report back the Board in the near future. The Company will inform the market, through the ASX, of the current state of affairs of the company activities in Mongolia when these have been confirmed.
Mogi: probably a legacy asset from CyberWorld days
MEC: Disposal of Beijing Property Building for RMB100 Million
June 5 -- On 4 June 2013, the Beijing representative office of Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (HKEx:276) entered into the Agreement with the Purchaser for the disposal of the Property at the Consideration of RMB100,000,000.
As the applicable percentage ratios of the Disposal calculated under Chapter 14 of the Listing Rules exceed 5% but are less than 25%, the Disposal constitutes a discloseable transaction for the Company under the Listing Rules.
Asset to be disposed of
The property is a residential building situated at 北京順義區麗來花園一區80號樓 (No. 80, Zone 1, Niceline Garden, Shunyi District, Beijing) in the People's Republic of China.
The Property is an investment property of the Group. The Property is a three-storey building with a basement with a total gross floor area of approximately 1,601 square meters. The Group acquired the Property in 2008 for investment purpose and it has not generated any revenue for the Group. The Property is currently vacant.
The book value of the Property as at 30 September 2012 was HK$124,584,000. The Group will expect a gain of approximately HK$1,044,141 before deducting the necessary expenses in relation to the Disposal.
The Vendor is required to deliver vacant procession of the Property to the Purchaser upon receipt of the full purchase price.
NatSec MSE Daily Update: Top 20 +0.23%, Turnover ₮52.6 Million
June 3 (National Securities) Today June 3, just 15,638 shares of 19 JSC's were traded with a combined value of MNT 52,573,321. Values of five shares were up, seven shares decreased and seven were stable.
The total market capitalization was MNT 1 trillion and 375 billion. The MSE Top-20 Index was up .23% to 13,868.16. Sharyn Gol (SHG) continued its impressive recent run, up another 2.97%, and given its index weighting was a major contributor on the day. Big losers of the day were Mongol Alt (ERS) -10.05%, and against a recent strong trend, the State Department Store (UID) -4.76%.
Please click here to see the detailed news
NatSec MSE Daily Update: Top +1.74%, Turnover ₮31.9 Million
June 4 (National Securities) 4th of June 2013 trading volumes were at 43,850 with a MNT 31,896,236 (U$22K) value. The MSE TOP-20 Index was up +1.74% to 14,108.84.
The top gainer was Hereglee Impex (HIE) +14.99%, followed by Aduunchuluun (ADL) up a similarly strong +14.72%. Mongol Savkhi (UYN) was biggest loser on the day, - 8.7% and Mongol Shiltgeen (MSH) was also -7.06%. Volume-wise, Remicon (RMC) was the clear leader with 33,074 stock traded.
Please click here to see the detailed news
BoM: Balance of Payment Report for First 4 Months
June 3 (Bank of Mongolia) --
BoM holds FX auction
June 4 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on June 4th, 2013 the BOM received from local commercial banks bid offers of 3.6 million USD as closing rate of 1441.44 and 47 million CNY as closing rate of 234.6 and ask offer of 16 million USD as closing rate of 1441.64. BOM has refused all the bid offers and ask offers.
On June 4th, 2013, The BOM did not make any Swap agreement with domestic commercial banks.
BoM issues 1-week bills
June 5 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 558.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 11.50 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
RESULT OF GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AUCTION
June 5 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 120 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 120 billion /out of 177.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 10.31%.
The Mongolian energy industry: filling in the gaps
June 4 (DLA Piper) Mongolia is attracting great interest thanks to its astonishing, barely exploited mineral wealth and its rapid economic development: the International Monetary Fund forecasts Mongolia's gross domestic product will grow on average by 14 percent every year between now and 2016.
Its economic transformation brings with it a critical need to modernize the country's aging energy infrastructure and expand its power and heat distribution systems. Since the third quarter of 2009, indigenous power generation has failed to meet Mongolia's ever-increasing electricity needs.
The Government of Mongolia (GoM) and the private sector are actively addressing this shortfall. Significant opportunities exist for developers and financiers looking to participate in the modernization of the country's energy sector through a range of procurement methods, including public-private partnership (PPP) or purely private financing models.
Two major power projects illustrate the scale of this effort and the diverse procurement methods being promoted by the GoM: the Combined Heat and Power Plant Number 5 (CHP#5) in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar (to be developed in two phases, with phase one a 450MW CHP), and the Salkhit wind farm in the Tuv region, 75 kilometers south of Ulaanbaatar. Financing for Salkhit recently closed and the plant is now under construction.
Both CHP#5 and Salkhit are being developed on a project finance basis, but using different methods. CHP#5 is being tendered as a PPP to the private sector by the State Property Committee of the GoM, with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, under a government concession model. In contrast, Salkhit was developed privately by the Clean Energy division of the Mongolian conglomerate Newcom LLC.
For these projects and others, Mongolia is committed to providing the regulatory structures and incentives to attract international investment and financing.
Market overview: Mongolia's need for large-scale power plants
It is anticipated that without any new large-scale power plants such as CHP#5, the total power shortfall within the Mongolian central power grid will grow to as much as 600MW by 2015, and then, by 2020, to 900MW. Even with the proposed addition of 820MW from CHP#5, by 2030 Mongolia's electricity shortfall is expected to be 700MW. Additional demand will come from the development of the Sainshand Industrial Complex in southern Mongolia (where the GoM wants the private sector to process the output from surrounding coal and copper-gold mines and various other mineral deposits).
