Tuesday, May 6, 2014

[TRQ to announce results, ₮ hits new low, DPRK on Mongolia roadshow, and Belgium returns "Horrible Hand"]

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

TRQ closed -1.28% to US$3.86, -1.63% to C$4.23

Turquoise Hill to Announce First Quarter Financial Results on May 12, 2014, Conference Call on May 13

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 05, 2014) - Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE: TRQ) (NASDAQ: TRQ) (TSX: TRQ) will announce its first quarter financial results on Monday, May 12, 2014.

The Company will also host a conference call and webcast to discuss first quarter results on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:00 am EDT/8:00 am PDT. The conference call can be accessed through the following dial-in details:

Link to release


KCC closed flat 6c

Mongolia set to end dispute with investors over mining licences

May 5 (FT) Mongolia is trying to recover confidence in its mining industry amid a serious downturn, by making conciliatory noises in a stand-off with its biggest investor Rio Tinto and proposing to end a dispute over more than 100 exploration licences suspended during a corruption investigation.

The central Asian country also expects to resolve arguments with Rio Tinto, its largest foreign investor, over a delayed investment to expand the country's largest copper mine, according to a member of the government.

Ochirbat Chuluunbat, the deputy minister for economic development, acknowledged that Mongolia had made mistakes in its dealings with investors. "It is time for us to recover confidence," he said during an interview in London.

"Mongolia has learnt a good lesson...the important thing for us is to create good jobs and good revenues."

Mongolia is seen as one of the most interesting countries for mining exploration, combining good geology with a strategic location next to China, the world's largest user of commodities. But investors have been losing confidence in the country amid a series of legal disputes and stalled developments.

Foreign direct investment halved last year and the country's economic growth, government budget and currency – which has fallen 8 per cent this year against the dollar – have all come under pressure.

Last year some 106 exploration licences held by foreign and local investors were revoked, after their award was called into question amid a corruption case involving former government officials.

Mr Chuluunbat said the government now intended to ask Mongolia's parliament to approve a return of the licences to holders that had complied with their terms, without requiring new tenders as a court ruling had suggested.

Kincora Copper, a Toronto listed explorer that had two licences revoked, welcomed the proposed resolution. Sam Spring, chief executive, said Mongolia appeared to have made a "step change" in its approach to mining in recent weeks. "This issue has been up there with Oyu Tolgoi as an issue of concern," Mr Spring said.

Oyu Tolgoi is the large copper mine that Rio Tinto opened in Mongolia last year. An expansion of the project, in which the government is a shareholder, has been delayed amid a dispute between the company and the state over how to share costs and profits.

Mr Chuluunbat acknowledged that the project had become "the main barometer of investment in Mongolia" but said he was confident a deal could be struck by September. "Mongolia is ready to strike a deal," the deputy minister said.

Rio has sounded a cautious note until it can agree a feasibility study for the mine's development. The study is expected to be presented to the mine's partners within the next two months.

Oyu Tolgoi's investors have already asked banks to extend a project finance deadline until September.

Link to article


Announcement made after Monday close. FEO last traded 4.8c Friday

FeOre: Buyer Extends Time to Satisfy Sale Conditions to May 16

May 5 -- Reference is made to the Company's announcement dated 22 January 2014 regarding the sale of Topone Star Investment Limited (the "22 January 2014 Announcement") and the update announcement dated 27 March 2014 (the "27 March 2014 Announcement"). All capitalised terms used in this announcement shall have the same meaning as described in the 22 January 2014 Announcement and the 27 March 2014 Announcement unless otherwise defined.

FeOre Limited (ASX: FEO) advises that all condition precedents to the Transaction have been satisfied with the exception of:

1.    Mortgage / charge / pledge established or any other security or encumbrance (if any) over the Seller's, TSI's or TaiSheng's equities and/or assets being legally and validly released, discharged or waived; and

2.    Gleneagle Securities (Aust) Ply Ltd ("Gieneagle") agreeing in writing to waive all the past service fees and the service fees and compensation relating to the Transaction from the Seller, TSI and TaiSheng.

The Purchaser has agreed to extend the time to which the Company must satisfy the abovementioned condition precedents to 16 May 2014.

Link to release


Xanadu Director Buys On-Market

May 5 (Cover Mongolia) Xanadu Mines Ltd. (ASX:XAM) Non-Executive Director Darryl Clark bought 100,000 share at average 4.925 cents on April 30, according to a director's notice disclosed today, bringing his total stake to 365,000.

