Thursday, October 22, 2015

[Gatsuurt royalty agreed; trenching extends Kharmagtai; 3-year notes sold; DPRK wants meat; and 10% of buildings in UB at risk]

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

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Overseas Market

XAM trading flat Thursday mid-day at A$0.135

Xanadu Mines: Trenching Extends Higher-Grade Continuity at Kharmagtai Copper-Gold Project


·         New trench results extend the strike of higher-grade surface mineralisation;

·         Trench KHTR061 intersects significant surface copper-gold mineralisation:

-       116m grading 0.72% Cu and 0.35g/t Au (0.95 CuEq);

·         Trench KHTR062 intersects significant surface copper-gold mineralisation:

-       90m grading 0.57% Cu and 0.14g/t Au (0.67CuEq);

·         Shallow stockwork mineralisation remains open to the northwest; and

·         Higher grade mineralisation intersected within the margin of current Resource Pit Shell.

October 22 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to report step-out trenching being undertaken at the Tsagaan Sudal deposits within the Kharmagtai copper-gold project (Figures 1 and 2), continues to extend the strike of higher-grade surface mineralisation. Two new trenches 50m apart within the margins of the current Resource Pit Shell have intersected significant surface mineralisation consistent with or better than the resource estimate (Figure 3; Table 1) providing further confidence to the geological interpretation, mineralisation controls, and resource model.

Xanadu's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Stewart, said: "The quality and scale of this deposit continues to be demonstrated by these positive trench results. This trenching program targeted the projection of the Tsagaan Sudal resource under shallow sand cover and has successfully confirmed extensions to mineralization over 300 metres to the northwest, where mineralisation remains open. These results help refine our geological model for the Kharmagtai district and further demonstrate Kharmagtai is currently growing towards a sizeable porphyry deposit, with relatively high gold to copper ratios.

Link to release


Cash at end of quarter A$78K. VKA last traded A$0.011 on 14 October

Viking Mines Quarterly Report for Period Ended September 2015

October 22 -- During the three months to 30 September, 2015, Perth-based Viking Mines Ltd (Viking or the Company) activity was primarily focussed on concluding the sale agreement for the Akoase gold project in Ghana to Akoase Resources Limited.

1. Akoase Gold Project (Ghana, VKA 100% - reducing to 0% upon completion of sale)

On 1 June 2015 the Company announced that it is had executed a sale contract for its Akoase Gold Project for an overall transaction value of US$10 million. The purchaser, Akoase Resources Limited (ARL) is owned by the Chinese party that controls Akroma Gold Limited, the owner of the Sian gold project located 12kms from Akoase.

2. West Star/Blue River (Ghana, VKA 100% hard rock)

Preparatory work has commenced for a planned reconnaissance drill program testing a strong gold in soil anomaly located adjacent to the Salman shear zone in the northern part of the West Star licence.

3. Berkh Uul Coal Project (Mongolia, VKA 100%)

No on-ground work was undertaken on the project during the quarter.

As previously reported, the Mongolian Government has been in the process of reviewing and amending the Law on Prohibiting Mineral Exploration and Extraction Near Water Sources, Protected Areas and Forests (commonly referred to as the "Long Name Law"). Following recent announcements, including a Government Resolution that licence areas in headwater zones and river basins are to be annexed and revoked, the Company has been advised by the Ministry of Tourism, Green Development and Environment that approximately 53% of the Berkh Uul prospecting licence falls within a headwaters of rivers zone. This government determination impacts upon the Company's current coal resource and Viking continues to engage in discussions on this matter with the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) and the Ministry of Tourism, Green Development and Environment.

4. Khonkhor Zag Coal Project (Mongolia, VKA 100%)

No on-ground work was undertaken on the project during the quarter.

5. Corporate

A number of project farm-in/acquisition opportunities were considered during the quarter. None are currently at an advanced stage of consideration. Viking will continue to pursue these and any other opportunities, which are complementary to its existing project portfolio.

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +2.22%, ALL +1.41%, Turnover 4.05 Million Stocks

October 21 (MSE) --

Link to release


MSE Opens Orders for 10 Billion 52-Week 15% GoM Notes, 10 Billion 15.8% 3-Year Notes

October 21 (MSE) Buy order of 52 weeks Government bonds with 15.00% annual coupon rate and 156 weeks Government bonds with 15.80% annual coupon rate starts from 21 October 2015 until 27 October 2015 through brokerage companies.  

Click here to see detailed information of short-term /1 year/ Government retail bonds.  

Click here to see detailed information of long-term /3 year/ Government retail bonds.   

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Historic low ₮1,997.26/USD set September 11

BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, October 21 Close








































































































Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,987 Sell ₮1,996), Khan (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,995), Golomt (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,995), XacBank (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,994.5), State Bank (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,995)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 268.9 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding +15.9% to ₮581.9 billion

October 21 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 268.9 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


10 Billion 52-Week 15% Discounted T-Bills Sold with 11.5 Billion Bids

October 21 (BoM) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 10.0 billion MNT. Face value of 6.5 billion /out of 11.5 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 15.000%.

Link to release


Mogi: this must be the first long-term bonds sold in a long, long while

5 Billion 3-Year GoM Bonds Sold at 15.8% Average Yield from Available 10 Billion

October 21 (BoM) Auction for 3 years maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 10 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 5.0 billion /out of 5.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks with weighted average yield of 15.800%.

Link to release


Cabinet to submit $272 million ADB financing agreement to parliament

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday decided to submit to parliament a draft law on ratifying a programme on one-year finance established between the government of Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). For 2015-2016, the ADB has approved mixed or soft and normal loans of USD 272 million.

Link to article


It's time for Mongolia to focus on quality of labor says ADB

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) Minister of Labor G.Bayarsaikhan received the Country-director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Robert Schoellhammer and his team on October 20.

The Government attaches great importance to the implementation of the "Skill for Employment" project, funded by ADB. Costing 25 million USD of easy-term ADB credit, the Skills for Employment L3242-MON project is expected to strengthen the vocational and professional training systems that provide professional and skillful cadres for key economic sectors such as agriculture, road and construction. In other words, the project will result in better coherence between labor demand and training, and in increased employment.

Mr Schoellhammer noted that promoting employment is more important than rapid quantitative economic growth in achieving stable economic enhancement in all sectors. "The ADB has been promoting Mongolia's labor market and has been working to increase workplaces. It is time we focused on the quality of labor force", he said.

He also gave information about the projects on agriculture and rural development, on health of plants and livestock and on improving the food security ensuring instruments.

He requester the Minister to assist the ADB team, in charge of developing the strategic document on cooperation with Mongolia and the 2016 action plan, in having an access to the data required.

Link to article


Banks ignoring central bank's decision to lower ATM fees

October 21 ( President of the Bank of Mongolia (Mongolbank) issued a new decision to reduce ATM fee on March 25, 2015.

According to the new regulations, ATM must charge 300 MNT (Tugrug) for big transaction and 180 MNT for small transaction, and general service fee should be 40 MNT instead of 100 MNT.

However, Mongolian commercial banks still use old fee for ATM despite the decision. The situation is creating confusion among customers but the Central Bank did not give any explanation yet.

