Monday, May 5, 2014

[Wolf increases oil estimate, EBRD invests in cement, Mongolia seeks ASEAN partnership, and media laws "threaten" press freedom]

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Monday, May 5, 2014

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Overseas Market


May 5 -- Mongolian oil explorer Wolf Petroleum (ASX:WOF) is extremely pleased to announce an increase to its oil resource estimates with the addition of two new drill ready leads. Both of the new leads are also located on the Companies 100% owned SB block.


·         Two new drill ready leads identified within the Talbulag Basin.

·         Independent prospective resource assessment of the two new drill ready leads estimated Low 171.7 million to High 607.6 million barrels of oil.

·         Wolf now has a total of 7 leads for 1.092 billion on the SB block within the Toson Tolgoi and Talbulag Basins.





UU #1,2,3

914.6 million

431.3 million

178.5 million

TV #1,2

710.3 million

329.2 million

112.1 million

TB #1,2

607.6 million

332.2 million

171.7 million


2.232 billion

11.092 billion

462.3 million

Link to release


Cash at end Q A$921K. WOF closed 0.5c to 4.5c Friday

Wolf Petroleum: Quarterly Activities Report

April 30 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited (ASX:WOF) is extremely pleased with the interpretation of its recently acquired 2D seismic data and the independent resource assess-ment on drill ready leads identified on the Companies 100% SB block.


·         Interpretation of 2D seismic data has identified five drill ready targets on the Toson Tolgoi Basin within the SB block with a best estimate of approximately 760 Million barrels of oil.

·         Prospective resource assessment on five leads have been independently estimated by MHA Petroleum Consultants LLC of the USA and confirmed substantial oil potential on Wolf's 100% owned SB block.

o    High Estimate - 1.624 Billion barrels of oil.

o    Best Estimate - 760.5 Million barrels of oil.

o    Low Estimate - 290.6 Million barrels of oil.

·         Estimates are for primary recovery from identified leads only and potential stratigraphic and additional leads are not included in this calculation.

·         The Company has opened a data room and is actively working to conclude a farm out on the SB Block.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


HAR last traded 8c. Cash at end of Q A$1.5 million

Haranga Resources: Quarterly Activities Report

April 30 -- Haranga Resources Limited ("the Company," ASX:HAR) is pleased to report that during the March 2014 quarter the Company's operations have been focused on completing previously planned work programmes and planning the Company's 2014 activities to successfully bring the Selenge iron ore project ("the Selenge project") into the development stage.  


·         The Company has commenced the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) of the Selenge project, which forms part of the Mining License application process to the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM).  

·         Targeting possible off take partners in China, the Company is studying an alternative option to accomplish the pilot scale metallurgical test. An optimized design flowsheet for the test work has been generated.  

·         As agreed in the Pre-Mining Agreement (PMA) with the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM), a comprehensive study for infrastructure solutions such as road, railway, electricity and water supply for potential open pit mine and beneficiation plant at the Selenge project has commenced.  

·         Feasibility study geotechnical slope design proposal by an independent expert is being reviewed which will be followed by the completion of the geotechnical purpose drill plan. The field work will then commence to complete a Mine Design.  

·         A hydrogeological drilling plan to study water characterisations and underground hydrogeological conditions for the open pit has been completed.  

·         In order to increase the Resource base to ensure a longer life of mine (LOM), the Company is targeting an additional drilling programme to be approved by MRAM in the coming weeks.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Cash at end of Q A$437K. VOR last traded 0.2c

Voyager Resources: Quarterly Report

April 30, Voyager Resources Ltd. (ASX:VOR) --


·         The process of transferring the property portfolio from Xstrata Do Brasil Exploração Mineral Ltda, ("Glencore Xstrata") to Voyager Resources Limited continues.  


·         The application for the mining license at the Khongor Copper Gold Deposit is ongoing and completion is expected in the near future.  

·         The Company continues to actively seek joint venture partners for its three projects in Mongolia; its Khul Morit Copper Project, its Khongor Copper Gold Project and its Daltiin Ovor Copper Gold Project.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Cash at end of Q A$18 million. GUF closed -22.8% to 6.1c

Guildford Coal Quarterly Activities Report

April 30, Guildford Coal Ltd. (ASX:GUF) --


·         BNU North Coal mine formally commissioned for operations and sales by the Mongolian Government

·         Seeking approval for the haulage road permit continues to be the main focus of the company

·         Successfully negotiated OCP Asia financing facility of US$10m Convertible Notes and US$55m Amortising Notes. Proceeds used to repay existing debt

·         Finishing due diligence on adjacent Noble Group owned Mongolian exploration lease 12600 for which Guildford has an option to either operate or acquire

·         BNU North mine in cash preservation mode until haulage contractor permit approved and current coal market improves

·         An Asian based Financial Advisor has been appointed to help explore equity and debt financing options

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Cash at end of Q A$148K. NRU last traded 0.3c

Newera Resources Quarterly Report

April 30 -- Newera Resources Limited (ASX: NRU) is pleased to provide the following report on its activities for the March quarter 2014:

Ulaan Tolgoi Project - Mongolia

Newera reports that during the period it completed a Phase 1 drilling program testing the seismic reflectors interpreted to exist within the southern and far northeastern sectors of the licence by seismic consultants Logantek LLC.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


MOU last traded 0.2c. Cash at end of Q A$382K

Modun Resources: Quarterly Activities Report

April 30, Modun Resources Ltd. (ASX:MOU) --


·         Placement to sophisticated investors raising $510,000

·         Corporate restructure to reduce costs

·         Discussions with local partners to invest in the Nuurst Project are ongoing

·         Mongolian feasibility study on the Nuurst Project approved by Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM)

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


PML last traded 1.5c

Parmelia Resources: Quarterly Activities & Cashflow Report

April 30, Parmelia Resources Ltd. (ASX:PML) --

Darvii Naruu Project –Mongolia

As previously reported the company completed exploration on its Darvii Naruu project in Govi Altai province, western Mongolia. The scout drilling programme at Darvii Naruu commenced in October 2013 with 2,020 metres of reverse circulation drilling being completed in 18 holes at six different prospects.

