Pages

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[Erdenes OT confirms Sept. compromise, SouthGobi warns of CIC default, Erdene raising more after Teck, and Erdenes TT to pay off DBM in shares]

Please click Display Images or Download Pictures to properly view this newswire

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Follow the news on Facebook, Twitter and view archive here

Jump to: Overseas Market - Local MarketEconomyPoliticsBusinessUlaanbaatarDiplomacy - Social, Environmental and Other

Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

SGQ last traded at C$0.63 Thursday

SouthGobi Resources repeats warning that it's in need of additional financing

HONG KONG, April 21 (The Canadian Press) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ) has repeated a warning that it's in dire need of additional financing to relieve a cash shortage and help it keep operating through a period of low coal prices.

The company, part of the Rio Tinto group of companies, says it has US$15.8 million of cash as of April 21, including $8 million from a prepayment for future coal deliveries. It also has a US$7.9-million cash payment due on May 19, to pay for interest on a debt owed to China Investment Corp.

"While the company intends to secure additional sources of financing as soon as possible, a continued delay in securing additional financing could ultimately result in an event of default of the $250.0 million CIC convertible debenture, which if not cured within applicable cure periods in accordance with the terms of such debenture, may result in the principal amount owing and all accrued and unpaid interest becoming immediately due and payable upon notice to the company by CIC."

SouthGobi is a direct subsidiary of Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TSX:TRQ) which, in turn, is controlled by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE:RIO).

The company, which is listed on both the Hong Kong and Toronto stock markets, exports its coal production to China. The company said Monday that it expects coal prices in China will remain under pressure in 2014 and that will affect its margins and liquidity.

SouthGobi previously warned on March 24 that it would be difficult to meet its debt obligations this year and could face a default of a US$250 million convertible debenture issued by CIC.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, SouthGobi reported a net loss of $138.7 million, or 75 cents per share, and $32.4 million of revenue. For the full year, its loss was $237.4 million or $1.30 per share with $58.6 million of revenue.

The company noted Monday that sales volume is usually lower in the first quarter of each year due to seasonal holidays in Mongolia and China. It didn't provide guidance on the value of the first-quarter sales nor provide an earnings estimate.

Link to article

SouthGobi Resources Announces Select First Quarter 2014 Operating ResultsSouthGobi Resources, April 21:

Mongolian Royalty Regime

The Company is subject to a base royalty in Mongolia of 5% on all export coal sales. In addition, effective January 1, 2011, the Company is subject to an additional sliding scale royalty of up to 5%. For the last three quarters of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, the royalty was calculated using a set reference price per tonne published by the Government of Mongolia.

The Government of Mongolia changed the royalty regime effective April 1, 2014. Under the new "flexible tariff" royalty regime, the royalty per tonne for export coal sales will be calculated based on the actual contracted sales price per tonne, whereby the contracted sales price includes the costs of transporting the coal to the Mongolia-China border. If transportation costs are not included in the contracted sales price between a buyer and seller, the following costs are required to be included in the contracted sales price for purposes of calculating the royalty per tonne: transportation costs and costs associated with transportation such as customs documentation fees, insurance, loading and unloading costs. In the event the actual contracted sales price calculated as described above differs by more than 10% from the contracted sales price of coal products with the same classification and quality being exported by other legal entities in Mongolia through the same border crossing, the calculated contracted sales price shall be deemed non-market under Mongolian tax law and the royalty per tonne will be calculated from a reference price.

The Company currently sells coal from the Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine at the mine-gate and the coal is exported through the Shivee Khuren Border Crossing. The Company expects that its royalty per tonne calculated under the new "flexible tariff" royalty regime will decrease compared to the prior reference price royalty regime.

 

TRQ closed -1.3% to US$3.79 Monday, +13.8% in April

Rio's Oyu Tolgoi woes deepen

MATT CHAMBERS, April 22 (The Australian) MONGOLIA has stepped up criticism of Rio Tinto over continuing delays to expansion of the pair's $US11.5 billion ($12.3bn) Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, revealing a big divide still stands in the way of the profitable second stage of the giant mine.

In a letter to Rio chief Sam Walsh leaked to the Mongolian press at the weekend, Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag chided Rio over behind-the-scenes moves to declare it was seeking an end-of-year extension to project financing for the $US5.1bn underground expansion of Oyu Tolgoi.

Lenders' commitments for a $US3.6bn (Mogi: I thought it was US$4.2B?)  financing package for the stalled expansion expired last month because Rio and the government could not agree on Mongolia's take from the project, access to water, and a $US2bn cost blowout on the first-stage ­expansion.

The disagreement threatens to derail the underground expansion of the project, which is where most of the value is set to be ­realised.

The March 27 letter from Mr Altankhuyag, who has declared Mongolia is ready to wrap up the funding, shows the government is unhappy with Rio's public statements on the project.

"We stressed the importance of Rio Tinto maintaining a positive stance in addressing the public, but instead we have received a press release proposal from (Rio copper chief) Jean Sebastian ­Jacques, which was insisting on a request to extend lenders' commitments to December 31," the Prime Minister said in the letter, which was printed by Mongolia's English language UB Post.

"It is unfortunate that we ­acknowledge the doubtful approach for finalising the project financing in such an extended ­period of time."

Rio has said it will not be rushed into financing until all the issues are sorted out.

In apparent concessions on both sides, Turquoise Hill, the Canadian listed company through which Rio holds its stake in Oyu Tolgoi, said on April 14 that agreement had been reached by "all parties" to ask for lenders to extend their commitment until September 30.

