Monday, February 1, 2016

[HAR to raise A$1.4m; OT pays $315m taxes in 2015; Ard incorporates Invest Nation JSC; MNT down 0.8% in Jan; and elections set for June 29]

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Monday, February 1, 2016

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Int'l Market

HAR last traded at A$0.002 on Jan 25

Haranga Resources: Entitlement Issue Prospectus to Raise Up to A$1.37 Million

January 29 -- For a non-renounceable entitlement issue of one (1) Share for every one (1) Share held by those Shareholders registered at the Record Date at an issue price of $0.004 per Share to raise up to $1,367,383 (based on the number of Shares on issue as at the date of this Prospectus) (Offer).

The Offer is partially underwritten by Golden Rain Holdings Limited. Refer to Sections 3.4 and 3.5 for details regarding the underwriting arrangements.

Link to Prospectus

Link to Appendix 3B

Link to Optionholders


TER last traded A$0.006 on Friday

TerraCom: Trading Halt Pending Update on Balance Sheet Restructuring

February 1 -- The Directors of TerraCom Limited (TerraCom or the Company) hereby request a trading halt to be placed on the Company's securities from the commencement of trading on Monday, 1 February 2016.

The trading halt is requested pending an update by TerraCom on the previously announced restructuring of the Company's balance sheet. In summary, the Company has:

      In principle agreement reached for a new Secured loan of USD$5 million from its existing note holders (represented by OCP Asia), which will replace the previously envisaged AUD$7 million equity placement by SPG Investment Holdings Ltd, significantly reducing Shareholder Dilution;

      In principle agreement reached for a new Facility with its existing note holders to invest in a new 5-year interest only bond that will replace their existing notes; and

      Received conversion notices from holders of USD$5 million of Convertible Notes and issued corresponding shares on 29 January 2016, further reducing the Companies debt by USD$5 million.

In accordance with Listing Rule 17.1, the Company advises that:

Link to release

Link to Appendix 3B


TerraCom: Quarterly Activities Report

February 1 -- TerraCom Limited ("TerraCom" or the "Company") (ASX: TER) is pleased to present its quarterly activities report for the period ended 31 December, 2015.


      2015 Strategic review implementation progressing across operational and corporate levels.

      Re-branding approved by shareholders at EGM to change the Company name to TerraCom Limited.

      Townsville corporate office closure as part of the Company's further cost rationalisation and cost reduction program.

      The Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) coking coal mine in Mongolia completed another calendar year Lost Time Injury (LTI) free and was awarded "Best Mining Company of Mongolia focused on Health and Safety – 2015" from the Mongolian Ministry of Mining.

      Direct mining costs of ~US$28 per run of mine tonne achieved at BNU during period.

      Exploration licence obtained for 18 km2 area which is 81.5 kms east of BNU mine. A number of other exploration areas are under application in the South Gobi province and also the Uvs Province of Mongolia.

Link to report


Cash at end of quarter A$8.6m. XAM last traded A$0.095 on Thursday

Xanadu Mines: Quarterly Activities Report


Exploration activities recommence at Kharmagtai copper-gold project

      Exploration drilling and trenching are currently underway at Kharmagtai;

      Six drill holes (2939.75m) test a combination of targets which includes high level gold-rich porphyry mineralisation and deeper tourmaline breccia mineralisation;

      A multi-disciplinary technical review identifies new porphyry drill targets;

      Potentially significant high-grade carbonate-base metal gold mineralization identified;

      Broad step-out trenching extends the strike (up to 150m) of higher-grade surface mineralisation at Tsagaan Sudal;

      A total of 1200-line-kilomtres of detailed infill ground magnetic data collected;

      Reconnaissance exploration, field mapping, and infill geochemical sampling are ongoing.

Exploration activities recommence at Oyut Ulaan copper-gold project

      Geological mapping and geochemical sampling commence at Oyut Ulaan;

      Exploration work focused understanding shallow high-grade gold-rich copper skarn mineralisation.

Completion of A$8.8 million placement and share purchase plan

      Successful placement and share purchase plan offer raises total gross proceeds of A$8.8 million;

      Strong support received from new and existing sophisticated and institutional shareholders;

      Cornerstone investors participate in strong support of the Company;

      Xanadu well-funded to continue exploration at its flagship Kharmagtai project.

Completion of Kharmagtai deferred acquisition consideration

      Balance of the Deferred Acquisition Consideration for the Kharmagtai project reduced by over US$1 million;

      Full repayment of the deferred consideration at less than budget.

Financial position

      Cash and equivalents of A$8.6 million.

January 29 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to provide shareholders with an update of exploration results from a strong fourth quarter.

Link to report


Cash at end of quarter A$1.4 million. AKM closed -22.2% Friday to A$0.007

Aspire Mining: Quarterly Activities Report

Northern Railways Investment Update

      Government of Mongolia grants Construction Licence for the Erdenet to Ovoot railway to Northern Railways.

      Mongolian Ministry of Roads and Transport, Mongolian Railways ("UBTZ") and Northern Railways agree on connection point for Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.

      Negotiations completed to resolve a potential land use conflict, paving the way for final approval of the alignment and grant of the land strip.

Coking Coal Projects Update

      Revised mining costs have been received for Ovoot resulting in a 22% reduction as against pre-feasibility cost estimates prepared in 2012, reconfirming Ovoot Coking Coal Project as a low cost producer.

      Gravity survey completed at Ovoot highlight new areas of mid and high exploration potential surrounding the Ovoot Mining Licence.

      Nuurstei Joint Venture exploration programme for 2015 completed confirming coal quality expectations of a high quality coking coal with moderate to high ash, mid to low volatiles and excellent coking properties including maximum vitrinite reflectance (RoMax%) ranging from 1.3 to 1.4.

Corporate Update

      With completion of Nuurstei Programme significant overhead reductions have been made in Mongolia and Australia.

      Company in discussions with Noble Group to roll forward the US$5m loan facility due March 2016.

      Northern Railways LLC and its advisers continue discussions with potential funders of rail feasibility study for the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.

January 29 -- Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, Aspire, or the Company), focussed on the exploration and development of metallurgical coal assets in Mongolia, is pleased to present its Quarterly Activities Report to Shareholders for the period ending 31 December 2015.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


Aspire Mining: Change to Board of Directors

January 29 -- Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, "Aspire") wishes to advise that for personal reasons, Mr Sado Demichigsuremn Turbat has resigned as a Non-Executive Director of Aspire.

Aspire's Chairman, Mr David McSweeney said "We wish to take this opportunity to thank Turbat for his contribution over the last three years and we wish him all the best".

Link to release

Final Director's Interest Notice (2.2 million shares, 375K options)


Cash at end quarter A$337K. TPO last traded A$0.18 on October 27

Tian Poh: Quarterly Activities Report

January 29, Tian Poh Resources Ltd. (ASX:TPO) --


      TPO entered into a MOU with Shanxi Zhangze Power Co Ltd (000767 SZ), a company registered in the People's Republic of China, to investigate the feasibility of building, in stages, 1,000MW of coal fired power generation facilities in Mongolia. The project will be located at or near the Nuurst Project and will be fed by coal extracted from this project.

      TPO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPP), a company registered in the People's Republic of China, to jointly study a proposal to build a coal to natural gas plant in Mongolia, with a capacity of 1.3 billion – 8 billion m3 per year. The proposal also includes the construction of a gas pipeline from the plant to Ulanbaatar and China.

