Friday, January 17, 2014

[SouthGobi output doubles, EBRD lends to Sharyn Gol, and State Minerals Policy passes]

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Friday, January 17, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

SGQ closed +2.6% to C$0.79

SouthGobi 2013 Coal Output More Than Doubles as Mine Restarts

January 16 (Bloomberg) SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (SGQ), a coal producer in Mongolia controlled by a Rio Tinto Group unit, more than doubled output in 2013 after a resumption in mining.

Production rose to 3.06 million metric tons last year, from 1.33 million tons in 2012, Vancouver-based SouthGobi said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today.

The increase may signal a turnaround for SouthGobi, whose shares plunged 56 percent last year in Hong Kong. The company has been dogged by issues including a failed takeover bid by Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. that was blocked by Mongolia, as well as a halt in production and a corruption probe.

"The rate of production in the first quarter of 2014 will be paced to meet contracted sales tonnages," SouthGobi said in the statement. "The company expects sales volume in the first quarter of 2014 to decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2013," it added, citing national holidays for the slowdown.

Operations at its Ovoot Tolgoi mine were halted in June 2012 on uncertainty caused by the takeover bid and deteriorating market conditions. The company restarted production in March last year and said at the time that it planned to produce 3.2 million tons of semi-soft coking coal in the remainder of 2013.

Shipments of coal, Mongolia's biggest earner, declined 41 percent by value last year, leading to a 2.6 percent drop in export income, the National Statistics Office said this week.

SouthGobi is 56 percent-owned by Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill operates the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia, which is forecast to account for about a third of the country's economy when in full operation.

Link to article

Link to SGQ release


TRQ closed +7.06% to US$3.79, up 14.85% YTD

Turquoise Hill jumps 10% on robust production numbers

January 16 ( Shares in Turquoise Hill (TSE:TRQ) rose sharply on Thursday after the company announced strong growth in output and improving grades at its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia.

By midday Turquoise Hill stock was changing hands at $4.29, up 10.6% on the day, bringing its year-to-date gains to more than 21%.

The Vancouver-based company said in a statement Oyu Tolgoi produced 76,700 tonnes of copper in concentrates during 2013, after fourth quarter production surpassed Q3 by 8%. Gold in concentrate output rose 18% to 74,000 ounces. 208,000 ounces of silver were produced.

Mill head grades improved across the board as did recovery rates with copper recovery jumping from 73% in the first half of last year to 86%, but the company said shipments are "not yet aligned with production rates" and it has been building inventories.

Full year 2014 output targets – 150,000 to 175,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates and 700,000 to 750,000 ounces of gold in concentrates – have not been revised.

Turquoise Hill owns a 66% interest in Oyu Tolgoi in the Gobi Desert close to Mongolia's border with China with the government of the Asian nation holding the rest. Turquoise Hill is controlled by Anglo-Australian giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).

Talks between Rio and the Mongolian government on the underground expansion of the $6.6 billion mine and the reworking of the initial Oyu Tolgoi deal signed in 2009 is ongoing.

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Local Market

BDSec Daily Market Update, January 16: Top 20 -1.43%, Turnover 49.3 Million

January 16 (BDSec) The market retreated today as nearly two stocks fell for every one that rose. The benchmark index declined by 1.43% to sit at 15,426.46 points. A local newspaper reported today that Sharyn Gol (SHG) is receiving US$ 10 million from the EBRD. The loan will be used to finance wash plant and briquette plant projects. The products from those plants will be used for industrial companies, cement producers, and for household uses. Sharyn Gol was trading lower by -2.01% to MNT 7,300 on Thursday. Daily turnover was MNT 49.3 million.


