Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[MNT holds steady, Bold on east EU tour, and mortgages coming to herders]

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Overseas Market

PML closed +64.7% to 1.1c on Tuesday

Parmelia Resources encounters gold, zinc, copper in Mongolia

January 28 (Proactive Investors) Parmelia Resources (ASX: PML) has hit the heights at the Darvii Naruu Copper Gold project in Govi Altai province, western Mongolia with drilling results encountering encouraging mineralisation and potential for the presence of a porphyry hosted mineral system.

The company was previously known as Sentosa Mining and the change of its ASX ticker code from SEO to PML was effective 9 January 2014.

A scout drilling programme began in October 2013 with 2,020 metres of reverse circulation drilling being completed in 18 holes at six different prospects.

One hole, DNRC 016 intersected 16 metres at 1.01 g/t gold, including 8 metres at 1.87 g/t gold and 1.7% zinc, while the first hole DNRC015 (200m) intersected two broad zones of alteration. 

The first was a 20 metre zone of silicified volcanics with a sulphide content varying between 1% to 4% sulphides between 40 to 60 metres downhole. 

Further high grade copper mineralisation identified at surface from Anomaly 13, with 19.5% copper and 9.4% copper was identified in outcrop.

The takeaway from the initial drill program at the prospect named Mushroom Reef and Anomaly 13 is one of significant encouragement for Parmelia Resources encountering significant mineralisation and highly prospective geology at both prospects. 

To wit, a preliminary petrography study also lends support to the hypothesis that the geology at Darvii Naruu has potential to host a porphyry hosted mineral system.  

While early days, if the latter holds, it could be off to the races for this lightly valued explorer with a market cap of circa <$1 million.

Link to article

Link to PML release


Mogi: merged with Auminco Mines, which in return had previously merged with #Mongolia-focused Bold Resources. VKA had A$848K at end of December. VKA last traded at 4.6c

Viking Ashanti: Quarterly Report

January 28 -- During the three months to 31 December, 2013, Perth-based Viking Ashanti (ASX:VKA) completed a number of reviews of projects and companies which were considered complimentary to the Company's strategic objectives, culminating in the announcement on 20 November 2013 of a proposed merger with unlisted Sydney based emerging coal producer, Auminco Mines Limited. No field activity was undertaken on the Company's Ghanaian gold projects during the period.  

1. Auminco Merger

On 20 December 2013 and 6 December 2013, Viking Ashanti announced it had entered into a binding Heads of Agreement with Auminco Mines Limited (AUM or Auminco) under which Viking Ashanti has agreed to merge with Auminco in a share exchange transaction.

The agreement will see Viking Ashanti acquire 100% of the Auminco shares and options by the issue of:  

·         81,000,000 Viking Ashanti shares;

·         27,000,000 million unlisted Viking Ashanti options exercisable at A$0.12 for a term of 30 months from merger completion; and

·         3,000,000 unlisted Viking Ashanti options exercisable at A$0.20 on or before 15 November 2016.  

As a result of the consideration Viking Ashanti shareholders will own 53% and Auminco shareholders 47% of the enlarged post-merger capital on an undiluted basis and prior to any capital raising.  

A further capital raising is planned for the consolidated Company early in 2014 to fund operations, with the minimum expected to complete internal production feasibility studies and to make development decisions.  

The indicative timetable for completion of the merger, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is March 2014.  

The proposed post-merger Board will comprise four members with existing Viking Ashanti Directors, Mr Jack Gardner and Mr Peter McMickan remaining as Chairman and Executive Director respectively. Auminco's Mr Andrew Whitten will join the Board as Non-Executive Deputy Chairman while Mr Matt Morgan will become Managing Director. Mr Bayar Tsagdaa will act as an alternate for Mr Andrew Whitten.  

1.1 Merger Highlights  

Auminco is a Sydney based emerging coal producer with two high quality strategically located coal projects in Mongolia (Figure 2).  

