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Mogi: looks like RIO misinterpreted Erdenes OT CEO Sedvanchig's letter. Huge blunder from RIO, or WAS IT? TRQ jumped 10.7% in NY last night on the news to $4.46. I recently stumbled upon something that strongly suggests RIO increased their TRQ stake from what we previously understood to be 51% to 55.53% in July, as RIO's 2Q operations report still said TRQ stake was 51%. Hope someone can dig this up further and confirm.
BDSec: Mongolia PM Says Parliament Approval NOT Required for Phase 2 Financing
August 2 (BDSec) We have now heard from multiple sources, which include BDSec employees who watched an interview with the Mongolian PM last night, that Parliament approval is NOT required for Phase 2 financing.
Regular readers will know we were suspect of this provision and found it odd that RIO was the only source for this story.
The following is an interpreted transcript of the interview. TRQ shares likely put in a very strong rally on this news.
In response to a journalist's question:
[Altankhuyag, PM:] There is no such thing as "to be brought to Parliament" or "Oyu Tolgoi, Rio Tinto discussed at the Parliament" or anything of that sort. The Parliament has already made the decision and signed their Agreement. As long as issues are conducted within the lawful agreement approved by the Parliament… [didn't finish his sentence] In fact, the Cabinet doesn't have to be involved. All issues can be discussed and decided at the Board of Directors' level. The Cabinet is not an institution with a mandate/powers to be deciding what is working and what is not. We did not make such a decision.
One shortcoming we've observed with regards to OT is that its BoD is not very good at discussing its issues. The GoM is saying that, as shareholder(s), you should make your decisions at the Board Level.
A letter was sent by Sedvanchig. The idea actually expressed in Sedvanchig's letter was that "In the event the Cabinet is not able to make a decision on a legally disputed issue, the issue may be brought to Parliament for a decision". Otherwise… [didn't finish his sentence] Sedvanchig is a CEO of a company. There is Board of Directors above him. There are shareholders above the BoD. The Cabinet is above the Board. Then there's Parliament above the Cabinet. There is a very very long way before it reaches the Parliament all the way, you see?
Chief Operating Officer
BDSec Joint Stock Company
HOW WILL THE DELAY OF UNDERGROUND EXPANSION OF OYU TOLGOI COPPER MINE AFFECT MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY?
August 1 (InfoMongolia) World mining giant Rio Tinto announced last Monday that the underground expansion of Oyu Tolgoi copper mine has been postponed for an uncertain period of time.
After this announcement, the "Turquoise Hill Resources" stocks fell by about 20% at the Toronto stock exchange. The Government of Mongolia and the Ministry of Mining of Mongolia have not made any comments about the situation so far.
Mongolian economists shared their views on how the delay of underground expansion of Oyu Tolgoi copper mine until Government permission is granted will affect Mongolia's economy.
Ch.Khashchuluun (National University of Mongolia, School of Economic Studies, Doctor of Economic Sciences):
Same as Erdenet Mining Corporation has been responsible for Mongolia's economy for the past 40 years, expectations are that the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine will be responsible for the next 40 years. Oyu Tolgoi deposits make up 20 percent of Mongolia's economy and during the project implementation period, income revenue will be three times more than today's Mongolian GDP, in other words, Mongolia will be able to obtain 34 billion USD. Therefore, these recent events will play a huge role in Mongolia's economy. 80 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi value is accumulated from underground mining. I feel Oyu Tolgoi is greatly significant to attract large foreign investments and end devaluation of Mongolian currency. Therefore, investments and decisions for expansion should be made as soon as possible without involving politics in all of this.
First of all, Mongolia's economy will lose around one million USD per day due to the halt of Oyu Tolgoi operations. If the underground expansion is delayed until October 01, Mongolia will lose 60 million USD. Second, around 1,000 highly professional individuals who were specially trained to work in underground mining will be unemployed. Third, foreign investments will decrease, which will impact the rate of Mongolian currency. These are three directs impacts. Besides these three, Mongolian investment risk in foreign markets will increase. These all have a severe negative impact on Mongolia's economy.
Mongolia woes gives Rio unit a $1.16bn whipping
July 31 (The Australian) INVESTORS have savaged Rio Tinto's Mongolian-focused subsidiary Turquoise Hill, wiping $1.16 billion from its market value over the mothballing of the Oyu Tolgoi underground expansion.
The Canadian-listed Turquoise Hill slumped 20 per cent to a 4 1/2-year low on Monday night after Rio said it was halting development work on an expansion of the $US11bn ($12.1bn) Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, which the Canadian company operates.
Analysts at Credit Suisse and BMO, who had been expecting Turquoise Hill shares to bounce back to higher levels, acknowledged this was unlikely, wiping up to $C4bn ($4.28bn) off their valuations on the company, which is 51 per cent owned by Rio (Mogi: see article below raising the question whether Rio now own 55.53% of TRQ).
Government uncertainty has been a feature of the big Oyu Tolgoi project, with calls from members of parliament for a greater stake for the nation in the cashflows it will provide.
But the latest move by the government, to require parliament to pass project financing, threatens to unravel $US2bn worth of funding commitments from banks and poses a serious hurdle to investment in underground expansion, which according to BMO provides all the value in the mine.
This comes after reports the government has a host of further issues that need ironing out, including some it has said could breach Mongolian laws.
Turquoise Hill shares slumped $C1.07 to $C4.38 in their biggest one-day fall in 20 months on the Toronto Stock Exchange, leaving the miner with a market value of $C4.4bn.
Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to neutral from buy and slashed its target price for Turquoise Hill from $C10 to $C6 to "reflect uncertainty on timing of project financing and lower project valuation".
BMO made the same rating downgrade and cut its target price from $C10 to $C5.50.
"Mongolia's reputation for mining investment has been destroyed," BMO analyst Tony Robson said.
BMO pushed back its forecast for first production from the expanded mine to 2018 from company estimates of 2016.
Mr Robson said Turquoise Hill's net present value with just the $US6bn open pit that has just started production was virtually zero because its value was roughly equal to debt levels.
Morgan Stanley said a two-year delay on Oyu Tolgoi, which makes up 2 per cent of Rio's value, would remove only $US280 million, or US22c per share, from the big miner's value.
Rio's shares bucked the pessimism yesterday, closing up 60c at $57.71.
Turquoise Hill has mobilised $US4bn of project financing commitments, half from a group of international banks and the rest from export credit agencies.
The financing now needs to be signed off by Mongolia's parliament, where there is opposition to the terms of the project, rather than by just the cabinet.
The banks had an August 12 deadline for approval from Rio and Mongolia but had granted approval until October, based on there being no stopping of development and quick Mongolian approval.
But development has now stopped and BMO does not expect real progress in talks between Mongolia and Rio for the rest of the year, leaving more uncertainty over funding.
Mogi: my sources say this is not likely
Rio Tinto likely to name Mongolian to head Oyu Tolgoi - sources
July 30 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto is likely to appoint a Mongolian to head its $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine as the company looks to patch up ties with the government amid disputes over costs and management at Mongolia's biggest project.
Bold Baatar, who was named president of Rio Tinto's international copper operations in April after advising the company for three years, is seen as the person most likely to replace Cameron McRae as president and chief executive of Oyu Tolgoi, two people familiar with the process said.
A Rio Tinto spokesman in Melbourne declined to comment on who was in the running to replace McRae or when an announcement would be made.
Appointing Bold would address a key complaint of the Mongolian government that locals are not well represented in the management of the project.
Bold is a well-known businessman in Mongolia, participating on the board of the Business Council of Mongolia as well as being chairman of the Mongolian National Mining Association and former chairman of the Mongolian Stock Exchange.
"Picking a Mongolian to run such a big Mongolian business project will go a long way in bridging the gap between Rio, the Mongolian government, and its people," said Badral Munkhdul of the market intelligence firm Cover Mongolia.
"It'll be a big vote of confidence for Rio to entrust the top position of the most important development project to a local Mongolian with international expertise, and to run a project of this scale," Badral said.
Bold would be taking on the position after Rio Tinto this week put on hold a $5 billion underground expansion of Oyu Tolgoi after being told that Mongolia's parliament would have to approve financing for the project.
Parliament is now in recess and is not due to sit again until October. Rio warned on Monday the parliamentary process may take some time to work through.
The project financing delay sent shares in Rio Tinto's Turquoise Hill unit down 20 percent to a 4-1/2 year low on Monday. Turquoise Hill owns a 66 percent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, with the rest owned by the Mongolian government.
Bold's current role is to oversee copper projects and sites in Australia, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Alaska and divestments in the copper group, including the $820 million sale of the Northparkes mine announced this week.
A former investment banker with JPMorgan in London, Moscow and New York, Bold was hired from a gold explorer and before that ran a Mongolian investment company.
McRae will be leaving Rio Tinto in October, having overseen the successful start-up of the massive mine, the company said in a memo to staff last week.
Mogi: hope someone picks this up and verifies it for everybody
Did Rio Tinto Just Increase Their Turquoise Hill Stake to 55.53%?
July 31 (Cover Mongolia) After a little research into who the 49% of Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ, NYSE:TRQ) shareholders are, I stumbled upon a site (morningstar.com) where it says Rio Tinto owns 55.53% of TRQ, with a date of portfolio July 5, 2013. The number of shares it owns is 558,528,911, according to the site. Previous public understanding was that Rio is stuck at 51%. But judging from the fact that total outstanding shares of TRQ is 1.00588 billion (Bloomberg) 55.53% is accurate.
TSX, NYSE substantial holder disclosure requirements seem a little too loose for my taste as the media, as late as July 29, said Rio controls 51% of TRQ.
Link to the site (click on the Institutions tab)
TRQ Shares and CEO Speculation
July 31 (National Securities) Recent media reports have suggested that Turquoise Hill (TRQ) might appoint a Mongolian national as the next CEO of Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, as the contractual term for Cameron McRae ends this November. The news speculates that Rio Tinto may possibly appoint Mr. B. Bold, the current President of International Copper Operations at Rio Tinto, a position he was appointed to in April this year.
Fueled by cost and management disagreements, relations between the firm and government of Mongolia (the mine partners) have been sour for the last year at the U$6bn plus mine; however, we believe the hiring of a strongly qualified local replacement of Mr. McRae would be a major peace-offering and possibly important more than just symbolic, given Mr. Bold's credentials in the industry and at the firm.
The latest news regarding the possible delay likely for any under-ground mining at TRQ, as it would require parliamentary approval, should not be viewed as stopping or delaying the recent positive trends towards the repairing of the firm/government relationship and commence of shipment of open-pit output to China. This rhetoric should be viewed as just that, and any processes and protocols which are a necessary evil in a democracy, where the government owns 34% of the mine, should in fact, anything that suggests normal, mature first-world behavior should be welcomed! Immediately after the announcement of possible delays in the development of the OT under-ground mine, shares were down -19.74% to U$4.27 at the close of trade yesterday. This is 1c off 52-week lows.
