Please click Display Images or Download Pictures to properly view this newswire
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
WOF trading flat in early trading at A$0.04
Wolf Petroleum: New Petroleum Law Passed
THE PARLIAMENT OF MONGOLIA HAS PASSED A NEW PETROLEUM LAW AIMING TO BOOST FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND MAKE THE PETROLEUM SECTOR ONE OF THE NATION'S LEADING INDUSTRIES.
July 8 -- Wolf Petroleum (ASX:WOF) is very pleased to announce that the long awaited passing of the new Petroleum Law has been passed by the Parliament of Mongolia and is effective from 1 July 2014. Wolf Petroleum had an opportunity to review and comment on the new law with petroleum related associations and other operating companies.
INCENTIVES UNDER THE NEW MONGOLIAN PETROLEUM LAW
The following is a summary of the incentives introduced by the new petroleum law, which affects Wolf Petroleum operations in Mongolia. The new law will not affect the terms of previously signed PSCs in Mongolia, including the existing PSC on the SB block.
The exploration period is eight years and can be extended twice by two years.
The production period is 25 years and can be extended twice by five years.
PRODUCTION SHARING CONTRACT (PSC):
Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) can be signed and approved by the Government upon the Companies' request within 180 days. The Company must meet the exploration contract commitments and discuss the production sharing terms.
Wolf Petroleum is ahead of its exploration contract commitments on BU and Jinst blocks and planning to apply for a PSC in 2014.
This is very positive news for Wolf Petroleum.
Royalty payments to the Government of Mongolia to be at least 5%.
The Companies are exempt from customs duty, VAT in first five years, and income taxes from oil sales.
COST RECOVERY PROGRAMME:
Exploration, operation, development, and production costs can be recovered 100%.
Annual percentage from oil sales to cost recovery programme can be up to 40%.
Upon request a Company may be granted a permission to build a pipeline for the purpose of transferring the petroleum that it produces.
The New Petroleum Law simplifies the application for Production Sharing Contract, minimises bureaucracy, and creates a more competitive and investment friendly business environment.
The Company believes the new petroleum law will play a significant role in development of the industry and further open more investment opportunities in Mongolia.
SouthGobi Resources Tax Evasion Case Trial Delayed to Aug. 25
By Michael Kohn
July 7 (Bloomberg) -- The trial of a tax evasion case involving SouthGobi Resources Ltd. and three of its former employees has been delayed to Aug. 25, court assistant J. Enkhbayar said today by phone from Ulaanbaatar.
* Decision to delay trial taken by judge at request of lawyers: Enkhbayar
* The trial date was June 30
VKA closed +12.5% to A$0.045 Monday, trading down 0.5c to A$0.04 early today
Viking Mines signs third coal supply MoU for Berkh Uul project
July 7 (Proactive Investors) Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has signed a third future coal supply agreement with a Mongolian state-owned joint stock industrial company for its Berkh Uul Bituminous Coal Project in northern Mongolia.
This further reinforces the industrial demand for high quality thermal coal from the project and potential to further expand its customer base.
The non-binding Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Darkhan Metallurgical Plant (DMP) located in Darkhan City.
DMP is in the process of expanding its current 100,000 tonnes per annum steel milling capacity, based on commencement of mining of iron ore deposits located near Berkh Uul, with the expansion due for completion in 2015.
"This MOU confirms that there is significant local industrial demand for Berk Uhl coal and gives us great confidence that there is potential to further expand our customer base," chairman Jack Gardner said.
Memorandum of Understanding
Under the MoU, DMP has stated its intent to enter into future purchase agreements for BU Project coal.
As with the earlier MoU's from Darkhan Power Station and Erdenet Power Plant, it also establishes testing of a bulk sample as a basis for technical evaluation of the coal.
Berkh Uul is 100% owned by Auminco Mines. It is located 400 kilometres north of Ulaanbaatar in Northern Mongolia, and within 40 kilometres of rail access into Russian off-take markets.
It is currently held under an exploration permit that covers 4,550 hectares and is valid until 2015. A Mining Lease application is imminent.
RungePincockMinarco has completed an Independent Geological Report in March 2014 that was based on 45 diamond drill holes and estimated a JORC (2012) Indicated Resource of 21.4 million tonnes, and Inferred Resource of 16.9 million tonnes, for a total of 38.3 million tonnes of near surface and high quality bituminous coal.
Evaluation of raw unwashed coal quality shows: moisture content of 19.8%, ash 15.5%, sulphur 0.37%, and calorific value of 5,323 kcal/kg.
This work also identified the presence of multiple, shallow dipping sub-parallel coal seams on the eastern limb of a gently folded syncline, with individual seams of 0.6 – 4.5 metres over a 3 kilometre strike length that extends to a depth of 200 metres.
Viking has received acceptances for 97.08% of Auminco under its takeover offer of 60.6 Viking Shares and 20.2 Viking Options for every 100 Auminco Shares held.
Viking Mines continues to rack up the agreements for the supply of coal to end users in Mongolia, confirming the industrial demand for unwashed Berkh Uul coal, due to its low ash, low sulphur and relatively high calorific value.
It also highlights the potential to further build its customer base, validating the company's decision to acquire Ausminco Mines.
We believe that Viking Ashanti can develop a small scale operation that could generate a conceptual free cash flow of up to US$3-5 million.
Proactive Investors continues to value Viking Mines at $0.085 to $0.165 per share. This compares to its current share price of $0.04 per share.
Winsway: Appointment of Executive Vice President
July 7 -- The board of directors (the "Board") of Winsway Coking Coal Holdings limited (the "Company") announces that Mr. Andreas Werner ("Mr. Werner") has been appointed as an Executive Vice President of the Company with effect from 7 July 2014.