As a result, various power projects are under development, such as a 60MW power plant for the Mogoin Gol coal deposit, a 12MW power plant for the Khushuut coal deposit, an 800MW power plant for the Sainshand industrial cluster and two 50MW wind farms (including Salkhit). Construction and upgrading of transmission lines and other infrastructure, in particular the central grid distribution system, will also be needed to support all this new capacity.
Mongolia's existing CHPs were all government-funded and constructed with the help of the Soviet Union during the country's Socialist era of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. All these CHPs are currently government owned and operated. The country's shift to a multi-party political system and market economy in the early 1990s led to the implementation of new policies and legislation to provide alternative means of constructing, financing and operating infrastructure projects, including power plants. These efforts have borne fruit in the mining sector. Foreign multinationals and investors of all kinds have flocked to the country to exploit its vast mineral and coal deposits.
In contrast, public-oriented power sector reform and development has lagged behind. The GoM is championing various approaches to remedy the shortfall, each of which promotes strong private sector participation.
The Concessions Law: a framework for financing concession projects
The Concessions Law provides a complete framework for implementing concessions in Mongolia. This includes provisions relating to:
Ø Approving projects to be developed using the concession model
Ø Recognizing a variety of concession structures, including BoT, BOO, BOT, DBFO and others
Ø Putting in place a tender process managed by the State Property Committee for state assets or by local governors or aimags (administrative subdivisions) for local assets.
The Concessions Law addresses several elements that the GoM recognizes are important in order to achieve a successful international project financing. These include the structure of the concession tariff, security interests regarding the project and its revenues, and GoM support in the form of guarantees or other financial support.
When an applicable law comprehensively addresses critical structuring and financing issues, then PPP transactions, including the project financing structures that underpin them, are inevitably facilitated. The Concessions Law goes a long way towards establishing a viable legal framework to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure projects. It remains to be seen how effective it will be in attracting further international investment into Mongolia.
The Renewable Energy Law and private sector project financing
One objective of the GoM's new policies and legislation in the energy sector is to encourage the development of purely privately financed power projects and to buy electricity generated by such projects. The GoM also wants to encourage alternatives to the development of coal-fired large-scale power projects and is doing so by promoting renewable energy.
The Renewable Energy Law, approved in January 2007, offers feed-in tariffs for renewable energy power projects, which allow recovery of capital and investment costs and make investment attractive to developers and financiers alike.
TABLE 1 - MONGOLIA FEED-IN TARIFFS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY POWER SOURCES*
from 0.5 to
from 2 to
4.5 - 6
4.5 - 6
4.5 - 6
8 - 9.5
15 - 18
8 - 10
5 - 6
4.5 - 5
10 - 15
* Prices are given in US cents per kWh
The Renewable Energy Law has effectively helped kickstart private sector involvement in the financing and development of power projects in Mongolia. One good example of this is Salkhit – construction for this wind farm came about thanks to project financing by Newcom through its renewable energy subsidiary, Clean Energy, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Wind farms are generally small in size (Salkhit is 50MW, which is relatively large by wind farm standards), but despite this it is anticipated that Salkhit could ultimately generate as much as 5 percent of Mongolia's electricity.
For Salkhit and similar projects, the GoM is committed to providing the right incentives to attract private sector participants by retaining most of the buyer's risk events that are customary in the international independent power producer market, such as demand and political risks. This will help to ensure that projects similar to Salkhit are also "bankable" and attract investment and debt financing from international financial institutions.
The road ahead
Through the Concessions Law and the Renewable Energy Law, the GoM has provided a solid basis for developing and financing infrastructure projects in Mongolia under both PPP and purely private initiatives. Many new projects are being considered and discussed in the marketplace.
The development and implementation of some of Mongolia's first major energy projects is giving the GoM and private sector participants (and their legal and financial consultants) valuable experience. Inevitably, their experiences will allow the country to refine aspects of its legal framework. Undertaking the necessary legislative or regulatory amendments will improve Mongolia's access to international capital and technology and accelerate its ambitious and exciting development plans.
For more information about energy development in Mongolia, please contact Stewart K. Diana.
Julian Dierkes: I'm Still Thinking Run-Off…
May 3 (Mongolia Focus) Mendee has posted some very good reasons why he thinks a run-off following the June 26 presidential election is unlikely. At least until we see another Sant Maral poll (I'm hoping there will be one more before the June 19 ban on further polling) that indicates tendencies and directions about voter preferences, I will stick with my earlier expectation (not prediction) of a run-off.
What Triggers a Run-Off?
There are actually two conditions under which additional voting is triggered, one that is focused on participation by electoral district, one that is focused on the vote share garnered by the winning candidate.
1. If fewer than 50% of the eligible voters in a given electoral district vote, there will be additional voting one week after the initial vote (ie July 3). [Article 61.7, Law on the Presidential Election of Mongolia] No matter whom voters have voted for in a given district (= roughly 800 to 3,500 voters), 50% of them have to cast a vote to validate that district's result.
2. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast in the entire country, a run-off between the top two candidates will be held two weeks after the initial vote, i.e. July 10. [Article 62, Law on the Presidential Election of Mongolia]
I am interested in the second kind of run-off here, i.e. the leading vote-getter on June 26 only gets a plurality of votes, not a majority, triggering a run-off between the top two vote-getters, i.e. Ts Elbegdorj and B Bat-Erdene, unless something really dramatic (and unlikely) happens in the campaign.
Third (and more) Candidates
In my post previewing the election for the Financial Times' 'beyond BRICS' blog, I had initially mistakenly written that N Udval was the first third candidate in a presidential election because the 2009 election when I was an election monitor only involved N Enkhbayar and Ts Elbegdorj.