XAM closed flat today at 5 cents.

Link to notice

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Local Market

MSE Weekly Review, April 28-May 2: Top 20 -1.42, Turnover 741.8 Million

Ulaanbaatar, May 5 /MONTSAME/ Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange from April 28 to May 2, 2014.

In overall, 138 thousand and 593 shares were sold of 43 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 741 million 766 thousand and 714.60.

"Remikon" /58 thousand and 594 units/, "Darkhan nekhii" /39 thousand and 934 units/, "Merex" /13 thousand and 455 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /5,811 units/ and "Khokh gan" /4,874 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Darkhan nekhii" (MNT 666 million 917 thousand and 280), "Mudix" (MNT 26 million and 408 thousand), "Gutal" /MNT nine million 969 thousand and 500/, "Remikon" /MNT eight million 785 thousand and 887/ and "Tavantolgoi" (MNT five million 519 thousand and 105).

Link to article

Link to MSE's weekly report


MSE News for May 5: Top 20 +0.1%, Turnover 24.8 Million

Ulaanbaatar, May 5 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 23 thousand and 982 shares of 27 JSCs were traded costing MNT 24 million 844 thousand and 764.00.

"Remikon" /10 thousand and 800 units/, "Mongol savkhi" /2,920 units/, "Asia Pacific Properties" /2,450 units/, "Hermes center" /1,758 units/ and "Khokh gan" /1,520 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Teever darkhan" (MNT seven million 144 thousand and 200), "Asia Pacific Properties" (MNT six million and 076 thousand), "Mongol savkhi" (MNT three million 025 thousand and 420), "APU" (MNT two million 838 thousand and 150) and "Tavantolgoi" (MNT one million 855 thousand and 770).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 594 billion 257 million 267 thousand and 296. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,544.68, increasing by MNT 14.99 or 0.10% against the previous day.

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FRC Approves Ariljaa Impex JSC's Name Change to Standard Wool JSC

May 5 (MSE) Regarding to an article 6.1.1, 23.1 of "Law on the Legal Status of FRC", an article 3.2.4 of "Regulation on to regularly provide the information to public from securities issuers" which approved by FRC's resolution No.:505 of 2013, an article 20.1 of "Listing Rules" which approved by FRC's resolution No.:06 of 2014, respectively, the name of "Ariljaa impex" JSC changed to "Standard wool" JSC. 

Link to release


FRC Grants License to Exponational Fund Management, Delists Khiits Uvs JSC at Regular Meeting

May 1 (MSE) During the regular session of FRC on April 29, 2014, the following issues were discussed and resolved:

·         To amend a guideline, sample account lists, financial reports and its disclosure, which were adopted by FRC's resolution No.454 of 2013.

·         To exempt a regulatory fee once from licensed regulated entities of securities market participants

·         To provide a license to "Exponational Fund Management" JSC in the investment management activities

·         To amend the securities listing of "Ariljaa Impex" JSC

·         To delist "Khiits Uvs" JSC's securities

·         To approve offers to implement Article of 57.1 of the Company Law, and to acquire shares from the common interest bodies of the "Shinest" JSC.

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BoM MNT Rates: May 5 Close





































May MNT Chart:


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BoM issues 513.5 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -2% to 1.13 trillion

May 5 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 513.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


MIBG: Mongolia Transitions into a Copper Economy

OT production, a major boost for Tugrik

Monthly Copper Concentrate Exports (2009 - 2014)

May 5 (MIBG Market Analysis) Copper concentrate exports jumped significantly during the first quarter of 2014 as Mongolia's trade balance turned positive. During the first three months of 2014 Mongolia exported $349 million USD worth of copper concentrate, with exports reaching record highs in March as the monthly figure topped $162 million USD. The jump in copper exports is mainly due to the acceleration of OT's open pit production. However, OT and its affiliated companies have not released their first quarter financial figures which MIBG believes will provide further positive support.

Railway concerns grow as coal sector weakens

Monthly Coal Exports (2009 - 2014)

Coal production and exports continued to weaken during the first quarter of 2014, which is attributable to weak demand in China and higher operating costs in Mongolia. The Minister of Industry and Agriculture, Mr. Battulga Khaltmaa became a target for political finger pointing during discussions in parliament as Ministers began to question the development of railway projects and the competitiveness of Mongolian coal miners.