There is near term production potential from the Berkh Uul bituminous coal project, located near the Russian border, rail infrastructure and potential off-take customers.

The Khonkhor Zag anthracitic coal project is located on a granted 30 year mining lease close to China's border with only 1.2 km of the 4 km strike explored by drilling.  

Further upside potential exists through Auminco's portfolio of additional coal, base metals and gold projects in Mongolia and Australia (refer to Appendix 1 for list of tenements).  

Auminco was founded by the founding shareholders and former management of Coalworks Limited (ASX: CWK) which was taken over by Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX: WHC) for approx. $200 million in June 2012. Auminco is more than 50% owned by ex-Coalworks management and advisers.  

The Viking Ashanti Board believes that the consolidated company will provide improved shareholder value to both Viking Ashanti and Auminco through:  

·         addition of a portfolio of highly prospective coal projects, particularly the Berkh Uul bituminous coal project, that provide the opportunity for short term project development, mining and cash flow;

·         diversity across two country jurisdictions and multiple commodities, allowing for exploration activity and potential news flow on a year round basis;

·         improved access to funding;

·         strengthened share register;

·         greater market liquidity, and a

·         broad range of complementary skill sets at Board and management level.  

On completion, this will be a transforming transaction for Viking Ashanti allowing the Company to achieve its strategic objective of acquiring near term production assets with potential to deliver sustainable cash flows for in excess of 15 years with substantial exploration upside.

1.2 Berkh Uul Coal Project – Mongolia (AUM 100%)

Berkh Uul is located 400 km north of Ulaanbaatar in northern Mongolia within the Orkhon-Selege coal district and within 20km of the Russian border. The project is within 40km of rail access into Russian off-take markets, in close proximity to water, infrastructure and transport.  

The exploration permit is valid to 2015, with a Mining Lease application imminent.  

The deposit consists of shallow, consistent coal seams of high quality bituminous coal amenable to low strip ratio open pit mining, with expected low capital and operating costs.  

There is local industrial demand for Berkh Uul coal; the unwashed product is favoured for its low ash and relatively high calorific value. It is expected that Berkh Uul will move to production within 12 - 18 months.  

1.3 Khonkhor Zag Coal project – Mongolia (AUM 100%)

Khonkor Zag is an anthracitic coal project located 1,400 km southwest of Ulaanbaatar in Western Mongolia. It is strategically located within 40km of China's Burgastai border port with an existing haul road adjoining the tenement.  

The current mining licence was granted in April 2013 for a period of 30 years.

Link to release


FEO last traded 6.2c on Friday. A$21.55 million cash at end of December

FeOre: Quarterly Activities Report

January 28, FeOre Limited (ASX:FEO) --


      Commenced procurement of the power grid material for the construction and installation for the remaining of the transmission line;

      Capacity expansion permit for the living and construction-use power supply was issued by the relevant state-owned power company;

      Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEJA) report for the Ereeny Project was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development (MEGD) of Mongolia;

      The Company has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with China Energy (Cayman) Limited in relation to the sale of its interests in Topone Star Investments Limited. For further details please refer to the Company's announcement dated 22 January 2014.

Link to report

Link to cash flow report


WOF last traded 6.3c

Wolf Petroleum: Change of Company Secretary  

January 28 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited (Company or WOF) wishes to advise that Mr Aaron Bertolatti has resigned as Company Secretary of the Company, effective immediately. The board would like to thank him for his efforts to date and wish him well in his future endeavours.  

The Board of WOF is also pleased to advise that Mr Jonathan Hart has been appointed to the position of Company Secretary of the Company, effective immediately. Mr Hart previously worked at Perth based law firm, Steinepreis Paganin. Mr Hart's experience includes due diligence investigations, general corporate and commercial drafting, public and private mergers and acquisitions, general corporate advice in relation to capital raisings, Corporations Act, AML issues and ASX compliance.