      Following the completion of due diligence drilling at the Khuvyn Khar Porphyry Complex in the 30 September 2015 quarter, related to the potential acquisition of an interest in the Zuun Mod Porphyry Molybdenum-Copper Deposit from Erdene Resources Development Corp (TSX: ERD), TPO elected not to exercise its option and, under the terms of the Agreement, the US$200,000 convertible debenture purchased by TPO was converted into shares of Erdene Resource Development Corp at C$0.14 per share.

      Detailed geological mapping was completed on 6 tenements.

Link to report

Link to cashflow report


PCY closed 20% Friday to C$0.02

Prophecy Development Corp Insider Sells 684,093 Shares of Stock

January 30 ( Prophecy Development Corp (TSE:PCY) insider Irina Plavutska sold 684,093 shares of Prophecy Development Corp stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of C$0.02, for a total transaction of C$13,681.86.

Prophecy Development Corp (TSE:PCY) traded down 20.00% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $0.02. 1,120,200 shares of the stock traded hands. The company's 50-day moving average is $0.03 and its 200-day moving average is $0.04. Prophecy Development Corp has a one year low of $0.02 and a one year high of $0.08. The company's market cap is $6.84 million.

Link to article


Prophecy Voluntarily Delists from OTCQX

Vancouver, British Columbia, January 29 (FSCwire) - Prophecy Development Corp. ("Prophecy" or the "Company") (TSX:PCY, OTCQX:PRPCF, Frankfurt:1P2) announces that after a detailed review of the trading volume, costs and administrative requirements related to maintaining the Company's listing on the OTCQX International, it has voluntarily delisted its Common shares from the OTCQX International effective today.  Prophecy's Common shares continue to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Exchange.  

Link to release


VKA trading +54.6% early Monday trading

Viking Mines: Akoase Sale - Non-Refundable Deposit Received In Full

February 1 – The Board of Viking Mines Limited (Viking: VKA.AU) is pleased to announce that it has now received the full US$2,000,000 in non-refundable deposit proceeds from Akoase Resources Limited (ARL) the purchaser of the Akoase Gold Project in Ghana, West Africa, in accordance with the Akoase Gold Project Sale Agreement dated June 2015.

Following payment of the US$2 million by ARL the only remaining condition precedent to completion of the sale is for Viking to obtain the necessary government approvals to transfer the Akoase tenements to ARL.

Viking has commenced preparation of the necessary applications and documents required to obtain the Minister of Mines approval to the transfer of the Akoase licences to ARL. This process includes making various submissions to the Minerals Commission and obtaining a tax clearance for its Ghanaian incorporated subsidiary. This process is expected to take approximately 3 months from lodgement. It is expected that the completed documents will be lodged in February. Viking does not expect to encounter any abnormal difficulties in obtaining the necessary government approvals.

Once the necessary Ministerial approvals for the transfer of the tenements are received a further US$6 million in Akoase sales proceeds becomes immediately payable to Viking. Non-payment of this amount will void the sale transaction and the Akoase project ownership will remain with Viking. In this event there is no obligation upon Viking to refund any portion of the US$2 million deposit already paid by ARL.

Akoase Sale Transaction Details

Link to release


TRQ closed +7.29% Friday to US$2.06, -18.9% YTD

Oyu Tolgoi crosses US$5.4 bn in-country spend; highest annual tax payments at US$315 mn / MNT628 bn for 2015

      National procurement spend of US$291 mn / MNT580 bn for 2015

      Among best safety performers across global peers

      Strong environmental performance continues; industry-leading water use performance

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 29 January 2016 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) Oyu Tolgoi LLC today released its latest Performance Scorecard, recapping the company's strong performance across all key business measures in 2015.

Oyu Tolgoi President and CEO, Andrew Woodley, said: "The latest edition of the Scorecard presents a snapshot of the impressive achievements of the business – and our workforce – in 2015. We have made real progress in terms of safety; made a significant contribution to Mongolia in terms of our in-country spend, taxes, fees and other payments; achieved record production levels and, delivered or exceeded on production guidance and, reduced costs across the business. While the external environment, particularly commodity markets, remains challenging – this is the foundation on which are working together to build a large, low cost, long-life mine, which will be among the top five copper-gold mines worldwide."

Oyu Tolgoi continued its strong safety performance in 2015, achieving an All Injury Frequency Rate of 0.33, making it one of the best safety performers across Rio Tinto and among global peers. On the back of this, Oyu Tolgoi also achieved record production for the last quarter of 2015, improving over Q3 and Q2 2015, successive record quarters for the business.

Copper production of 202kt exceeded Turquoise Hill's guidance, and gold production of 653koz met the guidance. Record production was achieved in the mine, concentrator, and in delivery of product to our customers.

Oyu Tolgoi's workforce composition stood at over 95 per cent national for 2015; investment and participation in the local community grew, with US$6.8 mn invested in sustainable development projects in the South Gobi, US$3.2 mn in education and training, and US$66 mn in procurement from the South Gobi region. Two kindergartens in Dalanzadgad, the first projects funded by the Cooperation Agreement which commits US$5 mn annually to community development, are nearing completion.

Oyu Tolgoi continues to grow as a strong Mongolian business, establishing a solid foundation for the future. The signing of project financing for the underground mine in December 2015 was a significant vote of confidence in Oyu Tolgoi as a business, the workforce, and more broadly for Mongolia as an investment destination.

Notes to the Editor:

      The Performance Scorecard is designed to provide regular updates on key parameters around the operation including safety, environmental performance, local employment, supplier spend and taxes paid, as well as broader investments in social and educational projects.

      Conversion rate: US$1 = MNT1995.84 (Source: Mongol Bank, December 2015)

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -0.95%, ALL -0.51%, ₮23.3 Million Stocks, ₮183.4 Million T-Bills

January 29 (MSE) --

Link to report


Ard Financial Group: Incorporation of "Investor Nation" Closed JSC

January 29 -- The founders' meeting of "Investor Nation" Closed JSC has been successfully convened in Ulaanbaatar on January 09, 2016. In late November 2015, the citizens first joined the initiative to participate in the privatization of the Printing Factory through Facebook, and saw the opportunity to personally be involved in the country's development by joint investment. This time, people have decided to have their joint financial organization through a legally formed way. Out of 560 registered founders, 509 have been confirmed by receiving their mandates and 463 investors physically participated in the founders' meeting.

During the meeting, the founders have shared their successful experiences and lessons learned and expressed their opinion on the legal environment of the financial sector, business environments as well as the current economic conditions of Mongolia. The founders unanimously agreed to unite as a closed joint stock company to take the next steps. It has been decided that the Closed JSC shall have the share capital of MNT10 billion with 10 million issued shares with a par value of MNT 1,000 each and the founders unanimously approved the Company's Charter.

Moreover, the first Shareholders' meeting is set to be convened on February 20, 2016. The temporary Board of Directors to work until such meeting, consisting of 9 members, was set up, of which 5 members are the representatives of the over 500 founders, openly elected by decimal system and the remaining 4 members inclusive of independent members which nominated by the initiative were unanimously approved by the Founders.

The directors of the Board are Mrs. Oyungerel.J, Mr. Battsengel.B, Mr. Batkhuu.E, Mr. Galbadrah.J, Mr. Ganhuyag.Ch, Mr. Damdinsuren.Kh, Mr. Telmen.G, Mr. Tsogbadrakh.G and Mrs. Enkhchimeg.D and Mrs. Oyungerel.J and Mr. Ganhuyag.Ch are appointed as the Chairwoman of the Board and as the Chief Executive Officer respectively. Legal counseling shall be provided by ELC LLP Advocates and the auditor shall be the BDO Auditing Company.