Trading Value Leaders

Close (MNT)

Value (MNT)




Chatsargana (CHR)



Sharyn Gol (SHG)






Top Gainers

Close (MNT)

% Change

Ulaanbaatar BUK (BUK)



Gutal (GTL)



Gobi (GOV)






Top Losers

Close (MNT)

% Change

Aduunchuluun (ADL)






Tavantolgoi (TTL)



Link to update


Sharyn Gol mine to produce clean fuel briquettes for Mongolians

EBRD lends US$ 10 million for investment in coal-washing and briquetting facilities which will reduce pollution in Ulaanbaatar

January 15 (EBRD) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting Mongolia's efforts to improve environmental conditions in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

The EBRD is lending US$ 10 million to Sharyn Gol JSC (MSE: SHG) for the acquisition and installation of a de-stoning plant and the upgrade and expansion of a coal enrichment and briquetting plant. These plants will supply washed coal and smokeless fuel briquettes.

Ulaanbaatar is one the most polluted capitals in the world with particle emissions 10 times higher than World Health Organization guidelines. The World Bank estimates that household stoves are responsible for about 60 per cent of these emissions. Much of this is a result of burning low-quality raw coal in stoves in the ger (nomadic tent) districts.

By washing and briquetting raw coal, the new plants will reduce the amount of volatile matter it contains (the main pollutants emitted during burning), increase the heating value and reduce the ash content by up to a half. The Bank's energy audit estimates that the project will lead to CO2 savings of 30,000 tonnes per annum and lower dust emissions from the coal briquettes by 20 per cent, compared to current practices. Independent estimates suggest that, when operational, the EBRD-financed project at Sharyn Gol will save around 47 lives a year.

The washed coal and coal briquettes from these facilities will go to industrial consumers for use in processes such as smelting and cement production, and to households for domestic heating. The expanded facilities following completion of the first phase of the project are expected to produce over 75 thousand tonnes of semi-coke and briquetting products per annum.

Eric Rasmussen, EBRD Director, Natural Resources said: "We are delighted at the opportunity to be working with Sharyn Gol on this Project to improve air quality in Ulaanbaatar.  We also value the Company's commitment to make a very positive impact to the social and economic developments in the local region.  We look forward to supporting the company's strategic move into value-added clean coal products"

Sharyn Gol JSC Director James Passin said: "We are honoured to receive a debt financing package from the EBRD, following deep operational, financial, legal, geological, environmental, and social due diligence by the Bank and its consultants. The long-term debt financing will enable Sharyn Gol JSC to accelerate its plans to turn its subsidiary Naco Fuel JSC into a producer of smokeless fuel for the Mongolian market. We anticipate that our products will make a material improvement in Ulaanbaatar's air quality by the winter of 2015."

Sharyn Gol is a coal producer located in northern Mongolia. The company is listed on the Mongolian Stock Exchange. One of the facilities will be built by its subsidiary NACO Fuel, which is based in the town of Darkhan. The coal mine which produces coal to feed the briquetting retorts is located 215 km north of Ulaanbaatar and 50 km south-east of Darkhan.

To date, the EBRD has invested over US$ 1 billion in Mongolia, all of it in the private sector. A new EBRD strategy for Mongolia, adopted in June this year, identifies sustainable development, including mining, as one of its priorities. The latest EBRD Energy Strategy, adopted in December 2013, names energy efficiency and lower carbon transition as central elements of the Bank's approach.

(Mogi: received this release via email)




Securities Academy Founded To Increase Public Awareness of Capital Market

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ Aiming at increased public awareness and professional involvement in securities markets, a private-running Securities Academy has been formed.

The academic institution opens its door for finance or economy post-graduates.

"The Securities Academy will mainly focus on preparation of stock market professionals to cover ongoing insufficiency of skilled employees in the national stock market," said an Academy official.

Link to article



January 16 -- BDSec JSC (MSE: BDS; Bloomberg Code BDS MO; "BDSec") is pleased to announce the receipt of multiple awards for industry excellence and corporate governance & citizenship. Global Banking and Finance Review awarded BDSec JSC both the "Best Brokerage Company" and "Best Investment Company" of Mongolia for 2013. These awards were among the first ever distinctions bestowed upon local companies by GBFR. BDSec also had the honor to receive two "Grand Bull" awards from the Mongolian Association of Securities Dealers for 2013.

