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Thursday, October 2, 2014

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

Mongolia Plans JV With Centerra to Kickstart Gatsuurt Gold Mine

By Michael Kohn

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's government will submit a proposal to parliament to acquire 20% of the Gatsuurt gold mine owned by Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc., according to government website.

* Proposal includes establishing a JV company, 20% owned by a government-controlled firm and 80% by Centerra: website

* NOTE: Development of Gatsuurt stalled after 2009 Long Name Law prohibited mining in protected areas

* Centerra has invested $108m in Gatsuurt gold project to date, says Centerra Gold Mongolia LLC President John Kazakoff

* Total investment in Gatsuurt expected to reach $300m: Kazakoff

* Parliament vote will include measure to make Gatsuurt a strategic deposit and exempt mine from Long Name Law: Kazakoff

* Debt incurred for investment will be interest free and government to receive 2/3 of revenue from project including taxes and royalties: Kazakoff

* Gatsuurt mine life expected at 10 years, contains 1.2m oz of gold: Kazakoff

* Revenue to Mongolia expected to reach 2.2tr tugrik ($654m): Kazakoff

(BFW)

 

XAM closed -12% to A$0.11 Wednesday, +175% in last 3 months

Xanadu Mines: KHARMAGTAI EXPLORATION UPDATE

HIGHLIGHTS

-       Drilling at East Altan Tolgoi intersects further high-grade tourmaline breccia hosted Cu-Au mineralisation confirming the continuity of the mineralisation

-       KHDDH355 has intersected 342m grading 0.41% Cu & 0.45g/t Au (0.69% CuEq) from 216m including 108m grading 0.65% Cu & 0.76g/t Au (1.13% CuEq) from 350m

-       KHDDH356 has intersected visible copper sulphides from 28.1m to 114.0m and from 223m to the current hole depth of 523 metres

Xanadu's exploration plan aims to prove up a resource estimate and identify new mineralisation outside of the Exploration Target

-       Drilling has been suspended while two diamond drill rigs are winterised with exploration drilling expected to resume by mid-October

DISCUSSION:

October 1 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to provide an update of the first phase of exploration drilling at its flagship Kharmagtai copper-gold project. The drill hole details are set out in Table 1 and assay results in Table 2. A plan and long section are included in Figures 1 and 2 with photographs of representative core samples from KHDDH355 presented in Figures 3 to 5.

The recent drilling at Kharmagtai has demonstrated the economic potential and exploration upside of the Kharmagtai copper-gold project. Most significantly the mineralised envelope at Altan Tolgoi has increased materially with the discovery of a mineralised tourmaline breccia zone.

Additional drilling at the Tsagaan Sudal and Zesen Uul prospects continues to delineate mineralised zones of good grades. These prospects are located within a 700m radius of each other, start from surface and sit within a broad zone of lower grade mineralisation.

The project continues to demonstrate its highly prospective and largely untested exploration potential. All the defined prospects remain open, especially the tourmaline breccia mineralization to the east of Altan Tolgoi which may be part of a much larger system extending for several kilometres in an E-W direction. There is also excellent potential for the discovery of new porphyry centres which would add significant scale to the project that is not captured in the current JORC Exploration Target.

Link to release

Related:

Xanadu Mines Annual Financial Report 2014, September 30

 

Guildford Coal: Termination of Management Agreement with TheChairment1 for Springsure Shares

October 1 -- Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford or the Company) (ASX: GUF) is pleased to announce that it has negotiated the termination of the C1 Management Agreement on the basis of the Company transferring 15% of its shareholding in Springsure Mining Pty Ltd. The transaction is subject to shareholder approval at the forthcoming AGM.

Guildford entered into a management agreement with TheChairmen1 Pty Ltd (C1) dated 26 May 2010 (Management Agreement), wherein C1 agreed to provide certain management services to Guildford for a fee of $2,500,000 per annum (excluding GST). The Management Agreement expires in June 2015 and fees totalling approximately $2 million are payable by Guildford to C1 over the remaining period of the Management Agreement.

However, subject to shareholder approval at the AGM, the Board and C1 have agreed to forthwith terminate the Management Agreement, on the basis of the Company transferring 15% of its shareholding in Springsure Mining Pty Ltd to C1, which will negate the need to make any further payments under the Management Agreement. This will enable the Company to commit further funds to the planned Baruun Noyon Uul mine operations in Mongolia. Should the shareholder approval not be obtained at the AGM, the Company will need to immediately recompense C1 for the suspended monthly payments.  

The Company also confirms that the following unquoted securities to acquire one fully paid ordinary share in the Company for each warrant have expired, unexercised.

Number

Class

Exercise Price

Expiry Date

20,000,000

Warrants

$0.50

14 August 2014

Link to release

Related:

Guildford Coal Annual Report 2014, October 1

 

Winsway Signs Non-Binding MOU to Sell 42.7% of 60% Stake in Grande Cache Coal

September 30, Winsway Entreprises Holdings Ltd. (HKEx:1733) --

The board (the "Board") of directors (the "Directors") of the Company announces that, on 30 September 2014 (after trading hours), the Company and Up Energy Development Group Limited ("Up Energy"), a company listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, entered into the non-legally binding memorandum of understanding (the "MOU") pursuant to which the Company, through 0925165 B.C. Ltd (the "Seller"), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, intends to sell and Up Energy, through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Up Energy (the "Buyer"), intends to purchase 42.74% of the Seller's interest in the total issued share capital (the "Sale Shares") of Grande Cache Coal Corporation ("GCC") and a 42.74% partnership interest (the "Sale Partnership Interest", together with the Sale Shares, the "Sale Interests") in Grande Cache Coal LP ("GCC LP", together with GCC, the "Targets" and each a "Target") (the "Potential Transaction"), subject to agreeing and finalising the terms of the Definitive SPA. No payment is required to be made upon the signing of the MOU.

Link to release

Related:

PLEDGE OF SHARES BY CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDER – Winsway, September 30

 

NUR: FURTHER DELAY IN DESPATCH OF CIRCULAR IN RELATION TO ACQUISITION OF 29.95% SOUTHGOBI RESOURCES

September 30 -- Reference is made to (i) the announcement made by National United Resources Holdings Limited (the "Company") on 30 July 2014 in relation to a share purchase agreement entered into between the Company and Turquoise Hill Resources Limited ("Turquoise Hill Resources") pursuant to which Turquoise Hill Resources agreed to sell, and the Company agreed to purchase, 29.95% of the common shares of SouthGobi Resources Limited (the "Acquisition"); and (ii) the announcement made by the Company on 1 September 2014 in relation to the delay in despatch of the circular relating to the Acquisition (the "Circular") from a date falling on or before 29 August 2014 to a date falling on or before 30 September 2014.

The board of directors of the Company (the "Board") notes that the Company requires additional time to prepare and finalise the Circular. Accordingly, the expected date of despatch of the Circular has been postponed to a date falling on or before 31 October 2014.

Link to release

 

Newera Resources: Annual Report 2014

October 1, Newera Resources Ltd. (ASX:NRU) --

Link to report

 

Voyager Resources: Annual Report 2014

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

REVIEW OF OPERATIONS

Likely Developments and Expected Results of Operations

Likely developments in the operations of the Group are set out in the below review of operations on pages 3 to 4 of this annual report. Disclosure of any further information has not been included in this report as, in the reasonable opinion of the Directors, to do so would be likely to prejudice the business activities of the Group and is dependent upon the results of future exploration and evaluation.

Brazil

The process of transferring the property portfolio from Xstrata Do Brasil Exploração Mineral Ltda, (Glencore Xstrata) to the Group is proceeding and is expected to be concluded in the coming months. The Group is extremely pleased with the portfolio of assets it is acquiring in one of the premier global copper provinces.

The Group continues to assess a number of additional copper opportunities further supplementing its existing portfolio of Carajas copper licenses.

Mongolia

All projects and assets in Mongolia are currently being rationalized with sale and or joint venture partners being sought.

Corporate

The Group issued 30,000,000 shares to Avanco Resources Limited. In addition, the Group issued 20,000,000 shares to FFA Legal pursuant to the Strategic Alliance agreement between both parties and as a result of the transfer of the Primavera license in Brazil. This agreement was cancelled on 8 September 2014.

Mr. Joe Burke resigned from his position as CEO of the Group on 1 July 2014 and Mr. Tim Flavel resigned from his position as Director of the Group on 1 April 2014.

Link to report

Related:

Board ChangesVoyager Resources Ltd., October 1

 

Wolf Petroleum: Annual Report 2014

September 30, Wolf Petroleum Ltd. (ASX:WOF) --

Link to report

 

Parmelia Resources: Annual Report 2014

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

Significant changes in the state of affairs

On 1 October 2013, the Company announced that it had exercised the Option to acquire the Darvii Naruu Porphyry Gold Copper and Polymetallic Project in Western Mongolia. To complete the purchase, the Company issued 5,500,000 fully paid ordinary shares and a 0.5% Net Smelter Return Royalty as consideration for 100% ownership of Australian Company St Nicolas Mines Pty Ltd which owns 100% of Niquaero LLC, a Mongolian registered company which owns the permits which comprise the project. The acquisition was completed on the 19 March 2014.

On 24 October 2013, the Company announced that it had commenced a 2000 metre drill programme at the Mongolian project. Completion of the Drill programme was announced on 12 November 2013 and results of the Drill programme were announced on 28 January 2014.

Link to release

 

Origo Partners: Interim Financial Report

September 30, Origo Partners PLC (AIM:OPP) Origo Partners PLC announces its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2014 (the "Period"). 

Summary 

Chief Executive's Statement 

In line with the revised strategy announced a year ago we have made significant, sustainable reductions in operating costs, with administrative expenses falling by approximately 65 per cent. compared to the previous year. The Company's loss before tax also narrowed significantly to US$30.6 million compared to US$40.1 million in the same period of 2013. 

However, the net asset value of Origo's portfolio declined by 33 per cent. during the Period due, in large part, to depressed prices for commodities such as coal, concerns over the outlook for Chinese growth and political uncertainty in certain territories in which Origo's investments are located. 

The Board's primary aim at this time remains to monitor the portfolio and, in due course, to facilitate the realisation of assets and the distribution of capital to shareholders in an orderly fashion. We continue to engage with our investors in order to finalise a set of detailed proposals to update the Company's management structure, investment policy, asset realisation programme, and management incentive plan. Discussions are progressing and we remain committed to putting our proposals to a shareholder vote shortly. 

In line with our revised strategy, we made no new investments in the Period. However, the Company made two small follow on investments in existing investee companies, notably in Kincora Copper Limited ("Kincora"), which the Board considered to be value enhancing. Developments at Kincora continue to be positive and in June 2014 Kincora entered into an exclusivity agreement with a large-scale copper producer granting it rights to carry out due diligence with respect to a potential transaction which could take the form of a joint venture, an earn-in, a strategic alliance, an equity investment or some other transaction. 

The Company's mining portfolio includes investments in a combination of exploration and early stage production companies. These types of companies have been particularly hard hit by market conditions over the last two years. During the Period we reduced the carrying value of our investment in Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd ("Gobi Coal") by 50 per cent., reflecting the significant decline in coking coal prices and the reduced demand from China for Mongolian coal. Gobi Coal's assets have significant long-term potential, with large resources and reserves and the possibility of low-cost open cast mining. However it remains unclear as to when prices and demand for metallurgical coal will recover. 

13      Investments at fair value through profit or loss 

As at 30 June 2014 (Unaudited) (Mogi: highlighted in red what are Mongolia projects, as far as I know)

Name*

Country of incorporation

Fair Value

hierarchy level

Proportion of

ownership interest

Cost

US$'000

Fair value

US$'000

TPL GmbH*****

Germany

3

54.8%

18

19

IRCA Holdings Ltd.

