Tuesday, August 4, 2015

[Denison sells Mongolia interests; APU foreign directors resign; MSE registers HBOil shares; CHP5 PPA signed; and SGK special session convenes]

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

SouthGobi Wins China Payment Deferral to Buy Time for Funding

by Michael Kohn

July 29 (Bloomberg) Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd. said it won a deferral on a key interest payment, staving off a threat to its viability and buying time to boost cash flows.

The due date on $7.9 million owed to sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. has been reset to Nov. 19, SouthGobi, which is based in Vancouver, said in a statement Tuesday. The company had warned that failure to pay CIC could have resulted in bankruptcy.

The company also appointed a new chief executive officer, Yulan Guo, to replace Ted Chan. Guo is a director of SouthGobi's biggest shareholder, Novel Sunrise Investments Ltd., which itself is owned by state-controlled China Cinda Asset Management Co. Ltd.

SouthGobi shares, which had been suspended in Hong Kong, fell as much as 7.6 percent, and at 10:10 a.m. were down 4 percent at HK$3.80.

Once one of the nation's top foreign companies, SouthGobi has seen its market value collapse due to falling coal prices and a difficult investment climate in Mongolia. In 2010, it had a capitalization of over $2 billion, which has since fallen to $120 million.

Mongolia's economic growth, which topped out at 17.3 percent in 2011, fell to 7.8 percent last year. The Asian Development Bank has forecast 3 percent for this year.

Foreign investment has taken a similar arc, amid a slew of high profile spats with investors, including SouthGobi. The company was the subject of a government probe that in January found it guilty of tax evasion and ordered to pay $18 million.

Delisting Review

The CIC payment stems from a $500 million convertible note issued in 2010. Another installment comes due in November.

In exchange for the payment extension, SouthGobi said it agreed to pay CIC a deferral fee of 6.4 percent a year on the outstanding installment. The convertible note itself carries an interest rate of 8 percent.

Further deferrals may be granted based on "positive performance and operational achievements," according to its statement.

SouthGobi also faces delisting from the Toronto Stock Exchange and the company has requested a 30-day extension of the delisting review, which would "provide sufficient time for the implementation of the next stage" of its funding plan.

That includes new coal offtake agreements and agreeing on loans to keep the company afloat. The company produced just 1.56 million metric tons of coal in 2014 compared to 4 million tons in 2011.

Further changes to its management and board of directors are expected, SouthGobi said.

Link to article

Related SouthGobi announcements:

SouthGobi Resources Announces Change in Executive Director, Update on Its Funding Plan, Deferral of Convertible Debenture Interest Payment and TSX Delisting Review Extension Request – July 28

SouthGobi Resources Announces Further 30 Day Extension of Delisting Review by TSX – July 29


SouthGobi Resources Announces New Nominees for Election as Directors and Filing of Supplement to Its Management Information Circular

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2015) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ) (HKSE:1878) (the "Company" or "SouthGobi") today announces changes to the slate of management's director nominees standing for election at its annual general meeting of shareholders (the "SouthGobi Shareholders") scheduled to be held at 9:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) on August 6, 2015 (the "Meeting") at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Room Emerald C, 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia.

New Nominees for Election as Directors

Pursuant to certain contractual rights, the Company's largest shareholder, Novel Sunrise Investments Limited ("Novel"), has nominated Yulan Guo, Ningqiao Li and Mr. Aminbuhe (collectively, the "Novel Nominees") for election as non-independent directors of the Company and withdrawn its nomination of Ted Chan and Wilson Chen for election as directors. In addition to the Novel Nominees, the Company's Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee (the "NCG Committee") has recommended Ms. Jin Lan Quan (together with the Novel Nominees, the "New Nominees") for election as an independent director of the Company. The Board has accepted each of their nominations on the recommendation of the NCG Committee.

In addition to the withdrawal of Messrs. Chan and Chen and to accommodate the election of the New Nominees, Saurabh Handa and Scott Broughton have withdrawn their names as nominees for election as directors. In view of the foregoing, based on the recommendation of the NCG Committee, the Board has approved the nomination of each of the New Nominees for election as directors at the Meeting.

SouthGobi Shareholders are advised that, unless instructed otherwise, management proxies will be voted for the election of each of Messrs. Gordon Lancaster, André Deepwell, Pierre Lebel and Zhu Liu, and the New Nominees (collectively, the "New Slate") as directors of the Company at the Meeting.

Supplement to Management Information Circular

Appointment and Revocation of Proxies

Supplement and Form of Proxy

Link to release


SouthGobi Resources Announces Resignation of Chief Financial Officer

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Aug. 2, 2015) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HK:1878) (the "Company" or "SouthGobi") today announces that Bertrand Troiano has stepped down as Chief Financial Officer of SouthGobi following a two-year secondment from Rio Tinto which ended on July 31, 2015.

Gordon Lancaster, Interim Chair, said "Bertrand did a remarkable job for SouthGobi in trying times. The Board of Directors is highly appreciative and wishes him well in his future endeavours."

A search for Mr. Troiano's successor has commenced and will be announced in due course.

Link to release


SouthGobi Resources to Announce Interim Financial Results for the Three and Six Months Ended June 30, 2015 on August 13, 2015

Conference call to discuss results

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Aug. 3, 2015) - The board of directors of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ) (HKSE:1878) (the "Company") will meet on Thursday, August 13, 2015 to consider and approve the interim financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015. These financial results will be released before TSX market open.

The Company will host a conference call and audio webcast to discuss second quarter 2015 financial results and provide an update on the Company's operations. Date and time of the call for various regions will be as follows:

      Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST

      Friday, August 14, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. Hong Kong Time

Conference call details:

Link to release


Denison sells Mongolian interests to Czech Uranium Industry

July 30 (World Nuclear news) Denison Mines is to sell its interest in the Gurvan Saihan joint venture (GSJV) in Mongolia to Uranium Industry a.s. of the Czech Republic for $20 million.

Denison announced today that it has signed a definitive share purchase agreement whereby it will receive an initial payment of $250,000 on closing and a deferred payment of $19,750,000 by 30 November. Closing is set to take place on or before 8 September.

The transaction involves the transfer of all of the shares of Denison's wholly owned subsidiary, Denison Mines (Mongolia) Ltd, to Uranium Industry. Denison Mines (Mongolia) holds an 85% interest in the GSJV, as well as a 100% interest in GSJV's operator, Denison Mines Mongolia LLC.

The GSJV was created in 1994 by Denison, the Mongolian government and Geologorazvedka of Russia to explore and develop uranium deposits, particularly those amenable to in-situ leach extraction, in the south Gobi region of Mongolia. Denison acquired Geologorazvedka's share in 2011, giving it a total share of 85%. The remaining 15% is held by Mongolian state-owned uranium company MonAtom.

The venture now holds 167,260 hectares in four exploration licences which the GSJV wishes to convert into mining licences. The deferred payment is guaranteed in the event that mining licences are granted to the GSJV for the Hairhan, Haraat, Gurvan Saihan, and Ulziit projects by 30 November. In the event that the mining licences are not issued and Uranium Industry does not otherwise elect to make the deferred payment by that date, the shares of Denison Mines (Mongolia) will be transferred back to Denison.

Denison says it has carried out considerable work towards the submission of the mining licence applications and understands that all the necessary materials for the licence applications have been prepared and that the GSJV is eligible to receive the licences.

Denison is in the process of merging with Fission Uranium to form Denison Energy Corp, consolidating the two companies' strategic uranium assets in Canada's Athabasca Basin, including Fission's Patterson Lake South project and Denison's interests in Wheeler River and the McClean Lake uranium mill. Company president and CEO David Cates said the company's focus remains on its Canadian activities and that it was pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Mongolian interests. "We are proud of the progress that Denison has made throughout the years in Mongolia, and we believe that Uranium Industry is very well positioned to take these assets into development and production," he said.

Mining is a mainstay of the Mongolian economy. Russian interests produced uranium from the Dornod mine from 1988 to 1995, although no uranium mines are currently active in the country. A new nuclear energy law passed in 2009 regulated the exploration, development and mining of uranium, including legal provisions giving the state a greater degree of ownership and control of uranium resources including restrictions on the ability of licensees to transfer its licences or interests in its uranium properties, and a government right to acquire a 34% to 51% interest in each property.

Uranium Industry's activities are currently focused on uranium exploration and mining in countries that have traditionally had ongoing relations with the Czech Republic. It is already active in Mongolia and established the Mon Czech Uranium joint venture with MonAtom in June.

Link to release

Link to Denison announcement


276 closed -6.06% Monday to HK$0.31

MEC Issues Shares to Khushuut Road Contractors to Settle Debt

July 27 -- On 27 July 2015, after trading hours, the Company and the Subsidiary entered into the LDV Subscription Agreement, the Shine Subscription Agreement and the RT Subscription Agreement with each of the Subscribers respectively. Pursuant to the Subscription Agreements, the Subscribers have conditionally agreed to subscribe for and the Company has conditionally agreed to allot and issue 29,648,181 Subscription Shares to them in total at the Subscription Price of HK$0.34 per Subscription Share.

The Subscription Shares represent (i) approximately 1.74% of the existing issued share capital of the Company as at the date of this announcement; and (ii) approximately 1.71% of the issued share capital of the Company as enlarged by the issue of the Subscription Shares (assuming that there will be no change in the issued share capital of the Company between the date of the Subscription Agreements and Completion save for the issue of the Subscription Shares).

The aggregate Subscription Price for all the Subscription Shares in the sum of HK$10,080,382 is equivalent to the approximate amount of the Debts, i.e. US$1,292,356.65, being the outstanding contractual amount due and owing by the Subsidiary to the Subscribers under their respective service contracts all relating to the Khushuut Road rendered by the Subscribers to the Subsidiary from 2014 to 2015. The Subscription Price shall be used to repay and settle the Debts. The Subscription Shares will be allotted and issued pursuant to the General Mandate.

Completion of the Subscriptions is conditional upon, among others, (i) the Listing Committee of the Stock Exchange granting approval for the listing of and permission to deal in the Subscription Shares; and (ii) receipt of the Mongolian legal opinions to the satisfaction of the Company that the respective Subscription Agreements have been validly executed by the Subscribers and the acceptance of the Subscriptions Shares by the Subscribers constitutes a valid set-off of the relevant service fees due by the Subsidiary to the Subscribers under their respective service contracts.

Shareholders and potential investors should note that Completion of the Subscriptions is subject to fulfillment of the conditions under the respective Subscription Agreements. As the Subscriptions may or may not complete, Shareholders and potential investors are reminded to exercise caution when dealing in the Shares.

Link to full release


Petro Matad Issues 2.26 Million Shares to Directors, Petrovis Stake at 50.11%

July 27 --

Issue of Equity and Directors' Dealings 

Petro Matad announces that it has issued 2,256,550 new ordinary shares of US$0.01 each ("New Shares") under the Company's Long Term Equity Incentive Plan (the "Plan") to directors of the Company. The New Shares have been issued, under the terms of the Plan, at nominal value. 

Changes to Directors' Holdings 

The below table sets out the Directors' shareholdings following the issue of the New Shares: 


Previous shareholding

New Shares being issued under the Plan

Resultant shareholding

Percentage holding of enlarged issued share capital

Oyungerel Janchiv*





Enkhmaa Davaanyam





Philip Vingoe





Ridvan Karpuz





John Henriksen





*Dr Oyungerel Janchiv, a director of Petro Matad, controls more than 20% of Petrovis Matad Inc. ("Petrovis"). Her direct holding in Petro Matad of 19,305,446 ordinary shares is, for disclosure purposes, aggregated with that of Petrovis under the AIM definition of director's family. The aggregated holding of Dr Oyungerel and Petrovis is 111,489,708 ordinary shares representing 38.78 per cent. of the Company's enlarged issued share capital. 

Application has been made for the 2,256,550 New Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is anticipated that this will occur on or around 31 July 2015. 

Total Voting Rights 

Following the issue of the New Shares, Petro Matad will have 287,494,775 ordinary shares in issue, which will also represent the total number of voting rights in the Company. This figure should be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules. 

Concert Party 

Following the issue of the New Shares to Oyungerel Janchiv and Enkhmaa Davaanyam, the Petrovis Group (being Petrovis, its underlying shareholders and their family members) will hold 144,050,322 ordinary shares, representing 50.11 per cent. of the Company's enlarged issued share capital.

Link to release


Xanadu Mines: Drilling Update and Quarterly Reports


New drilling results reinforce significant upside of the Kharmagtai project

·         Drilling continues to reinforce the potential of the Tourmaline Breccia unit to host high grade mineralisation on a large scale;

·         KHDDH371 intersects a significant interval of high-grade breccia mineralisation:

-       415.2m @ 0.63% Cu and 0.24g/t Au (0.79% CuEq) from 88.8m including;

-       243.8m @ 0.81% Cu and 0.32g/t Au (1% CuEq) from 242.2m;

With a high-grade core of breccia hosted massive sulphide breccia mineralisation included:

-       50m @ 1.84% Cu and 0.73g/t Au (2.31% CuEq) from 374m including;

-       27m @ 2.55% Cu and 0.94g/t Au (3.15% CuEq) from 384m.

·         KHDDH374 (50m step-out from 371) also intersected a significant interval of copper-gold breccia mineralisation;

-       593m @ 0.45% Cu and 0.23g/t Au (0.6% CuEq) from 68m; including;

-       204m @ 0.8% Cu and 0.36g/t Au (1.03% CuEq) from 300m.

·         Recognition of a large-scale mineralised breccia system along-side the established Mineral Resource is transforming the growth potential;

Exploration Targeting New Discoveries at Kharmagtai

·         Additional copper-gold targets generated from a detailed structural interpretation and geophysics currently underway within the large Kharmagtai district;

Future growth from exploration success on several fronts

·         Exploration drilling at Oyut Ulaan delivers encouraging results from several different prospects and increases scale and potential of the Oyut Ulaan project;

·         Significant mineralised porphyry stockwork intervals including:

-       68m @ 0.37% Cu & 0.55 g/t Au (0.72% CuEq) from 108m (OUDDH024);

-       237.5m @ 0.33% Cu & 0.58 g/t Au (0.70% CuEq) from surface (OUDDH026).

Strong financial position and new appointment to leadership team

·         Strong balance sheet with A$4.1m cash at 30 June;

·         Marcus Engelbrecht was appointed as Non-Executive Director (17 June 2015).

July 31 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to provide shareholders with an update of exploration results from a strong second quarter.

Link to report


Aspire: Granting of Performance Rights to Rail and Financial Advisor

·         Aspire has entered into an Agreement with Northern Railways LLC's rail and financial advisor, Signum Resources Corporation to grant them 40 million fully paid shares in Aspire in the event that Signum and Northern Railways secures a funding offer from a Chinese financial institution acceptable to the Company for at least 70% of the funding required for the Erdenet - Ovoot railway development by 31 December 2015

July 31 -- Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, Aspire, or the Company) is pleased to advise that it has agreed with Signum Resources Corporation (Signum) to continue to act as an advisor and facilitator with respect to identifying funding for the development of the Erdenet – Ovoot railway (Rail Project) in northern Mongolia.

Signum is an advisory firm who have a background in arranging funding for large engineering projects in North Asia. Signum have been advising Northern Railways LLC (Northern Railways) since mid-2013 and to date have been instrumental in providing Aspire with contacts, introductions and advice in relation to the agreements with China Railway Group companies and Chinese financial institutions, who are completing preliminary due diligence on the Rail Project.

Aspire have agreed to grant Signum 40 million performance rights (Performance Rights) which will vest upon Northern Railways receiving a funding offer from a Chinese financial institution to fund at least 70% of the funding required to build the Erdenet to Ovoot railway on terms acceptable to the Company. The Performance Rights will be convertible into fully paid ordinary shares in Aspire, conditional on achieving the milestone by 31 December 2015. The Performance Rights are in lieu of cash payment for services.

About the Erdenet – Ovoot Rail Project

Link to release


Aspire Mining: Quarterly Report, June 2015

Northern Railways Investment Update

·         Mongolia, Russia and China enter into tripartite agreements to integrate rail plans and other infrastructure to build an Economic Corridor through Mongolia to increase Euro-Asian land based trade.

·         Rail Consortium established between Aspire, China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20G) and China Railway First Design Survey and Design Institute (FSDI) to support the grant of a Rail Concession to Northern Railways.

·         CR20G and FSDI provide Northern Railways with exclusive use of patented intellectual technology to be used in the design and construction the Erdenet – Ovoot railway.

·         Rail Concession negotiations in progress with Government of Mongolia.

·         Scoping Study commenced to assess potential rail alignment paths extending from Ovoot to Arts Suuri and Arts Suuri to Kyzyl in Russia.

Exploration/Development Update

·         2015 exploration programme commenced at Nuurstei Coking Coal Project with drill rig mobilised to site in July 2015.

·         ECJV established the Erdenebulag Coal Project located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia comprising two new coal exploration licences.

Corporate Update

·         A$4.4 million capital raising completed.

·         In association with the Osborne Park Rotary Club (WA) and the Mongolian Red Cross Society, Aspire is funding the shipment of medical equipment and supplies being donated to local hospitals in the Khuvsgul province.

July 30 -- Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, Aspire or the Company), focussed on the exploration and development of metallurgical coal assets in Mongolia, is pleased to present its Quarterly Activities Report to Shareholders for the period ending 30 June 2015.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Aspire Mining: Drilling Contractor Mobilised to Nuurstei

July 29 -- Mongolian metallurgical coal explorer, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, the Company or Aspire), is pleased to announce that the Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) has commenced its 2015 exploration programme at the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project (Nuurstei).

The ECJV is currently a 50/50 joint venture arrangement between Aspire and Noble Group (SGX: N21). Aspire is the operator of the ECJV and has an option to purchase Noble's 50% interest, exercisable by March 2016.

Mobilisation of staff, contractors, equipment and a drill rig to site has occurred and the exploration programme has commenced. The ECJV has budgeted a US$1.5 million spend on the programme throughout the balance of the year that will include approximately 40 core and PQ diamond drill holes targeted at establishing a maiden JORC 2012 compliance coal resource.

Additional testwork will also be carried out with the aim of confirming coal quality across the deposit. A single core hole drilled in 2014 in the centre of the deposit indicated the presence of high quality hard coking coal.

A scoping study is also planned to be carried out, pending positive results from the programme.

Nuurstei development potential

The ECJV considers Nuurstei to have near term development potential, being located only 10 km from the Khuvsgul provincial capital of Moron and within trucking distance to the existing rail head at Erdenet along a sealed road. This allows the project to be potentially developed as a road based operation.

The project could also be one of the first users of the Erdenet – Ovoot railway which is being progressed by Aspire's subsidiary, Northern Railways LLC (Northern Railways). Northern Railways are well into negotiations with the Government of Mongolia for a concession to allow the construction and operation of the railway. Nuurstei could access the railway prior to its full commissioning, as the first section of rail could be completed and available for use within two years from commencement of rail construction.

Pending the results of the current exploration programme and the scoping study, a development decision for Nuurstei could be made as early as next year.

Link to release


ASX Grants Waiver to Aspire to Collateralize ECJV Interest to Noble

July 29 -- In March 2015, and as further amended in April 2015, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, the Company or Aspire) agreed with the Noble Group (SGX: N21, Noble) a Binding Term Sheet (Term Sheet) which inter alia extended the repayment date of its existing US$5.0 million loan (Loan) by 12 months to March 2016 (refer ASX Announcements dated 16 March and 29 April 2015). The extension included the securitisation of the Loan in favour of Noble against Aspire's interest in the Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) which under Listing Rule 10.1 required Aspire shareholder approval or alternatively the grant of a waiver by the ASX.

The Company advises that Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) granted it a waiver of Listing Rule 10.1 on 29 April 2015, to permit the Company to grant security over its 50% interest in the ECJV, in favour of Noble, to secure amounts owing to Noble under the Loan. The disclosures required as part of the waiver conditions are as follows.

The Loan was originally provided by Noble in January 2013 to assist the Company's rail infrastructure subsidiary, Northern Railways LLC (Northern Railways) to pursue pre-development activities in relation the Erdenet to Ovoot railway. The key terms of the Loan and the proposed security arrangements are summarised below:

Principal amount

US$5.0 million


9.0% per annum, which interest may be capitalised


Security is to be given in favour of Noble over Aspire's 50% interest in the ECJV, through a mortgage over the shares indirectly held by Aspire in Coalridge Limited.


The Principal (including any capitalised interest) is repayable on 15 March 2016, unless early repayment is made or Aspire is in default.

Aspire expects that all amounts under the Loan will be repaid by 15 March 2016.

Discharge of security

The security will be discharged at the request of Aspire if all amounts owing, or that will become owing, in respect of the Loan have been satisfied. Aspire expects this discharge will occur upon repayment of the Loan (as described above).

The grant of a waiver of Listing Rule 10.1 by ASX to permit the proposed security is subject to several key conditions. A summary of the terms of the waiver is attached as Appendix A.

The Company has prioritised the repayment of the Loan and has engaged financial advisors to assist it to seek out options to repay or refinance the Loan facility by 15 March 2016.

Link to release


GUF closed +2.5% Monday to A$0.041. GUF traded 3.8-4c on 21 July, volume 218.48K

Guildford Chairman Sells Stake to Cover Medical Expenses

July 27 (Cover Mongolia) Chairman of Guildford Coal (ASX:GUF) Mr. Craig Wallace sold all his shares in the company, 30 million, at 2.75 cents a piece via an on-market, non-cash transacation, on July 21 for a gross proceed of A$825,000. Shares sold were held by his wholly-owned Auspicious Future Ventures Ltd., according to a Change of Director's Interest Notice (Appendix 3Y) published today.

In a May 21 announcement, Guildford revealed that Mr. Wallace has been taking medical treatment and thus reluctantly had to sell his shares to cover the cost.

Mr. Wallace commented on the announcement:

"For some, time I have been undertaking medical treatment. Unfortunately this has meant I have had some unforeseen medical expenses to be paid.

Accordingly I have had to sell some of my shares in Guildford Coal. The Company will lodge the following 3Y this afternoon advising the market.

I have not taken this step lightly. Guildford has a great future and I will try to hold as much stock in the Company as possible."



Guildford Coal June 2015 Quarterly Report

August 2 --


Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford or the Company) (ASX: GUF) is pleased to advise that since the restructuring of the Board and Management team in late 2014 the Company remains focused and on track to deliver all aspects of the 2015 strategic review, both on a corporate level and on an operational level in Queensland and Mongolia, and in particular, on restructuring of its finances to reduce debt burden and through exploring other alternative fund raising options as part of the strategic review. The Company continues to maintain a strong working relationship with existing financial backers.

The new Board and Management team have transformed the Company during the first half of 2015 setting the platform for a strong second half when the benefits of the implementation of the strategic review should be realised for the Company and for shareholders.

One of the key achievements has been the commissioning of the Mongolian Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) coking coal mine successfully and safely, enabling the Company to transition from explorer to miner status.

The continued development and ramp up of the BNU mine to commercial production levels saw the following material movements since commencement and as at June 30, 2015:

      Total waste movement of 4,535,359 bcm and ROM coal mined of 187,679 tonnes

      Total coal trucked from the BNU Mine to the Ceke border port station of 188,588 tonnes

Guildford has successfully sold and been paid for all coking coal mined since commissioning.