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Local Market

MSE News for January 28: Top 20 +1.13%, Turnover 50.1 Million

Ulaanbaatar, January 28 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 101 thousand and 642 shares of 24 JSCs were traded costing MNT 50 million 095 thousand and 555.20.

"Goviin ondor" /91 thousand and 250 units/, "Genco tour bureau"  /4,718 units/, "State Department Store"  /1,575 units/, "Remikon" /1,049 units/ and "Tavantolgoi" /602 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Atar orgoo"  (MNT 29 million and 559 thousand), "Goviin ondor" (MNT nine million 672 thousand and 500), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT three million 187 and 790), "Sharyn gol" (MNT one million 732 thousand and 500) and "Shivee ovoo" (MNT one million and 097 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 603 billion 175 million 905 thousand and 197. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,571.65, increasing by MNT 173.33 or 1.13% against the previous day.

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BoM MNT Rates: January 28 Close





































January MNT Chart:

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BoM FX Auction: Refuses USD, CNY Bids, Accepts US$19.5 Million MNT Swap/USD Forward Agreements

January 28 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on January 28th, 2014 the BOM has received from local commercial banks bid offer of USD and CNY. The BOM has not accepted the offer.

On January 28th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap and Forward agreement offer in equivalent to 19.5 million USD and USD Swap agreement offer from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.

See also:

FX Auction Statistics

Link to release


Session on Scenarios for Mongolia Conducted during 2014 WEF Meeting

January 28 ( The 44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was successfully concluded in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland on January 25, 2014 and it is a customary as part of the program to develop annually the Scenarios for a State through a strategic dialogue process.

Last year, the Scenarios for the Russian Federation were developed engaging over 350 business, policy and academic leaders throughout 2012. The purpose of these scenarios is to support quality long-term policy and strategy decisions.

And during the 2014 WEF Session, Scenarios for Mongolia project, which was began at the Annual Meeting in 2013, were developed throughout the year. Mongolia's overall accomplishments in embracing democracy and human rights attracted the world attention, paving the way for the project Scenarios for Mongolia.

At the session Scenarios for Mongolia, President Ts.Elbegdorj, Minister of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg, Chief of Staff of the President of Mongolia P.Tsagaan, Governor of the Central Bank N.Zoljargal, and Advisor to the President on National Security and Foreign Policy L.Purevsuren and other officials were present, where former British Prime Minister, Middle East Quartet Representative of the WEF Mr. Tony Blair chaired the session as a Moderator.

At the session representing foreign delegates were Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board of WEF Espen Barth Eide, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Martin Dahinden, Special Advisor of the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan Koichi Hamada, Professor of the University Adolfo Ibanez of Chile Eric Parrado, Director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University Jeffrey Sachs and other world famous guests participated in the discussion.

The report, Scenarios for Mongolia, has been produced to map out potential long-term economic outcomes of the country's recent period of double-digit growth and three scenarios identified for the country's future development.

At the session President Ts.Elbegdorj noted, "We are grateful that the Scenarios for Mongolia was produced and the discussion was held this year. We would pay close attention to the WEF's recommendations and researches. The development of Mongolia depends on economic and political situations. We have launched an initiative "From a Big Government to a Smart Government" last year. I believe in better and positive scenarios for Mongolian development, if we make the state of Mongolia research-based, service-oriented and ruled by law".

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Mogi: global attention growing

Award-Winning Mongolian Environmentalist Gets 21 Years for 'Terrorism'

Harsh sentence is the latest blow for Mongolia's green movement, which is struggling to contain environmental damage from mining

January 28 (TIME) Mongolian environmental activist Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, who was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2007 for his campaign to protect water sources from mining pollution, was sentenced on Jan. 21 together with four associates to 21 years in prison for "acts of terrorism."

Munkhbayar was arrested on Sept. 16 when attending a protest during which a firearm was discharged. Security officials also allegedly found an explosive device in a nearby building.