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Premier Informs Parliament on Spending of Chinggis Bonds

Ulaanbaatar, May 5 (MONTSAME) At a parliamentary session meeting on last Friday, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag informed on projects financed from the Genghis Bond (Mogi: Montsame, really?) of the Government of Mongolia.

By the end of March 2014, the Government has granted financing of 1.3 trillion togrog from its bond capital to ten projects, including a road pavement project connecting province centers to the capital city, a so-called Street project in Ulaanbaatar, municipal engineering and infrastructural projects, a new railway project, power plant projects in Tavantolgoi and Eg River, a Buyant Ukhaa apartment district project, and import substitution and industrialization projects, said  Mr Altankhuyag.

Under the road project, Dundgovi-Ulaanbaatar and Bayankhongor-Ulaanbaatar roads have thus far come to services, and road construction linking Omnogovi, Dornod, Sukhbaatar and Khovsgol provinces to Ulaanbaatar are expected to be completed by this August, noted the Prime Minister, 'a 68% of a total 1,800 km roads have been paved under funding from the bond money'.

The Government is planning to build a 1,800 km railway under its 'New Railway' project, said the Premier, 'a US$ 164.2 million construction of 267 kilometers of railway is being financed by the Genghis bonds'.

Link to article


MIBG: Minister of Justice on Foreign Executives "Trapped" in Mongolia

May 5 (MIBG Market Analysis) Last week the Minister of Justice, Mr. Temuujin Khishigdemberel was asked about the recent Bloomberg article on foreign executives being trapped in Mongolia due to ongoing legal proceedings. Minister Temuujin did not deny the fact that there were foreign executives trapped in Mongolia but blamed the current Criminal Law and regulations for their detainment. The Justice Minister also went ahead and acknowledged that there are not only foreign executives but also Mongolian citizens who are not being allowed to leave the country. This is in accordance with the above mentioned law. He stated that the Ministry is fully aware of the issues and is looking to alleviate the negative image of Mongolia originating from the Law on Crime by amending the law. This is likely to take place during the fall session of parliament.

Link to update


Mongolia Climbs 3 Spots to 74th in Freedom House's 2014 Press Freedom Index

Ulaanbaatar, May 4 (MONTSAME) The US-based "Freedom House" NGO released the press freedom index of countries for this year on May 1.

According to the index, Mongolia was ranked 74th place among 197 nations in the world, alongside Serbia, Mali and Hong Kong. In the previous year's index, Mongolia was ranked 77th place, which means the press freedom in Mongolia has improved.

The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden topped the ratings, whereas Cuba, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and North Korea are ranked on the bottom in this year.

Freedom in the World 2014 evaluates the state of freedom in 195 countries and 14 territories during 2013. Each country and territory is assigned two numeri­cal ratings--from 1 to 7--for political rights and civil liberties, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. The two ratings are based on scores assigned to 25 more detailed indicators. The average of a country or territory's political rights and civil liberties ratings determines whether it is Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.

The methodology, which is derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is applied to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographic location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.

Freedom in the World assesses the real-world rights and free­doms enjoyed by individuals, rather than governments or government performance per se. Political rights and civil liberties can be affected by both state and non-state actors, including insur­gents and other armed groups.

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Mongolia Invites World Bank to Invest in Railway Projects

Ulaanbaatar, May 4 (MONTSAME) On Friday, the Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar met Mr Klaus Rohland, the World Bank's country director for China, Mongolia and South Korea in East Asia and Pacific region.

Mr Rohland visited Mongolia, and held successfully discussions together with the Ministry, on the "E-health", "Smart government", "Reform in education" and "Sustainable livelihood-2" projects to be realized in Mongolia with soft-loans from the WB.

At the meeting, the Minister Batbayar conveyed to the WB through Mr Rohland a draft resolution of parliament on construction of new railways and its clauses on gauges. Then he said majority part of the project on the new railways will be implemented through a concession contract in the cooperation between the government and private sector, so the WB is able to participate in this project.

In response, Mr Rohland emphasized the WB is interested in infrastructure projects of Mongolia, and then reported the WB will send its concession experts to Mongolia for collaborating with the concession section of the Ministry of Economic Development.

Appreciating figuring out a long-awaited solution for infrastructure and gauge of the new railways, Mr Rohland expressed a hope that Mongolia will open its gateway of an intensive development which is based on industry and export.

