Monday, December 14, 2015

[TPO opts out of Zuun Mod; MMC extends Thiess contract; JC takes recess on Gatsuurt; CPI, import, export down; and JC wants Enkhbayar in cabinet]

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Monday, December 14, 2015

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Overseas Market

TRQ up 3.7% since announcement, Dec 9-11, to US$2.52

Billions set to flow for Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi expansion in Mongolia

December 14 (The Sydney Morning Herald) A multibillion-dollar finance package for the expansion of Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi mine could be approved this week as the Rio subsidiary in charge of the Mongolian mine was expected to update the market on Thursday morning.

Turquoise Hill Resources, which is 50.79 per cent owned by Rio, has long forecast that the finance agreement will be signed before the end of 2015.

Several banks told Fairfax Media that they expected an announcement on financing this week.

The Oyu Tolgoi expansion, which is focused on copper, gold and silver, has been ranked by Deutsche analyst Paul Young as the world's best undeveloped copper project and is probably Rio's most important growth asset.

A $US4.2 billion finance package was secured for the expansion in early 2013, but commitments from most of the banks involved expired at the end of 2014 after multiple delays caused by the fractious relationship between Rio and the Mongolian government.

With the relationship between the company and the country repaired, many of those banks are expected to resume their support this week.

While the size of the finance package is expected to be about $US4 billion ($5.5 billion), some close to the project believe development may be more gradual than the original plan and the full ramp-up of the expanded mine will potentially take up to 10 years.

With an economic slump in Mongolia, the local government would want the expansion approved as soon as possible to provide jobs and revenue.

The Australian government's Export Finance and Insurance Corporation is expected to resume its support for the project on the basis that small and medium-sized Australian companies win contracting work on the project, while the Canadian government's Export Development Canada is also expected to be on board.

The US government's export credit agency was originally committed to the raising. However, it is unclear whether it would resume its support given it was only re-authorised by the US Congress on December 4 after being dissolved in July.

Other International banks believed to be involved include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and BNP Paribas.

Two World Bank agencies are expected to support the new finance package: the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

An open pit is operating at Oyu Tolgoi, but the underground expansion will target a larger ore body with copper grades that are believed to be four times better.

Oyu Tolgoi is expected to fill the gap left by Rio's Kennecott Utah Copper mine, which is nearing the end of its life.

Rio copper boss Jean-Sebastien Jacques has predicted a copper shortage in the first half of 2017, while MMG boss Andrew Michelmore forecasts a shortage as early as 2016.

BHP Billiton is more bearish, predicting copper markets will be in surplus for another four years. The red metal was fetching $US2.13 per pound on Friday, its best price in four weeks but still near six-year lows.

Recent weakness in copper and iron ore prices have taken their toll on Rio shares, which have fallen 22 per cent since October 9 to $43.06 on Friday.

Turquoise Hill Resources, which is listed on the Toronto exchange, has lost 37 per cent of its share value since May 19.

Rio Tinto declined to comment.

Link to article


Rio Tinto close to A$6bn finance deal for Mongolian mineThe Australian, December 14


Turquoise Hill jumps on 2016 open pit guidance

December 9 ( Shares in Turquoise Hill Resources (TSE,NYSE:TRQ) jumped nearly 5% in early trade on Wednesday after the company announced 2016 production and financial guidance for its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia.

By early afternoon Turquoise Hill gave up most of those gains but stayed in positive territory affording the company a $4.9 billion market value on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is down 21% in 2015, broadly in line with the price of its main commodity.

Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise Hill owns 66% of the massive project in the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian government the rest.

The Vancouver-based company said the Oyu Tolgoi open pit is expected to produce 175,000 to 195,000 tonnes of copper and 210,000 to 260,000 ounces of gold in concentrates for 2016 (the mine also produces small quantities of silver).

The reduction in gold compared to 2015 is the result of mining in lower-grade gold areas and processing lower-grade stockpiled ore according to the company which added that the majority of 2016 gold production is expected in the first half of the year.

Operating cash costs for 2016 are expected to be approximately $800 million, lower than previous guidance. Turquoise Hill said capital expenditures for 2016 on a cash-basis are expected to be approximately $300 million, of which approximately $280 million relates to sustaining capital.

Capex costs exclude ongoing work relating to an underground expansion. Turquoise Hill said it will provide capital guidance for 2016 once a final 'notice to proceed' has been received.

Rio Tinto, which owns just over half of Turquoise Hill, is close to making a final decision on the $5 billion-plus underground development that would significantly increase Rio's exposure to copper, while reducing its reliance on iron ore.

Oyu Tolgoi phase II is a truly giant project – the latest feasibility study including the underground expansion shows recoverable copper of 25 billion pounds, 12 million ounces of gold and 78 million ounces of silver over a mine life of 41 years.

Melbourne-based Rio announced yesterday it is on track to spend $500 million less this year on capex projects and will reduce its 2016 budget by around $1 billion to $5 billion.

Link to article

Link to TRQ release


TD Securities Upgrades Turquoise Hill Resources to BUY, Increases Target Price to C$, December 11


ERD up 25% since announcement, +25% to C$0.15

Erdene Intersects Multiple High-Grade Gold-Bearing Structures at Bayan Khundii

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2015) – Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to report high-grade gold intersections from the Company's recently completed, maiden drill program at its wholly-owned Bayan Khundii gold project in southwest Mongolia. Results reported herein are for the first six of 15 drill holes.


·         Five zones of high-grade gold mineralization intersected within broad, low grade zones

·         Visible gold observed in multiple intervals

·         187 g/t over 1 m within 7 m of 27.5 g/t

·         Five of the six holes returned greater than 7 g/t gold over 1 to 2 m intervals

·         Seven, sub-parallel mineralized zones intersected within 30 m of surface

·         Mineralized zones remain open along strike and at depth

·         Visible gold observed in step-out holes at Gold Hill and Striker Zones (assays pending)

"With high-grade gold, in multiple structures, identified at surface and now confirmed through drill intersections at shallow depths, Bayan Khundii continues to emerge as a very promising new gold discovery," said Peter Akerley, President and CEO of Erdene. "Pending drill results will provide initial indications of continuity from the two most prominent prospects, Gold Hill and Striker."

The following table summarizes the drill results received to date from the first six of 15 drill holes from the Q4 2015 Bayan Khundii exploration program.

Table 1 – Bayan Khundii drill results

Link to full release


TPO last traded A$0.18 on October 27

Tian Poh Elects Not to Acquire Zuun Mod Mo-Cu Project from Erdene

December 9, Tian Poh Resources Ltd. (ASX:TPO) --

Key Points:

      On 15 February 2015, Tian Poh Resources Limited (ASX: TPO) announced it had secured an exclusive option until 11 June 2015 to acquire 51% of the Zuun Mod Molybdenum-Copper deposit (the Project) from Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX: ERD). This option was extended for 30 days to 11 July 2015. The option was further extended and exercisable until 9th December 2015 to facilitate additional due diligence and drilling.

      TPO has completed its due diligence and has also conducted 1,000m of drilling on the project.

      TPO has elected not to exercise its option and, under the terms of the Agreement, the US$200,000 convertible debenture purchased by TPO will be converted into shares of Erdene Resource Development Corp at C$0.14 per share.

Link to release


MMC (975) trading -3.9% Monday morning at HK$0.173

Thiess Awarded Extension at Ukhaa Khudag (UHG) Coal Mine in Mongolia

December 8 -- Thiess has been awarded a four-year contract extension by Energy Resources LLC at the Ukhaa Khudag (UHG) coal mine, delivering up to $1 billion of revenue during the next seven years.

Located in southern Mongolia, the contract extension complements the current eight year agreement signed in 2008 and results in Thiess continuing mine operations and maintenance delivery until 2022.

CIMIC Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marcelino Fernández Verdes said the contract reinforces the positive working relationship between CIMIC's global mining contractor Thiess and Energy Resources LLC over many years.

"It demonstrates Thiess' ability to deliver world class mining solutions to our clients across our global platform, irrespective of location," Mr Fernández said.

Thiess Managing Director Michael Wright said the extension at UHG coal mine is a testament to Thiess' strong performance at the mine since it started in 2008.

"We are delighted to extend our partnership with Energy Resources LLC and to continue our focus on delivering cost efficiencies and innovation at the UHG mine. It is the quality of our people, and their commitment to safety and operational efficiencies that drive value for our client Energy Resources," Mr Wright said.

Thiess is responsible for mining services at the UHG coal mine, including fleet operation and maintenance for overburden stripping, coal mining and blast drilling under an alliance structure, with involvement also in mine planning and health, safety and environmental management.

Link to release


MMC Announces Resignation of Batsaikhan Purev as Non-Executive Director

The Board announces that Mr. Batsaikhan Purev has resigned from his position as non-executive Director with effect from 30 November 2015.

December 9 -- The board (the "Board") of directors (the "Directors") of Mongolian Mining Corporation (the "Company") announces that it received a letter of resignation from Mr. Batsaikhan Purev ("Mr. Purev") on 9 December 2015 resigning his position as a non-executive Director with effect from 30 November 2015.

Mr. Purev resigned from the Board due to his other business engagements requiring more of his time and dedication which may affect his time commitment to the Company. Mr. Purev has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the Board and is not aware of any matters in connection with his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company.

The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Purev for his efforts and valuable contributions to the Company during his tenure of office and wishes him success in his future endeavours.

Link to release



CG closed +2.45% Thu-Fri at C$7.96

JC Caucus Takes Five-Day Recess on Gatsuurt Bill

December 10 ( Gatsuurt State ownership discussion was on the agenda of today's Plenary Session of the State Great Khural.

Members of the Justice coalition have proposed more time needed before the discussions could continue on Gatsuurt State Ownership and Drafting of the State Great Khural Resolution on this matter. MPs have asked to take five days break and the Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold has approved the request accordingly.

Moreover, the members of the same coalition proposed the five days break for the discussions of the State Great Khural Resolution on Anti-Corruption and Justice Program draft.

The break has been reasoned by MP Z.Bayanselenge as there was no response from Ch.Unurbayar, Advisor to the President of Mongolia on Legal matters, on request to get more information as the draft has been submitted by the President of Mongolia on 19th of November of this year.

Link to article


XAM flat since announcement at A$0.12

Xanadu Mines Completes A$0.5 Million Share Purchase Plan

December 10 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (Xanadu or the Company) refers to the Share Purchase Plan (SPP) announced on 12 November 2015 and dispatched to eligible shareholders on 19 November 2015, closed on 7 December 2015.

The Company advises that 4,138,074 fully paid ordinary shares under the SPP were issued and allotted today at $0.125 per share, the same price that applied to the placement announced by Xanadu on 12 November 2015. The shares issued under the SPP will rank equally with existing Xanadu shares. The total funds raised under the SPP is $517,259.25 and will be used to reduce the Kharmagtai deferred acquisition consideration and support a winter exploration program at the Kharmagtai project.

An Appendix 3B in respect of the quotation of these shares is attached. The issued share capital of Xanadu subsequent to the SPP is 435,016,300 fully paid ordinary shares.

Link to release

Link to Change of Director's Interest Notice x 4


TER flat at A$0.009

TerraCom Company Update

11 December 2015 -- TerraCom Limited (TerraCom or the Company) (ASX: TER) wishes to advise that despite the ongoing challenging global conditions for the resource sector, the Company remains focused on delivering the 2015 strategic review, both on a corporate level and on an operational level in Mongolia and Queensland, including now the potential expansion in to Indonesia.

The following announcement is an update of activities within the Company in relation to:

-       New Mongolian Licence Granted in South Gobi

-       BNU Operational and Market Update

-       Business Development

New Mongolian Licence in the South Gobi

South Gobi XV-018513 Exploration License

The Mongolian subsidiary Terra Energy LLC (Terra Energy) has been granted a new exploration licence by the Minerals Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM). The licence was successfully acquired through a low cost bidding process with MRAM and local community engagement. Terra Energy now holds 15 mineral licences in Mongolia across three project areas in the South Gobi, Middle Gobi and Uvs Provinces.

The South Gobi exploration license XV- 018513 complements Terra Energy's current coking coal assets in Mongolia. The license located in the South Gobi coal basin is in close proximity to existing Terra Energy mining and exploration assets and 81.5 km east of the Terra Energy LLC Baruun Noyon UUL coking coal mine. The 18 km2 licence has been granted for a term of 3 years. Following the 3-year term, a further 3 years can be granted in stages, up to 12 years, following approval by MRAM.

Operational and Marketing Update

The BNU hard coking coal mine operating in the South Gobi region continues with the ongoing implementation of the Life of Mine Plan (LOMP). The operation is continuing to deliver a superior metallurgical coal product to end users in China.

The operation introduced the BNU product to market at the commencement of 2015. While achieving strong sales prices, the assumption from the Company was a consolidation upon the mid-year sales price on a month to month basis taking into account the strong value in use and the steady increases in coal volumes as per the production forecast.

Business Development

As per the strategic direction of the Company, a number of cash producing operating assets have been identified as potential additions to the Company's portfolio to support the BNU mine in Mongolia.


A strategic opportunity has arisen for the Company, through a third party, to assume their negotiated position to acquire a mature mining operation. The operation of the mine is currently suspended and the facilities on care and maintenance.


An exciting, operating metallurgical coal project on the island of Kalimantan in Indonesia is under detailed investigation by the Company for potential acquisition.


Terra Energy Management has an extremely strong operational and project delivery reputation within Mongolia. The team is currently in an active discussion with an existing mine site owner / operator, with an objective of Terra Energy taking over the operation as the 'mine operator'.

If successful, this activity could supply the Company with supplemental positive cash flow from the Mongolian Business Unit.

Link to release


Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting and Independent Expert's Report, 12 January 2016


Deutsche Bank Becomes Substantial Holder in Origo with 6.4%

December 9, Origo Partners Plc (AIM:OPP) --

Link to notice


KRI closed -2.78% to C$0.35

Khan Files Fiscal Year End 2015 Financial Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2015) - Khan Resources Inc. (CSE:KRI) ("Khan" or "the Company") announced today that it has filed its financial statements and management discussion and analysis for the year ended September 30, 2015 on SEDAR and has posted these documents to its website

Highlights for the year include:

International arbitration award - On March 2, 2015 the international arbitration tribunal rendered an award to Khan as compensation for the Government of Mongolia's illegal actions in relation to the cancellation of Khan's uranium licenses in 2009. As of the date of the approval of this MD&A, December 10, 2015, the award aggregates to approximately $105.6 million (US) with interest currently accruing at a rate of 2.78% or $7,256 per day (US). In Canadian dollars at December 10, the value of the total award was $144 million.

