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Friday, June 5, 2015

[Banks backing OT says Rio; ERD ups raising; Sharyn Gol parent to list on SGX; and $1B Arab fund to be set up in August]

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Friday, June 5, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

TRQ closed -0.68% Thursday to US$4.38, EGI -0.33% to US$0.389

Rio Tinto says banks are backing Oyu Tolgoi

June 5 (AFR) Rio Tinto's top copper and coal executive, Jean-S├ębastien Jacques, says some banks have already recommitted to help finance $US4 billion the miner is seeking for its stalled copper and gold project in Mongolia.

Mr Jacques personally kicked off Rio's engagement with a consortium of 15 to 20 banks last week, hosting a conference call alongside Rio group treasurer Ulf Quellmann.

He told The Australian Financial Review that several private and government-backed banks had already pledged their support and a consortium deal should be completed in the next few months.

"The banks are ready to invest," Mr Jacques said in Washington. "We want to take this project to the next phase on the back of project finance."

Oyu Tolgoi in the South Gobi Desert in Mongolia is one of the world's richest copper deposits and a critical growth asset for Rio.

Rio signed an agreement with the new Mongolian government last month for a $US6 billion expansion of the copper and gold mine.

The deal follows an impasse of almost three years, after the former Mongolian government tried to change the original terms of the contract signed in 2009 and extract more favourable returns.

Rio largely stood firm, granting some relatively minor concessions in the deal Mr Jacques personally negotiated last month with Mongolian Prime Minister Chimediin Saikhanbileg.

'THE RIGHT INVESTMENT CONDITIONS'

Rio has already invested $US7 billion in the open pit mine that produced $US1.7 billion revenue in 2014. But 80 per cent of the mine's potential value is buried deep underground. It requires a total extra investment of $US5-6 billion

"We believe today we have the right investment conditions and tax regime to take this project to the next phase," Mr Jacques said.

A syndicate of more than a dozen banks had previously committed to lend $US4 billion for the mine's expansion, but the financing deal lapsed due to the lengthy dispute between Rio and the government.

Mr Jacques was Washington on Thursday and due to meet with the World Bank's private financing arm, the International Finance Corporation, which will be one of the project's financiers.

Outside of more than a dozen commercial banks, a host of the other government export financing agencies in the United States, Canada, Australia and Asia are among the consortium of lenders involved in the financing talks.

Investors in Boston and New York, who Mr Jacques met with earlier this week, are anxious to know when the massive project will come on stream.

The project, which Rio has a 51 per cent stake in via its shareholding in Canada's Turquoise Hill Resources, is a long-term investment and expected to reach full production by 2021. The Mongolian government owns 34 per cent of the asset.

If project finance, a feasibility study and other government approvals are forthcoming, work on the site could begin before the end of this year.

BANKING ON INDIA FOR COPPER GROWTH

Almost 20 per cent of Rio's shareholders are in the US. On his road show, Mr Jacques has been trumpeting that Rio's coal business is free cash flow positive, despite the slump in prices and gloomy outlook for the sector.

Copper is also facing a changing outlook.

China, which accounts for about 40 per cent of global copper demand, is slowing and the government is aiming to rebalance growth away from fixed asset investment. China's shifting growth model raises questions about demand for copper.

Rio is banking on India and South East Asia to drive copper growth and expects world copper demand to spike back up around 2017-18, as the regions ramp up electricity use and build new cities.

"As soon as you need more energy and you need to move the energy, the best conductor is copper," Mr Jacques said.

However, Mr Jacques acknowledged risks to copper demand, particularly if consumers substitute to aluminium and plastic.

"The only concern I have is substitution to other materials," he said.

"We fully acknowledge substitution is a real business reality risk and we factor it in."

Rio's model takes into account likely substitution. The miner forecasts copper demand to grow at 2½ per cent a year.

Link to article

 

ERD closed flat Thursday at C$0.135

Erdene Private Placement Oversubscribed, Closes First Tranche of $1.15M and Increases Financing to $1.5M

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - June 4, 2015) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce that its recently announced non-brokered financing ("Private Placement") is oversubscribed and as a result the Company has increased the amount of the financing to $1.5 million. The Company closed the first tranche of $1.15 million and expects to close the final tranche before mid-June, 2015.

The original proposed financing was to sell up to 7,142,857 units at a price of $0.14 per unit for gross proceeds of up to $1,000,000. The Private Placement was increased to 10,714,286 units for gross proceed of $1.5 million. Each unit consists of one common share of the Company and one-half of one common share purchase warrant, with each whole common share purchase warrant entitling the holder to purchase one common share of the Company at a price of $0.16 for a six month period from the closing date. In connection with the first tranche of the Private Placement, its advisor, Altus Securities Inc., received a finder's fee of $65,000 and 464,286 finder's fee warrants. Each finder's fee warrant is exercisable for one common share of the Company at $0.16 per share, for a period of 12 months from the closing date. All securities issued pursuant to the Private Placement are subject to a four-month hold period from the closing date.