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

49.1%

                    9,505

-

Shanghai Yi Rui Tech New Energy Technology Ltd

 China

                              3

49.0%

                       675

691

Resources Investment Capital Ltd.

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

38.5%

                       287

287

Roshini International Bio Energy Corporation

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

35.9%

                  17,050

-

China Rice Ltd

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

32.1%

                  13,000

14,958

R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings Pty Ltd

 Australia

                              3

24.0%

                  20,214

-

Kincora Copper Ltd*

 Canada

                              3

25.6%

                   7,187

3,975

Niutech Energy Ltd

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

21.1%

                    6,350

12,575

Moly World Ltd

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

20.0%

10,000

8,727

Unipower Battery Ltd

 Cayman Islands

                              3

16.5%

                    4,301

10,387

Fans Media Co., Ltd

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

14.3%

                    2,360

-

Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd***

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

14.0%

                  14,960

13,394

Celadon Mining Ltd

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

9.7%

                  13,069

26,461

Staur Aqua AS

 Norway

                              3

9.2%

                       719

243

Ares Resources

 Mongolia

                              3

5.0%

                       148

-

Bach Technology GmbH

 Germany

                              3

2.5%

                          60

-

Rising Technology Corporation Ltd/
Beijing Rising Information Technology Ltd **

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

1.6%

                    5,565

3,040

Kooky Panda Ltd

 Cayman Islands

                              3

1.2%

                          25

-

Six Waves Inc

 British Virgin Islands

                              3

1.1%

                       240

1,046

Marula Mines Ltd

South Africa

                              3

0.8%

                    250

700

Fram Exploration AS

 Norway

                              3

0.7%

                    1,202

1,159

HaloSource, INC.

 USA

                              1

0.3%

                       507

56

Rex International Holding

 Singapore

                              3

0.1%

                       217

370

Other quoted investments***

1

2,311

858

130,220

98,946

Link to report

 

TRQ -1.34% Wednesday to US$3.69

Massive Mongolian mine endangers nomads' water, way of life

By Rachael Bale

KHANBOGD, Mongolia, September 30 (The Center for Investigative Reporting) Ichinkhorloo Buya scooped fresh water into the camels' trough and waited for them to return. The whooshing water always beckoned the animals, with their sharp sense of hearing, home.

But this time, they were nowhere to be found. Her children raced off across the bumpy moonscape of the Gobi Desert on motorbikes in a frantic search. They eventually found the camels huddled around an old rusty well. There was no reason the camels should congregate there.

But they heard something the men didn't – an underground flow of fresh, cold water.

That sound meant something had gone awfully wrong: The precious underground water that sustains the herders' fragile existence was flowing down into the brackish aquifer controlled by a booming copper and gold mine that's rapidly changing daily life in Mongolia's Gobi Desert.

This land of nomads boasts one of the world's fastest-growing economies, thanks in part to that massive Oyu Tolgoi mine. It alone is expected to account for up to one-third of the country's gross domestic product and deliver much-needed infrastructure and good jobs.

But as the mine scales up, the operation that's now led by mining giant Rio Tinto has struggled to live up to its promises of world-class environmental standards. The mine pledged, for example, to leave herders' scarce water sources untouched.

While company officials say the problems haven't had a major impact on locals' water, herders say that since the company built the wells, the land and their own wells have gotten drier.

Brian White, a senior adviser at Oyu Tolgoi, said the company continues to strive to meet or exceed both Mongolian and international standards. 

"We have demonstrated progression toward meeting the commitments we have set," he said in an email.

The mine has put itself directly at odds with a traditional way of life that's already facing the strains of drought and climate change. Mongolia has warmed more than any other country in the last century, nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit in 70 years.

Grazing land is disappearing. Wells are drying up. Plants that survived years of drought now are withering. Herds of camels are dying. The changes have altered basic life here, sparking an exodus of traditional herders from the dry, dusty plains to the shantytowns of the capital city, Ulan Bator.

"I would say this is the beginning of a disaster," said Ravdaudorj Khayandorj, a south Gobi herder near the mine. "Not many people are left. They're all fleeing to the north."

About a quarter of the country's nearly 3 million people live at the edges of the capital in yurts they brought with them from the increasingly uninhabitable countryside. The former herders have no running water or sewage system. But they do have a view. On days when the air isn't choked with coal smoke, they watch tract housing and office space spring up amid the last generation's severe Soviet housing blocs. They count the cranes on the horizon. They hope for construction work.

Growing demand for copper

Before it was a thriving mine, Oyu Tolgoi was little more than a hill in the vast desert.

Bits of green copper glinted in exposed rock, and the herds of nearly a dozen nomadic families grazed on grass and drank from a natural spring. The families relied on the milk, meat and hair of the camel to scratch out a living.

More than a decade ago, geologists realized the mineral deposits could be worth billions. One investment firm valued them at $300 billion. But to get the metals, a mining company would need massive amounts of water.

Neighboring China's booming construction industry has fueled the demand for copper, in particular, which is used in everything from electrical wiring to plumbing and telecommunications. It's also a key component in green energy products like hybrid cars and solar panels.

Water is not easy to come by in the Gobi. With as little as 2 inches of rain a year, an ephemeral river and hand-dug wells, the nomads couldn't afford to share their water.

The mining company needed to find its own water. For that, it drilled exploration wells hundreds of meters deep.

The company had to build wells carefully to ensure the shallow water, so vital to the herders and already in short supply, would be protected. To get rights to the water it hoped to discover, the company in charge of the mine promised to uphold international environmental policies and first-rate development standards.

For example, in order to get financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the company pledged to abide by the lender's policies. One of its water standards includes demonstrating that the mine's water supply wouldn't have a negative impact on the water upon which locals depend.

In 2003, hydrogeologists made the discovery that made the mine possible – a perfect aquifer named Gunii Hooloi. It was far too deep for locals to access and too salty to be drinkable even if they could.

By 2009, Rio Tinto was about to take control of Oyu Tolgoi. Before it did, though, it needed to sign an investment agreement with the Mongolian government. Facing a $6 billion price tag to build the mine, investors wanted assurances that regulations and taxes would remain stable.

Negotiations, which had been going on for years, were just months away from concluding when word first surfaced of the leaking water in the desert. Oyu Tolgoi made no public statements on the wells. Several nomads said Oyu Tolgoi told them everything was fine. The government and Rio Tinto signed the agreement in October 2009.

Then in 2010, Oyu Tolgoi was preparing for a press event to show off its facilities. A local leader and chemical engineer named Danzanshadov Enkhsaikhan emailed the company. He threatened to bring reporters to hear the water cascading down the well shaft.

The response he got included an internal note, suggesting the company was as concerned about bad press as it was about water supplies.

In a note to staff, Samand Sanjdorj, Oyu Tolgoi's vice president, proposed plugging the wells with concrete. It wouldn't stop the cascading completely, but it would curtail the leakage significantly, he wrote.

Plus, "at least no one will hear that some water is leaking down with a noise," Sanjdorj wrote. "I can imagine that if the press media comes to the bore and hear the cascading noise we will be in very bad situation." 

Improperly built wells

An hour's drive from the small village that's the herders' central meeting place, a rusty tube sticks out of the desert's sandy dirt. Nearby, a taller rusty pipe with a concrete base keeps watch like a miniature lighthouse.

Every nomad in these parts seems to know how to find these little tubes. Nomads have masterful orientation skills. They use the trajectory of the sun and the mountains in the distance to navigate a landscape with few visible roads and no landmarks other than clumps of brittle brush every few feet.

The tubes became a famous point of interest once word spread that the wells were making noise.

On a scorching hot day in July, Enkhsaikhan knelt down next to the tube. It wasn't making any noise. But that wasn't a good sign, he said. It suggested the shallow water the herders rely on was gone.

The tube touches several aquifers at different levels as it descends hundreds of meters into the sandstone and clay.

When companies build exploration wells that touch different water sources, like those outside Oyu Tolgoi, they must be sealed with impermeable material. This ensures water from a shallower source cannot cascade into a deeper one.

The contractor didn't build those seals at Oyu Tolgoi's wells. The construction plan shows only gravel where an impermeable barrier should be.

A "technological mistake," Oyu Tolgoi's vice president called it.

At least five other wells were cascading, too, a specialist brought in by the government later confirmed. Rio Tinto blames its drilling contractor, RPS Aquaterra, saying the company constructed the wells incorrectly.

But Rio Tinto should have been able to adequately oversee the work of its contractors, said mining expert Paul Robinson of the Southwest Research and Information Center, a New Mexico-based nonprofit focused on natural resource protection.

"What they did completely defeats the purpose of what was committed to and agreed to," he said. "It is really bad performance."

Bruce Harvey, a consultant for Rio Tinto, said the water loss is minimal. He compared it to "the width of the hair on your head compared to the size of this room," during an interview in a mine classroom that would fit about 40 people in desks.

There are no public scientific studies or data that show how much water was lost.

White pointed to a company report that says the cascading does not have a "measurable impact" on the shallow aquifers upon which the herders rely.

Even so, the shallow and deep aquifers now appear to be connected, according to an independent 2013 audit. That can cause the contamination of the freshwater aquifer if the cascade reverses, a problem that's potentially as serious as water loss.

Herders like Khayandorj said that since the exploration wells went in, plants that had survived years of drought have died.

"Yes, there were two to three years of severe drought," he said, sitting in his yurt over bowls of salty milk tea. "But right after they set up those wells, families had to move away because of changes in the grass."

Two wells he once used now are dry. He told Oyu Tolgoi, which has promised to find a new water source for any herder with a dry well. The company has dug several new, deeper wells for other herders. But in his case, the efforts didn't work.

"They came. They dug with their machinery," he said. "Nothing. It's dry."

Khayandorj and his family spent the entire summer, usually a time of rest for nomads, setting up temporary camp, constantly on the move for sufficient grass and water for their herds.

The nomads have suffered other affronts during Rio Tinto's mine development. The company replaced a natural spring that was a place of worship with what looks like a man-made drainage ditch. It also dug up sacred elm trees, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Lkhamdoorov Battsengel's family, along with 10 others, used to live and graze their herds on pastureland of the Turquoise Hill, as the area is known. His family alone had 600 sheep and goats, 100 camels and dozens of horses and cows. When the mining company fenced in its land, it forced the families to relocate.

The land where Battsengel resettled couldn't sustain his herds. He is down to 100 animals in total.

He's now started a nonprofit environmental organization called Gobi Soil to influence Oyu Tolgoi's environmental policies. It has banded with bigger nonprofits to file formal complaints with the International Finance Corporation, which is considering a $1.4 billion financing package to develop the mine further.

"We still have time to turn things back," he said.

Battsengel now supports his family by collecting trash for Oyu Tolgoi.

This story was funded by a grant from the International Center for Journalists. Jargal Byambasuren contributed to this story. It was edited by Andrew Donohue and copy edited by Nikki Frick and Christine Lee.

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Local Market

MSE News for September 30: Top 20 -0.01% to 15,797.75, Turnover 5.9 Million

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Tuesday, a total of 3,738 shares of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT five million 939 thousand and 332.00.

"Remikon" /1,010 units/, "APU" /887 units/, "Teever-achlal" /632/, "State Department Store" /449 units/ and "Hermes center" /421 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT three million 275 thousand and 543), "Narkhan nekhii" (MNT 795 thousand and 500), "Tav" (MNT 482 thousand and 800), "Teever-achlal" (MNT 455 thousand and 040) and "State Department Store" (MNT255 thousand and 481).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 585 billion 243 million 789 thousand and 997. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,797.75, decreasing 1.49 units or 0.01% against the previous day.

Link to article

 

MSE News for October 1: Top 20 -0.33% to 15,745.15, Turnover 31.5 Million

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Wednesday, a total of 41 thousand and 115 shares of 25 JSCs were traded costing MNT 31 million 521 thousand and 140.00.