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Politics & Legal

Centerra, Mongolia Agree on Mine Royalty Rather Than Govt Stake

By Michael Kohn

October 22 (Bloomberg) -- Toronto-based Centerra Gold, Mongolian government agree in principle to set 3% special purpose royalty instead of 34% government stake in Gatsuurt mine, according to statement published on Mongolian government website.

* 3% royalty subject to adjustment based on gold price; final decision on entire agreement requires parliamentary approval

* Size of initial investment $230m, lower than earlier estimate of $350m, according to statement

* John Pearson, Centerra Vice President, Investor Relations, declines to comment on investment structure in e-mail

* About 33,000 ha near mine to be protected by state to preserve ancient tombs, sacred land; mine, protected area don't overlap

* Deposit contains 50 mt gold worth $1.7b

* About 1,800 illegal miners are occupying Centerra's Gatsuurt property; Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed ordered law enforcement agencies to clear illegal camps



PM orders swift resolutions to Gatsuurt government stake, taking Noyon Mountain into state protection

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg convened R.Jigjid, the Minister of Mining; N.Battsereg, the Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism; and J.Buyanbat, the deputy head of the General Police Department (GPD), at the "Hour for solution" weekly meeting on Wednesday.

Saying that illegal explorers (Mogi: lol, explorers, sounds adventurous)  have entered a zone of Selenge aimag's Mandal soum-based Gatsuurt deposit, and that a number of crimes and illegal actions have increased, the Premier asked about nowadays situation of the mineral deposit.

According a report of the GPD deputy head, the number of crimes has increased this year in the soum by 20%, against the previous year. Most of the crimes are related to alcoholism and hooliganism. Furthermore, about 1,800 people from Khovsgol, Arkhangai, Darkhan-Uul, Tov and Selenge aimags have been illegally exploiting gold on this deposit, he said.

The Mining Minister R.Jigjid gave a report on a course of talks with investors about exploitation of the Gatsuurt gold deposit, which was registered this January in the list of strategic deposits. The talks have been run with the investors by a working group in charge of fixing a size of the state's shares in the deposit. As accorded with the investors, this size would stand at 34% but it has been replaced by the three percent tax for exploitation of minerals (Mogi: 3% additional royalty). Depending on gold price, the three percent tax will be resolved by the government, Jigjid said.

The size of first installment has been minimized from USD 350 to USD 250 million. The working group reached a general agreement with the "Centerra Gold Mongolia" LLC, thus has fulfilled its goals, the Minister added.

The Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg said the Ministry intends to submit to the cabinet a draft resolution of parliament on putting a territory near Noyon Mountain in the state special protection. It involves 33 thousand hectares, he added.

The Premier obliged the GPD to intensify action, R.Jigjid and N.Battsereg were told to submit to parliament a draft resolution of parliament on fixing the state ownership and to have cabinet consider the issue of the state protection.

The Ministry of Mining has calculated that proven reserve of the Gatsuurt deposit is 50 tons of gold, and its sales revenue will be USD 1.7 billion.

Link to article


Economic Standing Committee holds second reading of 2015 budget amendment bill

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) The parliamentary Standing committee on economy ran the second reading of draft amendments to the Law on State Budget 2015, Law on Human Development Fund Budget of 2015 and the Law on Social Insurance Fund Budget of 2015 on October 21.

Ts.Nyamdorj asked questions about the revenue and expense of the mining sector for this year. The Minister of Mining R.Jigjid answered that, by the end of this September, the mining sphere accumulated 794.6 billion MNT out of the intended revenue of 827.9 billion MNT, while petroleum sector earned 128.8 billion MNT out of the intended 213.7 billion MNT for 2015.

He went on that Oyu Tolgoi LLC added 310.2 billion MNT, and Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) – 202.5 billion to the state budget. In the same period of 2014, Oyu Tolgoi accumulated 167.7 billion and EMC – 307.8 billion to the state budget, he added.

Other qiestions were asked by D.Gankhuyag and O.Enkhtuvshin.

There were not any principally different opinions from the Standing committee members. 

After this, a working group, led by G.Batkhuu, was formed in charge of preparing recommendations and conclusions on the draft law on the State Budget 2016.

Link to article


Budget Committee backs decreasing excise tax on import alcohol and tobacco

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) The draft amendments to the Law o Customs, Customs Tariffs and Tax and on Excise Tax were discussed Wednesday at the meeting of the parliament Standing committee on budget. These laws are required to be changed in light of the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan.

As a member of the World Trade Organization, Mongolia is obligated to decrease the excise tax, imposed on imported alcohol and tobacco, to the same amount of that imposed on the similar domestic products.

Meanwhile, the excise tax has been enhanced up to 40 percent on the imported goods with a purpose to promote the national industries.

At this meeting, L.Erdenechimeg suggested making slight reduction in the excise tax on the imported alcohol and a slight increase in the excise tax on the domestic products, whereas D.Demberel wants the excise tax on the domestic alcohol and tobacco products increase, so that the import excise tax can remain on the current level.

Both suggestions were not supported. Then, L.Erdenechimeg made another suggestion--to designate different amounts of excise tax regarding the alcohol percentage and characteristics of the alcohol and tobacco products. It was not backed either.

At the end of the meeting, Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat said that the draft amendments to these  laws have been prepared on the basis of careful studies.

The committee resolved to submit to parliament the draft amendments without any further recommendations and re-adjustments.

Link to article


MP D.Demberel warns of ballooning government debt

October 21 ( MP D.Demberel made a statement on Government debt today. He noted that our country is standing behind two choices whether to lay a debt distress on public or the Government and the State Great Hural to repay the debt by generating revenues with efficient approaches.

MP D.Demberel stated that according to the 2016 budget and 2017 budget projections, authorities have chosen to overcharge debt distress to public and he explained it by data.

As of today, total foreign debt has reached to USD 21.7 billion, nearly doubled from USD 11.6 billion recorded in 2012.

The Government debt is the worth of MNT 13.7 trillion continuously rising at rapid speed since 2012. Therefore,  reducing the government debt has become the facing issue for the country, reported by MP D.Demberel.

Moreover, he estimated that the debt amount is expected to increase enormously during 2016-2018. For instance, debt of Government and private entities will reach

·         USD 900 million in 2016

·         USD 2 billion in 2017

·         USD 1.3 billion in 2018.

As we consider above amount with current exchange, it is equal to MNT 8 trillion. Moreover, MNT 962 billion to be paid for loan service, equivalent to 37 percent of budget. In other words, it has been building major burdens for the 2016 budget.

MP D.Demberel said "We are likely to pay such a large amount of debt via the budget management. The Government has stated not to add salaries and pensions in 2016 because of  the debt payment issues. We have three choices left.

·         First, the Government will work efficiently by increasing the investment and earn more.

·         Second, if the government fails to work sufficiently, the public is forced to deal with the debt in the future.

·         Third, we will pay for the debt by depositing our mineral resources.

According to the 2016 budget and 2017 budget adjustment, the Government is to support the second choice and he emphasized that wage and salary cut has been proposed.

Link to article


Cabinet meeting in brief

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) --

- The cabinet approved a new composition of the National Committee of Water which was adopted by appendix of the governmental resolution on compositions of governmental commission, committee, national council and working groups.