Mongolia has expressed its willingness to collaborate with the WB in the constructions of autoroads, railways, gas pipelines, energy lines and oil pipes.

Link to article


Waste Management Factory to Be Built in Orkhon

Ulaanbaatar, May 5 (MONTSAME) A joint waste manufacturing (Mogi: manufacturing, lol) factory of Germany and Orkhon aimag is planned to be erected in the province.

As supposed, construction work will commence from fourth quarter of this year and a sum of 52 million EUR required will be covered from bank loan with 3.8 percent interest.

The technique and economic feasibility of the factory and its blueprint will be made in Germany as well as all equipment will be supplied from.

This factory will turn waste into energy and it means, equipment will classify and dry all trash out in dumps then burn them at high temperature.

Such-equipped factories in Germany are capable of producing 16 thousand ton diesel fuel and 14 MB energy by manufacturing 100 thousand ton waste at an average a year.

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Government of Mongolia Establishes National Committee to Decentralize City Urbanization

May 5 ( At the Cabinet meeting held on May 03, 2014, it was discussed the issues on urbanization and proportion increasing between city and rural area's settlement.

The rapid urbanization has been strongly occurred since 1990s among middle class and developing countries, and by 2009 about 50 percent of global population has already moved into its big cities. Following this rapid population growth, it impacted to environmental degradation, urban infrastructure overgrazing, and increased the differences of urban and rural developments that caused negative consequences in their socio-economic growth. Such effects felt the most in Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Asian Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Mongolia.

Therefore, in order to decrease mass movement into city, Government resolved to establish a National Committee to develop general plan for population migration and settlement development under policy directories to decentralization of large cities and to support small and medium cities' growth, to create new settlement.

The National Committee will be chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Construction and Urban Development, Minister of Economic Development will be responsible for efficient organization.

The total population of Mongolia is expected to reach three million people by the end of this year and as of territorial organizational structure, the country is divided into 21 Aimags (Provinces), 330 Sums (Sum is an administrative unit of an Aimag), 9 Districts (UB), 1,599 Bags (Sum) and 121 Khoroos (District). With such extensive administrative structure, the influence of population migration from rural to urban areas caused urbanization rate to reach 67 percent. Today, around 60 percent of the total population is living in capital city and in centralized 23 regional centers and provincial cities of our country.

Only 44 percent of the population concentrated in Ulaanbaatar, 70 percent of total enterprises and organizations centered in UB, also over 60 percent of gross domestic product is produced. This tendency is expected to grow furthermore, thus general urban policy and planning, making an implementation is required.

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National Committee Established to Plan UrbanizationMontsame, May 5

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DPRK to Present Economic Free Zone and Investment Opportunities in Ulaanbaatar

May 5 ( Upon the invitation of Mongolia's Ministry of Roads and Transportation, delegates from State Economic Development Commission and Ministry of Railways of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are conducting a working visit to Mongolia on May 08-12, 2014.

In the frameworks of the visit, North Korean delegation will attend and introduce the "DPRK Economic Free Zone and Investment" issues at the meeting scheduled at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry at 03:00 pm on May 08, 2014.

At the meeting, Korean delegates will be represented by authorities from the DPRK Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Legal Departments of Ministry of Land and Marine Transportation, and State Economic Commission's Development Division for Special Region.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Tobacco Control Law to Be Amended to Permit Smoking Areas

Ulaanbaatar, May 4 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Saturday, the cabinet backed in principle a draft amendment to the law on tobacco law formulated by D.Erdenebat MP.

Several proposals and conclusions from the cabinet over the draft amendment will be conveyed to the initiator.

Adopted in 2005, the law on tobacco control was altered in 2012, and it came into force in March of 2013. The amended law should be re-altered because it has some negative effects and does not meet present requirements, the initiator said.

Draft amendment reflects a clause on determining permitted spots for smoking.

Link to article


Nepal's Manang set eyes on Erchim FC scalp, top position

AFC President's cup qualifier

MAY 05 (The Kathmandu Post) - Having already secured a berth for the AFC President's Cup finals, league champions Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) of Nepal now aim at finishing the Group C Qualifier on winning note.

MMC, who hammered Svarieng FC of Cambodia 6-3 in the opener, ensured a ticket to the tournament proper after Erchim FC of Mongolia defeated the Cambodian club 3-1 on Sunday. The result saw both MMC and Erchim earn berths for the finals. Monday's match between MMC and Erchim will merely decide the Group leaders.