Let's quickly look at the vote share of 3rd and 4th candidates in previous elections (I'm taking all the figures below from the nicely organized Wikipedia pages on Mongolian presidential elections).
1997: 6.8% (J Gombojav, Mongolian Conservative United Party)
2001: 3.6% (L Dashnyam, Civil Will)
2005: 14.1% (B Jargalsaikhan, Republican Party); 11.5% (B Erdenebat, Motherland Party)
If we assume for a moment that there is some continuity in voters' behaviour when faced with a choice of more than two candidates, independent of the party affiliation and the party candidates themselves, we would expect Udval to receive some share of the votes that lies between 3 and 15%, roughly. [If there are any election specialists out there, I would welcome comments on whether such an expectation of consistency across elections is reasonable.]
Thinking purely about the numbers then, every percentage point of votes that Udval receives, means that one of the two other candidates has to win that many more votes relative to the other candidate. If Udval wins 10% of the votes, for example, Elbegdorj would have to win over 56% to Bat-Erdene's 44% among the remaining 90% of voters who didn't vote for Udval in order to avoid a run-off. The number of votes Udval can garner thus has a significant impact on the likelihood of a run-off.
Put another way, winning candidates in multicandidate elections in the past have been able to avoid the run-off by decisively beating the 2nd place candidate.
1997: N Bagabandi's 62.5% vs. P Ochirbat's 30.6%
2001: N Bagabandi's 59.2% vs. R Gonchigdorj's 37.2%
2005: N Enkhbayar's 54.2% vs. M Enkhsaikhan's 20.2%
1997 and 2001 seem particularly relevant here as both elections involved three candidates and the 3rd candidates received relatively few votes, a scenario that is likely this year. In both elections, Bagabandi received around 60% of the votes.
The question of how strong Udval will be as a candidate is what I devoted the first post in this series to. The early days of campaigning have not given any indication that she is building any significant momentum by turning out to be a candidate that holds a (surprising) appeal to any specific groups of voters. I will thus stick with my guess of a result of more than 3%, but probably less than 10% for her for the moment. Obviously, that is quite a range when taking the electoral math above into account.
Let's look at results from last year's parliamentary election as a guide. Udval appears to be widely perceived as a stand-in for Enkhbayar so we might assume that she will receive a good portion of the Enkhbayar loyalist vote. I also assume that most Enkhbayar loyalists are fairly motivated to vote as they are disgruntled about Enkhbayar's fate. They may also be concentrated in the countryside where participation rates are higher.
To estimate the share of Enkhbayar/MPRP loyalists, it is the share in the popular vote in the parliamentary election that is relevant as direct mandates in specific ridings might be subject to a different dynamic. The Justice Coalition received 22.3% of the popular vote in the 2012 parliamentary election.
Obviously, these are not all MPRP or Enkhbayar loyalists as the Coalition also includes the Mongolian National Democratic Party and I don't see any obvious way to take a guess at the share of the 22.3% that might have been MPRP vs. MNDP voters. However, my above estimate of 3-10% for Udval looks low when we look at the Justice Coalition's 22.3% as that would suggest that as few as 10% or only as many as 40% of Justice Coalition voters were MPRP voters.
Despite the lack of excitement around Udval or her "Five Dangers" platform, the above does lead me to expect that she will get a share of the vote that might well force a run-off unless Elbegdorj can really outpoll Bat-Erdene.
This is the part that makes me hesitate to actually predict a run-off rather than to merely think it likely. I think that Mendee is absolutely right that Elbegdorj may well campaign very effectively and simply win the election, no matter what mathematical hurdle the Udval candidacy throws in his way.
He could win the election by a) running a very strong campaign himself, b) Bat-Erdene's campaign faltering, or c) (perhaps most likely) some combination of a) and b).
Obviously, Elbegdorj has been in Mongolian politics for a long time and has a lot of experience campaigning. He continues to be a rousing speaker, and Mongolians seem to find him engaging (if not personable) when they see him from afar or on TV, as well as more up close. His presidency has not seen any major scandals or disasters that are tied to him in any way. There are some areas where he will point to achievements. In the absence of any mistakes during his first term, Elebgdorj will presumably enjoy some incumbency bonus.
Unlike Elbegdorj, Bat-Erdene is relatively untested as a candidate. Yes, he's been elected to parliament, of course. But, even in 2012, he was elected via the Khentii aimag constituency. In some local races, the campaign may well amount to perceptions of a candidate as strongly rooted locally (I imagine that Bat-Erdene's wrestling career helped here, as wrestlers often seem to be closely identified with their aimag of origin), as well as face recognition. His election and re-election in Khentii thus doesn't necessarily signal that he's a strong campaigner in the way that Elebgdorj's involvement in multiple national campaigns does.
It thus remains to be seen whether Bat-Erdene runs into any scandals or gaffes along the way in the campaign that seriously hurt his chances. And, as is evident from previous elections, a weak second choice can certainly propel a frontrunner past the 50% hurdle.
Finally, Mendee's argument about the strength of the DP organization and its strength in various state bodies is very interesting and perhaps most worrying. This will be one of the important aspects to watch about this election. Policy differences between Elbegdorj and Bat-Erdene might not amount to very much, but an Elebgdorj win would clearly cement DP domination for the next three years. Mendee's reference to the winner-take-all aftermath of the 1996 or 2000 elections is thus a warning sign of what may be going on at the moment. This surely deserves a post of its own, in addition to a focus on this topic on this blog and by election monitors.
