Friday, March 4, 2016

[Bonds bounce on copper; KRI wants Ottawa help; another low for MNT; Ferrostaal, Outotec hired for copper plant; and 250K livestock dead from dzud, more ahead]

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Friday, March 4, 2016

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ASEP9 organizing committee calls first meeting

Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) In the margin of the 11th ASEM Summit, the Ninth Asia-Europe Parliament Partnership (ASEP9) meeting will take place in Ulaanbaatar this April 21-23. In this regards, the national organizatory committee called its first meeting March 2 to discuss the preparation and its progress.

One of the vice speakers of parliament R.Gonchigdorj is heading the committee. He advised to pay main attention to organizing the ASEP9 in high level in terms of foreign relations and political content.

Present at the meeting were a head of the Standing committee on security and foreign policy M.Sonompil MP, G.Batkhuu, L.Bold, S.Oyun MPs, a secretary-general of the State Great Khural (parliament) secretariat B.Boldbaatar, and a secretary for foreign relations Ts.Narantungalag, along with other officials.

A decision was made ensuring the previous ASEM Summit, held in Milan of Italy in October in 2014, that the 20th anniversary of ASEM and the 11th Summit would be run in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. In anticipation of the ASEM Summit, several events will take place: ASEP9 April 21-23, ASEM Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) May 12-13, 12th ASEM Finance Ministers Meeting and ASEM Food Safety Seminar in June, including.

July expects the ASEM Summit, a model summit, the Eighth Asia-Europe Editors Roundtable and  15th Asia-Europe Business Conference.

Link to article


Companies showcase potential gifts for ASEM delegates

Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) A meeting of the national council for preparation for the upcoming 11th ASEM Summit on Wednesday got familiarized with domestic-made gifts/souvenirs that will be given to heads of representatives, delegates and media.

Officials said the national companies propose donating their products in order to advertise them at the international market. A fair will be organized during the Summit to display Mongolia-made internationally-standard souvenirs, after which a commission will select the ones most suitable for presents.

As of present, some ten companies have presented samples of their souvenirs including those made of cashmere, wool, leather, also paintings, dolls and books. 

Link to article


ASEM Press Center opens, MoU signed with media associations

March 3 (ASEM Mongolia Office) On March 1, or the globally first ASEM Day, a new information center opened near the central square of Ulaanbaatar, to answer questions and provide information about the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit on July 15-16, as well as its nine side events.

Unlike Shangri-La Mall's Information Center, where international journalists are stationed for broadcast operations, this Press Center caters to domestic journalists and the general public interested in ASEM's activities, significance, mission, and status of preparations as the country prepares to host 11th ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar. Training activities for domestic media personnel and press conferences are planned at ASEM Press Center.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Purevsuren Lundeg said at the opening of the ASEM Information Center, "It's important that journalists and media outlets get involved and contribute to successfully organizing this globally important event in the country".

ASEM Office of Mongolia signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with professional associations of different media, so that journalists commit to provide valid and grounded information about the events, as well as unite in successfully organizing this global event and furthering Mongolia's profile in the world.

The MOUs were signed by D. Gankhuyag, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Head of ASEM Office of Mongolia, and on behalf of Mongolian media associations: B. Galaarid, President of the Mongolian Journalists Association, B. Ganbold, Director of the Federation of Daily Newspapers, D. Badamdash, Chairman of the Association of Mongolian Television, Kh. Mandakhbayar, President of the Mongolian Association of Websites, and G. Saruul, Head of the Federation of Leading Mongolian Websites.

Question and answer session followed the ceremony of signing the MOU, where ASEM Office of Mongolia  answered questions from journalists and encouraged regular communication.

Link to article


Int'l Market

Mogi: No love for Mikey at Bloomberg. Last 2 BN articles weren't posted online

Mongolian Bonds Bounce to Six-Week High as Copper Extends Rally

By Michael Kohn

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's dollar bond prices rose to the highest level in four weeks, extending their recovery from a record low, as copper rallied and investors looked for bargains.