If you wish to obtain more information about the "Investor Nation" JSC, please contact us at the address provided below.

Link to release


Ard Financial Group Acquires 17.38% of Mongol Post JSC

January 27 -- On January 8th, 2016 Mongolian Stock Exchange offered 34 percent of Mongol Post JSC total shares for public trading and successfully completed a partial privatization of the company. Ard Financial Group JSC opened a new page in its history by effectively participating in this privatization on its sole behalf and acquiring 17.38 percent of Mongol Post, which celebrates its 95th anniversary this year.

According to the privatization brief, Mongol Post will use MNT 6.25 billion raised from this IPO, for expansion of its activities, introduction of new services and technical upgrades.

As a result of this privatization Mongol Post will be able to upgrade its corporate governance and improve its management structure while simultaneously increasing its operational efficiency and adding new capacity to expand. Mongol Post gained an additional source of capital, enabling it to introduce new services for its customers through its network.

Ard Financial Group, as a leading private sector representative, with its transparent procedures and good governance practices, will contribute to Mongol Post's vision of becoming Mongolia's exemplary Joint  Stock Company with good governance that upholds the interests of its shareholders.

"I would like to congratulate all individuals and companies who participated in this privatization deal i.e. Mongol Post IPO" said Mr. Ganhuyag Chuluun, CEO of Ard Financial Group. "And on behalf of more than 360 investors, who became new shareholders, I would like to congratulate and express our appreciation to the Mongolian Stock Exchange, Financial Regulatory Committee, Securities Clearing House and Central Depository, State Property Committee and the Mongolian Government on the successful organization of this privatization. This ground breaking privatization, which allowed citizens equal participation paved the road for the rebounding of the Mongolian stock markets and restored people's trust. Now we must capitalize on this achievement and collectively overhaul Mongol Post's operations, promoting good governance and strengthening the trust of people. With this we will be able to demonstrate effectiveness of public and private partnerships we have talked about for so many years. The stock market is based on trust. By restoring this trust, Mongol Post privatization will be a new beginning for many positive changes and pave the way for subsequent privatizations to follow."

New private minority shareholders are looking forward to the meeting of shareholders of Mongol Post.

Ard Financial Group or Ard Holdings is a financial holding company that invests in leading financial service providers to help them capture market share, improve competitiveness and increase their value in order to maximize the return to our shareholders. The investment portfolio of Ard Holdings includes the country's leading companies such as Ard Insurance, Ard Credit, Ard Securities (Monet Capital), Ard Assets, Ard Capital Management and EIT (Equity Investment Trust). The Company is also invested in the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nomiin Khishig Real Estate Agency, TenGer Systems and Wild Digital Agency through its investment fund. Ard Holdings actively participates in the management of its portfolio companies and creates synergies across the Group. Investor Nation is a trademark owned by Ard Holdings.

Link to release

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Historic low ₮2,011.38/USD set January 29, 2016

BoM MNT Rates: Friday, January 29 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (site malfunctioning), Khan (Buy ₮2,002 Sell ₮2,010), Golomt (Buy ₮2,002 Sell ₮2,010), XacBank (Buy ₮2,004.5 Sell ₮2,010.5), State Bank (Buy ₮2,005 Sell ₮2,011)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 54.9 billion 1-week bills at 12%, total outstanding +15.8% to ₮403.35 billion

January 29 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 54.9 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

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Politics & Legal

Mongolia Parliament Agenda for Feb 1: Caucus, Working Group Sessions

February 1 (GoGo Mongolia) --


·         DP Group Session at Hall A;

·         MPP Group Session at Hall B;

·         Justice Coalition Session at Hall C.


·         Draft Resolution of State Great Hural on Adoption of National Program Against Corruption 

·         Budget Standing Committee Working Group meeting on amendments to Corporate Income Tax Law

·         Draft Resolution of State Great Hural on Approval of Long-term sustainable development concept of Mongolia for 2016-2030

·         Environment, Food and Agriculture Sub Working Group meeting on organic food law 

·         State Structure Standing Committee Working Group meeting on revised draft law on public service law

·         Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science Standing Committee Sub Working Group meeting on revised draft law on children`s right and children`s protection

·         Budget Standing Committee Working Group meeting on  draft law on future heritage and affiliated other drafts 

·         Environment, Food and Agriculture Sub Working Group meeting on Animal Health Law

·         Economy Standing Committee Sub Working Group meeting on Draft law on Transparency in the Mineral Resources Sector 

Link to article


Mongolian PM Survives No-Confidence Vote Over Economic Policies

By Michael Kohn

·         Majority backs Saikhanbileg, giving mandate to rule until June

·         Vote defends Mongolia's $4.4 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine expansion

January 29 (Bloomberg) Mongolian Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed has survived a no confidence vote over his handling of the economy, setting him up to rule through summer elections.

Forty-two lawmakers in the 76-seat Great Hural voted in support of Saikhanbileg, with 31 against. A five-hour debate concluded in the early hours of Friday. A group of 19 MPs had filed a petition alleging that Saikhanbileg's May authorization of Rio Tinto Group's development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine constituted an abuse of power, offering little benefit to Mongolian citizens, delaying dividends and increasing the state's debt burden.

Saikhanbileg and his Democratic Party -- a patchwork of sometimes bickering factions -- has five months to turn around the sluggish economy before voters return to the polls. Perceived instability and declining commodity prices conspired to send yields on Mongolia's sovereign bonds to record highs last week.

The vote results are a "major boost for political stability until 2016 elections, de-risking Mongolia in this sense,'' Dale Choi, founder of Mongolian Metals & Mining, said in an e-mailed statement. "OT underground is safe now from political interference, until elections bring an additional four years of clarity.''

The Mongolian tugrik fell to an all-time low Thursday of 2,006 against the U.S. dollar. The currency was little changed Friday.

Rio will re-start development of the underground mine, which had been on hold since August 2013 due to disputes over a range of issues including fees, taxes and funding. A $4.4 billion project financing package to develop the mine was concluded in December. Wrapping up a separate coal mining deal with a group that includes China Shenhua Energy Co. remains a government priority.

Link to article


Parliament Sets General Election Date for Wednesday, June 29

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) At a plenary meeting of the parliamentary session on Friday, a majority of MPs adopted a draft amendment to the law on organizing regular elections of parliament, the Citizens Representative Khural (council) of the capital city and provinces.

As the resolution adopted, voting of the parliamentary and councils' elections will be held on June 29 (Wednesday) of 2016.

The voting for Mongolian citizens abroad will run on June 17-19 in the Mongolia's Embassies in foreign countries.

The plenary meeting is discussing a draft amendment on setting up constituencies, the number of quotas, territories and electoral sections. 

Link to article


Cabinet Secretary Gives Directions to Ministries and Agencies on Implementation of New Laws

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) Head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government S.Bayartsogt Friday ran the "Implementation, monitoring and responsibility" meeting, and gave obligations to authorities of Ministries and agencies in connection with an approaching of reporting the 2012-2016 governmental action programme.

Some ten laws out of 26, passed by the parliament's autumn session, came into force from January 1 of 2016, he noted. After him, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice J.Bayartsetseg gave a report on focusing on a realization of the general law on administration and the law on legal documents, whereas a deputy head of the Cabinet Secretariat G.Ganbold talked about reporting an implementation of the governmental resolutions and decisions and ways of realizing recommendations of the National Audit Office (NAO).