The first of which was "The Best Brokerage House", the second was "The top Analyst of the Capital Market", which was awarded to our Chief Operating Officer Nick Cousyn. Also, The Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry awarded BDSec JSC "Entrepreneur of the Year of the Capital Market", which was BDSec's fourth consecutive nomination. In the framework of strong corporate governance and citizenship, BDSec JSC was awarded "Top Taxpayer" for 2013, which was its second consecutive nomination.

About BDSec JSC

Established in 1991, BDSec is the largest brokerage and investment bank in Mongolia and the only publicly traded financial company on the MSE. BDSec has a 70% share of all corporate accounts registered with the MSE and approximately 20% of both domestic and foreign accounts, from nearly 40 different countries.

Link to release

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BoM MNT Rates: January 16 Close





































January MNT Chart:

Link to rates


BoM FX Auction: Declines USD, CNY Bids, Accepts US$21.5 Million MNT Swap Offer

January 16 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on January 16th, 2014 the BOM has received from local commercial banks bid offer of USD and CNY and has not accepted the offer.

On January 16th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement offer in equivalent to 21.5 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.

See also:

FX Auction Statistics

Link to release


Minerals Export Earnings to Reach USD 9 Billion by 2018

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ The Mining Ministry Wednesday ran the "Minerals Sector-2025" public discussion.

The mining sector makes up 20% of GDP, 60% of industrial output, 80% of total exports, 75% of foreign investments and 20% of budget revenue, a Ministry official said. "Thus, the prospects of the nation greatly depend on the development policies of this sector". 

One of the many important issues discussed at the meeting was a promotion of the value-added industry and final production. Washed coal export accounts only 30% of total coal exports, the nation's biggest earner, while raw coal per ton is USD 40 dollar cheaper than washed one (USD 100).

When a higher production level is achieved, the nation might collect revenues of USD 4.3 billion from coal exports, of 4.2 billion USD from copper, and of 1.3 million USD from iron by 2018, estimates the Mining Ministry. 

Link to article


Mongolia Exports Minerals to 20 Countries in 2013

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ The Mineral Authority Wednesday reported that some ten companies of Mongolia exported last year coal to foreign countries.

According to report from the National Statistical Committee (NSC), the export of mineral products made up 81.8% of total export.

As of December 2013, Mongolia exported mineral products costing USD 3.4 billion to about twenty countries. By a preliminary execution of 2013, the revenue from gold export increased 2.5 times against previous year, reaching USD 309.8 million, whereas the revenue from coal export declined 41%. The size of exported coal decreased 12.2%, the NSC said.

The copper concentrate export revenue rose by 13%, reaching USD 948.9 million, which is considered to be influenced by launching of the product from the OyuTolgoi LLC since July of 2013.

Both Erdenet Mining Corporation and the OT LLC exported last year 649.8 thousand tons of copper concentrate. In addition, the oil export increased 53.4% against 2012, and iron ore--by 22.9%. But the exports of zinc, spar and molybdenum decreased. 

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January 16 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) --


·         Media office of Mongolian Parliament has reported that on January 16, 2014 after voting on formulations of proposals of principal difference, 86.8% of MP-s have approved State Policy in Minerals Sector.  

In an interview to newspaper " Undesnii shuudan" published today, Director of Strategy and Policy Planning of Mining Ministry Ch.Otgochuluu has said regarding the policy

·         issue that is being discussed is to export some mining raw materials after processing and to take some domestically into reserves

·         in another words, if we export when it is cheap with low taxes, 10 years later we cannot import with high cost

·         thus the policy is to process, add value and sell not for 100 MNT but for 300 MNT

·         another words, policy will be adhered to levy high tax on some products and keep domestically

·         for example, exporting iron ore in raw form is improper. Therefore, it is necessary to process. Secondly, it will be taken into reserves for future productive development. However, that would be issue to be resolved after policy is issued. In contrast, Mongolia has abundant coal resources. Therefore, it is necessary to compete in world market and make other countries dependent from us


·         Both JC and MPP Caucus took breaks objecting to removal of following clauses

·         making initial valuation of deposit (by state)

·         infrastructure(urban development) following deposits depending on reserves of the deposit

·         taking into reserves and storing deposits for future generations

·         National TV broadcaster MNB reported that the break was necessary for the Caucuses to resolve the issue.