The securities gained for a fifth day as copper prices advanced for a third session. A rebound in commodities has boosted optimism in an economy that relies on minerals for more than 75 percent of exports.

"The recent selloff in Mongolian sovereign debt and yield curve inversion was pricing in a chance for default in 2017, which is simply not going to happen,'' Nick Cousyn, chief operating officer for BDSec, Mongolia's largest brokerage, wrote in an e-mail from Ulaanbaatar. Despite the recent rally, bond yields remain attractive, he wrote.

The price of the 4.125 sovereign bonds due in 2018 climbed to 87.62 cents per dollar as of 3:15 p.m. in Ulaanbaatar, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The yield dropped 46 basis points, or 0.46 percentage point, to 11.86 percent. The price is set for its highest close since Jan. 20.

Political tensions have also eased following an uncertain January that saw Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed survive a vote of no confidence in parliament. As elections approach in June, the government is looking for deals to boost its economy after growth slowed to 2.3 percent last year from 17 percent four years earlier.

Preferred Bidder

On Monday, Japan's Marubeni Corp. was declared the preferred bidder to build a $1 billion power plant to supply energy for the Oyu Tolgoi mine. Mongolia is also meeting with groups in China to secure a $1.3 billion loan to complete its stalled Tavan Tolgoi coal railway.

Mongolia exported 1.48 million tons of copper concentrate last year, a 7.2 percent increase over 2014. The value of the nation's copper concentrate exports was $2.28 billion, beating coal as the country's largest export revenue earner.

Copper rose as much as 0.5 percent to $4,815 a metric ton and traded at $4,804 on the London Metal Exchange, after closing at its highest level since Nov. 13.

Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., which owns 66 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, jumped 11 percent to $2.58 on Wednesday in New York. The company's shares have advanced 66 percent since falling to a 2016 low of $1.55 on Jan. 20.



KRI jumped 19% Thursday to C$0.50

Khan Resources asks Ottawa to stop Mongolian aid pending settlement for mine given to Russians

OTTAWA, March 2 (Financial Post) — A Canadian mining company wants the federal government to suspend millions of dollars in foreign aid to Mongolia until the Asian country pays for taking the firm's uranium mine and giving it to the Russians.

The request, made Tuesday, comes exactly one year after a trade tribunal told Mongolia to give Toronto-based Khan Resources Inc. more than $100 million in compensation for the lost uranium mine, and is the latest gambit in a long-running dispute sparked by Cold War-era geopolitics.

It also coincides with a major mining convention in Toronto next week, where Mongolian officials plan to pitch their country as a great place for mining companies from Canada and the rest of the world to invest.

Mongolia receives about $4 million in aid per year after the previous Conservative government designated it one of 25 "countries of focus" for foreign aid in 2014. A major focus is building the Mongolian government's ability to manage the country's mining sector, where Canada is the second-largest investor after China.

Mongolia's ambassador to Canada, Radnaabazar Altangerel, said in an interview Wednesday that Canada's assistance has been extremely important in helping his country manage its rich reserves of copper, gold and coal, as well as develop its agricultural sector and improve the health care system.

But those aid dollars have become a target for Khan president Grant Edey, who has been fighting for compensation since the Mongolian government all but seized his company's Dornod uranium mine in the northeast of the country in 2009, and gave it to a Russian state-owned company.

"Why is the government of Canada continuing to invest and prioritize Mongolia for foreign aid?" Edey said in an interview. "They kicked us out. And expropriation without compensation is against international law. So why should we promote bad actors?"

Several experts and industry insiders said Khan was essentially caught in the middle when Moscow, which had heavily supported Mongolia during Soviet times, called in some favours and pressured Ulaanbataar to secure access to key natural resource reserves. Those included the Dornod mine.

In response, Khan took Mongolia to arbitration. On March 3, 2015, a three-person panel ruled in favour of the company and ordered Mongolia to pay US$100 million in compensation. But the government hasn't paid up. Instead, it has appealed the ruling in France.