Net proceeds of the Private Placement will be used to advance the Company's 100% owned Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project in southwest Mongolia and for general working capital purposes. With an initial NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource for Altan Nar in hand, the Company's current work plan includes process test work, evaluations of the mining, engineering, transportation, and marketing options, as well as exploration and development related drilling.

Link to release

 

Xanadu Mines drilling in Mongolia Cu-Au hotspot at Proactive's Luncheons

June 5 (Proactive Investors) Xanadu Mines' (ASX:XAM) Kharmagtai in Mongolia is one of the most promising copper-gold projects in Asia.

Notably, the current contained JORC Resource of 1,533 million pounds of copper and more than 2 million ounces of gold represents just a small portion of the Mining Licence.

Chief executive officer Dr Andrew Stewart spoke on the company's fully-funded 2015 exploration program to increase resources.

ACCESS PRESENTATION HERE:

Drilling is underway at Kharmagtai, which is located in the under-explored South Gobi porphyry copper province, to test near-surface strike extensions and high priority targets under shallow cover.

This has excellent potential to expand resources.

Xanadu also has an established portfolio of quality projects.

Link to article

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Local Market

MSE News for June 4: Top 20 +1.16% to 13,183.41, Turnover 17.5 Million

Ulaanbaatar, June 4 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 18 thousand and 851 units of 22 JSCs were traded costing MNT 17 million 450 thousand and 559.00.

"Olloo" /10 thousand and 100 units/, "E-trans logistics" /6,144 units/, "APU" /1,022 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /665 units/ and "Baganuur" /193 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT three million and 577 thousand), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT two million 577 thousand and 770), "Bayangol hotel" (MNT two million and 450 thousand), "Talkh chikher" (MNT one million 981 thousand and 420), "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT one million and 803 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 280 billion 027 million 168 thousand and 895. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,183.41, increasing 1.16% and the all index of MSE was 939.82, increasing 0.75% against the previous day.

Link to article

Link to trading report

 

Sharyn Gol's Parent Company to List on SGX

June 4 (MSE) Sharyn Gol JSC (MSE: SHG) is pleased to announce that it has been informed by a representative of its controlling shareholders, which are predominantly entities controlled by funds managed by affiliates of New York-based Firebird Management LLC ("Firebird"), that Mogul Coal Holdings Pte. Ltds. ("MCH"), a private Singapore-registered company created for the purpose of holding coal assets in Mongolia, has entered into an agreement ("Implementation Agreement") pursuant to which Eratat Lifestyle Limited, a company under judicial management that is listed on the SGX ("ELL"), will transfer its Listing Status to MCH in consideration of the issue of ordinary shares in the share capital of MCH to shareholders and eligible creditors of ELL("Transfer").

The successful completion of the Transfer would result in Sharyn Gol JSC becoming an indirect subsidiary of MCH, which would become a listed company on the Catalist Board of the SGX ("Catalist Board"). The completion of the Transfer, which is subject to certain conditions precedent to closing, would not result in a Change of Control under Mongolian securities law, as Firebird would remain a controlling shareholder of Mogul Coal Holdings Pte. Ltd.

Sharyn Gol JSC would remain a public company listed on Mongolian Stock Exchange ("MSE"). The proposed listing of MCH would represent the first listing of a Mongolian mining company on the SGX and would benefit Sharyn Gol JSC by providing the company with access to new equity capital through the listing of its parent company on the Catalist Board.

Sharyn Gol JSC is located 215km north of Ulaanbaatar and 45km south east of the city of Darkhan on Mongolia's main national rail line, is a leading producer of high-grade thermal coal and sells to state-owned power stations, local cement factories as well as retail consumers. In 1993, the company was listed on MSE (MSE: SHG) and was fully privatized in 2003. 

For more information, contact:

Mrs. Otgonzul Baatar

E-mail address: otgonzul@sharyngol.com

www.sharyngol.com

Link to release

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Economy

Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy 1,919 Sell 1,935), Khan (Buy 1,919 Sell 1,935), Golomt (Buy 1,918 Sell 1,935), XacBank (Buy 1,919 Sell 1,933), State Bank (Buy 1,917 Sell 1,936)

BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, June 4 Close

 

 

6/4

6/3

6/2

5/29

5/28

5/27

5/26

5/25

5/22

5/21

USD

1,890.81

1,896.38

1,901.92

1,907.32

1,914.13

1,917.55

1,925.01

1,927.89

1,935.23

1,936.77

EUR

2,125.18

2,118.16

2,083.93

2,084.61

2,091.57

2,093.49

2,096.05

2,121.55

2,158.65

2,150.59

CNY

304.91

306.04

306.89

307.58

308.81

309.10

310.16

310.89

312.21

312.27

GBP

2,896.06

2,911.89

2,895.10

2,916.77

2,941.25

2,954.66

2,966.06

2,988.23

3,034.34

3,007.03

RUB

34.48

35.90

35.57

36.13

36.90

37.75

38.26

38.69

38.72

38.62

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates

 

BoM buys US$25m at 1,894, accepts $41.3m MNT swap offers

June 4 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on June 4th, 2015 the BOM has received selling bid offers of USD 25.0 million in a rate between MNT 1889.50-1894.00. BOM has bought USD 25.0 million in a rate with MNT 1894.0. 