While not condoning violence, the Goldman Prize states that "it is widely understood that the shot was not fired on purpose and nobody was injured."

Media reports referenced by Asia Correspondent said that Munkhbayar had brought a gun and inactive grenades to the protest.

The website spoke to Enkhbat Toochog of the U.S.-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, who said: "Munkhbayar's actions highlighted the desperation of helpless Mongolian pastoralists, who had no choice but to resort to an unconventional approach to defend their land, rights and way of life after exhausting all other means."

Mongolia has some of the world's largest undeveloped mineral reserves, including gold, copper, coal and uranium. Thanks to efforts by Munkhbayar and the alliance of environmentalists that he set up, mining companies agreed to limit their pollution of rivers as well as the displacement of local herders.

However, following an economic downturn and a change of government in 2012, the advances Munkhbayar managed to push through have been rolled back. In September, the government agreed to a partnership with French company Areva to revive uranium exploration in the Gobi Desert, which activists claim has led to death and deformities among livestock.

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Mongolia to Cooperate with South Korea Geothermal Sector

Ulaanbaatar, January 28 (MONTSAME) A memorandum of cooperation in this sector was signed Monday by the Department of Renewable Energy and South Korea-invested "Next go" company.

In several aimags such as Arkhangai, Ovorkhangai, Bayankhongor and Khovsgol, geothermal power stations will be erected to produce heat and electricity after thorough researches concerning all geothermal processes.

Since the natural resources will be exploited, no consequences are expected for the environment and people. 

Link to article


Herders Can Have Access to Mortgages Once Registering Income at Agricultural Exchange, Paying Social Insurance

Ulaanbaatar, January 28 (MONTSAME) Starting from this year, herders can get the Housing Mortgage loan.

It was sounded on Monday at a meeting of the Industry and Agriculture Ministry with relevant departments. A head of the Regulatory Department for Implementation of Policy on livestock industry also said that herders, who want this loan, must pay social insurance premium permanently and have their monthly income registered by the Agricultural Stock Exchange.

The statistics show that 298 thous. families own 45.1 million heads of livestock. A family with 200 heads earns approximately 4.8 million togrog a year, with 500 heads--11.4 million togrog and with 1,000 heads--51.6 million togrog. 

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Domestic Firms Join Hands to Bring Housing for 1,800 Families in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, January 28 (MONTSAME) Under a "New Construction" program of the Government, apartments for 567 households have come into service in eastern Ulaanbaatar.

At the opening ceremony on Monday, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag said this major housing project proves that united efforts of the Mongolians achieve great accomplishments.

Aimed at providing young and middle-class families with non-expensive and proper housing, the apartment district project is going on near the Chingis Khaan airport, 18 km east of central Ulaanbaatar. The district consists of 28 apartments for 1,764 families, parking places, a children playground, a kindergarten, and shopping mall.

The district is planned to come into service on May 23, said Ts. Erdenebat, a president of the project contractor--the National construction corporation, which consists of five domestic companies such as Buti, Delta, ECC, Erelt Impex and UBC. 

Link to article


Ulaanbaatar doubles trolley fares

January 28 ( Public transport bus services increased their fares from 400 MNT to 500 MNT last week. Now the cheapest public transport service, the trolley bus service, has also increased its fares to 400 MNT. 

"Electric Transport" LLC increased its trolley bus service fares from 200 MNT to 400 MNT on January 25th. 

The company officials commented that trolley bus service fares increased to 400 MNT in accordance with an order issued by the Capital City Transport Authority on January 24th. According to the decision by the Capital City Transport Authority the fares should increase by Saturday January 25th. 

The Capital City Transport Authority stated that "the board held a meeting on the issue about the increase of public transport fares last Friday. We will make an official statement to the public on Tuesday January 28th by holding a press conference." 

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Latvia considers cooperation with Mongolia as springboard to China

Cooperation with Mongolia may be considered a springboard to China for Latvia, as Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Reform Party) said after a meeting with visiting Mongolian Foreign Minister Luvsanvandan Bold on Monday, informs LETA.