In order to realize the Company's strategy to become more of a service provider through the provision of a total supply chain solution platform to a wider market including small and medium-sized customers engaged in bulk commodity trading, Mr. Werner will work towards strengthening the overall management of the Company and explore new business opportunities.
Mr. Werner, aged 56, was the chief executive officer of Raiffeisen Bank International Greater China before joining the Company. Before joining RB International, Mr. Werner was the import-export manager of China Teppichhouse, a trading firm based in Vienna from 1989 to 1992, manager of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce for Austrian group exhibitions from 1992 to 1994, and joined Raiffeisen Zentralbank Austria AG (RZB) in 1994, where he became the chief representative of RZB Beijing Representative Office and the general manager of RB International Beijing Branch.
Mr. Werner obtained a bachelor's degree in law and a master's degree in law from the University of Vienna in 1991 and 1992, respectively. Mr. Werner also obtained a degree in Sinology from the University of Vienna in 1977.
Mr. Werner has not held any directorship in other publicly listed companies in the last three years.
As at the date of this announcement, Mr. Werner does not have any interests in the securities of the Company within the meaning of Part XV of the Securities and Future Ordinance (Chapter 517 of the Laws of Hong Kong).
Mr. Werner does not have any relationship with other Directors, senior management, substantial shareholders (as defined by the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Listing Rules")) or controlling shareholders (as defined by the Listing Rules) of the Company.
Save as disclosed above, there are no other matters concerning Mr. Werner that need to be bought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company, and there is no other information required to be disclosed pursuant to the requirements of Rule 13.51(2)(h) to (v) of the Listing Rules.
The Board takes this opportunity to welcome Mr. Werner on his appointment.
Prophecy Coal Announces Amendment of Warrants and Options
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 7, 2014) - Prophecy Coal Corp. ("Prophecy" or the "Company") (TSX:PCY)(OTCQX:PRPCF)(FRANKFURT:1P2) announces that it has applied to the TSX for approval to amend the terms of 1,064,215 share purchase warrants (the "Old Warrants") of the Company held by various investors that are at arm's-length from the Company's management and directors.
The Old Warrants were originally issued to the investors pursuant to a private placement of 3,831,511 units which closed on October 28, 2010. They expire on October 28, 2015 at an exercise price of $0.18.
The Old Warrants were voluntarily surrendered by the investors for cancellation in June 2014. The Company proposes to replace the Old Warrants by issuing an equivalent number of new warrants (the "New Warrants") to these investors, which the TSX considers to be a "deemed amendment to existing warrants". The New Warrants, which the Company proposes to grant effective July 21, 2014, will have an exercise price of $0.055, and have no right to purchase Wellgreen Platinum Ltd. shares attached. No other provisions of the New Warrants will differ from those of the Old Warrants, and none of the New Warrants will be held directly or indirectly by insiders of the Company.
The Company also announces that on June 30, 2014, it granted in aggregate, 2,668,750 incentive stock options ("Options") to various consultants, former directors and former officers of the Company. These Options are granted to replace an equivalent number of incentive stock options previously issued to these same persons, but voluntarily surrendered and cancelled in June 2014 as part of the Company's continuing corporate review. The TSX considers such circumstances to be a "deemed re-pricing and extension of existing options". None of the Options will be held directly or indirectly by insiders of the Company.
The Options were granted pursuant to the terms of the Company's Share-Based Compensation Plan, which was approved by shareholders at the Company's Annual General Meeting of shareholders held on June 19, 2014. The Options are exercisable at a price of $0.055 per Common share until December 31, 2015.
Mogi: FRC, BoM approve Rules on Regulating Custodian Services on 3 July
Кастодианы үйл ажиллагааг зохицуулсан журам эцэслэн батлагдлаа
7-р сарын 7 (Санхүүгийн Зохицуулах Хороо) 2013 онд УИХ-аас Үнэт цаасны зах зээлийн тухай хуулийг шинэчлэн баталснаар кастодиан хэмээх шинэ төрлийн үйлчилгээ Монголын санхүүгийн зах зээлд нэвтрэх эрх зүйн боломжтой болсон юм.
Үнэт цаасны зах зээлийн дэд бүтцийн томоохон, чухал байгууллагуудын нэгд кастодиан зайлшгүй орох бөгөөд энэ нь тухайн оронд хувьцаа болон бусад төрлийн үнэт цаасаар хийгдсэн хөрөнгө оруулалтыг бүрдүүлдэг учир тус үйлчилгээ нь үнэт цаасны зах зээлд хөрөнгө оруулалт хийхэд хөрөнгө оруулагчийн үнэт цаас болон бусад хөрөнгийг найдвартай хадгалах, тэдгээрийн дансны мэдээллийг нэгтгэх, хөрөнгөтэй холбогдсон татварын үйлчилгээг үзүүлэх, хөрөнгө оруулагчийн хувьцаагаар баталгаажсан эрхийг хэрэгжүүлэх зэрэг олон төрлийн үйлчилгээг хөрөнгө оруулагчдад бүрэн үзүүлдэг мэргэжлийн байгууллага юм.
Гадаадын хөрөнгө оруулагчид болон хөрөнгө оруулалтын сангууд Монгол Улсад үнэт цаасны зах зээлээр дамжуулан хөрөнгө оруулалт хийх сонирхолтой байгаа хэдий ч дээрх төрлийн үйлчилгээ байхгүй явдал нь үүнд томоохон бэрхшээл болдог.