Results from Mushroom Reef and Anomaly 13 are considered to be extremely encouraging; encountering significant mineralisation and highly prospective geology at both prospects. To aid in the further interpretation of the phase 1 scout drilling program, Parmelia commissioned a preliminary petrography study which supports Parmelia's concept that the geology at Darvii Naruu has potential for the presence of a porphyry hosted mineral system.

Link to report


General Mining Corp.: Quarterly Activities Report

April 30, General Mining Corp. Ltd. (ASX:GMM) --

Mongolia - Uvs Basin Projects (Coal, potash & lithium - GMM 100%)  

During the quarter the Company continued with the shutdown of the Mongolian operations.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Cash at end of Q A$1.59 million

Eumeralla Resources: Quarterly Activities Report

April 30, Eumeralla Resources Ltd. (ASX:EUM) --


·         Delegation presents to Myanmar Ministry of Mines

·         Representatives of the Ministry included, His Excellency Dr. Myint Aung, the Myanmar Minister of Mines

·         Presentations also made to Kayah State Government Minister of Mines and Minister for Security

·         Myanmar government supportive of foreign investment into largely untapped Mining industry


Following completion of the dipole-dipole IP survey and analysis of the results, a Mongolian contractor is to be engaged over the coming months to undertake rock chip and soil sampling to confirm the cause of the chargeability anomalies and style of mineralization, and concurrently collect stream silt samples from drainages to rapidly screen other parts of the licence for base and precious metals. The objective of the soil geochemical survey is to prioritize surface geochemical anomalies for additional dipole-dipole IP surveys


As per Listing Rule 5.3.3, Mining exploration entities are required to provide the following information in relation to the tenements held.

Mining Tenements held as at 31 March 2014.





Ovoot Project




Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Prophecy Coal Announces Grant of Incentive Stock Options

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 2, 2014) - Prophecy Coal Corp. ("Prophecy" or the "Company") (TSX:PCY)(OTCQX:PRPCF)(FRANKFURT:1P2) announces that on May 1, 2014, it granted in aggregate, 7,135,000 incentive stock options ("Options") to various directors, officers, employees and consultants of the Company. As part of its continuous review, the Company cancelled over the past three months a total of 14,980,000 stock options with various exercise prices and further allowed 1,056,800 stock options to expire in January 2014 without renewal.

3,575,000 of the Options granted are to directors, officers and consultants who previously surrendered stock options for cancellation. As a result, this portion of the grant will be subject to approval by shareholders at the Company's next annual general meeting and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Options were granted pursuant to the terms of the Company's Stock Option Plan, which was approved by shareholders at the Company's last annual general and special meeting of shareholders held on July 30, 2013. The Options are exercisable at a price of $0.065 per common share for a term of five years expiring on May 1, 2019 and vest at 12.5% per quarter for the first two years following the date of grant.

Link to release


Vietnam Mining Corp. Changes Corporate Name To Vanguard Mining Corporation, Investigating Opportunities in Mongolia, Southeast Asia

NEW YORK, NY and HANOI, Vietnam / ACCESSWIRE / May 1, 2014 / Vietnam Mining Corporation (OTCMarkets: VNMC),, today announced that it has submitted an Article of Amendment with the Secretary of State of Nevada to change its corporate name to "Vanguard Mining Corporation" to better reflect the Company's new scope of business.

The Company has decided to expand its operations beyond Vietnam and has recently investigated a number of new mineral opportunities in Mongolia and Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos.  This is part of the Company's strategy to realign its portfolio holdings in order to create significant value for VNMC's shareholders and investors.

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE News, May 2: Top 20 -0.34% to 15,529.69, Turnover 10.2 Million

Ulaanbaatar, May 2 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of 20 thousand and 104 shares of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT 10 million 160 thousand and 195.00.

"Remikon" /16 thousand and 810 units/, "APU" /1,152 units/, "Merex" /954 units/, "Moninjbar" /500 units/ and "Gobi" /210 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"APU" (MNT four million and 320 thousand), "Remikon" (MNT two million 521 thousand and 500), "Gobi" (MNT one million 502 thousand and 600), "Tsagduultai" (MNT 883 thousand and 550) and "Tavantolgoi" (MNT 329 thousand and 455).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 592 billion 023 million 271 thousand and 538. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,529.69, decreasing by MNT 52.79 or 0.34% against the previous day.

Link to article

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BoM MNT Rates: May 2 Close





































May MNT Chart:


Link to rates


BoM issues 334.3 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -6.9% to 1.16 trillion

May 2 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 334.3 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

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Premier N.Altankhuyag makes statement regarding projects being financed by Chinggis Bond

May 4 (UB Post) Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag made a statement regarding projects financed by the Chinggis Bond, during a joint Parliamentary session meeting. As of March 31, 2014, financing equivalent to 1.3 trillion MNT has been issued to 10 projects from the 1.5 billion USD in Chinggis Bond resources.

Chinggis Bond money is being spent on provincial road projects to connect aimag centers with Ulaanbaatar, the "Street" project, Ulaanbaatar's engineering network, infrastructural projects, new railway projects, Tavantolgoi, a power plant in Egyn River, "Byant Ukhaa 1" apartment town, and in supporting industrialization in the construction and agricultural sectors, N.Altankhuyag said, and introduced the process and results of the projects.

For the provincial road projects, Dundgobi and Bayankhongor aimags have been connected to Ulaanbaatar with paved road or highways. Road construction to Umnugobi, Dornod, Sukhbaatar and Khuvsgul aimags are expected to be complete by August. As of today, construction of 930 kilometers of an 1,800 kilometer road being built by financing from the Chinggis Bond, has been completed. Road construction performance is at 68 percent, stated Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag.

A total of 1,800 kilometers of railway will be constructed from Tavantolgoi-Sainshand-Choibalsan and Tavantolgoi-Gashuunsukhait as part of the New Railway project. The 164.2 million USD construction of 267 kilometers of railway is being financed by the Chinggis bond. Performance of the 267 kilometers of railroad construction is at 25 percent, according to Prime Minister's statement.

