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Thursday, January 8, 2015
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
SouthGobi Announces the Dismissal of the Money Laundering Accusations and the Transfer of the Tax Investigation Case Back to the Court of Justice in Mongolia
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Jan. 7, 2015) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) (the "Company") announced today that the Capital City Prosecutor in Mongolia had dismissed the accusations of alleged money laundering against the Company's three (3) former employees and transferred the tax investigation case back to Court.
As previously detailed by the Company in its Management Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the three months ended September 30, 2014 which is available at www.sedar.com, the Company has been subject to investigations by the State Investigations Agency ("SIA") into allegations against the Company and some of its former employees regarding possible breaches of Mongolia's money laundering and taxation laws.
A report issued by the experts appointed by the SIA on June 30, 2013 and again in January 2014 had recommended that the alleged accusations of money laundering against the Company's three (3) former employees be withdrawn.
The Company has been notified that on December 30, 2014, the Capital City Prosecutor had decided to dismiss the allegations of money laundering.
The Company announced on November 10, 2014 that the Mongolian investigation authority issued a resolution to order a re-investigation into alleged violations of Mongolian taxation law. The Company has been informed that the re-investigation was completed and the case transferred back to the Second District Criminal Court of Justice on December 31, 2014.
President and CEO, Mr. Enkh-Amgalan Sengee has said "We welcome the decision to dismiss the accusations of money laundering. We will continue to cooperate as required with the relevant authorities concerning the case of alleged violations of Mongolian tax law which has been brought back to Court."
The Company, including its Mongolian subsidiary SouthGobi Sands LLC, prepares its financial statements in compliance with IFRS, and has lodged all its tax returns in the required format under Mongolian tax law. During the investigative period, which has been ongoing since May 2012, the Company devoted considerable internal resources in reviewing and responding to the allegations raised through the investigations by the relevant authorities. The Company views these accusations as unfounded. It disputes these accusations and the procedures and conclusions of the investigations that led to these accusations and will vigorously defend itself against these charges.
Tax investigation case against SouthGobi Sands sent to court – news.mn, January 7
Mogi: guessing someone defaulted on a loan. Acquisition happened on the day the rights shares started trading, plus HK$0.298 is well below the day's low of HK$0.32. MMC closed -2.94% to HK$0.33 Wednesday
TDB Becomes Substantial Holder in MMC with 5.48% Stake
January 7 (Cover Mongolia) A Corporate Substantial Shareholder Notice announcement released today reveals that the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (TDB) acquired, in cash, 507,749,999 shares off-market on December 30, 2014 at an average price of HK$0.298 per share.
Tavan Tolgoi negotiations split into working groups
January 7 (GoGo Mongolia) Tavantolgoi investor negotiations continue today.
TT working group is led by M.Enkhsaikhan, Minister of State, and includes officials such as R.Jigjid, Minister of Mining, J.Erdenebat, Minister of FInance, N.Tumurkhuu, Minister of Road and Transportation. Investor side was represented by G.Battsengel, CEO of Energy Resource, Shao Junjie, Chairman of Shenhua Overseas Development & Investment and Zhou Tienjun, Vice President, General Manager adviser Keiji Kiribuchi at Coal Department of Sumitomo Corp. and Hiroto Fijivara, Representative of Sumitomo Corp. in Mongolia.
Meetings started with the presentations of:
· Ya.Batsuuri, CEO of Erdenes Tavantolgoi JSC, on Tavantolgoi mine operations and its financials
· P.Batsaikhan, CEO of Mongolian Railway State Owned Company on Tavantolgoi-Gashuun Sukhait railroad construction development, contractors and their payment
· L.Oyunbat, Deputy CEO of the Energy Resource LLC, representing the investor consortium made introduction on the Contents of the Tavantolgoi Investment Agreement and international standards.
Consortium is to invest into Tavantolgoi coal deposit through the project financing, which allows international banks and financing organizations to be involved in the fund raising. Therefore, Tavantolgoi investment agreements are obliged to adhere to the international standards and transparency.
TT working group split into Tavantolgoi mine, investment and cooperation and Tavantolgoi Gashuun Sukhait Railroad sub groups and held separate meetings with the investor side.