January 28 (The Baltic Course) Latvia wishes to develop political and economic cooperation with Mongolia, said Rinkevics, adding that this was in line with Latvia's priorities for the country's presidency at the Council of the European Union. "The economic cooperation will be based on our export of food products to Mongolia and import of textiles in Latvia. We hope to also develop closer cooperation in other areas – construction, mechanical engineering, transit and logistics. We are interested in consulting with our colleagues to better understand those matters that may seem slightly different from Riga. Also, we hope to use our ports to export Mongolia's products to Europe," said Rinkevics. 

Development of the legislative basis for both countries' cooperation is necessary to achieve this, added Rinkevics. 

Bold said in turn that he was pleased at the opportunity to meet Latvian businessmen, adding that his visit could prompt businessmen in Mongolia to seek new contacts in Latvia. 

Mongolia is a landlocked country and its policy is aimed at developing closer cooperation with new partners, including the EU, said Bold. He added he was impressed by Latvian IT companies' presentations and they could attract Mongolian market's notice. During the soviet period, every Mongolian family had a Latvia-produced VEF radio, and Mongolians would be willing to have Latvian products at this time too, he said. 

During a meeting with Latvian President Andris Berzins in the afternoon, both officials confirmed that they wish to continue to strengthen political contacts so as to establish prerequisites for economic, educational and cultural cooperation. Berzins and a large delegation from Latvia plan to visit Mongolia this year as the next step in strengthening relations between the two countries, LETA learned from President's Chancery. 

Bold particularly focused on his country's democratic development and its purposeful move toward stronger relations with EU member states, adding that Latvia was seen as a partner in this process. He also said that Mongolia wished to expand human contacts between the two countries by launching negotiations on easing up the visa regime. 

Berzins told the Mongolian minister that Latvia could offer a wide range of areas where cooperation could be enhanced in the area of education, including music and the arts. 

Bold pointed out the Partnership Agreement between the EU and Mongolia that was penciled in 2012. The minister expressed hope that Latvia would support the ratification of the agreement, and Berzins confirmed that Latvia would do so. 

Mongolia is one of Asia's largest countries, and in recent years it has distinguished itself with one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world. Mongolia experienced gross domestic product growth of 17.5% and 12.3% in 2011 and 2012 respectively. In 2012, trade volumes between Latvia and Mongolia reached a value of EUR 3.7 million, and Mongolia was in 84th place among Latvia's foreign trade partners. The two countries have a positive and increasing trade balance. Latvia mostly exports food products and metal products to Mongolia, while imports from Mongolia are dominated by textiles.

Link to article


Foreign Minister's Visit to Republic of Latvia ContinuingInfoMongolia, January 28


Mogi: little old and vanilla, but don't see her giving interviews much

Long-Term Commitment By The UN in Mongolia

December 19, 2013 (The European Times) Sezin Sinanoglu, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme in Mongolia, discusses the UNDP's programmes in the country.

European Times: What is the history of the UN in Mongolia?

Sezin Sinanoglu: The United Nations has been in Mongolia since 1961, implementing programmes in many areas by different UN Agencies in support of Mongolia's social and economic development. Mongolia has in turn supported the UN, for example through participating in peace-keeping operations worldwide, including sending a large contingent to South Sudan. Mongolia's contribution is very valuable.

European Times: What are some of the UNDP's recent projects?

Sezin Sinanoglu: UNDP's three focus areas are inclusive economic development; including bringing its mining benefits to all the country's people; governance and human rights; and environmental sustainability. We have projects in all three areas. One governance programme, for example, aims to empower women, especially by bringing them into the political realm and helping them gain the confidence to take leadership positions. The number of women in Parliament rose from three to 11 in the last parliamentary elections. In environment, we are working with the Mongolian government on a programme to expand protected areas to help preserve endangered species. In another project, we support national and local authorities prepare for natural disasters. We have also been very active in poverty reduction, especially in generating alternative livelihoods and ideas for the business sector in collaboration with the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We partner with many organisations in the Mongolian public and private sectors and work very closely with local authorities. UNDP's programme resource envelope for Mongolia is $28 million between 2012 and 2016.