On June 12, 2015 the Company filed a petition for confirmation of its international arbitration award in the US District Court in the District of Columbia. Mongolia responded to the petition by filing on September 4, 2015 a motion to dismiss or stay the Company's petition. These were followed by memoranda by the Company and by Mongolia on September 29 and October 13 respectively in support of the corresponding arguments. In addition, Mongolia has requested a verbal hearing of the arguments. The Judge on the case has not yet made any rulings. When confirmed, the award will be executable in the US as a court judgement and the Company can begin a process of seizure of non-immune Mongolian sovereign assets in the US. In a case with a number of parallels to Khan's case, the US District Court granted on November 20, 2015 Gold Reserve Inc.'s petition to confirm their international arbitration award against Venezuela for the expropriation of Gold Reserve's gold concessions. Gold Reserve's petition was filed approximately six months prior to Khan's petition.

On July 9, 2015, the Government of Mongolia filed a notice in the French Court of Appeal in Paris for annulment of the international arbitration Award. The Government of Mongolia filed their arguments in support of the annulment on December 9, 2015. The Company's counsel is currently reviewing those arguments and has until April 9, 2016 to file the defense.

A meeting was held in early December with representatives of the Government of Mongolia to discuss the outstanding obligations of the Government of Mongolia.

Cash - A non-brokered private placement was completed on June 2, 2015.The Company issued 5 million common shares at a price of $0.40 per share and received aggregate gross proceeds of $2 million. The proceeds of the private placement are being used to advance proceedings to enforce the collection of the arbitration award and to defend the annulment proceedings and for general corporate purposes.

During the year ended September 30, 2015 the Company received proceeds of $726,000 from the exercise of share options by its directors, officers and employees.

Cash balances are also being supplemented by the sale of investments.

Investments - The fair value of Plateau Uranium Inc. ("Plateau") shares held at September 30, 2015 was $316,587. During the year ended September 30, 2015 the Company sold 750,000 Plateau shares for proceeds of $208,500. The Company's remaining holdings represent 2.3% of the 40 million Plateau outstanding common shares. Plateau was previously called Macusani Yellowcake Inc. ("Macusani"). The name change along with an 8 for 1 share consolidation occurred on April 30, 2015.

The following table summarizes financial results of the Company for the fourth quarters and the years ended September 30, 2015 and 2014.

Link to release


VKA trading +30.77% today at A$0.017

Viking Mining: ARL Continues to Make Payments for Akoase Gold Project

December 11 -- The Board of Viking Mines Limited (Viking: VKA.AU) advises that Akoase Resources Limited (ARL) has continued making payments on its sale contract obligations to pay the second instalment of US$1,710,000 as required under the Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Akoase Gold Project in Ghana, West Africa (Sale Agreement).

To date ARL has paid Viking US$850,000 of the second instalment due amount within the constraints of current Chinese central Bank restrictions. Viking and ARL remain in regular dialogue regarding the timing of ARL's payment of the remaining overdue US$860,000.

Notwithstanding the above ARL's due diligence period has expired. As a result Viking has commenced preparing documentation for the transfer of the sale tenements and government approval of the same.

Akoase Sale Transaction Details

Link to release


WOF last traded A$0.009 Friday

Wolf Petroleum: Expiry of Listed Options

December 14, Wolf Petroleum Ltd. (ASX:WOF) – Official quotation of the Listed Options will cease 22 December 2015.

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE Weekly Report: Top 20 -1%, ALL -0.74%, ₮233.5 Million Stocks, ₮4.4 Billion T-Bills

December 11 (MSE) --

Link to report


10 Billion 12-Week 13.86% Discounted T-Bills on Offer via MSE

December 10 (MSE) Buy order of 12 weeks Government retail bonds with annual interest of 13.86% starts from 09 December 2015 until 15 December 2015 through brokerage companies.

Click here to see detailed information of Government retail bonds. 

Link to release


Novel Investment Fills Entire 5 Billion 52-Week 14.676% Discounted T-Bill Orders

December 8 (MSE) On 8 December 2015, the bond orders of 52 weeks Government bonds with 14.676% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 50,091 or MNT5.0 billion. 

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

Companies' name



Novel Investment






Golomt Securities





Link to release

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BoM MNT Rates: Friday, December 11 Close

























































































































Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,990 Sell ₮1,999), Khan (Buy ₮1,990 Sell ₮1,999), Golomt (Buy ₮1,989 Sell ₮1,999), XacBank (Buy ₮1,991.5 Sell ₮1,995.5), State Bank (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮1,999)

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

Link to rates


BoM declines USD bid/ask, CNY bid offers, accepts $13.69m MNT, CNY 20m swap offers

December 10 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on December 10th , 2015 the BOM has received bid offers of USD 10.9 million in a rate between MNT 1994.00-1997.71, selling bid offers of USD 6.5 million in a rate between MNT 1999.50-1999.80, bid offers of CNY 16.9 million in a rate between MNT 309.52-311.06 from local commercial banks respectively. The BOM has not accepted any offers.

On 10th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offer equivalent to USD 13.69  million, Swap agreement extending offer equivalent to CNY 20.0 million from local commercial banks respectively and the BOM has accepted the offers.

Link to release


BoM issues 132 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -11.4% to ₮464.1 billion

December 11 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 132 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


10 Billion 12-Week 13.86% Discounted T-Bills Sold with 12 Billion Bids

December 9 (BoM) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 1.0 billion MNT. Face value of 10.0 billion /out of 12.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 13.860%.

Link to release


Mongolia Nov. CPI Drops to 2.9% Y/y for Slowest Rise Since 2009

December 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's Nov. CPI increased 0.2% m/m and was up 2.9% y/y, the slowest rise since Oct 2009 when inflation was 0.9%, the National Statistical Office says Friday in statement.

* M2 money supply was 9.8t tugrik at end-Nov, a 0.9% decrease m/m and 1.2% fall y/y

* Currency in circulation was 710.5b tugrik at end-Nov, a 3.9% decrease m/m and a 7.6% fall y/y

* Loans outstanding were 11.9t tugrik at end-Nov, down 6% y/y

* Principal in arrears totaled 899.5b tugrik at end-Nov, a 4.4% increase m/m and a 102.3% increase y/y

* Non-performing loans totaled 849.8b tugrik at end-Nov, a 0.7% decrease m/m and a 37.1% increase y/y

* Total external trade at end-Nov. fell 22.8% y/y to $7.74b, a drop of $2.3b

* Jan.-Nov. exports fell $947m or 18.2% y/y and imports plunged $1.3b or 27.7% y/y

* Trade surplus at end-Nov. was $748.2m compared with $358m surplus a year earlier

* November industrial production index decreased 10% m/m and 7.7% y/y



Mongolia Minerals Exports Slump 28% in 2015 to $3.36b

December 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's mineral exports declined to $3.36b in the first 11 months of the year from $4.32b a year earlier, the National Statistical Office says in statement on

* Coal exports decreased 23.6% to 12.9m tons from 16.9m tons; value decreases to $509.3m from $760.1m

* Copper concentrate exports increase 6.5% to 1.34m tons from 1.25m tons; value decreases to $2.07b from $2.29b

* Gold exports rose 13.1% y/y to 9.5 tons from 8.4t; value rose to $356.6m from $342.7m

* Crude oil exports rose 16.8% to 7.39m barrels from 6.33m barrels yr earlier; value falls to $359.9m from $601.6m

* Total exports were $4.24b in the first 11 months of the year compared with $5.2b yr earlier



Mongolia's 'next chapter' is infrastructure, says Erdenes Mongol CEO

TOKYO, December 10 (Nikkei Asian Review) -- The commodity supercycle is dead, according to some estimates. For a resource-based economy like Mongolia, heavily dependent on its coal-hungry neighbor China, that cannot bode well for the future. Yet Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, CEO of the country's largest state-owned resource developer, Erdenes Mongol, says Mongolia is entering a new chapter of development, and that it is too early to write the country off.

During a recent visit to Tokyo, the former Asian Development Bank energy specialist and George Washington University graduate spoke with the Nikkei Asian Review about the business opportunities in the "Country of Blue Skies."

Q: Mongolia marked double-digit GDP growth between 2011 and 2013, but the International Monetary Fund sees that slowing to around 3.5% in 2015, 2016 and 2017. What is your message to potential investors?

A: My key message is "mining leading to infrastructure." A lot of people are aware of Mongolia's mining potential, that we have good resources in coal, copper, iron ore and gold. In my view, the next chapter of the story is infrastructure. By building railways, power plants, transmission lines and water infrastructure, we will be able to bridge our market with neighboring markets, such as China, Japan, the Koreas, India and Southeast Asian countries. If you look at Mongolia in 10, 15, 20 years, there are a lot of opportunities for engineering and construction companies.

Mongolia is like an island that contains many important materials for industrial use. That island needs to be connected with the mainland, the market. Railways will play an important part.

My company owns 100% of Tavan Tolgoi, a world-class coal deposit. We export our products through trucks -- many trucks. Once a railway network is established, we can cut costs by 50-70%. Then we can effectively compete with Australia and Indonesia, our main competitors.

Q: Are there any railway plans?

A: There is a comprehensive plan for building a railway network in phases. When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Mongolia recently, he was interested in how Japanese companies and financiers could get involved in a railway that connects Tavan Tolgoi to the eastern border of Mongolia.

It is important that we invest and expand our mines so that they reach a certain capacity, and the railways will make economic sense. Then we will be able to attract international development banks, commercial banks and credit agencies.

Q: What has been the response from the companies you are meeting?

A: Several Japanese companies have had good experiences investing in Mongolia. In 1996, KDDI and Sumitomo Corp. teamed up with Mongolian company Newcom to create the largest mobile phone operator, MobiCom. It grew from half a million customers to 1 million, and now close to 3 million. It brought to Mongolia real-time communication in Internet, voice and SMS. It changed the way Mongolians live, and was a superb investment that gave huge returns. Similarly, Japanese companies are interested in infrastructure.

Q: There is reason to be concerned about investing in resources at this time.

A: Markets are adjusting to new conditions, especially with the demand [slowdown] in China. That said, Oyu Tolgoi -- another world-class copper and gold mine that we own 34% of -- will soon lock up financing worth $6 billion over the next five years to build an underground mine. Twenty international banks will take part, and it will be the world's largest project finance package for a mining project. Even in tough times, if you have the right strategy you will be able to attract investment. Once the market picks up in a couple of years, as is expected, we will be ready.

Q: Will Chinese demand return?

A: There is a new approach in China, which is the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. It will create a new wave of projects and finance. It could give us access to markets beyond China in the least costly way for us, 20 years down the road. So we want to ride with it.

Link to article


Mongolia Signs Agreement with Chinese Firm for Erdenet Power Plant Expansion

December 11 (UB Post) The General Manager of China's Hunan Industrial Equipment Installation (HIEI) and State Secretary of the Ministry of Energy D.Delgertsogt signed a contractor agreement for the expansion of Erdenet Thermal Power Plant (ETPP) on December 9.

The contractor will execute the expansion, including a 50 megawatt turbo generator, for 53.8 million USD in investments within one year. Around 85 percent of the investment will be made through a concessional loan from China, while 15 percent will be financed by Development Bank of Mongolia.

In addition to installing the turbo generator, the plant's chemical and water treatment equipment will be renovated, power supply and other appliances will be upgraded, and a new water cooling station will be built. Officials say that expanding the power plant's capacity by 50 megawatts could double or triple energy production, compensate for shortages in electric power supply, as well as reduce the amount of power being imported from the Russian Federation.

Officials also underlined that the expansion of ETPP will lower power production costs by 41.32 MNT, setting a standard cost of 67.5 MNT per kWh. Estimates show that the plant will see profits of 7.5 billion MNT annually, and the initial investment in the upgrades will be recovered in 7.5 years. Project supporters say the plant will be able to fully provide electricity to over 100,000 residents of Erdenet in 25 to 30 years.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Mogi: the letter also wants current Deputy PM Ts. Oyunbaatar to take vacant health minister seat

JC Caucus Requests Appointing Chairman N.Enkhbayar as Deputy PM

December 10 ( Today, the Deputy Director of the "Justice Union Group" in Parliament, Z.Bayanselenge, presented the request, for the appointment of N.Enkhbayar as the Deputy Prime Minister to Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg. The request also included that current Deputy Prime Minister Ts.Oyunbaatar voluntarily vacate his seat. Ts.Oyunbaatar has voiced this intention to the Prime Minister.

When we asked Ts.Oyunbaatar about this, he answered that: "Yes it is true. The request has just been presented. At this moment, I cannot predict what the decision of the Prime Minister will be".  So far, Mr Saikhanbileg, has not said whether he accepts this request or not.

Link to article


Will N.Enkhbayar come to power again?Montsame, December 10


MP D.Terbishdagva declines Justice Coalition Caucus leadership post

December 10 ( The members of the "Justice Union Group" proposed to appoint D.Terbishdagva as the director of the group; D.Terbishdagva has, however, not accepted the proposal.

Currently, N.Battsereg, the Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism is leading the "Justice Union Group". Since becoming a minister he has proposed relinquishing the position of director of the group. The "Justice Union Group" consists of the members of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP). The next parliamentary election is soon approaching; subsequently the MPRP considers that one of its members should be director of the "Justice Union Group". Technically, of course, a member of the MNDP could lead. This issue is expected to be solved in the short term.

Link to article


21 political parties demonstrate against "black" election machines

December 11 (UB Post) The representatives of 21 political parties united their voices in protest, demanding a discussion of changes to the Law on Elections, and marched from Victory Square (Mogi: that's the old communist name, now called Independence Square) to Chinggis Square yesterday.

The protesters demonstrated under the theme "For a fair election, without voting machine fraud", and held signs with strongly worded slogans. They burned a voting machine effigy as they started their march from the Victory Square.

"A total of 21 political parties that are registered with the Supreme Court submitted the bill on elections, but it hasn't been discussed yet by the government. The next election will be ruled according to a law drafted in 2011 if the parties can't make changes to the law. The political parties are opposing it and believe it is fair to conduct a hand counting of ballots and record voting on camera during the operation of voting machines, so the any doubt that existed in the last election will be resolved," said the President of the Mongolian Youth Federation, G.Temuulen.