If you believe, as we do in the Mongolia longer-term story and that both sides realise there is a need for success of this mine at a crucial junction in Mongolian modern history; and if you believe that a 450,000 ton per annum copper mine, equal to 3% of the entire world's production at full operation by 2018 MUST happen, then this news is nothing but a short-term dip and good buy opportunity for a stock already hit hard this last year.
We will continue to monitor developments at OT and TRQ and expect to report on the firm and the mine again within several days.
De Facto: Oyu Tolgoi underground mine should go on
August 1 (Jargal DeFacto) --
Blame game with Rio Tinto
July 31 (Business-Mongolia.com) As Mongolia related stocks down from 5-20% percent in recent days, Rio Tinto still plays a blame game with the Mongolian government. Instead of being open and transparent, Rio Tinto chose to be an aggressive bully. All of the major international media blames the government for delaying the project financing, thus, underground development.
The media portrays Mongolia as a land of resource nationalists demanding a greater share in the project. However, in the reality, it is not so. It is not a secret among the government officials that OT LLC always rushes and pushes their agenda in a strict time-frame. We have heard what they promised Mongolia to get the Investment Agreement signed. In 2009 they insisted that while the copper price is high, the mine should be developed as soon as possible. OT LLC have presented a feasibility study and it was the basis of the economics to exploit the deposit. Then after quarter billion USD was an increase for pulling the next year's work. The initial feasibility study became a joke after a number of similar increases. Mongolian government demanded the amended or updated feasibility study to be approved by the Minerals Council in late 2011. Still, mining giant Rio Tinto and its consultants couldn't manage to provide the government and the shareholder Erdenes OT with the updated version.
Everyone hoped that Rio Tinto has the experience and resources to develop the mine without pledging the license and other related assets. To this day, for over two and a half year after, the project financing is still on the desk asking USD4 billion from just less than a dozen commercial and development banks. Rio Tinto wants to become a lender too. The funny thing is that the loan period is 15 years. Meaning that even if the mine starts to generate enough profit to pay off the debt, it will not be able to do it. Still, it will be charged on completion guarantee by Rio Tinto, and interest by the development banks.
Technical Reports of the project indicated that the Open pit and Underground development will be around USD14 billion, however, we are going to witness USD10 billion increase in the coming years. It will be one of the most expensive mines built on the ground.
With the current situation Mongolia will be lucky to receive dividend from the project after 30 years. And, of course the tax is stabilized, cancellation of Netherlands double tax treaty will be in tact, according to the OT LLC spokesperson – mentioned in the Bloomberg news.
For a giant as Rio Tinto – blaming the government for everything through their channels is easy. Where is the other side's opinion and statements? I wonder.
Aspire Mining increases coking coal Reserve at Ovoot in Mongolia
July 31 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining (ASX: AKM) has delivered a coal resource and reserve upgrade for the Ovoot Coking Coal Project, with re-modelling using all quality data from the 2012 drilling program, along with data from the adjacent operating Mogoin Gol Mine.
Aspire wholly-owns the Ovoot Project, which is confirmed as Mongolia's second largest coking coal reserve.
Under the JORC Code the Ovoot Open Pit coal resources have increased by 10.3% to 253.1 million tonnes. Underground coal resources remain unchanged at 27.9 million tonnes. Xstract Mining Consultants Pty Ltd provided the updated JORC statement.
This brings the total coal resources for the project to 281 million tonnes, with 197 million tonnes Measured, 72.3 million tonnes Indicated and 11.8 million tonnes Inferred.
Ovoot's probable coal reserve tonnes increased by 34 million tonnes to 255 million tonnes ROM, at a total moisture of 2%.
The probable marketable coal reserve increased by 8 million tonnes to 188 million tonnes, at a product moisture of 9.5%.
Importantly - the ROM strip ratio improved from 9.1:1 as estimated in the Pre-feasibility study, to 7.7:1.
David Paull, managing director, noted: "The increased understanding of the Ovoot Coking Coal deposit and the larger Reserves base increases the economic value of the Ovoot Project.
"The Resource model is now robust and the size of the prize well quantified. Initial production will be targeting the Upper seam where yields are greater than 80%, and which now benefit from the lower strip ratio.
"While there remains substantial exploration upside at the Ovoot Project, our focus now turns to assisting the Government of Mongolia in establishing the Northern Railways Ovoot to Erdenet railway."
Extensive geological structural and seam re-interpretation
During the Mongolian winter, an extensive geological structural and seam re-interpretation of the Ovoot Open Pit Coal Resource area was undertaken by Aspire's geological team.
The outcome is that the re-interpretation of the Ovoot Project's geology has resulted in improved seam correlation and reduction in the number of seam PLY's, comprising the Upper, Lower and OVB seams.
Aspire said that this improved the consistency of the coal seams and structural interpretation, giving increased confidence in the deposit - and allows additional tonnage to be included in the geological model.
A total of 96% of Ovoot Project Coal Resources are now classified in the high confidence Measured and Indicated categories.
The new resource increase brings attention back to Aspire Mining, already in possession of the second largest coking coal reserve in Mongolia and one of the highest quality in the world.
Recent testwork that demonstrated Ovoot coal could be blended and upgrade Tavan Tolgoi coking properties firmly establishes Aspire Mining as a pre-eminent coal player in the country.
A lower strip ratio will also improve the economics of the project.
Aspire will now work with the government to establish the Northern Railways Ovoot to Erdenet railway, a catalyst of significant dimensions.
Cash at end of Q A$7.9m
Aspire: QUARTERLY REPORT
July 31, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX:AKM) --
· Ovoot Coking Coal Resources and Reserves increase by 23.7Mt and 34Mt respectively
o Probable ROM Coal Reserve tonnes increase to 255Mt ROM at a total moisture of 2%;
o Probable Marketable Coal Reserves have increased to 188Mt over life of mine at a product moisture of 9.5%; and
o Measured and Indicated Coal Resources make up 96% of total Coal Resources.
· Successful Blending of Ovoot Coking Coal with coals from Tavan Tolgoi
o Ovoot coking coal when blended in equal proportions with non-coking coals from the Mongolian Government owned Tavan Tolgoi produces a quality coking coal; and
o Upgrading Tavan Tolgoi's non coking coals will have a significant impact on production and revenues from Tavan Tolgoi, which is the largest coking coal deposit in Mongolia.
· Non-Binding MOU's from North Asian Coking Coal Buyers for significant proportion of Stage 1 Production from Ovoot:
o Non-binding MOU's signed for the purchase of up to 5.6Mtpa of coking coal; and
o Additional significant interest has been indicated from Russian, East European, Chinese and Japanese steel mills and coke plants.
· Re-focusing the Company's priorities from Exploration to Rail Development.
o Exploration projects rationalised; and
o Personnel and overheads reduced to a significantly lower future rate of cash outflow.
· Completion of Rail Pre-Feasibility Study Revision
o Capex and Operating costs reduced as a result of shorter rail path, flatter terrain and the ability to run longer train consists;
o Alternative Southern Alignment reduces risk from an environmental, geotechnical, seismic and hydrological perspective;
o Appointment of SMEC as rail engineering partner to complete optimisation of eastern alignment; and
o Successful field confirmation of the alignment completed in July 2013.
Cash at end of Q A$2.94m
Wolf: Quarterly Exploration Activities Report
Wolf Petroleum Limited has completed its first year contract commitments and is now moving forward to the second year exploration programmes
July 30 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited (ASX: WOF) is pleased to report on its oil exploration activities in Mongolia for the June 2013 Quarter. During the first half of the year the Company has completed comprehensive geological and geophysical exploration programmes with encouraging results.
In the second half of the year the Company is planning to complete its 2014-2015 contract commitments with a focus on interpreting all acquired data and completing an evaluation of its petroleum exploration assets.
Sukhbaatar (Sb) block
§ Re-interpreted the gravity and magnetic data collected earlier in 2013.
§ Identified the largest and potentially deepest sub basins in Mongolia.
§ Completion of a remote sensing program, incorporating reprocessed gravity and magnetic data with satellite imagery and (DEM) data.
§ Identified areas of high heat flow, which can enhance hydrocarbon cracking and migration.
§ Alteration minerals identified in four sub-basins, suggesting hydrocarbon.
§ Preparation to commence 450km of 2D seismic data acquisition programme complete.
Cash at end of Q A$3.78m
Haranga: JUNE 2013 QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT
July 31, Haranga Resources Limited (ASX:HAR) --
Ø The Company defined a significantly increased JORC Code compliant resource covering three clustered deposits within the Company's flagship Selenge iron ore project area in Mongolia.
Ø The new total resource is 254Mt of iron ore at an average in situ grade of 17.2% Fe (for 44Mt of contained iron metal) based on a 12.5% Fe cutoff grade, of which 99.8% is in the Measured and Indicated categories.
Ø The Selenge project now holds the largest internationally recognized JORC compliant Iron Ore Resource in Mongolia.
Ø The Selenge project is now transitioning into its Development stage after the completion of the successful Exploration phase.
Ø The Mining License application process is nearing completion. The Company expects that it will be granted a mining license in in the latter half of 2013.
Ø The hydrogeological study will commence immediately after obtaining the relevant permit from the Environmental and Green Development Ministry of Mongolia.
Ø The Drilling programme for 2013 is currently being optimized. In addition to testing a number of new targets, the programme will also focus on hydrogeological and geotechnical drilling over the known resource areas.
Ø A Scoping Study for an early start up small scale operation has commenced.
Ø A tender process to select a suitable engineering group to undertake the Full Bankable Feasibility Study for the development of the Selenge Project is underway.
Ø The Company has commenced initial discussions with a number of potential off take partners.
Cash at hand A$2.26m
JUNE 2013 QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT
July 29, Voyager Resources Limited (ASX:VOR) --
Ø An agreement was entered into with Xstrata Do Brasil Exploração Mineral Limitada, a subsidiary of Xstrata Copper Limited ("Xstrata"), to transfer licenses from its claims in the Carajas region of Brazil to the Company.
Ø In consideration for these licenses being granted the Company shall commit to a minimum $1,000,000 mineral exploration programme in the next two years.
Ø Xstrata retains a back in right, in the event of a large copper discovery made by the Company (minimum 750,000 tonnes of contained copper).
Ø Key licences located within close proximity to the world class Salobo 1.1 billion tonnes at 0.72% Copper, 0.38 g/t Gold mine, and the Sossego 151 million tonnes at 0.79% Copper 0.23 g/t Gold mine*.
Ø A Strategic Alliance has been signed with Avanco Resources Limited and FFA Legal Ltda.
Ø Three-year extension granted on existing key licenses at the Company's flagship Khul Morit project in Mongolia.
SouthGobi Resources Announces Resignation of Brett Salt as Non-Executive Director and His Appointment as Chief Commercial Officer
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2013) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878), (the "Company" or "SouthGobi") today announces that effective August 1, 2013, Brett John Salt will resign as a non-executive director, a member of the Mergers and Acquisition Committee and a member of the Health, Environment, Safety and Social Responsibility Committee ("Resignation") due to his appointment as Chief Commercial Officer ("CCO"). Mr. Salt's appointment is effective August 1, 2013 and he will be based in Hong Kong.