Нөгөө талаас кастодианы үйлчилгээ нь өрсөлдөөнийг бий болгодог ба үүний үр дүнд хөрөнгө оруулалтын зардлыг бууруулж, мэргэшсэн цогц үйлчилгээг хөрөнгө оруулагчдад хүргэдгээрээ бусад ижил төрлийн үйлчилгээнээс онцлог юм. Мөн үнэт цаасны хадгаламж, төлбөр тооцоо нь давхар хяналтын системд шилжсэнээр хөрөнгө оруулагчийг мэргэжлийн этгээд төлөөлдөг тул хувьцаа эзэмшигч, түүний дотор жижиг хувьцаа эзэмшигчдийн эрх ашиг хамгаалагдах ач холбогдолтой юм.
Дээрх кастодианы үйл ажиллагааг нарийвчлан зохицуулсан журмын төслийг 2014 оны 7 дугаар сарын 03-ны өдөр Санхүүгийн зохицуулах хорооны дарга, Монголбанкны Ерөнхийлөгчийн 85/А-106 тоот хамтарсан тушаалаар эцэслэн баталлаа. Ингэснээр Үнэт цаасны зах зээлийн тухай хуулиар олгосон эрх бүхий этгээдүүд кастодианы үйл ажиллагааг Санхүүгийн зохицуулах хорооноос зөвшөөрөл авч, гүйцэтгэх боломжтой болсныг мэдээлэхэд таатай байна.
Энд дарж журамтай танилцана уу.
Mogi: biggest trading stock was ₮7.8 million
MSE News for July 7: Top 20 +4.06% to 15,980.44, Turnover ₮54.2 Million
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 85 thousand and 196 shares of 66 JSCs were traded costing MNT 54 million 245 thousand and 130.60.
"Remikon" /36 thousand and 109 units/, "Moninjbar" /10 thousand and 290 units/, "Khokh gan" /9,900 units/, "Hermes center" /7,416 units/ and "State Department Store" /3,180 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Tavantolgoi" (MNT seven million 780 thousand and 069), "Remikon" (MNT five million 585 thousand and 722), "Avto impex" (MNT four million 641 thousand and 245), "APU" (MNT four million 569 thousand and 170) and "Moninjbar" (MNT three million 337 thousand and 110).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 645 billion 044 million 842 thousand and 924. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,980.44, increasing by MNT 623.06 or 4.06% against the previous day.
BDSec: MSE Top 20 Powers Higher by 4.06% with 54.2 Million Turnover
July 7 (BDSec) In one of its strongest performances in the last 3 years, the MSE Top 20 closed 4.06% higher on volume of 54,245,130.60 MNT. Advancing stocks beat out decliners by a margin of almost 10-1, with 14 stocks trading up the daily limit of 15%.
"We've been talking about a stealth bull market on the MSE for some time now and that trend is really accelerating" said BDSec's Chief Operating Officer Nick Cousyn. He went on to say "A staggering 18 MSE listed companies traded at or above new all-time high's today, which means the overall market is much healthier than the performance of the MSE Top 20 would suggest."
The MSE Top 20 is dominated by state controlled companies, which are either losing money or posting small profits, which has depressed their stock prices and by extension the MSE Top 20 Index.
Erdenes TT Selects BDSec as Investment Advisor
July 7 (BDSec) At the end of last year, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC announced an open tender for advisory service on its initial public offering.
BDSec JSC won the tender and signed an investment advisory service agreement with Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC today, 04 July 2014.
BoM MNT Rates: Monday, July 7 Close
July MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BANK OF MONGOLIA AND PEOPLE'S BANK OF CHINA RENEW RMB 10 BILLION CURRENCY SWAP AGREEMENT
July 7 (Bank of Mongolia) Mr. Batshugar Enkhbayar, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mongolia and Ms. Hu Xiaolian, Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China signed an extension agreement of bilateral currency swap facility on 14 May 2014 for a term of another three years. The size of the swap facility is RMB 10 billion (MNT 2 trillion) and it has a three year maturity which may be extended if both parties agree. Both sides believe the swap agreement will help maintain regional financial stability and facilitate bilateral trade and investment between Mongolia and China.
China is a major trading partner with Mongolia, receiving more than three-fourths of the country's exports. Since the signing of the swap agreement in 2011, the usage of RMB has been increasing as trade and economic cooperation between the two countries continue to strengthen.
In addition, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) is considering a possible expansion of the bilateral currency swap facility with the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) from RMB 10 billion to up to RMB 20 billion (4 trillion tugriks). The renewal and expansion of the currency swap agreement between the BOM and the PBoC are crucial in helping to provide liquidity, when necessary, to maintain the stability of the financial market.
BoM issues ₮200 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -21.9% to ₮514.5 billion
July 7 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 200 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
BoM issues ₮134 billion 4-week bills, total outstanding ₮134 billion
July 7 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 4 week bills worth MNT 134 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.72 percent per annum. /For previous auctions click here/
Cabinet Meeting Resolutions in Brief: July 04, 2014
July 7 (infomongolia.com) The regular Cabinet meeting of the Government was held on Friday, July 04, where the following issues were resolved.
- From the fund sourced from Samurai bonds realized at Japanese markets, the Government of Mongolia decided to finance manufactures of leather and skin end products and agreed to transfer through commercial banks a loan of 110.4 billion MNT (Tugrug) entrusted by Minister of Economic Development and Board of Directors of the Development Bank.
- Amendments were made to the Government Resolution No.71 "Regulation to allocate a stipend to a student studying at the higher education" that cites a student of a day course, who is studying at the accredited university or institute and whose GPA is over 2.0 is able to receive a national stipend of 70,200 MNT per month. Before, all students of day courses at accredited universities and institutes used to receive a monthly stipend despite of their GPA since January 2012, plus additional 50%, 75% and 100% bonuses depending on their study performances and profession categories. The new regulation is effective from 2014/15 Academic Year.