On June 4th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 41.3 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offers.

See also:

·         FX Auction Statistics

Link to release

 

8% Mortgage Program Update: ₮566.1 Billion Refinanced, ₮1.99 Trillion Newly Issued

June 4 (Cover Mongolia) As of May 31, 566.1 billion (₮568.2 billion as of April 24) existing mortgages of 19,116 citizens (19,099 as of April 24) were refinanced at 8% out of 839.1 billion (₮831.9 billion as of April 24) worth requests.

Also, 1,987.8 billion (₮1,925 billion as of April 24) new mortgages of 36,864 citizens (35,689 citizens as of April 24) were issued at new rates out of 2 trillion (₮1.96 trillion as of April 24) worth requests.

Link to release (in Mongolian)

 

ADB Board Directors on Visit to Mongolia, May 31-June 5

June 4 (UB Post) Eight members of the Board of Directors of Asian Development Bank (ADB) are visiting Mongolia from May 31 to June 5, to become acquainted with the nation's current conditions and development issues.

The delegation is visiting agriculture and mining sites in Umnugovi, Dornogovi, and Dundgovi provinces. They are being introduced to projects that are being implemented with ADB's support and meeting representatives from nongovernmental organizations.

Permanent Representative of ADB to Mongolia Robert Schoellhammer said, "ADB will continue supporting Mongolia on making development results accessible to all its citizens. The visit of the Board of Directors will make ADB's assistance to Mongolia more rational and effective."

On Wednesday, ADB delegates attended the opening ceremony of the new water supply and sewage system in Umnugovi Province funded by ADB.

Headquartered in Manila, ADB works to free Asia and the Pacific region from poverty. The Board of Directors supervises ADB's financial statements, approves its administrative budget, and reviews and approves all policy documents and all loan, equity, and technical assistance operations.

ADB is implementing 57 projects in Mongolia, including 18 loan projects, nine non-refundable projects and 30 technical assistance projects.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Mogi: interviewjack by Montsame

Mongolian PM Gives Interview to New York Times

Ulaanbaatar, June 4 (MONTSAME) The "New York Times" magazine reporters interviewed Thursday the Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr Ch.Saikhanbileg about the current political, economic and social situation in Mongolia, and foreign and governmental policies and decisions towards investors.

The PM gave information on the economic status and the policies and decisions executed by the Government. He underlined that the skilled cadres are crucial in the development of Mongolia along with the technology advancement.

Paying a bigger attention to our mining sphere, the foreign world calls Mongolia as the "Mining Mongolia", he noted and stressed that our country is pursuing a policy on diversifying not only this sphere but also the economics and is working on commercializing its agricultural, farming, technological and tourism products at the world market and on creating its new brands.

Our neighbors Russia and China both have large access to international waters, one is a great supplier of materials, the other is a great consumer, so Mongolia is striving to penetrate to the third market by utilizing their accesses to waters and is interested to become an international negotiation bridge and business center, he went on.

The Government is putting efforts to create more favorable environment and opportunities of mutually beneficial business cooperation for both domestic and foreign investors through giving them equal conditions in order to forward the economic and business development, said the PM. He also underlined that international financial organizations have positive outlook for the Mongolian economy.

Link to article

 

Global Oil Prices Fall; No Effect on Prices at Gas Pumps in Mongolia

By Mongolian Economic Analysis and Research Center

June 4 (Mongolian Economy) The price of oil in the global market, benchmarked byWTI, has been decreasing since July 2014 when it was at USD 107. As of March of this year, the price per barrel had dropped to USD 43, and as of May 9, it was at USD 59 (USD 442 per tonne). Plunges in oil prices have occurred four times in the last 50 years: 1985-1986, 1990-91, 2008-09 and 2014-15. Of these four events, the rapid drops in price during 2014-15 and 1985- 86 are dominantly because of supply-side factors, the first Gulf War triggered the collapse of 1990-91 and the 2008-09 price collapse came about due to the global financial crisis.

There was a sharp increase in oil production in Alaska, the North Sea and Mexico before the recession of 1985-86; new types of energy production such as US shale oil, Canadian oil sands and bio-fuels increased sharply before the price drop of 2014-15. In both cases, OPEC [1] purposefully decided not to impose supply cuts. Oil prices returned to their previous levels in a short time frame after the collapses of 1991-92 and 2008-09. However, after the collapse of 1985-86, oil prices did not return to its previous levels for nearly 20 years.

According to a World Bank report, the price of oil might remain at low levels for an extended period because of technological advances related to shale oil and lack of demand in developing countries. This year, the average price of oil is expected to be around USD53 per barrel (USD400 per tonne). Furthermore, the World Bank forecasts that the price of oil per barrel will fluctuate between USD53-74 (USD400-560 per tonne) over the next five years.