"In their work, general managers of budget must economize the approved budgets from this year and enter into a saving regime, for money for the 2016 budget has been trimmed. The current expenses of all budgetary organizations, except the institutions of education, health, culture, sciences, emergency, police and court, have been cut by up to 10%, so the general managers should adhere to the economizing regulation," said Bayartsogt.

"A new version of the law on VAT came into force this January 1, so state organizations should upgrade the information on trade of products, works and services reflected in the general data of tax. The relevant Ministries and agencies have to pay attention to resolving a matter on providing cash machines with a new system of VAT for those entities that have not introduced the software and cash machines yet," he said.

Emphasizing a significance of receiving state services promptly and on the spot, of improving the quality of services and of increasing the adequacy, Bayartsogt said the city's unified center of state services has been established at the "Dunjingarav" commercial center.

Despite the administrative locations, citizens can receive some 200 kinds of public services from 25 organizations on the spot, Bayartsogt went on, then ordered the authorities to get familiarized with the center's actions.

Link to article


Parliament adopts Law on Land Farming     

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) Plenary meeting of Friday morning addressed multiple issues concerning public referendum on making changes to Constitution, tax exemption on imported electric power, which were transferred back to affiliated Standing committees for parliament readings preparation.

After this, the MPs dismissed Z.Narantuya from a position of chairman of Financial Regulatory Commission upon her own request, and ran final readings of bill on land-farming and related to it legal documents. This bill was approved by a majority.           It outlines that a citizen or a company should make sure that the soil quality had not degraded prior to the actual transferring, and manage the first migration of livestock herding families dwelling on the land, in case the families have built-up winter or spring places. 

Link to article


Government to provide financial support to domestic production of medical supplies

January 29 (UB Post) "Making medicine and medical products independent from foreign countries is one of the main objectives of the Government of Mongolia and companies and entities which run operations in the health sector," said Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg during the weekly Cabinet meeting Hour of Solutions.

He went on to say that the government would operate under state policy to produce at least 50 percent of the medical products used domestically by providing financial support to companies producing them, and added that one of the options to diversify the country's economy is the production of medicine and medical products.

During the meeting, hosted every Wednesday by the Cabinet, the Prime Minister reviewed his visit to the newly opened Enkhiin Shuuder factory, which is producing intravenous fluids. Founded by five domestic medical companies, the Enkhiin Shuuder factory was established with an investment of seven billion MNT, with 5.5 billion MNT provided as a loan from Chinggis Bond funds. According to one of founders, President of Monos Group L.Khurelbaatar, the factory has received its first export orders. He asked the cabinet ministers to permit a loan of three billion MNT, the amount required to improve the factory's circulation.

"National security policy supports producing up to 50 percent of medicine and medical products nationally. Meanwhile, we are producing only 17 percent of domestic medical demand in the country," L.Khurelbaatar pointed out, and said that if the government would issue a soft loan of around 30 billion MNT, the factory's capacity would be enhanced to produce up to 40 percent of domestic demand.

The Prime Minister thanked the authorities of the five pharmaceutical companies who founded the new medicine factory, and underlined that it was a new phenomenon for five giants in one sector to collaborate to open such a factory, under one purpose and under one structure. He emphasized the need for such teamwork, unity, and integrity of goals in other sectors.

Noting that Mongolia has a bright future in supplying domestic demand and exporting medical products overseas, Ch.Saikhanbileg assigned Industry Minister D.Erdenebat with developing policy to provide support for supplying domestic demand and to arrange the export of Mongolian-made medical products.

He promised that the government would discuss the financing of 30 billion MNT to support the pharmaceutical sector, and said that the Cabinet will make a final decision on the issuance of capital in the near future, as the factory has already been built, strengthening the market.
Concluding the meeting, Minister D.Erdenebat mentioned that the ministry is consulting with companies and entities on directions to export their products, and noted that the ministry would assist in resolving financing if an entity was manufacturing products for export.

Link to article


Labor Minister Briefs Media on Reforms at "Minister's Hour"

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Labor G.Bayarsaikhan Thursday gave a report at the "Hour of Minister" weekly meeting, highlighting some works aimed at the legal reforms in the laws on labor, vocational training, promotion of employment, jobs increase, and national programme on a role of servicemen in the great construction.

In frames of works to upgrade the legal landscape of labor, he said, several laws concerning the labor sector are being amended, for example, draft amendments to the laws on vocational training and on supporting employment have already been submitted to parliament. Related Standing committee carried out first discussion over the amendments, and MPs considered as necessity to pass them through their first discussion at a plenary meeting, the Minister said.

The law on vocational training was adopted in 2002 and amended in 2012. This time, this law should be altered again in order to bring the VT into international standards, to transfer VT to a new system studying and evaluation of which are based on skills, also to work out training standards and programme with a participation of professional unions and employers, to create an evaluation system and arbitrary evaluation, and to provide the VT alumni with more opportunities of employment and high salaries, he said.

He added that a legal environment is being created to give opportunities to the VT alumni to transmit to universities, and to university students--to the VT centers.

The Minister pointed out that it is about to submit to the cabinet meeting a draft new wording of the law on labor--one of the main legal documents in the labor sphere. His Ministry also intends to amend the law on labour force import and export and is formulating a state policy on employment, he went on.

Within ongoing works to support employment, national programmes have been implemented nationwide on freelance employment support, on co-operatives, on giving professional skills, on maintaining vacancies, on supporting the VT alumni and job places for the disabled, as well as on herders.

Noting that some 30 thousand jobs have been created, he went on that the Ministry is going to implement projects and programmes on supporting small-sized business, on employment of youths and the disabled, on running public campaigns and works, introducing services of occupational orientation, and on senior professionals' advice and consulting.

Mr Bayarsaikhan also said the Ministry launched a national programme on involving soldiers in great the construction and training them in most needed professions. The "Mongolian Railway" company has ordered 3,362 people of eight professions to employ in them in a construction of 428km railway between Tavantolgoi and Sainshand, 2,601 of whom will be soldiers, some of them have started vocational training at Nalaikh-based VTC and in the University of Defense, he said.

Link to article


Official ceremony held for opening "Year of Consumers"

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) The government has named 2016 a Year of Consumers. Its opening ceremony ran January 29 themed "Under One Roof". Deputy PM Ts.Oyunbaatar gave opening remarks and introduced main objectives of this year. The Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg also addressed the ceremony.

"The cabinet resolved to announce 2016 as the Year of Consumers at the first regular meeting of this year. This is not an ordinary decision, in fact, this is a policy solution with purposes of improving people's lives by solving the problems facing consumers," said the PM.

He also mentioned series of decisions targeting the consumer interests, such as launch of discount on nighttime electricity tariff in ger areas, shift in monetary policy to reduce credit interest rates, and launch of the VAT payback system. The "11-11" public service center is operating, and 25 types of services had their online applications. Moreover, 167 types of public services will go online soon, he said. 

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Three men charged with illegal possession of dinosaur bones

January 29 (UB Post) Khan-Uul Traffic Police Department has arrested three men transporting illegally obtained dinosaur bones on January 17 at around 6:00 p.m.

Two of the men were residents of Dalanzadgad soum, Umnugovi Province, and the third was from Ulaanbaatar. They were travelling in a Jeep in 11th khoroo of Khan-Uul District when the Traffic Police Department and Investigation Division of Crimes Against Regulations of Environmental Protection (IDCREP) apprehended them.