- The cabinet approved lists of real estate registered in ownership of the state, which will be passed from balance to balance as well as real estate to be sold through auctions.

- The cabinet backed an approval of a draft resolution on Mongolia's participation in the Astana World Expo-2017 which will run themed "Future energy".  The FM was obliged to report a statement to the committee of the World Expo about appointment of the Minister of Energy D.Zorigt as the general Commissioner for the Expo for Mongolia.

- To realize a one-window policy on export and import of strategic foods, the cabinet altered an appendix of the 77th governmental resolution of 2013 on approval of temporary rule of granting permission of export and import strategic foods.

Link to article


Cabinet backs concept of bill on auto roads

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Monday, the cabinet discussed and then backed a concept of the law on auto road.

An obligation was given to M.Zorigt, the Minister of Road and Transportation, to draw up the bill and submit it to the cabinet in near future.

Since its adoption in 1998, the law on auto road has been amended eight times, but now the time has come to alter it due to changes in social-economic development, to a need of making much more concrete and understandable and increasing the auto roads' role in the development, to fulfill the state policy on broadening auto road network, to boost international and regional auto road corridors and infrastructure, and to ensure a longevity of roads.

Presently, 65 percent of total freight and 98.8 percent of passengers are transported by the auto roads.

Link to article


New version of law on medicine and medical facilities to be submitted

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday decided to submit to parliament a draft new wording of the law on medicine and medical facilities.

The new version has clauses--duties of institutions that play a role in ensuring a quality and safety of medicine, a refining upon of all criteria for the registration of medicine, a quality monitoring laboratories, a control over medicine safety at the market, and a banning of medicine.

The version also highlights principal amendments aimed at forming an appropriate usage of medicine, new regulations to ensure transparency in medicine pricing, a prevention of the prices sour, and ways of providing people with more opportunities to buy medication needed. 

Link to article


"E-public service" projects to be executed under concession

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The cabinet on Monday added the projects on transferring public services to electronic forms to the list of state concession agreements. The Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat was assigned to manage negotiations on the projects' agreement and bid-listing according to regulations.

The projects aim at quickening people's access to and improving a quality of the public services through utilizing the latest achievements in the information and communication hi tech. Today, 17 services are being provided by the public services electronic machines (TUTS), 25 services--by the Internet.

The concession agreements will be awarded for implementations of the projects on transferring 125 types of public services into E-forms and will be uploaded to

For the time being, 1.3 million people have received services from TUTS machines, and this accumulated 37 million MNT to the state budget by the end of the first half of 2015.

Link to article


Staying the Course in Mongolia: 14 years institutionalizing community participation

October 21 (World Bank Blog) In development we want things to go accordingly to plan.  We look for tools, guidelines and best practices in our quest for results and impact. But we also know that development is not an exact science and things do not always go according to plan.  Changes in government or an economic downturn can quickly make a project design irrelevant.

But in some cases, it does go (more or less) accordingly to plan despite bumps in the road along the way.  One such example is the Sustainable Livelihoods Program series in Mongolia, which on September 17, 2015 launched its third and final phase.

Back in 2002, after a series of particularly harsh winters that killed one-third of the livestock in Mongolia and added even more strain to an already impoverished rural population, the World Bank decided to support a new approach to sustainable livelihoods. At that time, the country had little history of community participation in local development planning, and few rural finance options.  

The vision was to place investment funds at the local level and to give the communities a strong voice in the allocation of these funds. Because of the risks associated with the severe winters in Mongolia, pastoral risk management and winter preparedness were to be strengthened. And with a history of inefficient central planning, supporting a policy shift towards greater fiscal decentralization was very important.

This vision and core principles were translated into the design of the three-part Sustainable Livelihoods Series, which included piloting, scaling-up and institutionalization phases.

The objective of SLPI (2002-2007) was to achieve an effective approach to promoting improved, secure and sustainable livelihood strategies and to demonstrate and validate the pilot approach in selected areas. SLPII (2008-2013) focused on enhancing livelihood security and sustainability by scaling up those institutional mechanisms and approaches piloted in SPLI. SLPIII, the third and final stage, envisioned an institutionalization of the approaches supported by SLPI and SLPII.

The first phase successfully piloted different approaches but on a small scale.  In the second phase, the project was scaled-up from an initial 16 districts (soums) to nationwide coverage, benefiting 1.75 million people. Given that Mongolia's population is just below 3 million people and nearly half of them live in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, the project was able to reach almost everyone in rural areas. 

Overall, over 6,000 sub-projects were completed with over 90% community satisfaction. Through microfinance development funds, $42 million was lent to over 40,000 borrowers in the rural areas. As a result, 57% more households were able to make winter preparations and more than 36,000 herder families improved their pastoral risk management.  Some of the results are captured in this video.   

These are concrete and impressive results. But perhaps even more so is the degree to which the program's principles have been institutionalized. The Integrated Budget Law was passed in 2011, putting into law many of the approaches demonstrated under SLP, such as the Local Development Fund, which puts more funds in the hands of local governments and gives communities a say on how those funds are spent. For a country with a strong history of central planning, this is a significant change in policy direction. The pastoral risk management approaches developed during the course of the program have been formally adopted by the land agency. And the Micro-Credit Development Fund is fully self-financing and operating independently.

Several other World Bank interventions were spun off the SLP program, including the Rural Education and Development Project, and the Index-Based Livestock Insurance Project

The last and final part of the SLP journey has started (see a link to the press release).  Changes and delays have made the road bumpy and at times difficult. The program's approach evolved and was fine-tuned during the journey. But in spite of these, the vision and the principles remain the same.  And the support for that vision and those principles remain intact.

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Resources to cash: a cautionary tale from Mongolia

October 22 (Development Policy Centre) The direct distribution of natural resource wealth through cash transfers has been recommended to avoid the political and institutional curses that natural resources can bring. By removing resource rents from government, putting them in the hands of the people, and then claiming some of the revenue back through tax, incentives to undermine public institutions will be removed, corruption can be avoided, accountability and transparency will grow, and the benefits of natural resources will be more equitably shared. Or so the argument runs.

But what about the actual experience with so-called 'resources-to-cash' transfers (often referred to as 'oil-to-cash')? The Center for Global Development (CGD), a leading advocate of the proposal, has put the call out for countries to learn from the successes and mistakes of those who have experimented with it. There is virtually no literature on such transfers in developing countries.

The paper we have just written on Mongolia aims to fill that gap. Resource-rich Mongolia is perhaps the only developing country that has actually introduced a resources-to-cash scheme. As the figure below shows, in 2006, Mongolia introduced resource-financed payments for all children, and in 2010 the scheme was expanded, with larger payments to be provided to all citizens. In 2012, the scheme reverted to being one for children only.

Figure 1: Mongolia's resources-to-cash history

Although Mongolia retains universal child transfers, it has effectively moved away from the resources-to-cash model by announcing that it will delink their payment from resources revenue. The new resources (or sovereign wealth) fund that it is establishing will not be even partially earmarked for cash transfers.