"Khokh gan" /13 thousand and 682 units/, "Mongol shiltgeen" /10 thousand units/, "Olloo" /5,100 units/, "E-trans logistics" /4,225 units/ and "APU" /3,103 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT 11 million 482 thousand and 100), "Mongol shiltgeen" (MNT six million and 600 thousand), "Khasu-mandal" (MNT two million and 50 thousand), "Talkh chikher" (MNT one million and 840 thousand) and "Gobi" (MNT one million and 620 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 580 billion 329 million 707 thousand and 136. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,745.15, decreasing 52.60 units or 0.33% against the previous day.

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Economy

Early morning USD rates: Khan (Non-Cash Buy 1,833 Sell 1,843), TDB (Non-Cash Buy 1,832 Sell 1,844), Golomt (Non-Cash Buy 1,835 Sell 1,843), XacBank (Non-Cash Buy 1,834 Sell 1,844), State Bank (Non-Cash Buy 1,832 Sell 1,843)

BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, October 1 Close

 

10/1

9/30

9/29

9/26

9/25

9/24

9/23

9/22

USD

1,841.35

1,840.91

1,840.54

1,839.34

1,839.04

1,839.30

1,838.97

1,838.99

EUR

2,319.27

2,335.19

2,333.07

2,344.70

2,338.80

2,365.16

2,364.82

2,364.02

CNY

299.97

299.70

299.58

300.22

299.44

299.80

299.58

299.58

GBP

2,983.08

2,994.42

2,988.30

2,998.77

2,998.65

3,013.51

3,001.75

3,004.63

RUB

46.39

46.75

46.52

47.35

47.93

47.97

47.59

47.61

September MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:

 

Link to rates

 

BoM FX auction: US$9m sold at 1841, CNY67m at 299.51, accepts $45.5m MNT, $50m USD swap offers

September 30 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 30th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of 21.2 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1838.00-1842.55 and 133.0 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 299.00-300.10 from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 9.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1841.00 and 67.0 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 299.51.

On September 30th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 45.5 million USD and USD SWAP agreement offer of 50 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.

See also:

·         FX Auction Statistics

Link to release

 

BoM issues 223 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +30.9% to 503.8 billion

September 29 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 223.0 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

BoM issues 104.2 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -10.3% to 452 billion

October 1 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 104.2 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

BoM issues 82 billion 4-week bills at 12.5%

September 29 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 4 week bills worth MNT 82 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.5 percent per annum. /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

GoM Treasury Auction: Announced 30 Billion 12-Week Bills at Average 15.633% with 35.62 Billion Bids

October 1 (BoM/MoF) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 30.0 billion MNT. Face value of 30.0 billion /out of 35.62 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 15.633%.

Link to release

 

Mortgage Loan Report, August 2014

October 1 (Bank of Mongolia) For the month of August 2014, a total amount of MNT 88.4 billion mortgage loan was issued to 1689 borrowers, with the total outstanding mortgage loan reaching MNT 2553.81 billion and the total number of borrowers reaching 60851.

Year-on-year growth rate of total mortgage loan outstanding decreased by 21.1 percentage points from the previous month, by 54.7 percentage points from the beginning of year and by 15.7 percentage points compared to the same period of the previous year.

Among the outstanding mortgage loan, 69.7 percent or MNT 1780.1 billion was issued by the "Housing Mortgage Program" (including refinanced mortgage loan with reduced interest rate of 8 percent per annum), 27.5 percent or MNT 702.4 billion was financed by commercial banks' own capital and 2.8 percent or MNT 71.3 billion was issued from other sources.

By the end of the reporting month, mortgage loan in domestic currency made up 97.9 percent of the total outstanding mortgage loan.

The share of nonperforming loan in the total outstanding mortgage loan is relatively stable.

By the end of August 2014, the share of nonperforming loan in total outstanding mortgage loan was 0.4 percent.

Mortgage loan issued in the reporting month

The amout of mortgage loan issued in the reporting month has increased by 14.3 percent from the previous month.

Majority of the mortgage loan issued in the reporting month (MNT 59.5 billion, which made up 67.3 percent) was issued by the "Housing Mortgage Program" with an interest rate of 8 percent per annum.

From the midterm of 2010, the amount of issued loan per borrower has been constantly increasing and reached MNT 52.4 million by the end of August 2014.

In the reporting month, MNT 25.0 billion mortgage loan has been repaid, which is 6.0 percent lower compared to the same period of the previous year.

Number of borrowers

In the reporting month, mortgage loan by the "Housing Mortgage Program" was issued to 1024 borrowers, mortgage loan from commercial banks' own capital was issued to 665 borrowers.

By the end of August 2014, the total number of borrowers has reached 60851.

Term and interest rate of mortgage loan

The term of mortgage loan issued in the reporting month ranges between 0.5 to 20 years and has a weighted average term of 15.6 years. The weighted average term of total outstanding mortgage loan is 14.9 years.

The weighted average interest rate of issued mortgage loan stood at 10.5 percent. The weighted average interest rate of mortgage loan issued in the reporting month by commercial banks' own capital by domestic currency was 15.8 percent, while by foreign currency was 13.3 percent per annum.

Appendix 1. Consolidated mortgage loan report of commercial banks

Year

Month

Outstanding mortgage loan (MNT million)

From which:

Weighted average term of loan issued in the reporting month (month)

Weighted average interest rate of loan issued in the reporting month (in annual basis)

Total number of borrowers

By "Housing Mortgage Program"

2008

12

217,977.50

 

100.7

19.8

16,522

2009

12

226,040.60

103.4

18.7

16,784

2010

12

333,776.60

115

16

16,700

2011

12

669,662.80

154.3

14.8

26,869

2012

12

845,204.40

155.5

15.3

29,887

2013

1

856,633.60

149.1

17

29,683

2

873,666.40

156.1

16.8

29,946

3

903,557.50

158.6

15.7

30,419

4

944,516.80

155.4

15.8

31,412

5

986,182.20

147.8

16.6

32,247

6

1,032,156.70

276,328.40

168.3

12.9

33,028

7

1,273,003.60

553,346.90

202.4

9.2

37,751

8

1,461,753.40

781,483.20

207.6

8.9

40,596

9

1,611,383.80

943,976.70

206

9.1

42,968

10

1,750,781.60

1,076,924.50

193.9

9.6

45,138

11

1,834,042.70

1,155,409.20

192.8

9.7

46,482

12

1,938,945.30

1,248,633.80

192.8

9.9

48,320

2014 

1

2,021,424.90

1,324,898.90

194.4

9.8

49,731

2

2,121,802.60

1,382,084.10

193.2

9.9

53,611

3

2,193,368.60

1,451,938.10

190.7

9.9

54,787

4

2,280,503.50

1,538,506.80

192.1

9.8

56,137

5

2,365,349.50

1,618,127.20

189.3

10

57,579

6

2,440,007.10

1,684,583.90

182.3

10.5

58,793

7

2,492,105.20

1,728,222.80

187.9

10.7

59,756

8

2,553,827.20

1,780,078.30

186.7

10.5

60,851

Link to report

 

BoM Governor submits draft resolution to parliament on 2015 state monetary policy

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) The president of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) Tuesday submitted to the Speaker of parliament a draft resolution on the state fiscal (Mogi: monetary) policy for 2015.

A stability of the macro economy is ensured when there are positive environment for the payment balance, a stable level of the inflation rate, balanced and sustainable conditions for the economic growth. The economic domestic and external situations are based on the economic absorption capability, the proper policy for accumulation and investment, the policy on keeping a stable payment balance, and the combination of budgetary and fiscal policy. Thus it necessary to focus on ensuring of the external balance, on keeping the inflation rate lower, on sustainable level, and on strengthening of the financial stability, the BoM head said.

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Politics

State Great Khural Opens Autumn Plenary Session

October 1 (infomongolia.com) The 2014 Autumn Plenary Session of the State Great Khural (Parliament) commenced at 11:40 am today on October 01st with an opening ceremony chaired by Speaker Z.Enkhbold, where 86.6% of total members of Parliament have attended.

At the opening ceremony, President Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, resident Ambassadors, representatives of international organizations as well as foreign and local guests were present.

In his opening remarks, Speaker Z.Enkhbold underlined the importance of agreements established during recent visits of the heads of state of neighboring countries. Also, mentioned about many aspects in socio-economic sectors are awaited to consider in this session. For instances, the government budget deficit reached 605.8 billion MNT, poor livelihood situation and the bonds' maturity date is approaching, therefore, discussion of the state budget for 2015 is a priority issue.

Moreover, one of the issues being in the center of public attention is a restructuring in the Prime Minister's Cabinet. In this circumstance, Speaker pledged to revise the issue despite of agenda sequences, if the Cabinet submits.

Following the opening ceremony, Party Groups at the Parliament started to hold separate meetings.

Link to article

 

Four ministers expected to leave cabinet

September 30 (news.mn) The list of scheduled issues to be discussed at the autumn session of Parliament, beginning on October 1st, includes laws significant to the nation's economy and development.  The issue of restructuring the government is not included in the official scheduled list of agenda items, but has apparently already been raised.

Since Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag's announcement of the decision to restructure the cabinet, there has been a wide range of political speculation.

The restructuring of the cabinet in the second term of the elected government will be conducted in the scope of the President's "From Big State to Smart State" initiative.

The new cabinet is expected to be restructured with 11 ministries, and Minister for Economic Development N.Batbayar, Minister for Roads and Transportation A.Gansukh, Minister for Mining D.Gankhuyag, and Minister for Health N.Udval are expected to leave the cabinet.

Link to article

 

Mongolia Has To Change Its Railroads To Account For An 85 Millimeter Difference In Track Spacing

By STEFANO POZZEBON

October 1 (Business Insider) The planned extension of a trans-border railway in Mongolia will make it faster and cheaper to ship coal to China. 

Currently, most coal from Mongolian mines is transported to the Chinese border by trucks on paved roads. The railroad would be a less costly shipping method, but until now, a tiny difference in the spacing of rails has made this a less viable option. 

Mongolia and China use two different rail gauges. Mongolia's 1,520 millimeter broad gauge dates back the Soviet-era. China uses the slightly smaller 1,435 millimeter standard gauge, 85 millimeters narrower than the rail gauge used in Mongolia.

Mongolia has long resisted moving to the standard smaller gauge — which would remove the time-intensive process of changing wheels — partly as an effort to keep its "powerful neighbor at arm's length amid fears about China's political and economic hegemony in the region," Reuters noted. 

Last year, for example, Mongolian officials said a new railroad tracks stretching from the country's biggest coal field, Tavan Tolgoi, to the Chinese border would be built using Russia's wider broad gauge instead of China's standard gauge, even though using the broad gauge would increase transport costs. 

Using the broad gauge rail will cost $3 more per ton of coal than the standard gauge, but "the overall cost of exporting coal by rail will [still] be 60 percent, or $14 per ton, lower than the current method of exporting by truck," Bloomberg writes. 

In an interview with Bloomberg, Dale Choi, founder of Ulaanbaatar-based Independent Mongolian Metals and Mining Research, suggested that Mongolia's decision to stick with the broad gauge was related to issues of national security.

"The business community would have preferred the standard gauge," Choi told Bloomberg last May. "I guess the geo-political consideration is much more important to authorities."

Mongolia was under Chinese rule from 1691 to 1911 and the two countries share a large border. Although the BBC notes that both nations have "managed to overcome historical tensions" while strengthening their business relationship, fears about China's economic dominance in the region do not seem to have completely dissipated. 

In April, it was announced that a separate railway linking Mongolia to China would be built using China's smaller rail gauge, according to Reuters.  

Khaltmaa Battulga, chairman of the Mongolian Democratic Union, an opposition party (Mogi: mmm, nope), publicly denounced the project. According to Business News Europe, Battulga said on a TV show in June that, "Tanks can easily penetrate into Mongolia in no time if we build a railway with a [narrower] gauge track, the same used in China." 