Mr. Salt has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the board of directors (the "Board") of the Company and there is no matter relating to his Resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company.
Mr. Salt, 38, joins SouthGobi from Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill") where he was Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development. Prior to this, Mr. Salt worked for Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited ("Rio Tinto") for 15 years in a variety of senior product group and corporate level commercial roles including General Manager Business Development for Rio Tinto Limited and Chief Financial Officer of the Rio Tinto Marine business.
Mr. Salt holds a Bachelor of Commerce - Economics and Commercial Law from the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. He has completed the Investment and Risk Management in Shipping program at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Rio Tinto Business Leadership Development Program at Duke University. Mr. Salt is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Other than being a director of the Company between September 3, 2012 and July 31, 2013, Mr. Salt has not held any other directorships in publicly listed companies in the past three years. Mr. Salt owns no shares or options in the Company or in Turquoise Hill, the Company's majority shareholder. He owns 4,686 shares and no options in Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill's majority shareholder.
Save as disclosed above, the new CCO does not have any interest in the shares of the Company within the meaning of Part XV of the Securities and Futures Ordinance.
There is no specific term or proposed length of services for Mr. Salt's appointment as CCO of the Company. Mr. Salt does not have any relationship with any other directors, senior management, substantial or controlling shareholders of the Company other than as disclosed above. Save as disclosed above, there is no other information relating to the appointment of Mr. Salt as CCO that is required to be disclosed pursuant to Rule 13.51(2)(h) to (v) of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited nor any matters that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company.
SouthGobi Resources to Announce Interim Financial Results for the Three and Six Months Ended June 30, 2013 on August 12, 2013
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2013) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878). The board of directors of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (the "Company") will meet on Monday, August 12, 2013 to consider and approve the interim financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013. These financial results will be released before TSX market open.
Centerra Gold Reports Second Quarter Results
TORONTO, CANADA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2013) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX:CG)
To view Management's Discussion and Analysis and the Financial Statements and Notes for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013, please visit the following link: http://file.marketwire.com/release/CG-MDA-073113.pdf.
Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX:CG) today reported net earnings for the second quarter of 2013 of $1.6 million, or $0.01 per share (basic and diluted) reflecting higher gold sales due to higher gold production at both operations, partially offset by the lower average realized gold price1 in the quarter. The 2013 second quarter results include other expenses of $2.8 million primarily made up of a charge of $2.2 million for the write-off of certain infrastructure assets at Kumtor which could not be relocated as a result of the accelerated movement of the Central Valley Waste Dump. For the same period in 2012, the Company recorded a net loss of $48.9 million or $0.21 per common share which included a charge of $21 million representing a contribution made by Kumtor to a national micro-credit financing program and a charge for abnormal mining costs of $3.9 million associated with the unplanned removal of ice and waste from the high movement area at Kumtor.
2013 Second Quarter Highlights
· Produced 99,426 ounces of gold in the quarter, including 72,365 ounces at Kumtor and 27,061 ounces at Boroo, compared to 52,482 ounces (41,307 ounces and 11,175 ounces at Kumtor and Boroo, respectively) in the same period in 2012.
· Increased revenues to $128.2 million compared to $89.7 million in the same quarter of 2012.
· Cash provided by operations increased to $40.9 million compared to a use of cash of $42.3 million in the second quarter of 2012.
· Mining and processing operations were impacted at Kumtor between May 30 and June 1 as a result of an illegal protest which blocked the road leading to the mine, thereby disrupting delivery of supplies. The protestors also interrupted the power supply to the mine. Milling operations were suspended during the period as a result of the power interruption. During this time, the mine continued to operate sufficient equipment to continue to remove ice and waste from the high movement area of the pit.
· Movement in the Central Valley Waste Dump at Kumtor slowed to pre-March levels after modifications to the waste dump management plan.
· The modification to Kumtor's 2013 waste dump management plan is not expected to have an impact on the planned 2013 gold production.
· Increased annual consolidated gold production guidance to a range of 615,000 to 675,000 ounces.
At the Boroo mine in Mongolia, gold production was 27,061 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 11,175 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2012. The gold production increase of 15,885 ounces was mainly due to the resumption of activities at the heap leach operation, which contributed 13,210 ounces, and the processing of higher grades of ore through the mill, which contributed 13,850 ounces, partially offset by lower mill recoveries in 2013. Mill head grades averaged 1.13 g/t with a recovery of 61% in 2013, compared to 0.86 g/t with a recovery of 69% in the second quarter of 2012.
The Boroo mill processed stockpiled ore in the second quarter of 2013 which was refractory in nature, resulting in lower recoveries (61% compared to 69%) than during the same period of 2012 when the mill processed non-refractory lower grade ore.
Operating cash costs(1) at Boroo increased by $3.2 million in the second quarter of 2013, excluding the capitalization of stripping costs at Pit 6 in 2012 (and decreased by $0.4 million including capitalization), compared to the same period in 2012.
Operating cash costs per ounce produced(1) in the second quarter of 2013 were $495 compared to $916 per ounce in the same period of 2012. The decrease of 46% was a result of a 142% increase in production partially offset by higher operating costs(1) resulting primarily from the resumption of heap leaching operations.
Boroo's all-in cash costs per ounce produced (pre-tax)(1) for the second quarter of 2013 were $617 and included all costs directly related to gold production except for income tax paid in Mongolia. The same pre-tax all-in cash costs(1) for the second quarter of 2012 were $1,306 per ounce produced. The decrease in the pre-tax all-in cash costs(1) was primarily the result of the increase in production, reflecting the resumption of heap leaching operations and no mining activity in the second quarter of 2013. In the comparative quarter of 2012, mining costs accounted for $329 per ounce produced.
Capital expenditures spent and accrued at Boroo in the second quarter of 2013 decreased to $3.6 million compared to $4.9 million in the same period of 2012. 2013 capital primarily relates to tailings dam construction ($2.8 million) and mobile component change outs ($0.5 million), whereas in the second quarter of 2012, $4.1 million was related to capitalized stripping of Pit 6.
The Gatsuurt project remained under care and maintenance in the second quarter of 2013 due to continued delays in permitting resulting from the Water and Forest Law which prohibits mining and exploration activities in water basin and forested areas. Further development of the project is subject to resolution of the impact of the Water and Forest Law on the Gatsuurt project, and receiving all required approvals and regulatory commissioning from the Mongolian Government. See "Other Corporate Developments- Mongolia".
Centerra understands that, in May 2013, the Mongolian Government added seven deposits, including Gatsuurt, to the list of "mineral deposits of strategic importance". Such a designation, which is subject to the approval of Parliament, would have the effect of excluding Gatsuurt from the application of the Water and Forest Law. Centerra expects that Parliament and/or any relevant committees of Parliament will consider this matter further in the fourth quarter of 2013, when Parliament reconvenes after its summer recess. If Parliament ultimately approves this designation, it would allow the Government of Mongolia to acquire up to a 34% interest in Gatsuurt. The terms of any such participation would be subject to discussion with the Government. See "Other Corporate Developments- Mongolia".
During the second quarter of 2013, exploration expenditures in Mongolia were $0.7 million compared to $2.1 million in the same period of 2012. The 2013 exploration expenditures were largely on activities at the Company's ATO project located in eastern Mongolia.
Centerra Gold Announces Quarterly Dividend of Cdn$0.04 Per Share
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 31, 2013) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX:CG) announced today its Board of Directors has authorized a dividend of Cdn$0.04 per common share (approximately US$9.2 million at the current exchange rate). The dividend of Cdn$0.04 per common share is payable on August 29, 2013 to shareholders of record on August 15, 2013. The ex-dividend date will be August 13, 2013.
The dividend is an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes.
In accordance with Centerra's dividend policy, the timing and quantum of dividends are to be determined by the Board of Directors from time to time based on, among other things, the Company's operating results, cash flow and financial conditions, Centerra's current and anticipated capital requirements, and general business conditions. While Centerra currently intends to pay quarterly dividends to its shareholders, there can be no assurances in this regard.
Xanadu: QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT PERIOD ENDED 30 JUNE 2013
July 30, Xanadu Mines Limited (ASX:XAM) --
§ Xanadu enters amended definitive documents for the Oyut Ulaan copper gold project
§ Oyut Ulaan drilling intersects significant gold-rich porphyry copper mineralisation
§ Mapping and rock chip sampling program underway at the Sharchuluut project
§ Operations review identifies cost savings
MRC: Interim Update
July 30 -- Following the Interim Update dated 28 June 2013, the Board of Directors of Mongolian Resource Corporation ("MRC") wishes to provide information to the market on its ongoing efforts to stabilize and strategically develop the Company for profitable growth.
The Company continues to be stymied by the former Directors and Management of MRC in Mongolia with regard to identifying and securing the assets, including the books and records, of the wholly owned Mongolian subsidiary MRCMGL LLC ("MRCMGL"). These assets include the tenements and mining licenses related to both the Sujitei and Blue Eyes mines.
In the interim, the inaccessibility of the books and records of MRCMGL makes it virtually impossible for the new Board to determine with any accuracy the current financial, operational and legal state of the Company and its assets, or to verify the prior representations of the previous Board and Management. As a result, the Company cannot seek to resume trading at this time.
Notably, the conditions described above also make it impractical for the Company to raise additional capital to satisfy existing creditors and fund strategic planning and profitable growth. In particular, the lack of access to the financial books and records makes it impossible for MRC's existing auditors to complete their analysis of the company and provided audited year end statements.
In light of the former Directors and Managements refusal to assist the new MRC Board, the Company has retained both Australian and local Mongolian counsel to advise it on how to properly work within the Mongolian legal system and through existing Mongolian corporations law to ultimately secure the assets of MRCMGL. This has proven to be a regrettably cumbersome process to date, although the Board believes a favourable outcome may ultimately be achieved.
The Board looks forward to providing additional information on its efforts as soon as it becomes available.
Modun: June 2013 Quarterly Report
July 29 – Modun Resources Limited (ASX:MOU) --
· The Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) granted approval for a Mining Licence for the Nuurst Project in July 2013
· Mining Licence No MV-017349 issued covering 2,497 hectares issued for 30 years plus the potential for two 20 year extensions
· Modun selected as a preferred supplier of coal briquettes to the Mongolian Government as part of their Clean Air Initiative to reduce air pollution in Ulaanbaatar
· Negotiations commenced to formalise a Product Sale and Purchase Agreement with the Mongolian Government for Nuurst coal briquettes
· Briquette testing indicates substantial upgrade in coal quality for Nuurst Project
· Briquettes created from Nuurst coal has resulted in a significant increase in calorific value to 5,648 kcal/kg on an as received basis (compared to 4,178 kcal/kg for the raw coal sample)
Guildford: Quarterly Activities Report
July 31 – Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) --
Guildford Coal continues the transition from explorer /developer to a producer.
Development activities at the North Pit of the South Gobi project in Mongolia are underway as per plan and Guildford remains on track to commence production and selling hard coking coal in Q4, 2013.