He added that they required a response from the Speaker of Parliament within two days, but the Speaker has not yet given a response. For the next step of demonstrations, protesting political party members say they are going to announce a recess and build a ger in front of the National History Museum until the Cabinet resigns.

Link to article


Banks Suspend 8% Mortgage Loans Over Constitutional Court Decision

December 11 ( On December 10, 2015, commercial banks of Mongolia made a decision to suspend mortgage loans due to the recent statement made by the Constitutional Court of Mongolia during its Ikh Suudal (Grand Seat, Grand Council) session held on December 07.

The Constitutional Court of Mongolia has concluded that the Real Estate Collateral Law conflicts with article 171 and section 171.2 of Civil Law and also the Constitution of Mongolia.

Mr. Onon ORKHON, President of Mongolian Bankers Association said: "The decision of the Constitutional Court of Mongolia is very harmful act to Mongolian commercial banks. It eliminates legal environment for the Housing Mortgage Program at 8 percent of annual interest rate. Therefore, commercial banks of Mongolia are announcing its decision to suspend mortgage loan due to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Mongolia in order not to put commercial banks and Mongolian citizens at risk."

According to the suspension, citizens who are already joined the Housing Mortgage Program with interest rate of 8 percent per annum will not be effected but people who were applying for the program will be rejected.

As a response, the Democratic Party (DP) and "Justice Coalition" of MPRP-MNDP made a counter statement in regard to the decision of the Constitutional Court on December 10. They said that the Real Estate Collateral Law does not conflict with the Constitution of Mongolia and its article and sections conflicting with the Civil Law must be amended in order to continue the Housing Mortgage Program.

Link to article


Sustainable Development Concept Discussed at Standing Committee

Ulaanbaatar, December 11 (MONTSAME) Parliamentary Standing committee on state structure hosted a discussion themed "Long-term sustainable development concept of Mongolia for 2016-2030" at the State House on Friday.

Present were also invited representatives of senior political and social figures such as Sh.Gungaadorj, T.Ninjin, B.Davaasambuu, D.Sodnom and O.Byambajav.

N.Enkhbayar, a member of sub-group in charge of formulating the sustainable development concept, made a brief introduction of the draft concept. Accordingly, the expected results of pursuing the concept are indicated by 25 parameters, including average economic growth, national income per capita, human development index, poverty rate and competitiveness of the country.

The concept will be realized in three stages--2016-2020, 2020-2025 and 2025-2030. By implementing the sustainable development concept, Mongolia will become one of the leading countries among middle-income states, have average minimum economic growth of 6.6 and will achieve national income per capita of 17,500 USD by 2030, estimated he sub-group.

Link to article


Law on Legal Violations Approved Replacing Administrative Responsibility Law

December 7 ( During the afternoon session on 4th December, Parliament concluded the final discussion on the "Legal Violation Law" and other related law projects, which were presented on 5th February 2015; the members accepted it with 79.5% votes. Under this law, the penalties for breaking laws, for example, the "Road Safety Law", the "Education Law", and other provisions (212 in total) are to be evaluated on a unit basis; one unit being equal to MNT 2000. The "Legal Violation Law" is set to come into force on 1st September 2016, thereby nullifying the "Administrative Responsibility Law".

Link to article


Two New Members Appointed to Nat'l Council on Social Insurance

Ulaanbaatar, December 3 (MONTSAME) A plenary meeting of the parliamentary session of Thursday appointed new members of the National Council of Social Insurance through a closed voting.

A majority of the MPs selected a general director of the "UCG" LLC D.Ganbayar and a general director of the "Taij" Group L.Ganpurev. They have been preceded by J.Batbayar and D.Uuriintuya. Following the appointment, the plenary meeting started discussing a conclusion of the Constitutional Court about whether some clauses of the law on pledge of real estate violate clauses of the Constitution.

Link to article


Mongolians living abroad given access to social insurance scheme

December 7 ( Mongolian citizens, living abroad will be able to make social insurance payments via an online system linked to the "State Bank". This means that life guarantees for the 100,000 Mongolians living in 38 foreign countries around the world will be provided. The Director of the Social Insurance Administration, Ts.Urtnasan, said that: "There are 600,000 people who do not have social insurance of which 160,000 people are currently living in foreign countries. The preliminary work co-operating with the "State Bank" has started. For example, many Mongolians are living and working in South Korea. At present, approximately, USD 1 million in annual revenue to the Mongolian Social Insurance Fund comes from South Korea".

Link to article


Draft amendment submitted on legal status of civil reps in court

Ulaanbaatar, December 11 (MONTSAME) The President's advisor on human rights and legal policy Ch.Onorbayar Friday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft amendment to the law on the legal status of civil representatives in court.

This law was adopted by parliament three years ago in order to make the jurisdiction body more transparent and open and to provide the public with a legal environment to monitor judicial process. But the law's vital clauses, regarding civil jurisdiction at court, have been annulled considered as violating the Constitution's 2nd clause in 49th article. In view of this the newly formulated law has the legal regulations in detail about compulsory reflection and evaluation of committed crimes in court decisions, punishments or acquit, and attaching an importance to conclusions and proposals from the civil representatives at court.

Link to article


Mogi: an old development, but don't remember it being reported in English anywhere before

Criminal defamation lawsuits against provincial journalists dismissed in Mongolia

This statement was originally published by Globe International Center on 28 September 2015.

Criminal defamation charges brought in December 2014 against two provincial journalists have been dismissed. The two journalists - N. Munkhtur, from Orkhon province and S. Ankhbayar from Uvs province - were prosecuted under Article 111.2 of the Criminal Code for defamation by the Chairmen of the Citizens Representative Khurals (CRKh) for statements issued online and via social media.

Ankhbayar's case was dismissed by the Uvs province Prosecutor on 11 June 2015, followed by a written request by Senior Investigator and Police Captain of the Department for Combating Crime, Ch. Nansaljav. The prosecutor's decision mentioned that the defendant did not intentionally publicly defame the honor and reputation of Mr. Ch.Chimed, Chairman of Uvs province's CRKh. Further, there was no evidence that the defendant's posts contained false or unproven information.

The other journalist, N. Munkhtur, won the case in June 2015. He was accused of defaming B. Myagmarsuren, Chairman of the CRKh of Orkhon province through a series of articles posted on the website which is run by the journalist. In a 22 May 2015 hearing, the First Instance Court found the journalist guilty of defamation and ordered him to pay compensation 51 times higher than the minimum or MNT9,792,400 (approx. US$4,900). Subsequently on 30 June 2015, the Appellate Court dismissed the case against the journalist.

Globe International Center applauds the Prosecutor's and the Appellate Court's decisions and considers this a positive step towards the rights of independent media and freedom of expression in the country.

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Mogi: XacBank

Mercy Corps-Managed Microfinance Program Yields Unprecedented Return For Mongolia


ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, Dec. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A program that started with a small investment to support pastoral herders has grown into one of the country's major financial institutions in less than 15 years. As a result of this unprecedented financial success -- and in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) -- $10 million will be redeployed for the benefit of Mongolians in a resilience program designed and administered by Mercy Corps. The funds will come from shares sold this week to the National Bank of Canada.

TenGer Financial Group evolved from an international development project implemented as the country transitioned from a centralized state to a free-market economy. Funded initially with roughly $1 million from USDA and USAID and managed by Mercy Corps, the program has helped tens of thousands of pastoralists and businesses to access fundamental financial tools such as savings accounts, lines of credit and insurance policies.

"This program has helped close the gap between banking and herding in Mongolia and build thousands of rural businesses," says Jennifer Bielman, Mercy Corps' country director in Mongolia.

It has also – through savvy investing and careful stewardship from Mercy Corps and other partners – grown to be among the largest banks in the country, with total assets over $1 billion USD. The sale of Mercy Corps' share brings the organization's investment full-circle.

"The development community has a long history of supporting and building financial services and institutions," says Steve Mitchell, Vice President of Mercy Corps' Financial Services. "This is the only example we know of in which investment in a financial institution will return substantial proceeds that can be used to leverage even greater impact."

Mercy Corps will oversee this new investment in programs that will be able to reach and benefit an even greater number of Mongolian rural entrepreneurs to continue to evolve their long-held practice of pastoral production to meet the modern demands of the global economy. Among the programs to be funded are education for entrepreneurs around how to shield businesses from climate-related setbacks and how to advocate within local government for economic policy that promotes small businesses.

The livestock sector is the backbone of the culture and industry in Mongolia; it provides 30 percent of all jobs in the country. 

Link to release


Ard Financial Group Attracts New Swiss Investor

December 27 -- Ard Holdings is pleased to announce that it secured an entry of a new private investor from Switzerland, Mr. Bruno E. Raschle, Founder and Executive Chairman of Adveq.

Mr. Bruno Raschle, who will serve on the Board of Directors of the Company, brings a wealth of experience in international business, general management and corporate governance. He said: "Ard has the main ingredients to become an internationally recognized financial services company in the near future".

"I have known Bruno for over 5 years now and developed a sense of utmost respect for what he has accomplished as an entrepreneur. We, at our Company, have a lot to learn from him and I am thrilled to have Bruno as our investor and director. I really look forward to working with him on making Ard Holdings the first publicly owned full-fledged financial services holding company in Mongolia. Beyond everything, I am excited to continue learning from Bruno his love and passion for life and people." says Ganhuyag Ch. Hutagt, CEO of Ard Financial Group.

Ard Financial Group or Ard Holdings is a holding company that invests in leading financial services providers in Mongolia to help them capture market share by improving their competitiveness in order to maximize the returns to our shareholders.

Investment portfolio of Ard Holdings includes the nation's leading companies such as Ard Insurance, Ard Credit, Ard Securities, Ard Assets, Ard Capital Management and EIT (Equity Investment Trust), TenGer Financial Group/XacBank. The Company is also invested in the Institute of Engineering and Technology, TenGer Systems, Wild Digital Agency and various properties through its investment fund. Ard Holdings actively participates in the management of its portfolio companies and creates synergies across the Group.

Link to release


Mongolia: Crisis increases demand for corporate governance

by Lorena Waters

December 12 (Recorder Journal) The President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, sat at the table behind a Greek salad. We were at a lunch hosted by the Corporate Governance Development Center, an NGO which brings worldwide best practices in corporate governance to Mongolia. Also present were the Minister of Education, the Director of the Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC), the Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID-funded Economic Policy Reform and Competitiveness Project (EPRC), which helped to establish the Center with the Institute of Finance and Economics, and CEOs of leading Mongolian firms. Several International Finanace Corporation (IFC) clients were among them.

The salad looked delicious, but it would have to wait. President Elbegdorj was speaking about the role of corporate governance in Mongolia. "Corporate governance is important for Mongolia's competitiveness," he said. I was delighted. I've been waiting a long time for this moment.

Corporate governance refers to the structures and processes for the direction and control of companies.

Link to article


Mogi: an APIP investor company. PCGB said in September it was seeking to divest its stake

Power Capital Global Shares To Be Cancelled From Trading On AIM

LONDON, December 11 (Alliance News) - Power Capital Global Ltd said Friday that its shares will be cancelled from trading on AIM next Monday as it has failed to implement and investing policy as is required under AIM rules.

The company's shares have been suspended in June after it announced the cessation of its trading business and became an investing company. Since then it has worked to restructure, recapitalise and implement an investing policy. However, it said that it had been unable to complete the required recapitalisation and lifting of the suspension, and therefore its AIM admission will be cancelled.

Power Capital Global said it will be writing to all shareholders in order to provide details of its plans as an unlisted entity.

Link to article

Link to PCGB release


Solartech to closely monitor investment environment in Mongolia to assess further investment


December 10, Solartech International Holdings Ltd. (HKEx:1166) --


The Group is principally engaged in the manufacturing and trading of cables and wires for use in household electrical appliances and electronic products, copper products, trading of metallurgical grade bauxite, investment properties and mining business.

As disclosed in the annual report of the Company for the year ended 30 June 2015, the Group is considering reducing or eliminating existing manufacturing businesses suffering long-term losses such as the cables and wires and copper products, whilst the Group will closely monitor the economic development and investment environment in Mongolia so as to assess the risks if the Group is to continue to make an investment there.

Link to release


Mongolia Officially Confirms Participation in Astana EXPO 2017

ASTANA, December 17 (The Astana Times) – Mongolia officially confirmed its participation in EXPO 2017 in Astana with the signing of the formal agreement by Mongolian Minister of Energy and Commissioner of the Mongolian section of EXPO 2017 Dashzeveg Zorig during a meeting with Kazakh Ambassador to Mongolia Kalybek Koblandin, reported the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on Dec. 9.

During the meeting, the sides also discussed organisational and technical issues of the exhibition, regulations for pavilions of participating countries and prospects for further cooperation in energy and infrastructure development.

According to Zorig, the Mongolian government pays special attention to Kazakhstan's experience in the energy sector and the country's ongoing anti-crisis measures, taking into account Kazakhstan's success in overcoming previous economic challenges. Kazakhstan's ambassador also elaborated on Kazakhstan's current national plans as outlined in the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, the Nurly Zhol economic stimulus programme, the 100 Concrete Steps to implement Kazakhstan's five institutional reforms project and the ideas put forth by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Nov. 30 State of the Nation address "Kazakhstan in the new global reality: growth, reform, development."

On May 26 of this year, First Deputy Foreign Minister and Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev paid an official visit to Ulaanbaatar as a member of the Kazakh delegation headed by First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, during which Mongolia confirmed its intention to participate in the expo.

To date, Kazakhstan has signed 20 agreements with international partners on participating in EXPO 2017. Fifty-seven countries and 13 international organisations have officially confirmed their attendance and 33 expo commissioners have been appointed.

Link to article


B.Nyamtaishir provides updates on MAK's major projects

December 11 (UB Post) Mongolyn Alt LLC (MAK) is one of the largest private businesses in Mongolia, which aims to bring sustainable contribution to Mongolia's mining, aviation, construction and tourism sectors. The corporation began several major developments this year. President of MAK B.Nyamtaishir was interviewed about the progress of these projects.

Can you tell us why MAK started large investment projects?