- The "Second phase of registration and documentation of national cultural heritage" was approved. Mongolia has been registering and forming the general informational data its cultural heritages since 1996. As of today, 66,712 pieces of 41,950 subsequent were registered, of which, 2,028 monumental, 23,287 historical and cultural, and 6,742 intangible cultural inherited values are registered.
- The draft of bills on joining the Maritime Labour Convention of the International Labour Organization (2006) and International Convention on Salvage (London, 1989) were agreed to submit to the State Great Khural (Parliament). By signing these Conventions, Mongolia will be enabled not to take any financial obligations and working conditions for seafarers working on ship carrying the Mongolian flag would be improved, besides bonuses, fees and compensations following the salvage operations after incidents will be regulated by the flag owner or Mongolia.
- Mongolia is chairing the UN Environment Assembly in 2014-2016 and in this regard, Minister for Nature, Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, Mrs. Sanjaasuren OYUN, who is elected as the President of UN Environment Assembly, is obliged to introduce to the Government of Mongolia measures to implement and its affiliated ideas and studies.
- On June 22-23, 2014, Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Mrs. V.I. Matviyenko has conducted an official visit to Mongolia and the visit summary was agreed to submit to the National Security Council of Mongolia obliged by Foreign Minister L.Bold.
- It was agreed to import about 1,000 tons of equipment required for constructional works for "Amgalan" Power Plant under Customs and VAT free.
The Asia Foundation Releases its Fourth USAID-Funded Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption (STOPP)
Ulaanbaatar, July 7, 2014 (The Asia Foundation) — The Asia Foundation and the Sant Maral Foundation today released the fourth Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption (STOPP) as part of the Strengthening Transparency and Governance in Mongolia (STAGE) project at the Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel.
The project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to strengthen democratic governance by building a more transparent and accountable regulatory and legislative environment while promoting principles of checks and balances.
Implemented since December 2012, the STOPP survey has captured data on the experiences of the business community to find out how corruption debilitates the business environment. The fourth survey interviewed 330 senior-level managers of Mongolian businesses in Ulaanbaatar in April 2014. The STOPP surveys are envisioned to inform critical debates between state actors and the business sector to promote good governance in their exchanges which in turn will foster the business-enabling environment.
Additionally, the STOPP survey is complemented by the Foundation's other survey on perception and knowledge (SPEAK) which is designed to capture data on perceptions and knowledge of administrative practices and grand corruption. Together, the surveys provide a broad picture of the level of corruption in Mongolia.
L. Sumati, director of the SMF told that "Observations of the business environment from 2004 until now show that for the business community in Mongolia the biggest obstacle remaining is corruption. Nevertheless, the latest screening from 2012 to 2014 showed a visible progress comparing to previous years. Regretfully, some indicators are also showing reverse trends from the good start in 2012. It also overlaps with a very difficult general economic situation in the country. It is evident that urgent measures are necessary to improve the situation in the private sector."
· First survey among private business focused on corruption.
· Encourages businesses to get proactive in developing solutions to corruption.
· Takes into account the growing interconnectedness between politics and business.
· Structured questionnaire used.
· The percent of respondents who are satisfied with the general business environment has declined from 27.2 to 12.4 since 2012.
· The number of businesses that consider unofficial charges as a major obstacle has declined by half since 2012.
· Respondents from the business sector consider taxes to be the major obstacle and the tax office to be the main institution creating obstacles to doing business.
· The number of businesses that waste no resources overcoming business obstacles has increased from 9.7 to 18.5 percent since 2012 (a slight decline, however, from May 2013).
· There is a significant decline of 10 percentage points — nearly half — since October 2013 in the number of respondents experiencing or observing incidents of corruption in the previous month.
· The number of respondents with extensive knowledge of the government's efforts to combat corruption has declined by nearly half since October 2013, to 4.2 percent, while the number with no knowledge has nearly doubled, to 16.4 percent.
· The number of businesses with a written policy against corruption has increased since 2012, from 9.7 to 17 percent.
Mongolian officials learn more about preferential rules of origin with help from UNCTAD and Japan
UNCTAD, together with Japan's customs authorities, conducted a national seminar on preferential rules of origin in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 9-11 June.
July 7 (UNCTAD) The seminar brought together 20 officials involved in the certification and verification of preferential rules of origin, as well as representatives taking part in the ongoing negotiations over the Japan-Mongolia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
This EPA is the first reciprocal preferential trade agreement to be concluded in Mongolia. Officials in the country expressed their wish to enhance their understanding of preferential rules of origin. Mongolia is a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)strengthening the knowledge on the GSP rules of origin is desirable. Failure to comply with preferential rules of origin can result in commercial losses for both importers and exporters, adequate application of rules is therefore important for all stakeholders.
The seminar aims to address the concerns of the Mongolian officials, build their capacity, and provide an opportunity to discuss with participants a wide range of issues, including the concept and management of preferential rules of origin, organizational matters with respect to customs management, and the implications of origin rules on development.
Various sessions of the seminar were delivered by the Customs General Administration of Mongolia (CGA), the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), and representatives of UNCTAD and Japan Customs, addressing substantive and procedural aspects of preferential rules of origin used for the existing EPAs with Japan and the GSP. The seminar devoted substantial time to examples and exercises in determining origins and managing customs operations. Participants enthusiastically engaged in the seminar.