Pre-mining activities at South-Gobi commenced during the quarter with a focus on North Pit development. This included:
§ The removal of overburden by mining contractor Grand Power Mining as well as an upgrade to larger equipment.
§ Excavations on three standard type test pits were completed to validate coal quality specifications that will help determine saleable products.
§ Customer visits to site will commence in August. Off-take negotiations can then be concluded, enabling greater clarity around unit coal price and revenue estimations.
§ Negotiations with suppliers and constructors of mine support facilities including accommodation camp, workshops, fuel bay, offices and crushing plant are near completion.
§ Once the initial open cut excavation is complete and mine infrastructure in place, the North pit will be ready for the compliance inspection which is one of the final milestones to enable GUF to commence commercial coal production.
Cash and Financing
§ Group cash, at the end of the quarter totaled $25.7m (prior quarter $5.6m).
§ In April 2013, OCP Asia's $39.4m convertible bond finance offer was completed. Funds received were partially utilized to make an early full repayment of the Gleneagle convertible bond which was due to mature in October 2013.
§ Total financing facilities available and drawn at the end of the quarter totaled $59.4m (prior quarter $29.2m)
Newera: QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT
July 29 -- Newera Resources Limited (ASX: NRU) is pleased to provide the following report on its activities for the previous quarter:
HIGHLIGHTS - Mongolia
§ Newera entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and following the end of the quarter, a formal Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) covering a single large exploration licence (12323X) in the South Gobi region of Mongolia. The project was designated the Ulaan Tolgoi Project.
§ Newera completed a third phase drilling program at the Shanagan East Coal Project (Shanagan Project) in Mongolia, comprising of six holes for 593 metres.
Results from the phase three drilling program showed numerous thick, near surface coal intercepts in a new section, in the northern part of the licence area where the drilling was carried out. These new coal intercepts sit partly outside the current Exploration Target area and provide significant upside potential in coal tonnage for Newera.
§ Newera executed a Works Completion Agreement with a reputable Mongolian mining company to complete a declined bulk sample access shaft at the Shanagan coal project in Mongolia. The shaft will be used to extract approximately three tonnes of coal which would be used to undertake definitive coal quality and washability testing, under the supervision of international coal preparation specialists, Sedgman LLC.
Mining works commenced on 23 June 2013 and have now been completed. ALS Laboratories of Ulaanbaatar have commenced coal quality and washability testing of the Shanagan coal bulk sample material, under the supervision of Sedgman.
Draig Resources adds stake in Trinity to Mongolian interests
July 25 (Proactive Investors) Draig Resources (ASX: DRG) is focused on emerging coal projects in the under-explored and resource rich country of Mongolia, and has acquired a 16% interest in Trinity Mongolia Pty Ltd - which is a private Australian company.
Through its subsidiaries, Trinity holds a 10% and 15% interest in a joint venture which is the indirect beneficial owner of the eight exploration licences in Mongolia. An indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Draig holds the remaining 75% interest in the joint venture.
Consideration for the interest will be 852,587 shares in Draig, and with the company last trading at $0.037, with the stake currently valued at around $31,500.
Draig has re-positioned itself over the past six months, and going forward the strategy will be firmly on near-surface coking coal in southern Mongolia, which then if sufficient resources can be discovered - the company will look to tap the Chinese market for coal sales.
Draig: EXPLORATION PROGRAMME UPDATE
July 25, Draig Resources (ASX: DRG) --
As previously advised, the Company recently implemented an exploration programme across a number of licences in Mongolia with the objective of confirming the prospectivity of target areas for coal.
Exploration undertaken at the licences of Teeg and Urtnii-Am in the Ovorhangay region was the most successful component of the overall exploration programme, with the confirmation of coal-bearing sediments within the two licence areas.
Outside of the favourable results at Teeg and Urtnii-Am, no new coal discoveries were made during the exploration programme.
Exploration results from other target areas indicate that some of the licences have low prospectivity.
Draig: QUARTERLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 JUNE 2013
July 31, Draig Resources Limited (ASX:DRG) --
· An exploration programme was completed with the confirmation of coal-bearing sediments within Teeg (13879X) and Urtnii-Am (13581X);
· Acquired a 16% interest in Trinity Mongolia Pty Ltd which provides the Company with a direct interest in its minority joint venture partner(this transaction closed in July);
· Material decrease in administration expenditure for the quarter following implementation of management review; and
· Cash balance of $3.4million at the end of the quarter.
Cash at end of Q A$273K
QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT MAY – JULY 2013
July 31, Sentosa Mining Limited (ASX:SEO) --
· Sentosa completes airborne magnetic and radiometric survey of the exciting Mongolian copper, gold project.
· Data interpretation and analyses by Southern Geoscience now complete.
· Resource and pit optimisation work at Panther prospect completed with evaluation of a potential sale of in-situ gold resource continuing.
· Ongoing Evaluation of potential new projects.
Cash at hand at end of Q A$2.16m
Eumeralla: ACTIVITIES REPORT JUNE QUARTER 2013
July 31, Eumeralla Resources Limited (ASX:EUM) --
· Successfully submitted an application for 400km2 Tin and Taungsten Concession in Kayah State, Myanmar to the Myanmar Ministry of Mines.
· Exploration lease would be one of the largest foreign held concessions in Myanmar.
· Potential upon approval for EUM to be one of the first foreign mining companies to enter into large scale mineral exploration in Kayah State, Myanmar.
· Signed an MOU with local partner Myanmar Energy Resource Group (MERG).
· Two palms JV continues to work on identifying three additional deposits.
· Results from the geophysical surveys at the Chuluun Khoroot Tungsten Project in Mongolia due by end of August.
· Preparing an application to extend Chiluun Khoroot licence by additional three years.
· Commenced the recruitment process for qualified and experienced personnel.
Cash at hand at end of Q A$1.07m
MRL: JUNE QUARTERLY REPORT
July 31 -- Mongolian Resources Limited ("MRL" or "the Company", ASX:MRF) is pleased to report its activities for the June 2013 Quarter on the Company's projects in Sri Lanka and Mongolia.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE QUARTER
• Technical and Legal due diligence completed on Sri Lankan graphite project.
• Share Sale Deed executed on Sri Lankan grahite licenses.
• Significant progress towards commencing operationsin Sri Lanka.
MRL's intention at this time is to continue to maintain the licenses in good order for the foreseeable future. There are no obligations for expenditure until mid December 2013.
Cash at hand at end of Q A$96K
GMM: QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT JUNE 2013
July 31, General Mining Corporation Limited (ASX:GMM) --
Uvs Basin Projects (Coal, potash & lithium - GMM 100% & potentially earning interest in additional licences)
The Company retains three licences in the Uvs region and is in discussions with other parties in regards to these licences.
Petro Matad: Total Voting Rights
July 31 -- Following the issue by Petro Matad (AIM:MATD) of 91,284,090 ordinary shares of $0.01 each ("Shares") in July 2013, the Company advises that the total number of Shares in issue as at the date of this notice is 277,960,091, with each Share carrying the right to one vote.
There are no Shares held in treasury.
The total number of voting rights in the Company is therefore 277,960,091.
The above figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest, or any change to their interest, in the Company.
NatSec: 30th July 2013 - Trading News
July 30 (National Securities) Today's trading volumes were 2x yesterdays, with 6,389 shares traded and a combined value of 11.3 m MNT. The MSE TOP-20 Index closed down -1.92% to 14,433.86. The total market capitalization was 1.42 trillion MNT.
On the gainers side, there isn't much to write home about. But on the losers side, 7 shares were down. The major loser was Ulaanbaatar BUK (BUK), it's price plunged 13.01% to 20,060 MNT. Also Shivee Ovoo (SHV), a coal miner, was the 2nd biggest loser, down -11.4% to 6,800 MNT. Today's most active share was Aduunchuluun (ADL), a coal miner, with 1,939 shares traded at a value of 5m MNT. It's price was down -3.41% to 2,607 MNT. The 2nd most active share was Khorin Khoyordugaar Baaz (AHH) in which 1,930 shares worth 399,510 MNT were traded. It's price was stable.
Please click here to see the detailed news
NatSec: 31st July 2013 - Trading News
July 31 (National Securities) On the bourse, the MSE TOP-20 Index was again down marginally, by -0.14% to 14,414.23 points. 454,104 shares in 23 JSC's traded with a value of 153m MNT. This trading value and volume is the second 2nd largest in July.
9 shares increased, 11 shares decreased and 3 shares were static. 3 shares soared limit-up, namely Sor (SOR), Bayankhairkhan (BHR), Orkhon Bulag (OTL) respectively. Khishig Uul (HSX) closed up 14.75% to 1,260 MNT. In the losers side, things were markedly calmer, however Mongolian Development Resource (MDR) and Khukh Gan (HGN) plunged by -8.05% and -7.80% respectively.
Today's most active share was Moninjbar (MIB), with 402,100 shares traded at a value of 120m MNT. It's price was down -0.33% to 299 MNT. It represented 88% of all trading volume and 78% of all trading value.
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FMG Mongolia Fund lost 3.2% in June
The Mongolia Stock Exchange lost 3.2% in June on lower than average volumes, while offshore listed Mongolian companies were down in double digits. We increased our exposure to our top consumer picks as prices reached depressed levels. Several of our MSE holdings are trading at below 10X earnings with massive EPS growth potential.
Mongolia's incumbent president, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, the Democratic Party candidate emerged as the winner of the presidential election with a narrow majority of votes cast. Former wrestling champion Bat-Erdene of the Mongolian People's Party took 42%, and the first female candidate Natsag Udval took third place with 6.5% of the votes.
The election outcome was taken positively by the stock market, considering the Democratic Party has a pro-business platform and should remain in government for the coming four years. The Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag commented after the results were announced: "The parliament of Mongolia, the government of Mongolia and the president of Mongolia will work as one team in the remaining period". The lack of an opposition may relieve bottlenecks in passing legislation needed to keep the economy growing. Exports of coal and copper to China have been the chief driver of GDP growth, which clocked in at 17.5 percent in 2011 and reached 12.3 percent in 2012.
Mongolia Balance of Payments Report for First 6 Months
July 31 (Bank of Mongolia) --
BoM issues 1-week bills
July 31 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 438.8 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
BoM holds FX auction
August 1 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on July 1st, 2013 the BOM has received ask and bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks and accepted the CNY offer of 123 million.
On July 1st, 2013, The BOM has sold 119 million USD for Swap agreement to local commercial banks.
First 30 Days of New Mortgage Program
August 1 (Cover Mongolia) Bank of Mongolia announcement dating August 1 (in Mongolia only) reports that commercial banks have so far received requests to refinance old mortgages worth ₮781.6 billion. Banks accordingly have converted ₮395.5 billion of these mortgages of 13,932 citizens to 8%.
₮235.7 billion worth of new mortgage requests were received and ₮162.2 billion out of these of 3,123 citizens were issued with new rates.
Mongolia's economic fairytale faces reality check
By Peter Thal Larsen (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)
July 31 (Reuters Breakingviews) Mongolia's fairytale economic boom is developing cracks. The failure of the country's fifth-largest bank and delays to the development of its giant copper mine underscores fears that its growth potential is built on shaky foundations. Yet greater economic realism may ultimately be welcome.