But the agreement does not look that strong. (Mogi: weird conclusion. Wasn't the joint request made after the letter?)

Two days later, Mr Altan­khuyag told a business lunch in Ulan Bator that funding was ­urgent and that the government had told potential lenders that the Mongolian government was ready to press ahead.

Yesterday, Rio would not comment on the letter or confirm if it had received it.

Mongolia's letter about it being ready to push ahead with project financing came after comments last month by Mr Walsh that Rio would not be rushed into settlement of the dispute.

"It would be nice to bring the discussions with the government of Mongolia to a conclusion, but I'm not going to speculate whether the government is ready to bring that to a conclusion," Mr Walsh told reporters in Brisbane as the funding deadline loomed.

Development of the underground addition to the recently started Oyu Tolgoi open-pit mine has been stalled since August last year because of the dispute with the Mongolian government.

In its annual accounts released on March 26, Turquoise Hill said the project expansion was uncertain.

"There can be no assurance that these matters will be resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to Turquoise Hill or Rio Tinto and that Oyu Tolgoi Project Financing will be available within a reasonable timeframe to permit development of the underground mine within current cost estimates, on schedule or at all," the company said.

Link to article

 

Mogi: and apparently also removes reference to allowing Bank of China to open a branch, after having just opened rep office in Jan. 2013. I think the law is a foreign bank can apply to open a full branch after two years operated a rep office. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Updated Economic Stimulus Bill Removes OT Reference, Erdenes OT Says Resolving OT Within 2014 a Positive Sign

April 21 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) Chief of Staff of Mongolian Government Ch.Saikhanbileg submitted on April 18,2014 to Parliament Speaker bill on some measures to boost economy to have it discussed during Spring session on "very urgent basis". The Parliament's office stated

·         "In 2014, foreign exchange rate is not declining, which impacts purchasing power of citizens and it is necessary to stabilize exchange rate, reduce inflation and keep stable high economic growth."

·         "the bill includes 23 measures"

·         " it is necessary to implement policy measures without loss of time"

·         "bill initiators stress that by approval and implementation of the measures conditions will form for foreign exchange rate to stabilize, inflation to reduce and high economic growth to be kept."

·         Measures includes among other things

o    " favorable tax conditions for sectors other than minerals and luxury consumptipon"

o    " support for participation of major companies in foreign and domestic capital markets"

o    " ensure strategic foreign companies participation in extraction at TT deposit and sales,  boost by establishing long term coal supply agreement, create mechanism for funding and insurance to develop value-added production and mining infrastructure by certain portion of revenues"

o    " form legal and regulatory environment  for introducing on limited basis some services of free zones and resorts and entertainment centers of other countries"(casinos?)

o    " not to make double supervision and examination with excessive pressure on activities of private enterprises under the name of budget revenues and implementing laws, ", " do supervision and examination  on principle of basing only on risk and within framework of particular sector"

o    "make visa regimen for business purpose and multiple use for citizens of developed countries and foreign investors favourable and long term"

The current bill appears to be updated version   of previously submitted draft resolution of 19 measures to increase economic growth in the country and ensure financial stability submitted by the Minister of Economic Development to Speaker on April 7,2014.

However, accompanying introduction and ideology documents to the current bill no longer contains any reference to OT.   Initiators of previous version , the Ministry of Economic Development, have stated before through Parliament statement that  

·         "by having approved within spring session and implementing measures such as preparing and submitting to Parliament bills on financing for Stage 2 of OT, issues related to Agreement and reviving mineral exploration..there will be significance of becoming foundation for ensuring stability of economic development of Mongolia, increasing investment and FX inflows ."

·         Accompanying reasoning and necessity for the previous bill also said

"in 2013 there has been no investment whatsoever  in connection with mining underground mine of Oyu Tolgoi project. Further, foreign investment has declined 47.4%. Therefore, there is a necessity to boost process of investment agreement to exploit underground mine of Oyu tolgoi project and work that is slowing down and increase foreign investment."

The link to previous bill no longer works and it is gone from list of bills submitted to the Parliament publicly available on official Parliament website.

In the latest public media communication, CEO of Erdenes OT Da. Ganbold has said on April 21,2014

·         " some economists and analysts saying publicly that it is Mongolian Government's fault that negotiations are delaying should be viewed from point of view that it is world's common practice to shift blame/pass the buck to the other party. Actually this is rule of the game. This is business. Both GoM and investors are trying to maximize profit. No one has interest for mutual business to suffer and delay the work"

·         "We want to increase economic reserves. The other party wants to operate profitably for long term as long as possible. This negotiations process is slow than what we expected. But it does not meant that we should make various big political opinions or go to extremes such as badmouthing totally investors or on the other hand consider that Mongolian Government is a failure "

·         " F/s is to be submitted in June this year. It is clear that Minerals Council will not manage to get familiar with these documents within few days. Therefore we decided on September to resolve all issues."