Business News Europe explains:

This minor detail represents a huge technical barrier between the two countries, since each train crossing the border is forced to make long stops to change the wheels. But while Mongolia's growing army of mining companies consider it a logistics bottleneck, Mongolians themselves see it as a matter of national sovereignty – a necessary shield protecting their sparsely populated homeland and its vast mineral resources from the ever-present "Chinese threat."

According to the report, Mongolian president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj was critical of Battulga's comments, as it jeopardized Mongolia's efforts to improve its economic partnership with China.  

Meanwhile, the Mongolian Ministry of Roads and Transportation and JSC Russian Railways agreed in September to extend the main trans-Mongolian railway to increase trade between Russia and China.

Here's a map of the proposed updated rail system:

(The Mongolian Rail system with planned upgrades and extensions. The extension to Russia in the north is highlighted in blue in blue and the rail to China in the south is in yellow.)

Link to article

 

Parliament of Mongolia Renovated with Latest Equipment with $3.5 Million KOICA Grant Aid

September 30 (infomongolia.com) The Secretariat Office of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Government of the Republic of Korea have successfully accomplished the Project for the Development of e-Parliament System.

The E-Parliament project was implemented under grant aid provided by the Government of Korea and the e-Parliament System launching ceremony was held at the Government House on September 29, 2014.

At the ceremony, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament L.Tsog, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Mongolia Lee Tae-ro, M P D.Erdenebat, Chairman of the Secretariat of the Parliament B.Boldbaatar, KOICA Resident Representative to Mongolia Choi Heung-yul, President of KTNET (Korea Trade Network) Seo Kwang-hyun and other officials were present.

In the scope of the project, the Government of Korea provided a non-refundable aid of 3.5 million USD by setting up latest technical and technological equipment and system, renewing all meeting halls' video and audio devices as well as installing new soft programs.

The 2014 Spring Plenary Session of the State Great Khural (Parliament) was closed on July 01st and after break, the Autumn Session of the Parliament is to start on October 01, 2014.

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Business

Newly Established Minerals Policy Council to Have 33 Members

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) Established by the government Council for Minerals Policy decided on Tuesday to have 33 members on its first meeting.

This freelance body will implement state policies on minerals, support/make recommendations for the realization in accordance with the new amendments to the law on minerals, get involved in a process of developing the sector's short-, medium- and long-term programs on policy implementation, regulations enforcement, improvement of the legal environment, and will cooperate with others in developing the public relations plans and provide the public with reliable information. 

Link to article

 

Asgat Silver Deposit to Be Exploited Jointly by Russian, Mongolian Governments

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) Executive director of "Erdenes Mongol" state-owned company O.Sainbuyan said Wednesday that an entity will be created to exploit the Asgat silver deposit, one of our strategic mineral deposits.

The memo on the entity is to be signed by the "Erdenes Mongol" and the Russian "RosTec" state corporation, he added.

The licenses of the Asgat deposit are owned by a "MongolRosTsvetmet" joint venture. It is considered rather convenient approach of exploiting the reserves, to form a joint company 51 percent of which belongs to Mongolia, and 49 percent to Russia.

"Establishing the entity owning the exploiting license of the deposit will determine the 'game rules'," said the director. According to him, the feasibility studies and financing for the deposit will commence after the establishment of the new company. The reserves of Asgat have been estimated at 7,300 tonnes.

Link to article

 

Golomt Bank Signs Strategic Cooperation Agreement with First Frontier Capital

October 1 (Golomt Bank) First Frontier Capital Limited (First Frontier) and Golomt Bank LLC (Golomt Bank) are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic Cooperation Agreement to promote foreign investment in Mongolia.

First Frontier is an independent London based investment bank focussed on providing institutional investors with a "one-stop-shop" in respect of the frontier markets globally. First Frontier's offering comprises origination, research and execution in frontier and pre-frontier markets.

Since its establishment in 1995 Golomt Bank through its subsidiary Golomt Securities has become the leading participant on the Mongolia Stock Exchange. Golomt bank further cemented its position as the leading financial group in the country by being awarded the first custodian license from the Mongolian Financial Regulatory Commission.

In entering into this partnership with Golomt, First Frontier continues its expansion in the high growth frontier and pre-frontier markets, enabling the firm's clients to receive co-branded research focused on Mongolia, trade securities on the local exchange; and have access to the significant capital raising pipeline of Mongolian corporates. The two firms will also seek to develop a range of financial products that will be of interest to both domestic and international investors. In expanding the firm's Asian presence into Mongolia, First Frontier is entering one of the key growth markets in the region that is attracting renewed investor interest following the much anticipated regulatory and securities law changes.

The agreement with Golomt Bank is the latest in a series of similar relationships that First Frontier is currently putting in place across its universe, in order to provide clients with access to the fast growing frontier and pre-frontier markets and establish itself as the leading frontier markets investment bank. 

Commenting on the agreement, Richard Adley, Co-CEO at First Frontier said the partnership is further testament to the firm's ambition to be the recognised market leader in global frontier and pre-frontier markets. "Working with a market leader like Golomt bank will allow us to deliver an international product with a truly local flavour in one of the more under-researched capital markets, in which we believe there will be significant investment inflows following the recent changes.

Having spent considerable time finding a partner in Mongolia, we are delighted to have formalised partnership with Golomt bank, who will be able to provide access to significant deal flow for our clients whilst also delivering a high quality research product. First frontier feels that the opportunity for growth in the country and the investment banking business will make this new venture a success for all."

Bolormaa Luvsandorj, CIO of Golomt Bank states "The cooperation agreement with First Frontier reflects successful partnership of the London Stock Exchange with the Mongolia Stock Exchange in modernizing and developing capital market in Mongolia. It underlines the significant interest in London in investing in Mongolia and we are thrilled to have First Frontier as our partner to deliver our products and services to international clients".

Link to article

 

Russia's Diasoft signs Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia for custody software solution

By Tanya Andreasyan

October 1 (IBS Intelligence) Russia-based core banking supplier, Diasoft, is making headway with it banking software offerings in Asia. It is understood that Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia have signed for the Diasoft Custody solution. 

Trade and Development Bank is the oldest commercial bank in the country, having been founded in 1990. It has 45 branches at the latest count, and assets of around $1.1 billion. It has selected the Diasoft Custody solution which is designed to help banks automate their custody business while integrating with the rest of the back office. 

The deal follows a successful breakthrough at Vietnam International Bank, where Diasoft has been involved in a project to implement its new core banking solution, Flextera, a project which started in mid-2013. This started with a three-month phase to implement the payments management module before moving on to additional modules such as for loan origination. 

Vietnam International Bank was the second customer the supplier had for Flextera outside Russia, the first being at Halkbank in Turkmenistan, in 2011. 

The deal in Mongolia marks a further step in the supplier's international expansion. Its legacy core solution, FA# 5NT, has users only in Russia. In 2013 Diasoft claimed to be looking for business in a number of other Asian countries also, including Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Link to article

 

Mogi: the hotel posted this on their Facebook page: "The construction fire at our project site has been extinguished. The local authorities have reported there were no injuries related to the fire. We will provide further updates when we have more information."

Shangri-la Hotel Mongolia: Blaze breaks out on seventh floor of building

September 30 (The Independent) A fire broke out at the high rise Shangri-la Hotel in Mongolia, with smoke and flames visible throughout the afternoon.

The fire could be seen climbing up the luxury hotel in downtown Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital on Tuesday. The hotel is still under construction and is due to be completed by 2015.

Local journalist Lisa Gardner told The Independent the fire broke out at 12.45pm and 23 people are believed to have been evacuated from the site. The blaze is understood to have started on the seventh floor of the building.

It was extinguished by 2.40pm local time. Business Mongolia (BM) said initial reports suggest there were no deaths or injuries from the incident as construction workers were on lunch and had left the premesis.

It said the fire was caused by an electrical wire, although this has not been officially confirmed.

The hotel is part of a chain of five-star lodgings across Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe.

BM reports that $500 million has been invested in the Ulaanbaatar hotel.

Link to article

Related:

Fire Breaks Out at Shangri-La Hotel in MongoliaWSJ Blog, September 30

 

Microsoft "Innovation Day" Forum Held

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) One of the software industry giants, the Microsoft Corporation, organized Tuesday a "Microsoft innovation day" forum in the "Corporate" hotel in Ulaanbaatar.

Presentations were made by IT experts led by A.Trubinov, a chairman of the Microsoft Corporation for Central Asian business development affairs; by representatives of the IT Zone, an official dealer of the MS, and other companies on the MS's innovation policy across the world and in Mongolia, on a system for new business era, on solutions, reliable functions, information security and aid services. Officials from the Dell and Lenovo presented their latest laptops, tablets and servers.

After this, open discussions ran on the Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft ERP, Microsoft System Center, Information Security, and licence types.

Link to article

 

Mogi: which Mongolian provider????????? Not Univision it seems

COMEDY CENTRAL ASIA LAUGHS ALL THE WAY TO 15 ASIAN MARKETS

Now Available Across 15 Markets via 39 Providers South Park Makes Its Way to Malaysia through HyppTV's Video on Demand Channel

SINGAPORE, 1 October 2014 – Comedy Central Asia is laughing hard across Asia as Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Asia announced today, further regional distribution of the biggest comedy network, Comedy Central Asia (CCA) on i-CABLE in Hong Kong, Transvision and Matrix in Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands on Sky Pacific in Fiji, PNCC in Palau, Digicel in Tonga.

With these new distribution announcements Comedy Central is now available 24/7 in 15 Asian markets via 39 providers across Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Tonga.

Link to release

 

Notes Of Appreciation For Canada-Mongolia Chamber of Commerce Launch On Sept 25

September 30 (CMCC) We would like to thank our corporate members for their support and involvement:

      Mongolian Investment Banking Group – Bilguun Ankhbayar, CEO is a graduate of Dalhousie University and has operated MIBG in Ulaanbaatar since 2012. MIBG is a dedicated provider of corporate financing and capital market transactions for the mining and resources sector. 

      Pycap Venture Partners – Stewart Browne, CEO. Pycap is a unique venture capital fund that allows accredited and retail investors a diversified way to access the high return potential of Startup Tech.

      Cover Mongolia – Mogi Badral, CEO. Cover Mongolia is a market intelligence firm based in Ulaanbaatar.

      MDJ Capital Inc. - Marc Johnson, CEO. MDJ Capital Inc. is an advisory firm for resource sector companies seeking access to Canadian capital markets.

      Word Link Translation Services - Enkhee Jigjid, founder. A Toronto-based translation agency specialising in Mongolian, Russian, Japanese and English translations. 

We would also like to thank our sponsors and collaborators:

      Julius Baradi from Gallo Wines

      Rachel Silva who has assisted us with the cheese offering from Monforte Dairy

      David Hennessy of ARC Toronto, a newly opened artist resource centre and studio

      Umar Khan of GTA Photography

Link to release

 

RANJEET SUNDHER, PRESIDENT OF CANRIM RESOURCES TALKS ABOUT DOING BUSINESS IN MONGOLIA

October 1 (EmergingMarkets.me) Ranjeet Sundher is the president of Canrim Resources Pte Ltd., a private Singaporean minerals exploration company focused on resource development in Mongolia. Mr. Sundher has over 13 years of successful investment experience in Mongolia where he has created impressive shareholder returns. While his first Mongolian venture, started in 2001, generated a return of 20x, his second business, Red Hill Energy, generated a return of 27.2x (at closing of the transaction).

Mr. Sundher and the Canrim team are veterans in Mongolia's resource industry, returning to build another resource development business while Mongolia experiences the bottom of an economic cycle.

Could you briefly describe the history of Canrim Resources?