For UB's Street project, focused on reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and improving city planning, the renovation of 33 separate four-way road crossings has been planned. Currently, renovations have taken place at 17 of these crossings. The first phase of financing of a highway to be constructed along the Tuul and Selbe rivers has been issued. Construction work will start this June.

A total of 92 projects worth 416 billion MNT have been planned for implementation in 2013 and 2014, to improve Ulaanbaatar's engineering networks and infrastructure. In the first phase, Development Bank will issue financing of 200 billion MNT, and has delivered 101.8 billion MNT now. Within the mid-term target program "New Construction", the drinking water, sewage, electricity, heating and cable engineering system issues of seven apartment towns and 10 ger districts will be completely resolved. The performance of a 30-year contract is now at 70 percent.

A financing contract of 269 billion MNT to promote five sectors, including wool, cashmere, milk, sewn products and garden agriculture, was signed by the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture and Golomt Bank. Golomt Bank has received the materials and documents of 189 companies, and has issued loans of 53.7 billion MNT to 53 companies.

Construction of a power plant with a capacity of 450 megawatts at Tavantolgoi coal mine has received financing of 14 million USD from the planned 16 million USD financing in the first phase. Also, a decision was made to grant 34 million USD from the Chinggis Bond for the Egyn River hydro-electric power plant project.

The government is financing the construction of 28 apartment buildings for 1,764 families, named Buyant Ukhaa 1 Apartment Town, which will belong to the state apartment corporation. The apartments designated for young families, the elderly and public servants, will cost one million and 280 thousand MNT per square meter. The construction of nine apartment buildings which will house 567 families has been completed and the rest of the buildings will be available by the second quarter of this year.

The total cost of the Factory project to produce houses is 42 million USD. Erel LLC invested 13.1 million USD and the government has issued financing of 14 million USD from the Chinggis Bond. The project is expected to produce houses and is expected to reduce the air, ground and water pollution of Ulaanbaatar. The project will produce houses for 5,000 families and provide homes to 184 thousand UB households, reported Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag at the parliamentary meeting.

Link to article


PM Briefs Parliament on Chinggis Bond Spending

May 2 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) --

·         National Statistics Office of Mongolia has reported 2014Q1 GDP has grown 7.4% y-o-y compared to 7.1% in 2013Q1 and 15.9% in 2012Q1 and 2.2% q-o-q.

·         Minister of Industry and Agriculture Kh.Battulga has submitted letter of resignation to the Parliament. Minister Battulga, leader of DP faction called MoAKh (Mongolian Democracy Union), is in top ten of most popular politicians in the country. He is also known for strong support for wide (Russian) gauge rail network in Mongolia.

·         The Prime Minister briefed the Parliament on spending of proceeds of Chingghis bonds. As of March 31,2014 from US$1.5B proceeds total of MNT1.3 trillion funding has been issued for projects such as roads to connect provincial centers with UB, UB roads and streets improvements, UB engineering and infrastructure networks, new railroad, Tavan Tolgoi Thermal and Egiin Gol hydro power plants, Buyant Ukhaa 1 residential development, support for construction and agricultural production.

o    According to Bank of Mongolia, official foreign exchange reserves were US$2.45B in January of 2014.

o    Opposition MPP Caucus criticized the GoM for raising the bonds proceeds while being " unprepared" and spending them " unproductively" and estimated the interest on unused proceeds to be over MNT120B. The Caucus also reiterated its demand to include Chingghis, Samurai and DBM bonds in the budget and stop breaching FSL and other laws, mentioning advise of the World Bank and other international organizations. The Caucus said it is necessary to reflect during amendment of 2014 budget funding reserve fund for one third of US$580 million payment from maturing DBM bonds in 2017 and US$500 million payment from maturing Chingghis bonds in 2017 in order to reduce pressure on future budget.

·         Media reports that during debates on one of the measures to boost economic growth, specifically, "for Parliament and Government to provide support to speeding up underground constructive development of Oyu Tolgoi project" the Parliament has supported the measure removing word " Parliament". Because of lack of time, initial reading of the bill on measures to boost economic growth was postponed to next week.

o    It is reported that MP Ts.Nyamdorj (MPP) said "how many years OT will be messed with? Current authorities and some politicians were elected into Parliament doing populism on OT. Even now some politicians are not stopping their irresponsible actions". MP S.Ganbaatar (Ind.) responded –" Be ashamed of speaking like OT manager. I protect national enterprises, SME-s, citizens who suffer the most during economic crisis"

Link to IMMMR


Ministry of Finance of Mongolia to Host Open Day at Chinggis Square on May 4

May 2 ( In order to promote its activities to civilians, Ministries of Mongolia have been organizing an Open Day and this time, the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia to host the Day at Chinggis Square on Sunday, May 04, 2014.

At the Open Day, the Ministry will provide with comprehensive information regarding its activities involving several Implementing Agencies such as General Taxation Department, General Customs Office and State Bank of Mongolia.

Also, the Ministry of Finance will introduce projects being carried out with international organizations, besides other bodies will promote its activities and services including Mongolian Insurers Association, Institute of Mongolian Certified Public Accountants and Mongolian Institute of Certified Appraisers.

During the event, new tax e-payment system will be introduced to public and officials to give detailed information, moreover to provide with services by collecting insurance and motor vehicle taxes and State Bank will introduce its "Electronic MNT" new product service by running a mobile branch.

The Custom Office will present an exhibition of rare items confiscated at border control posts.

Link to article


Military competition showcases 'Splendor of Mongolian Soldiers'

May 4 (UB Post) Champions of the "Splendor of Mongolian Soldiers" competition, held among military units of Mongolia, were named on Saturday. The competition showcased the marching skills of the military units and awarded the top performing units.

The Office of the Ulaanbaatar City Governor, Ministry of Defense, General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces, General Authority for Border Protection and National Emergency Management Agency organized the competition in two stages.

Nine military units were shortlisted in the final stage. Fourth place went to Border Military Unit no.0164 headed by Commander Battsengel. They were presented with a prize of four million MNT and a set of wind musical instruments.