During the quarter, the Ceke border station wash plant that has been contracted to process BNU ROM coal produced an output providing an overall product yield of 92% for the quarter.

The initial commissioning pit (BNU Pit 1) has been successful in confirming the BNU coking coal product quality and the value in use proposition it presents to the Chinese steel makers. Commercial production for accounting purposes is expected to be achieved in Q3, 2015.

The Company was recognised by the Mongolian Government for achieving a record of 1 million man-hours and 2 years worked lost time incident (LTI) free at the mine.

Guildford secured offtake agreements with 2 separate end-users in China: Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Group) Co Ltd (JISCO) and Jiuquan Haohai Coal Chemical Co Ltd (Haohai), to sell coking coal produced at BNU.

As part of the cost reduction and expansion plan in South Gobi, the Company uncovered a shallow coking coal 'micro basin' east of the producing BNU Mine. Excavation of this micro basin has commenced as BNU Pit 2.

Further reinforcing Guildford's strong 'social licence' in Mongolia, the Company was granted 4 new exploration licenses.


Cash & Investments

As at June 30, 2015, Guildford Coal had cash of A$0.69M (March 2015: A$6.1m). The principal movements in cash and investments for the quarter were attributable to: Operating Cash Flows:

Link to report


Ramp up of Coal Volumes Forecast for BNU Mine – Guildford Coal, July 31


Cash at end of Q A$1.39m

Tian Poh: Quarterly Activities Report

July 31, Tian Poh Resources Ltd. (ASX:TPO) --


      Approximately 1,300m of exploration drilling was completed for the Khangailand Project in the Umnugovi region, South Mongolia.

      Drilling at License 14768X on the Khangailand Project encountered black carbonaceous-calcareous marine sandstones, with fine disseminated pyrite and arsenopyrite. Eight pyrite concentrate samples assayed between 0.6 and 13.9 g/t Au, with 2 samples >10 g/t Au. This result suggests that there might be potential for sedimentary-hosted gold deposits.

      Approximately 800 m of exploration drilling was completed for the Mandal-Urghukh Project. Drilling indicates low grade (0.15%) Cu, but up to 0.4% copper mineralization, which outcrops and extends vertically with depth. In drill core, copper occurs in a disseminated-style, as chalcopyrite and bornite. Near surface the copper mineralization occurs as malachite.

      Secured a further extension until 11th December 2015 to acquire an interest in the Zuun Mod Molybdenum Copper Deposit in Mongolia.


The Company's licenses are grouped into four project areas across the south of Mongolia (Figure 1):

      Amulet Project in the Govi-Altai Province of Western Mongolia;

      Mandal-Urghukh Project in the Umnugovi Province of South Mongolia;

      Khangailand Project also in the Umnugovi Province of South Mongolia; and

      Huabei Kuangye Project in the Bayankhongor Province of Southwest Mongolia

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Drilling Success at Tian Poh Resources' Khangailand and Mandal-Urghukh Projects


      High values of gold in pyrite at 14768X on Khangailand Project indicating potential for sedimentary-hosted gold.

      Low grade disseminated chalcopyrite-bornite over 72 m at 14770X on Mandal-Urghukh Project.

July 31 -- Tian Poh Resources Ltd (TPO) is pleased to announce the key results of a 2,100m drilling program undertaken on 3 licenses 14767X, 14768X and 14770X, in the South Gobi, Mongolia. The drilling shows there is potential for sedimentary-hosted gold mineralization at the Khangailand Project (14768X) and potential for low-grade bulk mineable copper mineralization at the Mandal-Urghukh Project (14770X).

Link to release


Cash at end of Q A$341K

Wolf Petroleum: Quarterly Activities Report

July 30 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited ("Wolf" or "the Company") is pleased to provide an update on its activities for the June quarter.

Operational Update

SB Block Farm out Update

Wolf Petroleum continues to progress its discussions with a number of potential partners on its oil blocks in Mongolia.

The farm out process is taking longer than anticipated due to the investment environment in Mongolia and the depressed state of global oil exploration.

The Company has made all efforts to reduce costs wherever possible and preserve its outstanding asset position in Mongolia.


Mr George Tumur has recently been appointed as the Mongolian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Singapore. This full time diplomatic role has required him to resign from his listed and unlisted Board positions. Mr. Tumur remains a supportive and substantial share­holder of the Company and the Board would like to thank Mr Tumur for his significant contributions as a founding director of the Company.

Mr Jason Peterson has resigned from the Board of the Company to focus on other business interests. The Board thanks Mr Peterson for his signifi­cant contribution to the Company since it was founded and wishes him the best success in his future endeavours.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Cash at end of Q A$763K

Eumeralla Resources: June Quarter 2015 Activities Report

July 31, Eumeralla Resources Ltd. (ASX:EUM) --


As announced on 29 October 2014, Eumeralla Resources Ltd's 70% controlled Myanmar subsidiary, Mawsaki Mining Co., Ltd ('Mawsaki'), received State Government approval for its exploration permit in the State of Kayah. During the quarter, Mawsaki held numerous meetings with the Department of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration (DGSE) aimed at finalising the agreement, regarding the terms and conditions of the exploration area.


The Company's consultant geologist Lunda LLC (Lunda) completed and submitted the exploration work program to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRAM) of Mongolia as required by the Mongolian government.


The Company received the notice pursuant to Section 249D of the Corporations Act ('249D Notice') from Mr Michael Hynes on 26 May 2015 seeking the removal of Messrs James Hyndes, David Wheeler and Jack James as directors of the Company and the appointment of Messrs Jeffrey Bennett and Campbell Sallabank as directors of the Company.

Subsequent to quarter end, as announced 24 July 2015, Mr Hynes stepped down from the Board and as CEO, and withdrew his 249D Notice. Accordingly, the resolutions set out in the Notice of General Meeting convening a meeting for Friday, 24 July 2015 were not put before shareholders.

For clarity, the current Board consists of Messrs James Hyndes, David Wheeler and Jack James.


Mining Tenements held as at 30 June 2015 per Listing Rule 5.3.3, Mining exploration entities are required to provide the following information in relation to the tenements held.





Ovoot Project




Summary of Expenditure Incurred per Project


Quarterly Cash Spend $A'000





Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Turquoise Hill to Announce Second Quarter Financial Results on August 5, 2015

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - July 29, 2015) - Turquoise Hill Resources will announce its second quarter financial results on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 after markets close in North America.

The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss second quarter results on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 10:00 am EDST/7:00 am PDST. The conference call can be accessed through the following dial-in details:

North America: 416 340 8018 | 866 225 9256

International: +1 416 340 8018

The conference call will also be simultaneously webcast on Turquoise Hill's website at An archived playback of the call will be available on the Company's website.

Link to release


Entrée Gold Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2015) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") has today filed its interim operational and financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015.

Greg Crowe, Entrée's President and CEO commented, "A critical development during the second quarter of 2015 was the joint announcement on May 18 that the Government of Mongolia, Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. and Rio Tinto had signed the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan. This agreement addresses outstanding Oyu Tolgoi LLC shareholder matters and provides a pathway forward to the eventual restart of Phase 2 underground development, including Lift 1 of the Entrée-OTLLC joint venture's Hugo North Extension deposit."

Mr. Crowe further noted, "Subsequent to the end of the quarter, we signed a binding letter of intent to acquire a 0.5% net smelter returns royalty on Candente Copper Corp.'s Cañariaco project in Peru for US$500,000. Like our Ann Mason deposit in Nevada, Cañariaco Norte is a large scale, open pittable, long life porphyry copper deposit, which we believe is well positioned for eventual development."

"Entrée remains focused on expanding its portfolio of high quality copper and gold assets in mining friendly jurisdictions, and is actively evaluating several potential opportunities."

Also subsequent to the end of the quarter, Anna Stylianides was appointed to Entrée's board of directors. Mr. Crowe added, "Ms. Stylianides has a strong background in finance and operations and is a welcome addition to our board."

United States

The Company's technical team is currently incorporating the results of the infill drilling program conducted earlier this year at Ann Mason into an updated resource estimate. This resource estimate, along with preliminary results from the latest metallurgical testing program, will be incorporated into an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment expected to be complete by the end of September.


On May 18, 2015, Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.("Turquoise Hill"), Rio Tinto and the Government of Mongolia jointly announced the execution of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan (the "Mine Plan"). In addition to addressing outstanding Oyu Tolgoi LLC ("OTLLC") shareholder matters, the Mine Plan confirms the project cost for Oyu Tolgoi's initial construction and development and reinforces the principles set out in the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement and the Amended and Restated Shareholders Agreement, which governs the relationship among OTLLC shareholders.

On July 15, 2015, Turquoise Hill stated that it and Rio Tinto are advancing Oyu Tolgoi project financing and updating the underground feasibility study. Turquoise Hill further stated that it continues to expect signing of project financing by the end of 2015.

Corporate Highlights

For the three months ended June 30, 2015, the Company incurred a net loss of US$3,049,021 (US$0.02 per share) compared to a net loss of US$2,925,791 (US$0.02 per share) for the three months ended June 30, 2014. For the six months ended June 30, 2015, the Company incurred a net loss of US$3,609,699 (US$0.02 per share) compared to a net loss of US$4,205,776 (US$0.03 per share) for the six months ended June 30, 2014.

As at June 30, 2015, the Company had working capital of US$27,346,585, including cash of US$27,375,691.

During the three months ended June 30, 2015, the Company incurred higher operating expenditures primarily due to higher exploration costs, partially offset by lower general and administration expenses, lower consultancy and advisory fees and lower foreign exchange losses.


As at
June 30, 2015

As at
June 30, 2014

Working capital (1)



Total assets



Total long term liabilities (2)




Working Capital is defined as Current Assets less Current Liabilities


Long term liabilities includes US$32,092,353 of deferred revenue related to a deposit on a metal credit delivering obligation

The Company's Interim Financial Statements and accompanying management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 and its Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2014 are available on the Company website, on SEDAR at and on EDGAR at

Link to release


Modun Resources Shareholders Approve Change of Name, Nature

July 30 -- The Board of Modun Resources Ltd (ACN 066 139 991) (Company) is pleased to advise that shareholders of the Company passed all Resolutions outlined in the Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting dated 29 June 2015 at the 2015 Extraordinary General Meeting held today at 10:00am (AEST) on a show of hands.

A summary of the total number of proxy votes is as follows:

Link to release


Update of timetable of acquisition of LiveTiles Holdings Pty LtdModun Resources, August 3


Cash at end of Q A$454K

Modun Resources: Quarterly Activities Report


      Conditional Agreement to acquire LiveTiles, a New York based Enterprise Software Business

      Sale Process for the Nuurst Thermal Coal Project Continues

July 29 -- The Directors of Modun Resources Ltd (ASX: MOU) (Modun or the Company) provide you with an update of activities during the June 2015 quarter and up to the date of this announcement.

Nuurst Thermal Coal Project

On 22 July 2015, the Company announced that it had entered into an alternative transaction for the sale of the Nuurst Thermal Coal Project.

The material terms of the contract are as follows:

      Consideration payable is USD $2,210,000.00 of which USD $100,000 is expected to be paid on exchange of contracts as a deposit; and

      Completion is subject to and conditional upon shareholders of Modun approving resolution 15 in the upcoming meeting of shareholders due to be held on 30th July 2015 and completion is to occur 3 business days thereafter.

The transaction will also see the purchaser assume the risk of the potential Mongolian tax liabilty previously disclosed by the Company. The Sale Agreement otherwise contains the usual warranties and completion deliverables of a transaction of this nature.

The Directors consider that this new transaction represents a better outcome for shareholders and the Company as it moves forward with the LiveTiles transaction.


A meeting of shareholders is scheduled to consider the acquisition of LiveTiles on Thursday 30 July. Assuming shareholders approve the acquisition of LiveTiles, the Company will work to complete the fully underwritten $11m capital raising and complete the acquisition of LiveTiles as soon as possible. As previously disclosed, the acquisition of LiveTiles will require the Company to recomply with Chapters 1 & 2 of the Listing Rules. Under the terms of the acquisition, Modun advanced LiveTiles $500,000 by way of a convertible note during the quarter.

Investors should note that the quarterly cash-flow statement being lodged today does not include the acquisition and due diligence costs of the LiveTiles acquisition as, at this stage, these costs are not definitive and shareholders have not approved this acquisition. However, it is likely that over the next quarter costs of $100-200k will be incurred in relation to this transaction.

At the end of the quarter, Modun had cash reserves of $454,000.

Tenement Schedule

At the date of this report, Modun has an interest in one tenement as follows and there have been no changes during the quarter:




% Interest

MV 017349

Nuurst Thermal Coal



Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Turquoise Hill Resources Short Interest Down 22.4% in June (TRQ)

July 27 (MarketBeat) Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) were the target of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 13,614,574 shares, a decrease of 22.4% from the June 15th total of 17,549,562 shares, MarketBeat reports. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,773,187 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.6 days. Approximately 1.5% of the company's stock are sold short.

A number of research firms have recently commented on TRQ. Analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from a "hold" rating to a "sell" rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 21st. Analysts at BMO Capital Markets reiterated an "outperform" rating and set a $6.50 price target on shares of Turquoise Hill Resources in a research note on Thursday, July 2nd. Analysts at TD Securities reiterated a "hold" rating and set a $5.50 price target (up previously from $5.00) on shares of Turquoise Hill Resources in a research note on Saturday, May 23rd. Analysts at Bank of America upgraded shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from an "underperform" rating to a "neutral" rating in a research note on Thursday, May 21st. Finally, analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from an "e+" rating to a "hold" rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 13th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Turquoise Hill Resources currently has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus price target of $7.30.

Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) opened at 3.40 on Monday. Turquoise Hill Resources has a one year low of $2.65 and a one year high of $4.74. The stock's 50-day moving average is $3.82 and its 200-day moving average is $3.58. The company has a market cap of $6.84 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.33.

Link to article


Centerra swings back into profit

July 29 (The Northern Miner) Centerra Gold (TSX: CG) posted a profit in the second quarter, amid a sea of red for gold miners hurt by lower commodity prices.

Quarterly earnings were US$21.9 million, or US9¢ per share, compared to a net loss of US$31.7 million, or US13¢ per share, a year ago. Analysts on average had estimated a net loss of US3¢ per share.

Revenue grew 23% to US$146.8 million.

The better-than-expected performance resulted from Centerra selling 32% more gold ounces than a year ago, and lower operating costs. This helped offset the 7% year-over-year drop in average realized gold prices of US$1,192 per oz.

Quarterly production from Centerra's two gold mines — Kumtor in the Kyrgyz Republic and Boroo in Mongolia —grew 36% to 125,088 oz. gold.

Kumtor delivered 122,111 oz. compared to 77,860 oz. in the earlier year. The increase came on the back of higher gold grades and recoveries. All-in sustaining costs at the mine dropped 45% to US$835 per oz., as the company sold more ounces and lowered it operating costs.  

The Boroo mine churned out less than 3,000 oz. gold, compared to more than 14,000 oz. in the second quarter of 2014. The lower production resulted from fewer ounces poured from the heap-leach operation via secondary leaching. Centerra notes it finished milling Boroo's stockpiled ore last December and anticipates completing all leaching activities in early 2016. All-in sustaining costs, excluding income tax, were US$1,214 per oz., up from US$915 per oz. Despite the higher costs, Centerra says Boroo was cash positive.

Gold sales from both operations totaled 123,079 oz. in the second quarter.  

Adjusted operating costs came in at US$347 per oz. sold, down from US$608. All-in sustaining costs fell by about US$600 per oz. sold to US$937, while all-in costs, including taxes, improved by 36% to US$1,191 per oz.

Cash provided by operations totaled US$114.6 million. This helped bolster the miner's cash, equivalents and short-term investments, to US$581.7 million.

On the same day as its financial results, Centerra released a positive feasibility study for its Oksut heap leap project in Turkey.

Meanwhile, Centerra notes discussions are ongoing with the Kyrgyz government regarding the possible restructuring of the Kumtor project. The company says it is still working with the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry to obtain the required approvals for Kumtor's 2015 annual mine plan, explaining a failure to retain such approvals may result in a mining suspension.

In Mongolia, the Gatsuurt gold project remains on care and maintenance, despite the Mongolian parliament acknowledging the "strategic importance" of the deposit. In early June, the Mongolian government proposed that either its interest in Gatsuurt should be 34% or that there should be a special royalty on the project. On June 18, the Mongolian parliament rejected that proposal, Centerra says. It expects the government will submit a revised proposal later this year.

Centerra ended July 28 up nearly 7% at $6.17 per share. It has kept its quarterly dividend at 4¢ per share.  

Link to article

Link to CG release


Centerra Gold makes progress in diversifying asset base, reports strong Q2 performanceMining Weekly, July 30

BMO Capital Markets Raises Centerra Gold Price Target to C$, August 1

Centerra Gold Upgraded to "Hold" at TD, August 2


Bestway: Continued to Hold Four Tungsten Mining Permits in Mongolia – Annual Report

July 30, Bestway International Holdings Limited (HKEx:718) --

Mining Business

Same as per past years, the Group still holds four tungsten mining licenses through two wholly owned Mongolian subsidiaries. Kainarwolfram LLC owns properties under Mining Licenses 11863A, 11027A and 5518A, which are located in the territory of Nogoonnuur Soum, Bayan-Ulgii province and Ikh Uuliin Erdenes LLC owns the property under the Mining License 3506A, which located in the territory of Nogoonnuur Soum, Bayan-Ulgii province. In order to enhance the communication with province government of Mongolia, the Company newly appointed Mr. Jiang Lixin as the sole director of both the Mongolian subsidiaries. During the year Mr. Jiang and our consultant Ms. Yang Lee have met with a leader of Bayan-Ulgii province to understand the mining site situation. With reference to the opinion from the Group's Mongolian legal advisers, the Directors are of the opinion that the Group is in compliance with all laws and governmental rules and regulations in Mongolia and the Group's 4 mining rights are still in effect and in good standing as at the reporting date. Meanwhile, the Board re-assessed the recoverable amount of the Mining CGU as at the end of the reporting period and details of the impairment assessment are set out in Note 14 to the financial statements.


Meanwhile, the Group will keep a conservative attitude in the mining business in Mongolia and closely monitor the market conditions as well as consider other options such as realization of the investment should the opportunities arise. The Group will strive to achieve sustainable growth and deliver satisfactory returns to shareholders of the Company (the "Shareholders").

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Local Market

MSE News for August 3: Top 20 -1.43% to 13,614.04, Turnover 13.9 Million

Ulaanbaatar, August 3 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Monday, a total of 7,951 units of 16 JSCs were traded costing MNT 13 million 893 thousand and 992.00.

"Merex" /2,500 units/, "Tavan Tolgoi" /2,046 units/, "Khukh Gan" /1,517 units/, "Sharyn Gol" /500 units/ and "Shivee Ovoo" /400 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Tavan Tolgoi" (MNT six million 759 thousand and 710), "Sharyn Gol" (MNT two million and 950 thousand), "Shivee Ovoo" (MNT two million), "Baganuur" (MNT 751 thousand and 400), and "APU" (MNT 722 thousand and 88).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 305 billion 880 million 390 thousand and 957. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,614.04, decreasing 1.43% and the all index of MSE was 976.60, decreasing 0.87% against the previous day.

Link to article

Link to MSE trading report


MSE Weekly Trading: Top 20 +0.03%, MSE ALL +0.05%, Market Cap -0.12%, Stocks 20.6 Million, T-Bills 10 Billion

August 3 (MSE) On 31 May 2015, On the "II" classifications, total 1,033  shares of 5 companies were traded. In addition, 10 government retail bonds traded on secondary market.  

Mongolian Stock Exchange organized 5 securities trading sessions and made transaction of MNT10,020,632,360.00 between 27 July 2015 and 31 July 2015.  

Share trading:

63,435.00 shares of 23 joint stock companies worth of MNT20,632,360.00 were traded.  




Securities Name

Value /MNT/
























Company Name

Value /MNT/







Tenger Capital




Standart Investment










Government retail bonds trading:

100,000 Government retail bonds worth of MNT10,000,000,000.00 were traded through one bonds trading session. 




 Company name

 Value /MNT/







Tenger Capital 




Golomt securities








Tavan bogd 


As of July 2015, market capitalization was MNT1,328,804,648,368.00 which indicated decreased of 0.12%, and MSE ALL index reached 976.14 units which indicated increased of 0.51% from the previous week. 

Link to release

Link to MSE report


Maturity Notice: 3.3 Billion 28-Week 15.292% T-Bills, August 4

July 31 (MSE) Dear investors, please be advised that the following government bond is about to mature.

Symbol of Government Securities

Amount /units/

Maturity /week/

Form of Interest payment

Interest rate (percent)

Issued Date

Maturity Date








Link to release


Bi-Weekly Market Makers Report: Tenger, BDSec, Standard

July 31 (MSE) Regarding the "Market Makers" introduction into securities market by Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/, MSE will publish two weeks Market Makers performance report to the public.      

As of 31 July 2015, total of 608 order of the Government retail bonds have been planned to submit and performance of Market Makers shows following results "BDSec"-65.7%, "Standard Investment"-50.1% and "Tenger Capital"-66.4%

As of 31 July 2015                                                                   

Securities company

Orders planned to submit

Orders submitted








Standard Investment





Tenger Capital





Link to release


Government Securities Trading Schedule on MSE, August-September

July 30 (MSE) Government bonds trading schedule for August & September

Note: If a long term Government bonds trading will not conduct, we will notify it a week ago 

Link to release


Mogi: if my math is correct, yield on these would be 31.3%

10 Billion 52-Week T-Bills on Offer at 12.7% Discount, Coupon 14.615%

July 29 (MSE) --

1.    The issuer's name: Mongolian Ministry of Finance

2.    The purpose of the issuance of bond: State treasury cash management 

3.    Offering scope of securities: Offering to the public

4.    Type of securities: Government securities

5.    Face value: MNT 100,000 

6.    Discounted price: MNT 87,279.00

7.    Total amounts issued: 100,000 Units 

8.    Short-term securities performance:

 Government Securities name 

 Amount /units/

Value /billion MNT/ 

 Maturity /week/

Form of Interest payment

Interest rate (percent) 

 Starting date of the order

Closing date of the trading 









9.    Rate of interest: interest rate of the Government Securities, which will be issued weekly, will be based on auction results of Central Bank basis State Government Securities weighted average interest rate. If the Central Bank's weekly trading cancelled, the interest rate will be set based on the previous trading of Government Securities weighted average interest rate.

10.  Order deadline: The Mongolian Stock Exchange will take orders 6 days and the trading will close on the 6th day at 14.00 PM and information on total orders will be delivered to the securities issuer. 

11.  Trading period: Total registered orders distribution of MSE trading system will be determined based on the Ministry of Finance votes.

Link to release


30 Billion 28-Week 14.271% T-Bills Issued via MSE

July 28 (MSE) On 28 July 2015, the bond orders of 28 weeks Government bonds with 14.271% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 100,000 or MNT10.0 billion out of total order 300,650 pieces or MNT30.0 billion.   