How did Mongolia's resources-to-cash experiment fare and why is it being abandoned? The new transfer payments significantly reduced poverty and inequality. But the scheme was poorly designed and implemented. The link in practice, as against in intent, to resource revenues, was weak. Payments were based on election promises, rather than actual resource earnings. This meant that, at some points, cash transfers actually exceeded mineral revenue, and the gap had to be met by borrowing. Thus resources-to-cash increased debt and may have added to inflation.

These design and implementation flaws also led to the scheme losing political support. The Sant Maral Foundation conducts a biannual opinion poll of political and social issues in Mongolia. Figure 2 shows the responses from 2008 to 2014 to the question: "Through recent development of the mining sector Mongolia has gained considerable wealth. How should this money be used?" "Direct disbursement" was never a particularly popular answer to this question, but its popularity has declined from a peak of 25 per cent when the idea was first publicised to under 10 per cent most recently. From interviews we learnt that Mongolia's resources-to-cash experiment came to be seen as wasteful and irresponsible, and even as an abuse of the political process. (The child payments were introduced in the course of the 2004 election campaigns. In 2008, parties competed over the size of the transfers they would authorise. By 2011, the Election Law was amended to remove this practice.)

Figure 2: Public support for different uses of mineral wealth in Mongolia, 2008-2014

Source: Sant Maral Foundation (2008-2014)

What lessons can be drawn from the Mongolia experience?

Todd Moss and his co-authors in their just published book Oil-to-cash: fighting the resource curse through cash transfers don't say much about Mongolia, but do write that the country's experience "demonstrates the potential popularity of Oil-to-Cash and its political feasibility under a competitive electoral system." While this is a fair reading of the 2004 and 2008 elections, one might also say that subsequent experience demonstrates the ultimate political unpopularity and unfeasibility of resources-to-cash. Such a conclusion would be too strong, but Mongolia's experience certainly points to the risk of support for resources-to-cash being undermined by poor design and implementation.

Our findings provide backing for Alexandra Gillies, who, writing about resources-to-cash in 2010, cautioned: "policy mechanisms tend to reflect the environment from which they emerge. Direct distribution [resources-to-cash] may offer the greatest expenditure efficiency gains in countries where governments fail in providing public goods[;] however, its implementation will be the most difficult in these same contexts." As a young democracy, Mongolia has fledging, weak institutions and a political environment prone to short-term decision-making. These weaknesses pervaded and undermined, probably fatally, many aspects of its resources-to-cash scheme.

We are sceptical of the idea that resources-to-cash schemes will strengthen accountability by enhancing taxation. We are only aware of two resources-to-cash schemes: Alaska's and Mongolia's. In neither are the transfers taxed, nor have their tax regimes changed as a result of introducing the payments. In any case, in developing countries, systems of direct taxation are very weak, and typically applicable only to the formal sector. Even if transfers were taxable, most recipients would not pay that tax.

Various mechanisms have been put forward to solve the resources curse: investment in infrastructure and human capital; sovereign wealth funds; and now, resources-to-cash. If implemented well, these mechanisms should all help avoid the resource curse. But there is no reason to think it is easier to implement resources-to-cash than the other proposed mechanisms. Perhaps it is easier to give away cash than to build infrastructure, but, as Mongolia shows, the very ease of handing money out also makes it easier for this option to blow the budget.

Overall, Mongolia is a cautionary tale. One should certainly not dismiss the potential benefits of resources-to-cash on the basis of one, poorly designed and implemented instance. Rather the lesson of the Mongolia experience is that resources-to-cash needs to take its place alongside, rather than be favoured over, other policy instruments that have been recommended for resource-dependent economies.

Ying Yeung is currently an Overseas Development Institute Fellow at the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Zanzibar. She undertook the research for this paper when working with Devpolicy. Stephen Howes is Devpolicy Director. Thanks to the International Mining for Development Centre for their funding support.

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Mogi: there's another one called Mongolian Marketing Association, formed much earlier, and they're both holding their annual forums on the same day this year (Mogi shakes his head)

Foreign Minister elected President of Mongolian National Marketing Association           

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren was elected the president of the Mongolian National Association of Marketing (MNAM) at its assembly on Tuesday.

During its 3rd assembly, the Association approved compositions of its Board, councils of academy, policy, business and monitoring. It also elected its first deputy president, executive deputy president, deputy presidents on specific functions, and other officials. The Association's president will be not involved in everyday matters and financial issues but will be accountable for expressing right policy and unification.

The Association was founded in 2008 as the "Young Marketer" NGO, two years later it became the Mongolian National Association of Marketing. The main aims of this NGO are to support collaboration among specialized unions, NGOs, agencies, companies and public media organizations, to boost a collaboration between state and private sector in the marketing sector, to promote professional rates of marketing specialists, to provide its members with general information on the sector, and to back national brands in competing at the world market.

The MNAM Board expressed its willingness to contribute to organization of the 2016 ASEM Summit.

Link to article


"Gateway to Asia 2015" Mongolian-Russian Business Expo, October 20-22

October 20 (GoGo Mongolia) Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with Business Contact LLC from Russia is organizing Mongolian-Russian entrepreneurs forum titled "Asian door 2015" on October 20-22 at Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The expo is being attended by the entities from Moscow, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Irkutsk, Angarsk, Bratsk, Ivanovo and Alekseyevka cities, Barnaul in Altai Krai, The Republic of Buryatia and Ukraine countries.

During the expo, Mongolian-Russian entrepreneurs forum will be held under the theme "Mongolian-Russian business development".

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DPRK wants to import meat from Mongolia

October 21 ( Head of General Agency for Specialized Inspection Sh.Radnaased received Mr. Chyu Hyo Sen, an advisor to the Ambassador of DPRK (North Korea) to Mongolia.

DPRK is interested in the import of meat and meat products from Mongolia, and two officials discussed about the matters of veterinary quarantine, hygiene, meat production capability and accreditation.

Head of GASI Sh.Radnaased said: "I am pleased that DPRK expresses interest in meat import and cooperation with us, and we are willing to provide necessary assistance such as supplying an information related to the veterinary quarantine and hygiene."

It is viable to export meat and meat products to DPRK provided that the country meets standards of veterinary quarantine, hygiene and meat processing factories.

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DPRK wants to import meat from MongoliaMontsame, October 21


Mongolia's cashmere cash crop

October 19 (Oxford Business Group) The cashmere industry in Mongolia is making its mark on the global fibres market, with an abundance of quality raw materials and continuing investment in downstream processing capacity.

As global demand for many natural resources eases and commodity surpluses drive market prices to new lows, Mongolian exports registered a 9% year-on-year decline in the first eight months of 2015 – including a 22% drop in coal exports, due to weaker demand from China, which accounts for some 85% of Mongolia's exports.

While the mining industry may be cooling, another primary production sector is heating up, as Mongolia looks to grow its international reputation for cashmere.

Economic importance

Cashmere, a luxury fabric made from the fine undercoat of hair found on certain species of goat, is Mongolia's highest non-mineral export earner, accounting for up to 6% of the country's total exports and 15% of the global cashmere trade in recent years.

The industry is a significant contributor to the Mongolian economy. According to the Mongolian Cashmere & Wool Association, cashmere exports bring in an average of around $250m annually and provide employment for some 7000 people.