The surprise insolvency of Savings Bank, which controlled about 8 percent of Mongolia's banking assets, has rattled the country's economic cheerleaders. The central bank closed down the lender and transferred its deposits to a state-owned rival after it ran up bad loans worth $109 million — more than twice its capital, according to Fitch Ratings. Some of these loans appear to have been made to Just Group, controlling corporate shareholder in Savings Bank, despite regulations designed to limit such exposures.
The failure has raised doubts about the central bank's grip on Mongolia's financial system. Total bank loans expanded by 40 percent between May 2012 and June 2013 and about 30 percent of these loans are denominated in foreign currencies. A sustained slide in the Mongolian currency, which is already down 9 percent against the dollar this year, could leave local borrowers facing a squeeze.
The country's ability to exploit its commodity wealth is also running into headwinds. The London-listed mining giant Rio Tinto said on July 29 that work on Oyu Tolgoi, a vast copper mine, was being delayed after the Mongolian government told it that project financing would require parliamentary approval. Any prolonged delays would undermine government finances. Last year the International Monetary Fund estimated that Oyu Tolgoi and Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, would generate combined export income of $2 billion in 2013, rising to $7 billion by 2020.
Optimism about Mongolia's resources and its proximity to China helped the country raise $1.5 billion from the bond markets last year – its first such issue. Since then falling commodity prices, China's slowdown and the emerging market selloff have undermined the bullishness. Five-year bonds now trade at 93 percent of face value. Yet if the correction prompts Mongolia to take a more prudent long-term view of its undoubted commodity wealth, the recent reality check may ultimately prove healthy.
Transparent Mining reports on the nation's mining activities
July 30 (UB Post) The Ministry of Mining organized the monthly Transparent Mining press conference last week, which provides updates on the large scale mining and geological projects taking place in Mongolia. The following are some of the highlights from the press conference.
Oyu Tolgoi copper shipments increase exports by as much as 40 percent
The six billion USD Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold projects, the biggest project undertaken in Mongolia, started copper concentrate exportation on July 9.
The Oyu Tolgoi copper concentrator plant began operations earlier this year and has the capacity to produce 100,000 tons of copper concentrate a day. According to the company, the concentrator plant has worked at full capacity since June 20. Oyu Tolgoi LLC, a unit of Rio Tinto, the world's second biggest miner, plans to produce 36 million tons of copper concentrates a year and export one million tons. The company plans to increase production to 54 million tons by 2018.
Oyu Tolgoi copper production increased domestic copper production by 80 percent , is believed to account for 30-40 percent of total exports, and increased gross domestic products by 20 percent, according to the Ministry of Mining. The Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, puts Mongolia among the top fifteen copper producing nations in the world.
The government of Mongolia signed Oyu Tolgoi's investment agreement three years ago with international investors, which was one of the biggest mining deals in Mongolia's history.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi to ship 3.6 million tons to repay debt to CHALCO
The Ministry of Mining said that all operations at the state owned Tavan Tolgoi coal mine have been progressing as planned. This mine is now fully operational, as its western block was opened in February this year.
In 2011, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, the state owned company in charge of the mine, excavated one million tons of coal. In 2012 the company produced 2.5 million tons. By the end of 2012, the company had exported 2.5 million tons of coal. Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi is increasing production steadily each year and plans to produce 20 million tons a year by 2016.
The company plans to excavate six million tons of coal from the eastern block (tsankhi) this year. As of the Transparent Mining conference, the company has excavated 834,300 tons of coal and exported 372,000 tons from the eastern block. Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi plans to excavate 2.5 million tons of coal from the mine's western block this year. At the moment, they have excavated 128,000 tons of coal.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi exports its coal to Chinese state owned steel manufacturer, CHALCO. The company pays its 350 million USD advance from CHALCO through coal shipments. As of the Transparent Mining conference, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi owes more than 170 million USD to CHALCO. Starting from the third quarter of this year, Tavan Tolgoi coal rates to CHALCO will become 47 USD per ton, which means the company will ship 3.6 million tons in order to repay its debt to CHALCO. Officials stated that it was possible to repay the debt within the year.
Petroleum refinery to be operational by the first half of 2016
The Ministry reported that it plans to open a petroleum refinery by the first half of 2016, and has begun making all the necessary preparations. At the moment, plans and schemes for the project are being prepared in accordance to the Mining Ministry's contract with Japan's Toyo Engineering and Marubeni Corporation, which are cooperating on pre-feasibility studies.
The Ministry also reported that the environmental impact assessment has been made, and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development on July 9. The Ministry is currently working to meet the standards of the Japanese International Cooperation Bank, which will provide funding for the petroleum refinery.
The Mining Ministry is planning to refine all the petroleum excavated from Mongolia in the refinery and it is holding meetings with China and Russia to arrange the raw material supply.
Petroleum import and export
The Mongolian government has approved 30 fields for oil exploration and 21 are currently conducting projects related to petroleum. On average, Mongolia produces around 18,017 barrels of petroleum, which is 2,411 tons, and exports 16,860 barrels, or 2,257 tons.
This year, Mongolia will produce and export 4,543,350 barrels (608,000 tons), and so far has produced 2,491,096 barrels (334,000 tons) and exported 2,364,052 barrels (317 tons) of petroleum. This puts Mongolia's petroleum production completion at 54 percent and export completion at 52 percent.
The government keeps petroleum reserves in case of sudden fuel price fluctuation, insufficient supply and emergency situations. At the moment, the General Emergency Management Agency is keeping 12,700 tons of fuel in reserve. By July 23, the total reserves at private fuel importers totalled 100,000 tons, which is 42 days worth of supply.
Mongolia coal reserve one of the top ten in the world
The Ministry of Mining announced that during the Mineral Resource Specialized Council meeting of 2013, 81 reports of geological surveys were discussed.
According to the geological surveys, Mongolia has a total of 173.3 billion tons of coal in reserve. The surveys suggested that Mongolia had 21.5 billion tons of proven coal reserve, and by the first half of 2013, 2.6 billion tons will be added to the proven reserve, placing Mongolia among the top ten coal rich countries in the world.
Mongolia-China Coal Trade and Cooperation 2013 conference
The Mongolia-China Coal Trade and Cooperation 2013 conference took place on July 1 and 2 at Hohhot, China. The conference focused mainly on coal production, consumption, Mongolia-China coal trade direction, and trade development.
The following directions were given during the meeting of the two nations:
Firstly, to create a long term sustainable strategy and plan for both nations' coal trade and cooperation, and form the necessary legal framework. During the meeting, transportation of coal through roads and railways, coal production capacity, and use of Chinese routes for sea outlets were discussed.
Secondly, direction was given to form a working group from the Ministry of Mining and Inner Mongolia to sort out Mongolia-China coal trade, cooperation on related customs, tax, investment, transportation, border ports and visa policies. Both parties agreed to increase the capacity of borders by using donations from China.
De Facto: Butter in the mouth
By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa
July 29 (UB Post) Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a legal entity (individuals or companies) purchasing assets (which can include companies, buildings or industrial equipment) in another country. The investor conducts its business by employing its own technology to generate long-term revenue greater than the initial investment.
In a country where conflicts of interest, corruption and incompetent public governance exist overwhelmingly, only a small group of individuals take advantage of the profits produced by foreign investment and it does not affect ordinary citizens. Such examples would include Nigeria and Liberia.
In a country where political authorities get replaced by elections or other reasons, they blame foreigners for poverty and exert all kinds of pressure on foreign investors. Furthermore, they eventually demand new management in foreign companies under the name of nationalization, so that they can be in charge of resource re-allocation. It can be clearly seen in countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia.
IN SOME COUNTRIES
On the contrary, in countries that pursue long-term policies that clearly set out what technology has to be introduced in which sectors, that have consistent laws and regulations, and ensure transparency, foreign direct investment is a great opportunity; ready to be seized because politicians understand that regardless of what may happen in the future, investors cannot simply take their capital and leave the country.
A good example is China, our neighbor to the south. Deng Xiaoping fully understood the benefits of foreign investment and initiated the Open Door Policy. The implementation of this policy started in 1979 and there were only 100 foreign companies operating in China at the time. Since then, the number reached 300,000 in 2010. General Motors Corporation invested two billion USD and established its Buick manufacturing plant in Shanghai. Motorola Company spent 1.2 billion USD to build their mobile phone manufacturing plant in China, and General Electric Corporation invested 1.1 billion USD as well. Hundreds and thousands of Chinese people gained employment because of these foreign investors and many others that made investments in China.
Two other countries that are seeing the full benefits of foreign direct investment, are the United States and England. The Shard, which is a 76-story skyscraper and the tallest building in Europe, was erected with a 2.2 billion USD investment by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa of Qatar. The Sheikh also bought Harrods, the most famous department store in England, from the Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed. Likewise, the most expensive buildings in West London have been purchased by Arab and Russian business magnates.
Jaguar Land Rover, the pride of many Englishmen, was bought for 2.5 billion USD by Tata Motors of India in 2008. The new ownership brought technological improvements to its automotive manufacturing plants and created many new jobs. The British public was quite happy about the whole thing. Besides, England's biggest football clubs are being purchased by foreign billionaires who make investments worth millions of dollars.
Why are the Russian oligarchs buying assets in England? They are not doing it because they love the country. The underlying reason is that England has a strong set of laws, conducts consistent rules and regulations, promotes an easy-to-understand business environment, and ensures judicial independency. Such an environment absorbs the capital into itself and allows it to be distributed equally across every dimension.
We cannot think of the economic development of Mongolia for the past 20 years without foreign direct investment. Mongolians worked hard to create a legal environment that would attract foreign investment and to promote investment opportunities in our country. However, the hard work only continued until 2000. The total investment that has been made in Mongolia since 2000, is about 13 billion USD, most of which went into the mining sector. It might seem like a big number, but it is absolutely minimal when compared to the global foreign direct investment flow. According to a Financial Times report released in 2011, global foreign direct investment that year was 858 billion USD, and China had acquired 15 percent of it.
Today, Mongolians are talking about utilizing our mining revenue to carry out economic diversification and promote renewable resources. It means that Mongolia has to build necessary infrastructure, and first of all, develop high quality human resources in order to become competitive on an international market level in any given industry.
The main reason we still have not become competitive internationally, is that Mongolia lacks the required infrastructure and fell behind in technological advancements. Foreign direct investment brings experience and technology know-how, along with capital, which is why we need it more than ever today.
WHAT TO DO?
Looking back at our experiences over the last 20 years, I suggest that we need to improve our legal environment first, in order to attract foreign direct investment, ensure consistency and distribute its benefits equally to every associated party.
We need to consider the next three tasks: a) remove subjectivity in the interpretation and implementation of law in government circles, b) improve the process of legislative drafting, and c) fully ensure the implementation of law. Only then, can we deserve to be called a country that follows the rule of law.
If these tasks are effectively accomplished, more reliability will be created in business relations and it will allow businesses to predict their outlooks with more certainty. Increased trust in the legal system will help bring about new business opportunities.