Mongolia's oil import prices reached their highest level in 2012-13 when it was approximately at USD 1,200 per tonne. It decreased to USD 960 last year and averaged USD 620 per tonne in the first quarter of this year. Oil product import prices in Mongolia are more expensive than the world average by 40 percent. This is due to the price of the crude oil itself combined with the cost of transportation. Figure 1 illustrates that Mongolia's import prices follow the world trend.

Import prices being denominated in USD is a significant factor, given the USD-MNT exchange rates. From 2012 until the first quarter of this year the MNT depreciated 44 percent against the USD. Figure 2 shows that one litre of fuel was imported at MNT 1,600 in 2012, while the same amount was imported at MNT1,220 in the first quarter of this year.

The government imposes price controls and taxes to stabilise the price of gasoline. In December 2012, the Bank of Mongolia and the Ministry of Mining have started to implement the "Fuel retail price stabilisation program" because of the high costs of importing oil and depreciation of the currency. Under the program, one USD was sold at MNT 1,400 in 2013 [2] and MNT 1,525 in 2014 [3] to fuel importing companies [4]. In 2012, retail price of fuel was around MNT1,472-1,728 [5], while the fuel import price per litre was MNT 1600. The fuel import price per litre was at MNT 1,200 in the first quarter of this year:AI-80 was at MNT 1,550;AI-93 was at MNT 1,660; and diesel fuel was at MNT1,790 (see Figures 3 and 4).

Why are we paying more than USD 104, which was the price in 2012, when the oil prices have fallen to USD 59 per barrel today? In 2012, the price of importing petroleum was at MNT 1,600. Now it's MNT 1,200. How does it benefit consumers to keep prices so high? Reducing the price of petroleum will help to reduce the overall price levels in the economy and boost the real purchasing power of consumers: petroleum is a core good whose price influences price of so many other products.

[1] Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. This organisation consists of 12 major oil exporting countries and colludes to set global petroleum prices.

[2] http://www.mongolbank.mn/documents/pricestability/day_news/2012_total_tranch.pdf

[3] http://economy.news.mn/content/194103.shtml

[4] Found no information on whether projects were implemented in 2012 and 2015

[5] Average price of AI-80 and AI-93 gasoline and diesel fuel

Link to article

 

Select state services to become available 24/7

June 4 (UB Post) Beginning the weekly meeting Hour of Solutions, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg noted that it is time for Mongolia to have state services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"There are several state organizations which operate non-stop, 24/7, such as emergency services and the state emergency management agency. There is a need to make state services prompt, easy, uncomplicated and bureaucracy free by uniting over 160 services at one window that the state provides to the public. In the first phase, we need to build a building for governmental ministries and agencies with plenty of parking outside, and to concentrate state services at the same place. Then we need to establish branches of state service offices in the outskirt districts of Ulaanbaatar," said the Prime Minister. He emphasized that the financing and costs concerns in introducing 24/7 service can be solved from certain governmental resources.

"This initiative should be implemented urgently. It is possible to create an office building with a large parking space that will allow citizens to receive service 24/7, not being stuck in the central traffic jams. Organizations located in buildings along the highway should be relocated and financing for maintenance should be issued," commented Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul.

Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg assigned the Chairman of the Information Technology, Post and Telecommunication Authority, Ts.Jadamba, with finding technology solutions to consolidate over 160 state services for public access at a single location.

Link to article

 

MP Batchimeg: Mongolia has become a nation with 76 Prime Ministers

June 4 (UB Post) Member of Parliament M.Batchimeg studied the constitutions of over 30 countries in relation to the proposed amendments to the Constitution of Mongolia. MP M.Batchimeg gave an interview regarding this topic and her study.

The coalition government agreed to decide several important issues when it was first established, and one of them was the amendments to the Constitution. Yet, isn't the amendment procedure being delayed due to Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi issues? 

A working group for amending the Constitution has been established under the Speaker of Parliament. This working group consists of senior and experienced MPs and party representatives who participated in the adoption of the Constitution in 1992. I'm working close with this group. I've researched measures for strengthening executive power, which was considered as the most important and urgent issue among changes for the Constitution.

Working groups of parties that agreed to establish the new government last autumn also exchanged wide range of views for this issue and all agreed to make changes and amendments to the Constitution of Mongolia within 2015 with the purpose to improve parliamentary governance. The working group united on many issues and will soon have parliamentary party groups discuss them. As I'm not part of the working group, I'm unable to answer on behalf of the group. 

Many politicians commented that the Prime Minister should assign cabinet members himself and form an accountability system for ministers. According to your study, do other countries have this type of practice?

I believe that this change should be done primarily. The guarantee for enforcing executive power is appointment and money. If we take private companies as an example, what can a CEO who doesn't know its personnel and capital do? This is exactly how the current Prime Minister of Mongolia is like. Parliament is in charge of both ministers and the budget. It's clear that our Parliament is too involved in executive power and the government is unable to fulfill their role independently.

Under these conditions, the public has no choice but to blame the 76 MPs, instead of the government. According to the Constitution, the Prime Minister works representing his cabinet in Parliament and the government takes care of the nation's financing and businesses. As the procedure for implementing this article wasn't specified, it has remained as just an article.