The IDCREP confiscated the bones, which were found to have been obtained through illegal paleontological excavations, and transferred them to theMongolian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Paleontology and Geology.

"We received a full skeleton and skull of a Protoceratops, and a skeleton of a baby Hadrosaurus, commonly known as duck-billed dinosaur. The Protoceratops andrewsi bones could almost be considered complete. The excavators didn't use proper methods for excavation and transportation, which damaged some of the bones," said a scientist in the Institute of Paleontology and Geology.

He noted that the findings date back to as far back as 84 million years and were most likely found from Umnugovi Province.

"The other finding, the bones of a baby Hadrosauridas, is 19.5×15.5 in size, and is incomplete, with missing skeletal bones.We're predicting that the findings were from Tugrugiin Shiree of Bulgan soum, Umnugovi Province. These bones are approximately 71 to 84 million years old," he said.

"We will work to include the findings in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and in scientific studies. But before that, the police and law enforcement organizations should settle the case," he added.

All police units have started working together under the Sar Shine-2016 campaign, initiated by the Head of the General Police Department R.Chingis, to intensify crime prevention and crime detection. The IDCREP of the State Investigation Department started patrols to fight illegal loggers and illegal miners after they detected the three men with dinosaur bones.

"The Government Decree No.241 approved the List of Intangible Cultural Heritages in 1995. This list includes a famous finding, which are the bones of two baby dinosaurs fighting. The related organizations will decide whether to include these findings in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritages," said Head of the IDCREP Kh.Bayantumen.

Should the finding be included in the list, the three men could be charged under the Criminal Code Section 210.1 for "intentionally damaging objects in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritages".

According to the Criminal Code, they will be fined 200 to 250 times the minimum monthly wage or sentenced to three years in prison if found guilty.

According to the police, there are many reasons to suspect them of illegal excavation. For instance, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science's Order No.222 states that only scientific organizations are permitted to excavate, search for and conduct archaeological and paleontological studies in Mongolia.T he men might also be held responsible for violation of Article 30 of the Law on Protection of Cultural Heritages, which states, "All findings, and all land with findings that are of historic, cultural and/ or scientific significance are the property of the state. Damaging and altering the original state and features of findings while keeping them in possession, protecting or studying them are prohibited".

The State Investigation Department is now investigating the case to find whether the men were planning to smuggle the bones and whether they have previous records of illegal excavation.

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Oyu Tolgoi recognises best suppliers of 2015

Khanbogd, Umnugobi, 22 January 2016 (Oyu Tolgoi) Oyu Tolgoi held its annual Supplier Recognition 'Gobi Gem' Awards in Khanbogd soum, Umnugobi on Thursday, with government officials, local dignitaries, trade associations, and the supplier community taking part in the ceremony.

The awards recognised achievements in five main categories in 2015: Safety, Business performance; National and South Gobi suppliers, and a 'Grand Prix' category for the overall best-performer. The awards, in addition to recognising the five winners, celebrate the achievements of Mongolia's business and industrial community across sectors.

Oyu Tolgoi Chairman Batsukh Galsan noted, "One special thing about this year's Gobi Gem is that it comes so soon after the underground development Project Financing agreement was signed. Around 20 international lenders have partnered with Oyu Tolgoi and our shareholders to move the underground mine forward. Together, the Oyu Tolgoi workforce - and you - will carry this great project forward together."

The winners at Gobi Gem for 2015 are:

      Best Supplier for Safety performance – NBIK LLC

      Best Supplier for Delivery in Full and On Time – Mergen Chadvar LLC

      Best South Gobi Supplier – Khanbogd Khurd LLC

      Best National Supplier – Mineral Bag LLC

      Grand Prix – Maxam Explosives LLC

Speaking at the event, Andrew Woodley, Oyu Tolgoi President and CEO, said, "The strength of our partnership will continue to grow – just as Oyu Tolgoi grows with the underground development. I could not be more honoured to be working with the people of Khanbogd and the South Gobi to turn Oyu Tolgoi into one of the most important copper mines in the world in the coming years.

"Economic development goes hand-in-hand with infrastructure development and partnership. We have always seen the development of a strong, competitive, and sustainable supplier base here in the Gobi as critical to both our success – and the prosperity of the community."

Oyu Tolgoi worked with 989 suppliers, of which 60 per cent or 633 are national companies, in 2015. National spend accounted for 80 per cent of total procurement, and operations spend with national supplier increased to 51 per cent in 2015. South Gobi spend increased to US$66 million compared to US$0.5 million in 2010.

Link to release


Book: The Story of Oyu Tolgoi 1957 - 2015

January 2016 (Oyu Tolgoi) Published in January 2016, Oyu Tolgoi 1957-2015 tells the story of the discovery, development, and early operations of Oyu Tolgoi.

With almost 200 pages of photographs and historical information, as well as biographies on some of the key people and events that have shaped the development, it is the first chapter of what is expected to be a multi-generational story.

The book is written in both Mongolian and English and is available to download as a PDF (59.6 MB) or to read online here.

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Cars to be limited by odd/even numbers on weekends prior to Lunar New Year

January 29 ( As the Lunar New Year approaches the cars will be limited by odd and even numbers on weekends for two weeks.

The limitation is as following:

  • Jan 30th and Feb 5th license plates ending with odd numbers,
  • Jan 31st and Feb 6th license plates ending with even numbers will be limited to take part in traffic.

The above limitation will be effective from 10AM to 8PM on those days in order to reduce the traffic as was reported by the Traffic Police of Ulaanbaatar city.

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Weekend Traffic restrictions until tsagaan sarUB Post, January 29


City IT Department and UB University to co-implement "Smart UB" program

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) An implementing agency at the City's Administration--the Department of IT--will collaborate with the Ulaanbaatar University by realizing some works within the "Smart Ulaanbaatar" programme.

A cooperation memorandum on the matter was signed Friday by authorities of the organizations. Accordingly, they intend to evaluate levels of professional skills of computer networking engineers and IT experts, to work out and implement a policy document on improving the IT engineers' skills, and to formulate materials for the proficiency examination of IT experts.

Other works are expected divided into nine directions such as co-organizing trainings and seminars on computer network and IT, providing students with conditions of having industrial experience works with high-level experts and with the latest hi tech, co-organizing professional contests.

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Ulaanbaatar: Winter, air pollution, disease

January 29 (UB Post) The three words winter, air pollution, and flu have become an inseparable part of daily conversation for Ulaanbaatar dwellers. You take a cab and you hear the taxi driver's story of worry about his child's or grandchild's cough and cold. You come to your office and you hear your colleagues discussing what medicines and home remedies are currently effective against an ongoing, terrible cough.

Children who attend kindergartens and daycares are almost on cold medication constantly. It seems like we are feeding our children more medicine than food. There is no child who is brought up without  catching a cold. When we were children, I remember we used to be cured really fast and used to get sick less often than children do nowadays. Today, colds  reappear a week after one is cured, complications develop really quickly, resulting in no option but to have symptoms treated at local hospitals, which suggests that children's health issues have reached a disastrous level.

The most significant age for a child to grow up healthy is between the ages of zero to six. During this period, the intellectual, psychological, and physical development of a child is occuring. Pediatricians warn that getting sick frequently and the weakening of a child's immune system during such an important time can become a factor in children developing chronic diseases. Parents try to go to the countryside with fresher air and play with their children outdoors during the summer to enhance their child's immune system, however, it seems this tradition no longer can protect children from cold viruses.