Officials from the CGA and the MNCCI, as well as those from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture of Mongolia, participated in the seminar.
The seminar was jointly organized by UNCTAD and Japan Customs in cooperation with the CGA and the MNCC under UNCTAD's trust fund project "Assistance to countries of the Asian region on MFN and preferential tariff negotiations and GSP utilization". The Government of Japan financed the project.
UK's Gradon Architecture invited to design Mongolian landmark
July 7 (Bdaily) A North East architecture practice has been invited to put forward design plans for a landmark building in UIan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia.
With a growing reputation for delivering sustainable architecture in the old Soviet-state, Gateshead-based practice, Gradon Architecture, has worked with fellow Mongolian architects to design a new ministerial building for a prime site near to the Mongolian Parliament.
The design is part of a government competition to build an innovative new ministry building, with ecological features, that will accommodate hundreds of politicians and civil servants.
According to the World Health Organization, Ulan Bator is the second most polluted city in the world.
The use of wood or coal-burning stoves for cooking and heating in the traditional 'ger' districts is a major cause of the pollution and the government is trying take action to change behaviour and clean up the air.
Encouraging the construction of energy-efficient homes and buildings is part of the government's approach to tackling pollution and the ministry competition seeks to inspire the nation through an architectural design with green features at its heart.
Tanja Smith, associate architectural technologist at Gradon Architecture, said: "We wanted to create an excellent working space for ministers and civil servants and to make a statement about how future construction projects could be embraced.
"We have sought to show the strength of the Mongolian nation and its people through design, as well as providing functionality and practical eco-features to create an energy-efficient building.
"Ulan Bator is a growing city with a big pollution problem and it's important that the winning design inspires further environmental awareness across the country. It is a step into environmental design for a country that is growing up fast."
Gradon Architecture's design includes a host of environmental features including energy-efficient heating, a water recycling system and excellent levels of insulation.
It also includes a roof top garden and glare shields on windows, as well as cultural references such as the incorporation of the symbol 'Ulzi Khee' (meaning 'happiness and eternity').
The winning building will be constructed on a disused site directly to the west of the parliament and the capital's main Sukhbaatar Square.
Tanja Smith added: "Architecture plays a vital part in urban planning and the new building will be at the heart of the city. We have proposed a building that is symbolic and embraces both contemporary design and Mongolian tradition and heritage.
"We have looked at Mongolia's history and culture and based our design on the curves of a horse as the animal is a major symbol of Mongolian culture going back through time to Genghis Khan and beyond. We think it is a building combining function, efficiency and important cultural references."
Gradon Architecture is growing an international reputation. With support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), within the last two years the practice has increased its international business from zero to 30 per cent of the company's total turnover.
As well as delivering projects in Kazakhstan, Gradon is making great strides in exporting its architectural services to Mongolia. Earlier this year, the practice submitted design proposals for 50 energy-efficient homes in the Nukht Valley of Ulan Bator which incorporate a number of sustainable features to help protect residents against deadly minus 30 temperatures.
Gradon has also recently put forward design proposals for an 18-storey hotel, apartment and shopping plaza in the city of Darkhan.
In May 2014, Gradon won the North East Constructing Excellence Award in the SME of the Year category.
German Foreign Minister Visits Mongolia After 18 Years
July 7 (infomongolia.com) On July 06-07, 2014, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier is paying an official visit to Mongolia upon the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. Luvsanvandan BOLD within the framework of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states.
On Sunday, July 06, Federal Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and accompanying delegation were welcomed at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport by authorities headed by Deputy Foreign Minister of Mongolia D.Gankhuyag. Afterwards, the Foreign Ministries of Mongolia and Federal Republic of Germany chaired by two Ministers held a bilateral talk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar.
During the official talks, Mongolia expressed its interest to boost bilateral relations and cooperation with Germany, particularly, in the fields of mining, mineral resources, trade and economy, and introduce European standards in the sectors of transport, infrastructure, construction and education through German quality into Mongolia. Moreover, Mongolian side also expressed its satisfaction to participate as a partner country in ITB-2015 international tourism fair to be hosted in Berlin in 2015.
Following the official talks, the two Foreign Ministers made a briefing for the media and Minister L.Bold noted that Mongolia-Germany relations and cooperation are increasingly developing in all spheres, namely in politics, defense, trade and economy, culture, education and science in compliance with the mutual interest and international relations principles and expressed a confidence that the present visit of Mr. Steinmeier would make a vital contribution to further bilateral relations and cooperation while enriching the history of traditional friendly ties between the two nations.
In his statement, the Federal Minister F.W.Steinmeier confirmed that the Government of Germany has a great determination to deepen relations and cooperation with Mongolia, especially in the economic spheres and noted the two countries are succeeding in developing intensively bilateral ties and collaboration in all directions, particularly, in the areas of culture, science and archeology. Germany is thankful to Mongolia for sending its contingents to Afghanistan who serve together with German peacekeepers. Furthermore, Mr. Steinmeier noted that the sides agreed on fostering bilateral relations and cooperation in the fields of economy, mineral resources, environmental protection, nature friendly technologies, and renewable energy.
Afterwards, a mini-Naadam was organized to distinguished guests from Germany at Chinggisiin Khuree Tourism Complex, about 20 km from UB, where Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel and other officials were present.
The official visit of the Federal Minister F.W.Steinmeier to Mongolia is being conducted at the level of Foreign Minister of Germany after 18 years.
On Monday, July 07, Minister F.W.Steinmeier will pay courtesy calls on the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag and hold a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Mongolian part of the Mongolian-German intergovernmental commission, Mr. D.Terbishdagva during which a round table is expected on economic cooperation issues.