·         " RT's engineers say preliminary forecast that reserves will increase by certain degree"

·         " Resolving OT project finance within this year is healthy positive signal to foreign and domestic investors, but we cannot be dependent  so much on only one project"

·         "It is inevitable that mine project progresses to another stage, production stage and associated investment drastically decline"

Link to Parliament statement (in Mongolian): http://open.parliament.mn/content/3704.htm;jsessionid=0F6FD2ADC57B9E8E4197CED33B307EA6

Link to current bill documents (in Mongolian): http://www.parliament.mn/laws/projects/365

Link to EOT public communication: (in Mongolian): http://eot.mn/mn/contents/more/31

Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research

Telephone: +976 75555560

E-Mail: dale.choi@mongoliametals-mining.mygbiz.com

Link to post

 

Mogi: The placement is in addition to the C$350,000 at 17.5c to Teck. ERD closed +8.3% to C$0.195 on the announcement

Erdene Announces Private Placement; Drilling to Commence on the Altan Nar Gold Project

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - April 21, 2014) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce it intends to issue, by way of a non-brokered private placement, up to 4,062,500 units at a price of $0.16 per unit for gross proceeds of up to $650,000 ("Private Placement"). Each unit will consist of one common share of the Company and one-half of one common share purchase warrant, with each whole common share purchase warrant ("Warrant") entitling the holder to purchase one common share of the Company at a price of $0.24 for a 24 month period from the closing date. If the closing price of the Company's common shares trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") is $0.36 or higher for 30 consecutive trading days, the Company may, in its sole discretion, accelerate the expiry period of the Warrants by providing written notice of such acceleration by way of a news release ("Acceleration Notice"), such that the exercise period of the Warrants will expire on that day which is 30 days from the date of the Company's Acceleration Notice.

Net proceeds of the Private Placement will be used for exploration of the Company's metal projects in Mongolia, including drilling at the Company's 100% owned Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project, to commence in late April. The Private Placement is expected to close on or before May 2nd, 2014, and is subject to certain conditions, including, but not limited to, the receipt of all necessary approvals including the approval and acceptance by the TSX. All securities to be issued pursuant to the Private Placement will be subject to a four month hold period from the closing date. Finder's fees may be payable on a portion of the financing.

Altan Nar Gold Project - Drill Program

Altan Nar exploration results, announced on January 22nd, 2014 included multiple, high grade gold, silver and base metals zones (click here for Erdene's news release). Follow-up drilling is expected to commence in late-April and will include 10 drill holes totaling approximately 1,000 m. The drill program will test continuity of these high priority targets, some of which have yet to be drill tested. Erdene field crews were mobilized to site the first week of April. Detailed surface work is underway, including higher density geochemical sampling, mapping, and a an expanded induced polarization survey. This work will provide a greater understanding of the extent of the multiple mineralized structures identified to date and provide a stronger base for designing a more extensive follow-up resource delineation drill program.

Targets included in the drill program will be the Discovery Zone, Union North, Union South, Maggie, Northbow and Southbow. The following section and enclosed maps provide additional details on each target.

Link to release

 

Vancouver-based Teck Resources ups stake in Mongolian copper mining play 

Mining company received two million additional shares of Erdene Resource Development Corp.

VANCOUVER, April 21 (The Canadian Press) — Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B) has increased its investment in a small Halifax-based mining company that will use the funds to explore for copper in Mongolia under a strategic alliance announced last year.

Vancouver-based Teck, one of Canada's largest mining companies, received two million additional shares of Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) for 17.5 cents each, for a total of $350,000.

As a result of the recent purchase and its previous holdings, Teck controls up to 14.2 per cent of Erdene's common shares through about nine million common shares and one million purchase warrants.

Erdene announced last week that the private placement would be used for exploring the Khuvyn Khar copper project and other Teck Alliance projects in Mongolia.

Erdene announced separately Monday, after the Teck deal closed, that it expects to sell a further four million equity units at 16 cents each through another private placement for gross proceeds of $650,000.

The money will be used to fund exploration on Erdene's wholly owned Altan Nar project, which has gold and other metals. Erdene said it expects the private placement of units will close by May 2.

The units consist of one Erdene common share and half of a share purchase warrant. Each full unit will allow the holder to buy an Erdene common share for 24 cents within two years, subject to conditions.

Erdene shares opened Monday at 17 cents per share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Link to article

 

Teck Announces Subscription to Erdene Placement

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 21, 2014) - Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TCK.A, TCK.B, NYSE: TCK) ("Teck") announced today that it has subscribed for and acquired an additional 2,000,000 common shares of Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene"), at a cost of $0.175 per common share, in a private placement conducted by Erdene.

Following the subscription, Teck holds 9,142,857 common shares and 1,071,429 share-purchase warrants of Erdene. If Teck were to exercise all of the warrants it would hold approximately 14.2% of Erdene's outstanding common shares, calculated on a partially diluted basis assuming the exercise of the Teck warrants only.

Erdene is a mining company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of base and precious metals in Mongolia.

The subscription was made for investment purposes. Teck may otherwise determine to increase or decrease its investment in Erdene depending on market conditions and any other relevant factors. This release is required to be issued under the early warning requirements of applicable securities laws.

Link to release

Erdene Announces Private Placement to Teck – Erdene Resource Dev. Corp., April 15

 

KCC last traded C$0.07 Thursday, AMO closed -2c to 3.5c Monday on low volume

MIBG Equity Research: Turquoise Hill, Kincora Copper, Erdene Resource, Altan Rio

Equities Research

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. - March 2014 (Initiating Coverage)

Kincora Copper Ltd. - March 2014 (Initiating Coverage)

Erdene Resource Development Corp. - April 2013 (Updated Coverage)

Altan Rio Minerals Ltd. - Sept 2012 (Initiating Coverage)

Link to MIBG research page

Back to top

Local Market

MSE News for April 21: Top 20 -0.58%, Turnover 36.7 Million

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 38 thousand and 126 shares of 18 JSCs were traded costing MNT 36 million 667 thousand and 679.00.