Rather than a reason, Mongolia was in need and demanded these projects. MAK's policy has always been directed towards investment into large projects and programs that will contribute to the prosperity and economy of Mongolia. The profit from them are to be invested into other projects.

Cement is the "flour" of construction and industrial sectors. The quality and taste of bread depends on its flour. Also, cement is usually the main strategic product of any nation. Yet, Mongolia has been importing majority of its needed cement from China.

Construction and real estate is developing rapidly. Demand for construction materials that meet international standards is increasing consistently to this development. MAK started Khukh Tsav Cement-Lime project and autoclaved aerated concrete plant project for the purpose of substituting imported cement with local products.

We're ready to put Tsagaan Suvarga's open-pit copper and molybdenum deposits into economic circulation. MAK began development of this mine in 2012, after developing the feasibility study and completing detailed exploration plans in compliance with international standards.

Will Mongolia be able to fully meet domestic cement demands with domestic resources? What percentage of Mongolia's domestic needs can MAK's cement plant provide?

I personally believe that Mongolia will be able to fully meet domestic cement needs and even export overseas to Russia in the future.

Next year, MAK will commission a cement plant with the capacity to produce one million tons of cement annually. We've projected to enhance capacity to two million tons of cement if demands increase. It's impossible to estimate how much of Mongolia's demands our plant can meet at the moment because we haven't made preliminary estimations on future cement needs of industry, infrastructure, transportation and urban development projects, as well as their construction.

I'd like to underline one thing. The state should set a mechanism that requires large development project executors to buy their supplies from Mongolian producers.

In reality, foreign companies currently executing projects and construction work in Mongolia usually insist on using construction materials produced by their own country. While Mongolian companies bear the weight of loan repayment on their backs, foreign countries use these loans to support their local production. This isn't a secret.

Some experts believe that competition among national cement plants will halt if a large cement plant is built with foreign investment. What do you think about this?

Producers will obviously compete by it product quality, manufacturing technology and prices no matter if it's a domestic or foreign business. There are many countries that use cement as a product of strategic importance. There's a deep significance in constructing buildings and facilities with domestically produced cement that comply with regulations. This can be considered as a way to ensure national security.

Importing technology for production might be a problem, but competitiveness will depend on the location of the five main raw materials necessary for cement production, infrastructure, product quality, and access to open markets.

I can't deny that there are some plants and cement mills planning to produce cement by importing clinkers. The government recently increased import taxes so cements produced from imported clinkers will probably be expensive. I doubt it that will meet standards.

It might be risky to invest and build a new cement plant in current conditions. Even so, I don't want to increase the number of foreign industries in Mongolia.

How will MAK's newly commissioned autoclaved aerated concrete factory influence the construction sector?

First of all, we've taken the first step for introducing European standards and quality to the construction material industry in Mongolia. Secondly, construction material import has been declining to some extent, and thirdly, the value of properties have depreciated. This can cause investments into this sector to decrease.

Our Euroblocks will create the opportunity to increase workability, save time and reduce costs for Mongolia's construction sector, which has a short construction season due to extreme climate and weather conditions. Euroblocks have many advantages. For example, it's environmentally-friendly, has excellent thermal insulation and doesn't impact badly on health.

Does MAK have any other project plans for the construction sector?

We do have prospect plans. However, MAK's main objectives for the next two to three years is to further projects that have been started already. If we can commission the cement plant next year and open Tsagaan Suvarga copper concentrate plant in 2017, I do have some ideas for subsequent projects. I'll talk about this when the time comes.

How is the development of Tsagaan Suvarga deposit coming along? When will MAK receive the remaining investment and financing for this deposit?

Tsagaan Suvarga deposit will have the capacity to extract 14.6 million tons of ore, produce 300,000 tons of copper concentrates and 5,000 tons of molybdenum concentrates a year. The total investment for this project will reach 1.89 million USD. The construction of the concrete foundation for the processing plant started in 2012.

The project's completion is currently at 46 percent. Production of basic mechanic equipment for processing is at 92 percent, blueprint development is at 91 percent, equipment provision is at 25 percent, construction work is at 18 percent completion, and ore quarry equipment have been purchased in full.

The bank that was financing the project ceased its loan due to orders from some politicians. MAK is having trouble finding financers and generating funds once again. Mongolia's political and economic situations aren't very favorable for attracting investors. Currently, we're working to resolve financial issues within the scope of the agreement between Mongolia and Germany, on cooperation in the fields of raw materials, industry and technology, which was signed in 2011.

This agreement specifies a wide-range of support from Germany to the Mongolian industrial sector. Our company reviewed contents of this agreement in detail and concluded that these opportunities should be utilized. One of the ways is guarantees for untied loans.

Germany's processing plants are highly developed, but faces difficulties finding raw materials. The agreement states that the German government will provide guarantees for loans and support production of Mongolia if we supply raw materials exclusively to the German processing industry for a long period. So MAK is trying to get financing by attaining a guarantee for untied loans from Germany. The criteria for this loan is quite high, but our project meets the criteria.

We fulfilled the first basic condition, which is to establish a product supply agreement with a German company, on October 15 with German's Aurubis Company. Now, we've proceeded to the next stage, to negotiate with banks.

How will starting Tsagaan Suvarga deposit's processing plant impact the economy?

Commissioning this plant will open around 1,200 new jobs. Copper price per ton has been estimated at 5,511 USD, according to the feasibility study. This means that an average of some 250 billion MNT will be concentrated to the provincial and state budget annually, and 4.5 trillion MNT will be contributed in total from the project. The state will benefit 54 percent of the project's economic yield. As for resources, it's about 30 times less than Oyu Tolgoi's (OT) and six to seven times less than Erdenet deposit's.

This project will increase mining product exports, impact positively on foreign trade balance, stabilize currency exchange rates by boosting currency inflow to Mongolia, and make sustainable contribution to the key macroeconomic indicator, GDP growth.

As a mining expert, what do you think about the OT and Tavan Tolgoi (TT) projects?

The public has received timely updates on OT project's policy and operation, and the Prime Minister's views on the OT project.

Oyu Tolgoi LLC had its mine development plan approved in Dubai. There's no need to condemn the Prime Minister and government in relation to this.

Prices of raw materials dropped and it's extremely difficult for the state budget. Unlike previous governments, the current Government for Solution isn't discriminating state and private businesses to advance Mongolia's development even a little. I view the government and Prime Minister's decisions as timely measures and maneuver for OT. Of course, not everything is perfect.

TT is a world-scale project. The issues involving the Mongolian side's 51 percent share should be resolved as soon as possible. It's right to choose a Japanese company for the project so that TT can rely on Japanese investment and technology. It's also correct to include a Chinese company in TT's 49 percent share to benefit Mongolia's logistics, transportation and market.

Coal prices have dropped considerably. Still, some countries were able to turn the previous economic crisis into an opportunity. While prices of metal and fabricated metal are low, the development of TT project should be completed so that costs can be reduced. It's time to push forward this project.

Does MAK have plans to participate in TT project?

MAK participated in the initial tender for the exploitation of this deposit. As a professional mining company, we do have an ambition to take part in this large project. It's enough to just be involved in the management level or as a small shareholder. Our company's ethics don't allow us to hinder other wealth creators' business.

Source: Daily Newspaper

Link to interview


Mongolia's Next Frontier - Exporting Meat into China

By Jay Dulmaa

December 7 -- Understanding China is vital for Mongolia to export any meat. That's why I have provided some insights into China's market.

China's Meat Market

Revenue for the Sheep and Cattle Farming industry in China was expected to increase by 2.2% in 2014 to $80.9 billion. Domestic demand for beef and mutton in China has increased at an annualized rate of 3.7% over the past five years due to the surging purchasing power of Chinese people. Prices of these meats have generally increased over the past decade, with a dramatic surge in 2008. From 2006 to 2008, pork prices increased significantly, which increased demand for beef and mutton as substitutes. Beef prices rose from 2009 to 2013, and are expected to continue increasing in 2015.

The industry's profit margins have declined over the past five years due to rising raw material and input prices. In 2014, average profit was expected to account for 10.0% of industry revenue, down from 15.0% in 2006. However profitability varies greatly among enterprises and across regions.

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UB collects 193 million so far in capital city tax since October

December 7 ( Ulaanbaatarians are paying capital city tax for more than two months since its enforcement. During this time, city budget collected MNT 193 million from capital city tax. 

According to the law, Capital City Tax is imposed on entities providing four special services including bar, restaurants, hotel and resort as well as retailers of all types serving and selling alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, which are operating on the premises of the Capital City.

Therefore, MNT 13 billion is estimated to be collected in city budget

5374 places are operating under 4578 special licenses in Ulaanbaatar city. 

Currently, 543 citizens, 3834 legal entities and total of 4377 tax receivers have registered in program for tax payer registration, reported by the Press and Public Relations Department of City Governor Office.

Link to article


Amgalan Thermal Plant Officially Opens to Heat Eastern UB

December 7 ( Ulaanbaatar city opened a new thermal power plant "Amgalan" on December 04, 2015. Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold, Minister for Energy D.Zorigt and other officials were present at the opening ceremony.

However, the new thermal power plant was operating since October as testing period and after successful testing, project authority decided to officially open the plant in December 2015. It will provide heat to eastern part of the Capital City.

The "Amgalan" thermal power plant was built within concession agreement of Mongolian government signed with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). Its construction started in August 2013 and finished in April 2015. The power plant has three boilers, each of which can produce 116 MW electricity.

According to the Ministry of Energy of Mongolia, only heat and electricity consumption of Ulaanbaatar city alone will increase by 1,000Gcal (gigacalorie) and 700 MW in 2020.

City authorities stressed that the new thermal power plant is a huge contribution to the country's growing need of energy and it will provide good basis to other major projects to be implemented.

Link to article


Entities to be fined for uncleared snow and ice in 50-meter vicinity

December 11 ( Entities are responsible for the cleanness, furnishing and safety of the area within 50 m of their location.

In the scope of this responsibility 220 entities of Khan-Uul district have signed an agreement to be responsible for the safety, furnishing and cleanness of the area within 50 m of their location.

In case of breach of the agreement the district will take strict measures including to the licensing rights revoking. 

In Bayangol district 28 entities were warned to comply with the regulations of which 26 have eliminated the violations. 23 Inspectors of the district have made notes on violations of 315 entities and citizens trashing the streets.

13 inspectors of Chingeltei district have delivered the notes of the violation to the District Governor's Office. Further the violators will be inspected and taken measures.

Moreover, Ulaanbaatar City Mayor's Office have informed that entities with violations will be fined on basis of the Special Inspection Office decree based on the notes of the district inspectors.

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Foreign Minister Briefs Media on Legal Amendments, Diplomacy Efforts

Ulaanbaatar, December 11 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is amending several laws in order to form a legal basis for ensuring long-term and sustainable operations of the external relations sphere.

It was told by L.Purevsuren, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the "Hour of Minister" weekly meeting on Thursday. A draft amendment to the law on diplomatic service, upgraded for the present needs, will be discussed by the cabinet and will be submitted to parliament this year, he said.

"Since Mongolia does not have a legal environment for regulating the foreign policy yet, we intends to get a bill on ensuring the unity of foreign relations adopted at the autumn session of parliament," Purevsuren said, adding that a draft amendment to the law on international law is being discussed at parliament.

He also said the Ministry set up a new department--on external economic cooperation with an aim to transmit into a system of realizing the foreign economic ties only through the Ministry. Within an intensification of the external economic policy, the FM has been appointed the head of the Mongolia-Russia and Mongolia-China intergovernmental commissions for the Mongolian side, "it has a significance in boosting the trade and economic ties with these neighbor countries, in uniting sub-commissions and working groups at the intergovernmental commissions, and in carrying out the policy with the neighbor countries through 'one window", he said.

This Ministry established another department--on foreign propaganda and media (Mogi: department of public diplomacy)  that "will advertise Mongolia throughout the world, support external ties of many sectors of Mongolia in foreign countries by delivering news and information about our culture, history, traditions, custom, sports, sciences and social life". A national programme has been worked out to propagandize Mongolia abroad as well, he said.

Purevsuren underlined an importance of Mongolia's win at the election of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), collecting votes of 172 countries out of 192.

Link to article


UN human rights chief hails end of death penalty in Mongolia

10 December 2015 (UN News Centre) – Hailing Mongolia's recent abolition of the death penalty, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, commended the move as a "welcome step in the fight for the human rights of all."

"This development is very encouraging and a clear example of positive progress in the fight for human rights for all – including people convicted of terrible crimes," Mr. Zeid said in a statement, in which he added: "We must not allow even the most atrocious acts to strip us of our fundamental humanity."

According to the High Commissioner's Office (OHCHR), Mongolia's passage of the law to end the death penalty, which is the result of strong and sustained leadership on the issue, has reaffirmed this essential truth.

Last week, Mongolia became the 105th country to abolish the death penalty in law. Another 60 States have moratoria, or have not carried out executions in the last 10 years, says OHCHR.

Link to article


Statement by EU Spokesperson on the abolition of death penalty in MongoliaEuropean Union, December 9


3rd Mongolia-Turkey Consular Meeting Held in Ankara

December 7 ( The 3rd Consultative meeting between the Foreign Ministries of Mongolia and Turkey was held in Ankara on 2nd December. The Director of the Consular Office of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, B.Bold, represented Mongolia and the Director of the Consulate Office at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, M.Samsar, represented that country. The two sides discussed legal aid, consular relations, legal protection of citizens and issues related to mutual visits. In addition, during his visit to Ankara, Mr B.Bold, had an official meeting with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Ali Naci Koru, during which, views were shared on developing relations.

Link to article


S. Korea PM expected sign several agreements on official visit to Mongolia

December 10 ( The Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Hwang Kyo-ahn will pay an official visit to Mongolia on December 15-17, 2015 at the invitation of Mongolian Premier, Mr. Chimed SAIKHANBILEG.

During his visit, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will have official meetings with President Ts.Elbegdorj, Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold and Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg.

Mongolia and South Korea plan to sign cooperation agreements in transportation, industry and energy sectors, and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The visit coincides with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and South Korea and also it is the second visit of South Korean Prime Minister to Mongolia since Prime Minister Lee Han-dong's visit 14 years ago in 2001.

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S. Korea PM to visit Laos, Mongolia next weekYonhap, December 13


Minister Battsereg Addresses COP21 Climate Change Conference

Ulaanbaatar, December 11 (MONTSAME) Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia N.Battsereg has given speech to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, taking place in Paris, France.