Foreign Minister of Germany begins visit – Montsame, July 6
Germany and Mongolia: 40 years of close partnership
July 6 (German Foreign Office) The Federal Republic of Germany and Mongolia established diplomatic relations 40 years ago. To mark the anniversary, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier set off for a two-day visit to Mongolia on Saturday evening (5 July).
On arriving in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator on Sunday morning (6 July), Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier received a warm welcome: a girl in traditional Mongolian costume presented him with a blue scarf and a bowl of Mongolian dried quark.
Immediately afterwards the German Foreign Minister travelled into the centre of Ulan Bator for his first meeting, with his counterpart Luvsanvandan Bold at the Mongolian Foreign Ministry.
In a joint press conference with Bold, Steinmeier stressed the progress Mongolia has made in recent years:
"We visitors from Germany certainly come with great respect for and appreciation of the transformation Mongolia has undergone in the past few years. We are impressed by the strength of civil society and by the patience and resolve shown by those in positions of political responsibility as the country modernises."
Steinmeier told his Mongolian colleague: "We are pleased to be among Mongolia's close partners." In shaping political, economic and cultural relations, the Minister continued, Germany and Mongolia were linked by their shared values. The two countries, he added, were linked in friendship despite being geographically "distant neighbours".
40 years of diplomatic relations
In the 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Steinmeier said, Germany and Mongolia had made advances in virtually every field, from the development of their raw materials partnership to the establishment of the German-Mongolian University, which is due to open by the end of the year. Steinmeier said he was also gratified by the "flourishing cooperation in the cultural sphere". The cooperation on archaeological investigations in the old Mongolian capital Karakorum was just one example, he said.
All-round deepening of German-Mongolian relations
During his talks in Mongolia, Steinmeier aims among other things to deepen economic relations between Germany and Mongolia. One aspect of this is the expansion of the raw materials partnership agreed with Mongolia a few years ago. Another is the strengthening of cultural, academic and scientific relations between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier is being accompanied on his visit to Mongolia by a top-level business and cultural delegation which includes representatives of German companies and cultural institutions as well as the President of the German Archaeological Institute.
Further talks with the President and Prime Minister
During his stay in Mongolia, the German Foreign Minister will also meet Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag and President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
Steinmeier's trip has been organised to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Federal Republic of Germany. It is his first visit to Mongolia and the first visit by a German Foreign Minister since 1996.
Czech Lower House Deputy Speaker Arrives in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, July 6 (MONTSAME) A delegation led by Mr Petr Gazdik, a deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) of the Czech parliament, arrived Sunday in Mongolia to pay an official visit.
On the "Chinggis Khaan" international airport, the delegation was welcomed by J.Batsuuri MP, a head of the Mongolia-Czech inter-parliamentary groups. Mr Batsuuri wished the delegation to have great time here and then exchanged views with them on woks to be done in frames of the visit.
Within the visit, the delegation will be received by Z.Enkhbold, the Chairman of the State Great Khural. They will also visit the "Khustain Nuruu" natural park in Tov aimag, get au fait with implementation of a project on repairing facilities that provide Ulaanbaatar with water resources.
The guests also will leg a thermal power station in Erdenet city and national vocational training center to see a project on agricultural training and a scientific and training institute of plants and land farming in Darkhan city.
Speaker meets Inner Mongolian delegation led by Party Secretary
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) Parliament Speaker Z.Enkhbold met Monday with a delegation led by Mr Wang Jun, a chairman of the Standing committee of the People's Congress and Party Secretary of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China.
Visiting "the neighbor to strengthen the cooperation", Mr Wang expressed a confidence in enhancing collaboration between the Mongolian parliament and the People's Congress of Chinese Inner Mongolia.
After highlighting the good neighbor relations between neighboring provinces of the two countries, Mr Enkhbold spoke about successful implementation of a mine-mouth coal liquefaction project, which has a great importance in reducing the air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. He noted that the Chinese Inner Mongolia has vast experiences in this sector, which, he hopes, will be generously shared with Mongolia.
Mr Enkhbold also mentioned that the transport industry has become one of leading cooperation fields between Mongolia and China, and hoped that ongoing reconstruction efforts in Zamyn-Uud port will bring a significant impetus to the commercial and economic relationship between the two countries.
Recalling talks about establishment of a bicycle assembly factory in Sukhbaatar province in cooperation with Xilingol League of the Inner Mongolia, he promised a support from the Mongolian parliament to this project.
In response, Mr Wang noted the profoundly developing relationship between the peoples of the two countries in addition to the commercial and economic ties, and said there is a great opportunity to further enhance the relations and cooperation. He also expressed a readiness to collaborate in the coal liquefaction and other projects.
Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia Arrives in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, July 6 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by Mr Wang Jun, a chairman of the Standing committee of the People's Congress and Party Secretary of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China, arrived Sunday in Mongolia.
The delegation was welcomed by Ms D.Arvin MP, a member of the Mongolia-China inter-parliamentary group, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to Mongolia, also by Ts.Narantungalag, a head of the External Relations Section of the Parliamentary Office of Mongolia. Ms Arvin wished the guests a nice time here and discussed with them the visit's works.
The delegation will be received by Z.Enkhbold, the Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament); by N.Altankhuyag, the Prime Minister; also by R.Gonchigdorj, a Vice Speaker, and by D.Terbishdagva, the Deputy Premier and head of the Mongolia-China intergovernmental commission.
Head of Social, Education Standing Committee meets delegation of Chinese Taipei academics
Ulaanbaatar, July 6 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science D.Battsogt Friday received Cheng Ming, a director of the National Development Institute (NDI) at the National Taiwan University (NTU); Shien Ming Yang, director of the University of Law at the NTU; and the university's teachers and students.