Bellow member brokerage companies participated in the bond trading as follows: 

Company name






Tenger Capital



Golomt Securities






Tavan Bogd


Standard Investment






Daewoo Securities





Link to release


Dornod Auto Zam JSC Major Shareholders Launch Bid for Remaining 9.2%

July 29 (MSE) According to the Article No.: 57.1 of Company Law, the Article No.: 22 of Mongolian Securities Law, the cause No.:3.1 of  FRC's "Regulation of purchasing shares of Joint Stock Company or making order to purchase", joint interest party including Tuvshin.E, Enkhbold.J and Enkhkhorloo.B who own 90.8% of "Dornod Auto Zam" JSC made an offer to buy rest of 6,893 shares with MNT2,700.00 from not joint interest shareholders. 

Effective days: from 28 July 2015 until 27 August 2015
Payment day: 2015.08.28
More detailed information, please contact following address:
Address: BDSec JSC
Phone: 11-313108, 99203430, 94072846

Link to release


Mogi: Khan Investment Management's Travis Hamilton, Russian Standard's Carlo Radicatti resigned earlier in the year as well apparently

Foster's Group CEO Resigns from Mongolia's APU over Corporate Governance Concerns

Trevor O'Hoy's excellent Mongolian adventure comes to an end

August 2 (Sydney Morning Herald) The wild and woolly ways of doing business and concerns about corporate governance have prompted former Foster's Group chief executive Trevor O'Hoy to resign as a director of Mongolia's largest alcohol group APU after three years. 

Closer to home, he's predicting the trends hurting mainstream brewers such as the firm he used to run will accelerate.

Mr O'Hoy became a director of APU, which makes the leading beer and vodka brands in Mongolia, in April 2012, but has bowed out after three years on the board, after becoming increasingly concerned at the levels of corporate governance in the country.

"I wasn't comfortable with it. It's a real pity," he said.

Mr O'Hoy also said he had some misgivings about APU's corporate strategy as it started expanding into dairy products.

But one area where he has the utmost confidence is the craft beer market, which continues to accelerate and is causing serious headaches for the company he used to run. Foster's Group, which makes Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught, was acquired in 2011 for $11 billion by SABMiller, which along with Japanese firm Kirin's Lion beer business is battling a mainstream beer market which is shrinking as drinkers turn more toward premium and craft beers.

Mr O'Hoy has a small shareholding in Byron Bay-based craft brewer Stone & Wood, where he is also a director, and says it is thriving as the craft beer market booms.

"People are drinking less and they're drinking better," he says.

He says Stone & Wood has been able to lift both sales revenue and profits by more than 100 per cent over each of the past three years. The broader craft beer market would continue to grow at a rate of more than 10 to 15 per cent.

"It's a real issue for the big commercial brewers," he says. "There's been a huge shift under way and it's getting faster."

Mr O'Hoy, who was chief executive of Foster's from 2004 to 2008, says consumer confidence in Australia seems to be subdued. "It's very fragile," he says.

Taking the healthy option

Link to article


Nine SOEs Listed for Privatization on MSE 2015-2016

July 27 (MSE) According to the resolution No.: 70 of Mongolian parliament of 2015, "the privatization of state owned companies in 2015-2016 and main trend" has been approved. In the resolution, following companies will be traded through Mongolian Stock Exchange including:

1.    Thermal Power Plant -4 (MSE:DGD)
2.    Thermal Power Plant -3 (MSE:DGS)
3.    Thermal Power Plant – 2 (MSE:DKS)
4.    Thermal Power Plant of Darkhan (MSE:DAS)
5.    Thermal Power Plant of Erdenet (MSE:EDS)
6.    Shivee Ovoo JSC (MSE:SHV)
7.    Baganuur JSC (MSE:BAN)
8.    Mongol Post company
9.    Telecom Mongolian (MSE:MCH)

In addition, to prepare the Erdenes Tavantolgoi's shares that owned by citizens and business entities, to offer to the public through MSE accordance with the relevant laws and decisions of the Mongolian Government, and it assigned to the PM Saikhanbileg.Ch and Mongolian Government. 

Link to release


MSE Registers 42.9 Million Additional HBOil Shares, 82.3% of Enlarged Capital

July 27 (MSE) According to the resolution No.:302 of Financial Regulatory Commission on 2015, listing examination report, and the Order No.: 219 of CEO of MSE on 2015, an additional offered 42,884,686 shares listed at MSE's listing resulting amendment made to "HB Oil" JSC's listing with total of 52,118,954 at MNT100.00 per share.

Link to release


FRC Approves Delisting of Mongolyn Gegee JSC

July 27 (MSE) According to the resolution No.:287 of Financial Regulatory Commission dated 24 June 2015, the clause No.:83.1 of Company Law, official letter No.:1/11 of "Mongoly Gegee" JSC dated on 04 May 2015, and the Article 23.6, 23.9 of MSE's Listing Rule, total of 271,805 shares of "Mongolyn Gegee" JSC were delisted from MSE's listing.

Link to release


66 MSE Stocks File Interim Financial Reports

Company name



Publish date



Ulsyn ikh delguur


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Nekheesgui Edlel


2015 Half year



Javkhlant kharaa


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Merex JSC


2015 Half year



Shivee Ovoo


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Khuvsgul usan zam


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Darkhan Nekhii


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Bayangol Hotel


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Khorgo Khairkhan


2015 Half year



Khukh gan


2015 Half year



Khanyn Material


2015 Half year



Standard property group


2015 Half year



Mongolyn hurungiin birj


2015 Half year





2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Khasu Mandal


2015 Half year



Darkhan Hotel


2015 Half year



Dulaany tsakhilgaan stants IV


2015 Half year



Genco tour bureau


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Sharyn Gol


2015 Half year



Dornod autozam


2015 Half year



Telecom Mongolia


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Mongol Securities


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Khorin Khoyordugaar Baaz


2015 Half year



Berkh Uul


2015 Half year



Mongoliin khugjil undesnii negdel


2015 Half year



Dulaany tsakhilgaan stants II


2015 Half year



Machine mechanism


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Hermes centre


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Mongol savkhi


2015 Half year



B D Sec


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Zoos goyol


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Euroasia Capital Holding JSC


2015 Half year



Bayalag Nalaikh


2015 Half year





2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Uujim Khangai


2015 Half year



Mon Nab


2015 Half year



Dulaany tsakhilgaan stants III


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Ulaanbaatar tsakhilgaan tugeekh suljee


2015 Half year



Bayan Aldar


2015 Half year



Asia Pacific Properties


2015 Half year



Bluesky Securities


2015 Half year



Khot development


2015 Half year



Naco tulsh


2015 Half year





2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Takhi Ko


2015 Half year



Mogoin gol


2015 Half year





2015 Half year



Mongol Shir


2015 Half year



Mongolia development resources


2015 Half year


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BoM MNT Rates: Monday, August 3 Close


































































































Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,975 Sell ₮1,990), Khan (Buy ₮1,975 Sell ₮1,990), Golomt (website down), XacBank (Buy ₮1,976 Sell ₮1,991), State Bank (Buy ₮1,977 Sell ₮1,991)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 197.5 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding -41.8% to ₮410.35 billion

July 31 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 197.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM issues 165.2 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding +12.5% to ₮461.55 billion

August 3 (MSE) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 165.2 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM FX auction: US$19.3m sold at 1.982.51, CNY56m at 319.50, accepts $132.1m MNT, $1m USD swap offers

July 30 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on July 30th, 2015 the BOM has received bid offers of USD 25.3 million in a rate between MNT 1978.00-1987.52 and CNY 89.5 million in a rate between MNT 318.90-320.81. The BOM has accepted the offers and sold USD 19.3 million in a rate with MNT 1982.51 and CNY 56.0 million in a rate with MNT 319.50. 

On July 30th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 132.1 million and USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 1.0 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offers.

Link to release


Central bank of Mongolia buys 3.7 tons of gold in H1, 0.3 tons less than 2014

Bishkek, July 27 (AKIpress) - The central bank of Mongolia (Mongolbank) received 3.7 tons of gold in the first half of 2015 from the gold mining companies and placer miners, the Montsame National News Agency reports.

The rate decrease by 0.3 tons in comparison with the same period last year.

Mongolbank notes that reserves do not increase at sufficient level despite sharp increase in delivery of gold by business entities and the citizens after reducing rates for use of natural resources from 10 to 2.5%.

Whereas the world gold price has been stable since the beginning of the year, Mongolbank issued licenses to mine gold for 120 business entities, and expects to increase gold deliveries up to 15-20 tons by the end of the year.

Link to article


15 Billion 52-Week T-Bills Sold at Discount, Average Yield 14.615%

July 29 (BoM) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 15.0 billion MNT. Face value of 15.0 billion /out of 29.5 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 14.615%.

Link to release


Mongolia awaits economic rebound in 2016

July 27 (Oxford Business Group) The current drive in Mongolia to promote growth and foreign investment appears likely to yield results, as a key breakthrough in a long-running dispute over the expansion of a mine will help act as a stimulus for a 10-year, $1bn sovereign issue in the coming months.

While growth is expected to ease to 5.3% this year, down from 7.8% in 2014, the economy is on course for a rebound in 2016, Prime Minister Ch. Saikhanbileg said during a visit to London earlier this month, aimed at drumming up investment in Mongolia.

Agreements all around

After two years of negotiations, differences were settled with Rio Tinto in May over the $5.4bn Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine expansion project. This is likely to be followed by government approval for work to begin at the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal mine project over the coming months, the prime minister told The Financial Times in early July.

Delays in these projects, combined with a sharp decline in commodity prices, uncertainty over investment regulations and slower growth in China, have weighed on Mongolia's foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, which fell to $850m last year, after reaching $4.4bn in 2012 and $2.29bn in 2013.

Although the government hopes that both projects will bring a wave of investment and spur interest in other developments, the benefits are unlikely to be felt before next year. "Until an actual ramp-up in production takes place, Mongolia will remain dependent on external borrowings, as well as short-term liquidity easing measures," ratings agency Moody's wrote in late June.

Key role for bonds

To shore up external financing, the government announced plans at the end of May to tap the international bond markets with a 10-year, $1bn sovereign debt issue. Mongolia's cabinet said the funds may be used to finance the budget deficit or resolve balance of payments difficulties.

With $1.8bn worth of state-backed or sovereign bonds due to mature in 2017 and 2018, the government is perhaps more likely to use some of the newly raised capital to pay down older debt, like the so-called Chinggis bond issued in 2012. This would help it avoid breaching the debt ceiling, which was raised from 40% to 58.3% earlier this year.

The government has shown a commitment to reining in debt levels, which climbed sharply in recent years on the back of slower economic growth; estimates from Fitch put Mongolia's debt-to-GDP ratio as high as 63% as of the end of last year.

Lowering its debt exposure would help insulate Mongolia from external risks, with Moody's warning in June that the country's foreign reserves, although stable, were insufficient to fully cover maturing external debt obligations in the event of a credit shock.

However, officials remain confident that news of the Oyu Tolgoi deal will be well received by the markets. In April, Fitch heralded the positive impact of such an agreement. "A deal could have potentially transformative effects for the country's external accounts and macroeconomic position, catalysing billions of dollars in new foreign capital inflows, accelerating economic activity and providing relief to many of the country's key credit constraints."

Inspiring confidence

Investors might also be attracted by government proposals to put key state assets on the auction block. The government is considering selling its stake in the Tavan Tolgoi mine, while the privatisation of power plants and other state-owned enterprises is also being considered, D. Angar, CEO of the Mongolian Stock Exchange, told Bloomberg at the beginning of July.

News that Mongolia rose to the ranks of an upper-middle-income economy in the World Bank's most recent per capita GNI figures, released in early July, has also been welcomed. The country made the second-largest improvement of the economies surveyed, advancing eight places year-on-year; these gains are all the more remarkable considering Mongolia only attained lower-middle-income status in 2011.

While the country prepares itself for another year of modest growth, higher per-capita incomes could help foster more positive economic momentum, with growing consumer spending power and more robust demand generating opportunities across a variety of other sectors.

Link to article


North Korea Overtakes Mongolia, Russia to Become 3rd Largest Coal Exporter to China

North Korea Gains in China Coal Exports as Vietnam Bows Out

July 20 (Bloomberg) North Korea was the only country to boost coal shipments to China this year as Vietnamese supply slumped.

Chinese coal imports tumbled 40 percent in the five months through May, according to customs data. North Korean shipments jumped 25 percent, overtaking Mongolia and Russia to become China's largest foreign source of coal after Australia and Indonesia, as Vietnamese imports dropped 91 percent.

An expanding power sector means Vietnam is preparing next year to start importing coal, ending its role as the world's biggest supplier of a high-quality grade known as anthracite. North Korea's benefiting from the rising exports as it needs foreign income amid a three-month drought that's threatening harvests and raising the possibility that it will need to import food.

"It may be a replacement for the lack of exports from Vietnam," Guillaume Perret, founder and director at Perret Associates, a coal research company in London, said by phone Friday. "It could be that some power plants or industrial sectors need high-quality anthracite for blending. There's not so much anthracite in the world, so they may be replacing Vietnamese exports with North Korea."

Vietnam Shipments

China's shift to a more consumer-driven economy from heavy industrial investment has damped the nation's demand for commodities from iron ore to copper. The country imported 7.5 million metric tons of coal from North Korea in January through May as Vietnam's shipments fell to 180,000 tons and total foreign supplies dropped to 62 million tons. The customs data doesn't distinguish between grades of thermal coal.

"North Korea is the new No. 1 exporter of anthracite," Georgi Slavov, head of basic materials research in London at Marex Spectron, said Friday by e-mail. "Vietnam held the No. 1 spot for many years before that."

Australia and Russia's coal sales to China dropped as much as 45 percent in the period, while South Africa and the U.S. made no shipments at all in 2015, the customs data show. North Korea produced 43 million short tons (39 million metric tons) of coal in 2012, the last year for which the U.S. Department of Energy has estimates. That's about 1 percent of Chinese output.

Anthracite in China closed unchanged on July 14 at 604 renminbi ($97.27) a metric ton, according to weekly data from the China National Chemical Information Center. Prices slid 12 percent so far this year.

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DeFacto: Economic freedom is lagging too far behind economic growth

By Jargalsaikhan "DeFacto" Dambadarjaa

August 2 (UB Post) Freedom is based on the principle that an individual is aware of and responsible for his or her own actions. If you choose not to take care of your own life and make decisions, this means that you accept someone else making those decisions for you. Let us have a look at economic and political freedom.

Today, many people believe that individual freedom is a political issue, and poverty and prosperity are economic issues. However, economic and political freedom are not separate from each other, but have a close relationship. Mongolia's society needs to review this relationship and have a discussion about it. We have to see the path before us clearly.

Economic freedom is a necessary but insufficient condition for political freedom. This can be seen from the examples of Hong Kong and Singapore. Political freedom is neither necessary nor sufficient in insuring economic freedom. For instance, many countries that were colonies in the past are still poor and do not possess economic freedom, despite having political freedom and holding elections. However, if political freedom in the form of democracy is paired with economic freedom, it allows a country to achieve development and prosperity rapidly. Amartya Sen, a Noble Prize winning economist, says that no famine has ever taken place in a democracy.

This week we are marking the 25th anniversary of Mongolia's first free, democratic election, which was held in 1990, and put us on the path towards political freedom. But, where is our economic freedom? Where is our progress?


Today political parties have their own theories, ideologies, and values developed to bring about socio-economic development. People freely choose from those political parties in elections, and the political party that acquires the most votes is given ruling power. The democratic system, freedom of choice, and civil liberty are stated in the Constitution of Mongolia (de jure) and we have the freedom of speech (de facto). The Constitution says that the supreme principles of the activities of the state shall be ensuring democracy, justice, freedom, equality, national unity, and respect of law.

About economic freedom, it is stated in the Constitution that Mongolia shall have an economy based on different forms of property, taking into account universal trends in global economic development and domestic trends. The Constitution also says that the state recognizes and accepts all forms of both public and private property and shall protect the rights of owners by law. Although the phrase "universal trends" was not defined, we have always understood that it refers to the market economy. It can be seen from the development of the private sector, efforts to strengthen it, and the privatization of certain public entities and properties.

There are only two ways to regulate the economic activities of millions of people. One is by force, and the other is by voluntary exchange based on market principles. Even though Mongolia chose the market economy path, the regulations enforced by the government are not decreasing in number or extent, but increasing in some instances. There are a number of ways to measure how much influence government regulations have on the economy and individual income. One of them is the index of economic freedom published by the Heritage Foundation, in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal. The index measures the economic freedom of almost every country in the world.


On the index of economic freedom, Mongolia was ranked 97th out of a total of 118 countries in 2014. There was a 2.8 point decrease in Mongolia's ranking compared to 2013. The ranking is measured by how much the per capita income in a country is dependent on its development policy, institutional capacity, and environment. The index of economic freedom, which has been published annually for 20 years, shows that almost 80 percent of per capita income is dependent on the policy pursued by a government and its institutional capacity and activities. The extent of economic freedom is largely influenced by property rights, government regulations, and underground economies.

The driver of the market economy is the desire and capability to accumulate wealth through income, savings, and trade. The most important thing is the belief that an individual has to be the owner of his or her property or business, in order to earn, save, invest, and conduct business activities. No one else has the right to use the property of others without permission.

In terms of protection of property, Mongolia scored 30 out of 100 points and is ranked 70th. Hong Kong has the highest score (90) followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, and Chile. This means that protection of property is three times as weak in Mongolia as compared to these countries. A clear example is assets like land, homes, and livestock, which do not go into economic circulation in developing countries because their governments have not consolidated their property rights.

Having exceeded the scope of its primary objectives to ensure safety, security, freedom, and protection of property, the government is now too involved in the business sector, imposing various restrictions. It leads to different terms of competition, which increases corruption. It is worrying that Mongolia is ranked 116th in terms of corruption. Mongolia's underground economy, which is made up by entities that are not formally registered and do not pay taxes, has become almost as big as the mainstream economy. Currently, income tax is 10 percent, and the maximum rate of taxes imposed on business entities is 25 percent. If this is combined with VAT and other taxes, the tax load on gross national income is approximately 33 percent. The external debt of the government has already exceeded half of our economy, thus, we are unable to shrink the underground economy. It makes it difficult to make the labor market more efficient and reduce unemployment. A special feature of our underground economy is the people who individually conduct mining activities (commonly referred to as "ninjas"). There are almost 100,000 ninjas in Mongolia today. In addition, ten percent of our workforce is based abroad.

Political freedom does not automatically bring about economic freedom. On the contrary, when economic freedom is promoted, the economy flourishes with improvement in livelihood and better education. When this happens, changes are naturally demanded for a more democratic system. Therefore, Mongolians have a lot to do in order to increase our political freedom. Currently, a few groups of politicians who have managed to make selfish use of political freedom and banded together under the name of political parties have been consistently restricting Mongolia's economic freedom to create advantageous situations for themselves.

Nevertheless, Mongolians will not give up and divert from the path of economic freedom and market principles. We will go forward, overcoming the challenges and difficulties ahead. We have political freedom irreversibly established. Half of our population is made up by a younger generation under 30 years old. Therefore, it is strongly hoped that Mongolia will soon have greater economic freedom, which will allow Mongolians to work for our home country, see the fruits of their hard work, and have better livelihoods. May our economic freedom flourish as strongly as our political freedom.

Trans. by B.AMAR

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Politics & Legal

PM demands DP chairman to convene party national consultative committee

July 31 ( Prime Minister made an announcement today. At the beginning of his speech he delivered information concluding on the current economic and political situation.

He noted the decline in the major commodity prices on the market and emphasized that FDIs haven't reached the expected level. Moreover, the cabinet will focus on budget loss and winter preparedness.

Next PM noted on the significance of prioritizing the interests of the country citing to late S.Zorig's words that "country's interest should be put forward" and announced that DP members have been emphasizing the importance of one party led government for the stable political environment.

On the matter of dismissal of 6 ministers from the cabinet Prime Minister has submitted the claim to the Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold, as such matters should be negotiated with the President first.

The claim calls for the need to conduct special session of the DP National Council Committee on coming Monday, August 3rd, the reason for this claim is that Party Leader should lead the Cabinet according to the currently set political standards.

Prime Minister hasn't submitted the draft resolution on dismissal of the cabinet members.

Link to article


Ch.Saikhanbileg addresses problematic bipartisanshipUB Post, August 2


PM to Submit Resolution to Dismiss MPP Ministers

July 31 ( Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg is to submit the draft resolution on Dismissal of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) members of the Cabinet and appointing of the new ministers to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold.

Executive Council of the Democratic Party (DP) has come up with a decision to terminate the agreement on cooperation with MPP. In order to implement this decision Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg is to submit the draft resolution on dismissal of the MPP members of the cabinet, 6 ministers and 7 deputy ministers to the Speaker, as the State Great Khural is to discuss the matter.

Prime Minister announced today that he is to submit the draft resolution at 1PM today.

At around 2PM Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg and Head of the Cabinet Secretariat S.Bayartsogt met with the Speaker in his office, but the press representatives announced that submission was postponed to 4PM, while the two remained in the Speaker's office.

The dismissal of the cabinet members is to be discussed by the Special session of the State Great Khural announced to start on August 3rd. The issue is on the top of the agenda.

Link to article


Ch.Saikhanbileg delivers official demand to dismiss MPP ministersUB Post, August 2


Special Session of the State Great Khural starts

August 3 ( An irregular plenary session of the State Great Khural (Parliament of Mongolia) opened today, on August 03, 2015. The opening of irregular session was attended by 41 parliament members (53.9% attendance).

The session will discuss the renewed drafts of the Criminal Law and the Law on Fire Arms, draft bills on the Law on Economic Transparency and Law on Amnesty, amendments to the Law on Violation and others that have been discussed during the Spring session, said Speaker Z.Enkhbold. 

He added that the Parliamentary resolution on dismissiing some members of the Cabinet from the post and appointing new Ministers will be discussed by the State Great Khural after it would be submitted in accordance with the law.

Speaker Z.Enkhbold said that he hopes the MPs will actively attend the party faction and standing committee meetings and the plenary meetings, in order for the regulations to be adopted in the given two weeks for this irregular plenary session.

On July 28, Speaker of the State Great Khural issued an order No.156 on announcing the Special Plenary Session. In accordance with the order, irregular plenary session of Parliament will run on August 03-14, 2015.

Link to article


Parliament Commences Special Plenary SessionMontsame, August 3


MPP boycotts Special Session opening

August 3 ( State Great Khural just had its Special Session opening.

Opening was attended by 28 MPs from DP, 7 members of Justice coalition and 3 independent members. Although, Speaker Z.Enkhbold invited the MPP members to attend the opening of the Special Session and waited for a while for them, none was present at the time of opening.

This might be the boycotting of the dismissal of the six MPP ministers from the cabinet, where the Prime Minister has submitted the draft resolution to the President for the mandatory negotiations.

Special Session of the State Great Khural is announced during August 3-14th and the agenda is as following:

  • Discussion of the renewed draft of the Criminal Code, amendments to the draft;
  • Discussion of the draft law on Violation and its amendments;
  • Discussion of the draft law on fire arms and its amendments;
  • Discussion of the draft law on Economic transparency;
  • Discussion of the draft law on pardoning.