He emphasized the importance of increasing the investment for introduction of high technology and "know how" from the highly developed countries to developing countries, in order to reduce the pace of and to adapt to climate change.

Heads of states and ministers in charge of environment from 195 countries have addressed the COP21. The Paris Conference attracted about 50 thousand delegates and 25 thousand representatives of observers.

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Mongolia, Japan Environment Ministers Discuss Climate Change Ties at COP21

Ulaanbaatar, December 11 (MONTSAME) Mongolian delegates headed by Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg have taken part in the meeting dubbed "Climate Change Adaptation: Approaches for National and Local Governments", on the sidelines of the Minister's participation in the UN Climate Change Conference, being held in Paris.

Environment Minister of Japan Ms Tamayo Murakawa underlined in her speech that Japan is assisting Mongolia in climate change adaptation. After this meeting, initiated by the Ministry of Environment of Japan, the Mongolian Minister N.Battsereg and his Japanese colleague and the cabinet member in charge of nuclear safety Ms Murakawa held a business meeting, touching upon matters on expanding ties in environment protection.

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Mongolia wants UNEP to expand PAGE programme on green economy

Ulaanbaatar, December 11 (MONTSAME) The government of Mongolia always wants to expand the cooperation with the United National Environment Programme (UNEP) in many spheres and to be involved in the programme of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).

It was sounded by Mongolia's Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg Thursday during during a meeting with Mr Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director. It happened on the "fields" of the UN Climate Change Conference in France.

Mr Battsereg said it is possible to realize the PAGE in Mongolia by a method similar to that of  China's Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

In response, Mr Steiner said Mongolia has been active in supporting the green economy and sustainable green financing, and that it is possible to back Mongolia's willingness to expand its collaboration with the PAGE. He also said the UNEP supported the Mongolian initiative on establishing its Council for international cooperation on environment and development, and hoped that the UNEP will realize Mongolia's proposals and initiative.

Then, Mr Steiner invited the Minister to the UN Environment Assembly scheduled in May of 2016.

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Country comes first for Mongolian mining hotshot

The envoy to Singapore believes in listening to his heart and following his instincts

December 13 (The Straits Times) When Mr George Lkhagvadorj Tumur graduated with a master's in mining engineering from the Colorado School Of Mines a decade ago, he had a job offer from a US firm.

It was an attractive package: US$60,000 a year and a chance to live in the land of the free. But he opted to return home to landlocked Mongolia and a job paying a miserly US$300 a month.

Not a few people thought him dumb but Mr Tumur had his reasons. "In the United States, I would work as a mining engineer and lead an average life. Mongolia offered me better growth potential. It was not guaranteed but I took my chance," he says.

His detractors would probably crowd around him now and say: "Well played, George."

Within 10 short years, Mr Tumur, 45, not only rode the crest of Mongolia's mining boom but also played a key role in introducing Western contract mining and mineral processing technologies to the country's mining industry.

His stellar achievements include co-founding Hunnu Coal, which was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and named IPO (initial public offering) of the Year in 2010.

"Our IPO share price was 20 cents. On the first day, it jumped to 40 cents, and 18 months later, we were taken over by a Thai company at $1.80," he says.

Mr Tumur went on to found three other companies before he made another surprising detour this year.

The mining hotshot gave up his lucrative businesses and heeded his country's call to become its ambassador to Singapore. "My principle is to listen to my heart and follow my instincts even if it seems absurd. But for every big decision, I need almost a month of sleepless nights, just thinking," he says.

Mr Tumur - the second-youngest of seven children of a railway engineer and a labour union worker - has always favoured the path less trodden. He grew up in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and once toyed with journalism as a career because he loved books.

"My parents told me I started reading when I was four. One of my sisters taught me.

"We were a family of book readers and had a big family library and I started reading the classics when I was very young," he says.

But he had a change of heart as he was about to graduate from high school. "Engineering seemed to be more practical," he says.

His good grades got him a government scholarship; he was given a list of all the courses he could take and in what country.

"I looked at the list and asked what mineral processing was. The person answering said, 'I have no idea but it has something to do with this big mining company in Mongolia'," he says, referring to Erdenet Mining Corp, a Russian-Mongolian venture. "It was a famous corporation, it sounded interesting so I said okay."

That was how he ended up in Ukraine at the age of 17, with just a rudimentary grasp of Russian.

He attended the Industrial Technical School in Krivoy Rog.

"It's a mining town, a 120km-long city with eight different mining corporations. The one near the school was more than 100 years old, and we sometimes went there for practical training," he recalls.

He spent four years in Ukraine, going home only once a year.

"The journey took six days on a train, one day from Ukraine to Moscow and five days from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar," he says.

Upon graduation, he started work at Erdenet as a process technician before climbing the ranks to become a production coordinator.

The hours were long, and the working conditions taxing.

The Mongolian economy, he recalls, was also going through a tough time. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 had a great impact on Mongolia, which went through a Democratic Revolution the following year, ushering in a multi-party system and a market economy.

"It was a transition economy. There was not enough energy in the country and we were getting electricity from Russia. There were daily disruptions throughout the country," he says.

"People were even on food rations; families would get coupons just to buy bread.

"Because I was working in this mining company, I was better off than the average person."

Excited by the company's plans to implement newer technology, he told his management that he would like to study in a more developed country and "do something good for the company".

When he was given the green light, he shopped around and decided on a degree in metallurgical and materials engineering at the Colorado School Of Mines.

It did not matter that his English then was barely functional.

"I only had three months of English lessons when I was working. I loved the Beatles and always wanted to know what their songs meant. I memorised the lyrics without knowing the meaning," he says.

Like Ukraine, Colorado was a culture shock. The abundance of food was overwhelming for someone from a country where food was rationed and people needed coupons to buy staples.

"When you walked down the street, people looked at you and said, 'Hi'. And you wondered to yourself, 'Have I met him before?'," he says with a chortle.

"Mongolians don't smile so much, especially to strangers, so I had to learn to smile."

All went well until his final year.

The copper cycle was down and Erdenet - which underwent changes in its management structure - told him it could not finance his studies any more. In fact, it was unlikely that he would be coming home to a job; he was on his own.

Fortunately, Dr Baki Yarar, his Turkish professor and one of the world's most famous mineral processing scientists, came to his rescue and got him the scholarships not just to complete his degree but also to do his master's.

"He told me, 'I'll get you the scholarships but you will have to work for me 25 hours a day for the next five years'," says Mr Tumur, who became Dr Yarar's research and teaching assistant.

His work ethic and perceptiveness impressed the Turkish scientist so much that the latter even asked him if he wanted to do his PhD. "He said I could take over from him when he retired but I said I wanted to start working to get experience," Mr Tumur says.

There were several job offers, including one from an American mining company, when he graduated but Mr Tumur decided to head home to Mongolia to work for a Mongolia-Russia joint venture.

His reason was simple: His studies abroad were to help Mongolia's mining industry. It took him just three months to be promoted from research and development manager to deputy general director of R&D.

The organisation's bureaucracy stymied him, however, and he left after two years to start a business importing and distributing liquefied petroleum gas.

Barely a year later, MCS - which was then Mongolia's largest holding company - offered him the post of chief executive of Energy Resources.

He was tasked to come up with a masterplan for a mammoth mining project involving a deposit of six billion tonnes of coking coal, an essential ingredient in steel production, in Tavan Tolgoi in southern Mongolia. Shortly after, the government divided the project, leaving Energy Resources to handle a site with 400 million tonnes of resources.

Within six months, Mr Tumur brought in Western mining companies to mobilise resources. He became the executive director of the company, which went on to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

But Mr Tumur shocked the industry by announcing his intention to leave. "It was a prestigious job and I was well paid but I was just an employee," says the sturdily built man, who had 1,000 employees under him at the time.

Some Australian investors had spotted his talents and approached him to start a mining operation, one that would set benchmarks for others in the industry.

"I found we talked the same language and shared the same ideas. I couldn't sleep for a month, thinking about it. But I felt I could be in charge of my own destiny."

That led to Hunnu Coal being set up. In February, 2010, it listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

"We raised A$20 million, invested in Mongolian companies which had the deposits or resources but didn't have the money, took a percentage and funded operations. Within 12 months, we were able to find one billion tonnes of resources across three projects," he recalls.

It was so successful that Thailand's Banpu - one of Asia's leading coal miners - bought the company barely two years later.

Mr Tumur stayed on as managing director to help steer the company for the next two years.

He went on to co-found three other companies dealing in iron, copper and gold, and petroleum.

His business acumen did not escape the notice of the Mongolian government which started adopting new "economicentric" approaches in diplomatic relations with the world last year.

Feeling that it was time to give back to his country, he relinquished his corporate titles - as required by Mongolian law - and is now only an investor in the companies he helped to set up.

"My Australian partners were very supportive and positive. They said, 'We will work on the businesses, you take care of the diplomacy.' They felt it was a good opportunity for me and good for everybody."

After his appointment was cleared by the Mongolian president and Cabinet, he spent six months with its Foreign Affairs Ministry before presenting his papers to President Tony Tan Keng Yam in July this year.

"We've 45 years of diplomatic relationships with Singapore. Temasek has invested in copper and gold mining projects in Mongolia and my role is to strengthen investor and economic relations between the two countries.

"I want to create opportunities to showcase Mongolian culture and business opportunities," says Mr Tumur, who has already met several of Singapore's veteran diplomats, including Professor Tommy Koh and Professor Kishore Mahbubani.

What happens after his term of three years, he does not know.

Asked how he feels when he looks back on his life, the father of a two-year-old girl says: "I don't have any regrets. And I will continue to listen to my heart and follow my instincts."

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Health, Education

Mogi: thanks, Xinhua!

Sexually transmitted diseases on rise in Mongolia: local media

ULAN BATOR, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Infection of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), which accounted for 50-70 percent of all infectious disease cases this year in Mongolia, is on the rise in the country, local media reported.

There were 12,000 cases of STD infection as of October 2015, among which 5,000 were cases of syphilis infection. As for the demographic feature of those infected, 40 percent were unemployed, 13 percent were students and 10 percent were teenagers, according to a report aired by NTV on Tuesday.

Dr. J. Narantuya, technical officer of the World Health Organization's Mongolia representative office, urged the government to provide information on the prevention of STD infections and educate the youth, who he said need to change sexual practices and behaviors.

According to Narantuya, the increase in cases of STD infection contributes to growing HIV/AIDS patients in Mongolia.

Ch. Urtnasan, head of the press and information unit of the Mongolian National Research Center for Infectious Diseases, said that many of the STD figures are recurring cases, and that many of the infected are from the low-income population segment, who can't afford medicines.

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MP D.Battsogt discusses joint healthcare project with Belgian Ambassador

December 11 (UB Post) Member of Parliament D.Battsogt, the head of the Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science Standing Committee, received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Belgium to Mongolia Michel Malherbe on December 9 to discuss collaborative projects in healthcare.

At the beginning of the meeting, Ambassador Malherbe thanked MP D.Battsogt for receiving him and talked about the progress of the Western Region Diagnosis and Treatment Center Enhancement Project, which is being carried out between the Mongolian and Belgian governments.

The Ambassador noted that the project could significantly impact social wellness, and that the two sides have been discussing launching the project for many years. The parties signed the initial agreement on the project in June 2014, and drafted a financial agreement on October 2015. It is the second largest project to be implemented in Mongolia with support from the Belgian government.

MP D.Battsogt mentioned that over 400,000 citizens who live in the western region of Mongolia are incapable of accessing complete medical assistance, and medical organizations and institutions have started paying more attention to enhancing medical services in remote areas.

He added that the project is in the implementation stage thanks to the parliament's support and his effort put forward for the project. D.Battsogt thanked the Belgiam government for providing assistance to the Mongolian medical sector.

The Western Region Diagnosis and Treatment Center Enhancement Project will supply Khovd Province with a medical diagnosis and treatment center equipped with updated technology and equipment, and train doctors and specialists.

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Cerus Announces Agreement with the National Transfusiology Center of Mongolia for the Use of INTERCEPT Platelets and Plasma

CONCORD, Calif., December 10--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) announced today that the National Transfusiology Center (NTC) of Mongolia has signed a purchase agreement for the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma. The agreement is part of a national tender awarded to Cerus' Mongolian distributor, Inter Science LLC, for the supply of blood bank equipment.

"We are honored that INTERCEPT has been chosen by the National Transfusiology Center of Mongolia as part of an important initiative to improve blood transfusion safety," commented Pascal Maillard, Cerus' Vice President for Asia. "INTERCEPT's pathogen inactivation technology represents a leap forward for patients receiving care through the Mongolian health care system."

The NTC aims to improve the safety of individuals working in and receiving care through the Mongolian health care system, with a mission to improve the safety of blood transfusions, strengthen medical waste management, and prevent and control hospital acquired infections. Mongolia has one of the highest rates of hepatitis B and C in the world, with insufficient blood transfusion and waste management practices contributing to additional rates of infection.

The NTC will complete several system and equipment modifications through 2017 as part of the Fifth Health Sector Development Project (FifHSDP), a partnership between the Ministry of Health and Sports of Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank to technologically improve health care facilities across Mongolia.

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U.S. Embassy in Mongolia Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3 (US Embassy) As part of the U.S. Embassy's ongoing efforts to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities in Mongolia, U.S. Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt hosted a reception at the American Cultural and Information Center to commemorate the 23rd International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme of this year's International Day was "Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities." To open the reception, a singer and a morin-khuur artist from Mongolian National Federation of the Blind performed a folk song.

In Ambassador Galt's opening remarks, she emphasized, "By encouraging an active citizenry and ensuring the right to participate in public life to everyone, Mongolia empowers its entire population to contribute to Mongolia's development." Director of Development of Persons with Disabilities Division of the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection Batdulam and Director of the Mongolian National Federation of Disabled Persons Organizations Oyunbaatar also gave keynote speeches.  Oyunbaatar also introduced an advocacy video that they have created through the Americans with Disabilities Act 25, a small grant program sponsored by the Embassy this summer to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

At the reception, the Embassy showcased 10 paintings by students with disabilities from the Anima Art Design School. Established in memory of the renowned Mongolian painter Yadamsuren, Anima began enrolling students with disabilities since 1997. Currently Anima has 60 students, out of which 19 have disabilities. Many of the displayed artworks expressed feelings like exasperation and isolation. Anima school director Bulgan explained it, "By displaying their frustration and anxiety through their artworks, our students lose their stress and become strong and healthy. I always tell my students that there are never bad topics to paint, but you must always find the right approach."