·         a draft of the policy called " Final Version to be introduced" publicly available form Parliament website contained following clauses

2.1.8. To preserve some categories of mineral deposits to conform to needs of national security, environment, eco-balance and interests of future generations. 

3.1.2. To improve regulations and control of transferring of licenses on minerals exploration and mining (purchase of enterprises, controlling shares);

3.3.2. To improve operations and economic return of the strategically important deposits, listed in the Parliament Decree No.27, by advancing the state control, regulation, responsibility, to strengthen state-private partnership;  

3.5.1. To develop conditions for mutual understanding between investors and local community prior to the start of extraction in particular area, to increase the responsibility of local authorities in efforts to explain and introduce economic and social importance of mining project; 

3.5.2.  To ensure local development agreement, aimed at supporting local development for the duration of mining project and made between investment company and local self-governing body, is transparent, to incorporate participation principles.

3.6.5. To allow rewarding civil society organizations, that were able to claim and force payment for environmental damage to state and local budgets, in a form of commission.  


9. To remove the provision 2.1.8 that states "to preserve some categories of mineral deposits to conform to needs of national security, environment, eco-balance and interests of future generations

10.   To remove the provision 3.6.5. that states "to allow reward to civil society organizations, that were able to claim and force payment to state and local budgets for environmental damage, in a form of commission


·         Copy of approved policy is not available to us at the moment and we have requested it from relevant official organizations and will report to our clients on our findings

·         It is not known at the moment whether or not the policy contains ,in our opinion, controversial concepts such as strategic deposits, preserving some categories of deposits for future generation, right of state to make initial valuation, mandatory urban development and others

·         To comment on concept of "preserving of some categories of mineral deposits for future" , we find it highly controversial for a free market economy, which we understand Mongolia is

·         We understand that deposits are not readily available quantities of minerals stored underground ready to export shipments

·         Illustrating on the example of two world class Mongolian deposits of TT and OT, we believe it is extremely challenging to find deposits of these size and quality and any meaningful deposit in general. In our understanding, despite all technological advancements, human ability to ascertain whether such or any deposit for that matter exists or not in reality is quite limited and requires significant expenditures of capital, skilled labor,technology, etc and etc to continually increase probability that such deposit in fact exists

·         It took years and even decades to ascertain deposits like OT or TT which lied dormant underground for millenniums undiscovered

·         We believe it is virtually impossible to ascertain how commodity prices will behave in the future and perhaps current state of Mongolian coal industry where all but ETT have stopped all exports is testament to how limited is human capacity to predict commodity prices ( TT was discovered in 50s but Mongolia could not attract investment even in 90s due to low coal prices)

·         Even without specifying minerals to be stored(iron ore?) with this storing of deposits concept for example OT would never have been discovered (there would be no incentive to discover it). A lot of discoveries of some mineral deposits are done while exploring for other minerals. Would Mongolia be better off if OT was not discovered or discovered but stored for future generations as some countryside voters suggested? Would the people of Mongolia support that the country would be better off without OT?

·         As for iron ore sector in Mongolia, we understand that the deposits are all skarn, low grade (20-30% Fe), high impurities, small deposits (20-50Mt max in pods) - this is relative to Australian and Brazil grades +60% Fe, little if no impurities, large deposits (+100Mt often +1bt). In Australia and Brazil a lot of iron ore is sold as Direct Shipping Ore where there is basically no upgrading process to the ore but only to ensure there is consistent quality product which meets specifications (grade and impurities) that the mills will pay a premium for - this is the big value add. Mining and infrastructure costs maybe $50-60/t on the boat (some operations are a lot less - Rio Tinto probably <$30/t) for a product selling for $130/t at the moment. Huge profits, selling to a steel industry which is very capital intensive and making no money (China is currently destorying/bulldozing some steel mills). The same is said for the HCC where basically all Australian and other seaborne coal is washed and transported via rail, creating a higher value product which is not damaged from double/triple handling, again this is not done in Mongolia . We understand that Mongolian iron ore resources are no economic without upgrading the product. This requires converting the 20-30% Fe to +58% Fe and removing the impurities. This requires significant capital and is a huge value add. The largest iron ore mines in Mongolia still don't have the upgrading process which is common for similar lower grade mines in Norway/Sweden/Brazil/Canada where the impurity levels are reduced to a fixed range and means that there is a consistent product (comparable or even a premium to Australia and Brazil's Direct Shipping Ore). This is what Mongolia should be encouraging - it will improve the price Mongolia will receive and mean that the Chinese will not turn around the product at the border and say that it is no good and significant discount the price even further with no other option than accepting that price.