The cost of cold care

Children getting sick directly influences a household's finances. For instance, one of my acquaintances, who has two children, visits the local pediatrician constantly during the winter. Once, both children were hospitalized for pneumonia. Parents stay for weeks in local hospitals, caring for their children in shifts. Immune support medicines and antivirals like Anaferon, Baby Col Col, Nurofen, ibuprofen, paracetamol, Immunal, and Viferon are regularly consumed by our children. The price of each medication starts at 5,000 MNT. Antibiotic syrups cost over 12,000 MNT. Parents spend 30,000 to 50,000 MNT minimum for one-time injections.

My friend's children can catch the flu a couple times a month, and they spend at least 200,000 MNT each month to heal their children, buying the best and most optimal medicine. They can't visit health centers every day to use inhalation therapy machines, so they bought one of their own for 120,000 MNT. The majority of the family's budget goes to pharmacies.

It is difficult to estimate how much money the average family is spending on cold medicines, filling children with various medicine and injections, children who are also inhaling the toxic exhaust fumes of Ulaanbaatar from October through March. There are even more low-income families who have more than two children  who struggle to afford not only medicine, but also  food to eat and fuel to burn.

Ulaanbaatar tops the list of the world's countries with the worst air pollution. Studies have shown that the combination of coal consumption in ger district areas, facilities that heat apartments, power plants, exhaust fumes from cars and factories, the geographical location of Ulaanbaatar, and the severe winter climate have become the main factors contributing to air pollution.

According to research conducted in recent years, the mortality rate of infants and young children is on the rise due to diseases linked to air pollution. It has been determined that air pollution causes miscarriage, premature and underweight birth, and causes harm to children's lungs.

Not only parents, but also the government and Ulaanbaatar authorities must inevitably take real measures to protect our children. In order to reduce air pollution and to decrease the outbreak of cold viruses, which has become the permanent burden of parents, ger districts must be connected to the heating system, and until they are, ger district households should be provided with low-carbon fuel.

Lawmakers witness the increase of air pollution, they feel it in the Ulaanbaatar streets and they talk about air pollution, however, they are not taking efficient measures to curb it. It is obvious that it will take some time to take measures against air pollution and see results improving, but at least for now, they should break the silence, admit the harm of air pollution, and run a nationwide campaign calling for people to wear masks and avoid the dangers of contributing to air pollution.

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Private car dealers say new automall is inadequate and cold

January 29 (UB Post) This winter is especially cold and harsh compared to recent years'. Temperatures are reaching -20 to -30 degrees Celsius in Ulaanbaatar, and temperatures near the Auto Checkpoint at Auto Mall is reaching -47 degrees Celsius.

I went to Auto Mall, in the 32nd khoroo of Songinokhairkhan District, last Saturday to learn about the newly opened mall's activities, which have been the cause of frustration among auto traders in the country ever since its opening.

When I arrived at the mall, approximately 20 small buildings were bundled together. All services needed for new vehicles, such as vehicle registration, license plate makers and insurance companies had been crammed into small buildings. Small shops and cafeterias were also crammed into the building.

As I looked around, I could see a few cars here and there peeking through mounds of snow, which were apparently displayed for sale.

It was past 1:00 p.m. when we got there. The Vehicle Registration Office workers had gone out for lunch, so their doors were closed, and we had no other choice but to wait.

Because it was very cold, I couldn't stay outside for too long. My reporting team got back inside the car to keep warm. There are no other places in the area to stay warm other than the small cafeterias and shops. Since there's no central building or waiting halls, those waiting to get services at the Auto Mall waited in their cars as well.

Everyone had turned on their cars in the parking lot of Auto Mall to keep warm.

It was around 2:00 p.m. when the two car registration officers opened their doors. People waiting in their cars came out rushing. We rushed out of our cars to get into the building also.

I don't know if it was the weekends, but only two customer service personnel were present, although there were many customers. The customers were mostly people buying cars who were compiling necessary documents to register their vehicle. I heard whispered complaints about the poor customer service and how far Auto Mall is from the city.

When I asked to get more information about Auto Mall, a worker of the Vehicle Registration Office said, "Today is not a workday. So our authorities are not here."

I didn't dare to bother them with any more questions as there were many customers waiting patiently in line.

While waiting, I spoke with some of the people waiting in line to get new license plates for their newly purchased vehicles.

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Putin Ratifies Law to Write Off Mongolia's $174Mln Debt

President Vladimir Putin has ratified a law to write off Mongolia's $174-million debt to Russia, according to a document published on the official Russian website for legal information on Sunday.

MOSCOW, January 31 (Sputnik) — The bill was signed in Moscow in December 2010 and took six years to go through all stages of pre-legislative scrutiny.

Mongolia's outstanding debt to Russia was a major hurdle for deeper investment cooperation between the two nations.

Russian companies seek to increase their presence in Mongolia's construction and mineral production markets. The July 2010 deal between Moscow and Ulaanbaatar cleared the way for Russian business and guaranteed $3.8 million as a one-off repayment from Mongolia.

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New ambassadors appointed to China, DPRK, Hungary, Italy

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) At its plenary meeting on Friday, the parliamentary session discussed a proposal of the President on appointments of new Ambassadors of Mongolia and recalling the current Ambassadors.

A majority of the MPs backed the appointment of D.Gankhuyag as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the People's Republic of China, S.Tsoggerel--to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Z.Batbayar--to Hungary, and Ts.Jambaldorj--to Italy.

The current Ambassador of Mongolia Ts.Sukhbaatar will be recalled from the PRC, M.Ganbold--from the DPRK, T.Gandi--from Hungary and Sh.Odonbaatar--from Italy. 

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MFA: ASEM is an opportunity to attract investment and positively promote Mongolia

January 29 ( The regular press conference of the Foreign Minister's "Information Hour" was held on January 26, where D. Gankhuyag, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the ASEM Mongolia Office, made a briefing on the progress of ASEM Summit preparations.

At the start of his briefing, Mr. Gankhuyag spoke briefly about ASEM. The Asia-Europe Meeting was founded in 1996 with 26 member countries and today it has grown into a major international organization uniting in its ranks 30 European and 21 Asian countries, ASEAN and the European Union. ASEM is an informal mechanism of dialogue on common political, economic, social and cultural pressing issues, based on the equitable relations of the Asian-European countries.

Mongolia joined ASEM during its 7th Summit in 2008 and after actively participating in its activities, Mongolia received the right to host its 11th Summit in Ulaanbaatar in 2016. By organizing this Summit, Mongolia will not only be able to promote the country in a positive vein and ensure a growth in its international prestige, but will also get much better opportunity to attract foreign investment and assistance, underlined D. Gankhuyag in his briefing.

The 11th ASEM Summit scheduled in Ulaanbaatar will be held on July 15-16 this year. Nine side events are planned prior to the Summit as well, with the first side event being at the end of April.

The 11th Summit coincides with the 20th anniversary of ASEM and our country has the additional responsibility to celebrate the jubilee. The 20th anniversary celebrations will be held on the central Chinggis Square and a set of art and cultural functions are being planned. The Summit will conclude with Ulaanbaatar Declaration, summary of the 20 years of work by ASEM and the vision for the next 20 years.