"Remikon" /15 thousand and 950 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /7,200 units/, "Merex" /6,600 units/, "Ulaansan" /3,900 units/ and "Khokh gan" /1,282 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Bayangol hotel" (MNT 18 million and 128 thousand), "Ulaansan" (MNT three million and 770 thousand), "APU" (MNT three million 661 thousand and 070), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT two million 795 thousand and 500) and "Remikon" (MNT two million 372 thousand and 500).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 597 billion 791 million 689 thousand and 218. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,656.57, decreasing by MNT 90.89 or 0.58% against the previous day.

Link to article

Back to top

Economy

MNT historic low v. USD: 1,787.59, February 27, 2014

BoM MNT Rates: April 21 Close

 

4/21

4/18

4/17

4/16

4/15

USD

1,781.27

1,781.38

1,779.92

1,778.40

1,778.89

EUR

2,462.43

2,461.78

2,463.68

2,462.19

2,455.05

CNY

285.74

286.26

286.15

285.80

285.89

GBP

2,995.03

2,990.58

2,996.23

2,981.13

2,970.30

RUB

49.99

50.09

49.54

49.28

49.43

April MNT Chart:

 

Link to rates

 

BoM issues 434.5 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +0.3% to 1.27 trillion

April 21 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 434.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

Back to top

Politics

Mongolia Eyes Changing Laws to Stimulate Mining Investment

By Michael Kohn

April 21 (Bloomberg News) Mongolia's government said it intends to submit two bills to parliament that could stimulate its mining sector and stoke investment.

The first bill would annul a June 2010 law suspending the issue of new exploration licenses, providing opportunities for companies to explore deposits that include coal, copper and gold, according to the government's website, citing a meeting on April 19. The second would amend guidelines applied to a July 2009 law on rivers and forests, to allow mining in areas previously off-limits due to environmental concerns.

The changes could provide an economic lift to a country where foreign investment fell 54 percent last year and economic growth slipped to 11.7 percent from 12.4 percent in 2012. Investment has been affected by a high-profile spat with Rio Tinto Group over the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposits it shares with the government, as well as laws put in place during the mining boom of 2009 to 2011 to curb environmental damage and corruption.

"The government encouragement of exploration will help with the economic recovery," said Munkhdul Badral, head of market intelligence firm Cover Mongolia. He added that the lifting of the ban on new exploration won't have an immediate impact as licensing will need to go through a tender process.

The changes proposed to the law governing rivers and forests access would re-validate mining licenses issued in these areas prior to 2009, as long as companies abide by rules to protect the environment, according to the government.

The earliest the bills could be passed by parliament is mid-May, said Munkhdul, assuming that they don't get stuck at the committee stage. "That is the best case scenario," he said. "The laws could get stalled amid heated debates."

An official at the mining ministry declined to comment.

Link to article

 

GoM allocates 20 billion in subsidies for hides sold to domestic companies

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) This year, the Government is to allocate 20 billion togrog to herders as hide bonus money.

The Government was planning to place the boney money by April 1 in bank accounts of herders who have sold animal skins to domestic enterprises and are able to certify the sale with relevant documents. The animal protection foundation has informed that the bonus money will be placed in bank accounts of herders within this month.

Some 60 thousand herders have applied for the incentive to receive 15 thousand togrog per a rawhide of caw or horse, and three thousand togrog per a rawhide of sheep or goat.

Link to article

 

Program Developed to Grant Herders Mortgage Loans

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Industry and Agriculture has developed a 'housing for herders' program to improve living environment of herders.

This program aims at secure incomes of herder families and thereby involvement of herders in housing program of the Government, say officers. Under the 'Housing for Herders' program, accounts will be created for herders to collect incomes from raw materials sale, thus meeting requirements of a housing loan program in a commercial bank. The program is expected to be carried out within 5-15 years, and needs 910 billion togrog according to estimation by the Ministry.

Today, there are some 146 herder families in Mongolia, with 61% of them being in possession of 200-1,000 animals to earn annual incomes of MNT 4.8 million – MNT 51.6 million from the animals, a study of the Ministry reveals.

Link to article

Back to top

Banner

Business

Erdenes TT Seeks to Repay Chalco Amid Low Coal Prices

By Michael Kohn

April 22 (Bloomberg) Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia's largest state-owned coal miner, has trimmed its debt to a Chinese customer to $130 million from $350 million, and aims to pay the remaining amount due this year.

Erdenes TT pays its debt to the Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., also known as Chalco, in coal. It will need to deliver an additional 2.5 million metric tons to 3.5 million tons of the fuel to fully settle the advance payment, Chief Executive Officer Batsuuri Yaichil said in an interview yesterday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital.

The price of coal has declined over the past two years, increasing the amount of coal the company needs to ship to pay creditors. The mounting debts delay income the government needs to plug budget holes caused by declining foreign investment, which fell 54 percent last year, and reduced GDP growth, which slowed to 11.7 percent last year from 12.4 percent in 2012.

"The debt to Chalco will be resolved in the next few months; it depends on transportation," said Batsuuri, adding that the exact amount varies on the delivery point because coal can be picked up at the mine mouth or the border, with different prices at each location.

Erdenes TT, located 270 kilometers (168 miles) north of the Chinese border in the Gobi Desert, also owes the Development Bank of Mongolia $200 million. The company will pay the debt with new shares instead of cash, Batsuuri said. The stock payment will be done "in a short period of time" he said, without giving further details.