The clash however will not be easy for either side. With MMC displaying a fast-paced game, Erchim's counter attacking game could stun the Nepali league champions. MMC's new coach Nabin Neupane has a simple plan for Monday: stick to the basics.

 "They believe in counter atttack while keeping tight their defense," said Neupane. "But their way of playing will have no bearing on our own game plan. We will stick to our natural game and look to score as early as possible."

Erchim coach D Batnasan was also confident of his team's strength.  "Our strength is defense and we will pounce on the chances to score on counter attack," said Batnasan. Erchim scored twice on counter move against Svarieng FC. However, the home crowd and the chilling temperature could go against MMC. "Playing in extreme cold temperature will be a great disadvantage for us," said Neupane.

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Cataloguing Mongolian steppe lakes

May 5 ( To catalogue more than 12,000 lakes and lagoons in Mongolia's steppe, to identify new Entomostraca species and to develop strategies to diagnose the state of lakes in the Iberian Peninsula and Europe are the main scientific challenges faced by the Limnological Catalogue of Mongolian Lakes, a project led by researcher Miquel Alonso, who collaborates with the Department of Ecology of the University of Barcelona and studies the limnology of lakes.

Mongolia is a vast Central Asian country with the world's most extreme continental climate and notable aridity. Nevertheless, it has a great abundance and variety of lakes and a considerable network of fast-flowing rivers. Human intervention is barely detectable, both due to the scant population and its traditional occupations; this has preserved Mongolian lakes and rivers in a pristine condition up to our times. Its geographic position, opposed to the Iberian Peninsula, enables to establish taxonomic relationships between the existing fauna of the longitudinal extremes of the Palearctic.

From Mongolia to the Iberian Peninsula

Steppe lakes can be found in plains in regions with a continental climate at different latitudes all over the planet. These lakes are shallow and very fragile; they dry up easily and their biological productivity is high. "Steppe lakes are extraordinarily valuable ecosystems", ensures Miguel Alonso, member of the Research Group on Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) of UB. "In Mongolia there are exceptionally preserved lagoons that are similar to the ones that existed in the Iberian Peninsula which disappeared due to human action", adds the expert.

Large permanent freshwater lakes, temporal lagoons with highly mineralized waters and hypersaline lakes are some of the ecosystems which have been studied since 2005 in Mongolia by the expeditions led by Miguel Alonso. To date, the project has enabled to study the ecological characteristics of 880 steppe lakes in Mongolia, within the Program for the Conservation of Biodiversity promoted by ENDESA; the National University of Mongolia collaborates in the project too.

In search of authentic steppes

"Authentic steppes are in Central Asia", explains Alonso. "Unlike Spain, Mongolia's summer is hot and wet, whereas cold and drought happen in winter; these are the characteristics of an authentic steppe". Nevertheless, Asian steppe lakes are very similar to the ones in the Peninsula, with Mediterranean climate; they share many similarities regarding hydromorphology and biological communities.

"The research —continues Alonso— enables us to establish comparisons and biogeographic relationships among vicarious species of Iberian steppe lakes, which have either disappeared entirely or are seriously damaged today. The project will also contribute to establish indicators of reference ecological status for steppe lakes in industrialized Europe as current European regulations state".

More species on Central Asia biodiversity map

Galaziella murae, Alona irinae, Alona floessneri and Phallocryptus tserensodnomi are the new crustacean species discovered which enlarge the biodiversity map of Mongolian lake ecosystems. They are brachiopod crustaceans, a very ancient group of crustaceans, considered authentic alive fossils. According to results, P. tserensodnomi is very similar to P. spinosa, a species from occidental Palaearctic region. In the case of A. floessneri, the species is quite similar to Alona salina —a species identified in 1996 in Spain by Alonso—, which can be found in Bodón Blanco lakes (Bocigas, Valladolid) and other endorheic lagoons in the Iberian Peninsula and Iran.

According to Alonso, who has described twenty biological species throughout his research career, "crustaceans are studied as bioindicators because they are highly-specialised organisms, their life cycle is relatively long and they leave permanent biological traces which are easily to recognise and very interesting to perform paleoclimate reconstructions".