Due to the country's harsh climate, Mongolian cashmere provides greater warmth and insulation than many varieties produced elsewhere, making it a sought-after product with a competitive advantage over its regional counterparts.

Regional competition

Mongolia's main competitor in the cashmere trade is neighbouring China, which has more than doubled its herd numbers over the past decade in a bid to boost domestic production. The resulting jump in global supply has not only led to a decline in prices, but also a deterioration in average quality, as Chinese goats are known for having shorter hairs.

However, with Chinese manufacturers – whose output accounts for roughly 70% of global production – increasingly blending their lower-quality fibres with higher-end Mongolian hairs to achieve greater volumes, Mongolia is well placed to meet demand for premium-grade cashmere and enhance its reputation for quality.

Local producers also must contend with competition from Afghanistan, which currently accounts for around 7% of global production. Like Mongolia, Afghani cashmere is also known for its quality, and the government is actively seeking a place for the product on the international luxury market, with a "Cashmere Action Plan" launched in 2011.

While only 30-40% of Afghanistan's goat herds are currently combed for cashmere, according to estimates from the World Bank and US Agency for International Development, this figure could more than double, bringing output closer in line with Mongolia.

Nonetheless, ongoing instability in Afghanistan and concerns over its capacity to meet supply obligations will likely limit its ability to gain ground in the global cashmere market in the near to medium term.

Value-added reputation

While Mongolia has a long history of exporting raw cashmere, the country is working to develop greater value-added processing capacity to maximise sector returns. Ultimately, the industry is looking to progressively scale back shipments of raw cashmere, with a view to essentially end unprocessed exports by 2020.

Manufacturers have been importing new technology in recent years – primarily from Italy, a leader in the international textiles market. According to industry press, some €68m worth of investments were earmarked for the development of new production technologies in 2013, with another €145m set aside for expanding production capacity.

By processing and spinning the yarn locally, and eventually producing consumer goods, Mongolia hopes to leverage one of its primary industries and establish a name for itself within the fashion industry.

Efforts are already underway to raise the international profile of Mongolian cashmere. In late April Mongolian cashmere, wool and yak hair products generated strong interest at the International Textile Fair in Dubai, with an estimated $50,000 in sales.

While modest when compared to $1bn cashmere industry, the segment's presence in Dubai, as well as at other international fashion and trade expos, is a first step towards raising awareness of local products and producers in the Middle East and further afield.

Sustainability considerations

Although greater investment in downstream processing should help maximise industry returns, there may be a limit on how far the sector can expand. After the mineral boom in recent years, the mining sector now occupies large swathes of rural terrain formerly dedicated to herders, which has increased competition for pastoral land in Mongolia.

Added to this are concerns that global warming could impact grazing conditions, as dryer summers and longer, colder winters threaten the supply of free-range feed, which could limit the extent to which Mongolia's goat herds can be expanded.

More sustainable grazing practices and a focus on forage production could help mitigate these concerns, according to local press, with dry fodder reserves able to supplement declining available grassland during harsher months. In addition to bolstering cashmere output, this could also create knock-on opportunities for the local goat, sheep and cattle feed industry.

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10% of buildings in UB at risk from earthquakes

October 20 (GoGo Mongolia) Special Inspection Agency came up with the report that approximately 10% of 3000 public housings and buildings in capital city are at risk of collapse due to lack of regular maintenance or built without earthquake risk estimation.


·         65 housings and buildings at Suhbaatar district

·         54 housings and buildings at Chingiltei district

·         25 housings and buildings at Bayanzurh district

·         29 housings and buildings at Bayangol district

·         61 housings and buildings at Han-Uul district

·         19 housings and buildings at Songinohairhan district - total of 260 buildings

Current building maintenance just includes roof condition improvement, elevator problem fixing and repairing engineering network as well as painting works instead of improving earthquake resistance conditions of the buildings.

Following housings are being demolished as new ones are being constructed.

·         Housings at 1-3rd khoroo of Bayangol district

·         Housing for 27 families located in front of Od cinema, 18th khoroo, Bayangol district

·         1-3rd housings for 48 families located in 19th khoroo, Songinohairhan district

·         1-6th housings located in 6th khoroo, Songinohairhan district

·         44th housing located in 6th khoroo, Bayanzurh district.

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Standing committee backs draft new version of law on int'l treaties

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Wednesday, the parliamentary Standing committee on security and foreign policy discussed and then backed by a majority a draft new wording of the law on international treaties.

Adopted in 1993, the current law on international treaties has been altered twice, in 1998 and 2012. The draft initiator, the Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren said this law should be amended again. "The present law does not say anything about methods of establishing international treaties approved by the Vienna Convention on International Laws, plus there are many problems such as delivering distorted information due to poor understanding about international treaties," he explained, adding the Standing committee recommended working out the draft new wording.

During the discussion, S.Oyun MP asked who would bear a responsibility for possible problems caused by wrong translation. "The draft law reflects a clause on a monitoring over the translation. For example, multilateral treaties or contracts shall be co-translated by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall put a general control," replied N.Ankhbayar, a head of the Human Rights Section at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not be in charge of translating treaties of every topic, it is a work of Ministries, they must translate treaties themes of which relate to the duties," he added.

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OECD offers help in improving legal frameworks on state procurement, mining

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) could develop a cooperation with the government of Mongolia in purchasing of products and upgrading the legal regulations for the mining sector.

Project manager of OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Program Mr Gregory Lecomte said it Tuesday at a meeting with P.Tsagaan, a head of the Presidential Office.

Mr Tsagaan added that the collaboration is also possible in tourism, in cashmere, woolen and knitted products, and in design.

After this the sides noted that a first meeting of the bilateral working group will run Wednesday to discuss projects expected to be co-implemented by our government and the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Program.

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Vice Speaker Tsog attending 133rd Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) One of the Vice Speakers of parliament L.Tsog addressed the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which is running in Geneva of Switzerland.

Mr Tsog stressed that this year's Assembly is a timely action because it allows MPs from 130 countries to discuss problems about refugees and migrants. "The root of these issues can be found through reaching the goals that were adopted by the 70th session of the UN General Assembly for sustainable development until 2030," he stressed.

He also underlined an importance of the 2015 Autumn Session of the OSCE PA that was held under a theme "Role of parliamentarians in strengthening regional cooperation" in September in Ulaanbaatar to consider important issues of the regional security, terrorism, combating human trafficking, refugees, human rights, media freedom, religion and gender freedom.

He said Mongolia will host the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP9) Meeting in April 21-22 of 2016, ahead of the 11th ASEM Summit.

L.Tsog has been accompanied by L.Bold and Ch.Khurelbaatar MPs, and Ts.Narantungalag, a head of the External Relations Section of the Parliamentary Office.

The 133rd IPU Assembly is to conclude on Wednesday.

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Mogi: not sure what labor exchange with Kuwait would mean

Mongolia proposes increasing labor exchange with Kuwait

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) Minister of Labor G.Bayarsaikhan received Monday the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kuwait to Mongolia Mr Khalid Yateem Al-Fadhli at the State House. They discussed how to expand cooperation in the labor sphere.