The company has exported more than 900,000 tons of coal this year from its two pits, East Tsankhi and West Tsankhi, Batsuuri said. Unwashed coal from the West Tsankhi stockpile is selling at $35 a ton to 10 contracted companies, he said. The 2014 target for exports is 10 million tons, he said. Last year the company sold 1.9 million tons abroad, a company official said in January.

The company has put on hold plans to construct a $550 million coal-washing plant until it's on sound financial footing, Batsuuri said. He said he's in talks to wash coal at a plant owned by Hong Kong-listed Mongolian Mining Corp. (975), also located in the Tavan Tolgoi basin.

Unwashed coal is the raw fuel as extracted from the earth. Washed coal has been treated to eliminate ash, soil and rock. It is more expensive, burns longer and produces less carbon emissions than unwashed coal.

Link to article

 

PM Altankhuyag Briefs Parliament on Mongolia's Current Economic Situation

April 21 (infomongolia.com) On April 18, 2014, following the afternoon plenary session of the State Great Khural (Parliament), Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag delivered statement regarding current economic situation of Mongolia. 

In his report, Premier N.Altankhuyag noted, "According International Monetary Fund, Mongolia's economy growth tendency is expected to be 12.9% in 2014, compare to last year it was 11.7%.

The inflation rate has been decreased a bit y-o-y; by the end of first quarter of 2013, inflation rate was decreased by 3.6% and by 3.5% in Q1 of 2014. Although foreign trade turnover declined, the deficit is 9.1 million USD as of the first three months of 2014, compare to same period of last year it was 395.8 million USD.

In the Q1 of 2014, coal export was 3.7 million tons, which is estimated at 206.4 million USD. However, coal export volume increased by 8.7%, but the value declined by 1.4% that caused by world market coal price drop. Contrary, most part of coal export by "Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" JSC is being exported to China to cover Chalco's debt and as of today, 132 million USD debt is left out of total 350 million USD.

The copper export increased by 52.9% reaching 214.1 thousand tons and earned 349.2 million USD, while gold exports reached 2.2 tons or 89.9 million USD, which is increased by 120% and total export by 110.4%. But exports of iron ore reached 908.6 thousand tons or 81.4 million USD, which is declined volume by 19% and export has dropped by 35.3%. Exports of crude oil reached 1.6 million barrels or 157.6 million USD, which is increased by 63.8% or 626.3 thousand barrels, and the export value reached 63.9 million USD or increased by 68.2% y-o-y. 

The State Budget revenue in the first quarter of 2014 is being interrupted by more than 160 billion MNT. General Department of Taxation has accumulated 401.9 billion MNT or 119 billion MNT is missing from expected 520.9 billion MNT of revenue. The Customs General Administration has collected 302.9 billion MNT or missing 59.4 billion MNT".

Link to article

 

Mongolia to Import 20 Out of 48 Thousand Tons of Seed Needed for Spring Sowing

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) An estimation says Mongolia needs 48 thousand ton of grain seeds for sowing this spring.

As today, enterprises and individual farmers have a total reserve of 26.8 thousand ton grain seeds, and the Agricultural Support Fund has 1.2 thousand ton of seeds. The remaining 20 thousand ton of seeds is expected to be imported from the Republic of Buryatia, Russia, and 6.8 thousand ton of which then to be supplied to the Agricultural Support Fund, while 13.2 thousand ton seeds are expected to be allocated to enterprises and individuals.

The Ministry of Agriculture has established an agreement to import 6.8 thousand ton of seed from Russia's Buryatia. The first freights of seeds from Buryatia have arrived in Hotol of northern Selenge province.

The Ministry has also announced a tender to supply 11 types of onion bulbs with price of 120 million togrog. Under 'Mongolian potato' program, 125 thousand seed potatoes free of virus are being produced to be supplied for spring sowing, the Ministry says.

Link to article

 

Bangladesh, Mongolia and Myanmar lead regional hotel development surge

April 21 (RusTourismNews.com) According to the latest regional pipeline report from STR Global, countries including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mongolia and Sri Lanka have significant amounts of new hotel supply entering the market in the coming years, to cater for surging visitor arrival numbers.

In Bangladesh, the nationwide hotel inventory is likely to more than triple (+261.1%) in the coming years, with 4,170 new rooms either under construction or in the planning stages.

And no fewer than six other countries can expected to see their total hotel room supply jump more than 30% in the years to come. This is led by Mongolia (+77.4% with 975 rooms), Myanmar (+67.5%, 4,109) and Sri Lanka (+51.0%, 5,204).

Also seeing significant development – albeit from widely variant base levels – are Bhutan (+46.7%, 78 rooms), Indonesia (+35.7%, 53,100) and the Philippines (+30.7%, 13,078).

Link to article

 

Glogex digs deeper: Interview with Executive Director Batzorig Gantumur

March 2014 (Worldfolio) Established in 2008, Glogex is one of the top geology and mining firms in Mongolia and was certified by the Mongolian Minister of Mining as 'Best Mining Consultancy Company' in the country. Batzorig Gantumur, Executive Director of Glogex, speaks to United World.

We would like to know something about your professional background and how you became the executive director of this company. 

I am a mining utility engineer. I graduated in 2002 from the University of Science and Technology in Mongolia. In 2012, I was qualified as a professional engineer of mining. My overall experience in the mining sector has already been of 13 years. Our company doesn't conduct any business in production or mining extraction. We provide an engineering service purely based on the Mongolian employees. We don't have any expensive mining machines. 

But skillful and well-educated engineers are the most valuable asset and our competitive advantage. We provide an advertising and blueprint service to geology and mining companies. We make resource estimations and execute feasibility studies of deposits. In relation to this, we also execute a mining-related waste planning and its construction works. And we also do a detailed feasibility study and make a blueprint of the concentration factory. 