European Times: What are some of the challenges Mongolia faces?

Sezin Sinanoglu: Mongolia is a young democracy which is still establishing its institutions. The country needs time and investment to upgrade its infrastructure, improve its human resources, and modernise its systems. Mongolia also needs to focus on bringing the benefits of growth to the entire population and on encouraging and empowering all citizens to participate in its development. The country also faces environmental challenges. While there has been around 0.7 degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures, Mongolia is experiencing an increase of over 2 degrees, having significant impact on desertification.
European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors?

Sezin Sinanoglu: Mongolia is a land of opportunity and has a lot to offer. Mining is only one of the many areas that have business potential. Its people are open and educated but the country needs knowledge transfer and continued investments in national capacities to ensure its growth is inclusive and sustainable.

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Social, Environmental and Other

American Arrested in Mongolia on Charges of Human Trafficking

January 28 (Mongolian Views) Mongolian media reported today that joint working group of the Criminal police authority and State Investigation Authority of Mongolia arrested a man named Patrick Earl Maanao, a US citizen that resides in Mongolia from his home last Friday.

According to the story, Maanao was living in Mongolia since 2008  and was attempting to lure Mongolian women and girls into prostitution  in Saipan island under the disguise of helping them "work in the USA".  He was working with his wife Unursaikhan, Mongolian citizen who was mainly responsible to identify and find the potential victims and organizing the travel. The couple were married in Mongolia and have 2 daughters.

When he was arrested from his home, his wife Unursaikhan was in Saipan island which is part of US territory. Photos of naked women and documents of the 11 Mongolian women about to be sent  abroad has been found from the American man's home. He was plannning to send the women by first week of the Feb, 2014, according to the story. The women were between the ages of 20-24.

The couple agreed with the women that they will get 20 percent of the profits earned by working in Saipan. The women were supposed to work at nightclubs and karaoke as strippers and table-girls in the Island of Saipan, according to confessions of Maanao.The police said the investigation is still continuing.

We at MonInfo news service will be following this story...

Following are the links to the original stories:

Link to article


Russia reports suspected foot-and-mouth outbreak in Siberia's Zabaikalsk, bordering China and Mongolia

MOSCOW, January 28 (Reuters) - Russian authorities on Tuesday reported a suspected outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in eastern Siberian region of Zabaikalsk, which borders China and Mongolia.

The Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) said clinical signs of the disease were identified in samples of cattle at a private farm, adding measures to contain it were being taken. Samples have been sent for diagnosis.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and pigs.

It is not a direct threat to humans, but can disrupt trade and measures to cope with it can be expensive.

Link to article


Little evidence found of equine flu infecting people in Mongolia study

January 29 ( Little evidence has been found of avian or equine influenza infecting humans, in a study carried out in Mongolia.

Avian and equine influenza virus have been repeatedly shown to circulate among Mongolia's migrating birds or domestic horses.

In 2009, 439 Mongolian adults, many with occupational exposure to animals, were enrolled in a study exploring cross-species influenza transmission.

Blood was drawn upon enrollment, and again after 12 and 24 months.

Participants were contacted monthly for 24 months and asked about episodes of influenza-like illnesses.

Study members confirmed to have acute influenza A infections had respiratory swabs taken for analysis and comparison with equine, avian, and human influenza viruses.

Over the two years of follow-up, investigations into 100 influenza-like illnesses were conducted.

Thirty-six were identified as influenza A infections, but none yielded evidence of the avian or equine influenza virus.

While 37 participants had detectable antibody titers against the studied equine and avian viruses, none was statistically associated with avian or horse exposures.