Founded in early 2014, Canrim Resources Pte Ltd., a Singapore-incorporated holding company, controls several subsidiaries established for the purpose of developing minerals-related business activities in Mongolia. With over 50 years' combined management experience in Mongolia's resource sector, as well as having offices in both Singapore and Ulaanbaatar, Canrim has positioned itself as a strong player in the Mongolian minerals sector, seeking to execute on transactions of minerals licences in both the primary and secondary markets.

We are building this company and positioning it for renewed economic activity in the mining sector.  The 5-year old moratorium on the issuance of exploration licences was removed earlier this year and we now anticipate a resurgence in mineral exploration in this under-explored and resource-rich country.

Why is this the correct time to invest in this sector in Mongolia? 

Over the past three years Mongolian economic growth has slowed significantly and now, in order to re-invigorate itself, the Government of Mongolia is seeking to offer favourable terms to junior minerals explorers, thereby re-encouraging foreign direct investment.

In January 2014, the Parliament of Mongolia approved the government's Mining Policy 2014-2025, and in the spring session of Parliament the Minerals Law was amended in accordance with the mining policy document. It is now widely expected that the licensing system will re-open shortly.

The mining sector of Mongolia, and especially the junior mining sector, is historically proven to create wealth for investors and for Mongolia. This was confirmed in Mongolia in 2000-2002 when the world-class Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposit (now an operating mine) was discovered and again in 2009 when owner Ivanhoe Mines (now majority-owned by Rio Tinto) and the Government of Mongolia agreed to modified terms regarding the ownership of Oyu Tolgoi.

Under favourable economic circumstances, with reported potential mineral wealth of $1.3 trillion and the majority of the country being underexplored, Mongolia will almost certainly experience rapid growth in the foreseeable future. The Company intends to participate in this growth and sees this as the right time to re-engage.

Mongolian FDI inflows began a sharp correction in 2011. Poised to recover as quickly as its peer countries, Mongolia has the advantage of tremendous unexploited mineral wealth with an attractive risk/reward spectrum at present.

The Company is positioning itself ahead of this change to benefit from the time when the issuing of mineral licences commences. To conduct continuous research and due diligence in advance (using Canrim's and its Mongolian partner's proprietary database) allows the Company to select and bid for the best mineral-prospective land when it becomes available.

Do you have a partner in Mongolia?

Yes we do. Mr Sado Demchigsuren Turbat, is Canrim's country manager and a co-founder as well as a long-time personal friend who has been my business partner in Mongolia since 2001. Mr Turbat is a highly successful and well-respected entrepreneur with senior expertise in the minerals industry. He co-authored the 1997 Minerals Law and is the founder of Mine Info LLC., one of Mongolia's largest mining services companies whose clients include major mining companies.

Furthermore, we have a stellar geological team, including our chief geologist Mr Bolderdene Banzaragch who was a previous head of geology at the Minerals Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM).

Canrim entered the country early and is positioned to acquire licences either directly from the government or at distressed prices in the secondary market. This strategy, in addition to the reputation and prowess of our Mongolian team members, give us an advantage within the industry.

We are positioned well for a bright future in Mongolia.

What mineral resources are you focused on?  Do you have a competitive advantage?

Our present focus is on copper-gold, gold, coking coal and petroleum projects. However we are looking at other commodities on a case by case basis.

Not a traditional 'mining' company, Canrim Resources is a resource development company utilising what we firmly believe is one of the largest proprietary geological databases in Mongolia. This database includes digital and archived paper-based information on historical and existing properties and projects, including geology, geophysics, geochemistry, trenching and drilling.

Our strong organisation and extensive information database are two of our competitive advantages which will benefit us in our vetting of prospective acquisitions.

Have the recent visits to Mongolia by heads of state such as Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin affected investor sentiment?

 Yes, there have been signs of renewed investor interest in Mongolia since Mr Xi's and Mr Putin's visits. Separately, we are aware of a number of institutional investors who have conducted due diligence trips to the country as well as several Asian investment funds that seek to deploy capital in the Mongolian mineral resources sector.

You are using what you call the Prospectors Generator's Model, what is this?

A junior resource company employing a Prospectors Generator's ('PG') business model typically leverages an intellectual advantage allowing them to collaborate with better-funded partners to absorb the high cost and inherent risk of mineral exploration.

Shareholders are exposed to more discovery upside when the PG company tests numerous prospective targets with partner funding. Using partner money to fund exploration and growth allows the PG company to conserve capital, reduce shareholder dilution and extend the life of the company.

Initially Canrim will work on its own to acquire licences and projects. However, in the future it may switch to the PG business model to expedite project timelines and minimise dilution.

Is Mongolia a safe jurisdiction in which to invest and carry out mining activities?

The Company management is returning to do business in Mongolia precisely because of the many positive experiences it has had in Mongolia since the early 2000s.

Earlier this year the government of Mongolia passed a revised Foreign Investment Law which states there is to be no differentiation between foreign and Mongolian investors, eliminating the previous discrimination which existed in the judiciary system.

Specifically, exploration and mining activities may be conducted with relatively low interference, compared to developed countries, as long as the relevant companies cooperate well with various levels of government.

Where do you expect Canrim to be in 2016?

I'm pleased that you have asked this question.  Indeed we have a very clear vision for where we want to be by 2016.  Canrim will seek to achieve liquidity in its portfolio either at the asset or corporate level when sufficient value has been added to the business. Canrim intends to achieve liquidity in 2016/17 through direct asset sales to publicly listed entities to expand their project portfolio, joint venture and free carried interest in specific projects and ultimately the sale of the corporate entity, with its subsidiary assets.

Thank you.

Link to article

 

Toyota Motors Showroom Launched in Ulaanbaatar by Sumo Champ Hakuho

September 30 (infomongolia.com) On September 29, 2014, the launching ceremony of Toyota Motors Showroom in Ulaanbaatar was held, where the official distribution is authorized to Munkhkhada LLC granted by Japanese Itochu Corporation in 2013.

The Toyota Ulaanbaatar will sell 7 types of vehicles including SUVs - Land Cruiser 200 and 70 Series, HiLux (known as the 4Runner in Australia and North America), Prado, and RAV4; Toyota Camry sedan and Toyota HiAce van.

At the grand opening ceremony, the 69th Yokozuna Hakuho, M.Davaajargal, who took his 31st Emperor's Cup in Japan Grand Sumo Tournament a day ago, has participated along with his father J.Munkhbat as well as Director of Munkhkhada LLC Mrs. Munkhbat BATTSEREN and other officials were also present.

Currently, the construction of Toyota Ulaanbaatar Showroom building next to ASA Circus is not completed yet and officials say would be accomplished very soon.

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Ulaanbaatar Now Connected with Paved Road to Umnugovi Aimag

September 30 (infomongolia.com) The Government strives and has been implementing a national program in construction sector to connect centers of all Aimags (Provinces) of Mongolia with paved roads to its capital city- Ulaanbaatar.

As part of recent Action Plan accomplishment, a heavy duty paved road project between Nariin Sukhait and Shivee Khuren was accomplished on September 27th, and two days later, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, who is working in southern region of the country, has participated in the opening ceremony of 296 km paved road between Mandalgovi and Dalanzadgad, the centers of Dundgovi and Umnugovi Aimags on September 29, 2014. Thus, it enables to drive from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad, center of Umnugovi Aimag, the furthest destination of southern Mongolia.

In his opening remarks Premier N.Altankhuyag noted, "The Gobi region of Mongolia is considered a tourist destination with a rich mineral resources and mining deposits, and the flow of transports to this region is expected to grow rapidly in the near future. Moreover, this road will significantly impact to the expansion of infrastructure network linking to the strategic deposits of Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi. In the frameworks of connecting the centers of Aimags to Ulaanbaatar, this newly operational 296 km road was constructed with finance of Chinggis Bond and was accomplished shortly as a result of giving bids to five entities to finish this road".

The 296 km paved road from Mandalgovi, Dundgovi Aimag to Dalanzadgad, Umnugovi Aimag was executed by Xinjiang Engineering Construction, ESTO, Madimos, Xinjiang Jengun Jitua and Yalguusan companies, where Durvun Tenkhleg and SRP Engineer Consulting Mongolia have worked on the site to monitor the project.

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45 US Firms Exhibit at "American Days" Expo

October 1 (news.mn) The "American Days" expo organized by the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia and American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia opened at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, September 30th.

U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Mongolia, Piper Anne Wind Campbell, founder and Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia Jackson Cox, Chairman of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry S.Demberel, and Director of Invest Mongolia Agency S.Javkhlanbaatar attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the two-day expo.

This year, over 45 American companies based in Mongolia are participating in the expo, exhibiting and selling their products, technologies and services from the USA.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia is non-governmental organization that serves its members by working to promote and strengthen business exchanges between Mongolia and the USA.

Hogan Lovells, Peabody Energy, NTR Metals Mongolia, Fluor, and Wagner Asia are some of its internationally known members.

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Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar Mayor praises British rock bands for inspiring Mongolian Revolution

By Naomi Canton

September 29 (Asia House) It was the free-spirited counterculture evoked in the rock music of the 1960s and 1970s – by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Beatles and Queen – that inspired Bat-Uul Erdene and other Mongolians to fight against the communist regime that had prevailed since 1924 and create democratic present-day Mongolia.

Bat-Uul-Erdene, now the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, was one of the main organisers of the Democratic Revolution 1990, which overthrew the Mongolian People's Republic.

Speaking through an interpreter during an interview at Asia House on 26 September, the 57-year-old professional revolutionary, who was on his sixth visit to the UK, said: "That [British rock] music motivated me to participate in democratic change and revolution. When I was 18, Mongolia was a socialist regime and the Government then did not let us listen to Western music and I wondered why we were not allowed to do it. The current Mongolian Ambassador to Russia was imprisoned for some time for listening to Western music," he said.

"I really want to meet Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger whenever I come here [to the UK]," he added. "I want to thank Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for making the contribution that they did. We lived by their music and we used their music to fight against the Communist regime," he said.

"We are very grateful to the British because you were the first country in the world to accept Mongolia's declaration of independence," he added.

The Ulaanbaatar Mayor was in London to participate in a business forum, having been invited to do so by Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf. While in London he managed to meet the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire. "My objectives were achieved," he said. "I met with both Mayors and we discussed some issues and we have agreed to incorporate them in the future," he said. "Everything was achieved.  There are many well-known British companies that already conduct operations in Mongolia and they include Rio Tinto, Deloitte, and Clyde & Co and I met them all here in London and we agreed to cooperate in the future," he said.

Financial companies and international law firms welcome in Mongolia

When asked which sectors the Ulaanbaatar city authorities wished to attract British companies from, he said "I want to attract British companies from all sectors. The economy of Mongolia depends on the mining sector so financial companies and international law firms would be most welcome," he added.

He then spoke about plans to improve the infrastructure of the capital, which houses half of Mongolia's 2.9 million population. Despite admitting he had never stepped foot on the London Underground, Bal-Uul Erdene said there were plans to construct a subway in Ulaanbaatar to connect the West and East of the city. "This talk is going on with the Japanese Government," he said. "We are also working with the Asian Development Bank to connect the North of Ulaanbaatar with the South by bus rapid transit. I talked to Boris Johnson about eco-friendly buses and whether London could share information about fire and disaster management as London has a very good system. We have also asked for help in the tourism sector as we want to train our people in tourism and Boris Johnson agreed to help with all," he said.

According to the Asian Development Bank, economic growth in Mongolia slowed to 5.3 per cent in the first half of 2014, despite a double digit growth forecast a few years ago, with delays in mining projects being cited as one of the reasons. Inflation has soared to 13.5 per cent. The Central Bank of Mongolia recently reported  a 61 percent decline of foreign direct investment to Mongolia this year already, on top of huge falls last year. Foreign direct investment declined to US$2.294 billion in 2013 compared to $4.407 billion in 2012.