The main purpose of our service is to unlock the way to extract the mine deposits as much as possible with as little waste as possible. In other words, based on scientific grounds, we optimize how to extract the resources in an environmentally friendly way starting from exploration, resource estimation, technology utilization and rehabilitation. By doing this, the economic benefits of the mine can be estimated. 

The company was established in 2008 and the Minister of Mining has already certified it as the "Best mining consulting company" in the country. It is a quick story of success. How did you make it possible? 

Glogex is a 100% locally invested company. The company reached today's point through our management's research and policies. 

The initial idea was very simple: to introduce and implement western technology, including software and advance all mining procedures to international standards. In order to achieve that, company shareholders worked closely with the company management and branded Glogex in such a short period of time. Nowadays, everyone related to the mining sector knows Glogex as s mining engineering and advisory company. What we have done is highly valued by the Ministry of Mining and we have been awarded the best mining consulting company. 

The project quality is to have skillful engineers using quality software. We got our reputation by being responsible with our feasibility studies and blueprints to our shareholders. Finally, the company pays lots of attention to its human resources and strives for it to be highly qualified. The company always sends its employees to attend related training and educational projects.

You said that the company uses the world's best software. How do you stay up to date with technology? Where do you get the software from? 

We use western technology in our operations, such as Surpac, Minex, Whitlle and Vulcan for our mining geology. Comfar Expert, Sherpa and other internationally well known programs are used in financial projections. Generally, we always try to use the most modern and internationally approved software in mining blueprints and financial deposit valuation. So far, we have the following ways to purchase these pieces of software. 

First, some software is bought through a representative office in Mongolia. The second is to conduct research concerning any particular software developer directly and get more detailed information about the software. We also receive offers from software developers. Thus, software companies also approach us.

Link to full interview

 

Exporting the Ger: Interview with Managing Director of Modern Ger

March 2014 (Worldfolio) The Mongolian yurt, or ger as it is known in Mongolia itself, has been used for thousands of years by the nomads of Central Asia and is still a common sight in many countries in the region. One of the leading ger manufacturers, Modern Ger, is blending 3000 years of tradition with cutting edge and innovative engineering. Managing Director of the company Altantuya Sanduijav explains the history of the ger, the production process, the material used and how the company began to export gers around the world.

Manufacturing showed steady growth and registered a strong performance; the sector grew at 8.9 % in 2013, up from 7.3 % in 2012. Vodka, gers and cashmere are key elements to understand Mongolian culture but also to showcase the importance of manufacturing in the country. What does the ger represents in Mongolia and how did you come with the idea of exporting gers?

The Mongolian ger is one of the most profound and greatest contributions to the Mongolian society and we are really proud of our ger way of living, as it is one of the most eco-friendly, ecological housing which exists nowadays in the entire world. The idea of supporting our nomadic culture and way of living to the world goes back to 1997 when we started our relationship with a French tourism company. Today they are our partners generating a mutual benefit relationship, exporting our gers to France and bringing tourists to Mongolia. 

In 2002 we started our business designing and manufacturing gers to be exported to France. That was the beginning of a rising demand for gers for camping, private uses, restaurants etc., and became one of the reasons why we started to export gers to France. However, the requirements, quality and international standards of western countries are not the same as the ones that we have in Mongolia so we had to work hard to upgrade the quality of our gers in order to meet the needs of our clients. 

In 2002 we started our process of exporting ger with the collaboration of a local tour operator. In 2005 we officially started Modern Ger LLC with an experienced and professional team, with the intent of exporting this emblematic part of our culture to the world. 

Link to interview

 

UNESCAP: First Consultation Meeting on Legal Instrument for Operationalization of Asian Highway Transport Route

22 April 2014 - 23 April 2014, Beijing, China

Formulating and implementing transport facilitation measures and promoting cross-border and transit transport among member States have been an area of effort by ESCAP. The first consultation meeting among China, Mongolia and Russian Federation, organized by ESCAP Transport Division and ENEA Office, aims at discussing the trilateral legal instrument on transit transport by road with the purpose of promoting the development of transit potential of the three countries through piloting. By focusing on a particular route with overall direction of Asian Highway Route Number 4, the exact transport route and key issues for the trilateral legal instrument on transit transport will be discussed.

Related Documents

Draft Programme

Relevant Link

Transport Division of ESCAP

Link to release

Back to top

Banner

Diplomacy

China to Participate in "Khaan Quest 2014" Multinational Peacekeeping Exercises in Mongolia for the First Time

April 21 (infomongolia.com) It was previously informed that the annual "Khaan Quest 2014" multinational peacekeeping exercises were set to take place in Mongolia from June 20 to July 01, 2014.

So, the final meeting for "Khaan Quest 2014" was held in Ulaanbaatar on April 14-18, 2014, where 58 military attaches from the Embassies of Canada, People's Republic of China, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea and the United States in Mongolia have attended.

Mongolia was represented by authorities of General Staff of Mongolian Armed Forces, Ministry of Defense of Mongolia and the United States by Marine Corps Forces at US Pacific Command, Alaska National Guard, and Embassy of the United States in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The "Khaan Quest 2014" multinational peacekeeping operations are planned to be organized in four main events such as command-staff exercises, troop-field exercises, hospital-humanitarian and engineering joint activities.