Among some over 30 countries with parliamentary governance that we researched, parliaments of only Mongolia, Ireland and Slovene appoint ministers. In other countries, the Prime Minister appoints its cabinet members. Also, involvement of Parliament in projects submitted by the government is low and this parliamentary involvement is significantly limited by the Constitution and other legislations. The opportunity for governments to fulfill their basic duties, which is to manage the macro economy and direct budgets and financial policies, is provided in this manner. In other countries, Parliament is more involved in their role to monitor and approve the budget policy.

If these constitutional changes are made, is it possible to resolve the current governance crisis facing Mongolia?

Everything will not be resolved immediately after changes are made to the Constitution. However, it is the main gateway to bringing order to the current chaotic situation. Presently, Mongolia seems to have 76 Prime Ministers instead of one. Every MP is involved in minister appointments and budget allocation. Parliament is too involved in economic issues and in the works that the government is supposed to do. This is the reason why major projects that have been discussed for many years such as railway and power station projects haven't been progressing. While governments of other countries are pulling forward the economy like train locomotives, Mongolia seems to be moving in 76 different directions. In such conditions, Mongolia can't easily move from its current position.

Lately, many have been criticizing that populists have been increasing and the economy is worsening because of them. People can speculate. I will not deny that there are faults in politicians and MPs. However, it's important to see what kind of opportunities politicians have in their playground and game rules. In reality, Parliament should be approving big policies and legislations and monitor if they're being implemented. 

You've said that there are some problems in the Constitution. Not only the Constitution but doesn't the current Parliament also have several problems?

Like I said, I will not deny that MPs have faults. Nevertheless, it's more important to look at the system in detail, and understand it and make necessary fixes. I agree that situations have worsened since the 2012 parliamentary election. Our research work showed that the main reason for it is connected to the selection of mixed electoral system in 2012.

In our small majoritarian system, a party has to receive more than 51 percent of votes for approval. The status of the government was a bit more powerful when the leader of the party with the majority of parliamentary votes was the Prime Minister. Countries with mixed or pure proportional representation electoral system create a parliament with many parties. This type of parliament without one specific party, with more members, allows the Prime Minister to work with ministers from different parties. In this parliament, members from his or her party don't take up most of the positions. When we're striving towards this type of electoral system, the authority of the Prime Minister and conditions for sustainable works of the government should be provided by the constitution. Or else, not only Parliament but also future situations will become more dire and difficult. I believe that Mongolia cannot revert back to a majoritarian system. Global trends are confirming this too. 

Some say that the seven new articles that were added to the Constitution from 1999 to 2000 worsened the state. What changes do you think will be made to them?

Personally, I don't agree that those seven articles worsened conditions. Those seven articles contain things that are useful even now. For example, one article established transparency for issues relating to the voting of government dismissal.

Within 25 years since 1990, Mongolia has had 14 Prime Ministers and 16 different governments. If secret voting for government dismissal has remained, Mongolia might have dismissed maybe even 20 governments, rather than 16.  Open voting brings transparency for each member's responsibility.

Among over 30 countries we studied, just two countries conducted this type of ballot in secret. It's probably best to distinguish the goods and bads of those seven articles during the constitutional amendment. 

Besides cabinet appointments and budget authority, what other changes will be made in the Constitution?

Since we've already touched the Constitution, there are some issues that should be determined as well. For example, it's crucial to make the mechanism for operating the government more sustainably through the Constitution. It's wrong to make constitutional amendments frequently. If these amendments foresee at least 15 to 20 years into the future, it's absolutely essential to increase the number of MPs.

Having too few MPs increases the chance of members being influenced by one another, one member having too much influence, specific members being involved in many standing committees, which could make legislations that are being adopted less effective. Mongolia set the number of MPs to 76 when Mongolia's population was at around two million. The population will increase to four million in the next 15 to 20 years.

Furthermore, I consider giving city status to Erdenet and Darkhan in accordance with the Constitution, which will be a positive move for the development of Mongolia. As for other issues, I'll be able to say my comments after studying proposals from the working group.

The amendments have to be approved six months prior to the 2016 elections. Do you think this'll be possible?

The working group has no choice but to strive towards having it approved in time. This issue should be settled quickly. Everyone is saying that we've almost become a nation without a state or governance. Recent surveys show that a high percentage of people is supporting a presidential government. Personally, I accepted this as a criticism from the public rather than preference for a presidential governance. The public saw that Mongolia has got 76 heads and doesn't have a liability system to point out who exactly should be taking responsibility, and is criticizing the current system.

If we don't make changes within this year, the discontentment of the public will continue to rise. It'll be difficult to expect economic situations to improve as the main reason behind the current crisis has become the government and state. Political understanding is reaching a high level thanks to the issue to make constitutional changes. Expectations are forming in the public. Reaching this type of compromise is very valuable. If changes aren't made during this period, I don't know if the new parliament of 2016 can form this atmosphere for change or how much time and opportunities Mongolia will lose. We must strive to make this change. Making this huge change possible will become current Parliament's big achievement and merit. It's time to unite for the greater good by setting aside internal conflicts, political fights and competition for seats. 