As the Prime Minister announced that the submission of the draft resolution on dismissal of the cabinet members is proceeding in accordance with the legal procedures, changes in this week's discussion agenda is inevitable.

The matter will be discussed as per the legal procedures. The Speaker warned the MPs to take active part in the meetings of the standing committees and be present at the discussions as the time allocated for the Special Session is only 14 days.

Link to article


B.Garamgaibaatar: MPP is on defense for their positions

August 3 ( State Great Khural just had its Special Session opening.

While MPs from MPP were absent. On the inquiry on this matter from the DP Group Leader B.Garamgaibaatar he replied with: "According to law MPP members should be present at the opening of the session. It is their responsibility to attend the sessions and other mandatory meetings. Moreover, it is their responsibility to take active part in discussions. Today's act of MPP members clearly states their will to defend their positions. State Great Khural can proceed on its daily procedures with or without MPP."

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More Special Parliament Session might be on the way

August 3 ( DP Group at the State Great Khural met after the Special Session opening and the group leader made an official announcement today.

DP Group leader B.Garamgaibaatar expressed the DP is to support 100 percent  the issues to be discussed through the Special Session such as draft of Criminal Code, Law on Violation, Economic Transparency, Fire arms. 

DP Group Leader answered the questions from the journalists.

-Has DP come to a unified stance on the changes to the cabinet? Will the National council Committee meet? 

B.Garamgaibaatar: -Prime Minister announced last Friday that the dismissal of the members from the cabinet is in the procedural stages. Negotiations with the President are being held. State Great Khural is to discuss the issue afterwards.

If the issue to be submitted during the Special Session then the discussions will be held. If not, there might be a need to announce another special session as well. Secondly, National Council Committee session issue was discussed and I hereby, officially announce that this issue will be solved in accordance with the current DP rules and regulations

As far as the law on political parties hasn't been approved the current rules and regulations are valid, according to which the National Council Committee session is to be called by Party Leader. Although with the consent of the one third of the members the session can be called, it is still under the Party leader whether to call the session.

Sh.Tuvdendorj: -As long as DP is not the majority at the State Great Khural, it is not mandatory for the Party leader to lead the cabinet. But the current political situation urges to do so. Dismissal of the six ministers have already been decided. If the issue was submitted by State Great Khural, it should have been discussed right away. Because the issue is being submitted by the Prime Minister, it is necessary to be negotiated with President in five working days. As the issue was submitted last week, the results should be announced this week. 

-What will happen if DP Group would support the MPP demand to dismiss the cabinet as a whole?

Sh.Tuvdendorj: -There are precautions of unstable state, therefore the current developments are taking place. If the developments of this matter will take the route of dismissing the cabinet as a whole and the DP members are to support the initiative, those members would be eliminated from the right to run for the next parliamentary elections in accordance with the party rules.

Link to interview


Z.Enkhbold arranges the political life, backed up by Genco

By Ts. Erdenetsetseg

August 3 ( Many say so, as they can easily deduct from the recent developments happening in the political life in Mongolia.

During the change of the N.Altankhuyag's cabinet Z.Enkhbold was behind. Current stir in the Ch.Saikhanbileg's cabinet is being conducted by him as well. Many see those as more of the personal ambition rather than looking for the interests of the nation and the country development. This conclusion can be deducted from just doing some surface observations. Then there is question: Why would Z.Enkhbold side with Kh.Battulga? Many say it is because of the huge cash behind the bids. In this regard, it can be seen as Kh.Battulga is behind the manouvre to make Z.Enkhbold the Prime Minister. 

Yesterday MP L.Erdenechimeg posted on her social media account photo of the gathering of the DP group at the State Great Khural at the Z.Enkhbold's place in Ikh Tenger. Was it the result of the yesterday's gathering, the discussion of the dismissal of the MPP members from the cabinet was removed from Special Session agenda. The issue was on top of the agenda announced few days back, while the issue was removed as of yesterday on the official documents released. 

It was obvious that the Special Session purpose was to discuss the issues related with the cabinet structure, while the discussion of the law draft was just the camouflage. Speaker Z.Enkhbold himself said that the Special Session is to be announced in September for the discussion of the Amendments to the Constitution, through which those law drafts could have been discussed easily.

Some questions could be answered with how the Speaker addresses the opening of the Special Sessions today.

Anyways, the National Council Committee of DP is not gathering as the Prime Minister requested few days ago. During the gathering yesterday, rumors have spread that Z.Enkhbold suggested that Executive Council can solve the issues without calling the National Council Committee.

MP L.Erdenechimeg tweeted this picture with captions: "Lunch at the Speaker's place for the DP group."

On the matter of dismissal of 6 ministers from the cabinet Prime Minister has submitted the claim to the Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold, as such matters should be negotiated with the President first.

The claim calls for the need to conduct special session of the DP National Council Committee on coming Monday, August 3rd, the reason for this claim is that Party Leader should lead the Cabinet according to the currently set political standards. While on the other hand, Z.Enkhbold has little chances to become DP leader through the National Council Committee. It is just the matter of time whether the issue to be discussed at the National Council Committee level. The question is when.

Announcement made by the Prime Minister last Friday not only delivered the claim to the National Council Committee, but as well stated that the dismissal of the MPP ministers from the cabinet has been submitted to the President, according to the legal procedures. If the talks during the lunch were successful it is evident that this issue will be removed from the discussion agenda.

What stances has the President, will Z.Enkhbold lead the cabinet, will Ch.Saikhanbileg remain on his seat, while dismissing the MPP six members, will National Council Committee gather and decide who to lead the cabinet? These questions might be answered with the start of the Special Session.

Link to article


Former PM advisor L.Gansukh's trial starts August 17

August 3 ( Former adviser to Prime Minister L.Gansukh is being accused of money laundering of MNT 3.6 billion while working in Coal Program. Independent Authority Against Corruption detained L.Gansukh on July 29th of last year for three months, who was bailed out with request of his lawyer.

Although the trial was scheduled for today, it has been postponed to August 17th.

Link to article


Minister Burmaa reports on harvest progress

July 31 ( The Government of Mongolia had been organizing the "30 Minutes with Prime Minister" meeting on every Thursdays, but since October 2014, the meeting was extended into "Minister's Hour".

On, July 29, 2015, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, MP R.Burmaa gave a report at the "Minister's Hour" weekly meeting on harvesting works and measures taken by the Ministry for supporting the planting and ploughing works.

Weather condition is good in Arkhangai and Uvurkhangai aimags, while Tuv, Selenge and Bulgan aimags are expected to receive 50-70% of the harvest, but the harvest volume could grow up. Detailed information on the harvesting works will be released on August 25, the Minister said.

In order to intensify works of preparing hay and fodder, contracts have been established with administrations of aimags on supplying small-sized tractors without the advance, the Minister said, adding that soft-loans of MNT (Tugrug) 7.5 billion have been granted to 22 entities for technical renovations. The Agriculture Production Support Fund has given to 1,900 entities and farmers MNT 13.8 billion loan for the spring planting and preparation of ploughed areas.  

Moreover, 132 tractors have been given to farmers with a soft-loan from China under a credit contract. Now, 52 harvesters will be given, therefore technical capability will be improved to harvest from 15 thousand hectares and to plough 28 thousand hectares of land, she said.          

Link to article


Minister of Food and Agriculture at "Hour of Minister" Weekly MeetingMontsame, July 31


Herders to Receive Leather and Wool Incentives

July 31 ( State issues incentives to herders on leather and wool. But those incentives were available for only members of the cooperative society.

Minister R.Burmaa announced that this year due to the droughts affecting the agricultural sector in a negative way the state incentives for leather and wool is to be issued to all herders, regardless of their affiliation to cooperative society. This decision was made in order to support herders.

Several MPs have been expressing their views previously that those incentives should be legalized for all the herders.

Link to article


Mogi: article has since been removed. hmmm

President Pardons Fellow Democracy Activist Convicted of Killing Son

July 31 ( Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj has awarded amnesty to H.Boshigt, who fought with him for democracy with him in 1990. The announcement was made in the framework of the 25th Anniversary of the Democracy in Mongolia. H.Boshigt used to work as a chairman of the "Mongolian Democratic Federation", however, in 2013 he was sentenced to 10 years in the jail for killing his son, while. This tragic incident took place on 3rd February 2013.

Link to article


Mongolia marks 25 years of democracy in Russian, Chinese shadows

July 29 (AFP) Mongolia on Wednesday marked 25 years since its first democratic election, a key milestone in the transformation of the once Communist nation squeezed between giant neighbours Russia and China.

President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who as a student led protests that helped spark the changeover from seven decades of Soviet domination, told a commemoration that his country was now "an active democracy unique to the region".

"Mongolia has undergone remarkable change over the past quarter century", he said.

Since the transition in 1990, part of a broader democratic wave that swept the former Eastern bloc and eventually the Soviet Union that had dominated it, Mongolia has become a market economy.

Its people have voted peacefully in a total of 13 parliamentary and presidential elections.

But the resource-rich country -- replete with gold, copper, coal and other minerals -- has been buffeted by the booms and busts common among countries reliant on global demand.

Mongolia experienced unprecedented annual economic growth of an eye-popping 17.5 percent in 2011, largely as a result of foreign investment and mineral exports.

But rising resource nationalism and political infighting over the proper role of foreign investment in extraction has dented growth, as well as the global resources bust.

The Asian Development Bank is forecasting growth of 3.0 percent this year and 5.0 percent in 2016, according to figures on its website.

"Politicians need to be accountable to the people," said Erdene Bat-Uul, who played a leading role in challenging the existing regime in 1990 as the first chairman of the newly formed Mongolian Democratic Party, and is now mayor of Ulan Bator.

"All their activities should be open to the public," he told AFP. "The challenge is how to make politicians more accountable to the people."

To the north, Russia is led by Vladimir Putin, who is in a standoff with the West over Ukraine, while to the south China remains ruled by the Communist party.

With just three million citizens, Mongolia worries about overreliance on demand from its giant southern neighbour, its top market and also a major investor in resource development.

But Bat-Uul told AFP he saw neither Beijing nor Moscow as threats, adding: "If Mongolia stays democratic, it's good for Russia, China and the region."

Prime Minister Chimediin Saikhanbileg, who took office last year and has been pushing policies friendly to foreign investors, looked to a wealthier future.

"For the next 25 years, Mongolian people hope to step up from the slogan 'We were born in Mongolia' to 'Made in Mongolia'," he said.

Link to article


Honoring 25 Years of Mongolian Democracy

A quarter century ago, the people of Mongolia opted for representative government. Today that system only continues to improve.


July 28 (WSJ) On Wednesday Mongolians will celebrate a new milestone in our long history: the 25th anniversary of my country's first full multiparty democratic election. A quarter century ago, the people of Mongolia rose up and scrapped a totalitarian system imposed by the Soviet Union.

In its place we built from the bottom-up a multiparty, free-market democracy. That democracy is centered on the concepts of freedom, individual liberty and the rule of law.

Our journey to that point was far from certain. In 1989, as Mongolians chaffed under the yoke of Communist rule, the Soviet Union was still intact and its grip over my country seemed overwhelming. In our other neighbor's capital the shock of the massacre in Tiananmen Square cast a long shadow over our democratic stirrings.

Yet we knew the political order had to change. Through discussion and dialogue, and then massive peaceful protests, the Communist Party was pushed aside and relegated to the ash heap of history. Not one shot was fired, not a single window broken or a drop of blood spilled. A new Mongolia was born.

Since 1990, Mongolians have gone to the polls seven times for parliamentary elections and six times to select their president. Our 1996 elections featured the first peaceful transfer of political power from one party to another in Central and Northeast Asia.

But elections are just one facet of a democracy, and we are building for the future. The foundation of our democratic process is the concept that freedom unleashes the ability of people to become educated, grow, prosper and challenge government to become better.

Information technology is central to this process. Mongolia is one of the top countries in the world by the number of media tools used per capita. This access to information allows for greater transparency, online social interaction and organizing.

Although our borders are landlocked, we are now connected wirelessly to the world. It is the free flow of news, information and ideas that will serve to propel Mongolia, and other countries, forward. That is why we are chairing the multicountry Freedom Online Coalition to promote Internet access for all.

Technology is an unstoppable force that is allowing individuals, groups and organizations to exert political influence and highlight important social causes at an unprecedented pace. Countries that seek to curb this access to technology and information will undercut the ability of their people to innovate and close off economic opportunities—and ultimately I believe they will not be successful.

Corruption is a political cancer—an infectious rot that attacks government institutions and robs people of opportunity. It scares away honest partners and investors. We are attacking corruption and also increasing government transparency and the ability of journalists and average citizens to access government information.

Bringing sunlight, public scrutiny and law enforcement to the dark corners where corrupt officials—and those who would corrupt them—hide is an excellent antiseptic. Our "Glass Law" demands that all public expenditures be publicly disclosed.

In the past four years Mongolia has moved to 80th from 120th on Transparency International's corruption index. A good start but much more work remains.

Judicial reform in Mongolia has been a massive undertaking requiring reforms in the court system, judges, prosecutors and police. We have rewritten Mongolia's laws to reflect private-property ownership, and guaranteed a presumption of innocence and due process to those accused of any crime. We have also banned the death penalty.

The legal-reform process continues but Mongolians can have confidence that the rule of law is now firmly rooted. Courtrooms are open to outside observers and we take seriously criticisms of our legal process.

We feel an obligation to reach out and share our democratic experiences, and this is where Mongolia is playing a leading regional role. With Kyrgyzstan we are sharing our experiences in building an effective parliamentary democracy and enacting legal reforms. We are training Afghan public servants and diplomats; hosting exchanges with journalists and civil-society members in Burma; and opening a window on the world for North Korean academics and government officials to facilitate dialogue on security and economic issues. All these initiatives are designed to increase the flow of information, discussion and experiences.

Democracy is hard work. I take great pride in the amazing efforts and accomplishments that my countrymen have secured in 25 short years. However, we are clear-eyed about the future.

We must, and will, continue to build on the foundation that has been laid to protect our freedoms. I hope that by our collective actions on behalf of democracy in Mongolia we can serve as an example that inspires those outside our country on a similar journey—and make their way a bit easier.

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President Park calls Mongolia's transition to democracy good role model

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Wednesday that Mongolia's successful transition to democracy is a good role model for the international community.

Mongolia's case "could help contribute to spreading democracy and establishing peace in Northeast Asia," Park said in a video message at a ceremony in Ulaanbaatar to mark the 25th anniversary of Mongolia's first free elections after decades of socialism.

Mongolia has become one of the most vibrant democracies in the word after its political transition without bloodshed.

Park did not elaborate, though she has urged North Korea to heed a former Mongolian leader's call for it to embrace change.

Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat, who led Mongolia from 1990 to 1997, said in February that security comes from a fat wallet, not nuclear programs, and that North Korea should choose the path of reform and openness if it wants to feed its people.

Park said Mongolia, Vietnam and Myanmar are on track for development and growth after opting to follow this path.

South Korea has pressed North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program and move forward as a responsible member of the international community.

On Tuesday, North Korea said it is not interested in reopening talks with the United States to first unilaterally freeze or dismantle its nuclear program.

The comment by North Korea's top envoy to China, Ji Jae-ryong, dashed hopes that Pyongyang may follow the path of Iran in dealing with its nuclear ambitions.

The U.S., five world powers and Iran reached a landmark deal earlier this month that will curb Iran's nuclear capabilities in return for lifting sanctions. North Korea has already said it is not interested in Iran-style nuclear talks.

Ji said North Korea's situation is different from that of Iran, claiming that North Korea is a nuclear weapons state and has interests as a nuclear weapons state.

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IRI Delegation Joins Mongolia's Celebrations of 25 Years of Democracy

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 27 (International Republican Institute) – A delegation from IRI, led by former Congressman David Drier and Ambassador Mark Green, president of IRI, will join Mongolians as their country celebrates 25 years of democracy.

On December 10, 1989, a group of 300 young Mongolians came together and announced the birth of the Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU), the first political force to challenge the Communist single-party system in the country.  The protest grew quickly and by March 1990 the Politburo had resigned setting the stage for the country's first democratic elections in July.

To celebrate these historic events, Drier and Green, along with Brad Smith, director of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission; Thomas Garrett, IRI's vice president for programs; and Derek Luyten, director of IRI's Asia programs, will attend the official celebrations hosted by the government of Mongolia, including the gala dinner hosted by President Ts.Elbegdorj.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the House Democracy Partnership, which Drier helped establish while in Congress, and Mongolia's participation in the exchange program.  While in Mongolia, Drier and Green will host Speaker Z.Enkhbold for a ceremony recognizing the anniversary and the work that has been accomplished to strengthen the State Great Hural. 

IRI and the Zorig Foundation will co-host a book launch for How Democracy Was Born in Mongolia, a work by S.Amarsanaa, Ts.Maidar and D.Khaliun, and co-published by the organizations.  The book features more than 70 photos of the early years of the democratic revolution from the years 1989 through 1992, many of them rarely seen in print. 

Drier and Green will also join Mayor E. Bat-Uul, of Ulaanbaatar, and other city officials to announce the creation of the Transparent Ulaanbaatar Academy a municipal civil servant and citizen training academy on ethics and anti-corruption.  Since 2013, IRI has worked with the mayor to identify ways in which the municipality can increase transparency and accountability.  Last year, IRI and the mayor's office co-sponsored the Transparent Ulaanbaatar Anti-Corruption Forum and IRI released its Vulnerabilities to Corruption Assessment Report, which details technical findings from a corruption assessment in Ulaanbaatar in June 2014. 

Throughout the past 25 years, the democratic revolution has transformed Mongolia from a closed society ruled by a repressive single-party Communist system into a free and open society that functions as a dynamic multi-party democracy.  Mongolia and its citizens have opened up to the international community, gaining access to travel freely around the world, opening their markets to foreign investment and expanding independent foreign policy and multilateral cooperation.

IRI is proud to have played a role in helping the Mongolian people achieve their goal of a more democratic, open and transparent country.

You can learn more about these historic events and IRI's work in Mongolia through this interactive timeline.

Link to release


Food stamps for food security: the impact of a targeted social assistance programme in Mongolia

Type: Research

Date: June 2015

Policy area: Poverty, inequality & vulnerability,Social protection

Book/Journal: Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Volume 23, Number 2

ISSN: 1759-8273

OPM author/contact

Ian MacAuslan, Ramlatu Attah

Despite rapid economic growth, the poorest households in Mongolia struggle to meet basic nutritional requirements. In 2008–09, global economic conditions and a heavy winter led to rising prices and lower incomes, exacerbating food insecurity. The government implemented a food stamp programme targeting the poorest 5 per cent of households, aiming to reduce their vulnerability to food insecurity. Drawing on an impact evaluation of the programme on food security, we find substantial positive impacts on food security. We conclude that the model was appropriate to Mongolia, and a viable long-term response to food insecurity.


Food stamps for food security: the impact of a targeted social assistance programme in Mongolia [Paywall]

Link to release


Landlocked Mongolia worries China's becoming too close


·         Land of Ghengis Khan has vast mineral wealth, conflicted on how to tap it

·         After 25 years of democracy, Mongolians still battle corruption, poverty

·         Rare U.S. friend in Central Asia also courted by Russia, China


ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA, July 27 (Miami Herald) Ask Mongolians what they think of China, and you are likely to hear about the Dalai Lama's visit to their country in 2002. China scolded Mongolia for hosting Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, and even closed part of the border between the two countries for several hours.

"It was ridiculous," recalls Batzul Gerelsaikhan, a 26-year-old business consultant from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital. "There were all these goods that were held up at the border."

Mongolia lies to China's north, a country of 3 million people that has grown increasingly dependent on its much larger and more populous neighbor. Ninety percent of Mongolia's exports go to China, mainly copper and other minerals. Visitors from China are the main driver of Mongolia's growing tourism industry, helping Ulaanbaatar land some swish hotels and retailers, including a Louis Vuitton shop.

But even as Mongolians celebrate 25 years of democracy this year, some worry their nation could be mortgaging its future with ever-closer ties to China. They fear China could eventual overwhelm and assimilate their nation, similar to what happened in China's Inner Mongolia province.

Ethnic tensions, rooted in history, fuel many of these anti-Chinese attitudes. Before becoming a Soviet satellite in the 1920s, Mongolia was ruled – often brutally – by China's Qing Dynasty and a short-lived successor government. When China uses bullying tactics to protest Mongolia's internal decisions – such as hosting the Dalai Lama – Mongolians hear echoes of the past.

Mendee Jargalsaikhan, a Central Asia specialist at the University of British Columbia, said official relations between Mongolia and China are now better than they've been in decades. But within Mongolia, he said, anti-Chinese sentiments remain strong, as can be seen in Mongolian literature, television shows and rap music.

One rapper, "Gee," has become popular in Ulaanbaatar performing songs that include anti-Chinese slurs and calls for Mongolians to stand up for their national identify.

"You don't see a lot of these kind of lyrics in modern Mongolian music, but you can run into them," said Mendee, a former Mongolian defense attache who is now studying for his doctorate in British Columbia. "The sentiment is out there and it shows up in popular culture."

For U.S. officials, Mongolia's drive to avoid dependency has created openings in a part of the world where the United States has few friends. In 2007, the White House approved a $285 million "Millenium Challenge" grant to upgrade Mongolia's railway system, education, health care and other services.

U.S. forces have helped train Mongolian troops in annual military exercises. Mongolia has reciprocated by sending personnel to participate in UN and NATO peacekeeping missions, after sending a small number of troops to support U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite such overtures, Mongolian leaders have been careful not to antagonize China and Russia, which the landlocked country depends on for markets, oil, and access to ports. Last fall, in separate state visits, Mongolia hosted both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin within a few weeks of each other.

Those visits led to speculation that Mongolia was backing away from its "third neighbor" policy of closer ties with the United States, Japan and other countries. Analysts say such fears are misguided. Gungaa Bazarvaani, a Central Asia specialist based in Ulaanbaatar, said Mongolia must build stronger relations with China if it wants to improve access to Chinese ports, which could open new markets for Mongolian exports.

"We are doing all this to get better access to our third neighbors," said Gungaa, who is affiliated with Mongolia's Institute for Strategic Studies but said he was speaking for himself.

Because of its mineral wealth, Mongolia once was one of the world's fastest-growing countries, recording a GDP increase of 17.5 percent as recently as 2011. But China's slowing economy has reduced demand for Mongolian coal and other exports. Foreign investment has also dropped, partly because Mongolia has squabbled with investors over mine projects, including the vast Oyo Tolgoi copper-gold mine in the Gobi Desert.

For Mongolians, the nation's huge mineral deposits present painful choices. Traditional herders are highly protective of their grasslands, viewing their soil as sacred, not to be permanently disturbed. There's also a streak of "resource nationalism" in the country, with Mongolians not wanting to partner with foreign mining companies, despite their capital and expertise.

Foreign-led mining projects potentially could bring in billions of dollars to national coffers, but corruption is rampant, and many people doubt there the nation's mining wealth will be distributed fairly. As of 2014, nearly 30 percent of the population lived below the poverty line, with many dependent on livestock as their only source of wealth.