Military Unit no.120, led by Dommander Kh.Bandi, showed the best marching skill and had the best maintained unit building, which earned them first place.

Second place went to Border Military Unit no.151 commanded by N.Ganbold, while Military Unit no.353, led by Colonel A.Munkhbat, secured third place.

Commanders of top the military units were each granted two-room apartments in accordance with an Ulaanbaatar City Governor's Ordinance.

During the award ceremony at Central Square, soldiers who had completed their military services received completion certificates. District labor divisions and vocational training officials were there to register job-seeking soldiers.

The ceremony showed the great splendor of Mongolian soldiers with well-organized marches by the units for spectators.

One of the soldiers who received a completion certificate, P.Purevdash said, "I joined Military Unit no.189 immediately after my high school graduation in May 2013, as it is the duty of all men in Mongolia. Now, I have already completed my year of service with my fellow brothers. Time indeed flies."

"I am very glad that I have served the military respectfully. My service in the military helped me realize and learn a lot, which will surely help my future and career," he added.

Link to article


Mongolia's Media Laws Threaten Press Freedom

By Lisa Gardner

May 4 (UB Post) For more than 70 years, one fixture of Mongolian life was not unlike that of its closest neighbors. During the Soviet period, the sole source of information in the then-satellite state was the state-run Mongolian National Broadcaster.

Twenty years on, and Mongolians now enjoy access to a growing media market. High-speed Internet and more than 500 news outlets are available to most of the country's three million people, with a recent resource boom which continues to bring about rapid change and development.

Yet a range of broad and ill-defined laws continue to prevent journalists from publishing quality investigative material, without significant risk.


In Mongolia, a heavily concentrated press largely owned by prominent figures sees critical or unflattering stories regularly censored. Exposure of corrupt practice can often leave journalists in fear of prosecution under the country's criminal defamation laws.

Recently adopted Freedom of Information statues often conflict with privacy laws, thus achieving little by way of greater transparency. Even fewer laws act to protect journalistic practice, the confidentiality of sources or whistle-blowers. Investigative work undertaken by journalists rather than police or intelligence agencies could even be deemed to violate the constitution.

Coupling these restraints with state secrecy laws merely serves to reinforce a sobering "chilling effect."

Article 16 of Mongolia's constitution guarantees rights of free expression, thought, speech, assembly and press. This ensures the right of media and citizens alike to "seek and receive" information.

Yet press advocates emphasize that these constitutional rights do not include the right to "impart" information, "regardless of frontiers," as international law stipulates. In practice, this means that often other laws will act to circumvent these constitutional protections.


Perhaps the greatest prosecutorial threat to Mongolian journalism can be found in the country's defamation laws, which act to criminalize slander, defamation and libel. Such laws are regularly used by prominent figures — namely, individual politicians and increasingly, powerful businesspeople — as a means of shielding themselves from public criticism. While criticism of any kind, say press advocates, is often deemed tantamount to defamation.

Under Mongolia law, defamation is a criminal offense. Article 111.2 of the Criminal Code stipulates that the spread of libel "to the public by means of mass media" is punishable by a fine equal to 51 to 150 times the monthly minimum wage — 9.79 million to 28.9 million MNT (5,685 USD to 16,782 USD) — or incarceration for three to six months. These sums would be more than enough to bankrupt smaller independent news outlets.

Between 1999 and 2011, 313 defamation cases were reported to have involved media officials.

Yet journalists are said to often retract their work before cases goes to trial. Editors may also be held liable for publication of material deemed defamatory.

Judges recently issued statements prohibiting the press from reporting on defamation trials involving media officials as proceedings were underway.


Under Mongolian law, journalists also must bear the burden of proof, evidencing that what they've published is true and accurate. Yet strict evidentiary rules have prevented some journalists from mounting a strong defense. Evidence has been deemed inadmissible in cases where documentary proof was not notarized as original copy.

Such rules significantly hamper a journalist's capacity to prove their innocence. This applies especially in investigative cases whereby access to original source documents is not always guaranteed — in which case the law does not provide for a "reasonable publication" defense.

Recently amended laws on crime prevention do not yet list defamation as a criminal offense. Yet press advocates fear that the current Parliament will soon act to demand its inclusion, given that a recent list of plaintiffs in defamation cases against media officials is said to include members of the ruling Democratic Party.


Mongolian law sees few protections in place to ensure confidentiality of sources is maintained. Nor are there recognized legal protections for whistle-blowers.

Journalists often face pressure from political, judicial and intelligence officials to give up the names of their sources. There is no legal requirement specifying that journalists comply with such demands. Article 139 of the Criminal Code offers some protection for "a journalist's professional activities that are consistent with the law." Yet the statute does not specify what constitutes legal "professional activities."

Press advocates have expressed their concerns given a prevailing view among the government and judicial officials that investigations remain the purview of intelligence services and police.

Under Mongolia's Constitution, investigations can technically only be carried out by police, prosecutors or intelligence services. This means that a journalist's recorded interviews, notes, tapes, even photos, if deemed "investigative material," could well violate the law.

In 2009 local media freedom institutes reported numerous Mongolian journalists had been threatened or attacked in the course of their careers. One in six Mongolian journalists had received "improper reactions," often from those directly affected by critical content. Almost 20 percent of those received severe threats of violence, including death threats.


Media industries elsewhere face significant decline in revenue and reach. Yet Mongolia's media has thus far bucked these trends.

In 2009 Mongolians enjoyed access to regular news from almost 400 news outlets. By the first quarter of 2013, the number reached 555 — an all-time high. Extraordinary figures, given a population of less than three million people.

Prominent government officials and powerful business figures are said to own the vast majority of the country's news media outlets. Direct government censorship is explicitly outlawed in Mongolia's constitution. Yet by simply buying up media outlets, the country's most powerful are then able to apply pressure and where necessary, determine the nature of news content.

Yet exact figures are hard to come by. While legislation states that media ownership and investment shares be made public, often media outlets will submit only a company's registered name, in which the names of individual investors are not disclosed.