The Minister thanked Kuwait for helping hand in difficult times for Mongolia. Speaking from his experiences from the previous position as the head of the Mongolian-Kuwaiti friendship group in parliament, Bayarsaikhan noted that Kuwait has "a lot to learn from", starting from the excellent distribution of wealth.

He expressed an interest to expand the cooperation by increasing labor exchange, rather than limiting the interaction within Kuwait's investment and assistance to Mongolia. The Minister suggested that proper cooperation documents are signed between the Ministry of Labor and Kuwait Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.

Since 1962, Kuwait has been providing investment assistances for 84 countries through Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Mongolia is one of the beneficiaries and has implemented four large projects--three on road development and one on Taishir hydro-power plant, highlighted the Ambassador.

The latter said Kuwait is willing to collaborate with the Ministry on all levels. Although Kuwait has a territory of 18 square kilometers and a small population, developments have been advancing with participation of 120 nationalities from around the globe, he said.  

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New French Ambassador to Mongolia Presents Credentials

October 20 ( On October 20, 2015, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to Mongolia Mrs. Elisabeth Barsacq presented her Letter of Credence to the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

Following the ceremony, President Elbegdorj welcomed the newly appointed Ambassador to Mongolia. The President congratulated the Ambassador and noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and France.

President Elbegdorj is scheduled to attend the 38th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in mid-November, in Paris, France. The President mentioned about this visit. He also expressed his belief that the President of France will attend the ASEM-2016 Summit in Ulaanbaatar.

The President expressed Mongolia's interest in expanding the bilateral ties with France in areas such as education, culture, tourism, agriculture and energy. He also expressed gratitude to the French side for reaffirming their support for Mongolia's candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2016-2018.

Ambassador Elisabeth Barsacq noted that in the past 25 years, Mongolia has witnessed remarkable change.

At the conclusion, President Elbegdorj wished Ambassador Elisabeth Barsacq success in her further endeavors.  

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Ambassador of France presents diplomatic credentialsMontsame, October 20


Indonesia, Mongolia vow to enhance bilateral ties

JAKARTA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia and Mongolia has set a joint commission to enhance bilateral ties and strengthen cooperations in various sectors.

Senior Indonesian and Mongolian officials met here on Wednesday to inaugurate the initial Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), paving the way for the two nations to see closer bilateral ties and cooperation in various sectors.

The JCBC of Indonesia and Mongolia was jointly inaugurated by Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister A.M. Fachir and Mongolia State Secretary Damba Gankhuyag in Indonesian foreign Affairs Ministry's premises.

During the meeting, the two senior officials discussed efforts on strengthening bilateral cooperation in several sectors that comprising democracy enhancement, human rights issue, good governance and rule of law, defense and security, economy and trade, agriculture, social culture as well as regional and international cooperation.

The establishment of JCBC was ultimately aimed at digging up the opportunities to further nurture the bilateral relations.

The two nations agreed to conduct reciprocal visits of their senior officials that eventually to improve cooperation enhancement in eradicating terrorism, human trafficking and transnational organized crime.

In economy and trade sector, the two nations agreed to improve economic ties through cooperation enhancement that would be carried out through trade exhibition and investment improvement.

Indonesia and Mongolia saw continuing growths in their two-way trade in the last three years, from 6.59 million U.S. dollars in 2012 to 20.78 million U.S. dollars in 2013 and 23.6 million U.S. dollars in 2014.

The two nations also agreed to enhance cooperation in agriculture sector by encouraging their ministries to improve mutually beneficial cooperation in veterinary and quarantine and market access promotion for agricultural products.

In social and culture sector, the two nations agreed to further improve people-to-people contact and tourism.

Indonesia- Mongolia diplomatic relation was established in 1956. Indonesian president visited Mongolia in 2012, initiated a new phase of the two nations' bilateral relations.

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MFA holds monthly press briefing

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday held its meeting called "Hour of media" to give reports on present situation and foreign policy.

The reports were given by L.Purevsuren, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, by directors and deputy directors of the Ministry's departments and sections. The Minister said the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe will pay a working visit to Mongolia this October 22 by invitation of the President Ts.Elbegdorj. Then, he talked about the President's participation in the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, in the UN Summit on approving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in a thematic discussion within the UN GA.

The Minister also highlighted the first Mongolia-USA-Japan trilateral meeting and the visit of Mr Joachim Gauck, the President of Germany, to Mongolia.

The "Hour of media" meeting of this Ministry will run every month. 

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Health, Education

Adolescents in Mongolia need more mental health services

By Zetty Brake, Communications and External Relations Officer, UNICEF Mongolia

October 9 (UNICEF Mongolia) Bayarmaa* is 15 years old and having a tough time being an adolescent in rural Mongolia. While she has many friends and is doing well in school, Bayarmaa faces a lot of peer pressure from friends, unwanted sexual attention and pressure from boys and family violence at home.

"My parents do not really pay attention to me, and I don't really have anyone to talk to," she explains. "I don't talk to my friends about what is happening. So I come here, to the Adolescent Friendly Health Center, and get counselling and support from professionals".

Since starting to come to center three years ago she has said it has made a lot of difference. "The service is very good and the advice is helpful," she says. "One of the issues at home is that I am not close to my parents and I don't talk to them. I was advised to share some small funny stories with them. I did and it helped create a warmer environment with them and we talk more now".

Bayarmaa is lucky that she was able to receive support and talk to someone about the issues she was facing. In many parts of the country there are very few, if any, mental health services. Even in her town, services are limited. "There are social workers and doctors at school, but they don't have time to see students," she says. "They are not professional and often cannot provide us with the support we need". Sadly in Mongolia many children miss out on the help they need when dealing with mental health issues.

Increasing services

UNICEF and partners identified the need for increased and improved adolescent focused mental health services. In response, UNICEF supported an intensive training of nearly 100 people working directly with adolescents, such as doctors, social workers, teachers and public health specialists, to improve their capacity to deliver mental health services to adolescents in Khuvsgul Aimag (province), northern Mongolia.

Dr. Oyuntsetseg specializes in adolescent health care and works at the Adolescent Friendly Health Center. She attended the training and believes that there is a real need for further training and greater investment of resource into adolescent focused mental health services.

"There is a high demand for counselling and mental health services, and this is only increasing," Dr. Oyuntsetseg says. "There had been a number of devastating cases of self-harm and suicide among adolescents in the province. We really need to reach these adolescents and be able to provide them with the help they need".

Following the training there was a dramatic increase from 2,050 the year before to 4,730 of cases of mental health services being provided to adolescents. In the center Dr. Oyuntsetseg works at they had 862 clients come for counselling and other mental health services.

These numbers are likely to have increased because more services are available. Before the training only 21 places provided counselling services to adolescents, whereas afterwards there were 53 locations including hospitals, schools, and health centers.

Despite this Dr. Oyuntsetseg believes more is needed. "More services are needed, especially in rural and remote areas," she explains. "If possible I would like all the local and soum (sub-province) doctors to be trained, so that they can provide support and services to the adolescents in their local communities."

A growing public health crisis

UNICEF Mongolia's Adolescent Specialist Bolorchimeg Dagva says the increasing demand for mental health services by adolescents is a growing nationwide public health issue.