Steppe lakes: an alarming scene in the Iberian Peninsula

Mining aquifer overexploitation and some projects of water conveyance are the most direct threats to the conservation of these ecosystems in the Mongol country. In the case of the Iberian Peninsula, the situation of steppe lakes is particularly alarming. Miguel Alonso, who got his PhD from UB under the supervision of the prestigious ecologist Ramon Margalef, states: "In our country, there are unique steppes in Occidental Europe, for instance the Monegros, the Ebro basin, the Duero basin, Tajo-Gualdquivir, la Mancha, etc. However, some many emblematic lagoons have disappeared for the last years in these areas due to human action. Agriculture is the main threat to these ecosystems but there are still possibilities to recover some of them; it is not a difficult task. We need to be intelligent and have the willpower to preserve them."

More information: "A new fairy shrimp Phallocryptus tserensodnomi (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) from Mongolia." MIGUEL ALONSO, MARC VENTURA. ZOOTAXA, DOI:

"New species of Alona from South-East Russia and Mongolia related to Alonasalina." Alonso, 1996 (Cladocera: Anomopoda: Chydoridae) ARTEM SINEV, MIGUEL ALONSO, NATALIA G. SHEVELEVA. ZOOTAXA. Zootaxa 2326: 1–23 (2009)

"A new fairy shrimp Galaziella murae (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) from Mongolia." MIGUEL ALONSO, HIDETOSHI NAGANAWA. Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki 10: 119 – 128, 2008

"Branchiopoda and Copepoda (Crustacea) in Mongolian Saline Lakes." Miguel Alonso. Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences 2010 Vol. 8(1): 9-16

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Unique Travel Experience: Yoga in Mongolian Steppe

Hi, my name is Selenge and I live in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia. I have been running tours in Mongolia for 5 years, this year I am planning a tour that will take you through the very best parts of my homeland.

I would love to  help you have an authentic experience of your own whilst learning about Mongolia's history, riding horses, sleeping under the stars, mingling with nomads while helping their daily chores, having fun, practicing yoga, drinking vodka and fermented mare milk,  engaging in soulful bonfire chat nights and then leaving the country full of wonderful memories and great joy!

So come on board friends!

shoot me email:
mobile phone(Australia ) : 0452 509 926

Check out itinerary

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Belgium Repatriates "Horrible Hand" Deinocheirus Dinosaur's Fossils to Mongolia

May 5 ( The repatriation ceremony of very rare paleontological fossil remains of Deinocheirus dinosaur's skull and two legs' foot bones found in the territory of Bugiin Tsav canyon, Umnugovi Aimag was held at the Central Laboratory of Paleontology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences in Ulaanbaatar on May 01, 2014.

The fossils were presented to Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia Ms. Ts.Oyungerel by delegates of Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Museum of Natural Sciences) led by Museum Director Dr. Pascal Godefroit.

The first known fossil remains are a single pair of massive forelimbs and the remains of some ribs and vertebrae. They were found in 1965 during a Polish-Mongolian expedition to the Gobi led by Professor Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska in Umnugovi Aimag (Province). The type species and only named species is Deinocheirus Mirificus, which means "horrible hand" and the generic name is derived from Greek deinos (horrible) and cheir (hand). This name was given because only forelimbs were found and with absence of the skull the research works were had to delay up to date for 49 years.

The Deinocheirus dinosaur's skull was first found by a Belgian researcher Francois Eskulie, who donated to the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. In the initial Deinocheirus study team, a Mongolian scientist R.Barsbold used to work, who requested narrow research study of this rare object in its home country, consequently the request is fulfilled and being presented to Mongolian side.

This Deinocheirus dinosaur's fossils are now officially registered at the "Central Dinosaur Museum" in Ulaanbaatar as second after the Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton (T-Bataar).

The Central Dinosaur Museum facility is administered by Mongolian People's Party since the 1990s. However, at the Cabinet meeting held in January 2013 it was resolved to open a new Central Dinosaur Museum by renaming former V.I.Lenin Museum, but vacating the building is under controversial to date, even the final resolution by the Supreme Court of Mongolia was issued in March 2014.

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Nat'l Council for Mongol Studies to Be Established

Ulaanbaatar, May 4 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting run Saturday approved a rule and composition of the National Council for Mongol Studies (NCMS).

Accordingly, the national council has comprised delegates of state bodies, scholars and professional organizations under main functions of formulating and implementing a policy on developing Mongol studies and correlating its actions with the related activities.