As Globe International President Naranjargal Khashkhuu wryly explains, "It is amazing that all these media outlets can all survive in this small market. So we must ask, who feeds them?"

In a recent interview with DW Akademie, Mongolian Press Institute Executive Director Munkhmandakh Myagmar went on to explain that:

"[D]evelopment is not going based on market principles because the media does not survive on revenues from advertising or sales. Instead the media exists based on financial support or subsidies from politicians. In turn they are obliged to provide information that is wanted by politicians. This makes journalism in Mongolia extremely unhealthy."

Media outlets are often called upon to sign "agreements of co-operation" with advertisers. These "blocking" provisions will then contractually prevent media from distributing any "negative information" about entities from which they receive funds for advertising.


Media advocates say that while the government releases an annual budget for media development, the public remains in the dark as to which outlets receive the vast bulk of funding.

"In 2012 the Parliament of Mongolia had some three billion MNT in its media funding budget," says one press advocate. "Yet one particular television station is said to have reserved for it 700 million MNT of the funding, while others didn't receive any money, at all. There is no public discussion, so the public is not aware who is getting how much. It makes state funding another form of government censorship."


In 2011, in response to recommendations from both the UN Human Rights Council and local rights groups, Mongolia adopted its first national Freedom of Information (FOI) Law. Yet advocates suggest that FOI procedures are unworkable, conflict with other laws, and demonstrate the government's lack of commitment to the law's implementation.

In 2012 a coalition of civil society actors sought to more closely examine the annual state budget. Together they lodged some 29 FOI requests to government agencies. Only one agency provided a single response before rejecting the request on grounds of violation of individual privacy.

A long list of broad and ill-defined exemptions to FOI (Article 18) acts to curb publication of detrimental information related to national security, the "public interest of Mongolia," matters of competition, intellectual property or private material relating to the "lawful interests" of individuals or organizations.

So while laws on anti-corruption oblige public officials to disclose their assets and income records, under the law of individual privacy, the information on the properties and net worth of public officials remain a closely kept secret. This helps explain why local media will sometimes report on a politician's (disclosed) number of livestock, vehicles and other properties, rather than their net value. 


A team of journalists recently tested the responsiveness of government agencies to FOI requests. Government agencies are legally obligated to respond to such requests within a maximum 14 working day period. The journalists sought information regarding the criminal trial and subsequent execution of famed revolutionaries during the early 1920s.

Yet under a broad State Secrets Act, execution notices remain a matter of state secrecy. Documents related to capital punishment are to remain a state secret without limitation — that is, never to be declassified.

The journalists ran significant risks in even requesting such information. Individuals can run afoul of the State Secrets law by simply requesting that information be released — that is, a possible eight years imprisonment for simply "seeking" information deemed secret under the law's sweeping list of State Secrets, which covers almost 60 broad topics ranging from foreign policy to economics, science to technology, defense to intelligence.

Thus, journalists on the foreign policy beat might do best to avoid never-to-be-declassified "document(s) describing official policy and opinion of Mongolia on cooperation with other countries, all kind of information and reports provided by other countries through accredited manners."

Instead some may practice self-censorship, directly drawing their reports from official press releases rather than risk running afoul of the law. Such constraints may seem somewhat anachronistic at a time when growing Internet connectedness is said to subvert the influence of state-owned media.

At a recent investigative journalism training session in Ulaanbaatar, media trainers from the UK spoke about privacy and recent moves by major news outlets to publish NSA-related material. The audience of Mongolian journalists asked: "Yes, but how do you fund it?"

Perhaps there is a movement, not yet wholly defined, to enhance press freedom that will likely require new funding models as well as a digital shift.

Only then, equipped with a strong grasp of local laws as well as their constitutional rights to freedom of information, speech and expression, might Mongolian journalists act to loosen the grip of the powerful on public debate.

Lisa Gardner is a journalist and media trainer currently based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Her work speaks to conflict, new media and human rights in Asia and places particular focus on questions of digital security and freedom of expression.

Link to article


Aimag clusters: Measuring a nation's development by its productivity

By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa

May 4 (UB Post) It is not going to be enough to evaluate the development of our aimags just by looking at the number of strong wrestlers, fast racehorses, senior government officials, and celebrity artists they have produced. We need to focus more on what value those aimags are creating besides the extraction of mineral resources, their own expenditures, and what competitive advantages they have gained over others.

The wealth of a country is not necessarily dependent on its comparative advantages such as natural resources, access to the sea, and cheap labor. However, livelihood and quality of life are dependent on what the nation is creating at what cost.

Therefore, productivity is a basic measurement of development. It will be more precise to measure the development of a nation and its local provinces by evaluating the total value they create using the inputs of labor, material, and financial resources.


Levels of development are often defined by the competitiveness of businesses and companies. Every business acquires its competitive advantage by comparing itself with the best of the world and finding room for improvement. However, there needs to be fierce competition between domestic businesses and companies before a few of them become capable of entering the international market. Due to the fierceness of market competition, varying capability of suppliers, and high demand from domestic clients, companies are required to improve their competitiveness, thus, strongly establish their position in the market while producing huge profits.

In order to create a competitive advantage, companies face the need to perfect the quality of their goods and services, renew the process of creating valuebles, and bring about innovation. An advantage can also be acquired through redesigning products, introducing new marketing ideas, and providing training aimed at improving the efficiency of employees.

By the 1960s, Japan started working to make products developed by others more compact and user-friendly. As a result, they brought about a big change in the production of home appliances, not only inside the nation but throughout the world. They contributed greatly to increasing the total production and export of televisions, radios, air conditioners, and heaters.

Innovation today requires a particular skill to receive and process information. New initiatives can be triggered by many factors such as the introduction of a new company into the market, emergence of an unconventional leader, and a decision by a company to enter a different industry. In other words, innovation is the result of extraordinary efforts. New ideas are developed when there are tough situations and immediate threats to a business.

Fair competition between companies in a given industry boosts productivity.