Last year, 15 nations have participated in the "Khaan Quest 2013", so in 2014 edition, 20 countries have officially submitted their requests to participate in the field military exercises. In the "Khaan Quest 2014", China for the first time will send its military forces and a group of medical professionals, and the NATO member-state, the Czech Republic will send a platoon of peacekeepers and a group of military instructors.

Moreover, during the joint practices, with purpose to enhance peacekeepers training, special courses for survival and patrols on the water will be conducted, besides a class on suppressing the disorder is included as a new program.

The "Khaan Quest 2014" multinational field-exercises will be held at Tavan Tolgoi (Five Hills) training area, the hospital humanitarian joint activities in Songinokhairkhan District, and the engineering-rehabilitation activities at some kindergartens and schools in Bayangol and Songinokhairkhan Districts of Ulaanbaatar.

Link to article

 

Mogi: hmmm, wonder why our "top spy" would be conducting the visit.

Director of General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia Pays Visit to Kyrgyz Republic

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) During the visit to Kyrgyz Republic /KR/, the delegation of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Mongolia led by Director B. Ariunsan met with Mr Djoomart Otorbaev, the Prime Minister of KR, last Friday, reported on kabar.kg website, same day.

Mongolian delegation paid a visit to the country in order to establish official relations with the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) of this country.

The Prime Minister thanked representatives of the Mongolian delegation for the visit and expressed hope that cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia will be actively developed in different directions.

"For us, your country is the most effective example of how to achieve results in improving the quality of life of population. We are interested in enhancing cooperation and exchange of experience, improvement of the electoral process with the use of modern technology, the management of the mining sector and other sectors of the economy and social life," said Djoomart.

In turn, a director B.Ariusan informed the Kyrgyz Prime Minister that the delegation met yesterday with leaders of the National Security Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic and invited them to Mongolia to share experiences.

Link to article

 

Consul General of Mongolia in Istanbul takes office

April 21 (news.mn) The Consul General of Mongolia to Istanbul E.Munkh-Ochir assumed his office at a ceremony in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey on Friday, April 18th. 

Ambassador Mehmet Samsar, the Director General for Consular Affairs of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign, presented the consular patent and wished success in the Consul General`s mission saying that he believes the cooperation would be effective. With the conclusion of the ceremony, parties had talks over consular relations between the two countries. 

The Consul General of Mongolia in Istanbul has now taken his office officially. 

At the ceremonial meeting, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Turkey B.Batkhishig was present to have talks over preparations for the official visit of Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davuto─člu to Mongolia, and the Consultative meeting between Mongolia and Turkey that is scheduled in Ulaanbaatar.

Both parties stated the great significance of visa free travel that became effective form April 11th 2014, in strengthening direct links between the people of the two countries, and extending cooperation in trade, business, tourism, education, culture and science. The visa free travel conditions state that visitors can travel up to 30 days in any 180-day period for both travelers of Mongolia and Turkey.

Now over 1500 out of the 2200 Mongolians residing in Turkey stay only in Istanbul. Before establishing the Consulate General of Mongolia in Istanbul, Mr. Fahrettin Amir Arman was making efforts to protect the rights of Mongolians living in Istanbul.

Link to article

Related:

Consulate General in Istanbul Becomes OperationalMontsame, April 21

 

Foreign Ministries of Mongolia, Thailand Conduct First Consultative Meeting in Bangkok

April 21 (infomongolia.com) On April 20, 2014, the Foreign Ministries of Mongolia and the Kingdom of Thailand held its first consultative meeting in Bangkok city, where Mongolian part was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag and the other part by Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Thailand Sihasak Phuangketkeow.

The meeting focused on the development of Mongolia-Thailand relations and cooperation in the areas of politics, economy, trade, tourism and health as well as in the humanitarian spheres, on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and on activities for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia the Kingdom of Thailand.

The parties highlighted an importance of frequent reciprocal top and high-level visits and the successful implementation of agreements reached during the visit of Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra to Mongolia in April 2013.

Link to article

Related:

Mongolia-Thailand Consultative Meeting HeldMontsame, April 21

 

Embassies Join Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Open Day for Citizens

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) An open day measure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took place Saturday on central square of Ulaanbaatar to propagandize activities of the Ministry to the public.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr L.Bold delivered an opening speech. During the event, the Ministry's units, the Embassies of France, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Laos, Kuwait and China introduced to the public their activities, and gave responses on related services.

In addition, the Consular Department of the Ministry gave to people some recommendation during visiting abroad, and rendered to them notary services. It also connected online some people with their relatives residing in Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Apart of the consular service, the Ministry's central archive mounted an exhibition, and the diplomatic protocol service made a presentation and information on its works.

Participated in the event, the Mongolia's National Commission of the UNESCO organized a small concert of Morin Khuur and long song which are registered in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Link to article

Back to top

Banner

Social, Environmental and Other

Mongolia: Improved Education Quality in Rural Primary Schools

130,000 Rural Primary Students Have Access to Quality Learning Materials

April 11 (World Bank) Between 2007 and 2013, the Rural Education and Development (READ) Project made learning materials available in rural Mongolia by establishing 3,560 classroom libraries in all 383 rural primary schools. Each school received over 160 books, benefiting a total of 130,000 students. 4,144 rural primary teachers and 383 school directors were trained. A local professional development network has been set up consisting of 95 core schools and 178 mentor teachers.

Challenge

In 2006, the Government of Mongolia  and the education sector were recovering from the fall of communism and the subsequent departure of Soviet support. The government was working hard to protect public spending on education and to recover from a drop in enrollments that occurred in the mid-1990s.