Tavantolgoi mine, investment and cooperation sub group meeting involved Ch.Otgochuluu, Head of the Strategic Policy and Planning department of the Ministry of Mining, S.Javkhlanbaatar, Head of the Investment Agency, Ya.Batsuuri, CEO of Erdenes Tavantolgoi JSC and representatives of China Shenhua Energy, Sumitomo and Energy Resource LLC. During meeting the sides exchanged information and working sub group introduced the agreement proposals to the consortium.
Tavantolgoi Gashuun Sukhait Railroad sub group meeting involved M.Enkhsaikhan, Minister of State, B.Artur, Head of the Road Policy Implementation Department at Ministry of Road and Transportation, P.Batsaikhan, CEO of the Mongolian Railway State Owned Company. During meeting the sides exchanged information and working sub group introduced the agreement proposals to the consortium.
TT Negotiations Continue on Railway Matters – Montsame, January 7
Aspire Mining's Ovoot blend a premium coking coal for China
January 7 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) has received an encouraging report confirming that a Mongolian Blend with between 25% to 50% Ovoot coal is a premium coking coal using Chinese coal classifications.
The blend is considered to be similar or even better than primary coking coals imported from Australia, the U.S., and Canada due to its medium ash, low sulphur and high G value.
This comes as Chinese demand for primary coking coal is predicted to increase due to changes in steel making technologies and depletion of domestic coal reserves combined with continued steel production growth.
The supply gap for primary coking coals in China is expected to peak at 83 million tonnes by 2020.
The report was commissioned to assess the marketability and indicative pricing of the Mongolian Blend in order to complete a Scoping Study to support the development of a regional coal blending facility at the Sainshand Industrial Park.
Preliminary internal analysis by Aspire indicates a positive cashflow blending operation based on current pricing.
Sainshand is located 240 kilometres from the Mongolian/Chinese border and provides a strategic location for a coal blending operation.
The Ovoot Coking Coal Project is Mongolia's second largest coking coal deposit with a JORC Resource of 255 million tonnes.
Initial production is estimated to commence in 2018, producing 5 million tonnes per annum of saleable coking coal and increasing in subsequent years to achieve full scale production of up to 10Mtpa from both the open pit and underground operations.
"The China coal market report received confirms the importance of coking coals at the premium end of the scale for use in China," managing director David Paull said.
"Demand continues to grow and we are well positioned in our development timeframe for our Ovoot Coking Coal Project to deliver a premium coking coal product into the Chinese market.
"The marketability of the Mongolian Blend is particularly exciting as it confirms the value in establishing a blending operation at the Sainshand Industrial Park to add value to a range of thermal and low caking coals produced in Mongolia at present but with limited economic market outlets.
"Both our Ovoot Project and the potential Blending Facility will benefit from Mongolia's improving infrastructure landscape with planned railway to be built in the north to service the Ovoot Project, along with the upgrades to the Trans-Mongolian railway and rail border crossings with China."
Coal Market Report
The company has received an independent Chinese Coal Market Report it commissioned from a leading coal consultancy firm in China.
This confirmed the marketability of a blend of between 25-50% Aspire's Ovoot Project indicative coking coal and other Mongolian selected thermal and non-coking coals.
Ovoot coking coal has been recognised as having the ability to upgrade a wide variety of Mongolian coals.
Indicative relative pricing for the Mongolian Blend product was benchmarked on a well-known and referenced Chinese JM coking coal CFR Tangshan Port price and is net of logistics costs to the Mongolia/China border at Zamyn Uud/Erenhot.
Preliminary internal analysis by Aspire, including this price relativity, indicates a positive cashflow blending operation to be based at Sainshand based on current pricing.
The coal consultant also confirmed that continued demand increases from the Chinese steel industry will see China import more coking coal from Mongolia and the seaborne market, with the supply gap expected to grow to 83Mt by 2020 from 51Mt in 2013.
Primary coking coals, such as the Mongolian Blend, are in particular high demand within China, primarily due to the low ratio of these coals in China's own coal reserves and the growing requirement for higher quality coking coals in the coke industry.
These higher quality coking coals are increasing in demand faster than their lower quality counterparts as China trends towards the use of larger blast furnaces to achieve higher productivity, use of advanced technology and balancing environmental concerns.
Sainshand Industrial Park
In April 2014, Aspire signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to become a key future supplier of coal to the Sainshand Industrial Park, the largest industrial development project in Mongolia.