Another place where foreign direct investment is needed, is in human resources management. Although some companies that have made some headway in the field claim to know what they're doing, one can argue that there is currently not a single company that employs human resources management that is both efficient and consistent enough to be widely recognized.
Due to the absence of promotion and development in human resources, labor productivity and average salary in Mongolia are much lower than the world's norms. Therefore, 15 percent of our total workforce, which does not even reach one million, has left Mongolia to work in foreign countries, and most of them are doing hard labor.
Mongolians today, are disregarding the golden opportunity before us rather than readily seizing it. Are we following the path of those politicians who refuse to take an opportunity just because they are too full and too rich? We have lost our wit to learn about the things we do not know how to do. We have forgotten that Chinggis Khaan used to protect cross-border trade with his own troops and brought the best blacksmiths, woodworkers and builders into Mongolia from other nations. Thanks to his vision, we built the glorious city of Kharkhorin.
We have sufficient conditions to attract every investor to Mongolia and have every inch of capital in the world invested here. We have everything that may be required to do so: our own land, peace, freedom, people full of vitality, and an intelligent younger generation looking ahead to the future.
It is time for us to remember that our ancestors have always taught us to take advantage of an opportunity rather than let it pass. We should always remind ourselves of the Mongolian saying, "Do not let the butter in your mouth go to waste."
Dalian port opens first international rail container service to Russia and Mongolia
Dalian, July 31 (SinoShip News) Dalian port has opened its first international rail container service which will start from Dayaowan port area to destinations in Russia and Mongolia via Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia, according to an announcement from Ministry of Transport.
Dalian port is keen to extend its hinterland as far as possible and already has strong ties with Russian traders, the city being founded by Russians some 120 years ago.
Currently the service will be operated once a week. Meanwhile, Dalian port is also developing rail container services to European destinations through Erlianhot, Alataw Pass and Horgos.
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Former Mongolian President Pardoned After 2012 Graft Conviction
By Michael Kohn
August 1 (Bloomberg) Former Mongolian president Nambaryn Enkhbayar, found guilty in August 2012 of graft and sentenced to four years in prison, was pardoned by the man who unseated him in a 2009 election.
Enkhbayar, 55, was released yesterday by a decree from current president Tsakhia Elbegdorj. The statement announcing the decision posted to the website of the president's office didn't give a reason for the pardon.
The former president, who also previously served as prime minister and parliamentary speaker, was the most high profile politician prosecuted in a corruption crackdown that Elbegdorj began after taking office. Throughout his trial and time in prison, Enkhbayar remained head of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. He also maintained his innocence and argued the verdict against him was politically motivated.
"It is good news for us," Ochirbat Chuluunbat, a member of the MPRP and the current deputy minister for economic development, said of the pardon. He said Enkhbayar was released because of poor health and so he could seek treatment overseas.
Enkhbayar, whose sentence was reduced to 2 1/2 years in December, went on a hunger strike while in jail and due to failing health was moved to a prison hospital. He'll remain head of the MPRP if his health permits, Chuluunbat said.
After losing the 2009 presidential election to Elbegdorj by less than 4 percentage points, Enkhbayar was convicted on multiple counts of graft including the illegal privatization of a hotel. His party, which holds seven seats in Mongolia's 76-seat parliament, is part of the coalition that forms the current government.
Elbegdorj won re-election in June after running a campaign that burnished his anti-corruption credentials. The victory cemented the Democratic Party's hold on power, with Mongolia's president, prime minister, parliamentary speaker and Ulaanbaatar's mayor all drawn from its ranks.
REGULAR CABINET SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY
Ulaanbaatar, July 31 /MONTSAME/ A regular cabinet meeting has been scheduled at 10.00 am this Friday.
This decision has been made by the cabinet after its members all have returned to works from the ten-day vacations.
Since the Presidential election, the cabinet held one regular and one irregular meetings.
In addition to it, the "30 minutes of Prime Minister' meeting for the media will also run, on Thursday.
MPP Party Conference rescheduled for August 5
August 1 (news.mn) The MPP Party Conference, previously scheduled for July 20th, was cancelled due to lack of attendance. It will now be held on August 5th.
It had been unclear how long the meeting was to be postponed until Board Members of MPP met on July 30th to set a new date for the Parties Conference. Younger members of the party pushed for the meeting to be held as soon as possible, so the date was set for the following Monday.
The meeting has been scheduled for 10:00 am at the Independence Palace. The date of the 27th Party Congress is expected to be discussed.
During both the Party Conference and the Party Congress the party will discuss the results of the 2013 Presidential Election and the 2012 State and Regional elections. It is expected that the Party will also evaluate the current social and economic situation of Mongolia and what actions to take as Mongolia's first political party.
NatSec: 2013 First Half Overview - Politics
July 31 (National Securities) Mongolian political life in the first half of the year was relatively calm with 3 key events. Firstly, the passing of the highly anticipated laws, such including the much discussed SEFIL law (FDI Law) and the new Securities Law in April and May respectively, and the swearing in of two new parliament members.
Secondly, Mongolia hosted the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies was held from 27th to 29th April 2013 in Ulaanbaatar. Finally and clearly the main political event of the first half of 2013 was the presidential election, which was won by the incumbent President, Mr. Elbegdorj.
The amendments to the SEFIL Law have largely been welcomed by both the foreign investors and the domestic business community as a positive sign. Previously private and government enterprises buying a 49% or greater stake in an enterprise operating in strategic sectors had to obtain parliamentary approval. Article 4.7 of the previous Law of Foreign Investment in Business Entities Operating in Sectors of Strategic Importance (SEFIL), enacted by parliament on 17 May 2012, states "Parliament must approve an acquisition submitted by the Government when a foreign investor acquires more than 49% of the equity of a business entity operating in sectors of strategic importance and the investment exceeds 100 billion MNT. All other acquisitions are subject to the approval of the Cabinet." The amended SEFIL law eliminates the need for parliamentary approval for private enterprises substituting it with cabinet approval. These amendments significantly shorten the time required for approval and separate business decisions from political influence.
The long-awaited new securities law should to provide an overall legal framework for all types of capital market transactions. The new law introduced several new concepts such as custodial banking, depositary receipts, beneficial and nominee shareholders etc. Such concepts and the fact that the law itself is compliant with most major jurisdictions' securities law will enable large strategic mines such as much anticipated Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT or TT) and Oyu Tolgoi (OT) to double or even triple list on different markets. The passing of the new law and listing of major mines should provide the kick for the MSE requires to go to the next level. However it is highly unlikely that the MSE will see much action at least until the second half of 2014 as the law only comes into effect on January 1st, 2014. Practically speaking, listings take time and as the image of Mongolia among investors was affected by the previous iteration of SEFIL Law; it will take certain amount of time to reverse the damage already done, although thankfully this image repair work is already under-way.
The final two members of the Great Khural (National Parliament) were sworn in 11 months after the 2012 parliamentary election and brings the total number of MPs to the full complement of 76. The Mongolian People's Party (MPP)'s D. Sumiyabazar won a re-election in late April, 2013 and Mr. Zorigt, Democratic Party (DP), whose original election was disputed by the MPP and resolved in court, were both sworn in on the 10th of May, 2013. As a result the DP holds 34 seats, the MPP holds 26 seats and Justice Coalition of Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, (a MPP break-away party) and Mongolian National Democratic Party hold 11 seats and other parties and independents hold 5 seats. Analysts agree that such a turn of events is a sign that the two main parties have achieved agreement and are both ready to move forward leaving behind election related skirmishes.
One of the main international events this spring was The 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies which was attended by 1,215 representatives including leaders and presidents from more than a hundred countries. Burma's pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi and the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate, Yemeni activist, Tawakkol Karman were among those who participated. The event showed that Mongolia is committed to democracy values and open market principles.
First of all, the government should serve its citizens. Second, the government should implement the law. The biggest test for any government worker who succeeds in gaining a career promotion is the ability to obey and implement the law. This is the issue." Ts.Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia, at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies
The most important event of the first half year was clearly the presidential election. The result of the election was considered to be somewhat predictable as surveys conducted by third party organizations prior to election-day showed that the Democratic Party (DP) and its candidate, incumbent President Elbegdorj had a significant lead, as large as 19.2% support for Elbegdorj, 2.1% for the MPP candidate and extremely high undecided voter numbers at 78.7%, just a few weeks out from election day. This un-decided vote was especially high in urban areas. The MPP chose a former wrestling champion Mr. Bat-Erdene as its presidential candidate who was more popular rural areas and is a vocal advocate for environmentally conscious sustainable mining
The DP candidate and current President Mr. Elbegdorj won the election with 50.23% of the primary votes and Mr. Bat-Erdene came in second with 41.97%. The results were closer than expected, perhaps signaling that the people will demand stricter environment monitoring policies towards mines and accountability from the ruling party. The election results were recognized as official by parliament on the 1st of July, 2013 and the inauguration ceremony took place on 10th of July on the eve of the Naadam festival.
The election of Mr. Elbegdorj means that DP will hold the 3 major offices in the Mongolian government; President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of the Parliament. They also, as stated above, hold the majority in parliament. Additionally the DP controls the Ulaanbaatar City Council. The fact that all major powers have been gathered in the hands of a single party should provide certain stability and continuity to Mongolian politics.
Mr. Elbegdorj, a Harvard graduate, has always been a vocal supporter of foreign investment in Mongolia and played a major role in finalizing the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement. In addition, the DP has always been seen as more pro-business and investor friendly than the opposition which gives us grounds to assume that the next several years will be favorable for foreign investors
We have seen a short-term decline in FDI of 41% YoY and decline to GDP Growth by 4% to 6% YoY through Q1, 2013. However with the commencement of commercial production at Oyu Tolgoi, the new affordable mortgage program of the Government, the passing of revised FDI laws, the new securities laws and the continued easing of monetary policy, it is fairly certain that in the second half of 2013 and beyond we will see higher growth numbers reaching low-to-mid double digits for the next three to five years, in a return to pre- 2012 election world-beating growth numbers.
Ministers to visit Hong Kong and Japan
July 30 (UB Post) Chairman of the Cabinet Secretariat, Ch.Saikhanbileg, will pay an official visit to Hong Kong on August 4 to August 6, while the Minister of Economic Development, N.Batbayar, will be on an official visit to Japan between July 31 and August 4.
During his visit, Ch.Saikhanbileg will meet the Hong Kong Financial Secretary, Secretary for Security, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, and Cabinet Secretary, and will visit the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He will also discuss extension of the 14 day visa period to 30 days between Mongolia and Hong Kong.
As for the Minister of Economic Development, N.Batbayar, plans to discuss intensifying efforts to develop Mongolian and Japanese partnership into strategic relations, and exchange ideas on bilateral cooperation between not only the two countries, but also its ministries.
He is also set to discuss attracting investment for developing the Mongolian Ipotek Housing Loan market, expanding technical cooperation, as well as taking a soft loan from Japan for joint projects.