The artworks remained on public display at the American Cultural and Information Center (ACIC) on December 4, 2015.

To read Ambassador Galt's remarks in full, click here. Click here to see the photos from the event. And to learn more about the ACIC, please visit their websitefacebook page or call at 70115703.

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Oyu Tolgoi awards scholarships to 35 students for 2015-16 academic year

December 11 (Oyu Tolgoi) Oyu Tolgoi yesterday organized an award ceremony to recognize 35 Mongolian students who were selected to receive domestic and international scholarships from the company for the academic year 2015-2016.

The event was attended by new scholarship awardees, former recipients, their parents, the Minister of Labour, representatives of the ministries and members of the Oyu Tolgoi team, including, Batsukh Galsan, Chairman of the Oyu Tolgoi Board of Directors, and Michael Gavin, General Manager – People and Organization.

Addressing the audience, Minister of Labour Bayarsaikhan Garidkhuu said "Oyu Tolgoi is a company that is representing the name of Mongolia as it becomes a prominent player in the world copper market.

"Oyu Tolgoi's investment in the education of students, who are the future of Mongolia, proves that our goals are the same. This is an important part of broader cooperation between the Government of Mongolia, the Ministry of Labour and Oyu Tolgoi. For the labour sector, Oyu Tolgoi has contributed a great deal through various projects including, upgrading of vocational training centres and their curriculum and providing modern training equipment."

Speaking at the event, Batsukh Galsan, Chairman of the Oyu Tolgoi Board of Directors, said: "We are pleased to have the opportunity here today to recognize some of the best and brightest students in Mongolia, and to have the opportunity to support their future endeavors. Looking at past scholars, I am sure that these talented youth will not only set a new bar of excellence, and but also inspire others to strive to be the best and together take Mongolia forward."

Former scholarship awardee, Tugsbuyan Tsedenbaljir, noted "The Oyu Tolgoi scholarship didn't only give me financial support but, most importantly, it put trust in me, trust that helped me to be more successful.

"Between 2010-2015, I was enrolled in all Oyu Tolgoi's scholarships and I feel proud that I have been part of this great programme which is contributing to Mongolia's development. With every scholarship, the dreams of a student and their family come true. I would like to thank Oyu Tolgoi for making hundreds of these dreams a reality."

In order to ensure maximum reach and awareness, the scholarship programme was advertised through daily newspapers, the Oyu Tolgoi website, social media and through outreach events at universities. Over 400 applications were received, and a three-stage selection process implemented to select finalists.

The 31 recipients for the 2015-16 domestic scholarships come from across Mongolia's leading education institutions - 16 students from Mongolian University of Science and Technology, nine from the National University of Mongolia, three from Darkhan Technology University, two from Medical University, and one from Mongolian University of Life Sciences respectively.

The international scholarship programme saw 20 applications, with four selected as finalists. The selected students commence their study in mining and occupational health in August, 2016.

Notes to the Editor:

·         Oyu Tolgoi established domestic and international scholarship programmes as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between Oyu Tolgoi LLC and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, under the Investment Agreement.

·         The programme focuses on preparing highly skilled national workforce in mining and other related sectors.

·         Oyu Tolgoi has granted 210 Domestic scholarships (including RT scholarship) and 30 International scholarships over the course of the programme, including our International and 31 Domestic scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year.

·         OT scholarship holders are not only provided monetary support for continuing their study but also provided opportunity to attend the Youth Development Programme, focused on personal development and enhancing soft skills.

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OT scholarships given to studentsMontsame, December 11


The truth behind daycares and kindergartens

By B.Tungalag

December 11 (UB Post) Children at any age don't cry without a reason, especially a 10-month-old infant. They cry when they are sick, hungry, or uncomfortable. There is a video being shared on social media that shows a cook at Oyunii Khugjil (Mind Development), a private daycare in Dundgovi Province, beating a 10-month-old child because he wasn't eating his food.

In the video, the woman is feeding the child, however it looks like he doesn't want the food. After that, the woman yells at the child, pokes his head with the spoon she's feeding him with, and beats on his buttocks. In the video she yells, "Eat it, you bastard!"

The video was taken by a former teacher at Oyunii Hudjil, E.Yanjinlkham, and shared widely online last week.

The public saw this video and blamed the cook for her brutal actions. Staff at daycares and kindergartens are responsible for taking care of children, and not by using violence. A lot of parents have no idea that their children are subjected to violence by childcare providers.

The Department of Education of Dundgovi Province, Police Department, and General Agency for Specialized Inspection started investigating the employees at Oyunii Hugjil and the cook in the video, J.Otgontugs. Official sources revealed that the cook caught on video beating a child is not an official cook or childcare provider, and that she is the sister of the daycare's counselor.

J.Otgontugs is around 50 years old, and has two children and a grandchild. It should be stated that no organization should hire professionally inexperienced workers, especially educational organizations.

On December 9, the Agency for Specialized Inspection of Dundgovi Province temporarily closed Oyunii Khugjil, and the Governor of the province, S.Od-Erdene, canceled the operational license of the daycare.

The health of the victim of abuse is being watched carefully. The boy has been suffering from a high temperature fever for two months. Doctors haven't determined an exact diagnosis, so the parents of the child took him to the National Center for Maternal and Child Health of Mongolia. The doctors there believe that the child might have experienced head trauma.

"My grandson's health isn't improving at all. His parents called me and he is in critical condition. They went to Ulaanbaatar to seek treatment for him. The cook beat my grandson on October 19. The day before that brutal beating, the father of my grandson met with the daycare's staff and complained. He said to a teacher 'My son was very hungry when he came home. Don't you give the children more food?' Keep that in mind.' The daycare's counselor said to her sister, the cook, 'Give the children more food. Parents are complaining about the meals.' Then J.Otgontugs, the cook, got mad and beat my grandson," said N.Enkhtaivan, the grandmother of the victim.

His grandmother added, "I don't know why she beat my grandchild. What was the reason? J.Otgontugs came into class and said, 'Teacher, I will feed this kid' on the afternoon of October 19. She was beating and torturing my child for several minutes. After my grandson came home from kindergarten, he was crying, vomiting, and had a fever. Then we went to a doctor who said, 'Your son caught a cold, don't worry.' Later, my grandson didn't get better. His cheeks and face swelled. Of course, we never imagined that the daycare's worker beat my little grandson. He just started walking. We called the Agency for Specialized Inspection and the Child Welfare and Protection Center."

"We met his class teacher and asked, why did you hide the video for two months and not stop her, the cook. She said she was under pressure. That's why she didn't release the video until now. She said, J.Otgontugs, the cook, had beaten lots of children before. The teacher used her cellphone to make the video while the cook was beating my child. We still wouldn't know if she hadn't made that video. Now my child is afraid of daycare. He cries when we try to feed him. We've used so many methods to feed him. But he is not eating," N.Enkhtaivan continued.

Head of the Preschool and Lower Education Department of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science B.Gantulga said, "The Agency for Specialized Inspection of Dundgovi Province stopped the activities of the daycare. The Governor of the province met with the child's parents and apologized. Administrators of the province and related organizations discussed this issue and will punish [J.Otgontugs] according to the law. It is impossible for a worker of a daycare to behave like that. We will organize a workshop to improve teachers' behavior and ethics."

If these brutal actions spread in the future, parents will be afraid to send their children to daycares for fear of putting their health and safety in danger.

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Khan Bank Employees Celebrate International Volunteering Day with Nationwide Campaign

December 7 (Khan Bank) December 5th is recognised as International Volunteer Day. On the occasion of this day, there is a tradition among Khan Bank employees to celebrate Volunteering Day throughout the country.

Within the framework of the National Campaign Against Cancer, which has been successfully implemented by the National Cancer Center and MNB for the fifth year, more than 2,000 Khan Bank employees, who have been trained as health volunteers, have provided over 65,000 individuals with healthy lifestyle training.

On the occasion of the Volunteering Day, the bank organized good deeds and provided more than 30,000 customers with information about the symptoms of the six most occurring cancers and ways of diagnosis as well as recently increasing women diseases such as breast cancer and cervical cancer with the purpose of improving public health education. One working day was spent for good deeds of public health. 

Within the framework of this good deeds activity, the bank invited doctors and specialists from the National Cancer Center with the aim of expanding the number of health volunteers and organized training among employees of UB branches and sub-branches. 

In order to help cancer prevention, one of the most important things the availability of correct information and to pay attention to the health of your family members and relatives. Therefore, the employees who were enrolled in training, will join in activities protecting public health by deliving cancer prevention information to partners, customers and the public.

The most important factor in decreasing cancer disease is to improve health education and promote healthy lifestyles. 

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Talk with Me: Ts. Enkh-Amgalan, Coordinator, Green Gold Project, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

December 7 (Star TV) --

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Nature, Environment

Tracking and protecting Mongolia's snow leopard

December 11 (BBC News) Mongolia's temperature has risen by two degrees Celsius, and scientists in the landlocked country are warning it could heat up by another four degrees by 2080, unless urgent action is taken.

The number of snow leopards is in rapid decline in Mongolia as their natural habitat is encroached upon more and more.

Film-makers William Davies and Hereward Holland have joined a World Wildlife Fund expedition in the Altai-Sayan mountain range in the west of the country, to see what can be done to protect and conserve them.

Link to video


Inside the World of Mongolia's Golden Eagle Hunters (PHOTOS)

December 10 (The Weather Channel) When photographer Wanson Luk traveled to Mongolia, he wanted to experience more than just a vacation, he wanted to capture something unique—the lifestyle and culture of Kazakh eagle hunters in the Bayan Ulgii area.

Kazakhs are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, according to the BBC. With less than 400 practicing falconers, Luk had the chance to immerse himself in the culture, staying with a few families there.

"I just follow[ed] their everyday life," Luk told He spent several days living with a few families, observing and partaking in their daily routine: eagle hunting, fishing, milking animals and visiting other families. Their lives were very much embedded in the nature around them, he said.

The Kazakhs of Western Mongolia move and live according to nature, moving seasonally in search of good pasture for their livestocks, maintaining horse-based nomadic cultures and hunting with trained golden eagles. Their horse-riding falconry is a hunting method used to target foxes and hares during winter months, according to Geographic Expeditions.

"What I learned is how every one of them respect[s] people and nature," Luk said. "They make use of everything, but never polluted the environment."

Their respect, in terms of falconry, can be seen through the relationship each hunter has with his or her—Ashol Pan is the only known eagle huntress in Mongolia—eagle. The Kazakhs only choose young female eagles that are taken from their nests, since female eagles grow larger than the male eagles and are more aggressive. However, they will eventually be released back into the wild to reproduce and create future generations of strong newborns.

"It was quite an [experience]," Luk said. "Eagle hunters are just like other people who show their hospitality and also eager to show foreigners about their traditions."

Though it was the travel photographer's first time in Mongolia, he hopes to go back to photograph the nomadic Dukha people in Northern Mongolia, also known as the "reindeer people."

"I love visiting places that could inspire people," he said. "By capturing things like cultures, people and landscapes, we could open up our mind[s]."

Luk hopes to inspire people living in modern cities to understand nature better.

"Sometimes, city people should not only cherish what they have, [but also] they should question themselves about the meaning of life and understand [that we are a part] of the nature part of the world." 

For more of Wanson Luk's photos, take a look at his instagram

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Earthquake: M4.5 - 22km SSE of Orgon, Bayanhongor, Mongolia


2015-12-10 14:48:05 (UTC)

2015-12-10 22:48:05 (UTC+08:00) in your timezone

Nearby Cities

22km (14mi) SSE of Orgon, Mongolia

129km (80mi) W of Hovd, Mongolia

241km (150mi) S of Bayanhongor, Mongolia

329km (204mi) WNW of Dalandzadgad, Mongolia

613km (381mi) SW of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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Mongolian Horsemen Conquer the West, One Race at a Time

December 11 (New York Times) A month after Mongolian Saturday won the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in October, his trainer, Ganbat Enebish, reflected on a conversation he had had five years earlier, before leaving Mongolia for the United States in 2010.

Enebish recalled that in that talk, with someone who knew everything about horse racing in the West, he had been told that he was foolish to think he could win races there.

How could Enebish, who had trained horses to race 20 miles across the Mongolian steppes, understand how to condition a faster, more athletic horse to spin around an oval racetrack? he was asked.

"Mongolian racing is 100 years behind," the man said. "How will you catch up?"

Enebish's response was simple: "A horse is a horse."

The Breeders' Cup had never seen anything quite like Mongolian Saturday and his entourage. The 5-year-old gelding's owner, Ganbaatar Dagvadorj, and his older brother Tserenjigmed, two of the wealthiest businessmen in Mongolia, arrived at Lexington's Keeneland Racecourse with their family and friends wearing colorful, traditional dress. They offered a striking scene, and then Mongolian Saturday held on by a nose to win the Turf Sprint.

Now, Enebish and his boss are not curbing their ambitions. They are bringing Mongolian Saturday closer to home on Sunday, for the nearly $2.4 million Hong Kong Sprint, one of the Hong Kong Jockey Club's four invitation-only international races.

"We came to win big races here — Breeders' Cup, Kentucky DerbyTriple Crown," Enebish said. "We started with Breeders' Cup. Now we need to win Kentucky Derby."

Enebish met Dagvadorj in 1999. Both owned and trained horses and they began hunting together near Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital. By then, Enebish had been training Mongolian ponies for four years and his grandfather had been a trainer. Enebish also kept dogs and a golden eagle for hunting foxes and wolves.

In Mongolia, race jockeys are children, from 6 to 9 years old. Given the endurance required for the long distance, horses rarely run more than three times a year, Enebish said. The season reaches its high point in July, with the Naadam, a centuries-old festival featuring three competitions: archery, horse racing, and Mongolian wrestling.

Horse owners compete for prestige and pride, but little else. Enebish said he once won a race commemorating the 80th anniversary of Mongolia's founding. His horse beat 720 rivals, and Enebish won a Russian-made car.

Dagvadorj and his brother founded the Max Group conglomerate, which owns hotels, supermarket chains and furniture stores, as well as mining, oil and construction interests. They began to build their fortune by trading skins and furs in the 1980s.