The NCMS is set up because Mongolia faces requirements to support the Mongol studies under state auspices and to inherit national cultural heritage into the next generation in the globalization era.

In 2012 before foundation of the national council, the foundation for Mongol studies was established in accordance with a decree of the President, and then its rule and composition were approved with six staffers by a governmental resolution in 2012. Afterwards, parliament obliged, by its resolution, the government to found the NCMS at the Prime Minister of Mongolia.  

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Review of Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History in Mongol Iran, by Stefan T. Kamola

By Dr. Bruno De Nicola, School of History, University of St. Andrews,

May 5 (Dissertation Reviews) To dedicate a PhD dissertation to a man like Rashīd al-Dīn (d. 1317) is risky because he is not only the most famous historian of his time but has also attracted the attention of modern historians since the late nineteenth century. Kamola's work, however, aims to provide a different view, not only of the man but of the historical context that 'made the man'. This work offers a historical and historiographical analysis of the Ilkhanate (Mongol dynasty of Iran) based on the figure of Rashīd al-Dīn in his multiple facets of historian, administrator and patron. It engages with the secondary literature on the history and historiography of the Ilkhanate while making an exhaustive and inventive scholarly use of primary material. One of the challenges and interesting aspects of the dissertation is that it engages with a source that has provoked a fair amount of discussion and controversy in the past. In this sense, the thesis is not limited to the best known works by Rashīd al-Dīn (like the Jāmi' al-tawārīkh) but additionally makes use of an extensive corpus of Ilkhanid-era literature to explore the intellectual life of Ilkhanid Iran. Kamola engages with controversial material such as the Sawāniḥ al-afkār-i rashīdī (commonly known as the 'letters of Rashīd al-Dīn'), a source that was at the centre of a scholarly debate about their authenticity between A. H. Morton and Soudavar some years ago. Kamola addresses the issue in his Introduction, concluding that although the authenticity of the whole collection of letters cannot be asserted, there is a good deal of authentic information in them. While the letters may not be entirely reliable as a basis for a reconstruction of the biographical events of Rashid al-Dīn's life, this dissertation makes use of this largely neglected source to investigate aspects of administrative and financial affairs in the life of the great Persian historian and statesman. Similarly, it deals with those Ilkhanid intellectuals who preceded and succeeded Rashīd al-Dīn in the intellectual milieu of Mongol Iran in a way that gives us a better understanding not only of the setting of Rashīd al-Dīn's life and work, but also of the legacy of his cultural production. Further, this study is not content with simply carrying out an analysis of the life and work of the Hamadani doctor, but looks further at the political implications of his intellectual production, with issues such as kingship, acculturation and Islamisation being approached with scholarly rigor. In taking Rashīd al-Dīn as a central figure, this dissertation evaluates the political, historical and historiographical changes that the arrival of the Mongols in Iran triggered in the Islamic Middle East.

The dissertation is divided into two parts, each containing four chapters. The first part focuses on the historical development of the Ilkhanate from the time of the Mongol conquest in the first half of the thirteenth century up to the time that Rashīd al-Dīn became the vizier of the realm under the rule of Ghazan Khan (r. 1295-1304). Entitled "Apocalypse to Ilkhanate", this part opens with a section whose analysis centres on the Mongol domination of the Middle East before the conquest of Hulegu in the 1250s. Its primary argument is that the region was not one of particular strategic interest at the time of Chinggis Khan (d. 1227) and his successor Ogedei (d. 1241). Although campaigns into the region existed, pre-Mongol political entities such as the Abbasid Caliphate or a reduced Khwarazmshah empire retained influence in the region. In the context of the shift in power from the Ogedeid to the Toluyid line of descent after Chinggis Khan, Kamola argues that this political shift meant that Hulegu (a Toluyid) favoured Iranian scholars and bureaucrats over Central Asian Jochid administrators. According to Kamola, this change is behind the emergence of a new class of intellectuals and officials with Persian roots that proved to be pivotal in the incipient Ilkhanid state. The second chapter focuses on the contribution of characters such as Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī and the brothers ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn and Shams al-Dīn Juvaynī to the creation of a cultural and intellectual legitimacy for Mongol rule in Iran. The chapter focuses on the interaction between rulers and officials and suggests patterns of acculturation that might have occurred (or begun to occur) in this period through the development of a new style of historical writing and the introduction of a system of patronage for the arts, philosophy and the sciences. The third chapter in this section explores what is, in my view, a crucial period in the history of the Ilkhanate: the rise of Gheikhatu and Ghazan Khan. The chapter argues that this turbulent period, defined by courtly intrigues, political turmoil and religious confrontation, provoked a shift in the legitimacy discourse constructed for the Mongols in the Middle East. Kamola suggests that this period explains Rashīd al-Dīn's rise to power and the eventual triumph of his ideas. The final chapter in this section deals with the biography of Rashīd al-Dīn from the time of his early career to his demise at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