The agreement also recognised the Ovoot Project as a key supplier of raw materials to the Sainshand Park alongside the Tavan Tolgoi Coal operation.
This was followed in September 2014 by a coal blending concept study, completed by German engineering firm, Tenova Takraf.
Coal can be transported to Sainshand from a number of mines through the expanding Mongolian rail network with Ovoot coking coal being delivered along the Erdenet to Ovoot railway recently included in Mongolia's Rail Policy, connecting to the Trans-Mongolian Railway at Erdenet.
From Sainshand, the Mongolian Blend can then be transported by the Trans-Mongolian Railway to the Chinese border for sale to Chinese customers.
The Trans-Mongolian Railway is currently undergoing a capacity expansion to 34 million tonnes per annum, with future plans to see this increase further to 100Mtpa.
The rail expansions, coupled with recent infrastructure agreements between the Mongolian and Chinese Governments, will see more efficient cross border cooperation which includes the Erenhot rail border crossing.
Ovoot Coking Coal
The Ovoot Coking Coal Project in northwestern Mongolia has a JORC Resource of 255 million tonnes and is the country's second largest coking coal reserve behind the government-owned Tavan Tolgoi project.
Initial production is estimated to commence in 2018, producing 5 million tonnes per annum of saleable coking coal and increasing in subsequent years to achieve full scale production of up to 10Mtpa from both the open pit and underground operations.
Capital costs to achieve initial production is estimated at US$144 million with operating costs of between US$76 and US$86 per tonnes Free-On Rail at the Chinese border for the first two years of operation, and between US$82 and US S$92/t over the first five years.
Current offtake interest in Ovoot coking coal exceeds targeted production with MoUs signed for up to 7.4 million tonnes per annum, or 148% of planned initial production.
It has also signed a non-binding MoU to sell up to 250,000 tonnes of oxidised coal per annum to Zavkhan Power Station about 70 kilometres south of Ovoot.
This provides a potential revenue stream from a product that would otherwise have been considered a waste material.
The MoU includes the construction of transmission infrastructure that will allow the supply of 35 megawatts of power per year to Ovoot.
In November 2014, Aspire signed an engineering, procurement and construction framework agreement with a China Railways Construction Corporation subsidiary for the Erdenet – Ovoot section of the Northern Rail Line in Mongolia.
Given CRCC is a Fortune 500 company this is a strong endorsement and vindication of the project.
The rail line is a key requirement to unlock the value of the Ovoot Coking Coal Project and future earnings from mining and production from the project for Aspire.
The agreement provides the basis for Aspire's wholly-owned subsidiary Northern Railways LLC and CR20G to negotiate for the award of a fixed price, lump sum turnkey EPC Contract.
This will cover Phase 1 of the Northern Mongolian Rail Corridor extending rail from Erdenet heading west to Aspire's wholly owned Ovoot Coking Coal Project.
Confirmation that an Ovoot coking coal blend ranks as a premium product in China is exciting given the looming supply gap for Primary Coking Coals in China expected to peak at 83mt by 2020 to be fed by Mongolian and seaborne imports.
It also confirms value in Aspire Mining establishing a blending operation at the Sainshand Industrial Park to upgrade a range of thermal and low caking coals produced in Mongolia that have limited economic market outlets.
This follows the recent execution of EPC framework agreement for the key Erdenet to Ovoot Railway that will unlock the value of the Ovoot Coking Coal Project and future earnings from mining and production from the project.
Proactive Investors continues to maintain a 6 – 9 months share price target of $0.125 per share subject to the Northern Rail Line concession being granted for NRL.
Aspire had $4.27 million in cash as of 30 September 2014.
MSE News for January 7: Top 20 +0.06% to 14,624.9, Turnover ₮25.3 Million
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Wednesday, a total of 7,189 units of 15 JSCs were traded costing MNT 25 million 313 thousand and 245.
"APU" /4,900 units/, "Binse HK" /1,000 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /350 units/, "State Department Store" /149 units/ and "Mon-it buligaar" /130 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT 18 million 392 thousand and 747), "UB-BUK" (MNT one million and 890 thousand), "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT one million 417 thousand and 500), "Mon-it buligaar" (MNT one million and 040 thousand) and "Binse HK" (MNT 790 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 412 billion 113 million 391 thousand and 911. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,624.96, increasing 8.53 units or 0.06% against the previous day.
BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, January 7 Close
January MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM issues ₮362 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding 45.8% to ₮527.05 billion
January 7 (GoGo Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 362 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
What Is on President's Agenda in Mystery Parliament Speech?
Ulaanbaatar, Jan 7 (GoGo Mongolia) President Ts.Elbegdorj is to attend the State Great Khural Session, but there are no specifics on what will be the main topic of his speech.
P.Tsagaan, Head of the Presidents Office, made a brief note that according to the provision 3 of the article 33 of the Constitution President of Mongolia has right to attend to the State Great Khural session and address the important issues and in scope of his rights President is to attend the sesssion.
Last time President attended the State Great Khural session was during the appointment of Ch.Saikhanbileg to the Prime Minister and handed over the state stamp.
He was silent since that time and no comments were made regarding the economic situation and mining sector. Supposedly he has many notes to deliver in regards with the current economic situation and developments in the mining sector as well.
Government for Solution came up with totally new Ministry on Industry. In his own presidential program Ts.Elbegdorj included the support for the manufactures to replace the import products and creation of the value added products domestically. In this regard, he initiated the draft bill on the Supporting of the Domestic Manufacture.
In view of this draft bill President is to hold meeting at Tuushin Hotel today at 3PM with the representatives of the domestic manufacturers.
It could be much possible that the creatiion of the new ministry was initiated by President himself. Therefore, at State Great Khural President intends to deliver speech on Industrialization, national manufactures and possible support towards this sector.
New Year greeting from the President was broadcasted from the Erdenet Copper Mine, implying his focus on supporting the national manufacturers starting 2015.
Many are expecting the upcoming appearance by President at the State Great Khural session to be big and followed by much discussions afterwards.
Standing Committee on Environment Reshuffles Members of Sub-Committee on Air Pollution
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) Ways of changing a composition of the sub-committee on air pollution reduction was discussed at a meeting of the parliamentary Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture on Wednesday.
A related proposal had been already put by the Mongolian People's Party's (MPP) faction at parliament, moreover, S.Oyun MP had expressed a willingness to enter this sub-committee, and the "Justice" coalition's faction had sent a request to free D.Terbishdagva MP from the sub-committee. Regarding all this, S.Demberel, Kh.Bolorchuluun and S.Oyun delivered theirs views. Then a majority of the Standing committee agreed that S.Batbold, Ya.Sodbaatar, Ch.Khurelbaatar and S.Oyun would be included into the sub-committee, and decided to send a related proposal to parliament meeting. They also concurred to remove D.Terbishdagva and L.Bold MPs from this sub-committee.
Biannual Trilateral Collective Bargaining Establishes Working Groups
January 7 (GoGo Mongolia) Trilateral Labor and Social Negotiations for the year 2015-2016 to started yesterday at Ministry of the Labor. The sides came up with the several proposals to negotiate:
· Government 23 proposals
· Mongolian Workers Federation 33 proposals
· Employers Union 14 proposals.
After introducing the their stances sides have agreed to establish working groups with three members each in order to integrate similar proposals and classify the differing ones.
Working groups to work for two working days and agreed to continue with the trilateral negotiations on Thursday January 8th. S.Chinzorig, Minister of Labor, is to present the negotiation proposals at the Cabinet meeting today.
Mongolian Workers Federation (MWF) introduced four main issues to be discussed at the trilateral negotiations.
1. Establish joint working group with the MWF increasing the MWF involvement in comabting the economic downturn.
2. Issues under constant eye of the public are the wages and social welfare, in this regard, MWF proposes increase in wage and social welfare by not less than 60%.
3. Keep the jobs and optimize the state policy on wages and salary.
4. Optimize labor and social welfare legal framework and wage structure.
"Save Science" Protesters Announce Next Phase of Strikes
Ulaanbaatar Jan 7 (GoGo Mongolia) Save the Science temporary committee have called for a press conference today to announce on their next strike options.
The press conference is to take place at 12PM at the Press Institute of Mongolia and is organized by Mongolian Science and Higher Education Workers Union.
Save the Science temporary committee organized press conference at the Chinggis Square recently on December 25th to deliver message to the Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg on the upcoming structural developments at the science sector.