·         We understand that this is the message the Mining Ministry perhaps is trying to communicate and should be applied in the coal sector as well and in our opinion value-add beyond that is debatable as with high cost of capital  Mongolia might be better off with other uses of that capital over the next decade

·         We find this highly controversial concept of storing deposits puzzling after Mining Minister has mentioned in his presentation on Minerals Sector-2025 "proper extraction model of minerals extraction" which includes "econometric modeling based on scientific methodology"

·         it remains to be seen if the policy will constitute "stable, understandable, competitive legislative environment in long term" which has been declared a part of "long term vision" for minerals sector by the Ministry

Link to Parliament press release (in Mongolian):

Link to the interview:

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Mogi: hmmm, what exactly got passed here

Parliament Adopts Resolution on State Policy on Mineral Sector

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ At its plenary meeting on Thursday, the parliamentary session ran a final discussion of a draft resolution of parliament on state policy on mineral sector, and then passed it.

After running the poll, 86.8% of MPs approved the draft resolution.

The same day, the session adopted draft amendments to the laws on crime, on criminal procedure and on income tax for the self-employed people. 

Link to article


The 2025 Mineral Resources Discussion

January 16 /Mongolian Economy/ The 2025 Mineral Resources Discussion took place in Ulaanbaatar on January 15 this year. During the discussion, mining sector officials defined a general overview of Mongolia's mining sector development until 2025. The goal and objectives of the discussion were to build public consensus on the mining sector, raise public awareness, make those in the sector understand one another and develop a shared vision. 

There were 300 delegates in the discussion who gathered together to raise the competitiveness, responsibility and reputation of the sector. One third of the delegates were from professional associations and non-government organisations.

The delegates emphasised that the mining sector needs to be developed in the future, based on precise and accurate studies. They also addressed the mining minister and how he has to increase the number of participants from professional associations and NGOs as decision-makers and even consider some of their ideas in future policies.

The Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag attended the opening ceremony of the discussion. Mr. Altankhuyag emphasised that all stakeholders' efforts would be important in developing the mining sector according to international mining standard. He also said that a favourable mining legal environment has been created and best international practice needs to be introduced to Mongolia.

The mining minister Davaajavyn Gankhuyag delivered the main speech on the Legal Environment and Development Strategy of Mining Sector. In his speech, he introduced a list of urgent tasks to be done in near future and mentioned the policy document on mining sector which is expected to come out soon, including Law on Underground Wealth and the Law on Transparency of Mining Production.

The mining sector comprises 17 percent of Mongolia's GDP and 81 percent of export, 73 percent of foreign direct investment and 23 percent of the state budget in 2013. Vice mining minister O. Erdenebulgan said that it is necessary to support the mining sector which is the pillar of economic development.

Link to article


Independent Davaasuren reelected as budget committee chairman

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ A parliamentary session Thursday discussed its resolution on electing chairman for the Standing Committee on Budget.

This Committee Wednesday discussed the nomination of its chairman and decided to continue with its incumbent chairman Ts.Davaasuren MP.

At the session, no member had words on the nomination, and a voting was held to elect the only nominee Ts.Davaasuren. 

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Chinese FM meets Mongolian counterpart

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here Thursday with visiting Mongolian counterpart Luvsanvandan Bold, emphasizing China's commitment to ties with neighboring nations.

It marks Wang's first meeting with a foreign minister in 2014. Wang said the talks showcased the importance China attaches to Mongolia and also the neighboring region.