Middle Banner 4 (600 pixels wide)
MCS Chairman Odjargal Interview on Bloomberg TV Mongolia
Link to video (in Mongolian)
ABB to supply main electrical equipment package for MAK's new Tsagaan Suvarga copper plant in Mongolia
Major electrification package to help Tsagaan Suvarga copper and molybdenum plant achieve safe and energy efficient operation under very tough climatic conditions
Baden, Switzerland, June 4, 2013 (ABB) – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order for a major electrical equipment package from Mongolyn Alt Corporation (MAK) for its greenfield copper and molybdenum project Tsagaan Suvarga. The site is located in the Eastern Gobi Desert in Mongolia, approximately 560 km south of the capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Integrated into pre-fabricated containerized E-houses, ABB's scope of supply includes 22/6.6 kV switchgear, DC power supply, uninterrupted power supply, transformers, 400 V motor control centers, variable-speed drives, variable-speed multi drives as well as a power management system based on the state-of-the-art Extended Automation System 800xA and IEC 61850. The incorporation of the equipment into pre-fabricated E-houses reduces the erection work on site and thus optimizes the overall time schedule. Furthermore, the solutions are proven for stable operation under extreme variations in temperatures from -35 to +40°C.
"ABB's electrification solutions will allow Mongolyn Alt Corporation to achieve optimal operational conditions to reach highest production at lowest energy costs," said Giuseppe di Marco, Head of ABB's mining business. "Our well established relationship with the customer, the early involvement in basic engineering as well as the ability to provide first-class equipment for use under extreme climatic conditions were major factors for winning this order."
Deliveries are scheduled to take place from December 2013 to May 2014 and first plant start-up is planned for September 2014.
Established in 1993, Mongolyn Alt Corporation is one of Mongolia's largest national mining companies with three open-pit coal mines in operation. With a targeted production volume of 40,000 tons of copper per day, the Tsagaan Suvarga project is expected to become the third largest copper mine in Mongolia.
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.
Pelicana Launches into Mongolia
April 5 (The Korea Economic Daily) Pelicana Chicken, the first chicken franchise in Korea, is making forays into Mongolia. The company announced on April 4 that it signed a master franchise contract with Capital Market LLC of Mongolia.
Capital Market, founded in 2001, is a retail-specific Mongolian company. Capital Market has an exclusive right to sell inside Mongolia the products of Tyson Foods and Dole Food Company, the largest meat processing companies in the United States.
Master franchise refers to a franchising contract in which the master franchiser (the owner of the brand name) hands over the control of the franchising activities in a specified territory to a person or entity, called the "master franchisee," in return for receiving royalties for a certain period of time.
After further negotiations, Pelicana plans to set up its own factory in Mongolia in order to realize a local supply chain. Capital Market plans to open the first Pelicana store in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, within the first half of this year.
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Deputy Foreign Minister attends Proliferation Security Initiative meeting
June 2 (UB Post) Mongolian delegates led by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Mongolia D.Gankhuyag took part in the 10th High Level Political Meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), held in Warsaw, Poland from May 27 to 29. It was the first time in five years that all PSI participants have gathered to collectively influence its future.
The stated objective of the meeting was to set the stage for PSI activities and underline the political importance of the PSI through four joint statements and declarations on future activities such as on strengthening activities of the national organizations, on expanding strategic communications, on ensuring active initiatives, and on strengthening the capability and experience of stopping the proliferation of weapons.
However, for the PSI to fulfill its full potential and remain relevant for another 10 years, it will need more than joint statements and new declarations.
One of the main challenges facing the PSI is that the existing PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles—the rationale, objectives, and activities that define the initiative—is not fully implemented by most PSI participants. In order to remedy this situation, the members of the PSI Operational Experts Group ⎯ the initiative's steering group ⎯ need to do more to build the capacity of states that have pledged to undertake PSI activities, mindful of the legal constraints and operational realities.
A number of relevant sanctions resolutions also include measures to control the transfer of conventional arms, intended to prevent and limit armed conflict. The PSI's activities, and the interstate collaboration and network it has developed, are as applicable to the illicit transfer of conventional weapons as they are to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
According to the report of the National News Agency, Deputy FM D.Gankhuyag gave a speech dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the PSI, saying that Mongolia supports the PSI and has been actively collaborating with countries in it. For instance, Mongolia established a cooperation memorandum with the USA in 2007 on preventing the illegal trade of nuclear and radioactive materials. In accordance with this memorandum, the U.S. side has supplied radioactive and nuclear material detecting equipment costing 10 million USD to Mongolia.
The PSI is a global effort that aims to stop the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern.
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Mongolia's Gobi bear clings to existence
June 4 (Mother Nature Network) Mongolia, the host of this year's U.N. World Environment Day, is home to Earth's rarest bear. Conservationists hope 2013 will mark the beginning of its comeback.
There are only 22 Gobi bears left in the world, a paltry number that could easily vanish before the next generation matures. With only eight females and 14 males left to sustain their existence, these rare bears can barely stay afloat in their own gene pool.
But thanks to the United Nations Environment Program, the Gobi bear — also known as "Mazaalai" in its native Mongolia — may have one last lease on life. Not only has UNEP labeled 2013 "the Year of Protecting Mazaalai," but it's running an awareness campaign about the bears tied to World Environment Day on June 5. Mongolia is the host country for World Environment Day 2013, giving the bears a much-needed moment in the sun.