Since then, nearly half of Mongolia's population of 2.8 million has converged on Ulan Bator, where money-making opportunities in this mineral-rich country are concentrated. A few years ago, the brothers and various entities controlled more than 650,000 square feet of commercial space in Ulan Bator, employed more than 2,000 people and had $42 million in sales, according to Forbes.

It was Enebish who persuaded his friend to race outside Mongolia. The trainer's fact-finding mission took him to Australia, England, France, Ireland and Japan. Dagvadorj bought two horses in France and sent them to the French trainer Freddy Head, but they were unsuccessful.

Enebish then visited the United States and decided that it was the best place for their stable. Unlike in Australia or Europe, he had no problem securing a work visa. "In America, everything is easy," he said cheerfully.

They began their Mongolian Stable with four horses and have now expanded to 10. Since 2010, Dagvadorj has purchased 11 yearlings, all colts except for one, for a total of $575,000 at Keeneland's annual two-week September sale. He paid $60,000 for Mongolian Saturday in 2011. But his efforts in the auction ring have already slowed down: Mongolian Stable is now breeding its own racehorses, with eight mares boarded in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mongolian Saturday, a son of Any Given Saturday, is far and away the stable star.

He has contributed $960,926 to Mongolian Stable's earnings of $1,349,278 from 226 starts. He has raced from coast-to-coast in the United States, at 13 racetracks in eight states, and in Canada, at varying distances and on turf and dirt. Enebish expects the same hardiness of him as he does of his Mongolian ponies. He still keeps 200 horses in his homeland.

In the beginning, though, Mongolian Saturday was too wild to handle, so Enebish decided to geld him.

Mongolian Saturday only began racing halfway through his 3-year-old season, at Arlington Park outside Chicago, where Enebish decided to take a chance. He entered him in a claiming race, where any owner could buy Mongolian Saturday on that afternoon for $25,000. He was not worried he would lose him, however. He shrewdly capitalized on his stable's obscurity.

"Everybody thinks these were some stupid people who came to race in America," he said with a big laugh. "Nobody paid attention to us."

Link to article


Moving mountains for Mongolia: How two horse lovers have taken the racing world by storm

Trainer and owner of Mongolian Saturday bring colour and life to the sport of kings - on Sunday, the pair try their luck in the Hong Kong Sprint

December 13 (South China Morning Post) As a brisk wind whips across Sha Tin racecourse on an unseasonably cold morning at trackwork, trainer Ganbat Enebish pauses, places his hands together and prays as he looks up to the surrounding mountains, the slowly clearing mist revealing Ma On Shan peak.

"In Mongolia, we always pray to mountains," he says. "And these are beautiful mountains. I love these mountains, so I give thanks for letting us come here to race."

It could easily have been mistaken for a prayer of thanks to the racing gods, an expression of gratitude to whatever heavenly forces that could have delivered the turn of events that brought Ganbat to Sha Tin as trainer of Longines Hong Kong Sprint entrant Mongolian Saturday.

WATCH: Mongolian trainer Ganbat Enebish talks about his career and future plans 

From trainer of Mongolian racing ponies to a Grade One-winning handler of thoroughbreds within five years is extraordinary enough. But taking a Breeders' Cup race, from a stable of 12 horses?

It is an unheard rise to fame in a cut-throat industry, yet the only surprise for Ganbat and owner Ganbaatar Dagvadorj isn't that success came so soon, it's that it took so long.

"We thought we could do it in one year, easily," Ganbat said. "We are Mongolians, we grow up with horses. But when we started out, we worked horses too hard. We had to learn to feed right - there were many things we got wrong, everything was new."

American Pharoah's victory at Keeneland last month may have been the biggest story of the Breeders' Cup, but Mongolian Saturday's upset result in the Turf Sprint provided much-needed colour for a sport crying out for diversity and new heroes.

The Mongolian members of the horse's eight-person entourage - dubbed Team Mongolia - turned up to the post-race press conference decked out in their "deel", the colourful national dress.

READ MORE: Mongolian Saturday lined up for HK after Breeders' Cup success

Donned in traditional silk robes and hats, they wowed the press with their tale of two Mongolian horse lovers looking to strike it rich in this new high-stakes world, the American dream realised.

"Before the race people thought we were dressed for Halloween," Ganbat says. "But after the race people knew who we were, but still I think they were more excited for the exotic Mongolian garb than the win."

Asked if he and Ganbaatar will dress up for a photo shoot for the Post, pre-race, Ganbat laughs. "It takes time to put that stuff on, you know, you will have to wait until Sunday."

So it is that Team Mongolia will light up Sha Tin on Sunday at a meeting that surely must now rank as the most multicultural in world racing.

Back at the hotel after trackwork, Ganbat tucks into a plate from the hotel's lunch buffet: "In Mongolia we eat mostly meat," the heavyset 58-year-old says between mouthfuls - as if the vegetable free-selection piled on the plate isn't enough evidence.

He recalls the remarkable path that took him from "city boy" growing up in Ulaanbaatar during the time of Soviet rule, to university engineering student in Moscow and to bored desk-bound office worker. Then the final twist: Grade One-winning horse trainer.

"Engineering was too boring for me, every day the same thing. I worked at a power station for eight years. Why I left engineering? I wanted more adventure," he says.

Riding and living with horses is deeply etched into a Monglian's DNA - even for a city boy like Ganbat.

They say a Mongolian without a horse is like a bird without wings. Famously, there are more horses in Mongolia than people, and most Mongolians would rather be on horseback than walk. Then there is horse milk and horse meat, commonly consumed in Mongolia and neighbouring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

"Yes, I enjoy horse meat," Ganbat says, unashamedly, a quote that is almost certainly also a first for a Grade One-winning horse trainer.

After perestroika and the subsequent independence of Mongolia, Ganbat broke away from his office existence and worked as a guide for western hunters in the wilds of northern Mongolia, camping in yurts and chasing wild goats and ibex.

"I didn't like the animals being killed, I am an animal lover, but it gave me a chance to study them, to watch and learn how they are in the wild.

"I had always loved animals, ever since I was a child, and I had an auntie who had a farm and we would spend all summer there riding horses when I was growing up."

Soon that passion for animals, and particularly horses, brought him to racing - of the Mongolian kind.

Mongolian horses are nothing like thoroughbreds in size or style, but are especially different in temperament. A thoroughbred might be flighty and hard to handle at times, but native Mongolian horses are often recalcitrant, sometimes even savage little beasts, still allowed to roam virtually wild. There are no "stud farms" and individual horses don't have names, just "Ganbat's brown horse".

"We let the stallions fight among themselves for the mares, like men fighting over women," he says.

Nevertheless, Mongolian horses are blessed with remarkable endurance capabilities "Geldings go 25 kilometres out to the start, then race 25 kilometres back, stallions a little less, three-year-olds 18km, two-year-olds 15km, and for yearlings, 12km," he says.

So they walk to the start and then race back? "No, not walk to the start, jog."

Ganbat pulls out his smartphone and shows a video of a race at Mongolia's biggest traditional festival, Naadam, held in Inner Mongolia each July, where horse riding is one of the "three games of men", along with Mongolian wrestling and archery.

As many as a thousand horses gather behind a starting screen, before it drops dramatically and the herd charge across the arid terrain of the steppe on the outskirts of the Gobi desert, a cloud of dust behind, child jockeys urging their mounts with what seems little thought for the distance ahead.

It is an awe-inspiring sight, even when viewed on a small screen.

"It's like an army charging into battle, you must come to see this, it is amazing," he says.

"There can be thousands of starters and one winner - it's for love not money. First prize might be a Russian four-wheel drive or something like that."

This is the world where Ganbat met Ganbaatar - himself a fifth-generation horse breeder and entrepreneur with wide and varied business interests including construction, mining, food, distilleries and oil - to name a few - as well as Mongolian franchise rights to Ramada and Holiday Inn hotels and fast food outlet Burger King.

The pair saw what they thought was the "big money" on offer in the west, made some fact-finding missions over the course of a decade to Japan, France and Australia before settling on the US - "because it was easiest to get a licence to train" - and started buying horses.

The way Ganbat describes it, Mongolia could be an untapped gold mine of horse training talent. "Yes there are many trainers better than me there. But they don't speak English and they don't want to move. They like life in Mongolia - the simple life."

Ganbat may not have been a star trainer, but claims he was more an innovator - breeding thoroughbred and quarter-horses with Mongolian horses to create a faster animal, a practice that has caused a degree of controversy within the relatively unregulated sport.

Once, with as much as 2,000km to travel to one of the big events of Naadam, Ganbat says he also helped pioneer air travel for Mongolian horses, chartering a cargo plane to fly his charges to the festival - and again challenging traditional aspects of the sport.

Use of child jockeys in Mongolian racing, as awkward to western sensibilities as it might be, is just a way of life - like eating horse meat.

"Children who live outside the cities have to learn to ride before they can walk. They have to be able to ride. It is how people get places, how work is done. If you can't ride, you can't work - you need to ride for life."

Ganbat's "PC-free" and almost innocent perspective also provides a wonderfully unfiltered take on the sport's most divisive topic in the US, and perhaps the world: use of the diuretic Lasix, which is banned for in-competition use outside of North America.

North America has in some respects cut itself off competitively with the rest of the racing world because of the use of the agent, which is used primarily to stop horses suffering a condition called exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhaging, or bleeding in the lungs, but is now used by more than 90 per cent of horses in races.

Critics have campaigned for its phasing out, while trainers and veterinarians, many with a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo, argue just as vehemently for its widespread use.

Ganbat no longer uses Lasix, in part because of his experiences when Mongolian Saturday ran on the drug at his first 11 starts.

"My horses won't run on it, I hate Lasix," he says.

Ganbat's home track in the winter months, Gulfstream Park, has brought in some Lasix-free two-year-old races.

"I support that 100 per cent. I gave Lasix to Mongolian Saturday, and all the horse does is pee before the race and, to me, it was like he was dying, he was just dehydrated."

Then there is organised racing, with gambling, in mainland China - that rainbow of hope for racing that seems to return on a roundabout year after year, but spends decades going nowhere.

"They should change the gambling laws … if China decide to do something they always want the best result.

"I think the government would invest a lot of money in the horse racing industry. Look at the Olympic Games, 20 years ago, what were China doing? Now China have the best sportsmen. They could do the same thing with horse racing."

Ganbat and Ganbaatar are in the market for more horses, but first they must get more boxes to train out of, mainly where they are based during summer at Arlington Park, Chicago.

"Once you start participating in this sport, you never give up, so we will try our best to buy more," Ganbaatar said via a translator at trackwork. "To participate in a world-class competition like this was our dream."

Now ironically, heading into the HK$18.5 million feature on Sunday, the trainer of horses who ran marathons says the biggest question mark over his first runner in Hong Kong is stamina.

"Five furlongs (1,000m) is his best distance - maybe he will get tired at the end of this race because it is 1,200m," Ganbat says.

Told the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai is run over 1,000m, in March, he asks: "How much money is that worth?

"US$1 million."

"I love the sound of this race, we should go."

Sounds like this story is just getting started.

Link to article


B.C. hockey coach brings Canada's national pastime to Mongolia

December 12 (CTV News) Mongolia isn't exactly a hockey hotbed.

The landlocked country sandwiched between China and Russia is home to only 13 rinks – all of them outdoors – and just 653 registered hockey players.

But for hockey coach Nathan Leslie, making a more than 8,000-kilometre journey to share his country's national pastime was part of satisfying a life's ambition. 

"This is exactly fulfilling a dream I had of connecting with coaches and hockey enthusiast around the world," he told CTV Vancouver.

Leslie coaches hockey at the Britannia Hockey Academy in Vancouver. He previously played Junior-A hockey in his youth, and had a few stints in Switzerland's National League before he retired and became a coach.

Earlier this year, Leslie decided to venture to Mongolia with his brother and a small film crew, to spread his love of the game.

Mongolia couldn't afford to bring over Leslie and his crew, so the Canadians took it upon themselves to raise the $22,000 necessary to make the trip.

After securing the funds, the group finally made it to the Asian country in February, bringing with them 10 bags full of hockey gear, including over 50 pairs of skates.

Starting in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, the group visited seven of the country's rinks, making their way north, to just 80 kilometres from the Russian border.

Despite the frigid temperatures, Leslie and his crew received a warm welcome.

Leslie said the nomadic Mongolian people would sometimes arrive on horseback to watch practices and bring them lunch.

"We had a group one day wait five hours in -25C to -29C weather, hoping that we would show up and get on the ice," he said.

Leslie said he was impressed by his pupils' determination to learn the sport.

"They're tough. They're resilient. They're as passionate as we are," he said.

Thanks to the success of the trip, Leslie has plans to spread his love for the game in other countries where hockey is on the margins of the collective consciousness. Next on the docket are China and New Zealand– two countries that have just over 2,500 registered hockey players combined.

"Hockey is the vehicle that has been able to take us around the world, and (I) just cherish that and enjoy it," he said.

Link to article (includes video)

Link to Documentary: Project Mongolia – Rinks of Hope


Hockey night in Mongolia – Global News, December 10


Indian pro clubs buy Mongolian wrestlers

December 11 ( From 10th-28th December, India's "Pro Wrestling League" is taking place. Six wrestling clubs from Delhi, the Punjab, Bangalore, Uttar Paradesh, Mumbai, and Haryana will participate in this competition. One month before the competition started, an auction took place between these six clubs to choose and secure skilled foreign wrestlers.

During the auction, the "Delhi Veer Team" bought Mongolian wrestler G.Mandahnaran of the "Aldar Sport Commission" for USD 20,000 in the 65kg category and the "Warrior Team" purchased International Master of Sport, P.Unurbat for USD 50,000 in the 74kg category. A third Mongolian, the International Master of Sport, J.Chuluunbat, has been bought by the "Punjab Team" for USD 25,000 in the 125 kg category.

Link to article


DMU football club on winter training in Hainan

December 11 ( The opening ceremony of the "Inner Mongolian Football Training Center" took place on 9th December in Sanya city on the Chinese island of Hainan.

At the invitation of the Inner Mongolian Football Federation, the secretary of the Mongolian Football Federation (MFF) U.Shijir, the President the "DMU" football club, and member of the MFF Executive Commission, B.Batzaya, participated in the opening ceremony. Six new pitches and a sports town have been opened on Hainan which is called "Heaven on Earth".