"China and Mongolia will witness a triplet of celebrations in bilateral ties this year," Wang said. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral relationship, the 20th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between Mongolia and China and the China-Mongolia Friendship and Exchange Year.

China will not only be a friendly and good neighbor but also a trustworthy partner of Mongolia, Wang said.

Bold, for his part, said Mongolia makes developing its relationship with China the priority of its diplomacy, and stands ready to deepen cooperation of mutual benefit.

The two sides agreed to support each other on issues concerning respective core interests and push ahead high-level contacts.

China and Mongolia will also further annual two-way trade volume to reach the goal of 10 billion U.S. dollars, and explore the feasibility of building a free-trade zone.

Meanwhile, the two sides agreed to expand cultural cooperation and facilitate people-to-people exchanges.

In order to protect common interests, the two ministers gave consent on joint activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year.

After the one-hour talks, the two officials signed an arrangement for celebrating the China-Mongolia Friendship and Exchange Year.


At a press briefing after the talks, Wang highlighted important opportunities China will bring about this year for neighboring nations, or even the whole region.

"China will launch a new series of reform in 2014. Transformation of China's economy and exploitation of its market potential will bring new opportunities for the world," Wang said.

"We expect to have China's friendly neighbors as the first batch of 'passengers' onboard the express of China's new-round of reform and development," he said.

Noting China's latest proposals on regional cooperation, such as building the Silk Road economic zone, the Maritime Silk Road, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, and upgrading its free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Wang said regional countries' economic development will benefit.

Furthermore, China in this year will host summits of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia).

He also expressed China's will to handle disputes with neighboring countries through talks with good-will and in a candid manner, on the basis of safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Bold kicked off his visit to China on Thursday. During the six-day tour, he will also meet with Vice President Li Yuanchao and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and visit northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Link to article


Speaker Highlights Mongolia's Development and New Investment Law in Interview to China Daily

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ The Speaker of parliament Z.Enkhbold Wednesday gave an interview to the "China Daily", one of the biggest daily papers of China.

Mr Enkhbold highlighted development tendencies of Mongolia, and an investment law, and gave details about Mongolia-China bilateral relations and cooperation.

After this he was interviewed by the Chinese "The People's Daily newspaper" on the occasion of upcoming Lunar New Year which will be celebrated in Mongolia and China at the same time. The sides focused on activities the two countries are supposed to run in frames of the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relations. 

Link to article


PM Gives Interview to China Daily

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ The Premier N.Altankhuyag Wednesday gave an interview to "China Daily", an English-language paper published in China.

At the interview, Mr Altankhuyag focused on the last year's economic performances and on this year's main development directions. 

"Although some economic indicators showed a decline in 2013 statistics, we achieved great construction projects last year, for example, 50 thousand vacancies were created, a housing project for 20 thousand was successful, the construction went up twice," he said. 

Furthermore, the nation counted 45 million heads of the domestic animals, four provinces' centers were connected to the capital city by some 1,800-km paved roads, Mr Altankhuyag noted.

The construction projects will continue in 2014 with the same pace, he said and underlined that, in order to reduce commodity imports, the Government will pay a special attention to the industrialization and export increase. 

Link to article


Government of Japan to Provide Non-Project Grant Aid of 300 Million JPY to Mongolia

January 16 / In the frames of 2013 Nendo or Fiscal Year (April 01, 2013 to March 31, 2014), the Government of Japan is providing a non-project grant aid of 300 million JPY or approximately 3 million USD to the Government of Mongolia, and an Exchange of Notes between the Governments was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar on January 15, 2014.

On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, Foreign Minister Luvsanvandan BOLD and the Government of Japan was represented by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Kihara to sign the document.

Under this aid, sets of medical supplies, equipment and devices for disabilities with physical and visual impairments will be accommodated; besides will be dedicated to supply forest firefighting equipment.

The recipients of the grant aid are Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare, National Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Health.

The Government of Japan is implementing a Recovery, Rehabilitation and Development Project in Tsunami Affected Area within ODA Loan Agreement in order to support SMEs in Tsunami Affected Area by supplying their products to developing countries as grant aid.