In 12 days after that event scientists claim they haven't received any response from the government and see this as Prime Minister being at the same standing regarding the science sector and are ready to shift for next stages of the strike.
Demands addressed to PM Ch.Saikhanbileg and MInister of Education, Culture and Science L.Gantumur are to be delivered during the press conference.
Mongolia Seeks Unlimited Quota for Meat Export to China
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Food and Agriculture R.Burmaa met January 7 the Ambassador of China to Mongolia Wang Xiaolong to seek a support in mobilizing a dialogue about exporting to China Mongolian agricultural products with no limited quotas.
That dialogue took place during the state visit of Mr Xi Jinping to Mongolia in August of 2014. At the sixth meeting of the working group between the Ministries in Beijing and on the meeting of the Vice ministers of Food and agriculture it had been agreed that the two countries would cooperate in creating a "free of animal diseases" zone in the eastern region of Mongolia, thus implementing a program on facilitating meat export to China and on combat with cross-border outbreak of the animal diseases. Moreover, a Vice minister of Chinese Department of Supervision on Animal and Plant Quarantine, Import and Export Food Safety Bureau, Mr Wu Qinghai had proposed at a meeting with the Mongolian Ambassador Ts.Sukhbaatar to run a dialogue about alleviating the transit regulations and barriers during the trades of beef, mutton, and goat meat, horse by-products, buuz, dumplings, flour, animal fodder and keeps.
In scope of this proposal, a request had been submitted to the Chinese Department of Supervision on Animal and Plant Quarantine to terminate a quarantine in Bayan-Olgii aimag in the aftermath of hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak occurred last year. The termination of the quarantine will allow the aimag's mutton and goat meat exports to China to commence. Our Ministry of Food and Agriculture issued a direction that addresses creating a favorable environment for trading animal fodder, pedigree livestock, and other agricultural products with China through Bayankhoshuu-Ovdog port of Dornod aimag and Bichigt-Khatavch port of Sukhbaatar aimag.
Mongolia's Burgeoning Startup Scene Is Ripe for Investment
By Ider-Od Bat-Erdene
January 6 (Startup Grind) The Silicon Valley vibe started spreading in Mongolia since about 2010. Before that, names like Google, Amazon, and Intuit always sounded way too distant and foreign to talk much about. However, now one can bump into armies of energetic young entrepreneurs at events, such as, Startup Weekend, Startup Grind, and Startup Next at IT Park, a state run incubator, in downtown Ulaanbaatar. The startup scene in Mongolia is starting to shine for investors.
· Capital: Ulaanbaatar – (1.3M)
· Country Population: – (3M)
· Driving industries – Mining, Livestock
· Mobile Subscribers – (1.6M)
At the moment, the only privately run incubator programs are part of an NGO called Startup Mongolia, which was established in 2011. A year ago the IT Park facility underwent a major renovation to support private initiatives hoping to foster the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Successful co-working spaces like "Coffee House" which hosts about a dozen startups are showing continual growth. Startup Mongolia is on the cusp of launching Mongolia's first Silicon Valley style co-working space in the center of Ulaanbaatar. 4 carefully selected companies will join its inaugural program.
Due to the country's prodigious natural resources, over 95% of the foreign investment goes to the mining sector. A recent example of how large this investment category is in Mongolia, is the giant copper and gold mining development "Turquoise Hill" in the Gobi Desert. It attracted an $8B investment. Foreign investment comes primarily from the Japanese, Korean, and Chinese in sectors like telecom, banking, hotels and supermarkets.
Seed and Early Stage Venture Funds are only beginning to appear in the last three years. These funds usually operate as part of bigger financial and securities institutions or major group companies. They invest in about two to four startups per year. Recently however, individual angel investors have been making $5-$100K investments in tech companies. Angels seem to know the capital market is sparse as they usually take 30%-60% equity in startups from Mongolia. With investor equity shares almost 10x the Valley average it is not easy for startups to get favorable terms in this phase of the ecosystems development.
Over the past year, the economy has cooled down significantly due to its over dependence on mining. New regulations and legal frameworks seem to be slowing down potential investment activity, which is causing an economic downturn. Regardless of the red tape, there are still lots of investment opportunities in Mongolia. In addition to mining, technology, tourism, education, transportation, and food industries all offer big opportunities. The people are starting to realize this and strong technically based startup teams are forming fast here.