Some traditional herders still manage to make a decent living. Unurbileg, 39, lives with her husband and three daughters in a ger (yurt) some 60 miles east of Ulaanbaatar, herding more than 1,000 horses, goats, sheep and cows. The family drives a new Toyota Rav 4 SUV and purchased a satellite dish to watch TV. They also own a large Kia truck, which they use twice a year for moving their household to greener pastures.

Yet Unurbileg – who like many Mongolians uses only one name – wonders about the family's future. A single bad winter could wipe out hundreds of the family's animals. Recently, there hasn't been enough rainfall, turning some of the hillsides brown, she said.

"From year to year, it is getting worse and worse," said Unurbileg. Lately, she added, there hasn't been enough grass for her animals to produce milk, so all she could offer visitors were cups of clear tea.

Among Ulaanbaatar's urban professionals, there is little doubt that Mongolia has to diversify its economy, and do so with help from its two big neighbors. "Mongolia needs to balance its interests, but we have neglected our relations with Russia and China," said Munkhdul Badral Bontoi, who runs a consulting and analysis firm called "Cover Mongolia."

Each year, hundreds of Mongolian nationals go abroad for college education. Some, such as Oyundari Eldevochir, are now choosing to attend schools in China.

Oyundari, 25, is partway through a three-year master's degree program at Zhejiang University's law school in Hangzhou, just south of Shanghai. She says she wanted to learn Chinese and experience China so she could build skills that might help her law career back home.

A native of Ulaanbaatar, Oyandari said she heard "all kinds of bad things" about people in China before moving to Hangzhou, but now has several close Chinese friends and has warmed up to the culture. She did, however, have to initially confront Chinese stereotypes about her own background.

"Since I am Mongolian, many people there asked me if I ride a horse," she said recently in Ulaanbaatar, where she is spending her summer break. "I had to tell them I don't ride horses. I am a city girl, and I've never been comfortable on a horse."

According to Mendee Jargalsaikhan, the Central Asia analyst, younger Mongolians seem to be shedding some of the anti-Chinese sentiment of previous generations. Some of that prejudice stems from the Communist era, when the Soviets barraged the country with anti-Chinese propaganda, following the souring of Beijing-Moscow relations in the 1960s.

Still, even in modern Ulaanbaatar, nationalists continue to enforce social norms aimed at keeping Mongolian blood "pure." Local men sometimes castigate Mongolian women when they are seen cavorting with a foreign man, especially one who appears to be Chinese.

"Mongolian men are worried that Chinese men will also come here, and take all the women," said Batzul, who works for a real estate investment company in Ulanbaatar. Such fears were fanned a few years ago, she said, when it was reported that a famous Mongolian songstress, Serchma, had married a Chinese national in Beijing.

Of course, China itself harbors suspicions about Mongolia, a country that continues to revere Ghengis Khan and Kublai Khan, who conquered and ruled China during the Yuan Dynasty of 1271-1368.

Those fears seemed to surface earlier this month, when Chinese police in Inner Mongolia arrested 20 tourists, mostly from Britain and South Africa. Police accused them of watching videos that advocated "terrorism and religious extremism." All 20 were later deported.

In a statement, one leader of the tour said the incident resulted from a "misunderstanding" about a video the tourists were watching in a hotel room. The video? A British Broadcasting Company documentary about Ghengis Khan.

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Genghis Khan reigns anew as Mongolia replaces Communist-era statues


Ulan Bator, Mongolia, July 28 (Los Angeles Times) The advertisements in the magazine of Mongolia's national airline signal much about what's happening these days in this sparsely populated, resource-rich country of 3 million sandwiched between Russia and China.

Double-page spreads tout Samsung smartphones and HDTVs, upscale hotels and drilling equipment for mineral mines. But one advertisement stands out: a fundraising appeal for the Grand Maitreya Project, an effort to construct a 177-foot-tall golden statue of the Buddha of Loving Kindness in front of a giant whitestupa, a Buddhist commemorative monument, which at 354 feet high would eclipse the Statue of Liberty.

A hotline promises donors information, but for those ready to send funds immediately, a bank Swift code and account number are provided as well (U.S. dollars and Mongolian tugriks both welcome).

After spending centuries under the thumb of China and seven decades as an atheistic Soviet satellite, Mongolia became a democratic state in 1990. In the quarter-century since, the nation has been on a mission to reclaim and redefine its identity and reevaluate its history. Perhaps nowhere is this quest more evident than in the flurry of statue building — and tearing-down — that has erupted in recent years.

Buddhas, the Beatles and Genghis Khan are in. Stalin and Lenin are most definitely out.

"The lack of national identity is one of our biggest problems," said Munkhdul Badral Bontoi, chief executive of Cover Mongolia, a business consultancy in Ulan Bator. "In the 13th century we had Genghis Khan, and we're searching for the same level of unity now — a common goal. We sort of had that in Communist times: Everyone grew up with propaganda about creating a prosperous country together. That experiment failed, but we did have something to collectively rally around."

Ulan Bator's main Stalin statue was ripped down in the winter of 1990, just after the democratic revolution. It took until fall 2012 for the capital to rid itself of its last Vladimir Lenin statue, which was lifted off its plinth by a crane, plopped onto a flatbed truck and sent off to auction, with Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene condemning the Bolshevik revolutionary as a "murderer."

(Earlier, the capital had shut down its Lenin museum and repurposed the decrepit building into offices, restaurants, bars and now, ironically, a dinosaur museum.)

In place of Russian strongmen, Genghis Khan has clearly been the go-to figure. Officially dismissed as a "reactionary" during the socialist era, the founder of the great Mongol empire has been rehabilitated on a massive scale — literally.

An imposing likeness of him, sitting in a pose reminiscent of Honest Abe at Washington's Lincoln Memorial, was unveiled in 2006 in front of the parliament. (His face has also been placed on various denominations of currency and his name affixed to the capital's airport, not to mention a raft of commercial products, including a line of vodka.)

About an hour's drive east of Ulan Bator, a 131-foot-tall stainless steel Genghis Khan on horseback was built out of the sandy steppe in 2009 by a Mongolian tour company. For a fee, visitors can ride an elevator up through the equine's torso and emerge atop the head of the steed for a panoramic view of the stark landscape.

Scores of other monuments, large and small — commemorating animals, songs, musicians, poems, religious figures and more — have been erected around the country as well.

Mongolia has a long tradition of sculpture. The 17th century statesman and Buddhist lama Zanabazar, for instance, was a ground-breaking artist known for his exquisite gilt bronze religious figures; today he's often called the "Michelangelo of the Steppes."

With freedom of religion restored under democratic rule, Buddhist monasteries were reopened. In 1996, an 87-foot gilt bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, was dedicated at the capital's Gandan Monastery, replacing the 1911 original, which was destroyed by Communists in 1938.

The same year that Genghis was installed at the parliament, a 75-foot Buddha — funded by donations from South Korea — was erected in a park on the south side of Ulan Bator.

Around Ulan Bator, dozens of new sculptures — some momentous and mournful, others whimsical or even trivial — have been dedicated in parks, along roadsides and on street corners.

The first statue crafted in the democratic era was a memorial to the victims of Communist-era political purges. Made in 1991 and unveiled in front of the National Museum, its black cubic structure symbolizes oppression and grief, and the figure of a broken human torso with a head soaring upward is said to "reflect the tragic fate of the condemned yet their resolve and hope to seek the truth in light."

A bronze likeness of slain parliament member and democratic activist Sanjaasurengiin Zorig, who was killed in 1998, was erected near the edge of the central square.

A block east stands Marco Polo, who went up in 2011. A block south you can find Mongolia's first holder of a doctorate degree, who got his own statue in 2005 in front of the national library.

The late composer S. Tsogtsaikhan, whose song "Sound of Bell" became the anthem of the democratic revolution, was honored in December, with his guitar-toting likeness going up on the west side of town.

There are even testaments to songs themselves. The patriotic tune "My Adored Homeland" is commemorated on a granite boulder, with its first stanza (notes and all) inscribed on the rock. The national anthem, too, has its own monument, which actually plays the tune when visitors approach.

A famous and beloved 1956 children's ditty, "Come Along My Little Buddy," got its own monument in 2011. The Beatles were honored in 2008 with an apple-shaped memorial in a plaza in front of the State Department Store (all funds, the city notes in a plaque, were raised from fans of the Fab Four).

There are statues depicting traditional Mongolian ways of life: "Boy With Bowl of Yogurt," "Boy With Yak" and "Boy With Saddle" were dedicated in 2008, along with others depicting wrestling and horses. A poem, "My Adored Homeland," was inscribed on a large slab of granite in 2003.

A number of statues remain from the Communist days. In front of the parliament, at the center of a huge square, is Damdin Sukhbaatar, a socialist hero who in 1921 declared Mongolia's final independence from the Chinese. The statue was overhauled a few years ago, but in 2013 city leaders decided to strip Sukhbaatar's name from the plaza and rededicate it to Genghis Khan.

Perhaps the most controversial socialist-era monument still in place is a statue of Khorloogiin Choibalsan, a military leader who served as prime minister of Mongolia from 1939 to 1952 and established the nation's first university.

Standing in front of the school, now known as the National University of Mongolia, his likeness was for years vandalized with paint by detractors who regard his rule as despotic. Often called the "Stalin of Mongolia," Choibalsan oversaw the political purges whose victims are now commemorated with their own monuments in Ulan Bator.

But Choibalsan continues to have his supporters, who say he helped modernize the nation and repel Japanese invaders. A few years ago, his statue was renovated, and the vandalism has died down. A city-erected plaque refers to the monument with ambivalence, noting tersely that the statue is the "only one in Ulan Bator to ever have been dedicated to a living person" and was erected "during the height of his cult of personality."

Oyuntsetseg Suidaan, a professor in the school of Arts and Sciences, supports the decision to retain the Choibalsan monument and others from that era.

"It's all part of the history of the country," she said. "If we tear it all down, aren't we more likely to forget what happened?"

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Accord for $1.4 Billion Mongolia Power Plant Could Reduce Pollution

by Michael Kohn

July 29 (Bloomberg) An Engie-led group of companies has agreed with Mongolia on a Power Purchase Agreement for a $1.4 billion power station in Ulaanbaatar, a project that could help reduce smog plaguing the nation's capital.

Engie, formerly known as GDF Suez SA, and partners Sojitz Corp. of Japan, South Korea's Posco Energy Corp. and Mongolia's Newcom Group signed the PPA with two government agencies on Wednesday in Ulaanbaatar, according to a statement issued by the four companies.

The 450-megawatt combined heat and power facility will help meet the capital's growing electricity needs amid an economic expansion driven by coal and copper mining. The city on the steppes of eastern Asia has doubled in size to around 1.3 million people over the past 15 years, or almost half of landlocked Mongolia's total population.

Half of Ulaanbaatar's residents live in unplanned neighborhoods where people heat their homes in winter mainly with raw coal. The smoke from some 180,000 households in these 'ger districts' causes some of Asia's worst air pollution, according to the World Bank.

"The new plant will help to meet the rising electricity demand in Mongolia, which is largely driven by the mining sector and a growing population," according to the statement.

The electricity and steam plant, to be located 15 kilometers (9 miles) east of downtown Ulaanbaatar, will be operational by 2020, Bolor Jargalsaikhan, Newcom's chief executive officer, said Wednesday by phone from the city.

The facility, called CHP5, will add to an energy mix that includes Newcom's 50-megawatt Salkhit wind farm built in 2013. Mongolia's total installed power capacity is 1,080 megawatts. A Heat Purchase Agreement and accords for coal and water supply are still needed before construction can start, Bolor said.

Under a 2014 concession agreement, the Engie-led group will pay for and build the plant, operate it for 25 years, sell its power to the central grid and then transfer the facility to the government.

Link to article

Link to Newcom announcement


JCBI and Bank of Mongolia Agree on T-Card JCB Credit and Debit Card Issuing

July 29 2015, Tokyo (JCB): JCB International Co, Ltd. ("JCBI"), the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., and Bank of Mongolia ("BOM") are pleased to announce the signing of a system network agreement for T-Card JCB credit and debit card issuing.

BOM established a nationwide payment network in 2010 in order to provide uniform card payment services for the people of Mongolia. JCBI entered a master acquiring license agreement with major commercial bank Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia in May 2013 resulting in JCB card acceptance at almost all card merchants and ATMs throughout the country. Currently four major banks act as gateways to the payment network for all domestic banks in Mongolia, which have issued about 1.5 million T-card bank cards to their customers. The new agreement with BOM enables these network member banks to start issuing credit and debit cards carrying both the T-card and JCB brands starting in early 2016.

Mongolia's economy is growing fast and the country is seeing an increase in overseas travel for both business and leisure. In 2013 about 1.35 million Mongolian people traveled to nearby Japan, China, Korea and Russia, where JCBI has a strong presence. With the new agreement T-Card JCB co-badged cardmembers can enjoy international acceptance for their T-cards via the JCB network in 190 countries and territories worldwide.

Koremitsu Sannomiya, President & COO of JCBI, said, "BOM and JCBI have had a partnership since 2013 aiming to develop the payment industry in Mongolia. This agreement will ensure further economic growth by sharing our experience and knowledge of payment business with BOM. It is expected that more and more Mongolian people will travel abroad and we believe this partnership for issuing co-badged card will definitely contribute to the convenience of payment outside the country."

Batshugar Enkhbayar, Deputy Governor of BOM said, "We truly value JCBI's desire to continue to expand its financial products worldwide with motivation to involve globalization. We, the Bank of Mongolia fully empower payment card development projects and pledges the necessary supports to all banks that introduce new products for the benefit of their clients. I believe that the company with over 50 years of experience would bring an excellent, continuous development between our organizations. On the other hand, we will ensure all necessary supports, in the legal framework, needed from JCBI."

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SPECIAL REPORT: Risk of Another Lost Decade for Exploration, Instead of Finding the Next OT

July 28 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) Since OT in 2001 there have been no major discoveries in Mongolia and, if current issues with the exploration setting are not addressed, this situation is likely to continue for another decade

One year on and the results of legislative implementation are disappointing

Link to full report


Mongolian Company Wants to Export Meat to Southeast Asia

Ulaanbaatar, August 3 (MONTSAME) Samo Makh LLC has been exporting high-quality meat and meat products to our neighbor in the north – Russia. The Chairman of the State Great Khural Z.Enkhbold visited the company's factory and laboratory on August 1.

The Company aims to commercialize their products, which satisfy the international quality and hygiene standards, to domestic and global markets and to supply high-quality meat for Mongolia's meat reserve, introduced the company authorities to the Speaker.

Samo Makh is a subsidiary to Taij Group, which runs businesses in animal husbandry, meat procession, production of value-added meat products, bread and bakery, preserving of vegetables and potato, construction, construction material manufacturing, domestic and foreign trades, transportation and procurement spheres.

The factory that was commissioned last February bones 10.5 tonnes of meat from some 85 large cattle, and produces 25 thousand canned goods. Since commissioning of the factory, the company exported a total of 1.5 million tonnes of canned meat and made sales worth USD 3 million.

The Company's SAMO Institution is the fully-equipped laboratory that tests their products for exports and domestic market. The laboratory aims to introduce their products into global standards so that the Company can export meat to other foreign countries. Their next goal is to export products to Southeast Asian countries, say the authorities.

Accompanying the Speaker were, the Minister of Food and Agriculture R.Burmaa MP, the head of Meat Association of Mongolia D.Battsogt MP, L.Erdenechimeg MP, and the social policy adviser to the Speaker Ts.Buyantsogt.

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S.Korea to help with Mongolian mine reclamation

August 3 ( South Korea's MIRECO (Mine Reclamation Corporation) has been active in Mongolia for some time. B.Bat-Erdene, the director of the Professional Control Authority has held a meeting with representatives MIRECO Company, and shared views regarding co-operation.

MIRECO will operate the "Master Plan for Mongolian Mining Pollution" project. The USD 5.8 million funding will come from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). MIRICO will work in co-operation with the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development.

In this project, KOICA will work as the controller and will build a technological study center; MIRECO will process the master plan and will undertake pilot mine site reclamation. 

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Ambitious Gradon Architecture expands into Northern Ireland after Mongolia

The Derry office is the firm's second overseas office, having already expanded into Mongolia at the start of this year

August 2 (Chronicle Live) North East architecture firm has expanded its international presence by opening its second overseas office, in Northern Ireland.

Gradon Architecture, based in Ryton, has created two new jobs after launching a new design studio in Derry.

The expansion follows the opening of a studio in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, at the start of the year, when the firm became the first UK architect to set up a base in the country.

Architect Sean Furey, 47, and architectural technician Liam Nelis, 35, both Derry locals, will be working with Gradon Architecture founder Graham McDarby to make the move into Northern Ireland.

Sean and Liam, who have a total of 35 years' experience in the trade between them, will front the business in Derrry, backed by the wider team in the UK and Mongolia.

Mr McDarby said: "It is fantastic to be in the position to expand Gradon Architecture into Northern Ireland.

"I've been a regular visitor to Derry since studying with Sean at university; it is a wonderful city, with many similarities to the North East of England. With Liam and Sean at the helm, I'm confident our new venture will be a huge success.

"This exciting expansion adds another layer to Gradon's unique positioning and experienced multi-cultural design team, bringing us the ability to share ideas and work collaboratively between England, Mongolia and Northern Ireland."

The firm will be working with private and public sector clients on a range of industrial and commercial projects as well as social housing, and the venture is already off to a flying start with contracts to design the RoCo hair and beauty salon on the Derry waterfront after fire destroyed the salon's original premises, forcing the business to relocate.

Liam said: "Sean and I have long dreamed of opening a practice in Derry. It's a city on the up and we're really excited to have the opportunity to be part of the Gradon Architecture team and to head up the expansion into Northern Ireland. What's even better is that we have been able to hit the ground running."

Having the support of the wider Gradon team in the UK and Mongolia means that Liam and Sean can call on a wealth of extra resources and specialist architectural expertise, including Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Founded in 2009, Gradon has seen its international business grow from zero to 25% of the company's total turnover in the last two years, with staff numbers rising to 21 to facilitate this fast-paced growth.

Gradon is currently working on a variety of exciting projects across the North East and overseas, including the Percy Hedley Foundation's new residential campus for disabled children in Killingworth as well as Gateshead Council's £8m, low carbon energy centre.

Projects secured in Derry include a number of bespoke private residential projects and a large-scale retail complex. Meanwhile, in Mongolia, Gradon is working on the Tugulduur Shopping Centre, a £20m retail and residential complex in Ulan Bator.

Link to article


France 24 Agrees Basic Carriage with Mongolia's DDish TV

July 30 (News on News) In a new distribution agreement with satellite operator DDish TV, France 24 in English is now broadcast 24/7.

Located on channel 59 of the Mongolian operator's basic offer, France 24 is now reaching 200,000 subscribers.

France 24 is now available 24/7 in over one in four TV households in Mongolia in English on DDishTV (channel 59) and Sky Media (channel 206), and in French on Sky Media (channel 701).

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Women Corporate Directors launches Mongolian chapter

August 2 (UB Post) On July 9, a meeting for the launch of the Mongolian branch of Women Corporate Directors (WCD) was held at Sky Resort and attended by MPs, Cabinet ministers, and foreign members of WCD.

WCD Mongolia has 20 supporting members in addition to its founders, and plans to support women who are able to serve on the board of directors of international companies, by providing them with advice and organizing introductions.

MP and Chairman of the Board of Zorig Foundation and WCD Mongolia Co-chair S.Oyun presented opening remarks at the launch ceremony.

Chief Executive Officer, Global Co-Chair, and Co-Founder of WCD Susan Stautberg introduced WCD following S.Oyun's opening remarks. She said that power of female directors has an important influence in company successes, and added that women sharing knowledge and experience boosts their power.

Stautberg is President of PartnerCom Corporation, which assembles and manages advisory boards for governments, businesses and non-profits around the world. She has served as an advisor to Bank of America, Cigna, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs, Investment New Zealand, Merrill Lynch, PNC Advisors, and other financial, regulatory, and policy organizations.

MP S.Oyun said, "Mongolian women are playing a major role in Mongolia's science, society, politics, and the business sector. Mongolian women are strong enough to overcome difficulties and have learned to be patient through nomadic life."

MP S.Oyun and Executive Director of the Academy of Strategy A.Undraa founded the WCD Mongolia chapter. WCD Mongolia consists of 13 members including the Executive Director of Preziosa LLC, Executive Director of Goyo Cashmere D.Badamtsetseg, Deputy President of MCS Group D.Enkhtsetseg, Member of the Board of Directors of Petrovis Group D.Enkhchimeg, Executive Director of Open Society Institute P.Erdenejargal, General Director of Carpe Diem D.Sarangua, Director of the Investment Department of Golomt Bank L.Bolormaa, Editor-in-Chief of Mongolian Mining Journal L.Bolormaa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bishrelt Group B.Bolormaa, Member of the Board of Directors of MGLB Ts.Baigalmaa, and Member of the Board of Directors of New Progress Group Ts.Gantsetseg.

WCD has 70 branches all over the world and members of the WCD report that female membership on the board of directors of public and private companies has increased in recent years. WCD members are serving as directors of public companies valued at eight trillion USD.

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Ulaanbaatar Development Plan 2020 Presented to City Council

July 31 ( During a regular meeting of the City Administration Council which took a place on 30th July the "City Development Plan until 2020" was presented. The deputy chief of City Management and Investment S.Ochirbat noted: "We have tried to make a plan which is environmentally friendly and will not incur extra expenses". This development plan for the Mongolian capital contains approximately 200 projects and a budget of MNT 167 trillion. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency ("JICA") has provided support in drawing up the plans. The plan is divided into specific sections for each district and area with corresponding completion dates. The City Administration will present these projects to the relevant ministry after which the Ulaanbaatar Development Plan will be presented to the Government.

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City officials deny rumors of embezzling bridge fountain funds

August 2 (UB Post) The Ulaanbaatar Administrations Council held its regular meeting last week and spoke about the bridge fountain project and recent rumors of embezzled funds.

Ulaanbaatar City General Manager B.Badral highlighted that he wanted to officially explain the funding for the bridge fountain, following a rumor that it was set very low due to embezzlement.

Rumors about the poor quality of the fountain and suspicions of embezzlement filled social media last week. The council explained that the total budget for the bridge fountain was 70.18 million MNT.

City officials say that a total of 22.1 million MNT was dedicated to setting up the fountain, 13.6 million MNT was spent for upgrading the river area below the Lion Bridge, 5.5 million MNT was spent on the fountain's power supply, and blueprints were made for four million MNT. Rainbow lighting for the fountain was set up for six million MNT. Additional work required for the fountain's maintenance will be covered by 10.8 million MNT, while 8.1 million MNT was planned for taxes on equipment.

General Manager B.Badral highlighted that a 1.5 meter by 16 meter hole was dug under the bridge to house the electrical elements of the fountain.

Several news outlets have reported that the bridge fountain system broke down after its launch only a few days earlier, but B.Badral confirmed that the fountain is operating properly.