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The Ritz hosts Mongolia-Britain business breakfast with Tony Blair as speaker
July 29 (news.mn) A breakfast meeting between British business representatives and Mongolia took place in London on July 16th at the Ritz Hotel. British business has great influence on the Mongolian economy and has an important role in economic relations with foreign countries. In particular Great Britain has renowned expertise in financial investment and the professional services sector.
The Mongolia-Britain Business Breakfast meeting was opened by the Ambassador of Mongolia to the United Kingdom, Mr. N.Tulga. Tulga introduced the actions implemented by the Mongolian Government on foreign investment and relations. He noted that the UK has a special stance in external trade and economic relations relating to financial investments and the professional sectors of Mongolia.
The breakfast was attended by around 100 big names from the British business world such as Rio Tinto, Barclays, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Land Rover and the University of Cambridge.
Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom attended as a speaker at the breakfast.
Naadam Cashmere's Game-Changing Crowdvoting Initiative to Revolutionize the Fashion Industry
Naadam Cashmere and Mimoona have teamed up to launch a fashion-focused crowdvoting solution, changing the way garments are produced.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PRWEB) August 01, 2013 -- Naadam Cashmere and Mimoona, which developed a unique crowdvoting tool, have teamed up to revolutionize the way the fashion industry does business. Blending concepts from Kickstarter, Groupon and Gilt Groupe, this next generation form of crowdvoting will, for the first time ever, put the production of garments into the hands of the everyday consumer to take part in the process, while enabling fashion brands to forecast demand for their products.
Naadam Cashmere is a brand that embraces technology and stands for innovation, change and a generation of people who are resourceful, adaptive and aware. And now they have just launched this innovative crowdvoting platform on their website. In their mission to be socially conscious and to inspire consumers to be conscious of the products they own, Naadam is not only already giving 10 percent of their revenue back to the nomadic Mongolian herders that provide the cashmere, but they will be also giving the consumer the power to decide whether or not these garments get made. With this power, the potential buyer will back the project; however, the garment will not be produced until 100 other people back the project as well.
Through the power of social media and shopping gamification the users can request a unique URL to be shared through social networks, that will allow the backer to accumulate points to get up to a 100 percent discount. Naadam's social currency system allows consumers to get up to 60 percent discount for the amount of clicks they get on the shared URL or a completely free one if another 5 people back a Naadam Cashmere garment through the same shared link.
Naadam will be running this initial campaign for just over a month with two of its top seller garments: the Burns Rib Cardigan and the Campbell Zip Hoodie, which has been recently spotted on the young hollywood actor Ansel Elgort during Comic-Con Week in San Diego. Both versatile and unisex garments are made with pure, 100% Mongolian 2-ply cashmere can be backed for a limited time at http://www.shopping.naadamcashmere.com.
"The pieces are understated but incredibly creative and detailed. The style thrives on knit, pattern, and feel. Contemporary, innovative design, and superior quality cashmere sourced from those same herders we support in the outer planes of Mongolia, distinguishes Naadam from anything else out there. How you feel is just as important as how you look!" said Naadam CEO and co-founder Matthew Scanlan.
Mimoona has perfected the concept of crowdvoting and has tailored it to be brand specific so that any brand can forecast demand for its designers before production. This innovative distribution model was developed to bypass pre-production and post-production risks such as having enough capital for a production run or inventory risks and to only produce garments that the consumers want; through this consumers will now have access to these unique generational luxury cashmere garments at unheard market prices or even at no cost.
About Naadam Cashmere:
Designed in New York City and manufactured locally in Mongolia using 100% Mongolian cashmere, Naadam supports Mongolia's nomadic goat herders—the source of the majority of the world's finest cashmere—by investing a portion of profits in a World Bank-sponsored program that insures the herders' livestock as climate change and worsening economic conditions make it increasingly difficult for them to support themselves. When you buy Naadam, you are buying more than a luxury item—you are supporting local traditions, values, and families. Naadam is doing luxury differently!
Indra improves Mongolian air traffic management
MADRID, July 24 (UPI) -- Indra, a Spanish consultancy and technology firm, is helping Mongolia improve airspace surveillance and air traffic control.
Under an award from the Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority, the company will install its ADS-B systems at various points in the country.
The automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast will strengthen the visibility of air movements and complement the Mode S MSSR radar surveillance systems the company previously deployed in Mongolia and which are currently in service.
"The implementation of these new systems will improve the fluidity of air traffic in a zone crossed by the one of the most important routes linking Europe and Asia," Indra said. "They will also improve the control of aircraft approaches to the airport serving the country's capital, Ulaanbaatar."
Neither Indra nor Mongolia provided details on the number of ADS-B systems to be deployed in the country. A delivery schedule and value of the contract were also not revealed.
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Ulaanbaatar Mayor enforces standards for the disabled
July 25 (news.mn) The Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar City, E.Bat-Uul has announced the introduction of "Infrastructure standard requirements for disabled citizens" in order no. 690.
The order states that the capital city and administration authorities must comply with the Mongolian standards MNS 6055:2009 and MNS 56825:2006 in the infrastructure and roadways within the capital city, local administration offices and service providers for disabled citizens.
In particular, the Authority for General Planning of Ulaanbaatar has been ordered to ensure that disabled citizens are able to access buildings and walkways that are under construction or redevelopment. The purpose of the standards are to make sure disabled citizens can receive services from the city and local administration offices and to remain mobile without any difficulties.
International French school to open in September
July 30 (news.mn) Ulaanbaatar is the home to a number of International schools where parents with sufficient income are almost spoilt for choice of Internationally recognized curriculum.
In September another internationally renowned schooling system will be available in Ulaanbaatar; the official French curriculum. The International French School of Ulaanbaatar is currently accepting registration for children ages 3 to 11 and will open on 3rd September 2013. The school will be situated behind the French Embassy on Peace Avenue and is accepting 25 pupils in 2013. The intake in 2014 is expected to increase.
This is the first school in Ulaanbaatar that will be teaching in the French language following the official French curriculum and will incorporate Mongolian language and culture.
From the 2014 school year the International French School of Ulaanbaatar aims to be integrated into the network of the Agency for French Teaching Abroad (Agence pour l"enseignement français à l"étranger).
For more information visit the French Embassy website.
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Japan, Mongolia to accelerate efforts for Mongolian PM's visit
August 1 (Kyodo) Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Mongolian Economic Development Minister Nyamjav Batbayar agreed Thursday to accelerate efforts to arrange a visit to Japan by Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag by year-end, Japanese officials said.
At a meeting in Tokyo, Kishida welcomed almost monthly high-level exchanges taking place between the two countries following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Ulan Bator in March.
"By making use of the momentum, I hope to compare notes with the minister to deepen our strategic partnership and make efforts to realize Prime Minister Altankhuyag's visit to Japan," Kishida said. Altankhuyag is expected to visit Japan in the fall.
Kishida and Batbayar also confirmed plans to strengthen coordination between the two sides in developing mineral resources in Mongolia, the officials said.
Mogi: didn't we just cancel the double-tax treaty with Lux?
FM OF LUXEMBOURG VISITS
Ulaanbaatar, July 30 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Premier of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Mr Jean Asselborn paid an official visit to Mongolia on Tuesday.
The FM of Mongolia L.Bold and his counterpart from Luxembourg held talks, discussing present situation of the Mongolia-Luxembourg relations and further cooperation. The dignitaries also exchanged views on urgent international matters and on the regional cooperation as well.
Moreover, the Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva met Luxembourg's Foreign Minister.
This is the very first visit of Luxembourg FM to Mongolia. Before this, the Luxembourg Prime Minister Mr Jean-Claude Juncker has visited Mongolia twice--in 1998 and 2008.
Mongolia-China vocational center opens
July 31 (UB Post) In 2012, the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) has launched a project in cooperation with the Peace Development Foundation of China to increase job openings for Mongolian citizens and improve their livelihood. The project was implemented in 16 provinces and two outlying districts of Ulaanbaatar, enrolling over 100 people.
The participants took part in professional training for the production of pastry, felt products and construction and received vocational training certificates.
China has proposed holding the second stage of the project this year, and established the Mongolia-China Joint Vocational Center at the MNCCI building.
At the inauguration ceremony, an exhibition displaying products and items made by first stage participants was on display.
The center, established with the cooperation of Mongolia and China, will focus on training a skilled and professional workforce to meet the demands of the Mongolian information, communication and technology sectors, as part of its primary aim to train a specialized workforce.
Mongolia learns from the water purification experiences of Austria
July 31 (UB Post) The 50th Anniversary of the Founding of Mongolian and Austrian Diplomatic Relations is taking place in 2013. As part of the anniversary, a business forum attended by officials from the two countries took place this month.
From Austria, delegates from various sectors, such as transportation, logistics, tourism, renewable energy, real estate, mining and health, as well as government agency officials and environmental experts, took part in the forum.
Entrepreneurs from Austria talked about Mongolia's possibilities and gave advice on purifying water, treating waste water, infrastructure and environment preservation, supplying high quality excavation equipment for mining, roads, construction, plastic package manufacturing, and introducing new technology to Mongolia.
Companies producing plastic tubes, windows, and other construction materials with expanded polystyrene and expanded polypropylene technology, presented information about their operations.
Austria is one of the leading countries in the manufacturing of high quality equipment and common goods with advanced technology and design.
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UNFPA New Representative in Mongolia Presents Credentials
Ulaanbaatar, 1 August 2013 (UNFPA) - Naomi Kitahara, newly appointed Representative for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Mongolia, has presented her letter of credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, L. Bold on 31 July 2013.
Naomi Kitahara on the occasion expressed UNFPA's appreciation for the commitment of the Government of Mongolia to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and briefed the Minister on UNFPA's focus areas in the current Country Programme 2012-2016. Given the current rapid economic growth in Mongolia, Ms. Kitahara emphasized the need to pay close attention to vulnerable groups of the population, who are targeted through UNFPA's support.
Minister Bold on his part commended UNFPA's contribution in Mongolia, and he assured the Representative the government's continued partnerships and commitment in the areas of population and development.
The new UNFPA Representative, Naomi Kitahara, has most recently served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Malawi from 2012 to 2013, and in Mozambique from 2007 to 2012. She previously served as UNFPA Deputy Resident Representative in South Africa.
Ms. Kitahara began her career as a Programme Officer in UNFPA Zambia in 1996. Since then, she has assumed several positions in UNFPA Headquarters, New York, including the Asia and the Pacific Division. Between 2006 and 2007 she worked as Adviser in the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the peace reconciliation process of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Naomi Kitahara holds MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) as well as MBA from the University of Warwick, and Post Graduate Diploma from Japanese Institute of Developing Economies (IDE).
She is a Japanese citizen and married with two children.
Western Demand For Cashmere Said A Threat To Endangered Asian Species
NEW YORK, July 25 (UPI) — Some of the planet's rarest large mammals may become "victims of fashion" as the cashmere trade threatens ecosystems, U.S. conservationists say.
Expanding goat herds meant to increase profits for the cashmere trade in Western markets could see wildlife icons from the Tibetan Plateau to Mongolia suffer, the Wildlife Conservation Society reported Wednesday.