Altangerel admitted his government made a "mistake" in how it treated Khan, and said it will compensate the company once a settlement is negotiated. "The government of Mongolia is trying to turn the page and find a good solution," he said. "We know it is not a good example for Canada."

But the ambassador said the dispute does not reflect how Mongolia generally treats mining companies. He noted Mongolia received an international award last week for transparency in its resources sector, and Export Development Canada recently approved a $4-billion loan to help fund a major mine expansion.

"We have not repeated the same mistake," Altangerel said, pointing to the fact other Canadian companies are doing good business in his country. "Our legislative framework is one of the best and most favourable legislative frameworks in the world. And we want to show and explain that Mongolia is open for business."

Altangerel said the two sides will try to hammer out a settlement on the margins of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's mining convention in Toronto next week, where Mongolia's finance minister will host a special session designed to attract new foreign investment to the country.

Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Diana Khaddaj said in an email that the government has taken "every opportunity to urge the Mongolian government to comply with the arbitration ruling." This includes raising the issue directly with Mongolia's prime minister and several senior ministers, she said.

But Edey, who was confident the ruling will be upheld in France, said his company hasn't seen a dime despite one year of negotiations and previous promises to pay up. That is why he is calling on the federal government to step up the pressure and consider other avenues, such as withholding aid dollars.

"They've been stalling," he said of the Mongolian government. "The (federal) government should show some leadership and stand up for Canadian business rather than making (Mongolia) a country of focus."

Link to article


XAM trading -0.5c to A$0.145 in late Friday trading since then

Xanadu Mines shares soar 50% on 305.8g/t gold discovery

March 3 (Proactive Investors) Xanadu Mines (ASX:XAM) shares soared 50% yesterday to close at $0.15, following some spectacular gold results from the Oyut Ulaan copper-gold project (90% XAM) in southern Mongolia.

Highlighting the potential, of 157 rock chip samples, 56 returned grades above 10g/t gold, and eight more than 100g/t gold.

Bonanza grade results include: 305.8g/t gold, 171.6g/t gold and 123.2g/t gold.

The multiple high-grade rock chip samples define three parallel epithermal lode structures within 1.5 kilometres.

News flow will remain strong in the near-term, as Xanadu has trench and detailed channel sampling in progress, before drilling is planned.

Broker view

Bell Potter has a Speculative Buy on Xanadu, with a forward valuation of $0.35 per share.

Link to article


Island Sands Becomes Substantial Holder in TerraCom with 6.29%

March 3, TerraCom Ltd. (ASX:TER) --

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -1.18%, ALL -0.53%, Turnover 6.6 Million Shares

March 3 (MSE) --

Link to report


Gazar Suljmel JSC Announces 666.8 Million Dividend, 10.2K per Share

March 3 (Mongolian Stock Exchange) Board of Directors meeting of "Gazar Suljmel" JSC held on 29 February 2016 and decided to distribute total of MNT666.8 million as a dividend / MNT10,201.91 per share / starting from 1 June 2016.

Contact address:

Link to release


Zoos Goyol Announces AGM to Approves Results, 17K per Share Dividend

March 3 (MSE) The following issues will be discussed at the 21st regular shareholders meeting of Zoos Goyol JSC, to be held at 11:00 am on the 22 April 2016 at Zoos Goyol JSC's building in Ulaanbaatar:

1.    Operation statement of 2015 and result of reverse stock split project

2.    Audited financial balance sheet, and its summary by Audit committee of BoD

3.    Dividends for MNT17,000 per share from net profit of 2015

4.    Previous years' expense performance of BoD /May 2015-April 2016/, to approve budget for next year /June 2016-April 2017/