But the GDP growth rate of Ulaanbaatar is currently soaring at 33.8 per cent. Bat-Uul Erdene put that down to the construction sector which he said was developing very rapidly and influencing growth. The country's overall growth was dependent on the mining sector, he added.

Copper, gold and coal are the main commodities that Mongolia exports. The Oyu Tolgoi (copper and gold mine) and Tavan Tolgoi (coal) project have until recently made the country very attractive to foreign investors. However both projects this year suffered delays and setbacks owing to disputes between government-owned partners and foreign contractors.

By the time it reaches full production in 2021, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to generate up to a third of Mongolia's GDP. Rio Tinto is working on the mine with the Mongolian government, which has a 34 per cent stake in it.

"The rest of Mongolia is not growing as fast as Ulaanbaatar," Bat-Uul Erdene said. "The government is interested in developing the rest of the country and other cities and provinces but I don't think this can be reached very easily. Half the population of Mongolia live in Ulaanbaatar, 80 per cent of savings are there. No other city can compete with Ulaanbaatar in the future."

Bat-Uul-Erdene was elected to the Mongolian Parliament three times, representing the ruling Democratic Party. However he did not run in the 2012 parliamentary elections, instead running for Mayor of the capital.

Speaking about infrastructure development in the whole country, he said that Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, earlier this month when the joint creation of an economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia was discussed.

"The President of Russia visited Mongolia recently and he said that rail transport cargo would reach 20 million tonnes by 2020." Plans being developed to increase rail capacity and improve railroads for freight travel from China to Europe and Europe to China through Mongolia. "We have the Trans-Mongolian Railway. We now want to build the next one to go through Mongolia to China," he added.

There are also talks that a US$ 400 billion gas pipeline contract between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation, signed earlier this year, that will enable Russia to deliver 38 billion cubic metres of gas a year to China, may also run through Mongolia, after Mr Elbegdorj suggested the idea, he said.

Resource-rich Mongolia's shale oil and gas are also currently being explored by American companies, he said. According to its website, US firm Genie Mongolia is exploring and evaluating oil shale resources in Central Mongolia pursuant to a five year exclusive agreement with the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia.

Before the interview, Bat-Uul Erdene, gave a private briefing exclusively for Asia House corporate members, followed by a roundtable discussion under the Chatham House Rule. He was accompanied by HE Tulga Narkhuu, Ambassador of Mongolia to the UK.

Corporates that were represented included Shell, BP, BG Group, G3, Blue Rubicon and Balli Holdings.

In that briefing Bat-Uul Erdene spoke about how the population of the capital of Mongolia was fast growing, plans to improve infrastructure and public transport and build new homes in the city, how the projects were being financed, opportunities for western businesses and the challenges that the Mongolian government faced.

Speaking ahead of a performance by the UK's only traditional Mongolian band, he said: "People say it's rainy and cloudy in London but whenever I come it is sunny!"

He then went on to talk about meeting a British man on a motorbiking trip around Mongolia.

"He said to me: 'You can feel freedom in Mongolia, you can sleep anywhere'. This is also a side to my country. Our traditional music contains this freedom too," he added.

A painting dedicated to British rock band Queen titled The Magnificent Years by the Mongolian artist Batbileg Darjaa is on display in the Asia House Gallery until 3 October as part of the exhibition Steppe Closer. The same painting had been hosted at the Dominion Theatre in the West End since 2011 to coincide with the musical We Will Rock You. For more details click here.

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Mayor of Ulaanbaatar on London Tour to Broaden Business Cooperation

October 1 (infomongolia.com) Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mr. Erdene BAT-UUL is conducting working visits to London and Moscow cities from September 24 to October 06, 2014.

During his visit to London, Mayor E.Bat-Uul held meetings with the Mayor of London Mr. Boris Johnson, Lord Mayor of London Mrs. Fiona Woolf and other representatives from EBRD, London Stock Exchange as well as business and financial organizations such as The City UK.

Also, UB Mayor has participated in the Mongolia-London Business Forum took place on September 26 and during the event, Mayor E.Bat-Uul delivered a keynote speech introducing development plans of Ulaanbaatar city and its current implementing projects as well as opportunities of mutual cooperation in the future.

During his meeting with Mayor of London, UB Governor E.Bat-Uul mentioned to implement London's experience on developing Ulaanbaatar as the center of tourism destination in the region, besides parties exchanged views on collaboration in the fire prevention ensuring the health and safety of citizens.

In the frameworks of his visit, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar met with authorities of The City UK financial institution seeking opportunities to boost cooperation between the two cities and discussing on establishment issues of International Financial Center in Ulaanbaatar.

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UB Mayor Visits LondonMontsame, October 1

 

"Transparent Ulaanbaatar 2014" Anti-Corruption Forum to Be Held October 6-7

October 1 (infomongolia.com) Under the auspices of the Governor of the Capital City, the "Transparent Ulaanbaatar 2014" Anti-Corruption Forum is to take place in association with International Republican Institute and Mongolia's Independent Authority Against Corruption at the Blue Sky Hotel, Ulaanbaatar on October 06-07, 2014.

The Transparent Ulaanbaatar 2014 Forum intends to facilitate discussion on lessons learned and an exchange of views on best practices and initiatives to address corruption and promote transparency through democratic governance. The forum will bring together local government, civil society, business community and academics to participate in a two-day series of workshops and sessions. The event will feature guest speakers and panelists from the Ulaanbaatar Mayor's Office, International Republican Institute, Taiwanese Foundation of Democracy, Asia Democracy Network, Transparency International, National Endowment for Democracy, International Forum for Democratic Studies, Center for International Private Enterprise, Solidarity Center and Independent Authority Against Corruption amongst many others.

The first day will focus on a series of panel discussions that showcase topical lessons learned, experience sharing and outline current progress on anti-corruption initiatives in Ulaanbaatar and the region along with exploring innovative solutions to address corruption. The second day will continue to share Ulaanbaatar's experiences and apply shared information and principles by convening international, regional and Mongolian stakeholders to collaboratively interact and inform an Ulaanbaatar anti-corruption strategy.

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"Transparent Ulaanbaatar" Anti-Corruption Forum ApproachesMontsame, October 1

"Transparent Ulaanbaatar -2014" anti-corruption forum will be heldnews.mn, October 1

 

Coming Soon to Google Street View: Ulaanbaatar

September 30 (infomongolia.com) On September 29, 2014, Deputy Mayor of Ulaanbaatar responsible for Finance and Economic Issues N.Bataa issued an Ordinance No. A/839 to implement a new project under the "Smart Ulaanbaatar" Program.

In the scope of the project namely "Street View", the UB streets will be visualized in 360-degree panoramic views to include the city map in the web mapping service application and technology provided by Google.

This is a Google Street View technology, which is featured in Google Maps and Google Earth and Mongolia's UB city will be soon linked into the www.google.com/maps/ website providing relevant information of the location.

The "UB Street View" project will be implemented by the Mayor's Office in association with Google Company's country executor "I Tech" LLC.

The Google Street View was first launched in several cities in the USA in 2007, and has since expanded to include cities and rural areas worldwide. However, the number of countries and dependencies covered with Google Street Views have been increasing, but some states like Germany and India have requested Google to stop taking street images in 2011 regarding to private concerns.

The latest release of Google Street Views in Asian countries, Indonesian and Cambodian street views become available on August 20, 2014, where some municipalities of Japan become the first cities in August 2008.

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Diplomacy

L.Bold Meets US, Russia, Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Thai Counterparts in NY

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) While taking part in the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr L.Bold held Monday working meetings with Ministers of some countries.

He met with Mr John Kerry, the US Secretary of State; Mr S.Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation; Mr K.Shanmugam, the Foreign Minister of Singapore; Mr Erlan Abdyldayev, the FM of Kyrgyzstan; and with Mr Thanasak Patimaprakorn, the FM of Thailand, to discuss concrete issues.

Our FM also met with Sergio Arvizu Trevino, CEO of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF), and exchanged views with him on a chance to cooperate with the UNJSPF in investment direction.

Established in 1946 at initiative of the UN Secretariat, the UNJSPF carries out the pension insurance services to some 160 thousand staffers of 24 international organizations. It currently has the capital of USD 56 billion. 

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Chile Backs Mongolia for APEC Membership

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold has met with his counterparts from some 20 countries while participating in the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, USA. 

The FM of Chile Mr Heraldo Muñoz officially stated that his country will back Mongolia in becoming a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The two Ministers also emphasized a mutual confidence that Mongolia and Chile have a big opportunity to develop the cooperation as they have many similarities, including a wealth of mineral resources.

Mr Bold congratulated Mr Gonzalo Gutierrez Reinel on being appointed the Foreign Minister of Peru and expressed a hope that the Mongolia-Peru relations will boost in near future. Before the appointment, Mr Reinel worked as the Concurrent Non-Resident Ambassador of Peru to Mongolia. 

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Mongolian President Invited to Turkmenistan

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) The Foreign Minister L.Bold met with his counterparts from Portugal and Turkmenistan on September 29 in New York.

These two meetings focused on ways of expanding bilateral relations and showing a support to each other in frames of international organizations.

The Turkmenistan FM Mr R.Meredov said his country's leader Mr Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov is inviting our President Elbegdorj to Turkmenistan "in order to elevate our traditionally friendly relations to the contemporary times and to expand business cooperation". Then the sides focused on a preparation for this visit and on ways of realization of joint projects and programs in economics, energy and transportation sectors, which were discussed during the SCO summit in Dushanbe this September 11-12.

Mr Bold also reaffirmed that R.Meredov has been invited to Mongolia. 

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Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Conducts Vehicle Interdiction Training for Mongolian Officials

September 22-26 (U.S. Embassy) Commercial Motor Vehicle Interdiction course was held on September 22-26 by U.S. trainers for staff of Mongolian government agencies with border inspection responsibilities, including the General Customs Authority, the Border Inspection Authority, and General Agency for Specialized Inspection as part of the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program. Participants learned about concealment methods, inspection and interview procedures, and search and detection techniques. The U.S. trainers have long experience in law enforcement and anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism operations.

The United States has been cooperating with Mongolia since 2011 on export control and border security, in response to the Government of Mongolia's request to assist in building Mongolia's capacity to meet its commitments under United Nations Security Resolution (UNSCR) 1540.

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US Military Conducts Airport Security Training for Mongolian Officials

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) An experience-sharing seminar themed "Security and protection of airports" ran Wednesday in Ulaanbaatar.

Co-organized by the US Air Force at Pacific and the US National Guard in Alaska State together with the Mongolian side, the seminar attracted officials of the military attache service at the US Embassy in Mongolia, the security service of the "Chingis Khaan" international airport; servicemen from some military units at Mongolia's Armed Forces, and from the University of Defense.  

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Mongolia Accepts US Proposal to Join in Global Fight Against Ebola

October 1 (infomongolia.com) Upon the request of key officers at the Embassy of the United States in Ulaanbaatar, Minister of Heath Mrs. Natsag UDVAL received in her office the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in UB, Mr. Kirk McBride and the Environment, Science and Health Officer Mr. Nathan Johnson on September 30, 2014.

At the beginning of meeting, Deputy Chief Kirk McBride stated that the U.S. President Barack Obama called on the international community to help fight the world's worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus and handed over an official letter to Minister N.Udval to join the United States in trying to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, saying that the disease could be stopped within 6-9 months, if the world countries to unite their efforts.

In response, Minister N.Udval expressed Mongolia's support for the U.S.'s renewed and bolstered efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak and as of actions being taken, she noted that an Emergency Operation Center was opened last week at the Ministry of Health with support of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Center is operational to receive up to date news on current situation of Ebola from experts and doctors of west coast in the Asia-Pacific region. Also, Health Minister N.Udval pledged to inform shortly on Mongolia's participation and contribution to fight against Ebola, which is in the center of international concerns.