In honor of this effort, here are two documentaries about the rarely seen Gobi bear and its longshot struggle against extinction:
Mine-dependent Mongolia to push renewables as climate change bites -president
June 5 (Terrence Edwards, Reuters) - Mongolia, which is banking on a mining-led investment boom to develop its economy, is aiming to turn itself into a regional renewable energy hub as it tries to fight off the pressures of global warming, the country's president said.
"Mongolia is regarded as one of the centres of this region for wind power. We have high mountains and the Gobi. We have great potential to generate power," president Tsakhia Elbegdorj told reporters.
"We have some ideas of how Mongolia can be Asia's super grid for wind power and solar power, and other renewable energies. If we use all the wind power (potential) in the country, we can enhance the energy supply of China and all over Asia."
Mongolia was chosen to host the U.N.'s World Environment Day on June 5, and at a news conference to mark the occasion, officials said the country also planned to better regulate a mining sector that is polluting an already fragile environment.
The mining sector, with dozens of projects in coal, gold, copper and iron ore, has helped the country to record one of the highest rates of economic growth, at 12.3 percent last year and 17.5 percent in 2011.
But land around the country is being dug up by both licensed and unlicensed miners, causing pollution and poisoning some lakes and rivers.
"There are some countries that developed their resources in good ways, and Mongolia wants to be one of those countries by learning from others, building relations and introducing new policies," Elbegdorj said.
The World Bank ranked the capital, Ulan Bator, among the world's most polluted cities during winter, a consequence mostly of coal burned by residents to stave off temperatures often reaching -30 degrees Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit).
Mongolia is suffering "more pasture degradation, permafrost thawing, and glacial melt", Sanjaasuren Oyun, minister of environment and green development, told Reuters.
Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme told Reuters during a visit this week that Mongolia had seen average temperatures rise 2.1 degrees Celsius (3.8 F) in the past 60 to 70 years - about three times faster than the global average.
Its high altitude and sparse vegetation in many regions made the nation vulnerable.
The government hopes to use tax revenue from mining to promote other businesses such as fine cashmere production.
Environment Minister Oyun said she was introducing new environmental regulations, including obliging companies to pay compensation for the use and consumption of non-extracted resources such as water and timber.
She said money would go to communities where those resource were consumed, with a portion dedicated to environmental issues such as reforestation or repair of mined lands.
Mongolia shakes its 'Asia's mineral state' reputation, pushes renewables – MINING.com, June 5
World Environment Day Celebrations Get Under Way in UB
June 1 (UNEP) It is all starting today in Ulaanbaatar as the host country of WED 2013 kicks off events with International Children's Day in the Central Square on what looks through the curtains like a super sunny day.
In the city there is a tangible excitement at hosting WED celebrations throughout the week in one of the world's fastest growing economies or what is being dubbed a 3G country--a new term for the new generation of global wealth generators.
Last night a gaggle of international journalists asked why Mongolia to celebrate WED and it true with an economy built on mining and a land heaving with every conceivable mineral imaginable the future for the environment here and the traditional nomadic way of life could look bleak.
But you only have to meet the officials in the ministries and the people on the street to know that they are determined to 'do a Norway'--Norway was broke and poor at the end of World War II but then they discovered oil. Instead of being a resource curse, they used it as a resource blessing investing profits in trust funds and policies that have made that small country a social and environmental beacon that punches above its weight in international affairs.
The local English newspaper here is full of environmental stories as Mongolia seeks to implement a Green Development policy--for example articles on mining restrictions around river systems and protected areas (which Mongolia plans to extend from 17 per cent of the country's land surface to 30 per cent in a decade to support eco-tourism).
Tens of thousands of cleaner stoves being handed out to communities to cut air pollution in traditional homes and next week the inauguration of one of Mongolia's first wind turbines--part of a long term plan to become a major renewable energy power house and a challenge to the old Soviet coal-fired power stations that can make the capital city heave with black smoke especially in the winter months.
A government scheme to pay for forests planted on degraded lands and around water catchments areas to improve the environment and support local people is also part of the media chatter.
Is it all going to work--who knows but the vision and the courage is there. Bordered by China and Russia, new railway lines and roads are being lined up to whisk copper and gold to resource hungry neighbours.
Already according to WWF and the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species, fenced and barbed wire railway corridors are snagging, killing and frustrating centuries-old migration routes for rare and endangered antelopes and other animals that are needed to underpin any eco tourism strategy.
People talk about the Arctic as the climate canary in the gold mine, but Mongolia is perhaps the climate canary in the gold mine given the fact that average temperatures here have risen three times faster than the gloabl average--2.1 degrees C in 70 years.
All in one of the most fragile environments with water resources scarce, the Gobi desert expanding and people leaving the land for the increasingly bright lights of UB--homelessness is becoming an issue too.
But give Mongolia a chance--like the rare Takhi horse (the wind is the only person who rides him, say the Mongolians),the winds of change here may be mustering a storm but it may be before the calm.
UNEP and the UN system are here in force at the request of the government and are determined to assist with policies, laws and practical advice--not just for WED but for the long haul.
WED 2013, officially celebrated on 5 June every year world-wide, is just a day--but will hopefully be one that will shine a global light on this most mysterious and yet charming of countries so that the smiling young faces at today's International Children's Day in UB's Central Sqaure confirm not pessimism but fire up even more a national optimism that Mongolia will make that transition to a Green Economy and prove the deniers and the doubting Thomas's wholeheartedly wrong.
Video: Ulaanbaatar Marathon - World Environment Day 2013 – UNEP, June 3
Green thoughts from Mongolia on World Environment Day - Myjoyonline News Portal, June 5
Mongolia's green & gold revolution in UN spotlight
June 5 (Responding to Climate Change) Resource-rich Mongolia has an unprecedented opportunity to pursue a green growth strategy from day one of its rapid development, a UNEP official has said.