Our Startup Grind Chapter aims to tell the stories of those teams in order to help better connect and mentor the burgeoning startup community in Ulaanbaatar. Last December's inaugural event had over 50 paid attendees.
Mongolia Forum on Studying Swedish Experience in Trade Facilitation, January 20-21
January 7 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) with the purposes to facilitate the country's foreign trade and export promotion is organizing "International Trade Facilitation Issues, Studying Swedish Experiences" Forum in Ulaanbaatar on January 20-21, 2015.
The event will be co-organized with the Swedish National Board of Trade, a Government Agency under Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where the following topics will be covered.
- The role of international trade and trade facilitation
- Fundamentals of trade facilitation issues and activities
- Sweden's trade facilitation activities and experiences
- International trade agreements (multilateral, regional and bilateral)
- Trade facilitation tools and best practices
- Changes and features
Forum on studying Swedish experience to be held – Montsame, January 7
Mongolia - An energy consultancy company is looking for a partner in smart grid technologies
Transmission and distribution networks in Mongolia were originally designed by the former Soviet Union standards and most of the parts have been aged and deteriorated up to today. Some of the transmission and distribution equipment were replaced with new equipment, however grid reliability is still at a low level. Power supply interruption indices are high in Mongolia clearly show the lower level of the operation reliability. Mongolia has enormous renewable energy resources such as solar and wind therefore, has a good potential to use clean energy technologies as a way of distributed generation within the grid system. However, Mongolian grid needs to introduce smart grid technology in order to fully utilize this potential and improve the operational efficiency of the energy system. Tariff reforming also needed to maximize the benefit of the use of smart grid and necessary steps have been taken already by Mongolian related authorities.
The Ministry of Energy of Mongolia and state owned companies (electricity transmission and distribution networks) are aware of the need to introduce smart grid technologies in Mongolia and have been conducting various preliminary studies and workshops and seeking assistance from international financial organizations such as the World Bank, KfW and EBRD.
An international financial organization is planning to finance a project to introduce the smart grid technology into Mongolian grid.
Therefore, we are looking for a potential partner who manufactures smart grid equipment and devices, such as communication devices and smart meters and have solid experience in design, installation and commissioning of the smart grid devices.
Opportunity Type: Major Projects
Response deadline: 31/01/2015
Ulaanbaatar to Host Discussion on Affordable Housing Strategy with World Bank, US Affordable Housing Institute
January 7 (GoGo Mongolia) Discussions on Strategy for the Affordable Housing for UB city residents to be held with the involvement of the Capital City Governor's Office, World Bank and Affordable Housing Institute of US.
The discussion is scheduled on January 10th at the Khangarid Palace of Capital City Government and involves the experts and officials from the Capital city governor's office, Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, Ministry of Environment and Green Development, General Planning Department of Capital City, Ger area Development Department, Ger area housing project and State Housing Corporation. Moreover, representatives of the banking sector including Bank of Mongolia, Ministry of Finance, Mongolian Mortgage Corporation, and Mongolian Bankers Association.
Discussion is directed at improving and developing the supply of the affordable housings for the residents with low incomes and its financing methods.
Defense Minister Meets Ambassador of India
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Defense Ts.Tsolmon Wednesday received Mr Somnath Ghosh, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Mongolia.
The Minister said the two countries can develop the defense cooperation with new contents and boost ties in other spheres such as industry, military sport, culture, arts, scientific works and research. In response, the Ambassador said the defense sector plays a vital role in the bilateral relations and expressed his country's willingness to continue the "Nomadic Elephant" Mongolia-India military exercises, which were organized annually since 2004. He also highlighted his views about continuing the collaboration in information security and in appointing military attaché to each other.
Since the establishment in 1973, the ties and cooperation in the sphere have been enhancing year by year, as well as high and middle level mutual visits, for instance, a head of the General Headquarters of Mongolian Armed Forces paid an official visit to India in 2014.
This meeting was requested by the Ambassador.
Vice FM Meets Ambassador of Russia on 2015 Cooperation
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs N.Oyundari received December 31 Mr I.K.Azizov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia, reported the Ministry's press service on January 7. The sides shared views on a present situation of the Mongolia-Russia relations and mutual visits, implemented in 2014, and on concrete works supposed to be co-realized in 2015.