Ulaanbaatar City Mayor E.Bat-Uul added, "The city residents need more spaces for spending their free time. To form those spaces, Mongolian engineers are working on the bridge fountain and a proposed park which will be built nearby the bridge. We hope that those people who are intentionally downgrading the project's reputation would stop doing so."

Bridge fountains will be set up at Yarmag Bridge and Tuul River Bridge this year and Mayor E.Bat-Uul assured that they will be built with lasting technology.

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Mogi: foundation for the late daughter of Justice Minister Dorligjav?

Sarangerel Foundation to Develop 46 Hectares of National Garden Park

August 3 ( The "Sarangerel Foundation" has offered to develop an area of 46 hectares of the Ulaanbaatar "State Park" using their own funds. The City Planning Authority has accepted this offer as it links in with the "City Development Plan until 2020" and will be responsible for coordinating the activity. The plans are currently being developed. At present, it is unclear when the project works the start. The State Park is one of the favorite places for people living in Ulaanbaatar to relax and get some fresh air. 

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Cement mixer truck accident involves two cars, no injuries

August 3 ( On the night of August 2nd at around 10PM cement mixer truck had an accident in the 10th khoroo of Khan-Uul district on the road to Nisekh apartments.

According to the eye-witnesses cement mixer truck with license plate number 37-97 UNYa has approached the turn with high speed and on the turn has fallen down.

The accident involved Honda Civic with license plate number 90-94 UNN and Chevrolet Cruz with license plate number 35-99 UNKh, which were on their way to join the central road from nearby apartment area.

No fatalities were registered as the vehicles had only drivers in during the accident, while it took efforts to pull out the driver of the mixer truck. At 9PM Emergency Authority specialists helped the driver and sent him to the hospital.

According to the residents of the area vehicles usually exceed the speed limit at this junction as there are no cameras and no speed bumps are installed.

During the rescue, residents who wanted to snap the scene with their smart phones have been causing difficulties for the emergency employees, which implies to have common courtesy for self and others.

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Mayor Bat-Uul meets Roza Otunbayeva, former President of Kyrgyzstan

July 31 ( The Governor of Capital city and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city, Mr. E.Bat-Uul received Ms. Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva, a former President of the Kyrgyz Republic, taking part in the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections of Mongolia.

The honored guest and UB Mayor have exchanged views on the bilateral relations and cooperation and its further development.

Mayor E.Bat-Uul thanked the former President of Kyrgyzstan for attending events of the anniversary in Ulaanbaatar. Introducing the general development plan of Ulaanbaatar city until 2020 and the future development tendency until 2030, the Mayor expressed a willingness to collaborate with Kyrgyzstan's investors in these works.

In response, Ms. Otunbayeva said her country would be grateful to cooperate with Ulaanbaatar city, and Kyrgyz investors are possibly ready to cooperate with Ulaanbaatar in development projects.

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Roza Otunbayeva visits 976 Art Gallery

July 31 ( Mongolia is celebrating its 25th anniversary of the First Democratic Election.

President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva who is invited for the International Honor Conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the First Democratic Election, visited at 976 art gallery to view the painting exhibition of four leading artists of contemporary art.

She stated that the skills of Mongolian artists advanced to international level and others have much to learn from them.

Previously, Roza Otunbayeva has visited in Mongolia for several times and due to her interest in art, she is willing to help Kyrgyzstan artists for introducing them to the global market.

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Czech Parliament Delegates Led By Chairman Jan Hamacek Pays Official Visit to Mongolia

July 31 ( Upon an invitation of the Chairman of the State Great Hural (Parliament) Mr. Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD, a parliamentary delegation led by the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Mr. Jan Hamacek is paying an official visit to Mongolia from July 29th to August 02nd of 2015.

The Chairman Jan Hamacek is accompanied with Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Mr. Peter Gazdik, members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament Mr. Roman Vana, Mrs. Radka Maxova, Mr. Zbynek Stanjura, Mr. Jiri Junek as well as Head of the Office of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament Mr. Petr Kynstetr and other officials.

On July 29th, the distinguished guests were welcomed at Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia by parliamentarian, deputy head of Mongolia-Czech parliamentary group at the State Great Hural Mr. M.Zorigt, Secretary General of the Secretariat of the State Great Hural Mr. B.Boldbaatar, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Mongolia Mrs. Ivana Grollova, Director of Foreign Relations Department of the Secretariat of Parliament Mrs. Ts.Narantungalag and other officials.

On the same day, Chairman of the State Great Hural Z.Enkhbold greeted the Chairman Jan Hamacek with guards of honor at the central square named after Chinggis Khaan and after paying tribute to the Monument of the Great Chinggis Khaan, the two Chairmen held an official talk, where authorities from both sides were present.

At the beginning of meeting, Chairman Z.Enkhbold expressed gratitude to his counterpart for accepting an invitation to share the national commemoration of the first free democratic election held in Mongolia on this day 25 years ago.

In turn, Chairman Jan Hamacek thanked for a warm reception and said, "The visit is being conducted on the date Mongolia celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first free democratic election and on this occasion I would like to greet the people of Mongolia.

I believe this visit would contribute to further expansion of cooperation not only between the organs of legislative powers but also between the two countries with traditionally maintained good and friendly relations. Also, I am glad to note that partnership between Offices of the two Parliaments has been developing at top level.

Over the past 25 years, Mongolia has being a sample country to other nations in terms of its political reforms and development of democracy, and I deem the importance of these achievements, Mongolia will host next year the 11th ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government in Ulaanbaatar.

The Czech Republic is motivated to enhance partnership with Mongolia at all levels that would create pleasant opportunities of broadening cooperation with other Asian countries. Moreover, Czech citizens no longer require a visa to visit Mongolia, which is consistent to further developing people-to-people relations as well as tourism sector and I hope a direct flight between Ulaanbaatar and Prague would be opened in the future".

In his remarks, Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold noted, "Mongolia and the Czech Republic had simultaneously commenced its social reforms and successfully adopted the new system of respecting democracy, human rights and freedom. In the meantime the two countries have been maintaining and strengthening bilateral friendly relations and cooperation. I am glad the visit of the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Mr. Jan Hamacek is also coinciding with the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two nations.

I am satisfied with growing bilateral relations and cooperation in political, defense, economy, agriculture, health, infrastructure, environment and many other fields as a result of successful intergovernmental joint commission sessions, which being organized since 2005 and the next 6th Mongolia-Czech intergovernmental joint commission session is anticipated to be organized in Ulaanbaatar this year.

The ground of successful bilateral relations and partnership is people-to-people communication and in this regard I would like to ask your support on establishing an intergovernmental agreement on social protection sector in the near future. Also, Mongolia is interested to study Czech experiences of euro standard in producing environment friendly construction materials.

On upcoming September 15-19, Mongolia will be hosting the 2015 Autumn Meeting of Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCEPA) and we confident many representatives from the Czech Parliament will be attending the event".

During the meeting, parties have also exchanged views and opportunities regarding education, trade, economy and energy sectors, and concluding the meeting, Chairman Jan Hamacek invited Mr. Z.Enkhbold to visit the Czech Republic at his convenient time and to continue the talks on broadening inter-parliamentary partnership in Prague.

On July 30, 2015, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Mr. Jan Hamacek paid a courtesy call on the President of Mongolia Mr. Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on opportunities of cooperation in defense and military fields as well as on projects mutually to carry out such as clean water supply and meat processing plant. Moreover, President Ts.Elbegdorj requested the Czech support on Mongolia's membership in the UN Human Rights Council Elections, which was proposed its candidature in 2015.

On July 30, 2015, the visiting Czech parliamentary delegates led by Chairman Jan Hamacek have been acquainted with the State Great Hural's activities and the plenary session hall reports the Press and Public Relations Department of the State Great Hural.

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Mongolia, Czech to cooperate in drinking water supply and meat processing

August 2 (UB Post) President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj received Chairman of the Lower Chamber of the Czech Parliament Jan Hamacek on Friday, who is conducting an official visit to Mongolia on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of Mongolia and the Czech Republic establishing diplomatic relations, and the 25th anniversary of Mongolia's first democratic parliamentary election.

Noting that Mongolia and the Czech Republic's relations are at their highest level at the moment, Hamacek expressed his country's interest in expanding economic relations. At the meeting with the President he said, "The Czech Republic is an exporter country. We can export cars, appliances, and equipment to Mongolia. The Czech Republic is to carry out projects in Mongolia. The first one is a project related to drinking water supply in Mongolia, and the second one is to provide Mongolia with meat processing appliances."

"The Czech Reublic is also willing to cooperate and share experiences in defense and the armed forces. Our country has made grand innovations in the defense field. We have formed a professional army and are participating in peacekeeping operations. Also, I am thankful to Mongolia for granting Czech citizens the opportunity to visit Mongolia without a visa. This decision has great significance in allowing Czech citizens to explore Mongolia and for Mongolia to expand tourism. Further, we can discuss launching direct flights between Ulaanbaatar and Prague."

President Ts.Elbegdorj thanked the Czech side for including scholarships for Mongolian students studying in the Czech Republic in its state budget, and said that it was a great investment for Mongolia.

"The project for supplying drinking water can be carried out not only in Ulaanbaatar, but also in Gobi regions," the President noted, emphasizing that exporting vehicle parts and assembling cars in Mongolia might have a bright future in Mongolians based on the Czech reputation of high quality and competence. "We also can cooperate in the energy sector", he said, and suggested that the Czech government assist in building an indoor winter sports palace, as the Czech Republic is famous for its skilled hockey players.

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Poland to Award Art Scholarships to Mongolian Students

Ulaanbaatar, July 31 (MONTSAME) The Vice Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ya.Tomorbaatar Friday met Mr Michal Rafal Labenda, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Poland to Mongolia.

They have discussed issues of establishing a cooperation memorandum between the Education Ministries of the countries, collaboration in a programme on teacher exchange and education quality and monitoring, boosting the cooperation between the Academies of Sciences and founding a scientific center in Mongolia.

At the meeting, the Ambassador pointed out that his country has decided to train Mongolian students on arts in Polish universities with governmental scholarships in 2016 and 2017. He added that the Poland's government will study a chance of augmenting the quota for Mongolian students to study in Poland with scholarships.

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Spotlight: "Belt and Road" initiatives energize China's neighborhood diplomacy

BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The "Belt and Road" initiatives China has proposed to revive the ancient trade routes that span Asia, Africa and Europe have invigorated China's neighborhood diplomacy, a key pillar of its diplomatic layout.

The reason is the initiatives of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, are open and inclusive. They will not be a solo for China but a real chorus involving all countries along the routes, as Xi put it.


Over the past years, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which have served as an important pivot of the Maritime Silk Road since ancient times, have mutually benefited from their free trade agreements on goods, services and investment, and are now jointly aiming for something bigger.

Their trade volume surpassed 480.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, up 8.3 percent from the previous year, growing much faster than the average growth rate of 3.4 percent in China's foreign trade volume.

China has set up technology transfer centers with Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand since 2013, while cooperation arrangements with Malaysia and Vietnam are also proceeding smoothly.

A total of 1,228 companies, research institutions and industry associations in such fields as agriculture and renewable energy have joined the transfer centers.

Infrastructure construction and connectivity enhancement within ASEAN are essential for the bloc's goal to build an economic community and create a competitive market of over 600 million people with free flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labor.

As China's "Belt and Road" initiatives meet the demands of ASEAN countries and have huge potential in fueling the bloc's development, they have noticeably propelled the healthy development of China's relations with its southeastern neighbors, steering them away from frictions over minor disagreements.

Chinese leaders have worked hard to align the "Belt and Road" initiatives with the development plans of the neighboring countries and paid successive visits to Southeast Asia.

In June last year, Xi invited his Myanmar counterpart U Thein Sein to join the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative. This month alone has witnessed several high-level interactions between China and Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

A Lao official said his country's national strategy has been upgraded to change its geographical disadvantages into advantages thanks to the "Belt and Road" initiatives and the planned China-Laos railway, which will help turn the land-locked country into a "land-linked country".

Granting India full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the 15th SCO summit held in Russia's Ufa earlier this month has strengthened China-India ties and pragmatic cooperation.

Meanwhile, the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has won over most of China's neighbors as founding members.

China and Southeast Asia are also jointly advancing people-to-people exchanges and the formation of an exchange and cooperation network composed of think tanks, NGOs, media, industrial and commercial circles.


China borders Russia and Mongolia to the north and Central Asian countries to the northwest. These countries enjoy a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with China and have an enormous stake in China's security, energy demand and economy.

Since taking office in 2013, Xi has visited Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries in the Eurasian region to show China's priorities in neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

Most of these neighbors, which have close economic ties with China, have expressed willingness to link their own development strategies with the "Belt and Road" initiatives.

Russia, a comprehensive strategic partner of China, has agreed to integrate its aspiration under the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) framework with the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that dovetailing the Belt initiative and the EAEU's development strategy bears immense significance for Russia and China, as it will help strengthen bilateral cooperation in advanced technologies, transportation and infrastructure.

Last year, Xi and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev agreed to dock the Belt initiative with the Path of Light economic strategy of Kazakhstan.

Mongolia also hopes to connect its ambitious Steppe Road plan, an infrastructure construction proposal to spur economic growth through trans-border transportation, with China's Belt initiative.

Kyrgyzstan, located in the hinterland of Eurasia, expects to use its advantages to facilitate cooperation among countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and play a positive role in the integration between the Belt initiative and the EAEU.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Tajik section of Line-D of the Central Asia-China gas pipelines is also a successful example of cooperation in building the Silk Road Economic Belt, which not only secures China's energy supplies, but also benefits its neighbors.


Boosting the economy and battling terrorism are the top priorities in China's plan to develop its west, which is not only less developed, but also the most volatile patch of land in China.

They are also the priorities in China's cooperation with its western neighbors, for which the "Belt and Road" initiatives will unleash huge opportunities.

Regional countries have reacted positively to China's proposals.

Pakistan, which lifted its ties with China to an all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation this year, was among the first to implement the "Belt and Road" vision by pledging to participate in the building of an economic corridor linking its Gwadar Port in the southwest to China's northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang.

The megaproject, which is a network of highways, railways as well as pipelines to transport oil and gas, is economically vital to both China and Pakistan.

Cooperation over the project also provides China and Pakistan an opportunity to upgrade security cooperation and information sharing in the fight against the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and religious extremism as Pakistan is considered a main gate through which terrorists manage to enter China.

To a large extent, the corridor, along which a large amount of economic resources and actors are concentrated, will expand trade routes between China, the Middle East and Africa, provide fresh and strong impetus for the region's economic development, and is thus welcomed by some other regional players.

It also accommodates the interests of various players inside and outside the region, such as the United States, Russia and India.

It is hoped that in efforts to construct the project, all players will communicate and cooperate broadly to build a community of common destiny and achieve win-win results, while avoiding spurring suspicion of third parties.


Belt and Road initiative gives world economy fresh impetus: Hong Kong financial chief

China intensifies efforts to construct Belt and Road

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Speaker Meets Member of China Congress Standing Committee

Ulaanbaatar, July 31 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold Thursday received a delegation headed by Mr Chen Jian Guo, a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China and head of the Committee of Agriculture and Localities.

Expressing thanks to the Speaker for an audience, Mr Chen said he highly spoke a present volume of the Mongolia-China relations, underlining an importance of the inter-citizen ties in it.

Mr Chen emphasized the government of the People's Republic of China has been attaching a great important to its relations with neighboring countries, and the pointed out his country wants to intensify the ties with Mongolia in agriculture and animal husbandry spheres.

In response, the Speaker said Mongolia also attaches a great importance to the ties with neighboring countries, and underlined developing friendly relations with China in all spheres is one of the priorities of the Mongolia foreign policy.

Mr Enkhbold said he is satisfied with regularization of high-level mutual visits and meetings, deepening of the political trust, strengthening of the mutual understanding of people and enriching of the bilateral relations. He also highlighted the China's policy on boosting a development together with the neighboring countries and its open and friendly ideologies provides the neighboring countries including Mongolia with a favorable condition for bilateral ties and regional cooperation.

The Speaker also a trilateral mechanism for the Mongolia, China and Russia relations has enriched the relations of three countries with new contents, and added that a memorandum has been established for creating a mechanism of constant talks between the State Great Khural and the China's People's Congress. He pointed out the sides have concurred in principle to hold the very first meeting of this mechanism in Ulaanbaatar in 2015.

The parties exchanged views on the bilateral cooperation in the trade and agriculture spheres.

Present at the meeting were S.Batbold, head of the Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture; R.Burmaa MP, the Minister of Food and Agriculture; G.Bayarsaikhan MP; and others.

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President Meets Special Envoy of PM Abe

Ulaanbaatar, July 31 (MONTSAME) The President Ts.Elbegdorj Thursday received Mr Tsutomu Takebe, a Special Envoy of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Mr Takebe granted to the President a message of the Prime Minister, and expressed the satisfaction with the President's efforts for strengthening the bilateral relations. The visits of the Mongolian President, Speaker and Prime Minister to Japan have proven a high level of the bilateral relations and cooperation, he said. He added that the Prime Minister Mr Abe has attached a great importance to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which has been ratified by the legislative bodies of both countries.

The President thanked Mr Takebe for visiting Mongolia to attend events of the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections of Mongolia as the Special Envoy of the Japan's Prime Minister, and said he is grateful to Mr Abe for delivering video greetings.

"The anniversary of the democratic elections of Mongolia is our celebration. The approval of the EPA is one of the biggest achievements in our ties. This is the very first agreement of Mongolia on free trade, and it will significantly contribute to the bilateral trade, investment and service flows as well as the inter-citizen ties," Mr Elbegdorj emphasized.

At the end of the meeting, the President conveyed greetings to the Prime Minister of Japan Mr Shinzo Abe.     

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India and Mongolia: Spiritual and Strategic Partners

by Mark Goleman

July 26 (New Eastern Outlook) The ties between India and Mongolia are centuries old. Mongolian khans and princes took their origin from Chakravartins, the legendary Indian kings. It was Indian monks who sown the seeds of Buddha's doctrine on the Mongolian ground some 2000 years ago. During the reign of Kublai Khan (1260-1294), a great grandson of Genghis Khan, Buddhism was proclaimed the state religion. At the end of the 16th, beginning of the 17th centuries it was reestablished in Mongolia for the second time, largely owing to Indian and Tibetan missionaries and scientists. Starting from that time and until the end of the 1930s, when the Buddhist church was eradicated by the Communist regime, the church, its clergy and lamas, many of whom received religious education in India, played a prominent role in the Mongolian history.

India made a generous contribution to the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia after the victory of the democratic revolution of 1990. Ultimately, Mr. Bakula Rinpoche, the Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to Mongolia and the holder of the high title of khobilgan (a "reincarnation" of one of the Buddhas) was the major driving force of the process. On January 1, 1990, at the age of 73, he was appointed the Ambassador to Mongolia. He held this position for 10 years and took an active part not only in the consecration of the Migjid Janraisig Temple—one of the major temples of Ulan Bator, but also in every major country's religious event. He is also remembered for funding the construction of the Baguthiyd temple in the capital of Mongolia with his own funds and other favors. Mongols also cherish the memory of that high praise, which Jawaharlal Nehru gave to the historic role of Genghis Khan, naming him "the greatest commander of all times" and appreciate that enthusiastic support, which their country received from India when joining the UN in 1961.

India was one of the first major powers to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia back in 1955. The political aspect of the relations has been successfully developing and especially after 1990 high and top officials of the countries exchanged visits on many occasions.

However, it happened so that the first in the history of the Mongolian-Indian relations visit of Indian Prime Minister to Mongolia took place only recently. On May 16, 2015 Head of the Indian Government, Mr. Narendra Mody, a businessman, reformer, and a "politician of the new generation," as the Newsweek magazine had christened him, arrived at Ulan Bator with an official visit.

He enjoyed an extremely solemn treatment. A grandeur welcome reception was arranged for him in the central square of the capital, named after Genghis Khan.

Delivering a speech to the welcomers, who were holding Indian and Mongolian flags and greeting banners, Mr. Mody said that he was "happy to come to the cradle of a great nation and deliver warm greetings from 1 bln. 250 mln. friends from the neighboring country, who uphold the same spiritual values."

As Mr. Mody noted during the reception, although "some considerable spatial and territorial obstacles separate us, I am sure our mutual relations will continue developing in the future."

He reiterated the same idea in his grand speech at the plenary session of the Mongolian Parliament— the State Great Hural, which was held on the same day after the business negotiations with Mongolian Prime Minister, Mr. Saikhanbileg. Opening the session, Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Enkhbold noted with satisfaction that the traditionally amicable Mongolian-Indian relations are expanding and developing in accordance with the principle of full-fledged partnership in such domains as culture, education, information technologies, renewable sources of energy, industry and agriculture.

But most importantly, the parties agreed to advance their relations to a new level of a strategic partnership.

In his speech, Indian Prime Minister paid special attention to the spiritual kinship of India and Mongolia. India is not just another "next door" country, but rather Mongolia's spiritual neighbor. "We have proved to the rest of the world," said Mr. Mody, "that Mongolian-Indian ties, uniting our minds and souls, can overcome any distances and obstacles." He also added that, "Intellectual proximity is the supreme form of communication between people." Both Indians and Mongols share common democratic values and practice the same religion—Buddhism, in which these common values are reflected. That creates a robust foundation for our further rapprochement." "Only having joined our forces, were we able to protect each other against newly arising cyber dangers," concluded Mr. Mody.

Speaking before the Parliament and at the press conference held on May 18, Mr. Mody focused not only on the spiritual ties uniting India and Mongolia, but also on the expansion of cooperation in the extended number of domains outlined by the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Enkhbold.

Total of 14 intergovernmental and cross-sectoral agreements have been signed. The following agreements are considered of a paramount importance: agreements on the cooperation between the Foreign Ministries and National Security Councils of two countries; agreements on the cooperation in the field of culture for the period of 2015-2018 and cooperation on the international scene in years 2016-2020; an agreement on the air transport and on the creation of a Cybernetic Security Training Center in Ulan Bator. Prime Minister Mody also participated in the cornerstone laying ceremonies for the Center and a coeducational secondary school.

Agreements on the cooperation in the field of conventional medicine and homeopathy and on the cooperation of cancer centers of two countries are also regarded as very important. Mr. Mody delivered and transferred some equipment designated for the Mongolian Center and assured that India is willing to share its technological know-how in the dairy product processing and manufacturing of cashmere and wool textiles.

In the course of negotiations, Mr. Mody noted that up until the present time economic ties between the countries had been rather weak, but that Mongolia's abundant mineral resources were expected to be an engine driving their further strengthening. He assured that India is prepared to cooperate with Mongolia in such fields as nuclear research, development of infrastructure, agriculture, light industry, health care, education and others. He announced the resolution of the Indian Government to lend Mongolia $1 bln. on favorable conditions for the development of the country's infrastructure and human resources. Mr. Mody took part in the Besreg-naadom festival held at the Chingisiinkhuree entertainment center as well as in the meeting with the members of the Mongolian-Indian Community—a friendship society.