A National Council has been set up, with the responsibility of organizing the ASEM Summit and under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Mongolia. The Council has six working groups: Security, Protocol and Immigration; Venue and Accommodation; Summit Events and Chancery; Transportation, Communication and Airport; Media and Public Relations, and Catering, Entertainment and Safety. The working groups are engaged in ensuring their respective line of preparation for the Summit and report back on the progress to the National Council.

Work is currently underway to set up a Press Center within the premises of the MONTSAME National News Agency, with the objective of regularly providing news and information to the public about the ASEM Summit. Soft loans have been provided to 47 hotels that have been identified and selected to host the guests and delegates to the ASEM Summit, which would give these hotels the possibility to improve on their services and furnishing.

At the end of the briefing, Mr. Gankhuyag answered journalists' questions. There were more questions related to financing, investment and organization of the ASEM Summit. 20 billion MNT has been earmarked for the ASEM Summit, to be used for the registration of guests and delegates, and addressing issues related to security, infrastructure and transportation etc. The ASEM Villa and vehicles that will be used during the Summit are being managed through private sector investment, and the Government on its part is providing support in terms of tax relief and permissions.

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Health, Education

Association of Turkish Alumni Launching Ceremony Announced on February 3

January 29 ( The Non-Governmental Organization "Association of Turkish Alumni (ATA)" was officially established on January 25, 2016 by the decision of ATA's founders with the aim to expand cooperation among graduates of Turkish Universities, and to contribute to the social development of Mongolia.

All graduators of the Turkish Universities are invited to the ATA Opening Ceremony.

When: Wednesday, 03 Feb 2016 at 19:00 Hours, Venue: Turkish Ambassador's Residence, Sukhbaatar District, 4th Khoroo, Ambassador's Street-5, Ulaanbaatar/Mongolia (on the right side of the Czech Republic Embassy)

Dressing: Business   

Contact phone: 99012588, 99020815,   99066293, 99070673

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Culture, Society

Photo Report From Snuff Bottles and Accessories Trade Show

January 29 ( Snuff-bottles and Jewelry Trade Show dedicated for Tsagaan Sar is being held at third floor of "Art House" center located in NW of Tuul restaurant. 

The trade show displayed traditional jewelry tools, antiques, and jeweleries such as snuff-bottle, knife, pipe, gold and silver bowls and saddles. 

All types of snuff-bottles made by jasper, chalcedony, mocha stone, agate and coral is on sale and prices for the snuff-bottles is ranging between MNT 200,000 to MNT 300 million. Some of them are 150-200 years old. 

More than ten enterprises, craftsman, master of snuff-bottles and jewelry business organizations are involving in the trade show. 

The trade show will open to the public until Feb 8th. 

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Mogi: ummm, ok.

Freelance journalist claims to have found long-lost burial place of Genghis Khan

January 29 (Press Gazzette) Freelance journalist Robin Ackroyd claims to have found the long-lost tomb of 13th century Mongol leader Genghis Khan.

The revelation is included in his new book Genghis: Sacred Tomb, Secret Treasure.

He believes the secret tomb is located high on a mountain in northerly Mongolia and is also the last resting place of his grandson Khubilai, the Yuan dynasty ruler of China.

Ackroyd completed a 700km horseback expedition, lived among nomads and travelled into a wilderness known as the Great Forbidden Sanctuary to research his book.

He concludes that, although the international conqueror died in northern China in August 1227, he was brought back to Mongolia for burial.

Ackroyd, who won a celebrated protection of sources battle in 2007, said: "It is likely that the early Mongol khans were buried with grave-goods, perhaps of great value, to see them into the afterlife.

"The area was guarded by a tribe called the Uriankhai. They were exempt from taxes and military service.

"The guarding of the imperial grave site undermines the folkloric suggestion that the soldiers who witnessed the funeral were executed.

After translating ancient Mongol texts, and his own on the ground research, Ackroyd concluded that previous theories about the last resting place of the early Mongol chief are wrong. Ackroyd says his theory has now been accepted by the Mongol government.

He said: "Height mattered to the Mongols. Mountains brought the Mongols physically, and spiritually, closer to the Eternal Blue Heaven that they worshipped.

"The best evidence firmly points to the Mongol khans, and others regarded as being of noble position, being traditionally buried on mountain heights.

"These mountains were in areas set aside as inviolable sanctuaries – either in their native territories, or in their appointed realms.

"Genghis Khan was repatriated in death. He was not buried in the Ordos region of China. His famous mausoleum is merely a memorial."

Genghis Khan: Sacred Tomb, Secret Treasure, by Robin Ackroyd, published by Mongolia Travel Books, is available on Amazon.

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The Last of Mongolia's Eagle Hunters

January 29 (The Slate) The vast, barren landscape surrounding the Altai Mountains in western Mongolia is unforgiving. In the winter, temperatures dip to negative 40 degrees. Only the toughest survive. This is where the world's 60 or so remaining burkitshi—Kazakh men who hunt on horseback with golden eagles—carry on a centuries-old tradition. 

Palani Mohan had longed to document the burkitshi since he was 17, when, as an apprentice photographer at the Sydney Morning Herald, he saw a photo of one in a British newspaper. More than two decades later, he decided to realize his dream and travel to Mongolia four times over the course of five years. His book, Hunting With Eagles: In The Realm of the Mongolian Kazakhs, which was published by Merrell Publishers in October, is a rare and invaluable record of a vanishing culture.

Mohan's initial interest in the eagle hunters was rooted in his curiosity about the relationship between the men and their birds. As he tracked down the hunters and spoke with them with the help of a translator, he learned more, including howburkitshi find 4-year-old female eaglets to take home and feed by hand until they are ready to hunt. He also learned how, 10 or 15 years later, when the eagles are past their prime, the hunters let them back into the wild. 

"I've had more than 20 eagles in my life. Last year I released my last eagle back into the mountains. It was as if a member of my family had left. I think about what that eagle is doing; if she's safe, and whether she can find food and make a nest. Have her hunts been successful? Sometimes I dream about these things," a legendary hunter, Orazkhan Shuinshi, told Mohan.

Time, Mohan knows, is running out to collect stories and images of the burkitshi. While many Mongolians keep eagles as pets, authentic burkitshi are a dying breed, and there are few, if any, children who'd trade an easier existence in a city for this tough traditional lifestyle. 

"It's dying out in front of our eyes, and that's one of the reasons why, when I hear Orazkhan saying things like that, I came back over and over again. Those words gave me the strength to finish this project, because it was important that someone documented not just one hunter but perhaps tried to document all of them before they disappear."

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Nature, Environment

State emergency commission dzud response actions

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) The State Emergency Commission (SEC) Friday held its meeting to consider measures, being taken by the government and the SEC, and to look at actions regarding the wintering.

As said, some 80 percent of all territories have been covered with snow, 98 soums of 18 provinces are suffering from the dzud (heavy snow disaster), and 111 soums of 20 aimags are close to the dzud. In order to reduce the difficulties, the government has resolved a financing after a working tour of the emergency group in December of 2015. By the cabinet decision, 6,565 tons of hay is being delivered without charge, 2,678 tons of fodder is being traded with a half price to herders who are in the worst conditions, said N.Enkh-Amgalan, the SEC secretary.