In order to sustain its growth, a company needs to not only acquire competitiveness but also maintain it. Korean companies first took over Japan in the television industry and later introduced a change in the role of televisions. They were the first country to offer a service that allowed viewers to watch TV programs at a convenient time, use wireless connections to browse personal media files, and apply computer functions to televisions. Also, the Korean-driven competition between mobile phone manufacturers has given consumers an opportunity to choose from a larger pool of products.

Harvard professors concluded that a company's location is essential to acquiring competitiveness. The word "business cluster" is translated as "khongortsog" in Mongolian. Kh.Gombojav came up with the translation of this term in 1951, along with its definition, which reads, "a geographical concentration of interconnected industries, diversified suppliers, logistics companies, industrial associations, and universities in a particular field."

We need to talk about the existing possibility to establish a business cluster in each aimag in Mongolia. If we pursue a policy to support the emergence of many companies in the most appropriate, culturally adequate industry of a given aimag and increase their competition in the market, the productivity of those companies will increase significantly.

Companies compete with each other to obtain the most advanced technology and the most skilled workforce to produce the best products and services. Market competitors become stronger if they operate in the same town or personally know each other. Three of the best motorcycle manufacturers in Japan reside in Hamamatsu, while more than 100 decorative tile producers are concentrated in the town of Sassuolo in Italy. Similarly, there are about 300 crop producers in Selenge aimag. This concentration is helping them improve their productivity every year. Darkhan-Uul aimag has the potential to become a cluster for the leather goods and construction material industries. Market competitors that reside and operate in the same area demand fair competition from each other.


It is time for our government to conduct a policy aimed at developing industrial clusters in aimags and supporting their products in acquiring international competitiveness by encouraging market competition at the aimag level.

The government should also provide support in improving the quality of primary and secondary education, building basic infrastructure, and connecting businesses to research and development. One of the primary roles of the government is to set standards and requirements regarding health, safety, and environment, and ensure that companies are compliant with the rules. Sweden sets particularly high standards in the living environment of city dwellers and influenced Atlas Copco, a Swedish industrial company, to invent silent compressors that were later introduced to many of the largest cities in the world.

When the government sets prices and controls the exchange rates, it produces negative impacts on market competition and productivity in the long term. If a regulation from the government fails to achieve its purpose, its forced implementation costs a lot because it affects many business relations. The government should be setting standards instead of issuing business permits and not allow a monopoly to be established in any given industry.

If the government gets involved in the business sector, businesses get addicted to the "drugs" dealt by the government such as soft loans, procurement offers, and means of protection provided by the government. The only areas the government should involve itself in are entering the international market, preparing a skilled workforce, and building basic infrastructure such as roads, electric power, and water distribution.

The wealth of a nation is created by its companies and businesses, the productivity of which determines the nation's level of development. The main factor that enhances productivity is not the government, but free competition. If many companies are concentrated in one location, market competition becomes fiercer. Each of our aimags needs to establish an industrial cluster that is built on their advantages.

Translated by B.AMAR

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US$ 65 million loan for high-tech industrial project

April 30 (EBRD) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is continuing its support for the Mongolian company Senj Sant, which is building a greenfield cement plant to meet rising demand generated by the country's rapidly growing economy. The Bank is extending a US$ 65 million loan to the company as part of a financing package dating from May 2013, which included a US$ 20 million equity investment in Senj Sant.

The company, owned by Mongolia's Monpolymet Group, is using the finance to fund the construction, commissioning and operation of a technologically-advanced and environmentally-friendly dry process cement plant.

The construction works for this plant began in April 2013 and once completed, it is expected to have a total capacity of one million tonnes of cement per year. The dry process used at the facility is the most advanced and environmentally-friendly means of production currently available.

During the signing ceremony at the Bank's headquarters in London, EBRD First Vice President, Phil Bennett, said: "This project represents yet another step towards the diversification of Mongolia's economy. Building on the strong foundation of our previous engagement with Senj Sant, we are proud to continue financing this significant industrial greenfield investment. It directly supports and nurtures the development of the private sector in a relatively underdeveloped industry in Mongolia."

CEO of Monpolymet Group, Munkhnasan Narmandakh, added: "The EBRD's long-term finance, including equity, not only helps us build the first cement plant in Mongolia using environmentally-friendly dry process, but also supports the company in raising business standards to international levels."

Fuelled by the country's vast mineral resources, Mongolia's economy grew by 11.7 per cent in 2013. The new Senj Sant plant is strategically located in southern Mongolia.

Link to release

Link to EBRD's Senj Sant project page


Salkhit Wind Farm Documentary

April 22 -- Documentary about the first Wind Farm in Mongolia

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MEF, GoM to Organize Mongolian Business Summit, June 19-21, Ulaanbaatar

May 2 ( The Mongolia Economic Forum NGO in cooperation with the Government of Mongolia will organize a Mongolian Business Summit in Ulaanbaatar on June 19-21, 2014.

The main objectives of the Summit are to provide comprehensive, up-to-date and sector-specific information on foreign investment environment of Mongolia, also present planned Public-Private-Partnership projects in mining, infrastructure, processing industry, agriculture, wool and cashmere, as well as food and building materials sectors.

The 3-day Mongolian Business Summit will serve as an excellent platform for participants to interact directly with government officials, international investors, leading companies, and gain in-depth knowledge on Mongolian investment environment and promising business opportunities. During the Summit, optional tours including visits to mine sites, cashmere factory, agricultural, food and processing facilities and cultural destinations will be offered.

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Press Association to be created in Mongolia

May 2 ( Several media organizations along with newspapers and journalists' associations have voiced their ambitions to develop the Mongolian press industry to a professional standard and decided upon the idea to establish the first press court in Mongolia.

Over 20 associations of newspapers and journalists announced on April 30th their intention to create a coordinators` group to establish a Press Court in Mongolia, with the belief that it is time to stand up for the professional reputation of the media and intention to abide by the principles of responsible and ethical journalism.

The coordinators` group will formulate the rules for the Press Court and conduct discussions on professional ethics principles among journalists, training on self-regulation of press and share information and experiences with international professional institution this year.