As we can see, the visit of Head of the Indian Government, Mr. Mody to Mongolia was very fruitful and significant and there are three reasons for that:

-       It was indeed the first visit of such rank in the history of two countries

-       It allowed to significantly expand mutual cooperation, but above all, it flagged a new milestone in the Mongolian-Indian relations—the development of a strategic partnership

-       It promoted further spiritual fusion of India and Mongolia.

Beyond any doubt, this visit initiated a new stage in the centuries-old ties of two countries, a real breakthrough in their cooperation.

Mark Golman, Ph.D, history, head research partner at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, specially for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".

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Dynamics of India-Mongolia Relations: Spiritual Neighbour to Strategic Partner in Post-Cold War Era

by Madan Yadav

July 31 (Mainstream Weekly) --


Geopolitical and geo-economic factors, strategic counter-balance against China in Central Asia and South-East Asia are the new dynamic approach of Indian diplomacy with Mongolia in international relations. The recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the discourse of bilateral relations with Mongolia. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Mongolia. India and Mongolia are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the forging of their diplomatic relations in 2015. India is the hallmark of the largest liberal democracy, while Mongolia is a young democratic and parliamentary republic in the world commu-nity. India and Mongolia are among the fast growing emerging economies in Asia.

Mongolia has also held the presidency of the 'Community of Democracies' in 2011-2013. The 'Community of Democracies' is a new global inter-governmental coalition of democratic states for promotion of democratic norms and institutions around the world.1 During the Cold War, Mongolia was a close Soviet ally but emerged as a democratic state after the disintegration of the USSR in 1991.

India-Mongolia relations have shifted from spiritual neighbour to strategic partnership; reflect the realism of international politics in the post-Cold war era. Under PM Modi, India has increased its engagement in South-East Asia including China's neighbours and transformed the 'Look East Policy' to 'Act East Policy'. Mongolia is an emerging strategic partner.

Mongolia is situated at the geographical heartland of Asia. It is located at the cross-roads of Central Asia, North-East Asia, and Far-East Asia, Russia and China. Mongolia also links the 'Great Silk Road' and 'Eurasian Steppe Corridor' and connects the East and West.2 It is known for its rich natural resources and educated human resource in the South-East Asian states. Mongolia is popularly known outside as 'Outer Mongolia' in the global geographical-political map. Being a neighbour of China, Mongolia remains an important factor in India's 'Act East' policy in the South-East Asian region.

Mongolia has a 'Third Neighbour Policy', which is a fundamental framework of Mongolia's multi-pillar foreign policy for mutual cooperation with major powers that could help it to maintain strategic balance against its powerful neighbours, China and Russia.3 Buddhism is the glue and remains in the forefront for enhancement of the historical and cultural connectivity between India and Mongolia.

Mongolia is a historical 'spiritual neighbour' of India, which has been accorded a status higher than the third neighbour under Mongolia's new approach of 'Third Neighbour Policy' in its foreign policy in the post-Cold war era.4 India and Mongolia share common values and understanding on a wide range of issues. Therefore, there is potential scope for future strategic cooperation.

Historical and Cultural Relations

India and Mongolia enjoy civilisational links and cultural connectivity covering over 2700 years of history. The foundation of the historical relations is based on ancient literatures, languages, medicine, folklore, religion, especially Buddhism, social and cultural traditions. Buddhism was the first bridge to connect India and Mongolia in the Hun period of 3rd century. The historical 'Nalanda University' was one of the favourite learning places for the Mongolian monks in India during the 5th-8th centuries. The great ruler of Mongol Empire, 'Chinggis Khan', did not conquer India because India was a sacred land of Buddhism. Popular and holy books of India like Ramayana andMahbharata are a part of Mongolian literature along with other Indian famous stories of Bhoja, Vikramaditya etc.5 Indian literary works, especially Godan, Gaban, Kamasutra, Shakuntala, important Vedic and religious books including Buddhist scriptures of Indian origin have been published in Mongolian literature. Popular Hindi films and religious TV serials, including Mahabharata, Ramayana, have been dubbed in Mongolian and telecast on Ulaanbaatar TV.6

Mongolia was one of the countries which participated in the First Asian Relations Conference held under Jawaharlal Nehru's initiative in March 1947.7 India was the first country outside the Soviet bloc to establish political and diplomatic relations with Mongolia in December 1955. India had also supported Mongolia for its UN and NAM memberships.8 There have been regular high level bilateral visits from both sides since 1955. Indian Vice-President S. Radhakrishan paid the first visit to Mongolia in 1957. The Chairman of Mongolian Presidium, U. Tsendenbal, visited India in 1959 and lastly President Ts Elebegdorj visited India in 2009.9

India and Mongolia signed the 'Indo-Mongolian Joint Declaration' when the Mongolian Prime Minister paid a visit to India in 1973. India and Mongolia signed the 'Treaty for Friendly Relations and Cooperation' during Mongolian President P. Ochirbat's visit to India in 1994.10

Prime Minister Modi has highlighted the spiritual links during his recent visit to Mongolia. He visited the 'Ganden monastery' and also inaugurated the colourful and vibrant 'mini—Naadam festival' in Ulaanbaatar. He also addressed the Mongolian Parliament 'State Great Hural', a rare honour for a foreign leader in Mongolia's history. The Mongolian Prime Minister gifted a horse to the Indian Prime Minster; this is a symbol of Mongolian great culture.11 Mongolia has also a small number of Indian diaspora.

Economic Relations

Mongolia has enormous natural and energy resources. The Mongolian economy has transformed from the Soviet style to the market economic model in 1991. Coincidentally India's economic reforms too were launched in 1991. Mongolia is the largest landlocked country; therefore, Mongolian foreign trade relations have been dependent heavily on Russia and China. China is its largest trading partner and dominates the Mongolian market. India and Mongolia have been enhancing their economic cooperation after signing the 'Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation' during the visit of Mongolian President Ochirbat in India in February 1994.

India is emerging as a significant trading partner of Mongolia. India and Mongolia have granted Most Favored Nations (MFN) status to each other with reference to custom duties and all other taxes on export and imports under the bilateral trade and economic agreement in 1996. India and Mongolia have also signed an 'Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement' during President Bagabandi's visit to India in 2001.12

Indian exports to Mongolia mainly include medicines, animal vaccines, mining machinery, auto parts, silk, jute, yarn, dying chemicals, etc., while imports from Mongolia are raw wool, fluorspar, hides and skins.13

India has also established a Rajiv Gandhi Polytechnic College for Production and Art (RGPCPA) in Ulaanbaatar for vocational training. India has set up the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre for Excellence (ABVCE) in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and five Community Information Centres (CICs) in different provinces of Mongolia since 2001.14 India has further agreed to upgrade and expand these facilities in all provinces of Mongolia during the visit of Prime Minister Modi in 2015. India granted a line of credit of US $ 20 million for Joint Information Technology Education and established an outsourcing centre in Ulaanbaatar during President Pratibha Patil's visit to Mongolia in 2011.

Prime Minister Modi has extended US $ 1 billion line of credit for infrastructure develop-ment in Mongolia during his recent visit this year. India and Mongolia have also signed 14 agreements for closer cooperation in renewable energy, dairy production, cyber security, air services, culture etc.15

 India-Mongolia bilateral trade has gained new heights from US $17.4 million in 2010 to US $ 35 million in 2013.16

Defence and Strategic Cooperation 

Mongolia is sandwiched between two dominant and influential powers—Russia and China. Ulaanbaatar has had painful experiences with these neighbours. Therefore, Mongolia has adopted the 'Third Neighbour Policy' for enhancement of mutual cooperation with other major powers in the post-Cold War era. Mongolia wants more 'strategic autonomy' from these two neighbours. Defence and strategic cooperation with major powers, including the US, Japan, Germany, the EU, and India, have been the hallmark of this approach to gain 'strategic autonomy'.17

Mongolia adopted three new conceptual documents for national security, foreign policy and military doctrine in the context of regional and global cooperation in 1994. The main concerns of these documents are promotion of strategic stability, use of strategic resources including uranium, peace and security in Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Mongolia's 'Third Neighbour Policy' has conformed to the ideas of pragmatism in international relations.18

India's geopolitical interests in South-East Asia and access of strategic resources, including uranium, are primary factors for enhancement of strategic cooperation with Mongolia. Mongolia is increasing its military and defence cooperation with India under its strategic 'Third Neighbour Policy'. India considers Mongolia a trusted ally under its new strategic vision of 'Act East Asia' policy.

India and Mongolia have a joint annual military exercise 'Nomadic Elephant' along with multila-teral military exercise for peacekeeping cooperation under 'Khan Quest'. India and Mongolia have agreed to enhance their cooperation for radioactive minerals and nuclear energy. India and Mongolia have an institutional mechanism for defence cooperation through the 'Joint Working Group' (JWG).19

The JWG has been set up for bilateral nuclear energy cooperation through the nuclear agencies of both countries. India and Mongolia have inked 'a civil nuclear deal' for uranium supply in September 2009. Both are also observers at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

India and Mongolia are dialogue partners of the ASEAN; both are actively engaged in emerging regional confidence building measures, economic, security architectures (ARF) and other multi-lateral cooperation in the Asia Pacific region.20 Given the rise of China, Mongolia remains apprehensive of its powerful neighbour and it cooperates with India to balance China.


India and Mongolia have been exploring new horizons of mutual bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Mongolia has revitalised the mutual relations. India-Mongolia relations are bound by a comprehensive approach—from spiritual to strategic cooperation. Both are also democratic states and India can help Mongolia in democratic institution-building. Mongolia is a hub of natural resources. It can become an alternate source of uranium and other important natural minerals for India. Mongolia is a territorial buffer between China and Russia in the post-Cold War era. Mongolia is an emerging valuable partner in China's neighbourhood. Mongolia has also considered India as an important strategic partner under its 'Third Neighbour Policy' to maintain geopolitical balance against China's influence. The future of bilateral relations looks bright and will pick up in the coming years.


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Aminur Rahman wins Mongolian poetry award

July 31 (The Daily Star) Poet Aminur Rahman from Bangladesh has been awarded 'Heaven Horse Award' by the Mongolian Academy of Culture and Poetry in Mongolia for his contribution and development to world literature, says a press release. 

The award was presented to him by B Tulga, Deputy Minister Education and Science of Mongolian government at his ministry secretariat, Ulan Bator earlier this month. Famous Mongolian poet and the president of the academy G Mend-Ooyo was also present on the occasion. 

Aminur Rahman also attended the 'Bengali- Mongolian Poetry Reading' session at National History Museum, Ulan Bator after the award giving session, where he presented a paper on "A new wave of contemporary Bangla poetry". He also read his poems followed by translations in Mongolian language by poet G Mend-Ooyo. 

In 2006 Aminur Rahman's poetry book "Heart Shore" was translated in Mongolian language, and he also received Chenggis Khan Gold Medal instituted by Chenggis Khan University.

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Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia – common educational interests

August 3 ( On 31st July, Deputy Education Culture and Science Minister, Ya.Tumurbaatar, met Roza Otunbayeva, the Former President of Kyrgyzstan. During the meeting, R.Otunbayeva praised the "Good Mongolian Child" program which the Ministry is supporting, and especially the Governmental policy of pre-school education. Also, she was interested in Mongolian "Home-Kindergarten" program, and noted that: "Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan both have deep nomadic traditions. Therefore, we would like to exchange experiences and to co-operate on this field". 

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Mongolia and Peace Corps Mark 25 Years of Cooperation

Ulaanbaatar, July 31 (MONTSAME) Press conference was called on Friday in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 25th anniversary of the cooperation agreement between Mongolia and the US Peace Corps.

The conference brought together Mr L.Purevsuren, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr Ts.Gombosuren, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Ms Piper Anne Wind Campbell, the US Ambassador to Mongolia; and Ms Darlene Grant, country director of the Peace Corps for Mongolia.

This anniversary is coincided with the same year anniversary of the first democratic elections of Mongolia.

The Mongolia-Peace Corps intergovernmental cooperation agreement was signed on August 2, 1990 by Mr James Baker, the US Secretary of State; and Mr Gombosuren, the Foreign Minister of Mongolia.

Through the Peace Corps, a total of 1,149 volunteers have worked in all provinces of Mongolia, contributing to a social development of the country.    

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Polish Businessmen Willing to Invest in Mongolia Says Ambassador

Ulaanbaatar, July 31 (MONTSAME) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Poland to Mongolia Mr Michal Rafal Labenda said it, and added it is possible to boost the cooperation in oil, mining and heavy machines when he was received Friday by R.Jigjid, the Minister of Mining.

Noting that the 65th anniversary of the Mongolia-Poland diplomatic relations is marked this year, the Ambassador appreciated widening of the bilateral ties and cooperation in the politics, economy and education spheres.

The Mining Minister Mr Jigjid emphasized the countries are possible to expand the cooperation in the mining sector.

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Social, Environmental & Other

Kyrgyzstan-Based Central Asian News Service Hiring Mongolian Journalists

AKIpress is looking for #Mongolia journalists with Russian or English knowledge, send your CV to

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Libertarian and International Economist Presents at Summer School for Mongolian Students

August 3 ( From Wednesday, 12th – Sunday 16th August 2015, Associate Professor Ken Schoolland from the Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu will be the lead presenter at the Free Market Academy, a summer camp hosted by the Silk Road Foundation (SRF), educating students on basic democratic values, human rights and the principles of a free society.

With experience as Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science for over 20 years, AP Schoolland has followed a lifelong interest in politics and economics and shares a passion for finding engaging and fun ways to educate today's youth on the subject.

Having served briefly as an international economist in the US International Trade Commission and the US Department of Commerce, AP Schoolland quickly found that a career in government was not for him and taught in Alaska and Japan, before settling in Hawaii.  He hosted a radio program for the Libertarian Party of Hawaii and ran for US Congress three times.  He currently sits on the board of many democratic and Liberal organisations in Hawaii including holding the position of President of the International Society for Individual Liberty.

The Free Market Academy will be held across five days, where students between the ages of 18-22 will be immersed in a world of liberty, free society, individual rights, democracy, entrepreneurship and free market economy, participating in lectures, workshops, active discussions and debates.

Presenting alongside AP Schoolland will be a number of prominent Mongolian leaders, including SRF CEO Khaliunbat Myagmarjav and independent economist and media representative Jargal DeFacto.  Students will have the opportunity to network with presenters during the camp and speak candidly about their economic views and aspirations.

The camp will take place outside of Ulaanbaatar, in the natural environment of Terelj National Park and will be free of charge to students.  Students will be accepted based on experience of being actively engaged in their communities through volunteer roles, committees and social activities, and be expected to teach their learnings to 500 new students over the following year.

The Free Market Academy is just one of the many projects hosted by the SRF which values liberty, free markets and limited governance.

Whilst in Mongolia, AP Schoolland will also launch his renowned book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: a Free Market Odyssey in Mongolian language, as well as present at The Economic Club of Ulaanbaatar on the topic of Trade, Migration, and Entrepreneurship: Path to Prosperity.

For more information about the above events and other projects conducted by the SRF, you can visit their new website:

Registration for the Free Market Academy can be made online at and closes on Monday, 10th August 2015.

Media contact:

Munkhbat Tsendjav, Silk Road Foundation

8807 3547,

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Google Street View crashes Mongolia's famed Naadam Festival

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 30 (CNN) -- After going underwater, climbing mountains and riding atop trains, Google Street View this month chalked up another achievement.

Its first festival.

Not just any festival, but Naadam -- rugged Mongolia's annual display of horsemanship, marksmanship and muscle.

And CNN got to tag along for the ride.

Held each summer in Ulaanbaatar (this year July 11-13), Naadam is also known as the Three Games of Men.

It features archery, wrestling and horse racing and was granted UNESCO Intangible World Heritage status in 2010.

Given its cultural significance to both Mongolians and the world, Naadam is a natural choice for the technology's first festival effort, says Alex Starns, who heads Google's Asia Pacific Street View Operation.

"I think Naadam is a perfect example of something that's truly unique to Mongolia and it's a showcase of Mongolian culture and heritage," he says. "We use the Google Street View as a way for people around the world to understand that."

Initial setbacks

Turns out it's easier for a horse to get into the Naadam stadium than a Google Trekker operator.

Even with the right credentials, gaining entry to the opening ceremony wasn't as straightforward as expected.

Guards at the gate initially refused operators entry, apparently unsure of what to make of the Google Trekker strapped on the operator's back.

The Trekker is a contraption with a ball head that houses 15 cameras used to capture images at a rate of two frames per second.

After being shunted around and questioned a few times, the group was finally allowed in.

By this point, the crowd had already filled the 10,000-capacity stadium to the brim.

A few moments later, cultural performances began with a mesmerizing display of traditional costumes, dancing, throat singing and vigorous marching.

After the presidential speech, Google began shooting the festivities, walking around the field amid marching warriors and sword-wielding performers.

Dodging arrows and dust storms

Getting in the middle of the archery event was particularly thrilling.

Arrows were flying all over the place -- anyone not paying attention could easily get hit.

At one point, I was walking in front of an archer without even noticing that I was directly in the firing line.

I was too busy trying to keep up with Google Trekker operator Azaa, who somehow managed to dodge every arrow without looking up.

This excitement paled in comparison with the horse racing event, held about 20 kilometers from the city.

The many spectators riding their horses to the event inevitably created a dust storm that blasted the area throughout the race.

As the jockeys, some as young as five, emerged from the cloud of dust to cross the finish line, the crowd erupted in applause.

According to local guide Timur Yadamsuren, Mongolian nomadic children learn how to ride a horse even before they can walk.

"By the time they turn four years old, they're seasoned riders and by five, the boys are ready to compete," he says. "But when they hit 13, they have to retire from racing.

"The smaller Mongolian horses can no longer take their weight."

Other Google projects in Mongolia

Taking on the Naadam Festival is just a part of Google's activities in the country.

Google has been mapping the Mongolian countryside since October 2014.

Users can now explore, albeit virtually, the rough and largely untouched landscapes of Mongolia without leaving their couches.

So far Google has captured breathtaking landscapes across five cities and six provinces, including Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, Khentii, Dornogovi and Selenge.

Google's local coordinator says Street View has to drive another 48,000 kilometers to cover the whole country.

The Web giant has partnered with Mongolia's three largest museums -- the National Museum of Mongolia, Fine Arts of Zanabazar Museum and Bogd Khaan Palace Museum -- to bring more than 200 pieces of Mongolian cultural pieces online.

According to project supporters, being featured on Google Street View comes at at a fortuitous time for Mongolia.

Much-needed tourism boost

After a heady economic boom in 2011, the country has suffered economic blows due to falling copper prices and low investor confidence.

Susan Pointer, Google's Asia Pacific government relations director, says showcasing Mongolia's pristine landscapes and rich cultural heritage will help raise its profile.

She points to a 30% uptick in visitors to Pompeii that followed the Italian landmark's exposure on Street View.

Pointer says Cambodia's Angkor Wat complex saw similar results when Google released images of its 110 temples.

D. Gankhuyang, Mongolian foreign affairs minister, has high hopes for exposure on the Internet.

"The technology initiatives can greatly enhance Mongolia's profile on the international stage," he says.

"High definition images of Mongolia's most significant landmarks on Google's platforms will inspire more tourists to visit our country.

"This will in turn enhance ties between Mongolia and the world."

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Paddling down the Amur River, Mongolia


Four female paddlers take on the wild Amur River, one of the last truly free-flowing waterways left on the planet.

July 23 (Australian Geographic) TRUE EXPEDITIONS rarely pan out like they're supposed to. An uncertain outcome is part of the deal if the mission is real. When that first footstep falls onto virgin terrain, or that pioneering paddle stroke scythes through rarely disturbed water, the ending of the story that's just being born should be completely obscured by the storm clouds of chance that cluster around the middle of the adventure. Otherwise, what's the bloody point?

When Amber Valenti began dreaming about kayaking the Amur River from source to sea – through Central Asia's unofficial empty quarter – she didn't know that within a few years she'd be leading an all-female expedition attempting to do exactly that. And when the odyssey itself started, she couldn't imagine that she would lose her strongest paddler before the river even properly began baring its teeth, or that the off-water bumps would be as challenging as anything the Amur itself could throw at them, or that seven shots of homemade horse milk moonshine is at least one more than her stomach can handle. But she'd find all these things out. And some.

The Amur River belongs to nobody

Amber, a physician's assistant and wilderness medic from America, was first attracted to the Amur by its remoteness and rare status as a free-flowing river. The eighth longest river on the planet, it's the world's third longest waterway that remains undammed and undiverted for its entire length.

Painfully aware that her children – let alone her grandchildren – may never get to see a wild river like this, Amber was determined to experience it firsthand, from start to finish, and to document her adventure.

Free-flowing doesn't mean it's unaffected by the often-filthy hand of man – quite the contrary, during its course between Russia and China, the two great restless giants sweat and bleed a frightful cocktail of industrial poison into the river – but it does mean that it runs along the same course as it always has: from the foothills of Mongolia to its mouth on the Sea of Okhotsk, 5500km later. 

The spectre of a proposed dam perpetually hangs over the Amur like a guillotine, but for now it still runs free – it's nobody's river – a concept that became the de facto name of the project.

By the beginning of 2013, Amber had assembled the crew she wanted to take on the Nobody's River expedition. Joining her on the adventure would be two fellow Americans – Becca Dennis (a river guide) and Sabra Purdy (a river ecologist) – and intrepid Australian adventure photographer Krystle Wright.

Sabra would report and analyse the health of the river. Krystle, a veteran of many wild escapades, with the battle scars to prove it, was there to record the journey. And Becca was Amber's right-hand woman – "the perfect expedition partner" – a highly experienced kayaker and adventurer.

Tragically, however, just weeks before the expedition launched, Becca's 28-year-old boyfriend, Zach Orman, was fatally injured in a paragliding accident in Arizona. Becca was determined to remain on the team, but a huge shadow had fallen across her life and although she began the trip, she wasn't destined to accompany the expedition all the way to the sea.

Reaching the Amur River

The Amur is called the Black Dragon in China, and simply the Black River in Russia. The water might be dark by the time it has slunk across the enigmatic enormity of Siberia, slid between the torsos of China and Russia and wormed its way to the ocean, but when it first rises in a forgotten corner of Mongolia, it runs gin clear.

For the Nobody's River team, simply reaching the source involved an epic 10-day adventure all of its own. The women bounced around in a beat-up Russian minivan until the roads ran out, and then rode for three days on the backs of hardy Mongolian ponies, led by guides trusting in their ability to navigate using holboo – a traditional form of route finding, based purely on intuition and a feel for the land. En route they saw a goat slaughtered with a hammer for their consumption, taught bemused nomads how to do headstands and dance to techno music, and bestowed their long-suffering steeds with names from the music charts of the 80s: George Michael, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and Michael Jackson.

Eventually, though, the vast plains of Mongolia revealed the headwaters of the mighty river, and the serious business began. Watching their trusty guides and pop star horses disappear over the horizon induced a moment of agoraphobic shock, but once that had subsided they unpacked four folding TRAK kayaks and launched their journey into the unknown. Beneath their boats the water ran clean and all around them sprawled some of the most remote terrain on the entire planet. 