"As elevated antibodies against seasonal influenza viruses were high during the study period, it seems likely that cross-reacting antibodies against seasonal human influenza viruses were a cause of the low-level sero-reactivity against avian influenza virus or equine influenza virus," the researchers wrote.

"Despite the presence of AIV and EIV circulating among wild birds and horses in Mongolia, there was little evidence of avian influenza virus or equine influenza virus infection in this prospective study of Mongolians with animal exposures," the authors concluded.

The findings of the research were published this month in the open-access journal, PLoS ONE.

Khurelbaatar N, Krueger WS, Heil GL, Darmaa B, Ulziimaa D, et al. (2014) Little Evidence of Avian or Equine Influenza Virus Infection among a Cohort of Mongolian Adults with Animal Exposures, 2010–2011. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85616. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085616

The full study can be read here.

Link to article


Agricultural University to Conduct Joint Study on Veterinary Health with Japan's Obihiro University

Ulaanbaatar, January 28 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian State University of Agriculture (MSUA) and the Japanese Obihiro University are planning to conduct a research project.

A memorandum of cooperation for a research project on veterinary blood parasitic and protozoan diseases spread in Mongolia and development of rational diagnosis methods was signed by T.Heruuga, a director of MSUA, and by Hideyuki Nagasawa, a dean of Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (OUAVM) on Monday.

The project will be carried out under cooperation of the Veterinary institution of MSUA and the National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases. During the project term, researchers of MSUA will take part in short or long term training sessions, including five doctoral students.

In their twenty years of cooperation, the two universities have successfully implemented many student or academician exchange programs.

Link to article


Veloo Foundation: Spreading the Love.... in Mongolia

January 26 (Veloo Foundation) Something very cool is happening, something I never expected but an so thrilled to report on....there is an echo boom of philanthropy in the countryside here in Mongolia.  My good friend and Mongolian teacher Saraa (Standing beside me in the photo above....and Mongolian) and her husband Baagii ( you'll meet him in a minute..) have started thinking about the world in a whole new way.  Saraa and Baagii run a small (wonderful!!) ger camp and horse trekking business ... where I go riding every week.  The International Equestrian Club ( fondly known as the riding club) has helped Saraa and Baagii and their neighbours tremendously and has allowed them all not only to remain in the countryside, but to thrive.  This amelioration of their life has lead them to stop and consider their good fortune - and look at their other, far flung neighbours who have not been lucky enough to benefit from the riding club or the like....and, has made them want to spread the love and help their neighbours!  It's a beautiful thing to witness!  Saraa and Baagii  have been involved on many levels with the foundation already - including helping us set up the Children of the Peak Sanctuary and running our annual fund raiser, the Gobi Gallop.   Recently, after looking around and trying to decide the best, most sustainable way to help their rural neighbours,  Saraa & Baagii came to me with a suggestion.  "There are a lot of people out in the countryside just barely hanging on" they said... "why don't we help them before they have to give it all up and move into the city..and onto the dump!  Even more, maybe we can gather them together, buy them a few animals and set them up in a business they all know well ....a farm!"  Great idea ! I love it!  And I love the the idea of helping your fellow man is spreading!!  First things first though - let's just get them some warm clothes for Tsagaan Sar!

So, we bought a bundle of  children's used warm jackets, had them washed by a local expat lady here,(thank you Joy!!)  used some of the wonderful sweaters donated from Australia ( see previous blog... you won't believe how wonderful they are if you haven't seen them!) and  I set about, with the  help of Elaine and Sue - two tremendous volunteers really making a difference here in Mongolia -  bundling up 80 or so bundles to give out in Erdene Zoum, a small town about 60 kms outside of Ulaanbaatar....all set up by Saraa!