Source: News.mn

Link to interview

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Business

Mongolia's mining sector "well placed" to grow says BMI

June 4 (World Coal) Mongolia's mining sector is "well placed for continued expansion over the next few years," according to a new report from BMI Research, "as foreign investors continue to leverage the country's significant mineral reserves, robust infrastructure framework and proximity to major export markets, such as China."

According to the research company, the recent agreement between the Mongolian government and Rio Tinto over the Oyu Tolgoi mining project could herald a new phase of mining investment in the country, which has been rocked in recent years by uncertainty over political interference in the mining industry.

"It is difficult to understate the importance of Oyu Tolgoi in determining Mongolia's long-term economic fortunes," said BMI Research. "The development […] suggests that the government is likely to adopt a more benevolent stance towards foreign mining investment over the coming years, following a significant drop-off in foreign direct investment over 2013 and 2014."

Link to article

 

$1 Billion Arab Investment Fund for Mongolia to Be Set Up in August

June 4 (news.mn) During the recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg, and Finance Minister Kh.Gantsogt, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Arab CIB Finance Group to establish a USD 1 billion Investment Fund in Mongolia. Prime Minister Saikhanbileg noted – the signing of the MoU, now makes it possible to finance big constructing projects via this fund.  The Finance Minister informed – CIB group has planned to choose the location for the investment fund in August 2015. The investment fund will be organized as an entity to finance private sector projects in Mongolia. The Government is not able to interfere in the activities of fund; therefore the USD 1 billion investment will not affect the debt limit of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The representatives of the Dubai  and Abu-Dhabi  Chamber of Trade and Industry will visit Mongolia to identify the most suitable projects and sectors for investment.

Link to article

 

Mongolia PM Meets EITI Chairwoman on 2nd Visit to UB

Ulaanbaatar, June 4 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg Thursday received Ms Clare Short, the chairwoman of the Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), who is visiting here by invitation of the Cabinet Secretariat.

She is here for the second time. The EITI has been realizing methods in Mongolia on eighth year for delivering mining transparency around the world and preventing tax avoidance, corruption and other negative actions in the industry. Currently, the EITI is focusing on empowering professionals of the mining sector, improving activities, revealing digital information based on specific data, said Ms Clare. The Premier thanked her for visiting Mongolia and pointed out that Mongolia is paying attention to making its mining sector more transparent and open. He also emphasized that a bill on the transparency of mining exploration has been submitted to parliament, this law will improve the legal environment of mining. Moreover, an interest will rise to mining exploitation, for both state budget and local residents receive benefits from the mining, he added.

To Ms Clare's question about governmental policy towards state-owned mining companies he said the government is working on introducing the Singaporean Temasek model, which aims to pass into a correct management and methodology, and on directing the state wealth fund to rightful deeds. It is important to form our sustainable development by supporting the mining, "we consider the EITI can help us to fulfill this goal", he said. 

Link to article

 

"Scaling up Wind Energy in Mongolia" International Conference, June 4-5

June 4 (gogo.mn) International conference on "Scaling up Wind Energy in Mongolia" has started and it will be lasted for two days.

Panel Discussion with speakers and moderator has started.

Issues around the implementation of the RE law in Mongolia:

                   • PPA
                   • Grid Curtailment and compensation;
                   • FIT and surcharge;
                   • others

Sukhbaatar.Ts, CEO of Clean Energy LLC has started his presentation on The First Mongolia Wind Farm-Salkhit Wind farm.

Salkhit Wind farm was wstablished in 2003 as part of Newcom Group. Total investment is USD 122 million and has capacity of 50MV. Annual production is 196.6 million kWh and its average wind speed is 8.2 m/s. It started its operation since June 2013. 

Salkhit Wind farm is supplying 3% of Central Grid electricity production and is supplying 80,000 households with green electricity.

3.843 people worked in Salkhit Wind Farm and 3.390 of them were Mongolians. Currently, it has 32 total staffs.

Salkhit Wind farm produced 53,646,120 kWh electricity in 2015 (as end of April).

Bulganmurun.Ts, Senior Program Officer, GGGI has introducing her presentation on National Green Development Policy Action Plan and GGGI's partnership with Mongolia's - Long Term Energy Scenarios.

Share of renewable energy is targeted to reach 20% by 2020 and 30% by 2030 from its current level which is 5% (as of 2013) in Mongolia. We need to do many things in order to reach that aim, she stated.

Munkhzul.Ch, Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Mongolia. Officer at Department of Green Development Policy and Planning has introducing her presentation on National Green Development Policy Strategic Objective.

Tumenjargal.M, Ministry of Energy, Mongolia, Department of Strategy and policy planning, Senior officer said that Mongolia has started to research wind energy since 1980. Gobi region especially Umnugobi aimag has huge wind energy resources. 300-600 thousand MW power resources can be constructed.