The NDI director Mr Cheng thanked the Standing committee head for the audience and said they visit Mongolia for the first time. Mongolia and Chinese Taipei entered into democratic system almost at the same time, and Cheng hopes his visit would contribute to the development of the ties and cooperation between Mongolia and the Chinese Taipei.
Mr Battsogt emphasized that these ties have been boosting and noted that the sides can cooperate in the agricultural and land farming sectors. Then he spoke about a structure of the State Great Khural (parliament) and answered to the guests' questions.
The delegation visited Mongolia with aims to fortify the collaboration with the Mongolian State University.
South Korea Defense Delegation on Visit to Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by Mr Choi Dung-chol, a chair of the Mobilization Department at South Korea's Ministry of Defense, is visiting Mongolia in accordance with an exchange programme.
The annual exchange programme aims to strengthen the traditional continuation of the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries in the defense sphere.
The State Secretary of the Defense Ministry Major-General Z.Boldbaatar has received the S.Korean delegation to discuss several issues.
The delegation with five servicemen will leg historical sites in Ulaanbaatar, also the Orkhon Falls, Ogii Lake, the "Tovkhon" and "Erdenezuu" monasteries, the "Kharkhorin" historical museum, the Statues of Great Mongol Empire and other sites. They will also visit a herder family to get familiarized with a Mongolian traditional lifestyle, will ride horses and camel and enjoy fishing.
The delegates said they are happy to be here, "and this coincides with the Naadam festival".
The visit will continue until July 11.
Mongolia and Serbia Lift Mutual Visa Requirements from July 17
July 7 (infomongolia.com) The Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia reports that nationals of Mongolia and the Republic of Serbia will be visiting mutual countries visa-free and also not required to be issued a transit visa from July 17, 2014.
The Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visas for citizens of Mongolia and the Republic of Serbia was approved during the Cabinet meeting of the Government of Mongolia held on December 03, 2013.
The first negotiation was agreed and signed between Mongolia and Serbia during the Intergovernmental Agreement held in Belgrade on November 07, 2013.
According to the Intergovernmental Agreement, citizens of the Republic of Serbia and Mongolia are allowed to visit reciprocal territories under visa-free terms up to 90 days in any 180 day-period and the regulation is effective from Thursday, July 17, 2014.
Mongolia and the Republic of Serbia (former Yugoslavia) have established the diplomatic relations on November 20, 1956 and Ms. Tugsjargal GANDI serves as an incumbent non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Serbia.
From decline to recovery: post-primary education in Mongolia
Jakob Engel and Annalisa Prizzon with Gerelmaa Amgaabazar
July 2014 (Development Progress) Since the mid-1990s, Mongolia has recovered from the most severe drop in post-primary education enrolment seen in any Central Asian transition economy, now achieving enrolment rates that rival its neighbours and even those of some OECD countries. Since 1994, school life expectancy has nearly doubled, with new starters in 2010 expected to complete more than 14 years of education. In addition, significant gains in equity have been made, with access gaps between urban and rural, rich and poor, and girls and boys all having narrowed since the transition period.
This case study explores how Mongolia rebuilt its education system, focusing particularly on the substantial progress in extending higher levels of schooling. Four key factors are seen to have driven improvements in post-primary education: the high societal value placed on education and qualifications; major investment by the Government of Mongolia in education; governance reforms in the sector; and, finally, external support from development partners.
Challenges of course remain. The principal one is that progress on education quality has failed to match the progress made on enrolment – a major stumbling block for students making the transition from school to work. Even so, Mongolia's progress on extending secondary and tertiary education can provide important lessons to other countries facing similar pressures of economic shock, demographic transition and rural-to-urban migration.
· Download Report (2.18 MB)
· Download Summary (5 MB)
July 7 (UNESCO – APCEIU) APCEIU has completed a progress briefing session for Mongolian teachers who had been invited to Korea as participants of the 2014 Korea-Mongolia Teacher Exchange Programme, and has visited the Korean host schools to which these Mongolian teachers were dispatched. The Korea-Mongolian Teacher Exchange, which started last April, will end on the 18th of this month after the final briefing session.
The Korean Ministry of Education and APCEIU have visited Incheon Yangchon Middle School (Incheon), Seoul Samjeon Elementary School (Seoul), Wonmi High School (Gyoenggi), Chadong Elementary School (Chungnam), Hwangji Elementary School (Gangwon), and Baengnok Elementary School (Jeju) during last June to monitor the Mongolian teachers' educational activities, work, and living environments, focusing primarily on the new Korean host schools of 2014.
Upon this visit, Dong-Ik KIM, vice principal of Hwangji Elementary School, stated, "The Korea-Mongolia Teacher Exchange Programme, which was initiated for the purpose of promoting students' sensibilities of international understanding and understanding of global citizenship education, is achieving more than we had expected." Also, Mongolian teacher Baatariav GEREL, who was dispatched and now is working in Chadong Elementary School, said, "I taught not only in Chadong Elementary School but also in the schools nearby, including Seosan Elementary School. And seeing how students have shown such a good response, I found the experience to be very rewarding."
Meanwhile, the Mongolian teachers' mid-term review was held at the APCEIU on the 2nd of June, with the Mongolian Ministry of Education and Science and Korean Ministry of Education as well as teachers from the Korean host schools, APCEIU, and others in attendance. Following this, from the 2nd to 4th of June, Mongolian teachers participated in an Education for International Understanding lesson plan development workshop, a Korean cultural experience activities.