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Mongolian MPs Visit North Korea

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) The delegation headed by the Vice chairman of the State Great Khural R.Gonchigdorj visited North Korea on September 27-30. They were received by a president of the Presidium at Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) Kim Yong-nam.

R.Gonchigdorj also met with the vice-chairman of SPA and invited him to Mongolia. They talked about the bilateral relations and regional and multilateral cooperation matters such as co-exploiting a port of Rajin and collaborating in agriculture.

Mr Gonchigdorj was accompanied by chairman of Standing Committee on justice D.Ganbat; O.Baasankhuu, M.Batchimeg, O.Sodbileg MPs and other officials. They got au fait with the Wonsan's tourism zone, "Sondowon" international children's camp, "Koryo" medical science academy, Pyongyang maternity center and "Okryu" children's hospital. 

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Minister for Transportation Meets Counterpart in Singapore

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) In frames of his working visit to Singapore, Mongolia's Minister of Road and Transportation A.Gansukh has met with his counterpart Mr Lui Tuck Yew.

They have exchanged views on the cooperation in the transportation sector. Mr Lui congratulated Mongolia on opening direct flights to Singapore, then the two Ministers expressed a mutual satisfaction with intensive development of the transportation ties.

Mr also said the flights will forward the cooperation in many spheres, and will become for Mongolia the closets way to other Southeast Asian countries.

Then the two parties shared views on a chance of establishing a memorandum of mutual understanding between the two Ministries in order to bring the transportation cooperation into a newer level.

Mr Lui asked his colleague about international airport being constructed in Mongolia and thanked the Mongolian side for getting permission for the Ulaanbaatar--Singapore flights to have on board more people in Beijing.

Present at the meeting were B.Delgermaa, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Singapore; J.Byambatsogt, an advisor to the Minister of Road and Transportation; Kh.Enkhbaatar, a department head of the Ministry, and others. 

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Mongolia Establishes Diplomatic Relations with 183rd World State, Saint Lucia

October 1 (infomongolia.com) Within its aim to establish diplomatic relations with all United Nations member states (193), Mongolia has established diplomatic relations with Saint Lucia in New York City on September 27, 2014.

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

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Luvsanvandan BOLD and Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia, Alva Romanus Baptiste signed a joint statement on establishment of diplomatic relations.

The establishment of diplomatic relations with Saint Lucia provides better opportunities for both countries to develop friendly, peaceful and cooperative relations in the diplomatic, political, economic, humanitarian and other fields, moreover, the two states have agreed to support each other within bilateral and international organizations and that wider opportunities will open up for bilateral cooperation.

Following the joint statement signing ceremony, Minister L.Bold held bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers of Botswana, the Marshall Islands, the Bahamas, Cameroon and Nigeria to talk about issues concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations, the cooperation within bilateral and international organizations as well as on possibilities for supporting Mongolia's candidature in UN Human Rights Council elections in 2015.

As of September 28, 2014, Mongolia has established diplomatic relations with 183 states of the world and the EU.

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South Korean Embassy issues safety warning to citizens in Mongolia

October 1 (news.mn) The South Korean Embassy in Ulaanbaatar has issued safety warnings for its nationals in Mongolia via its official website on Tuesday.

The embassy advised its South Korean nationals in the country to avoid having dinner in restaurants and bars in the evenings, walking around alone in dark places and streets, and suggested hiding their faces and identity under certain circumstances due to a triggering of massive outrage as Mongolians reacted angrily to incidents at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

Mongolian aggression towards South Korean nationals follows a series of incidents offending some Mongolians when the national flag was displayed upside down, a dirty sanitary napkin was found in a meal for Mongolian national judo athletes, and a Mongolian boxer was denied a chance for a medal following a highly controversial ruling by judges in favor of his South Korean opponent.

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UNMISS Force Commander Visits Mongolian Base in South Sudan

By B. Amarsaikhan

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) Lieutenant General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam, a newly-appointed force commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), visited Mongolian military base "Khubilai" in South Sudan to express his satisfaction with the battalion's performance.

The force commander is visiting these days Bentiu town of South Sudan to get acquired with the actions of the military bases operating with the UN mandates. He has met with the commanders of fourth division of the National Liberation Army to talk about the problems in the areas of the mission.  He has also visited the refugee camp near the UN military base.

The security and patrol division for the commander's visit consists of 28 Mongolian soldiers and six units of military tech led by captain Kh.Uuganbaatar. 

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Social, Environmental and Other

Korea, Mongolia build space telescope research center

September 25 (The Inside Korea) Korea and Mongolia have shared solar system monitoring technology with the opening of a new space telescope.

The Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) formally launched the Optical Wide-Field Patrol Mongolia Station near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on September 23.

The new research center was jointly built by the KASI and the Research Center for Astronomy and Geophysics of Mongolia, part of the National Research Council of Science and Technology of Mongolia. The telescope is equipped with an automated optical patrol system to follow space objects. This system controls the observation of an object by planning the object's course and analyzing the results. The Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute can manage the whole observation procedure by remote control.

Thanks to the establishment of the new telescope, Korea can obtain information about satellites and other cosmic bodies using its own technology and trace the space objects across multiple trajectories.

The KASI and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute plan to inject KRW 16.5 billion into the project by 2016. They aim to patrol the near-space around the Earth in order to secure the location of satellites and other space-bound objects.

The Korean science ministry and the KASI plan to open more such telescope centers at more locations overseas. It will build the next one in Morocco this November and another one in Kazakhstan in the first half of next year. They further plan to open two more centers in the southern hemisphere in order to set up a 24-hour space observation system.

The ministry said the 24-hour space observation system will help Korea have better capabilities to respond to space-based dangers by tracing the routes of all cosmic bodies, both man-made and natural.

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Mongolian Art Exhibition Organized in Toronto

By B. Murun, PR and Marketing Coordinator Canada Mongolia Chamber of Commerce

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) Canada-Mongolia Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Mongolian- Canadian Association and Aligali.co successfully organized a Mongolian Art Exhibition on this September 25- 26 in Toronto, Canada.

The event aimed to contribute to the cultural exchange between the two countries and to introduce Mongolian art and culture to the Canadian scene. The exhibition featured sculptures, paintings and calligraphy works by acclaimed Mongolian artists L.Amarsanaa, O.Enkhtaivan, U.Batjargal and T.Gantulga. The exhibition, previously displayed in Montreal and Ottawa, is a part of a nomadic art and culture project "Mongol Ayan".

The September 25 exhibition was the official launch of the Canada-Mongolia Chamber of Commerce (CMCC), established in January of 2014. During the event, the CMCC team introduced their Mentorship program that aims to bring together students and professionals and to create an open platform where knowledge, ideas and experience can be shared. The program allows students to learn the practical skills needed in their professional endeavors.

The September 26 event was an important first step towards the creation of a Centre for Mongolian Studies at the University of Toronto. The Ambassador of Mongolia to Canada, Mr Altangerel Radnaabazar attended the event to discuss an importance of cultural relations between the two countries. He also donated a selection of Mongolian books to the Robarts Library at the University of Toronto.

Distinguished guests included Professor Jennifer Purtle of University of Toronto, who delivered a speech titled "Graphic Beauty of Mongolian Calligraphy" and "Mongol Badarchin" Amai, who participated via live video from New York City. Other presentations included a live calligraphy demonstration, traditional "Khuumii", traditional Mongolian dance and a tasting of Mongolian delicacies--"hailmag" squares and braised beef tongue.

The two-day event was concluded by a short reception hosted by Ambassador of Mongolia to Canada, Mr Altangerel Radnaabazar, who met and greeted Mongolians living in Toronto. The Ambassador addressed questions and concerns and discussed a future of political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries.

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Sporting Success for our Blue Skies Children

A huge well done to our Blue Skies Ger Village children for their fantastic sporting success at the weekend!

September 29 (Christina Noble Foundation) Our older children attended a two day competition organised by the Mongolian National Children's Shelter, where our team competed against other children from similar living situations to our Blue Skies Ger village. 

The competition is held every year and not only provides a great opportunity for children to engage in some competitive sport but also aims to bring children together with shared life experiences, to have fun and build future friendships. 

Eight shelters took part this year and despite our team being the youngest of the competition, we managed to come in an amazing second place, winning individual gold, silver and bronze awards in football, basketball and chess.

Well done team we are all very proud !!!

For more information on our Blue Skies Ger Village click here. You can also find out more about our Give A Ger Fund and how to donate here.

Link to release

 

Mongolian monster mesmerizes / Ichinojo's eye-popping top-division debut turns spotlight on sumo

October 1 (The Yomiuri Shimbun) Spectators at the recent Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament were lucky — they witnessed the emergence of a Mongolian behemoth.

Yokozuna Hakuho pushed and shoved his way to his 31st Emperor's Cup at the tournament that ended Sunday, tying legend Chiyonofuji's climb to second on the all-time list. His feat, however, was nearly overshadowed by a fellow Mongolian who turned pro just nine months ago.

Few expected No. 10 maegashira Ichinojo to be a threat to Hakuho as the autumn basho was the wrestler's first in the sumo's uppermost makuuchi division.

But the 21-year-old beat the odds, upsetting one yokozuna and two ozeki en route to a 13-2 runner-up finish.

The 1.92-meter, 199-kilogram Ichinojo piled up the victories early and often during the 15-day tournament. He lost to maegashira No. 5 Ikioi on the seventh day, but reached his kachikoshi eighth win on the ninth day.

"He's a monster," said No. 3 maegashira Yoshikaze, who lost to Ichinojo on Day 10.

The upstart wrestler made headlines on the 11th day when he beat Kisenosato in his first matchup against an ozeki, the sport's second-highest rank.

After beating another ozeki, Goeido, Ichinojo faced yokozuna Kakuryu on the 13th day. Before the bout, the young wrestler felt he would be no match for the yokozuna, as Kakuryu had handled him regularly during practice sessions before the tournament. However, Ichinojo showed no nerves, sharply sidestepping at the tachiai and slapping down the yokozuna.

"I had already decided what I was going to do," he said in a postmatch TV interview.

With the win, Ichinojo became the first wrestler debuting in the makuuchi division to earn a "gold star" for a win over a yokozuna since Onishiki did so in 1973. And since he shared the tournament lead with Hakuho at 12-1 after the win, he even had a chance to become the first makuuchi newcomer in 100 years to win a title.

He faced off against Hakuho the next day, but the yokozuna showed his prowess as the reigning champion, latching onto Ichinojo in the center of the ring and eventually throwing him down.

Despite the loss, the overall results Ichinojo posted at the basho were remarkable. He won his final-day bout for his 13th win, tying the record held by Kitanofuji and Mutsuarashi for most wins during a makuuchi-division debut tourney. He also earned the Outstanding Performance and the Fighting Spirit awards, two of the three special prizes handed out to the top-division wrestlers.

Nomadic upbringing

Ichinojo was born to a nomadic family in Arkhangai Province, Mongolia. He and his family lived in a Mongolian ger tent, moving around a vast grassland four times each year. The family kept more than 400 sheep, goats and camels.

As part of his chores, a young Ichinojo drew water from a nearby river and carried fire logs from a mountain. "I was scared of wolves, but doing such heavy labor helped me build up physical strength," Ichinojo said.

He began Mongolian wrestling at 10, and got recruited by the coach of the sumo club at Tottori Johoku High School in Tottori city seven years later.

At first, he lost to much smaller Japanese wrestlers because of the difficulties he faced in adjusting to the tachiai, a totally different style of starting matches than in Mongolian-style wrestling. He also suffered from homesickness, as he was allowed to contact his family only once every three months.