"Over 20 per cent of adolescents aged 13 to 15 have considered committing suicide during the past 12 months in Mongolia, and nine per cent have attempted suicide at least once according to "Global School-based Student Health Survey-2013" explains Bolorchimeg. "The adolescent mental health issue in Mongolia is a real crisis that can have life-long impacts". 

"We know that adolescents in good mental health, or receiving support for mental health issues, perform better at school and are more likely to successfully make the adjustment to adulthood and become productive members of society," she says. "However, when mental health issues are left unassisted they can lead to lower education outcomes, unemployment, risk-taking behavior, self-harm, all which can have long-term negative effects."

"Investing in adolescent mental health programs and services must be a higher priority on our political agenda and more resources are needed, if we are going to give adolescents the support they need during this vital time," Bolorchimeg argues. "The training was a good first step, but more, much more, is needed. For example the training could be carried out in other parts of the country, increasing the local capacity to support and address adolescent mental health issues. The problem is the lack of funding".

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

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"Living" saint shown to public at Gandan Monastery

October 21 ( The mummy and the body of the "living" saint, agramba (high-ranking monk) Ravsalyn Sanjaijav who lived about 200 years ago during the 1826-1905 is being showed to the public on Oct 21-22 at Gandantegchilen Monastery and the worshipers are enabled to pray.

The stone building was newly constructed at the mountain in Arkhangai aimag where previously kept before and the mummy will be placed at the seat inside on Oct 24-25th.

Ravsalyn Sainjaijav used to take the pulse and treat people through self-made medicines, to heal pain and injures, and to prepare number of disciples for medication and curing.

Mummifying process was believed to be done by extrinsically until today. However, Geser Lama Tseveenraashiin Chultemjamts /1816-1894/ and his discipline Ravsalyn Sainjaijav were assumed tto had mummified themselves with their magic.

It has been 120 years since then. The mountain where the mummies were kept is located in Arhangai aimag and 2733 meters above from sea level.  

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Mummified Monk to be exhibited at Gandan monasteryMontsame, October 21

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Nature, Environment

Police arrests one Ukrainian, two Mongolians caught smuggling 47 falcons

October 21 ( Last Friday a Ukrainian and two Mongolians were arrested in an attempt to smuggle forty seven falcons. A local tipped off the police. The Ukrainian (known as citizen A) and the two from Selenge Province ( M and N) are under investigation by a Special Unit of the 257th Border Forces. According to an official: forty four falcons were hidden in the loft of the citizen N's house. The trade in hunting falcons is restricted by law; the falcon is honored as the national bird of Mongolia.

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Labor, Environment Ministries Sign MOU on Providing More Rangers

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) A memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Ministries of Labor and of Environment, Green Development and Tourism was inked by Ministers G.Bayarsaikhan and N.Battsereg October 20.

This has been done in frames of the implementation of "Green Development Policy", adopted in 2014, and in order to accelerate a realization of "Employed and Well-Paid Mongolian" national program, issued in 2013.

With the signing of MoU, the Ministry of Labor is to undertake responsibilities for determining the required staff and specialists in accordance with the demand in the environmental sphere, collaborating in the staffing process, organizing job fairs, co-hosting trainings for forest friendships and labor unions, preparing cadres for watering and maintaining planted forests, said  G.Bayarsaikhan. "Only eight percent of Mongolia's territory is covered by forests. This 1.2-million ha reduction is a result of a deterioration and human factors," he underlined.

The Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg said his Ministry will be responsible for involving both public and private sectors' staff in the required training on sustainable development, green growth, green work environment and other associated themes; for enhancing the data- collecting and -processing methodologies in green workplaces; conducting pilot studies and ensuring collective between state organizations, civil society and friendship for environment protection.

The MoU also outlines a preparation of forest specialists in vocational training centers in Bulgan, Zavkhan, Selenge, Khovsgol and Khentii aimags, an assistance to formation of new laboratories and installation of new equipment in those centers, a promotion of new specialist to trainings in developed countries and to well-receiving jobs.

According to N.Battsereg, there are more than 1,500 friendships for forest conservation, of which less than ten percent are professionally staffed.

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Paris Grand Slam winners lead IJF rankings

Ulaanbaatar, October 21 (MONTSAME) With gold medals from Paris Grand Slam, which ran last weekend, the Mongolians--State Honored Sportswoman and 2013 World champion M.Urantsetseg and D.Tomorkhuleg IMS--have topped the women's -48kg and men's -66kg divisions, respectively.

This has been shown in the International Judo Federation's latest rankings of judokas released on October 19.

Collecting extra points of 500 thanks to this gold medal, Urantsetseg has 3,410 scores, being followed by Paula Pareto of Argentina (2,861 points). D.Tomorkhuleg has lifted up to the top with 2,274 points. He has been followed by Ukrainian Georgii Zantaraia (2,144 points).

A bronze medalist of the 2015 World Championship D.Sumiya IMS has come second in the women's -57kg weight category with 2,480 points. It has been topped by Romanian Corina Carrioriu (2,520 points).

The 2014 World champion G.Boldbaatar and silver medalist of the 2013 World championship D.Amartuvshin have been fifth and seventh in the men's -60kg category, respectively. S.Nyam-Ochir has gone down to 12th in the men's -73kg, whereas L.Otgonbaatar--has gone up to 13th place in the men's -90kg category.

International master of sports Ts.Munkhzaya (woman) has kept her seventh place with 1,758 points.

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Mongolia to participate in 2015 Paralympic Athletics World Championships

October 21 ( 2015 IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Athletics World Championships is going to be held in Doha, Qatar on October 21-31, 2015.

Mongolian para-athletes departed for Doha on October 19. G.Tsogtgerel, qualified for Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics, and Ts.Battulga will compete in F-57 and F-41 discuss throw events at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships representing Mongolia.

The 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships is qualification competition for Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games, and also set world para-athletes ranking of 2015.

Mongolia participates in IPC Athletics World Championships third time this year since 2013.

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International standard athletics track to be built in Nalaikh

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The cabinet permitted the Minister of Finance B.Bolor to issue funding from the Government reserve fund for value-added tax, warehousing and transportation costs for the new athletic track.

The 400-m long object is being constructed in Nalaikh city, a satellite of Ulaanbaatar, on non-refundable aid from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Solidarity Committee at IOC and from International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The fundament construction commenced in 2014, the track will be commissioned by July of 2016.

An IAAF-certified Italian company- MONDO Sports & Flooring has imported to Mongolia the 320,000 USD standard rubber track.

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Max Group's Mongolian Saturday Breezes Through Laps Ahead of Breeder's Cup

Mongolian Saturday, runner-up in the Woodford Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (gr. IIIT), breezed three furlongs in :37 2/5 at Keeneland Race Course Oct. 20 in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT).

Santiago Aragon, assistant to trainer Enebish Ganbat, was aboard for the work shortly before the track closed for workouts at 10 a.m. (ET).

The 5-year-old gelded son of Any Given Saturday, whose owner Ganbaatar Dagvadorj and trainer are from Mongolia, was purchased for $60,000 from the Gainesway consignment to the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. 