The country is the host nation of UNEP's World Environment Day (WED) on June 5 and as it begins to tap into its abundant resources, it has the chance to use its newfound wealth to pursue a sustainable development path.
"There are immense opportunities, it's not a coincidence that we have ended up in Mongolia," Kaveh Zahedi, deputy director of UNEP's division of technology, industry and economics told RTCC.
"There is huge potential and it could go either way. They are deciding right now whether they will go down the green economy pathway or the old pathway. The government seems committed, which is of course a prerequisite and we will see how it unfolds."
The country has vast gold, uranium and copper reserves among others. It also has huge oil and coal potential. The value runs into trillions of dollars if well-managed and government will soon be able to increase its investments.
There have been concerns raised that the mining boom has also increased air and water pollution, as well as infringing the rights of its nomadic tribes and depleting already scarce water resources.
Speaking at a news conference to mark WED, the country's president Tsakhia Elbegdorj said the country had plans to use its impending wealth to turn it into a green power hub for Asia.
"Mongolia is regarded as one of the centres of this region for wind power. We have high mountains and the Gobi [desert]. We have great potential to generate power," he said.
"We have some ideas of how Mongolia can be Asia's supergrid for both wind power and solar power, and other renewables. If we use all the wind power [potential] in the country, we can enhance the energy supply of China and all over Asia."
Zahedi welcomes the president's support and added that the country's sustainable development plan, written in 1998, shows a long-standing desire for green growth.
"When you see commitment at the very top level to a degree where you see national development plans that talks about green growth and look at how to grow without undermining the ecosystems it is a sign of great hope," said Zahedi adding that sustainable development could bring further benefits to the country's economy.
"If you are mining and you capture the [methane] gas [that is freed], that's also a huge benefit. You are creating yourself a new energy source which improves access to energy for the country.
In his second role, Zahedi is also the interim head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). It aims to reduce methane, soot and other short term pollutants that also drive near-term warming of the atmosphere.
"The possibilities in Mongolia are big. Hopefully the world platform of WED can help them feel vindicated in the choices they are making," said Zahedi.
Mongolian Gold Miners Put Health before Wealth
Inside the compound, which is surrounded by stark hills and grassy plains dotted with grazing horses and cattle, sits one of only a few mercury-free processing facilities in the country.
Model Processing Plant Allows Artisanal Miners to Turn Their Back on Highly Toxic Mercury
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 3 (UNEP) - Behind the unassuming brick walls of a remote compound in Mongolia's Mandal district lies what may be part of the solution to the pressing health challenge posed by the use of mercury in artisanal small-scale gold mining.
Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that is especially harmful to developing foetuses and young children. Once emitted, mercury can travel great distances through the atmosphere, causing global contamination of ecosystems, animals and the human food chain.
Despite the dangers, miners continue to use mercury. This year's UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Mercury Assessment found that small-scale gold mining accounts for 35 per cent of mercury emitted into the air and directly threatens the health of an estimated 15 million miners in 70 countries-mainly in Africa, Asia and South America.
However, some of the roughly 100,000 Mongolian small-scale gold miners now have an alternative. Inside the compound, which is surrounded by stark hills and grassy plains dotted with grazing horses and cattle, sits one of only a few mercury-free processing facilities in the country.
"While Mongolia banned mercury use in small-scale mining in 2008 to help protect its population and environment, mercury is still used here," says Brenda Koekkoek, Programme Officer in the chemicals branch of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Artisanal Gold Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the sector, estimates that approximately 11 tonnes of mercury are used each year in Mongolia.
Koekkoek sees the facility as part of the solution to continued use and a model for others to follow, particularly since many nations will soon have obligations under the Minamata Convention-a global treaty on controlling mercury use, emissions and releases agreed in January after four years of negotiations convened by UNEP.
"These types of initiatives put Mongolia in a strong place to be able to sign and ratify the convention and comply with its obligations," she says. "It also provides a great model for other countries to adapt to their needs."
The privately owned processing plant was replicated from a pilot project set up in Bornuur by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Mongolian government, in consultation with miners and other stakeholders. Other organizations like the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) actively support countries to develop solutions.
The Mandal plant operates 24/7 to cope with the steady stream of miners filing in to pay $10 per tonne to have their ore processed.
The sacks of rock hacked manually from the earth are crushed and put through a gravity sluice to concentrate the gold. At this point in the traditional process, mercury would be added to form an amalgam of gold and mercury that when heated sees the mercury burn off in a toxic vapour and the gold left behind.
In the plant, a shaking table is used to separate the precious metal and allow it to be safely smelted down.
"Miners would be happy if there were facilities like this all over the country: this is a safe process and they recover the same amount of gold as they would through mercury amalgamation," says Felix Hruschka, a mining engineer consulting with the SDC. "The problem in Mongolia is that there are not enough of such processing plants."
Enkhbaatar, a grizzled 43-year-old who has been mining gold for 13 years to support his wife and two children, agrees. When the government banned mercury, he looked for alternatives to avoid being branded "a criminal" and to protect his family's health. Now he uses the plant.
"Everybody is happy to be served by this facility, but when lots of miners bring their ore here they have to queue for a long time," he says. "I would like to see more of these places built."
While the overall policy approach for artisanal and small-scale mining varies from country to country, Mongolia-the global host of UNEP's World Environment Day 2013-is looking to move to a greener and more-sustainable future through renewable energy, ecotourism and other measures.