The second part of the dissertation focuses on the tradition of historical writing in the Ilkhanid court at the beginning of the fourteenth century. It argues that there was a deliberate attempt to provide Mongol rule in the Middle East with a new basis of legitimacy, now based on Islamic values and, more importantly, on the Persian/Iranian tradition. Given this argument, chapter five is dedicated to exploring the ways in which historical writing in this period relied on a variety of historiographical traditions in constructing a new idea of kingship suited to the Mongols in Iran. The section proposes that Mongol and Iranian traditions of ruling legitimacy were synthesized by simultaneously enhancing both the figure of Chinggis Khan and the concept of Īrān-zamīn (Land of Iran) in order to construct a legitimising discourse for the Mongols. Chapter six explores the Islamic elements incorporated in this new idea of legitimacy, particularly after Ghazan Khan's conversion to Islam in 1295. However, Kamola argues that the Islamic elements were carefully selected so as to emphasise elements of Shī'a Islam, Sufism and Turco-Mongol traditions as reflected in Rashīd al-Dīn's works. This point is a crucial one in that these writings served the basis of the ideal of kingship not only for the Mongols of Iran but also for the succeeding Timurid and Mughal dynasties. Chapter seven focuses again on Rashīd al-Dīn by looking at his patronage and literary activities while he was at the peak of his career. His preoccupation with the distribution and preservation of his works and the financial patronage he bestowed on the arts and architecture are the main focus of this chapter. Kamola suggests that these were a sign of Rashīd al-Dīn's struggle to maintain his own legitimacy at the head of the Mongol court; as he states, Rashīd al-Dīn became "state's greatest mind and its worst enemy" (p. 134). Finally, the last chapter is dedicated to exploring the theme of Rashīd al-Dīn as a vizier and statesmen in the works of his intellectual disciples and protégés at the Mongol court. To this end, Kamola investigates the works of Vaṣṣāf, Abū 'l-Qāsim Kāshānī and, in particular, Ḥamd Allāh Mustaufī. On the latter, Kamola suggests that this historian extended the intellectual legacy of his predecessor in both prose and verse works, and contributed to the creation the image of Rashīd al-Dīn as "the unimpeachable man of state and wise vizier and author of the crucial base text for the understanding of Ilkhanid history" (p. 279).

The dissertation is well written and organized and contributes to our knowledge in the fields of Mongol and Iranian history. It provides a masterful account of the historiographical production that emerged in the period, which remained highly influential among other dynasties in the Middle East and South Asia long after the Mongols disappeared from the political scene. More importantly, Kamola adds further weight to the increasingly accepted view that the Mongols, despite the initial destruction wrought by their conquest, were not mere destroyers and bloodthirsty conquerors but also vital contributors to a new Iranian-Islamic ideal of kingship and energetic patrons of cultural and intellectual life in a way that provided a crucial precedent for the great early modern Islamic empires. He demonstrates, moreover, that it is precisely the life and work of Rashīd al-Dīn and other men of letters who lived under Mongol patronage which prove the older image wrong.

Primary Sources

Rashīd al-Dīn, Savāniḥ al-afkār-i rashīdī (Tehran: Intishārāt-i Dānishgāh-i Tihrān, 1980).
Rashīd al-Dīn, Jāmi' al-tawārīkh (Tehran: Alburz, 1994).
Ḥamd Allāh Mustaufī, Ẓafarnāma (Tehran and Vienna: Dānishgāh-i Īrān and Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1999).
Vaṣṣāf, Kitāb-i mustaṭāb-i Vaṣṣāf al-Ḥaẓrat dar bandar-i Mughūl (Bombay lithograph edition, 1853).
Īraj Afshār (ed.), Akhbār-i mughūlān (650-683) dar anbāna-i Mullā-i Quṭb (Qum: Marʿashī, 2010).

Dissertation Information

University of Washington. 2013. 326pp. Primary Advisor: Joel Walker.

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