Mongolia ends Chinggis Khaan Judo Grand Prix on top with three gold
July 7 (news.mn) The International Judo Federation (IJF) Judo Grand Prix opened in Ulaanbaatar on July 4th and wrapped up on July 6th.
The three-day competitions brought together 284 judo practitioners, 165 men and 119 women, from 27 countries, including Russian Olympic champion Tagir Khaybulaev, London 2012 bronze medallist Dimitri Peters of Germany, Brazil's Rafael Buzacarini, European champion and world number three Beslan Mudranov of Russia as well as Mongolia's first female judo world champion Munkhbat Urantsetseg.
The athletes vied for world ranking points ahead of the World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in August.
With a prize fund of 100 thousand USD, the Mongolian tournament was attended by competitors from 27 countries including Japan, China, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Austria, Portugal, Hungary, Korea, Switzerland, Iran, Turkey, Poland, Taiwan, United States, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Mozambique, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia. A stunning 282 (165 male, 117 female) judokas competed for medals during the Grand Prix.
Mongolian female wrestler, Ts.Naranjargal, took gold in the -70 kg and labor hero, honored athlete Kh.Tsagaanbaatar took silver in the men's -73 kg.
On Saturday, Ghaseminejad, Iranian judoka, defeated 23-year-old Alexander Wieczerzak of Germany to secure the sole medal for Iran at the tournament in the men's under 81 kilogram division.
In the men's under 81kg final encounter, Japan's Keita Nagashima secured his nation's gold medal in the Grand Prix with a victory against South Korean judoka Wang Ki-chun.
From the 27 participating countries 14 countries took home no medals. Mongolia secured three gold, two silver and four bronze medals, leading to the Japanese (2 +1 +4) and China (2 +0 +1). Georgia, Canada, and Korea also won gold and four silver medals.
Mongolia National Team Heads to Guam for 2015 East Asian Football Cup Qualifiers
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 /MONTSAME/ To compete at the preliminary round one, our national football team is planning to head for Guam in near time.
In Guam, the team will have matches with host Guam, Macau and Northern Mariana islands in the first of two preliminary rounds of the 2015 East Asian Football Federation Cup.
The first match of Mongolia will be against Northern Mariana Islands on July 21, followed by matches against Guam and Macau on July 24 and 27, respectively.
The winner of the preliminary round one will compete against Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and North Korea in the preliminary round two on November 11-18. Similarly, the winner of this round will be included in the final competition with host China, Japan and South Korea.
The final competition is expected in China in July or August of 2015.
What Plant Fossils Can Tell Us About Life on Earth
Gregory M. Mueller, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Negaunee Foundation Vice President of Science, Chicago Botanic Garden
Fresh off a particularly harsh winter in the Midwest, we at the Chicago Botanic Garden are excitedly watching the flowers in our 30 gardens and natural habitat areas as they continue to bloom. The grounds at the Garden are so beautiful in the spring and summer, it's hard to imagine there was once a time when flowering plants did not exist.
Dr. Patrick Herendeen, Director of Plant Science and Conservation and a senior scientist at the Garden, is trying to find out exactly when flowering plants came into existence and how they've evolved over time. Dr. Herendeen is working alongside a team of researchers from Yale University, Chicago's Field Museum, Niigata University and the Mongolian Academy of Science to study 120-150 million year-old fossilized plants in Mongolia from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Through their work they hope to better illuminate the world inhabited by dinosaurs from this era, which has fascinated the American public since the dinosaur discoveries of Roy Chapman Andrews in the 1920s.
Mongolia is a large, sprawling country in Central Asia with most of its population living in one large city, Ulan Bator. The remainder of the country is rural with low population density on its sparse terrain of steppes with mountains and forests to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Although a number of the plant fossils we study can be – and have been – studied from other localities around the world, the nominal human population coupled with the dry climate has kept fossil specimens undisturbed and particularly well-preserved in Mongolia. Therefore the condition of plant fossils collected by Dr. Herendeen's team of scientists on expeditions in 2011, 2012 and 2013 will likely yield better and clearer insights than previously studied specimens.
Flowering plants were just beginning to evolve at the start of the Cretaceous period and were consumed by herbivorous dinosaurs (think Triceratops) who likely assisted in dispersing the plants by spreading seeds through their excrement and other means. By the end of the Cretaceous, flowering plants were – and continue to be – the dominant group of plants in most ecosystems, except for boreal and alpine forests dominated by conifers. Interestingly, during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, there were several additional groups of seed plants that went extinct by the end of the Cretaceous. In addition to looking for early flowering plants, we are also documenting these extinct seed plant lineages.
Today, flowering plants form one of only five groups of seed plants living today. Documenting the extinct groups of seed plants is an especially valuable contribution of this research as a complete understanding of the evolutionary history of seed plants is impossible without study of the extinct plants.
Anchoring the bottom of every food chain, you could argue that all life on Earth depends on plants. What we learn from studying their fossils can be a beacon of knowledge on how the planet's climate has changed over time and yield insights about the future of life on our planet.
Following the expeditions in Mongolia, the team is meticulously examining the collection of fossils in the lab to find clues about how plants have evolved and adapted over time. This is the primary "discovery phase," as samples are prepared and fossils are recognized, separated from debris, and analyzed. Although analyses are ongoing, it is likely the team will discover completely new, never previously described fossil plants that will add new, significant insights to the bank of knowledge on seed plant diversity in both the past and present.
Stay tuned for more fascinating discoveries as this research progresses!
Room #5, Coffice Hub, 5th Floor, Time Center
21 Baga Toiruu Street, Sukhbaatar District 8
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 15160
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.