"Everybody is excited," Ganbat said, adding that the owner is expected to attend the Breeders' Cup to watch Mongolian Saturday compete.

Ganbat, who said he began training horses in Mongolia in 1995, is in his fifth year of training in the U.S. He has 12 horses in training for Dagvadorj, who keeps several broodmares in Central Kentucky.

Although much experienced in stakes company, the gelding has yet to win a stakes. The Woodford marked the 11th stakes placing for Mongolian Saturday, who has made 30 starts at 13 race tracks in six states and Ontario, with six wins and earnings of $410,926.

Previous to the Woodford, Mongolian Saturday finished second in the Parx Dash and Turf Monster, both grade III stakes on the turf at Parx Racing, and the West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup Stakes.

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Art, Entertainment

Jantsannorov's "Mongolian Melody" Concert to Be Held in Japan for 3rd Time

October 21 ( A concert entitled "Mongolian Melody", consisting of the compositions of the State Prize winner, People's Artist and composer N.Jantsannorov will take place in Tokyo, on 24th October. The "World Horse Head Fiddle Federation", the "Jantsannorov Foundation", and the Mongolian Embassy in Japan are organizing this concert. This is the third time "Mongolian Melody" is being presented.

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Mongolian cinematographer to work on "Marco Polo, A Young Man in Love" film

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) Producer and photographer D.Angarag has received an invitation to work as a main cameraman on the film production of Paramount's "Marco Polo, A Young Man in Love", to be screened in 2018.

He is to head to Hollywood on this October 28. The film is produced by Enzo Zelocchi, with stars in main roles Al Pacino, Chow Yun-Fat, Mila Kunis and Dwayne Johnson. They are going to shoot the film in the USA and in China.

D.Angarag has previously worked on Mongolian films such as "Dev", "Thief of Mind", "Queen Anu" and "The Mother".

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A Perpetual Student

When Angarag Davaasuren isn't shooting in Mongolia, you can probably find him at the ASC Master Class.

June 2015 (The American Cinematographer) When the ASC convenes its eighth Master Class in Hollywood this month, it will be the first one that Mongolian cinematographer Angarag Davaasuren has missed. He has so far attended every seminar since October 2013, when they were inaugurated.

"The Master Classes get more valuable each time," says Davaasuren. "Each ASC cinematographer has his own unique way to do workshops and lectures, and I learn something new every time."

Shortly before the May Master Class commenced, AC sat down with Davaasuren at the ASC Clubhouse for a chat. His friend and fellow cameraman Sant-amar Erdene assisted with translation. Here are excerpts from the conversation:

American Cinematographer: How did you become a filmmaker?

Angarag Davaasuren: My parents hoped I would have a career as a diplomat, so when I was in high school, they sent me to Japan as an exchange student so I could experience life in another country. While I was in Japan, I took a course in photography and really enjoyed it. When I got back to Mongolia, in 2000, a director named Zolbayr Dorj, the founder of Mongol Film Studio, saw my photos and suggested I become a cinematographer. I discussed it with my parents, and they agreed that I could pursue the profession.

Did you go to film school?

Davaasuren: I got a full scholarship to attend the Beijing Film Academy and moved to China, first to learn the language. We shot everything in Super 16mm, but I did my diploma work with a 35mm Arri camera. For every summer vacation, I went back to Mongolia and worked as a camera assistant and operator at Mongol Film Studio.

Tell us about the film industry in Mongolia.

Davaasuren: When Mongolia was part of the Soviet Union, we had a vibrant filmmaking community. Every director, cinematographer and actor studied film in Moscow. It was the golden age of filmmaking in Mongolia. When Mongolia gained its independence in 1990, the film industry all of a sudden didn't have any resources. But in 2004, a movie theater with digital projection was built in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, and young independent artists began to make movies again; they used video cameras and were mentored by the previous generation of filmmakers. By the time I finished school in Beijing and returned to Mongolia, in 2008, the film industry was beginning to revive. Mongolia now produces 50 to 60 movies a year. We also have an international film festival.

Did you start working as a cinematographer when you returned to Mongolia?

Davaasuren: Yes, and I started working on projects right away. In 2011, I shot the movie Thief of Mind and won an award from the government: I was named a Mongolian Culture Top Artist. Another film I shot, Call of Duty, was about one of the biggest air battles in history, between Mongolia [with Russia] and Japan. We made that movie for the younger generation so they wouldn't forget history — and to get them interested in watching movies! One of the biggest problems in Mongolia is a lack of gear. Camera and lighting equipment are in very short supply. It has started to improve a little in the last three or four years, but there are still no rental companies.

How did you find out about the ASC Master Class?

Davaasuren: I became a member of the Australian Cinematographers Society in 2010, and I found out about the ASC Master Class through Australian Cinematographer magazine. I signed up for the first one. My goal was to learn about digital cinematography because when I attended film school, we used only film. I wanted to learn more about digital cameras and just keep up with the latest technologies. That first ASC Master Class did all that and more. I learned what's important when looking at a digital camera, how to make adjustments, how to do digital color correction, and many other things. I liked the class so much that I signed up for the next one.

And you've attended every one since then. What have you learned by enrolling so many times?

Davaasuren: I learn new things at every master class; it's not just about technology. I like that the classes are more interactive than any other class I've taken. The instructors teach based on their experience, so it's much more useful than reading a book. For example, Bill Bennett [ASC] has taught me a lot about shooting cars because he is an expert in shooting car commercials. To be able to sit face-to-face with Dean Cundey [ASC] and hear him talk about how he shot Back to the Future — there was nothing like that in school.

What else have you gained from the master classes?

Davaasuren: Relationships with many great ASC cinematographers! I've made sure to meet as many of them as I could. I've spent a good amount of time with Richard Crudo, Bill Bennett, Gabriel Beristain, Curtis Clark, Isidore Mankofsky and John Simmons, among others, and I've become friends with many of the other students, who are artists and professionals from all over the world. If you have a passion for film, the ASC Master Class is where you can meet people with that same passion. I'm very grateful to all the ASC cinematographers who've taught the master classes, and to everyone else who has helped to create this unique and useful experience. What I've learned has been important not only to me as a filmmaker, but also to the growth of the Mongolian film industry.

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Ascot teachers take minibus to Mongolia

October 21 (The Villager) A TRIO of teachers from an Ascot school have successfully travelled more than 12,000km to deliver a minibus full of clothes, shoes and sports equipment to a Mongolian orphanage.

Lucy Williams, Jeremy Ward and Mark Burley, all senior members of staff at Papplewick School, in Windsor Road, took on their challenge which encompassed 20 countries in Europe and Asia in aid of the Lotus Children's Centre over the course of the summer holidays.

The centre provides refuge for around 100 vulnerable and abused children in Mongolia and takes part in out-reach projects in the area helping in the development and future of children and young people.

The intrepid trio encountered a few challenges along the way, which most notably included being turned away on the Turkmenistan border after their transit visas had expired.

The trio had been travelling over to Turkmenistan from Azerbaijan on a cargo ship but the journey took six days rather than 24 hours.

When they arrived in Kazakhstan for the second time, they were held at customs again and had to unload every bag, box and toilet roll to be put through a scanner.

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