Erdenechuluun.Kh, Managing Director at Energy Regulation Commission has introducing his presentation on The Role of ERA in Wind Farm Development.

During the conference, following sessions will be discussed:

·         Policy session

·         International experiences on Wind Development

·         Investment

·         Grid Integration and Experiences from the other Established Market

Moreover, 12 speakers from 10 countries will introduce presentations.

Right now, POLICY SESSION on Wind Energy Development in Mongolia and Its current policy has started and MP S.Oyun is moderating the session.

Otgonbayar.S, Chaiman & Chief Commissioner, Energy Regulatory Commission delivered speech.

"Our commission issued license to build power construction with a total capacity of 502.4 MW in 2011-2014. Tariff for supplying electricity to the central grid from wind generators was set at $ 0.08-0.095. Further, we will support the most beneficial renewable energy projects." he said.

International Conference was opened with speech of MP Mr.Batbold.S, Head of the Standing committee and Member of Parliament.

"Mongolia has huge resources of renewable energy. Today`s conference is considered to be very important for guiding policy to contribute to the development of the country by commercializing the renewable energy resource. I will submit business decisions and prposals made by the conference to the State Great Khural and other relevant state organizations and will continue to pay attention to the implementation of government policies." he said. 

Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Mongolia Wind Energy Association, Global Green Growth Institute are co-organizing the conference.

Objectives of the workshop:

·         Create a platform for stakeholders, including MOE and ERA, and developers to review status of current RE law

·         Invite European grid companies and regulatory authorities to share experiences

·         Invite stakeholders from established markets with experience of financing wind farms

·         Invite potential investors from Europe who are interested in investing in Mongolia

Link to article

 

Wind power projects in Mongolia

June 4 (gogo.mn) 40% of Mongolian territory is suitable for wind energy. There are several wind energy projects deploying this opportunity with private investment. A total capital investment of those projects mounts to nearly USD800M.

Salkhit wind farm project

70km away from UB city in Sergelen Soum, Tuv province, the project is operational wind farm of 49.6MW. Investors are Clean Energy LLC, Newcom LLC, General Electric of USA, EBRD, Netherlands Development Finance Company.

The total investment is approximately USD120M for the farm of 49.6MW which consists of 31 wind turbines (1.6MW each). 

Millenium Challenge Account has played critical role in the project financing the expansion of Nalaikh substation, UB-Nalaikh cable construction for improving NDC effectiveness in control and coordination, and supply of simulator for energy regime. 

General contractor of the project was Leighton and a total of 18 local su-contracctors participated in the construction process. Nearly 95% of the total peak constructiuon personnel was Mongolian employees.

Oyutolgoi wind farm project

Currenty, 250MW OT windfarm is the largest in its sort for Mongolia. 

2 staged project is implemented by Qleantech LLC. First 102MW capacity will be operational by 2016 and it will be connected to OT substation of CES. First stage capital investment equals USD200M and will flow in from Swedish and Chinese private investors.

102MW project will supply 360M kWh electricity, save 430,000t of coal, and supply electricity to nearly 300,00 households. 

Remaining 148MW or the 2nd stage of the project will be realized in the foreseeable future to supply China and further Super Grid of Asia.

Sainshand wind farm project

Located in northeastern Sainshand, Dornogobi, this project is 52MW and scheduled to be commissioned in 2015-2016. The chief investor is Ferrostaal of Germany. 

The project investment is USD120M and once the wind farm is operational, it should be able to supply 170M kWh of electricity per year to the CES. 

International tender for contractor selection was announced in July 2014. The wind farm will commission in second halt of 2016.

Choir wind farm project

Turkish invested Aydiner Global LLC is investing in a 50MW wind farm project located in Choir, Gobisumber province. A total of USD100M is estimated for capital investment and annual production and supply of electricity to the CES is estimated 140M kWh.

Clean Energy Asia LLC

Clean Energy LLC has acquired the special permit for 50MW wind farm construction in Tsogttsetsii, Umnugobi Province in October 2014 in alliance with Softbank and Newcom.

Source: www.monwea.org

Link to article

 

World Mining Data 2015

(International Organizing Committee for World Mining Congress)

Link to report

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Diplomacy

Embassy Hosts Turkish Cultural Days in Mongolia June 8-13

June 4 (infomongolia.com) Embassy of Turkey will host Turkish Culture Day in Ulaanbaatar on June 8-13, 2015. In the framework of the event, a concert, Ebru art exhibition, a Turkish food banquet and a movie show are planned.

The famous Turkish composer and pianist Tuluyhan Ugulru will give performance at Mongolian State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and famous Ebru artist Aysegul Kavas, Ebru is unique Turkish art of paper marbling, will demonstrate Ebru art at Chinggis Khaan Square. Also, Mongolian Union of Artists (MUA) will host Aysegul Kavas's Exhibiton.

Furthermore, five international award winning Turkish movies are planned to be shown at the movie event and cooks from Kempinski Hotel will host Turkish Food Banquet. At the end of event, Mongolian rock band "Khurd" will perform their songs.