However, Ichinojo worked diligently and the hard work allowed him to win five titles during high school. He did not turn pro immediately after graduation, serving for a while as an assistant coach at the sumo club. After winning the corporate sumo championship, which gave him the privilege to start from the bottom of the third-tier makushita division when he turned pro, he entered the Minato stable in 2013.

The kanji character for the "jo" in Ichinojo's name was taken from his high school alma mater Johoku, while "ichi" comes from "itsuzai," meaning exceptional talent.

After debuting at the New Year Tournament in January, Ichinojo has proved befitting of the name — he took just two tournaments to move up from both the makushita and the second-tier juryo divisions.

Besides sumo, Ichinojo is an ordinary young man who loves eating strawberry shortcake. But once a tournament begins, he takes on a serious tone that makes him difficult to approach.

The next Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in November could be a watershed moment for him, as other wrestlers are expected to study him intensely ahead of the tournament. All the attention will be on whether the young Mongolian can continue his remarkable advancement.

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Asian Games: Scuffles, protest over boxing decisions against India, Mongolia

By DANIEL HICKS

INCHEON, South Korea, September 30 (AFP) Scuffles broke out and Mongolia lodged an official protest as controversial decisions in favor of home boxers caused chaotic scenes at the Asian Games in South Korea on Tuesday.

The husband of Indian lightweight Sarita Devi launched an expletive-laden tirade and tangled with security after South Korea's Park Ji-Na was controversially awarded their semifinal bout.

And Mongolia's male bantamweight Tugstsogt Nyambayar contentiously lost a decision against Ham Sang-Myeong, prompting a brief sit-in protest and an official complaint.

But the International Boxing Association (AIBA) rejected the protest, saying it was not possible to appeal against judges' decisions.

"This is a very sad day. We want to see fair play in sport," Mongolia's chef de mission Badmaanyambuu Bat Erdene told AFP.

"For some of these athletes they have only one chance for a gold medal and it has been cruelly taken away from them," Bat Erdene said.

He refused to confirm whether the team would carry out an earlier threat to withdraw their remaining boxers from the Games.

Earlier, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Devi dominated her fight and when Park was given the win, it sparked jeers and a melee which prompted the arrival of police.

"I don't accept this decison. It's wrong," a distraught Devi, told AFP, while her husband Chongtham Thoiba Singh confronted officials screaming: "You've killed boxing!"

He grabbed his wife's arm and tried to lead her in protest back to the ring, where the next bout was already under way, resulting in scuffles as their path was blocked by security.

"Don't tell me it's OK! This is not OK! What the hell is going on here!" Singh shouted at the top of his voice. "She won this fight and you give it to Korea," he yelled.

Police were called into the arena and stood in a cordon between the press area and the ring.

The India team's Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez called for the judges to be sacked.

"I hope all these judges that made this decision are thrown out of the tournament," he said.

"It was a totally clear bout, not any doubt. Only those people (judges) saw the South Korean as the winner. She won every round. She hammered her."

Devi won a bronze, as beaten semifinalists in boxing both receive a medal.

Demchigjav Zagdsuren, president of the Mongolia National Olympic Commmittee, called for "fair play" at the boxing competition.

"We wish to have fair play and true judging in boxing for the sporting spirit of the games," he said in a statement.

"We have zero tolerance for misjudging in boxing competitions."

The episodes took the gloss off what should have been a glorious day for India in the women's semifinals.

In the first bout of the day, icon and five-times world champion Mary Kom outpointed Vietnam's Le Thi Bang to erase bitter memories of falling in the last four in both the last Asian Games and Olympic Games.

India had a third semifinalist in the women's middleweight division, but Rani Pooja lost to China's Li Qian on points and will pick up a bronze.

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Related:

Poor refereeing mars Games' Spirit at Incheon AsiadIBN Live, October 1

 

Asian Games Organizers Apologize to Team Mongolia for Incidents

By B. Amarsaikhan

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) A press conference ran on September 27 for the Mongolian journalists, who are working at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, to inform about a reply to a note sent by Mongolia's Embassy to S.Korea to Incheon games organizational committee.

A head of our national team B.Bat-Erdene MP and a secretary-general of Mongolia's National Olympic Committee J.Otgontsagaan reminded all that this note had been sent due to several deliberate rude offenses towards the Mongolians such as an unprecedented incident with the meal for Mongolian women judokas, a wrong placement of Mongolian state flag, and referring to Mongolian basketball team as a team from a Chinese locality.

The reply to the note came in several days saying that the organizational committee for the 17th Asian Games "expresses a sincere apology for the above malfunctions in providing athletes with convenience, and promises to put all efforts through the rest of the tournament in order to protect friendly relations between the two countries, as well as between the Asian nations," Mr Bat-Erdene commented.

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Former NBA Player Ruben Patterson to Teach Basketball in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) A former American professional basketball player and shooting guard Ruben Patterson will work in Mongolia to teach basketball techniques.

Patterson will give lessons particularly on guarding techniques to teachers, coaches and players at the Mongolian national basketball league.

Ruben Patterson nicknamed "Kobe Stopper" played as a small forward and shooting guard. During his college career at the University of Cincinnati, Patterson earned third-team All-American honors and helped lead the Bearcats to Conference USA titles in both of his seasons there.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1998, Patterson began his career with the Greek team AEK Athens BC before joining the Lakers in his rookie season. Later, he played for the NBA teams Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Clippers before ending his career with the Lebanese team Champville SC.

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Prague Zoo Director Receives Friendship Medal for Preservation of Przewalski Horses

By B. Amarsaikhan

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Ambassador to the Czech Republic D.Zuberellkham handed the "Friendship" medal on September 28 to the director of Prague city zoo M.Bobek, at the decree of our President.

This is recognition of Mr Bobek's contribution to a relocating of wild horses back to Mongolia. 

The 83th anniversary of the establishment of Prague city zoo occurred last Sunday, at which present were Mr Zumberellkham, officials from Prague's Governor's office, state servants and others.

The Ambassador thanked the zoo for its many years of commitment and investment in relocating wild horses program, and also Czech military and civil organizations for transporting the horses to Mongolia.  The program has been recognized on international level as the most efficient and successful project among many development aids for Mongolia provided by the government of Czech Republic.

In a scope on the program of relocating and protecting wild horses, fifteen wild horses (Mongolian takhi) have been returned to the steppes of Khom and Takhi.

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Mongolian Biking Adventure

September 30 (P&H Motorcycles) If your thoughts are already turning to where you can explore on your bike next year, you may want to think a little further afield than Europe and consider a tour of Mongolia. 

Extreme Bike Tours will be hosting trips to the country, but you will need to consider booking now as there are only two tours throughout 2015. 

The trips, which will take place on April 27th and May 25th, are being offered to both experienced riders and those with no riding experience, who will be riding pillion. 

Don't think that you can take your own machine though, as the tour operators will be providing classic Royal Enfield 500cc bullet motorbikes for anyone who is brave enough to take on the task. 

You will also need to ensure you can take plenty of time off work, or perhaps book this holiday as your annual leave, because both tours last for 15 days. 

Zander Combe, owner of Extreme Bike Tours, said: "Western Mongolia is one of the world's last true frontiers - a far-flung land of stunning scenery, fascinating culture and daring adventure that few foreigners get to experience." 

He went on to explain that a lot of planning has gone into the tours that take visitors across Mongolia so that guests can enjoy "the trip of a lifetime in a land that time forgot". 

If you enjoy luxury, then this isn't the trip for you though, as you will be riding between the frontier towns of Uliastai and Ulgii and will be expected to eat around a campfire and sleep in Mongolian yurts. 

Your trip will take you through the Gobi desert and the Altai Mountains, so there will no doubt be spectacular views along the way, but it does sound as if this is strictly for the adventurous biker. 

The tour operator also promises that Kazakh eagle hunters, who train the birds to hunt foxes and hares, will line the route, so there's plenty to hold your interest, if you dare.

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Mongolia: The world's newest Church 

World Mission collection set for Oct. 19

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, October 1 (Catholic Sentinel) — Gantulga, a husband and father in remote Mongolia, became Catholic in 2013, one of 850 in the Asian nation. He saw the faith transforming him and his people for the better. 

"There is a positive influence of the Church here in this whole community," says Gantulga, who lives in the rural town of Arvaiheer, about 300 miles from Mongolia's capital city of Ulaanbaatar. "Their lives have been changing for the better. And you can feel that there is a change. There is more joy and happiness around us." 

Mongolia, a 600,000-square-mile nation between China and Siberia, is situated on a vast plateau where temperatures range from 90 degrees to -20 degrees. Mongols traditionally are a nomadic race sustaining themselves by raising livestock. Horses, cattle, camels, sheep and goats accompany them in their migration across the steppes. There are 2.7 million residents in the country. 

World Mission Sunday is Oct. 19. That weekend, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Portland will be asked to support efforts to build up and sustain faith communities across the globe, including Mongolia.

The theme for World Mission Sunday 2014 comes from the Gospel of Matthew: "I Will Build My Church." 

Gantulga's household, including wife Uurtsaikh, first learned about the Catholic Church when they moved to the town after losing all their livestock almost 10 years ago.

They were one of a few lucky families to be given a new ger, a traditional Mongolian round tent dwelling. While Uurtsaikh and the children started attending activities run by the local Catholic Church, Gantulga was haunted by his alcoholism and his destructive behavior. 

"Before in my life, I made a lot of mistakes and I was addicted to alcohol and I had problems with violence, not understanding, misunderstandings with other people," he explains. "When I started going to church and feeling how God's mercy reaches me, I felt that I had to receive baptism."

He tries to imagine his life without faith. As he puts it, "I would have been pulled by the river of my old life into something bad."

Gantulga has emerged as a leader in the community, reaching out to others in need. In 2012, when the Mongolian Catholic Church celebrated its 20th anniversary, a milestone which was marked by Catholics all across the country, it was Gantulga's celebration song — "Jesus Christ Has Saved Us" — that was chosen as the official hymn. 

Gantulga's whole family is involved with the church's work here. 

Three times a week, he participates in a men's group where participants make religious objects and souvenirs out of wood and leather, while Uurtsaikh is involved in a similar group for women. The couple's children attend Mass with their parents, and take part in before and after school care programs.

The Society for the Propagation of the Faith has supported the development and outreach of the Catholic Church in Mongolia since Bishop Wenceslao Padilla and other missionaries were first invited to the country more than 20 years ago.  

He recalls finding a country struggling with issues like alcoholism and domestic abuse, with minimal government social services, and with extreme poverty. He found a people searching — "for God and for holiness." There were no Catholics in Mongolia. 

Local catechists were formed in the faith, and now assist Bishop Padilla in sharing the Good News of the Gospel — helping the Mongolian people connect with the Catholic faith in a way that is relevant and meaningful to their own culture.

The first Catholic missions here began in the early 20th century and continued up to the time of the Soviet persecutions. After the political changes there was a new beginning, and interest in the Catholic faith began to grow. The Vatican opened diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1992. 

For decades, Vietnamese Salesian missionaries have taken a lead in ministering in Mongolia. Their missionaries run a kindergarten, a technical school, soup kitchens, two farms and a shelter for 120 children who are disabled. Salesian social work groups help street children in the capital women victims of abuse.

In 1992, the Mongolian government invited the church for its capacity in education and healthcare. But things changed.  

Father Kuafa Hervé, 36,  is priest of the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. He is troubled by the shifting official perception of the Catholic Church in the country. The tone is no longer as friendly as it was just a few years ago. Preaching the faith is today permitted only within Church premises, and young people of 16 and under may only attend catechetical instruction with the written permission of their parents. 

Priests must not appear in public dressed as priests. Father Hervé teaches English, French and music, since the teaching of religion is not permitted in the schools but only inside the churches. Father Hervé says Catholics in Mongolia are now a "beleaguered Church."

Pope Francis calls World Mission Sunday "a privileged moment" when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the young Churches in mission lands.

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