In the meantime, government officials recognize that small-scale gold mining provides an important livelihood. Gold can represent an excellent method of transferring wealth to rural communities as small-scale producers often get 70 per cent or more of international prices, which is higher than products such as coffee or bananas.
Nonetheless, most small-scale miners scrape by. According to Hruschka, one tonne of ore produces on average 20 grammes of gold, which can be sold for about 700 dollars on the local market. This money has to be shared between up to 15 miners, who may have taken two weeks to produce the ore.
"Although they work with gold, and it is shining and glittering, artisanal miners are in general poor," says Hruschka.
Still, the recognition of small-scale mining as an important livelihood is why Mongolia's Ministry of Mining has been working on formalization of the sector and sees such facilities as crucial until they can transit these miners to other sectors.
"Without this processing plant, many people would still be using mercury," says B. Batbayar, Senior Officer for Artisanal Small-Scale Mining in the ministry. "We plan to build several more plants. However, we are going to shift these miners into other activities over the next five years as the economy grows and we develop infrastructure and further businesses."
Mercury-free gold mining in Mongolia – TreeHugger, June 3
World Environment Day puts spotlight on food waste across the globe
June 4 (Eco-Business.com) Thousands of people across the world are gearing up for World Environment Day (WED) tomorrow with celebrations this year centred on a theme of cutting the world's staggering amount of food waste.
The June 5 celebration is hosted by Mongolia this year with the theme "Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your Foodprint".
According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), a co-partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which organises this movement, an estimated one third, or 1.3 billion tonnes, of all food produced ends up in the garbage of farmers, transporters, retailers and consumers alike.
This is not only a waste of food but also a waste of the natural resources used along the production and supply chain process. It also leads to the release of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere for no significant purpose.
The two organisations are now encouraging people to think about food in a whole new light, to be more conscious of the simple decisions revolving food.
For example, FAO and UNEP said, to produce one hamburger, 16,000 litres of water are used. For every hamburger that is thrown out, that is 16,000 litres of water that could have been used elsewhere.
The 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste generated each year is enough to feed the 870 million people who go hungry daily.
In Mongolia, the 2013 host country, food waste is a rare occurrence. The country is steep in food preservation traditions due to the influence of its large nomadic population, who, through the centuries, have devised ways to store food for long stretches of time. UNEP and FAO point to Mongolian practices as possible solutions to current food problems.
On Saturday, Mongolia began its World Environment Day celebration targeting children with various activities promoting the environment such as flash mobs and parades right on Ulaanbaatar's Central Square. Over the weekend, the celebrations gathered more support from the health and fitness community or those who participated in the Ulaanbaatar 2013 Marathon, which was flagged off by UNEP Patron for Clean Air and current marathon world record holder Patrick Makau.
Since Monday, the campaign has attracted organisations that are giving the campaign a boost. In particular, business executives, government leaders and other stakeholders gathered for the National Forum on Green Development, which aims for the establishment of clean energy sources and creating more sustainable growth that builds on Mongolia's existing environmental measures, like the Clean Air Fund project and soon-to-be finalised Green Development Strategy.
In addition, clean tech investor Newcom Group and construction and mining firm Leighton Asia are launching Mongolia's first wind farm today as part of the World Environment Day festivities.
And to commemorate the special day tomorrow, UNEP with the World Resources Institute will release a paper on "Sustainable Food Futures", solutions to reduce food waste and food loss.
Different celebrations are also set to take place around the globe. In Australia, the University of South Wales is hosting a debate on the campaign's issues with representatives from political, academic and social circles, and non-profit food excess collecting and redistributing group Oz Harvest and UNEP.
In China, WED will be celebrated at Shanghai's Tongji University's International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability (ISCES), focusing on "Food, Health and Sustainable Development". Other events include the appointing of Environmental Protection Envoys, a concert, and a UN Forum on Sustainable Consumption in Beijing.
Meanwhile, in India, the youth sector will take part in runs, awareness-raising activities and tree-planting ceremonies from Bangalore to Chennai.
The United States is also expected to have major festivities for World Environment Day. The City of Portland will act as local host and conduct its popular Rose Festival Parade in line with this year's campaign, as well as other environment-oriented arts and crafts events.
On top of these, over half a million people have registered their own personal activities online for the event. Once registered, people can also join the "WED Thunderclap", a unique communications feature that will send a resounding message to the world.
As UNEP declared, "Every individual and organisation can make a difference."
World Environment Day 2013 in Mongolia addressing global food security – Climate Action, June 5
Environment Day looks to Mongolia for ideas on how to avoid food waste and loss – MercoPress, June 5
Mogi: hope Korea returns all of this stuff. If not, you know what happened with Bataar right?
Xiongnu, the Great Empire of the Steppes: Mongolian Archeological Excavation Result Exhibition
(National Museum of Korea) --
Location: Prehistory and Ancient History
Date: 04-30-2013 ~ 06-19-2013
- The Archaeology and History Department surveyed the Huns' tombs in Duurlig Nars and Khentii Aimag in Mongolia starting 2006, surveyed annually thereafter. Of them, the exhibition will offer an introduction to Tomb No. 1, a gigantic tomb with a length of 54m, accompanied by its attached tombs that were excavated in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Representative Relics and Quantity
- 100 artifacts including jade disk excavated from Duurlig Nars Tomb No. 1.
Competent Department and Official: Archaeology and History Department
Photos: Mongolia's rapid modernization
June 4 (Mercury News) Mongolia is in the middle of a resources boom with Oyu Tolgoi, the huge copper and gold mine, soon to open, which will provide vast revenues for the government that can be spent on infrastructure and education if corruption can be kept in check.