A work has started to deliver the hay and fodder to the most remote aimags, on a tender basis, the localities' heads have been asked by the herders to sell the hay and fodder with loans because their majority are short of cash, Enkh-Amgalan said.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sport S.Lambaa spoke about a population survey run in the disaster risky regions, and the Ministry's actions, while a section head of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science B.Gantulga--about problems and measures in the education sector. The Meteorology and Hydrology Institute presented a February forecast, saying that air temperature will be the same against the multi-year average in most territories, and that it will be warmer in western part of the western region, in some parts of the central region and in southern part of Gobi. After the reports, the Deputy PM and head of the SEC Ts.Oyunbaatar told some officials to resolve the financing for the aimags and to take prompt measures in conjunction with eliminating one vacancy at the Veterinary and Breeding Section due to the economic difficulties.

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Seven wrestlers competing for medals at Golden Grand Prix - Russia

Ulaanbaatar, January 29 (MONTSAME) Freestyle wrestlers of the women's selected team are competing in the Golden Grand Prix named after two-time Olympic champion Ivan Yarygin, which kicked off Friday in Krasnoyarsk of Russia.

An international master of sports P.Orkhon will fight for gold medal in the women's 58kg division against Japanese Kaori Icho, three-time Olympic champion and 10-time world champion. In the preliminary rounds, she defeated Russians until the finals. In this contest, two Mongolians--a World champion S.Tserenchimed and E.Gantuya IMS--will compete for a bronze medal.

Another pair of Mongolians E.Sumiya and B.Khatantuul will fight for a bronze medal in the women's 53kg bout. T.Tumentsetseg and J.Bayarzaya IMS will face Russian opponents for bronze medals in the women's 69kg contest.

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TheMongolz.CS qualifies for the finals at IEM 2016 Counter Strike: Global Offensive

February 1 (GoGo Mongolia) Mongolian professional e-sport team TheMongolz.CS is competing with the best eight team of Counter Strike: Global Offensive at the Intel Extreme Masters 2016 with prize pool of USD 100,000 which is taking place in Taiwan.  

TheMongolz.CS played against Chinese team Tyloo, Australian team Renegades, Taiwan team EatYouAlive at Group B. By winning the main contestant of the IEM, Renegades from Australia with score of 16:13, our team led the Group B. 

TheMongolz.CS played maps on inferno, dust2,cobble at semi-final against Chiefs from Australia and won with score of 13:16, 16:10, 16:9 (2:1).  

By qualifying for the finals they will win at least USD 15,000 and today they will play against Renegades from Australia again. If they win the match, they will award with USD 30,000 and have right to compete at MLG Columbus with the best 16 teams of the world. 

Main player of the TheMongolz.CS, Enhtaivan "Machinegun" Lhagvaa led the team with 27/11 K/D rating. 

TheMongolz.CS won the last nine games in a row. Currently, they ranks 25th at Gosugamers while 6th in Asia. 

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Art, Entertainment

B.Uizenmaa: I aimed to change people's old-fashioned thoughts about women through film

January 29 (UB Post) The following is a translated interview by with Mongolian director B.Uizenmaa, who won the Best New Director award for her film "Schau mich nicht so an" (Don't look at me that way) at the 37th Bavarian Film Awards.

B.Uizenmaa currently lives and works in Germany, and has caused quite the sensation with her award winning film.

How long have you lived in Germany?

My family has been living here for a long time. I studied in kindergarten, high school and university in Germany. Germany is my second home country.

But I go to Mongolia every summer with my family. I like to tour around the Mongolian countryside.

When was the last time you visited Mongolia?

Some scenes of "Schau mich nicht so an" were shot in ger areas of Mongolia in 2014. Shooting took three days. That was the last time I visited Mongolia.

We heard that your film is about the inner heart of women. What did you want to express through the film?

The film is about women's behavior and gender equality.  I aimed to change people's old-fashioned thoughts about women through the film.

When will the film be screened in Mongolia?

I want to show it to Mongolians. But I have problems, such as sponsor. I will screen it in Mongolia when I have a chance.

Is the art of film making developing fast in Germany?

The art of film making is developing fast in Germany. Finance is one of the most important things for making a film. Artists in Germany are able to receive support from the state or sponsors, and make good films. I heard it's hard and different to make films in Mongolia.

Why did you choose to become a director? Isn't it a hard job for a woman?

My father is a painter. I was really close to art since childhood. It might have influenced me. I was a very curious child. I've always wanted to express the thoughts in my mind through something. I tried writing poems, but I realized that film making is the right field to express myself, especially directing.

Link to interview


'The Eagle Huntress' captures the beauty and culture of remote Mongolia

Summary: "The Eagle Huntress" is a new documentary that follows the pioneering efforts of a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan, who wants to be the world's first female Eagle Hunter.

"THE EAGLE HUNTRESS" — 3 stars —Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Nurgaiv Rys, Alma Dalaykhan; not rated, likely PG; Sundance Kids

January 29 (Deseret News) "The Eagle Huntress" is a new documentary that follows the pioneering efforts of a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan, who wants to be the world's first female eagle hunter.

It's important to note that "eagle hunter" does not mean "a person who hunts eagles." Rather, eagle hunters are part of a remote nomadic culture in the Altai Mountains of Northwestern Mongolia that, amazingly, employs the use of trained birds of prey to hunt for foxes. We are introduced to the practice in the film's opening sequence high on a mountaintop, as a veteran hunter sets his eagle free following seven years of service, after sacrificing a ram as a sort of retirement gift.

From here we jump into Aisholpan's life, which straddles the worlds of her native culture and the advances of the West. Her home is in the wilderness with her family, who live in elaborate tents, but for five days a week she and her siblings attend a nearby school, where, among other things, they learn English.

Aisholpan's professional aspiration is to become a doctor, but her dream is to join her culture's eagle hunter tradition. The only problem is that the practice is passed from father to son, and as a few interviews with local elders reveal, no one is too keen to let a girl in on the game.

Aisholpan's story is broken into three segments. In the first, she and her father, Nurgaiv, head out to find her an eagle, which requires maneuvering down a treacherous cliff to a nest. In the second, Aisholpan competes in her first Eagle Hunter Festival, where she has to prove her skills and face the resistance of her community for the first time. In the last passage, training and local politics are put in the background as Aisholpan joins her father for a real-life eagle hunt in frigid conditions that will test the limits of her abilities.

It's a fun story arc, and Aisholpan is a sweet protagonist who is easy to cheer for. As far as the story goes, a lot more tension comes from Aisholpan's adventures in practice than from any local cultural pressure. Director Otto Bell includes cutaways of various people making critical remarks about Aisholpan being a girl, but aside from that no one does much to get in her way.

That last point may have a lot to do with the documentary film crew following her around. "The Eagle Huntress" is a fascinating look at a remote culture, but since that culture is being infiltrated by a camera crew, it's easy to wonder if the results are as authentic as they may have been otherwise. Footage at the festival reveals numerous photographers perched on the mountains, documenting the event in a bold clash of the modern world with the historic practice they are trying to capture.

One thing that isn't in dispute is the beauty of the area. The landscape of Mongolia is a silent but powerful character throughout the film, spoiling us with long, rolling vistas and white tundras that scale rocky mountains. Combined with the footage of the eagles themselves, "The Eagle Huntress" is a rich visual experience. When you see the size of the talons digging into Aisholpan's arm, you'll be compelled to respect her efforts regardless of her gender.

Like most entries in the Sundance Film Festival, "The Eagle Huntress" is not rated but might receive a PG rating for some animal-related gore and violence. It is presented in Kazakh with English subtitles.

"The Eagle Huntress" is not rated, but likely PG for some animal-related gore and violence; running time 87 minutes.

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