The coordinators group agreed that establishing a Press Court would make journalism standards clear and certify the professional values of journalism, and independence of copy desk.

The Mongolian Media Council Club, Press Institute of Mongolia, Globe International Center, Associations of Mongolian Journalists, Mongolian Parliamentary Journalism Association, Midas NGO, National Press Club of Mongolia, Local press and media association, the Television Association of Mongolia, the Mongolian News Websites Association, News Agency and other media agencies have joined the initiative.

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Mongolia Gains Four Spots in WEF's Networked Readiness Index 2013 to 59rd

WEF: The Global Information Technology Report 2013

                                                Rank (out of 144) Score (1-7)

Networked Readiness Index 2013 ............................... 59 .. 4.0

Networked Readiness Index 2012 (out of 142) .................. 63 .. 3.9

A. Environment subindex ...................................... 76 .. 3.8

1st pillar: Political and regulatory environment ............. 93 .. 3.4

2nd pillar: Business and innovation environment .............. 62 .. 4.3

B. Readiness subindex ........................................ 42 .. 5.1

3rd pillar: Infrastructure and digital content ............... 60 .. 4.2

4th pillar: Affordability .................................... 10 .. 6.4

5th pillar: Skills ........................................... 72 .. 4.8

C. Usage subindex ............................................ 80 .. 3.4

6th pillar: Individual usage ................................. 90 .. 2.8

7th pillar: Business usage ................................... 78 .. 3.4

8th pillar: Government usage ................................. 66 .. 4.1

D. Impact subindex ........................................... 58 .. 3.7

9th pillar: Economic impacts ................................. 86 .. 3.0

10th pillar: Social impacts .................................. 43 .. 4.3

Link to report (Mongolia page 229)

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Municipal Administration Publishes First Edition of Ulaanbaatar Almanac

Ulaanbaatar, May 2 (MONTSAME) This week, the Ulaanbaatar Governor's Office presented a so-called "Ulaanbaatar Book" featuring essential information on the city.

In this book, a reader can find information on social welfare service, registration, public transportation routes, real estate prices, as well as parks and amusement places where city residents may spend spare time.

The almanac is going to be annually updated with reviewed information about Ulaanbaatar. The book project is a part of Action Plans of Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul for 2013 - 2016.

City residents may receive copies of the almanac from their khoroo (smallest administrative unit in Ulaanbaatar) administration.

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Rosneft Pipelines to and Through Mongolia

By Mendee Jargalsaikhan

May 1 (Eurasia Daily Monitor, Jamestown Foundation) --

Events in Ukraine create both uncertainties and opportunities in Ulaanbaatar. A changing balance of power in Europe and closer ties between two regional powers, Russia and China, certainly create new uncertainty for Mongolia. With their country's "regionless" fate of living between two giants, politicians in Ulaanbaatar have been cautious in their remarks regarding the events in Europe's East, though they clearly prioritize political stability. Even the US Ambassador to Mongolia's call over social media for Mongolians to support Ukraine did not inspire much excitement within this landlocked Asian country ( But on the economic side, Mongolians are expecting some spillover effects from increased economic activities between Russia and China because of the rifts between Russia and its European partners. 

Moscow and Ulaanbaatar have for years been actively engaging in dialogue to increase the bilateral levels of trade, investment and cultural exchanges. But the actual implementation of any major plans has been slow. Mongolia's import of fuel from Russia remains the most important, though exceedingly complex issue, at any level of inter-governmental meetings between the two neighboring states. Yet, presumably, with the recent visit to Mongolia by Igor Sechin, the president of Russian oil giant Rosneft, energy talks might finally speed up. 

During his three-hour stay in Ulaanbaatar on March 17, 2014, Sechin met with President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag and Mining Minister Davaajav Gankhuyag. The Rosneft president informed his hosts of Russia's willingness to supply oil to Mongolia via pipeline on a long-term basis, and he even discussed the possibility of transiting crude oil from Russia to China through Mongolian territory. In 2013, Mongolia imported 700,000 tons of crude oil from Russia, equal to 54 percent of its total domestic consumption (;, March 19).

There are several clear reasons for why the Russian government has become so forthcoming to Mongolia. For one, the landlocked country is still regarded as small but growing and reliable market for Russian fuel exports because of Mongolia's increased mining and agricultural activities in addition to a rising number of individual consumers there (meaning, mainly, vehicle operators). 

Second, all previous governments in Mongolia have been attempting to reduce the country's dependency on Russian gasoline and petroleum product imports; they have struck deals with China, Kazakhstan and others as potential sources for Mongolia's domestic energy needs (Xinhua, May 17, 2013;, Jan 6, 2009). In addition, Mongolia's search for new sources of energy—such as shale oil exploration—are ongoing ( Russia's sudden expanded interest in Mongolia is, therefore, likely a reflection of its unwillingness to lose any more market share for Russian gasoline exports. 

Third, after much debate, Mongolia has finally begun building the country's first oil refinery in Darkhan City, which is scheduled for completion by 2015. The new refinery will process 2 million tons of oil per year using crude oil from the Tamsag deposit in eastern Mongolia. (Mogi: more realistically it'll import crude from Russia. No transport infrastructure or realistic plans exists for Tamsag) This new refinery is also planning to import crude oil from Angarsk in Russia (;, March 19). In order to maintain its dominance in the Mongolian fuel market, earlier in 2011, the Russian side had offered to set up 100 gas stations in Mongolia (see EDM, November 11, 2013). But the proposal triggered sudden protectionist debates among Mongolian politicians, fuel distributors and the public. This time, the Russian side offered to deliver oil products and crude oil via pipelines because of the inefficiency of the Russian-Mongolian inter-state rail links

Besides a pipeline to Mongolia, the Russian side also indicated it would reconsider the planned oil and gas pipeline transit route from Russia to China (, March 17). At the height of joint efforts by Russian and Chinese governments to reduce the United States' interests in Central Asia in 2005, Russia and China decided to build a pipeline that would by-pass Mongolia, even though the Mongolian route is considered shorter, safer and, therefore, more economically efficient than pipeline routes through Central Asia or via Siberia/Manchuria. Over the years, this has been one of Ulaanbaatar's continued requests to Beijing and Moscow ( The finalized pipeline deal was to be made this coming May during the Chinese-Russian summit. 