Generally, Japanese Governmental non-project grant aid is intended to provide rapid support to developing countries with economic difficulties such as growing accumulated debt or a rising international balance of payments deficit, as part of assistance to improve the country's economic structure and as of Mongolia this grant aid is purposed to procure the above-mentioned equipment.

The Government of Japan provided the following non-project grant aid to Mongolia

2.0 billion JPY in 1991,

2.0 billion JPY in 1992,

2.0 billion JPY in 1993,

1.0 billion JPY in 1994,

2.0 billion JPY in 1996,

2.5 billion JPY in 1997,

900 million JPY in 1998,

1.9 million JPY in 1999,

1.2 billion JPY in 2001,

300 million JPY in 2005,

200 million JPY in February of 2013;

The above sums were spent to procure supplies for agricultural machinery and trolleybuses; canvas for sack, drilling and other purposes; medicine; petrol, heavy oil and lubricant; bitumen, mining equipment and supplies; communication devices; autoparts and wheels; equipment for power plants; traffic lights and medical supplies.

Link to article


Japan to Give Non-Project Grant AidMontsame, January 16


Mongolia Seeks to Improve Educational Ties With Japan

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Education and Sciences L.Gantomor Thursday met with Japan's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr S.Kihara.

Mr Gantomor said that a loan agreement draft of the "Development on Higher Education of Engineers" project, agreed between the government of Mongolia and the Japan International Cooperation Agency /JICA/ during his visit to Japan last year, will be established in near future.

He also expressed a confidence that the grant aid of three billion JPY will make a big contribution to human resources development and asked the Japanese side to cooperate in bringing bilateral ties in education sector to a newer level and to increase number of Mongolian students to major in engineering and technology in Japan.

Link to article


Parliamentary Delegation in France

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ A delegation of the State Great Khural is continuing its visit to the Republic of France.

N.Battsereg, G.Uyanga and Ya.Sodbaatar MPs got au fait with a plenary session of the French Senate, were received by Mr Francois Pillet, a leader of the France-Mongolia friendship group at the Senate, and its members Patrice Gelard, Jacques Gautier, Jean Besson and Jean-Rene Lecerf. The sides exchanged views on elevating the bilateral cooperation into political and social and economic levels.

This is first time for Mr Pillet to receive a foreign parliamentary delegation at his initiative. The Mongolian delegation became his first guests after he had been elected the senator.  

Link to article


Mongolia Establishes Diplomatic Relations with Republic of Kiribati

January 16 / Within its aim to establish diplomatic relations with all United Nations member states, Mongolia has established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kiribati in New York City on January 15, 2014.

Setting mutual aspirations to develop and strengthen friendly relations and cooperation as a guideline, the two countries agreed to adhere to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the UN Charter and international legal principles and standards.

The Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations, Ambassador Mr.Od OCH and the Permanent Representative of Kiribati to the United Nations, Ambassador Mrs. Makurita Baaro signed the joint statement to establish diplomatic relations. The joint statement to establish diplomatic relations has been registered at the UN and the Permanent Representatives of Mongolia and Kiribati have sent the statement to the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon in order to inform the UN member countries.

The establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kiribati provides better opportunities for both countries to support each other in bilateral and international organizations, moreover parties agreed to grow partnership in economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, besides to set up tasks for collaboration in environment, climate change and sustainable development issues.

As of today, Mongolia has established diplomatic relations with 178 states of the world and the EU.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Historical collegiate basketball programme a roaring success in Mongolia

ULAN BATOR, January 6 (FIBA) - The Mongolian Basketball Association (MBA) has achieved a key landmark in their basketball history by successfully organising a first fully-fledged collegiate basketball programme.

Prior to the formation of the new Mongolian Collegiate Basketball Association, colleges and universities were limited to competing in short ad-hoc tournaments and mini-leagues. But now, both male and female players have benefitted from participating in a sustained, multi-month, national-level competition.

With a total of 562 regular season games in progress, it makes the newly-constructed college league as the largest ever organised in Mongolian basketball history.