Education remained a high priority within the government's overall action plan, which supported strengthening basic education in Mongolia by raising the capacity of education administrators and teachers and by fostering competition.

The government knew that low levels of educational attainment were key determinants of poverty and that poverty could be a key factor that limited access to and quality of schooling. Therefore, investment in education was important because improvements in the sector could break the intergenerational transmission of poverty and were consistent with Mongolia's commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Approach

The project assisted Mongolia in enhancing the quality of education in rural primary schools, grades 1-5, by improving students' access to, and use of, quality learning materials and improving teachers' skills through the promotion of  professional networks.

This has been achieved specifically through:

1.    The establishment of classroom libraries in rural schools and selected kindergartens, dorms and non-formal education centers;

2.    The improvement in learning conditions in rural schools through the provision of classroom furniture for grade 1 students and bookshelves for grade 1-5 classrooms;

3.    The development and implementation of a training program to promote improved teaching strategies among teachers, methodologists in early childhood development, school principals and managers, and librarians;

4.    The promotion of reading activities for families and children while at home and at school.

The introduction of classroom libraries with an appropriate, child-friendly approach to teacher training made teachers, students and parents more engaged in the education process.

Results

From 2007 to 2013:

·         3,560 classroom libraries were established in grades 1-5 in all 383 rural primary schools in Mongolia.

·         Each school received over 160 books, benefiting a total of 130,000 students.

·         4,144 rural primary teachers and 383 school directors were trained.

·         A local professional development network has been set up consisting of 95 core schools and 178 mentor teachers.

·         200 new titles of children's books were made available on the local market, either written by local authors or translated from international publishers.

·         200,000 "small books" were written and illustrated by students, allowing students to use imagination freely to recount real-life stories or develop new stories to be read by others.

·         10,000 "big books" were made and used in classrooms. These books are produced by the school and include stories from the library books but modified to encourage students' participation and stimulate curiosity and imagination.

·         2,000 students received laptops connected to servers with the improved Mongolian adapted version of ICDL (International Children's Digital Library) software installed.

·         All the classrooms covered by the project increased students' classroom reading time per week by 100%.

·         125 computers were delivered to 10 schools for their digital libraries.

·         Teachers also had more opportunities to meet with and observe instruction of teachers from other schools.

Partners

International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) worked very well with the project, incorporating 237 Mongolian books for free access through the online library. Several successful activities were carried out with ICDL's direct support, including the setup of a local version of ICDL at two rural schools that were not on the internet and developing  a Mongolian version of the ICDL for internet access that is available at http://www.read.mn/.

In addition, ICDL also provided several training workshops on how to use the Library to support literacy in Mongolia.

Moving Forward

The READ project has become the cornerstone of basic education in Mongolia. The government and the Bank are preparing a new project, which will build on the success of READ and expand the teacher training, provide small grants to schools to lengthen the school day, and include an Early Grade Reading Assessment and an Early Grade Mathematics Assessment.

The innovative design and subsequent success of the project also inspired other countries to model their primary education projects after it. IDA is supporting a project in Papua New Guinea that is modeled after READ, called READ PNG in response to government demand.

Beneficiaries

"Before we couldn't get up and move around the class. Class wasn't so fun," says Jalamjav, a 3rd grader at the Dadal County primary school. "Now we move freely and discuss back and forth. We work together on assignments. I like it this way."

N. Enkhpurev, a teacher at the Murun county primary school, says books have fostered a love for reading among her students. "Students who never liked to read now sit in the library all day," she says. "They have now developed a habit of reading books!"

Link to release (includes video)

 

Ten wonderful years of "Children of Blue Sky"

Through World Vision's choir, orphans and underprivileged children rose above their circumstances with charms of music.

April 20 (World Vision) A decade ago "Children of the Blue Sky" choir was born to develop and nurture the children through music and singing provided the children with an opportunity not just to discover their talent and potential but to rise above their circumstances. Today, the celebrated choir of World Vision Mongolia is making its ten year mark, with approximately 100 children who unlocked their talents through music, with several of the members now studying at prestigious art colleges and universities in Mongolia. In just ten years, the lives of hundred orphans, underprivileged children were transformed with charms of music.

The acclaimed choir's anniversary concert was held at the Russian Cultural Center, with many high profile guests in the audience including Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare Secretary General Mrs. Otgonjargal.B, Director of National Authority for Children Mrs. Narantuya.I, and Director of Family and Child Development Agency of Capital City Mrs. Baigali.Ya, as well as State Honored Artist B.Zangad and "Exemplary Music Orchestra" of Armed Forces performed with the choir and celebrated their accomplishments.

The rising stars born from the choir came to encourage their younger brothers and sisters in the choir, including former lead singers of the choir N. Unudelger, T. Amarbayasgalan, N. Enkh-Amgalan, B. Nyamdash who have participated in the national competition "Universe best songs" and placed to top 25, and 15. Moreover, nine original members of the choir were awarded the medal for "Best Youth" by the Mongolian Youth Federation for their talent, academic and extracurricular achievements during the concert. These members of the choir exhibited extraordinary strengths of overcoming the challenges of poverty and neglect through music and dance.

This talented group of children has won many achievements in the past; including: in 2005 "The Best of the Best" from the "Golden Fall" professional art celebration, and the Grand Prix from the children's choir celebration organized in Korea. Furthermore, part of the group has had many duets with famous local as well as international artists, and has performed in the UK, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, India and Japan.

Link to release

Back to top

---

Email: info@covermongolia.mn

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

No comments:

Post a Comment