This is the ger....inside wasn't any better.  And yes, that door is a blanket.  Suffice it to say that this week we are organizing another donation of clothes to this family - we found out that most of these  ten kids aren't going to school because they don't have clothes - and food ( staples & meat), Boov, candy and tea for Tsagaan Sar.  And next week Baagii and the guides he uses for his horse treks are going to help us out again.  The Veloo Foundation is  donating a fully decked out ger to help these ladies and, most importantly, the children out, and Baagii and his team are going to put it up for them.  How good is that?!!  So, once again, thank you all for your donations that make it possible for us to help like really can't imagine the changes you are helping to make in so many lives here!!

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Debunking Food Myths: What Is Mongolian Food Really Like?

January 26 (Buffalo Eats) As Western New York's culinary options expand to include a bigger and better roster of Asian restaurants, we are still limited in our knowledge of and access to real Mongolian food. Since Buffalo Eats is on a much-deserved hiatus, I thought I'd take the opportunity to give a brief primer on Mongolian food—the real deal, the stuff that's eaten on a day-to-day basis in homes all across the landlocked, Central Asian nation. That way, if you decide to hit up a "Mongolian BBQ" restaurant, you'll at least know that you're eating an American permutation of an Inner Mongolian meal, rather than what gets consumed on the regular in (outer) Mongolia.

I first traveled to Mongolia as a Peace Corps Volunteer almost eighteen years ago, in 1996. At that time, the country was transitioning from its role as a satellite of the former Soviet Union to an independent, democratic country. There were still significant shortages in food distribution at the time, and much has changed since the mid-90s (particularly in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, which has seen its population rapidly grow). I've been back several times since then, and have witnessed—and eaten—some of the changes firsthand. Nevertheless, some of Mongolia's traditional dishes are deeply revered and continue to be extremely popular.

The first thing that you have to know about Mongolian food is that the two most fundamental ingredients are mutton and flour. We're talking mutton, not lamb. The difference is in the age of the animal, and therefore in how gamey the meat is. In various parts of the country, people also eat beef, horse, goat, yak, camel, and game animals (such as marmot) as well. Meat is a mainstay in most Mongolian dishes. The food I'll describe below was all made with mutton, but other proteins are sometimes substituted. White rice is also eaten fairly regularly, but is not nearly as popular as flour-based dishes.

One of the most popular foods in Mongolia is a steamed mutton dumpling, called buuz (pictured below, photo credit). The buuz filling is often made with ground mutton, salt, and onion. The exterior flour shell is similar to that of a potsticker, although sometimes a bit thicker. Buuz can be pinched together in many ways, and people have nicknames for these pinching techniques ("flower style", for example). Once, when I was trying my hand at buuz-pinching and making a mess of things in someone's kitchen, an elderly lady told me mine looked like crocodile buuz.

If you use these same ingredients but make a slightly bigger pocket of dough, and then deep-fry it, you'll have khuushuur (pictured below, photo credit). Khuushuur is a favorite street food, and while people will consume them (maybe with a Russian-style pickled salad) at home, they're also the kind of food that teenagers will pick up as a snack on their way home from school.

If you take the same mutton and flour, but make noodles from the flour and cut the mutton into bite-sized pieces, add a bit of potato, carrot, and salt, and pan-fry the dish, you'll have a meal called tsuivan (pictured below, photo credit). Tsuivan is one of my favorite Mongolian foods, partly because of the thick, homemade noodles.

These same ingredients (mutton, noodles, salt, and sometimes potatoes and carrots) are also often used to create soup (shul, pictured below and photo credit), a perennial favorite for warming up when temperatures dip well below zero on the steppe.

In general, Mongolian food looks nothing like the image many of us have: a large hibachi with an assortment of meats and veggies stir-fried to order. Rather, it is a cuisine born of and deeply steeped in the geography of a place. It most certainly is not fancy or fussy food, but it is suited to the climate of the country, and it's one of the most distinct cuisines I've ever consumed.

A Buffalo native, Rachel Fix Dominguez lends her passion for food and firsthand travel experiences to Buffalo Spree as a freelance food writer.

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