Under the vision and leadership of MBA Special Advisor and League Commissioner Eddie Ganbat, coupled with the assistance of MBA consultant and national teams head coach Alan Walls, the league tipped off in November with 32 men's and 16 women's teams divided into East and West divisions.

The league is scheduled to run until May, with each team playing a series with each divisional rival and concluding in an NCAA-style post-season tournament, based on a 'Sweet 16' and 'Elite 8' format for men and women, respectively.

"It was nearly impossible to launch this project without a lot of help and support from the Mongolian basketball community," revealed Ganbat.

"All the participating schools, all the sports gyms, all the coaches and players were able to see the importance of this competition.

"We've never had the 'home-court' concept in basketball here. Now we do, with 16 universities organising and hosting games on their home court.

"For those who don't have a standard gym, other universities are allowing them to use theirs.

"The gyms are usually packed with students and you can feel the home-court atmosphere every game you go to."

Currently all 48 teams (32 universities) are located in the capital city and the plan is to expand the programme during the second season to other cities, where regional divisions will be formed and a true 'national champion' will be crowned.

The college league will play a key factor in the development of basketball in Mongolia. The league will provide a high level of competition for the evaluation and development of future senior national team players and coaches, as well as offering more game experience for officials and administrators.

The league also has a strong social purpose and wants to assist in the development of the players and coaches off the court as well.

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MBA Collegiate League puts Mongolian progress on fast trackFIBA Asia, December 24, 2013


D.Boldbaatar advances to 56th in Dakar Rally

Ulaanbaatar, January 16 /MONTSAME/ At the end of the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally, Mongolian D.Boldbaatar was placed the 56th on Wednesday.

D.Boldbaatar, only Mongolian continuing the rally, showed a result of 06:26:10 at the finishing line leaving some hundred racers at the tenth stage.

Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel closed the gap on Dakar Rally leader Nani Roma to just two minutes after another all-out attack on the 10th stage along the Chilean coast on Wednesday.

A day after slicing more than 11 minutes off Roma's overall lead, Peterhansel cut off another 10 to practically lie on Roma's bumper, setting up a thrilling finish with 1,100 kilometers and three days to go in the world's toughest rally.

Roma, who led Peterhansel by 39 minutes last Thursday, was set back by getting stuck on a dune, and then suffering a puncture.

The 2014 Dakar Rally is the 35th running of the event and the sixth successive year that the event is held in South America. The event starts in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina on January 5 and finishes in Valparaiso, Chile on January 18 after thirteen stages of competition.

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Press release: Oyu Tolgoi named 'Best Green Mine'

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, January 16 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) - Oyu Tolgoi was yesterday (Wednesday) named as 'Best green mine' in the fourth annual Mongolian Mining Journal Awards. This year's event was held during the 'Minerals 2025' conference organised by the Government to shape long term mining policy and promote investment in the sector.

Munkhbat.T, Deputy Director, Resource Strategy and Innovation at Oyu Tolgoi said: "Winning this prestigious award is a source of pride for Oyu Tolgoi's workforce. This success is not only a result of Rio Tinto's high standards in environmentally friendly mining, but also the result of close cooperation with international organisations, local communities, civil society and the Government.".

In his opening speech, Mongolian Mining Journal editor L.Bolormaa said: "2013 was a difficult year of crisis for the mining industry. However, our industry rose to the challenge and worked hard to overcome it. Representatives of these hard working people are nominees of the Mining Journal Awards. Because the qualification criteria were toughened compared with previous years, in the crisis year, the number of participants was relatively few. However, in this year, the event which usually judges the industry's successes and accomplishments, we have nominated many companies which worked hard to overcome challenges."

Oyu Tolgoi won the Best green mine award by implementing international standard environmental monitoring programmes, the introduction of innovative technology and the development of detailed plans for biological rehabilitation in the Gobi desert. The mine is designed to be one of the most water efficient mines of its type worldwide. This is achieved through minimising water use for ore processing and enrichment operations and the reuse of 85-90 per cent of water.

Mining Journal Awards 2013 made awards in six categories, 'Best mine', 'Responsible mining', 'Best green mine', 'Best technology', 'Explorer of the year' and 'Best stable operations'.

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