In Mongolia, a Lifeline for Children with Disabilities
Like all children, those with disabilities have many abilities, but are often excluded from society by discrimination and lack of support, leaving them among the most invisible and vulnerable children in the world.
UNICEF launched its flagship report The State of the World's Children 2013: Children with Disabilities on May 30, 2013. The report brings global attention to the urgent needs of a largely invisible population.
In northern Mongolia, a center supporting children with disabilities has proven a lifeline for 13-year-old Uyanga.
TSAGAANNUUR, Khuvsgul province, Mongolia (June 3, 2013, UNICEF) — Tumenjargal is a kindergarten teacher in northern Mongolia. She's also a wife and mother of four. The family live in the small village of Tsagaannuur, about an hour from the Russian border.
Tumenjargal's 13-year-old daughter Uyanga enjoys the same things as a lot of girls her age. "She really loves music and dancing," Tumenjargal tells us. "She could watch television for hours, listening to music, especially traditional music, and watching how people dance."
Two days after she was born, Uyanga was diagnosed with brain damage, which left her with permanent learning disabilities. Uyanga has difficulty speaking, and her vision is impaired. She learned to walk when she was 3 years old. Her parents tell us she can usually walk alone in a familiar environment. Otherwise, she is afraid.
Challenges for Uyanga
In Uyanga's village, there are few options for children with disabilities. Uyanga attended kindergarten from the age of 4 until she was 9. She then went to her brother's school, but was soon faced with stigma and discrimination.
"When she was 9, she started attending school with her brother, but children made fun of her," Tumenjargal tells us. "It was hard for her brother, too, so she stopped going. It was difficult. There were some challenges."
Children with disabilities are less likely to receive an education. They're also less likely to engage with peers or have an opportunity to participate in their community. They are often neglected and isolated.
Today, Uyanga attends a center that helps children with disabilities learn new skills in a supportive and inclusive environment. UNICEF supports this center, which has become a lifeline for Uyanga—who now enjoys learning and has made friends. UNICEF has also trained the teachers here to promote child participation and inclusive education. Thanks to this inclusive model, 40 children with disabilities are now enrolled in the center as well as in the main school.
"She doesn't yet know how to write, but she is exercising how to hold her pen," Tumenjargal explains to us. "Also, she practices how to pronounce sounds and consonants. After school, she comes home and she tries to practice in front of the mirror."
"Please Help and Try to Understand"
Children with disabilities face many barriers; they encounter social exclusion, as do their families. Yet, in a supportive community, families can help foster a more inclusive and enriching environment.
"My message to parents of children with disabilities and people all over the world is this: Please help and try to understand children with disabilities," Tumenjargal says.
UNICEF wants to raise awareness about the rights of all children. We want to support more centers for children like Uyanga so they can enjoy the same opportunities as others.
Timaru educator part of Mongolian midwifery trip
June 4 (The Timaru Herald) Midwifery and Mongolia go hand in hand for Timaru woman Julie Dockrill.
Mrs Dockrill, who is clinical midwife manager and ante-natal educator for South Canterbury District Health Board, leaves for Mongolia in two weeks to upskill mothers and health professionals on basic maternity care.
She will spend a month travelling throughout various hospitals to help improve maternity systems as part of a Rotary Club of Waimate initiative.
Club president Gary Dennison, who is one of the main instigators of the project, said he was grateful for the support the initiative had received from the health board.
The maternity project has also received financial backing from the Rotary Clubs of Timaru and Timaru North, Rotary District 9980 and Rotary International. Between them they have put about $38,000 into the project.
Each year members of the Waimate club turn their focus to an international project, and this year stumbled across the need for better maternity care in Mongolia, Mr Dennison said. The club's last venture, a drinking water project in the Philippines, was completed in January.
A Rotary Club member's son put the group onto the need for better maternity care in Mongolia.
Now the club has Mrs Dockrill on its side, along with a range of other professionals who will combine their wide range of skills.
Mrs Dockrill, a midwife for 15 years, said the group would provide an ante-natal education programme for Mongolian women because "currently nothing exists like that. [A mother] might have a couple of visits with her GP, then pretty much turns up to the hospital and has her baby.
"The aim of the ante-natal programme would be to give those women a better understanding of what to expect in labour and to also look after themselves ante-natally."
Live From UB Exclusive: The Beatles Monument
June 3 (Live from UB) Here's another exclusive clip from the upcoming documentary! In this clip, several veteran Mongolian rockers and rock fans discuss the importance of The Beatles on Mongolian youth at a time when the West was out of reach. What seems at first like an odd monument to The Beatles in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, is actually a unique way to remember that special period of Mongolian history.
Katya Zol and Kiwi to participate in UAE International Fashion show
June 3 (UB Post) Mongolian designer G.Zoltsetseg, well-known by her brand name Katya Zol, is set to attend the Fashion-ME International exhibition and show in the United Arabian Emirates from June 10 to 16.
The designer is launching her new cashmere clothing line at the show. According to various news sites in Mongolia, the collection features 24 outfits, which are made of Mongolian cashmere and fine silk materials.
Also, the popular Mongolian girl-band "Kiwi" plans to model the creations of the designer on the catwalk during the show in Dubai.
The Fashion-ME is an event in Dubai that attracts rising designers from more than 20 countries. The event includes exhibitions, different fashion shows and introduction ceremonies for new international brands.
Mogi Munkhdul Badral Bontoi
Founder & CEO
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