"Inspired by Zaya" English Talk Show: "Mongolian Adele" O. Ariunsanaa
GoGo Mongolia Editor E.Ariunzaya
Please enjoy the show and stay tuned as more episodes are coming soon.
Welshman Ash Dykes who trekked solo across Mongolia nominated for national adventure awards
Ash Dykes has won praise from Sir Ranulph Fiennes for his extraordinary exploits
January 6 (Wales Online) A Welshman who was nicknamed the "lonely snow leopard" during his record breaking solo walk across Mongolia is in the running to become the national adventurer of the year.
Ash Dykes, 24, walked into the record books in 2014 after spending 78 days alone crossing 1,500 miles of the unforgiving land of the high Altai Mountains, scorching Gobi Desert and the seemingly-endless Mongolian Steppe.
He is the only Welshman nominated for the prestigious national adventure awards – with the popular vote opening today.
Wish you were here? Ash Dykes' stunning postcards from Mongolia:
The world's greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes praised the young adventurer, from Colwyn Bay, for becoming the first person to walk solo across Mongolia.
Sir Ranulph, who was first to reach both Poles, first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis, said it was "an example of great determination".
The National Adventure Awards are a celebration of the very best of international adventure by people across the UK and Ash was nominated by friends and family in the categories Adventurer of the Year and Physical Endeavour.
'It was a tough challenge and it didn't go unnoticed'
Ash said: "This means a huge amount, it's truly appreciated and I'm lucky to have the support by such generous people going to the effort in order to vote for the expedition I undertook.
"It was a tough challenge and it didn't go unnoticed, which is fantastic.
"A lot has changed since the expedition, I'm writing a book about it and I'm now available to do talks in schools, colleges, universities and corporate events.
"I'm having my documentary looked at by a production company in London, in the hope to have it broadcast.
"Soon I will be leading an expedition across Northern Mongolia, so if anyone fancies joining me on a nine-day trek through extremely untouched regions in Mongolia, then contact me for further details.
"I'm also looking at my next big expedition, it's looking like another possible world first record, but I can't reveal what it is just yet unfortunately."
Raging sandstorms, crippling heat exhaustion and unrelenting loneliness
During his amazing feat last year, Ash battled raging sandstorms, crippling heat exhaustion and the unrelenting loneliness of crossing the world's most sparsely populated country at walking pace.
Word even spread among the local Mongols about the strange foreigner walking across the country – and the young Welshman was soon nicknamed the "lonely snow leopard".
From Mongolia's western border with Russia to its easterly border with China
But after 78 days of travelling alone and unsupported Ash became the first known person to walk from Mongolia's western border with Russia to its easterly border with China.
After completing his record-breaking trek on August 6, he said: "It is an absolutely unreal feeling. It still hasn't really sunk in, it feels surreal.
"There have been so many unforgettable experiences on this trek it is impossible to list them all.
"Throughout the expedition I felt privileged to see the country first hand and witness its diverse landscape and unpredictable climate."
Ash dragged a 120kg home-made trailer behind him all the way from the small settlement of Olggi in the West to the town of Choybalsan in the East.
The trailer contained the dehydrated food ration packs, 25 litre water butt and camping equipment he needed on his trek through all the brutal terrain thrown at it.
His longest day of walking saw him on his feet for 14 hours as he covered 55km. And he reached a peak altitude of 2,700m along the way.
Mongolia is the second-largest landlocked country on earth at 603,930 square miles and the most sparsely populated with only 3,133,318 people - averaging just 5.19 people to every one square mile.
Ash has been visiting schools to give talks on his expedition and his 10-date UK Tour called "Ash Dykes - Breaking Mongolia: The Lonely Snow Leopard" begins in March and continues into April.
Ash said: "The final public vote will open on January 6, 2015, and those who have previously voted can vote again as it is a separate voting process.
"When voting people may need to type my e-mail address in which is: - firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Anyone wanting to join me in two nine-day treks across Northern Mongolia July and August can contact me via email and see mountains and glaciers in remote areas where westerners rarely ever visit."
To vote for Ash to win the Adventurer of the Year category and Physical Endeavour category visit http://www.scottishadventureawards.com/nominate/
Explorer Ash Dykes shortlisted for adventure award – BBC News, January 6
6th Floor, NTN Tower
Baga Toiruu, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
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