Species at risk include the snow leopard, wild yak, chiru, saiga, Bactrian camel, gazelles, and other already endangered species of remote Central Asia, the society said in a release.
Goats from this region produce high-quality fibers that, when processed into cashmere, are highly sought by western consumers.
The growth in goat herds is bringing increasing conflicts with pastoralists, predation by dogs on wildlife, retaliatory killing of snow leopards preying on goats and displacement of wildlife away from critical food habitats, experts said.
A study has used date from fieldwork in India, western China, and Mongolia and builds upon economic data including herder profits, changes in livestock numbers, and the relative abundance of wildlife, researchers said.
"The consequences are dramatic and negative for iconic species that governments have signed legislation to protect, yet the wildlife is continually being squeezed into a no-win situation," said lead study author Joel Berger, a biologist for the society and professor at University of Montana.
"Herders are doing what we would do — just trying to improve their livelihoods, and who can blame them?"
Conservationists are urging a dialog among the garment industry, cashmere herders and wildlife groups to address and mitigate the impacts.
"In the absence of commitment across global and local scales, the iconic wildlife of the world's highest mountains and great steppes will cease to persist as they have for millennia," Peter Zahler, the society's deputy director for Asia programs, said.
"Rather than serving as symbols of success, these species will become victims of fashion."
Mongolia Rehearsal For The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 31 (Getty Images) The Central Orchestra of the General Staff of The Mongolian Armed Forces takes part in a working rehearsal at Redford Barracks for the 2013 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on July 31, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. This year's Military Tattoo runs from the 2- 24 of August highlights include performances from Mongolia, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Oman and New Zealand, along with traditional favourites, including the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Scots Guards, The Royal Irish Regiment and The Royal Tank Regiment and the Band and Bugles of The Rifles.
Mongolian Armed Forces Band to play in Edinburgh
July 31 (news.mn) The central band of the Mongolian Armed Forces will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, to take part in the Military Tattoo 2013. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event of a 90-minute cavalcade of military bands from around the world.
The 2013 Tattoo will take place at the stunning Edinburgh Castle between 2nd and 24th August showcasing 24 performances across the three weeks. The performance includes 80 different musical numbers in the theme of the four seasons. Spring, Summer and Autumn will be performed by different companies from around the world.
The Official release from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2013 states that "The Four Seasons end with the icy blast of 'Winter' delivered by the colourful and charismatic Central Orchestra of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces."
Director Brigadier David Allfrey said that "The Four Seasons, Night and Day, Life and Death – these perennial cycles govern our lives, our evolution and the extraordinary diversity of our planet. We have been able to match each element with its own character and style. I hope the result will be both entertaining and inspirational. I auditioned the Mongolian contingent in Ulaanbaatar in minus 34 [fahrenheit] earlier this year and I am particularly thrilled that they have come to Scotland! All being well our climate may be a little easier."
The highlights of the show are expected to be the Mongolian throat singer from the Mongolian Military band, Mexican dancers and a native New Zealand Maori war dance. Around 220,000 spectators are expected to see the the event and according to Director Brigadier David Allfrey over 95 percent of tickets have already been sold.
Mel returns to Mongolia with her son
June 10 (Sunrise) Mel makes an emotional return trip to Mongolia to see her sponsor child, this time with her 12-year-old son Nicholas.
Mongolian virtuoso spreads some magic in Australia desert
Music with the power to save a baby camel? When you hear it, you just might believe...
July 31 (ABC) A woman I interviewed once, told me that the isolation of Alice Springs doesn't bother her too much because the world tended to make its own way here eventually.
It's true that an extraordinary wealth of diversity passes through our town - to date, however, I'm fairly confident we've never had a visit from a Mongolian throat singer.
Based in Sydney, Bukhu Gangburged is a Masters student of the Music and Dance Conservatory of Ulaanbaatar (the capital of Mongolia), and he'll be in Alice Springs for a fortnight.
Drawn by an interest in Indigenous culture, Bukhu performs traditional Mongolian folk music, incorporating throat singing with one of the most important musical instruments of the Mongol people, the 'horse head fiddle' or 'morin khuur.'
Throat singing, which has its origins in Mongolian shamanism, is said to have special healing powers, and has even been used on camels who have rejected their babies after difficult births.
"When the pet camel rejects their babies, we play in front of the camel and the camel will start crying," says Bukhu.
"[She'll say] 'oh yeah, this is my baby camel' - and then baby camel survives!"
Bukhu began his Northern Territory visit with a trip to some schools at Yulura and also managed to squeeze in a quick performance at a camel farm near Uluru.
Meg Benson, a Sydney based music promoter who is travelling with Bukhu says an orphan camel at the farm had been particularly traumatised.
"This particular baby camel had been involved in a car accident and a dog attack," she says.
"Initially it was extremely excited and made a bit of noise but then it got back to the business of eating!"
Bukhu has performed all over the world but this is his first time to the Australian desert.
"Aboriginal kids, they really like it," says Bukhu.
"They asked [me] 'what's this sound, show me again!'"
"There is a technique that sounds like the didgeridoo," says Meg.
"It's like where more than one note is played at the same time."
"Once somebody said to Bukhu; 'Let me look in your mouth, you've got something inside your mouth, you can't possibly be making that noise yourself!'"
Meg says there are many parallels between Bukhu's culture and that of Aboriginal Australia.
"Bukhu comes from a culture...where they maintain the stories of their culture through the music and the stories that are told through music," she says.
"[Also] the Mongolian culture has a shamanic background and they have a similar respect to the spirit in the land."
David Varga, a filmmaker and PHD student who is travelling with Bukhu, says Mongolians will face challenges similar to those of Australian Indigenous peoples as the formerly Communist country is impacted by globalisation.
"How will Mongolia change over time? How will some of the traditions that are in place now be maintained?" he says.
"Obviously that's a challenge for Indigenous people in Australia too, maintaining their culture and keeping it strong."
Bukhu will be hosting a cultural exchange workshop in Gillen tonight and performing at a special house concert on the weekend, for details contact Meg on 0425 270 632
Link to article (include audio performance)
First Ulaanbaatar International Film Festival to take place
July 30 (UB Post) The first Ulaanbaatar International Film Festival will be held in Ulaanbaatar from October 3 to 10.
The festival will be organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, the Department of Culture and Arts, the Art Council of Mongolia and the Mongolia-France Center, to support international cooperation in the Mongolian film industry and to showcase famous international films.
The event this year is expected to gather some 20 directors, producers, creative artists and organizers from Mongolia, and international attendees from the U.S., Asia and Europe. For the festival, a special program named "Door to Success", will be held to increase the competitiveness of Mongolian films in the international field and to promote local projects. Ten projects will be selected and will be enrolled in workshops with famous directors and producers.
A Mongolian movie for the festival's opener will be chosen soon. Movies created before August 1st, are eligible for consideration. Applications for films will be received until August 26, and the selected opener will be announced on September 5.
Caritas Taiwan to donate to Catholic school in Mongolia
TAIPEI, Taiwan, July 31 (The China Post) -- A Taiwanese charity group is expected to donate 500 sets of second-hand school desks and 30 second-hand dining-room table sets to a Catholic school in Mongolia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.
Caritas Taiwan has joined hands with the Taipei American School (TAS) in making the donation, Wu Rong-chuan (吳榮泉), vice chairman of MOFA's NGO Affairs Committee, said at a routine press conference.
MOFA has approved the budget for two 40-foot storage containers to ship the donations. Caritas Taiwan had scheduled to ship the donations by the end of July, he added.
Caritas Taiwan was established in 1969.
Since then Caritas Taiwan has dedicated itself to improving Taiwanese communities and helping provide health care services to underprivileged families, it said.
Collaborating with the Asia Partnership for Human Development, Caritas Taiwan has been helping in the development of third-world countries in Asia.
Since 1976, Caritas Taiwan has been assisting in the relief of refugees. It has since accepted membership to the International Catholic Migration Commission.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has praised Caritas Taiwan for its services to humanity, it added.
Mongolian Ground Jay catches the interest of foreign bird watchers
July 31 (UB Post) Apart from only visiting and experiencing Mongolia's historically significant sites, many tourists head to Mongolia for the sole purpose of watching the Mongolian Ground Jay, a very rare endemic species of bird in Mongolia. Most foreign bird watchers contact the Information Center for Tourists (ICT), located in the Erel Bank building (across the street from the Flower Center on Peace Avenue), to make reservations for bird watching tours.
Though the tour is mostly off-road and very challenging, bird watchers never step away from the adventure of a bird watching tour.
The greatest number of bird species ideal for watching, live in Mongolia's Gobi desert. In detail, 240 species inhabit Govi Gurvan Saikhan mountain, while Ugii Lake offers bird watchers 140 species of bird. The majority of bird watching tourists are 40 years old or older, and many are Japanese nationals according to the ICT.
One of the species attracting the most attention from bird watchers is, undoubtedly, the Mongolian Ground Jay. It is an endangered species, and experts around the world agree that this species only inhabits the Gobi desert.
The locals call the Mongolian Ground Jay "Gobi Magpie". The bird is light tan with iridescent blue on its primary feathers. It has a long, curved beak and a black stripe on its forehead. It mostly lives at the foot of mountains, and near saxaul forests or thick bushes. It eats small lizards, grasshoppers, almonds and campanula.
Apart from the Mongolian Ground Jay, many bird watchers also come to see the distinct species of pigeon living near Ulaanbaatar and on the way to Melkhii Rock in Terelj.
Two Turkic epitaphs discovered in Mongolia
A Japanese researcher, Takashi Osava (Mogi: Ozawa I'm sure), discovered two epitaphs belonging to Turks around Delgerhaan Mountain in Mongolia and those epitaphs had great importance for Turkish history, said Kalacin.
July 30 (World Bulletin) Chairman of Turkish Language Association (TDK) Professor Mustafa Kacalin has declared that there were two written epitaphs belonging to Turks in Mongolia which can influence the history.
Kacalin made a statement to Anadolu Agency and said they held a meeting in the autonomous Tyva Republic, both for the establishment anniversary of TDK and the 120th solution anniversary of Orkhon inscriptions. Expressing that there were also scientists from various countries at the meeting in Tyva Republic, Kacalin said it was pleasing news on behalf of Turkic world.
A Japanese researcher, Takashi Osava, discovered two epitaphs belonging to Turks around Delgerhaan Mountain in Mongolia and those epitaphs had great importance for Turkish history, said Kalacin.
Noting traces of the past took mostly place on gravestones and historical information was obtained thanks to those data, Kacalin said the aforesaid inscriptions were located in the Tyva Republic and along Orkhon river.
Kacalin also said most of the remnants were covered by natural events and were incidentally revealed, adding "We have soon lived happiness of these coincidences. A Japanese friend of us found epitaphs which included about 2,800 signs in a place at 450 km distance from Mongolia. This is a pleasing development for Turkish history."
There are a total of 2,832 signs in the epitaphs which include 20 lines of text. New information is expected with studies of these epitaphs.
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