Link to article

Related:

Turkish Cultural Days to be celebrated in next weekgogo.mn, June 4

Turkish Cultural Days to Take PlaceMontsame, June 4

 

U.S. Army soldiers on new Pacific Pathway to visit Mongolia, Japan

June 4 (Army Times) The Army will run a third Pacific Pathways deployment this year for soldiers supporting operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Pathway, which sends soldiers from the same unit on a series of multi-national exercises across the region, will include stops in Mongolia, Japan and South Korea.

In October, the start of fiscal year 2015, the Army had solidified plans for two Pacific Pathways and was waiting for final approval for the third. The third trip is now a go, officials told Army Times.

Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will lead the third Pacific Pathway. They are scheduled to participate in Khaan Quest, a peacekeeping exercise in Mongolia; Orient Shield, which focuses on working with Japan's defense force to regain sovereign territory against an armed invasion; and an exercise in South Korea that officials have not publicly named.

Link to full article

 

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Social, Environmental & Other

Designing health impact assessments for Mongolia's mining sector

June 3 (The Canadian International Resources and Development Institute) Rapid growth in Mongolia's mining sector will bring many benefits but also will produce pressures on the environment, citizen health and public health systems. Mindful of this, the Government of Mongolia has introduced a mining and health strategy that includes a new law: before any new mine receives a license to operate, it must include in its environmental impact assessment (EIA), an evaluation of the mine's impacts on human health. To support this new law, Mongolia aims to strengthen its ability to conduct mine-related health impact assessments (HIAs) and subsequently evaluate and use the information it collects.

This month, a team of instructors and facilitators led by Dr. Craig Janes, past professor in the SFU Faculty of Health Sciences, and Kate Dilworth, CIRDI senior advisor and adjunct professor of SFU's Beedie School of Business, visited Mongolia to share HIA expertise with Mongolian decision makers.

Janes is an expert in globalization and health with extensive experience designing and evaluating HIAs, and has worked with his Mongolian colleagues on several public health issues over a period spanning nearly 20 years. His research has focused on human–environment interactions in Mongolia and northern Canada — particularly those related to resource extraction activities. The HIA training program is endorsed by the Mongolian health ministry, the Mongolian National Health Sciences University and the World Health Organization (WHO).

CIRDI, in partnership with the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR), delivered a pilot course in Mongolia in April/May 2015. Course participants included public officials from various Mongolian ministries, including environment and green development and health and mining, as well as representatives from local academic institutions, government, civil society organizations and communities. Two academics from Zambia's Copperbelt University and one African scholar currently studying in Canada also participated, along with several emerging Canadian global health scholars.

In addition to addressing human health, an HIA also questions how livelihoods and well-being are affected — especially in vulnerable groups such as elders, women, children and livestock. The information can then be used to develop appropriate health action plans to protect the security of those most affected.

This pilot course helped the CIRDI-CCGHR team refine the curriculum and training methods while learning more about Mongolia's specific HIA-related needs. Next steps will include following up with Mongolian participants to support their action plans and offering ongoing support as needed.

A long-term goal of this initiative is to develop a scalable HIA model that can be used by other resource-rich developing countries.

Link to release

 

MSSF hosts successful 12th National University Games

ULAANBAATAR, June 3 (FISU) - This year the Mongolian Students Sports Federation (MSSF) organized from 27 January  to 9 May, its 12th edition of the National Universiade Games. These National Student Games were held in Ulaanbaatar and involved more than 4,850 students from 49 public and private universities and colleges of Mongolia. The student-athletes competed in 13 sports events (Judo, volleyball, chess, table tennis, taekwondo, handball, basketball, aerobic, futsal, wrestling, sport hiking, woodball and fun run). The following universities and colleges were awarded:

1.    Mongolian University of Science and Technology

2.    National Institute of Physical Education of Mongolia

3.    Mongolian State University of Education

4.    Mongolian State University of Agriculture

5.    "Mon-Altius" Physical Education Institute of Mongolia

6.    Law Enforcement University of Mongolia

The awarding ceremony of the 12th edition was held in the hall of the Mongolian State University of Education on 23 May, concurrent with the AUSF Executive Committee meeting in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

FISU and AUSF delegates presented the awards: Mr. Bayasgalan D., MSSF President and FISU Treasurer; Oleg Matytsin, FISU 1st Vice-President and President of the Russian Student Sport Union; Mr. Adam Roczek, EUSA President; Dr. Omar Al Hai, AUSF 1st Vice President and FISU EC member; Mr. Igarashi Hisato, former Olympic Champion and FISU and AUSF EC member; Mr. Kairat Zakiryanov, President of International Association of Physical Education and Sport Universities and President of the Academy for Physical Education and Tourism of Kazakhstan.

The champions from these Games are eligible to represent Mongolia at the 28th Summer Universiade in Gwangju, Korea. So, the competitions were very fierce while the scores of the universities were very close.

During the awarding ceremony, MSSF expressed its sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Health and Sports, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Development Center for Physical Education and Sports Mongolia, sports federations and administration of universities and colleges for their support. 

Link to release

 

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