Although Mongolia is in many ways geopolitically constrained by its powerful neighbors, any shifts, either amicable or hostile, between China and Russia, have presented both challenges and opportunities for Mongolia. During an amicable period in the 1950s for relations between Moscow and Beijing, the first ever trans-Mongolian railroad was built, which still serves as a rail link between Russia and China for the transportation of goods and people. On the other hand, in the hostile period of the 1960s for Moscow and Beijing, Mongolia was able to benefit from Soviet developmental aid—as a legacy of that assistance, the Erdenet copper mine continues to account for a substantial portion of Mongolia's GDP (IMF Country Report No. 07/30—Mongolia: 2006, January 2007). Today, Russia urgently looks eastward for markets for its energy exports due to tensions with the West over Ukraine. And because of this, Mongolia will likely be able to position itself to host a Russia-to-China oil transit pipeline.

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Chepurny appointed first resident Ambassador of Belarus to Mongolia

MINSK, 2 May (BelTA) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko appointed Stanislav Chepurny Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Mongolia on 2 May, BelTA learned from the president's press service.

When talking to reporters, Stanislav Chepurny noted that as part of the effort to develop cooperation with the Asia countries, Belarus views its bilateral relations with Mongolia as very important since the Mongolian economy is one of the fastest growing in the world.

"For the past three years, the trade and economic relations between the two countries have been developing rapidly. Mongolia is interested in deliveries of Belarusian equipment, most notably dump trucks, agricultural and passenger vehicles, many industrial products, some foodstuffs," the diplomat said. According to him, a number of joint projects, particularly the ones to set up joint ventures especially in the field of mechanical engineering and agriculture are in the pipeline. There is also a common interest in developing cooperation in the scientific, technical, logistic, agricultural and educational fields.

"Thus, the areas of cooperation are very diverse. The Belarusian Embassy which is soon to open in Mongolia will provide a practical content, and will work on further expansion of bilateral relations," the Ambassador said.

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Mongolia intends to become ASEAN's dialogue partner, EAS member

PHNOM PENH, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Visiting deputy foreign minister of Mongolia Damba Gankhuyag said Friday that Mongolia has a purpose to become an ASEAN's dialogue partner and a member of the East Asian Summit (EAS).

Damba Gankhuyag unveiled the plan during a meeting with Cambodian deputy prime minister and foreign minister Hor Namhong, according to Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hor Namhong said Cambodia welcomed Mongolia's intention to seek cooperation with ASEAN and EAS and recommended the country to submit documents to Myanmar, the current chair of ASEAN.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) group Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Currently, the bloc has established dialogue partnerships with ten parties: Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the United States.

For EAS, it is a forum held annually by leaders of 18 countries in the East Asian region.

Earlier in the day, Damba Gankhuyag signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of bilateral consultations with his Cambodian counterpart Long Visalo, aiming to promote bilateral, regional, and international cooperation between the two countries.

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Cambodia, Mongolia establish bilateral consultations

PHNOM PENH, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia and Mongolia on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of bilateral consultations, aimed at bolstering bilateral ties and cooperation, a Cambodian official said.

The deal was inked between Long Visalo, Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Damba Gankhuyag, deputy foreign minister of Mongolia.

"The MoU is very important to pave the way for the two countries to increase cooperation in bilateral, regional and international frameworks," Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters after the signing ceremony. "Under the deal, both sides also can exchange information and opinions on bilateral, regional and international issues."

He said it was the second document after the two countries signed an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders in 2012.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in economics, trade, investment and tourism.

Cambodia and Mongolia established diplomatic relations in 1961.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Erchim FC claims first victory at AFC President's Cup

May 4 (UB Post) Erchim FC claimed its first victory at the Group C tournament of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President's Cup 2014 by beating Cambodia's Svarieng FC with 3:1 on the third day of the tournament on Saturday.

The Mongolian team will play against Manang Marshyangdi FC of Nepal today at 5 p.m.

Ulaanbaatar is hosting the Group C tournament for the first time and the matches are taking place at the football field of the Mongolian Football Federation.

S.Gal-Erdene, a 19-year-old player of Erchim FC, scored three goals in the match against Cambodia.

Over 3,000 supporters of Erchim came to see the match and were delighted with the victory.

The first match of the Group C tournament was Cambodia versus Nepal, and Manang of Nepal hammered its opponent 6:3.

It is Erchim FC's third time competing in the AFC President's Cup and the club placed fourth in last year's cup.

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Horikawa Mahiro wins 4th International Festival of Morin Khuur

May 4 (UB Post) The fourth International Festival of Morin Khuur organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism in collaboration with the World Morin Khuur Association concluded on May 1.

The festival brought together over 200 morin khuur (horse fiddle) players, morin khuur maker, scientists and researchers from China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the USA and Mongolia.

During the festival, competitions for morin khuur amateurs and morin khuur makers was held.

Morin khuur amateurs' competition was held in two rounds. The first round of the competition involved performances of Mongolian traditional mini-long songs, namely "Shanjuu Deel" and "Balchir Kheer" and the second round was to perform long songs "Tungalag Tamir" and "Jonon Khar".

The first place went to morin khuur player from Japan Horikawa Mahiro, followed by Mongolian morin khuur players A.Baljinnyam and T.Baatarkhuu.

The morin khuur makers' competition was held in three rounds. Winners of the morin khuur makers' competition were selected through the standard of morin khuur released by the Mongolian Morin Khuur Makers' Association. Morin khuur maker Enkhbold became the winner of the competition and received two million MNT. He was followed by Ulziibat and Bayarsuren.

A concert of honor took place on May 2. Top morin khuur players from various countries performed Mongolian masterpieces such as "Mandukhai Tsetsen Khatan", "Tsagaan Suvarga", "Jargaliin Naiman Mori" and "Teni Ruu Nuuj Yavna."

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