Currently, the Brazilian youth club "Fluminence FC", Russia's "FK Chita", Mongolia's "DMU", and various Chinese teams are doing their winter training in Sanya.

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Art, Entertainment

Morin Khuur Ensemble to Stage "The Sounds of Winter" New Year's Concert on Dec 17

December 7 ( Annual "The Sounds of Winter" New Year`s Concert by Horse Fiddle Ensemble to be performed on Dec 17th at 7pm at Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. 

Tickets are now available at Prices for the ticket at balcony is at MNT 30,000 and prices for the ticket at stalls and lodge is at at MNT 50,000. 

If you want more information, please make contact at 8999 5889, 7011 0389.

Link to article


Mongolia makes it to Miss Earth final 16, Philippines takes crown

Ulaanbaatar, December 7 (MONTSAME) Miss Earth 2015 pageant was held on December 5 in Vienna, Austria. A Mongolian A.Bayartsetseg was included in the best 16 out of the total 86 participants, having grabbed three gold and one bronze medals. The beauty contest winner became the Miss Earth Philippines Angelina Ong.

Miss Earth Mongolia A.Bayartsetseg ranked at second place by rating during whole course of the contest. Her video introduction has earned the most votes online.

She won the Best Presentation for her excellent speech for ecology from the UN podium on behalf of Asia. In the Creative Cooking Challenge, her team won the gold medal. Bayartsetseg's introduction video has been named the best along with the videos of Miss USA, Belgium and France.

Our delegate conquered the Photogenic Award, the Evening Gown competition and grabbed a bronze medal from the Cocktail Wear competition. She has also become one of the best 12 in the Talent competition.

Link to article


Gurvan Bileg Lingerie, Children's Collection at Goyol 2016

December 7 ( We deliver you the collections presented at "Goyol 2016" Fashion Festival as series. This time we features "Gurvan Bileg" LLC which fashion designers displayed underwear and children`s clothing.

Link to article


Mongolian Photographer: Oldokhiin Munkhnasan

December 11 ( usually delivers Mongolian photographers works as series. This time, we featured photographer O.Munkhnasan who captures mainly nature.

O.Munkhnasan can be said as one of those who successfully combines his profession with hobby, He has been taking photos for five years now and mainly focuses on nature, Mongolian lifestyle and city photos. He works in tourism industry and mentions Ch.Batzaya known on Facebook as owner of page Photos Mongolia as the one who has dragged him into photography.

We are emphasizing the amazing works about Lake Khuvsgul today. As the photographer himself was very fond of the memories related with taking photos of this spectacular place in different seasons. O.Munkhnasan mentions that winter photography is one of the difficult ones as the season dictates most of the photo timing.

Link to article


The Invisible: Solo Exhibition by Viktoria Radnaeva at Lilium Gallery

December 11 ( Lilium Gallery and Lounge presents their first international artists exhibition of 2015 "The Invisible"  a debut solo exhibition by Buryat artist and journalist Viktoria Radnaeva from December 12, 2015 to January 5, 2016.

Viktoria's work deals with the invisible reflection of all being, self-reflection and constant change of the world.

Her artistic expression is based on Buddhist philosophy and shamanistic traditions with elements of cosmology and mythology and she uses different medium including fabric, carved stone, ceramics and glass.

Lilium Gallery and Lounge is located in KH Apartment 6B, Chinggis Avenue, Khan-Uul district.

Link to article


Mogi: nice article!

Mongolian Fine Arts: Globally Praised, Unknown Locally


December 11 (UB Post) With the closing of the Venice Biennale, which could be described as the "Art Olympics", the Asia-Pacific Triennial opened in Queensland, Australia, on December 3, with the inclusion of four Mongolian artists.

Although Mongolia is a bit slow when it comes to development, the fine arts sector has sky rocketed in the last few decades. The global coverage of Mongolian artists in 2015 has proven that Mongolian artists are by no means "behind" compared to artists overseas.

Mongolian artists have appeared in three major events this year, with the participation of 34 artists in NordArt 2015 in Busseldorf, Germany; two artists at La Biennale di Venezia (the Venice Biennale) in Venice, Italy; and four participating in the 8th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) in Queensland, Australia, with notable mentions. Mongolia was named the Focus Country at NordArt, was listed in the top 10 national highlights by Art Radar and Art Review Asia magazines at the Venice Biennale, and was praised by APT8 curator Reuban Keehan. Mongolian artists have outside exposure, but how about domestically? The artists are promoted, but what about the galleries?

The above mentioned accomplishments were not only achieved by the artists themselves, but with the help of other organizations, such as the Mongolian Association of Contemporary Artists, the Ulaanbaatar Mayor's Office, and 976 Art Gallery, who have led them to these competitions and exhibitions abroad. However, when the sole purpose of galleries here is to spread and promote art and aesthetics to the Mongolian public, why is the public still barely notified, and why is the art community the only people who show up at exhibition openings?

Galleries are retail businesses that support artists in exchange for a portion of sales in return. Galleries curate their exhibitions, but their main job is to advertise and promote an artist and their exhibition while the exhibition is on view at their gallery. Most of the galleries in Mongolia are not serving that function.

Let me walk you through a typical artist's steps to opening an exhibition in Mongolia. The artist decides on the works to be presented in an exhibition, depending on whether the exhibition aims to sell or just present their work. They choose the gallery, pay fees to rent the walls or find out if there are other deals available, they curate the exhibition, print all the invitations and posters with their own money, send out invitations, write their own press releases, prepare food and wine for their opening, and then promote it before and after the exhibition is on view. When the exhibition ends, the artist is expected to give approximately 30 percent of their income to the gallery.

The only exception is when galleries like the Union of Mongolian Artists' (UMA) Art Gallery and Blue Moon Art Gallery announce competitions and receive artworks from various artists and present them at their gallery without charging their artists.

The Mongolian National Art Gallery (MNAG) is known for its high prices, although they have their own building, and the bills are paid for by the state. The second floor costs artists approximately 200,000 MNT a day, while the third floor costs more than 300,000 MNT a day. Although high-priced, the gallery does basically nothing to benefit the artist.

Only a handful of galleries, such as 976 Art Gallery, Blue Moon Art Gallery, and occasionally, the UMA Art Gallery, work to promote the artist. Nowadays, promotion and advertising mainly takes place on social media, namely Facebook, or through media outlets such as newspapers and magazines.

Promotional efforts can easily be judged by the timeliness and quality of the exhibition event pages and the gallery's Facebook pages. It can also be measured by successful press coverage.

After becoming a writer for the arts page of The UB Post, I gave every gallery I visited my contact information and asked them to send press releases for timely coverage of their events. Hardly any of the galleries send press releases if I don't call them. I recall an incident when I had to call a gallery five times within six hours to get a press release to meet our issue deadline. The gallery opens early, but the office opens at 10 a.m., but from my experience, the gallery office has never opened on time.

Can we expect much from private galleries, when the state-owned gallery cannot set industry standards? I've encountered several journalists at the Mongolian National Art Gallery, the only state-owned art gallery, who have faced similar problems. The gallery doesn't use email and sticks to mobile phones, but never makes calls. The gallery only promotes exhibitions when they concern "important" people, such as foreigners. Other times, a normal visitor would never even notice if an exhibition was being presented there. I once got news that an exhibition had opened at MNAG, but had to go downstairs and ask the reception desk for help to actually find the exhibition.

"It's not like galleries will dedicate their entire time to artists, I don't expect them to. Everyone is trying to earn money. But they are working with artists, we're their customers. We expect them to at least do their jobs and promote art when we pay quite a lot, but they're not," said one artist.

A few days ago, "Race", a painting by S.Mijiddorj was declared missing at MNAG. The gallery only found out when they were conducting their yearly inventory of artwork.

The Police Department investigated the Chairman of MNAG, N.Batbaatar, and found that he had transferred a total of 73 million MNT from the gallery budget to his mother-in-law's Ikh Khanuin Gol Company bank account for hall repairs and installation of glass cases for artwork. The workers said they were ordered to do the job that Ikh Khanuin Gol had signed for. Even though former Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag assigned an artist as chairman of the public gallery, the artist is not supporting artists or artwork.

"In recent years, people have been opening galleries, as they see it is more economically efficient than most businesses. This makes it easy for every wealthy person who doesn't care about art to open an art gallery," said an art critic who didn't want to be named. This is partially the reason why galleries are not developing well in Mongolia.

After writing art stories for half a year, and going to almost all openings in the city, I notice that there are certain groups in the art community. Certain people come to a particular artists' openings, and you become familiar with these groups. Rarely do I ever see people from a completely different community. There's also a discussion among some groups of artists that the galleries only show or promote the exhibitions of the artists they know, people who are in their circles.

Galleries receive offers to have their artists participate in competitions and exhibitions being held in foreign countries. "Unless you have some kind of relationship with the galleries, you have basically no chances of participating. These opportunities pass without being heard about, and they are talked about a lot when they have already passed," stressed an artist.

If MNAG was honest with its selections, it would influence or encourage other galleries to be honest too. Maybe if curators and art critics owned galleries, they would be art supporters without affiliations. Maybe they would make the art world more accessible and just.

When the only public gallery which is supposed to serve as a role model to all private ones is neglectful of its artwork and artists, what should we expect from private galleries?

We need better management in galleries. I want to see these globally praised but domestically unknown artists and creative geniuses get more recognition in Mongolia, and develop respect for the work they create and they education they provide. What can an art lover do?

Link to article


SATIRE: Supermarkets beef up security for Lewis Road Creamery's Mongolian reindeer milk

SATIRE: Lewis Road Creamery has announced plans to release a limited edition batch of reindeer milk in time for Christmas.

But with just 1000 bottles of "The Rudolf Expression" available, selected supermarkets are bracing themselves for mass hysteria from impressionable shoppers.

Security firm Armourguard is expected to collect the precious cargo at Marlborough Airport at 5.30am on Christmas Eve for the "one day only" sale.

New World in Blenheim has beefed up its own security for the expected onslaught with plain-clothed checkout girls roaming the store with tasers and pepper spray.

"This could end up like Black Friday in the [United] States, with people fighting in the aisles," a spokeswoman said. "Or like that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, where he has to buy his kid the last Turbo Man. So we're not taking any chances."

Lewis Road Creamery sent a delegation to Mongolia earlier this year to meet with reindeer herders and strike a deal for the milk.

Reports suggest the Tsaatan, or "reindeer people", were perplexed by the request because of the milk's natural saltiness.

One tribesman said he would not drink reindeer milk even if it came from his wife's left boob, which was his favourite.  

Not ones to turn down a good deal though, members of the small Mongolian tribe have been hard out milking their animals since July.

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Talk with Me: Nic and Donna Cuthbert, Horseback-Riders Across Mongolia

November 29 (Star TV) --

Link to interview


Aussie travelers predicted to head to Cuba, Mongolia next year

An analysis of online flight searches provides an insight into where Australian travellers will be headed next year.

December 11 (AAP)      will top the list of destinations for Australian travellers in 2016, according to an analysis of flight searches.

Australians considering an overseas holiday next year will also be looking at Mongolia and Norway, Skyscanner Australia predicts.

The list of destinations is based on countries that have recorded strong and increasing interest among people using the global search engine.

Searches related to Cuba, which will also be getting more American tourists following the lifting of a US travel ban, increased by 94 per cent in 2015.

"After analysing millions of flight search data from the past three years, it is really interesting to see these new and exciting destinations such as Cuba and Mongolia on this list of upcoming favourites," Skyscanner Australia and New Zealand spokeswoman Emily Callahan said in a statement.

Domestically, Uluru, Hobart and Proserpine in Queensland's Whitsundays topped the list.

Predicted top international destinations for Aussies in 2016:

1. Cuba

2. South Korea

3. Taiwan

4. India

5. Sri Lanka

6. Mongolia

7. Norway

8. Samoa

9. Japan

10. Philippines

Predicted top domestic destinations for Aussies in 2016:

1. Uluru

2. Hobart

3. Proserpine

4. Launceston

5. Adelaide

Link to article


The most challenging and rewarding trip, teaching English in Mongolia

Lydia LaBelle de Rios and Gregorio Rios have plenty to be thankful for.

December 11 (Rifle Citizen Telegram) The thought, although not new, was evident on Thanksgiving when the Rifle couple and their two young children were returning from a roughly three-month stint teaching English in Mongolia. From the support that made the trip possible, to the stark contrast between life here in the states and life in the vast rural regions of Mongolia, the sense of gratitude was overwhelming, Lydia and Greg said just days after returning to their modest home in Rifle. They recalled their travels while sipping a milk tea from the country as traditional Mongolian music played in the background.

"For me I think the most prevalent thing is again how full of gratitude we are, especially for folks that helped us," Lydia said.

Prior to leaving in September, the couple admitted that many of the details were unknown.

The trip was to teach English for the Swiss Program for Language Instruction and Teacher Training. The couple did not know where they would be teaching or how they would pay for the trip, which required them to take unpaid time off from their jobs. Local businesses and organizations including the Base Camp, Olive Ridley's Coffee Tea & Travel Co. and the Rifle Moose Lodge 1345 / 2147 offered support, as did others.

Still, the uncertainty as to what they would actually do in Mongolia, remained when the family arrived in the country and learned they could fly or take a two-day bus ride to get to the Bayan-Ölgii province in the western part of the country where they would live for the next three months.

Gregorio, who had made an effort to learn the Mongolian language, discovered that the majority of the population where they were headed speaks Kazakh.

"Oh man," Gregorio said while putting a palm to his head.

The surprises did not dampen the mood during the initial "honeymoon" phase of the trip, but after about 10 days the reality of the situation settled in, Lydia said.

As a couple, being in a foreign country was not a new experience. Gregorio was born in Paraguay and has traveled internationally, as has Lydia, who served in the in the Peace Corps. However, all those trips were without their children, Dante, 8, and Alex, 4.

"We we're looking at each other like 'why did we do this? What was wrong with a Disney vacation?'" Lydia joked.

After a couple of weeks, though, the family got into a routine, and with help from some of the few colleagues and students who spoke English, the family integrated into the culture as much as they could. They were invited into homes and participated in celebrations, including a festival-like event centered on a small group of hunters who use eagles to catch small rodents. They slowly learned some Kazakh phrases — Alex and Dante learned more than their parents.

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