In its youthful state in Mongolia, the river is known as the Onon – or 'Mother Onon' to locals – and here it is generally found (by the very few who visit) to be in a playful and benign mood. Young and untainted, the Onon cavorts between meadows and through forests under an epic Mongolian sky for most of its length.

While the water was generally gentle to the group, and the bears respectfully kept their distance, the kayakers were hunted and harassed by potentially deadly electrical storms on several occasions as they paddled 500km from the source to the Russian border.

They were accompanied by a translator for this section, and regularly enjoyed the hospitality of locals – a little too much on one night, when the homebrewed mare-milk moonshine began to flow as freely as the river – much to the subsequent consternation of Amber's stomach. 

At the border, however, after 20 days on the water, everything changed utterly – starting with the transformation of the team dynamic, when Becca made the agonising decision to leave the expedition and return to the US to grieve for Zach.

Official permission to paddle the section of the Amur that forms the delicate border between China and Russia had remained elusive, and the remaining three girls were faced with an ugly choice. They could push on without the proper paperwork (with the knowledge that they'd need around $50,000 in cash to bribe their way through) or they could pack away their kayaks, take a train across Siberia and rejoin the river in Khabarovsk, Russia. Lacking a bribery purse with five grand in it, let alone 50 grand, there was only one real option. The ability to compromise is something you simply have to pack in your expedition kit.   

The Amur River is a challenging beast

"But, you have no security!" a man cried out from the bank as they set off on the second stage of their journey.

The concerned stranger – looking on with horror as the trio launched from a brutal concrete shoreline covered in broken glass in the midst of Khabarovsk, a bleak industrial city in Russia's far east – wasn't telling the women anything they weren't already terribly aware of.  

Ever since they'd arrived in Khabarovsk, the team had known they were facing an entirely new challenge for the second part of their expedition. Since they'd last seen it, the Amur had transformed into an entirely different beast – one with claws and jaws, and a mean streak to match. The clean waterway snaking between meadows and forests was a distant memory here, and instead the river had become a sprawling, braided and polluted mess, up to 4km across in places and viciously dissected by dangerous shipping lanes.

Gone too was their translator – attempts to find another one for this leg of the journey had been met with incredulity about what they were planning to attempt. So they were on their own – three western women attempting an unsupported paddle through remote far eastern Russia, where only the occasional ugly scar of an industrial town punctuates the wilderness. A thousand kilometres of river stood between the team and the sea, and time was against them, with the summer monsoons fast approaching.

As they debated their next move, a niggly knot of tension formed within the expedition team. Krystle, hungry for a story and gung-ho for an adventure, just wanted to get on the water and paddle right through. Sabra, the pragmatic scientist, was more interested in analysing and reporting on the health of the river. Amber, wearing the responsibility of leadership, was juggling concerns for the safety of the team and the integrity of a mission she'd spent years planning.

Eventually the call to continue was made. The kayaks were unpacked and reassembled, and the three paddlers nervously got onto the fetid flow and set off into a new shade of unknown.

As the outskirts of Khabarovsk faded, the industrial landscape quickly gave way to wilder terrain. This made for prettier paddling conditions, but beyond the urban influence the river was the boss once again, and it liked to assert its authority.

"I've been paddling for decades, and I've never seen anything comparable to the Amur," says Amber. "It's so big and so powerful. The flow is so huge. It's not like being on a river; you're dealing with almost ocean conditions… It was a kind of perfect storm on that lower section.

"I hadn't considered how hard it would be to literally get off the river. Sometimes the banks would be like five metres of sheer dirt. A few times we were just stuck on the river, and there would be a storm coming. It was very committing like that.

"And it would change. It would be really calm, like flatwater padding, and then a storm would break with thunder and lightening and these waves would kick up. We couldn't have taken a swim, there's no way we would have gotten back in our kayaks. If somebody had gone in they would have been out of their boat for hours."

Being out of their kayaks for even a short time was a nightmare scenario that Amber was desperate to avoid. The conditions, when they kicked up, were dangerously feisty. Sabra in particular was some way outside of her comfort zone in her kayak – and she knew more than anyone that the health threat posed by the pollution levels was very real.    

The untameable power of the Amur River

And the tough decisions were far from over. As they paddled on, a monsoonal temper tantrum was constantly threatening to erupt around them and some seriously heavy weather had been forecast, threatening major, disaster-level flooding.

One very close brush with calamity brought home the brutal reality of the situation. One night the team awoke just in time to discover the island they were camping on was rapidly sinking. The river water was rising around their tents and threatening to swallow them whole.

The deathblow was dealt when Sabra developed severe tendonitis in her forearm. For three days Krystle and Amber towed their stricken expedition partner towards Komsomolsk, but by the time they arrived and pulled their kayaks off the river, it was with the knowledge that the paddling part of the expedition was at an end.

They had kayaked a further 400km, paddling 50km a day, dealing with monstrous storm-whipped waves and sleeping for five hours a night, with one eye constantly open and looking over their shoulders for signs of more incoming flash floods.

Another 500km of river stood between them and sea, and the rains were coming. To continue would have been very risky. "Too risky," says Amber. "With the tragedy that happened before the expedition, I just thought that risking further tragedy on the trip wasn't an option."

As they got off the water, an astonished local girl fired an abrupt question into Amber's face: "Why would you come to this place that God forgot?" 

This was no way to end an expedition so, packing away their kayaks, the three women caught a boat and a ride to the Amur River Delta, where they finally got to see the river they'd been following for two months disgorge its contents into the ocean.

About a week after they pulled off the river, the entire region flooded. The river broke its banks and swelled up to 50km wide in parts, sweeping away houses and causing widespread destruction.

"The floods showed how powerful this river is," says Amber. "It was like the ultimate validation of our decision to get off the water. There's no doubt what would have happened. Imagine – we were struggling to navigate when it was 3km wide. And we would have been amongst all the stuff that gets washed into the river during floods, bits of houses and cars."

Ultimately, Sabra's tendonitis probably saved all three women's lives. That, and Amber's willingness to accept that a free-flowing river of this size is a waterway that calls the shots. "No one is in charge of this river," she says. "No one tells the Amur what to do." 

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U.S. Embassy: Introducing "A Ger for the Future"

July 22 (U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar) The Mongolian ger is a technological marvel that has stood the test of time. Ger-like structures can be found all over the world because they are durable, comfortable shelters that are easily built, maintained and moved when needed.

The U.S. Embassy in Mongolia has been working to find ways to merge the beauty and functionality of the Mongolian ger with technology that will make all of our homes – no matter where we live – more environmentally compatible. To do so, we created a learning space at the Embassy that joins together Mongolia's unique ger design, along with other features that have been long-proven to sustain human life in Mongolia's uniquely challenging climate, with some innovations reflecting the American climate and experience.

We built three gers, each with differences from one another that will allow us to test the efficiency and environmental effects of various heating, cooking, and other home-related technologies. We have also landscaped the surrounding grounds with specially-selected trees and other plants in order to test their capacities for combatting pollution.

Our goal is to work together with environmentally-conscious Mongolians to find innovative solutions that allow us to meet our basic needs and at the same time improve air quality, energy efficiency, and other health and safety issues.

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Mongolian sumo pioneer Kyokutenho announces retirement at 40

NAGOYA, July 28 (Yomiuri Shimbun) — No. 11 maegashira Kyokutenho, who in 2012 became the oldest wrestler to win his first title at 37, has announced his retirement.

The 40-year-old Mongolia-born wrestler made up his mind after posting a 3-12 record at the recent Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, which would have likely resulted in a demotion to the second-tier juryo division at the next tournament.

Kyokutenho's retirement was approved by the Japan Sumo Association on Monday. He will become an elder with the name of Oshima.

Kyokutenho left the ring in tears after losing to top maegashira Tochi-noshin on Sunday, the last day of the Nagoya tournament. "It's really over now," said Kyokutenho, who once ranked as high as sekiwake.

Kyokutenho is known as a pioneer among Mongolian wrestlers. He arrived in Japan with a group that included former komusubi Kyokushuzan in 1992 and obtained Japanese citizenship in 2005.

At the Summer Grand Tournament in 2012, Kyokutenho became the oldest wrestler to win his first title at 37 years and eight months old, beating Tochiozan in a playoff after posting a 12-3 record.

In the Summer Grand Tournament in May, he surpassed former ozeki Kaio's record number of bouts as a top-division makuuchi wrestler, which stretched to 1,470 in the Nagoya basho.

Kyokutenho stayed in the makuuchi division for 99 tournaments, second on the all-time list after Kaio's 107 tournaments. He posted 927 wins in his career, the sixth most overall, along with 944 losses.

Hakuho savors victory

Yokozuna Hakuho savored his victory and 35th Emperor's Cup at the recent Nagoya tournament, saying it had been a long time since he won a tournament.

He finished with a 14-1 record on Sunday, winning the championship for the first time in two basho. The yokozuna regained the title taken by ozeki Terunofuji, then sekiwake, in the Summer Grand Tournament.

"I feel like it has been a long while" since the last win, Hakuho said. "The taste of the sake was particularly nice."

"I had some sloppy bouts in the last tournament, but I didn't make the same mistakes again," he said.

Hakuho rode in an open car in a victory parade Sunday. "I appreciate the coincidence," he said regarding how he was accompanied by Kyokutenho, who has announced his decision to retire.

"This will be a good memory," Hakuho said.

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Time for Hakuho to bring down curtain on legendary career?


July 30 (Japan Times) In 1971, when the great Taiho retired from the sport of sumo with 32 Emperor's Cups to his name, Hakuho was not yet born.

Sumo was, with but a few exceptions, a Japanese-only sport, and nobody could have possibly predicted a skinny teen from Mongolia would one day join, and top, even Taiho's records in Japan's quasi-national sport.

Losing his first-ever bout, back in the sixth-ranked jonokuchi division, to finish with a less-than-stellar 3-4 record in his first tournament in May 2001, perhaps even fewer would have predicted that the 80-kg, 180-cm newbie, Davaajargal Monkhbat, would last long in the sport.

Young and inexperienced as he was, however, the signs were there. And, thanks to the wonderful gift of hindsight, sumo writers and historians can now look back and see the wide range of finishing moves the teenager from Ulan Bator was employing in his first few tournaments. The lad was learning, and learning fast.

Come September 2002, Hakuho had moved up to two divisions and a couple of hundred ranks higher than his debut almost eighteen months earlier.

Of those he had faced in that May 2001 debut basho, by September the following year, none ranked above the youngster starting to be noticed by followers of the action in the lower divisions.

Usually young wrestlers hit what is frequently referred to as 'the wall' as they approach the upper ranks of the third-ranked makushita division, but Hakuho was different. He smashed his way through any wall, imaginary or not, in November 2003, on the back of a 6-1 scorecard to guarantee promotion to juryo.

Right after said promotion, and now 10 cm taller and a full 55 kg heavier than when he had first stepped onto the dohyo, Hakuho was starting to be recognized as one to keep an eye on.

Taking the juryo title in just his second outing as a salaried wrestler in March 2004, with a 12-3 record and a final-day playoff victory against a former top-division veteran named Hayateumi, Hakuho was now well and truly in the wider public eye.

Next up was the top-ranking makunouchi division, the location of another 'wall-like' phenomena called 'the meat grinder' by some sumo fans.

Everyone hits a wall in makunouchi at some time or another, most commonly in the 'meat grinder' that brings together the upper maegashira ranks and sanyaku men ranked from komusubi to ozeki.

Yet, in 67 tournaments and over eleven years since his top-flight debut in May of 2005, Hakuho has yet to suffer a losing record in a tournament he has completed.

True, he went 6-3-6, withdrawing in July 2005, having to pull out midway through the action, and missed an entire tourney in November the following year, again due to injury.

But this was a man already making waves, both statistically and for the kind of sumo he has demonstrated in a decade of top-division action.

History will always remember him for his final title count, and for at least a generation, likely much longer, rank him atop all others in the 2½ centuries since a sumo ranking sheet was first released in 1757.

Today, that count stands at 35, three better than Taiho's eventual tally.

And, whilst 35 Emperor's Cup victories is itself an incredible achievement, especially as he went head-to-head against the then third-best-ever yokozuna, Asashoryu, for much of his early career, and now has competition in the shape of fellow yokozuna Harumafuji and Kakuryu, it is time for the greatest ever to think about calling it a day.

He has nothing left to prove.

Yes, he could go on to add to his current tally, and might get to 40 titles, or 100 career tournaments — he is now on 86 — if he continues until late 2017. And yes there has been talk of him leading proceedings, perhaps the Mongolian contingent at the 2020 Olympics, but he could do that anyway.

Hakuho has a career virtually unblemished locked away in the bank of sumo history. He is a once-in-a-generation fighter, if not a once-in-a-lifetime example of what can be achieved in Japan's oldest organized sport.

Too many others at the top of the sport have for too long hung on, unwilling to call time on great careers as they eke out another pay check, struggling to survive.

Many have eventually bowed out on the back of an ignominious loss to a relatively unknown rank-and-filer before feigning injury and sitting out the remaining bouts. The obligatory announcement of lack of strength, battered body and inability to compete to the best of said wrestler's ability follows — and that's that.

Hakuho should already be thinking of the perfect time to go.

If for nothing more than being able to say in the future that he finished at the top of his game, to leave the fans wondering 'what if' should another man ever come close to his record, it's time for the best ever to hang up his mawashi.

He is just too good to fade away.

Link to article


Hakuho appointed Team Mongolia Ambassador to 2020 Summer Olympics

August 2 (UB Post) On July 31, the Mongolian National Olympic Committee has selected 69th Yokozuna Hakuho M.Davaajargal as Ambassador for the Mongolian team participating in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

During a ceremony to present State Honored Athlete and Labor Hero Hakuho M.Davaajargal with a certificate of ambassadorship, he was also awarded with the Order of Golden-Ochir, the highest prize of the Mongolian National Olympic Commitee.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are being held from July 24 to August 9.

Below is a brief interview with Hakuho M.Davaajargal:

Congratulations for being appointed the Mongolian Ambassador for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, and awarded with Order of Golden-Ochir. How do you feel now?

Thank you. I am very happy that the 2020 Summer Olympic Games will take place in Tokyo, the city I grew up in. I am very lucky to represent Mongolia at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympic Games from May 10 to 24, and Mongolia participated in the Olympics for the first time. A total of 17 athletes from Mongolia competed in five sporting events. One of those athletes was my father, Labor Hero J.Munkhbat. That is why I want to participate as an honorary guest in the Tokyo 2020 Games with my father.

Former sumo wrestler Kyokutenho N.Tsevegnyam announced his retirement after competing in the top division of the Nagoya Basho. How did you feel about that?    

Sumo wrestlers N.Tsevegnyam, D.Batbayar and B.Enkhbat were the first Mongolian wrestlers in the sumo world. I especially admired brother N.Tsevegnyam when I saw him on Japanese NHK Television. It was very fortunate that I wrestled with him on the same dohyo (sumo ring). I was quite disappointed when I heard about his retirement, but I had my 35th win at the Nagoya Basho. I returned the favor with my 35th win. 

You've broken numerous records. What are your future objectives? 

I want to take my 36th win. It is my most immediate objective. I want to do the dohyo-iri (ring-entering ceremony, performed only by wrestlers in the juryo and makuuchi divisions) on the stage of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. I will try not to retire until Tokyo 2020.

Link to article


U.Ninjbadam wins silver at Special Olympics 2015

July 31 ( Mongolian team competing at the Special Olympics World Games 2015, being held in Los Angeles city, won its second medal.

U.Ninjbadam won silver medal at Table Tennis Singles category, while the first medal was won by B.Tulga at Bocco Singles category. Moreover, E.Altjin ranked at fourth place at Bocco Singles category.

This year, 7000 athletes from 170 countries are competing and total of 16 trainers and athletes representing Mongolia.

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. It empowers people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.

Special Olympics World Games are held every two years for adults and children and is alternate between summer and winter games.

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Asian U-23 Fencing Championship to Be Held in Mongolia, September 7-12

July 31 ( Asian U-23 Fencing Championship is to be held in Ulaanbaatar during September 7-12 and participants of 35 countries are to gather during the event. The Championship venue is the Buyant-Ukhaa Sport Palace and of today over 180 athletes have applied for the tournament.

The application process is to be closed on August 17th and the number of athletes to compete is to increase.

Moreover, the tournament will coincide with the Fencing Confederation of Asia General Assembly 2015, which will host presidents and delegates of fencing associations of 35 countries. 

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M.Gongor wins Free Flight Modeling World Cup

July 31 ( The "Free Flight Modeling World Cup-2015" is currently taking a place near Ulaanbaatar in the Nalaikh District. One of the three basic categories in F1B, which consists of flying a model which the participant has constructed, was held yesterday. As a result, Mongolian modeler M.Gongor came first out 77 modelers from 29 countries. After 7 flights, 31 modelers were shortlisted for the final stage M.Gongor took 2040 points in total.

The "Free Flight Modeling World Cup" which is being organized first time in Asia, will end tomorrow. Today F1C category is taking a place and the mixed competition (team racing) tomorrow. The closing ceremony will be held on 2nd August in "Tsonjin Boldog".  

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Mongolian Athlete M.Gongor Brings First Gold Medal in FAI Free Flight World ChampionshipsMontsame, July 31

Mongolia seizes silver at Free Flight World ChampionshipsUB Post, August 2


PHOTO: Sport Complex in Gobi-Sumber to be one of best nationwide

August 3 ( Gobi-Sumber Cup 2015 football match is being held in Choir, Gobi-Sumber as an opening event of the Sumber Garden Sport Complex football field.

Mongolian Football Association supports the football match, which hosts over 100 young participants of 6 teams from across the country and the event is to be held for two days.

Opening ceremony of the Sumber Garden Sports Complex Football field was attended by L.Odser, Governor of Gobi-Sumber aimag, A.Ganbaatar, President of MFA, D.Bayanjargal, Head of Civil Representative Council of Gobi-Sumber aimag, Ch.Batjargal, Head of the Aimag Football Association, Ch.Otgonbaatar, President of Mongolian Sports Journalists Association, E.Baljinnyam, Football Commentator and S.Gantumur, CEO of Samoson LLC, contractor of the project.

The sports complex includes basketball court, tennis court and running tracks on top of football field. Soon the complex will be finished with hockey field and sleigh tracks.

Link to article


World Standard Football, August 3


Richard Lindekens' Myanmar, Mongolia photo exhibition at Elverhoj Museum

July 31 (Lompoc Record) "Traditions on the Edge," a new art exhibition featuring photographs of Myanmar and Mongolia by Richard Lindekens, will debut Saturday at Elverhoj Museum of History and Art in Solvang.

From the elaborately inked faces of the Chin women of Burma to nomadic Kazakhs and the symbiosis between hunters on horseback and their majestic raptors, Lindekens' photographs capture these unique cultures and centuries of tradition.

The public is invited to meet the photographer at a free opening reception Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. Light appetizers and beverages will be served. 

Lindekens flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and went on to private corporate and eventual commercial airline piloting. His work took him to many foreign locations including Southeast Asia and China where he piloted one of the first three planes to enter after Nixon opened relations to the country in 1972.

Now retired from flying, Lindekens continues to call on his inspiration in the possibilities of adventurous travel. Captivated with cultures he visited during his military service and in 40 plus years of being a pilot, his innate curiosity led him to remote points along the map where he always made time to interview the local people he met along the way. The friendships made while traveling around the world created a special network of interpreters and guides that eventually helped him to photograph the people and traditions of Mongolia and Myanmar beginning in 2008.

"You don't just fly into Mongolia," said Lindekens, who knows that a trip to reach the Altai Mountains to photograph the eagle hunters means enduring long flights on "old puddle jumper" aircraft, days of driving across the Gobi Desert (sometimes traversing by camel), electric bus rides, rented river taxis and back-breaking six-hour trips along mountainous dirt roads in Russian Jeeps. 

Exhibit programming includes "Notes from the Edge," photographer narrated slide shows in the gallery space, among the exhibition images. The "Eagle Hunters of Mongolia" will be the subject on Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. On Sept. 25 at 7:30 pm, the topic will be the Chin people of Burma. Adventurous travelers are invited to attend "Inroads and Insights" on Oct. 2 at 7:30 pm. for a presentation on travel in the developing world. These events are free.

For more information, call 686-1211 or visit

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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Brings "Hamlet" to Mongolia on 450th Anniversary

July 31 ( In scope of William Shakespeare`s 450th birthday, artists of Shakespeare`s Globe theatre of London city traveling around the 205 countries of the world with their performances. Team consisting of 16 artists is to arrive in Mongolia on August 12 to perform revised version of Shakespeare's most popular play "Hamlet" on 12th of August, 2015 at 7PM at the State Academic Theater of Mongolia.

Tickets for the play will be available for sale on Aug 4 and it will be sold at ticket office of the State Academic Theater of Mongolia, as well as you are able to buy ticket at Prices for the ticket haven't been announced yet and is expected to be sold at MNT 30.000 (USD 15).

For more detailed information about the play, please visit here or make call to (976) - 99026929.

Link to article


Tucsonan's wanderlust leads her to arduous Mongol Derby

July 25 (Arizona Daily Star) In this dog-eats-dog-then-campaigns-for-its-corner-office world, maybe we should be celebrating the wild ones, the carefree ones, the ones who value experience as much asstuff.

World, meet Tucson's Michelle Tanaka.

Michelle Tanaka, meet world. Oh, you've already met.

Michelle has seen the far reaches of the globe, traveled the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia, planted trees in Australia, fended off creeping hands in dank, dark trains in India and slept under stars, a billion flickering lightbulbs in a black sky.

And now, the 25-year-old will embark on her grandest adventure yet: the Mongol Derby. Between Aug. 5-15, she will trek 600 miles across the wooded plains and sandy dunes of the Mongolian steppe. Michelle will ride 25 semi-wild horses with long tails and thick manes that remain uncut. The arduous journey covers the sophisticated mail route that was created by the great Genghis Khan.

She leaves Sunday.

"These horses can be pigs," Michelle said. "They can be demons. There's only so much you can take before you give up. I've had friends who say there are parts of this race where you're crazy, you're nuts. If you could get medevaced out right then, you would."

Link to article


Jocelyn Flint: A cowgirl from Mengha to ride across Mongolia

July 29 (ABC) Jocelyn Flint has never been out of Australia but her first foray will be memorable — riding a horse across Mongolia to see the reindeer people.

A much-loved cowgirl and mail contractor from Mengha, in far north-west Tasmania, Ms Flint will spend 19 days in the saddle, eventually headed into the northern Mongolian high country where the Dukha or reindeer people live a subsistence lifestyle based around reindeer herding.

It is a big adventure for someone on their first time out of the country but then again, traditional cattle-droving, fishing and farming are everyday life activities for Ms Flint, so she will perhaps be better prepared than most.

"Pity I couldn't deliver the mail on horseback, it would be a lot more fun. Born in the wrong century I was," Ms Flint said, loading her van for her mail-run at Smithton Post Office.

Link to article


Mongol Rally

Intrepid team drive to Mongolia for good causeDaily Echo, July 30

Llantwit Fardre man sets off on 10,000-mile charity adventure from London to Mongolia - in an old Subaru Justy!Wales Online, July 29

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6th Floor, NTN Tower
Baga Toiruu, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
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