Other issues

Link to release


49 MSE Stocks Report Q4 Results

March 3 (MSE) --

Company Name



Publish Date


Gazar Suljmel


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Eurofeu Asia


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Nekheesgui Edlel


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Bayan Aldar


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Khorgo Khairkhan


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Dornod Impex


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Uujim Khangai


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Telecom Mongolia


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Merex JSC


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Standard property group


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Mongol Shir


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Khuvsgul usan zam


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Ulsyn ikh delguur


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Mongolyn hurungiin birj


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Undarga Umnugobi


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Bayalag Nalaikh


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Uvs Chatsargana


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Mongol Securities


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



B D Sec


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Mongoliin khugjil undesnii negdel


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Sharyn Gol


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Dornod autozam


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Darkhan Hotel


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Dulaany tsakhilgaan stants II


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Dulaan sharyn gol


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Jargalant uils


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Bluesky Securities


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Dalanzadgad DTsS


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Frontier Land Group


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Hermes centre


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Ulaanbaatar dulaany suljee


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Dulaany tsakhilgaan stants III


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Ulaanbaatar tsakhilgaan tugeekh suljee


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports





2015 year 4 Quarterly reports



Genco tour bureau


2015 year 4 Quarterly reports


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Historic low ₮2,040.97/USD set March 3, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, March 3 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,032 Sell ₮2,039), Khan (Buy ₮2,032 Sell ₮2,039), Golomt (Buy ₮2,032 Sell ₮2,039), XacBank (Buy ₮2,033.5 Sell ₮2,040.5), State Bank (Buy ₮2,029 Sell ₮2,040)

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

Link to rates


BoM FX auction: US$30m sold at 2,041.65, CNY41.5m at 311.51, accepts $5.75m MNT swap offers

March 3 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on March 3rd, 2016, the BOM sold USD 30.0 million in a consistency rate of MNT 2041.65 and CNY 41.5 million in a closing rate of MNT 311.51.

On March 3rd, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 5.74 million and USD swap agreement selling bid offers equivalent to USD 20.0 million from local commercial banks respectively. The BOM accepted the MNT swap agreement buying bid offers of USD 5.75 million and did not accept the USD swap agreement selling bid offers of USD 20.0 million.

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Exception Made for Mongolia on Rajin Port Under New North Korea Sanctions

Likely Impact of Latest UN Sanctions on North Korea

TOKYO, March 3 (AP) — New sanctions on North Korea imposed by the U.N. Security Council are the toughest in two decades. The measures in response to the North's recent nuclear test and rocket launch will chip away at its limited trade and economic ties, to the extent they are implemented. But North Korea is likely to find ways around some of them.

Here are some potential consequences of the tighter sanctions.

COAL EXPORTS: The ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron and iron ore, mainly to China, will hit one of the country's major sources of revenue. An exception was made for coal transshipments through the port of Rajin, mostly from Mongolia to Russia.

Link to full article


Ferrostaal and Outotec hired to build modern copper plant in Erdenet

March 3 ( The "Zes Erdeniin Khuvi" stock company plans to establish a copper plant which will use oxydized copper ore from the Erdenet Ovoo deposit. On 2nd March, an initial part of this huge construction project was taken when an investment and co-operation contract was made. 

According to the contract; construction work will begin in May 2016. The plant will have an annual projected production capacity of 5000 tons of cathode copper. Also known as copper grade "A" (LME designation), cathode copper is of 99.95% purity and is an important export commodity. Total project investment will be USD 45 million.

The Ferrostaal Group of the Germany has being appointed as the general contractor of the project; Finland's Outotec will be responsible for equipment procurement.

The cathode-copper plant is forecast to fully recoup the investment within 4 years following launch of production. The plant will provide a total of 140,000 new jobs and shares will be available to 40,000 stockholders. It is forecast that MNT 7.084 billion will be generated in tax revenue annually.

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Narantuul market caught on fire last night

March 3 ( Narantuul international market was caught on fire at around 2am. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that the fire occurred in section which sells silk, fabrics, commission goods and auxiliary materials. The fire was fully extinguished by the staffs of NEMA at around 7am today. 

Traders complained that we are challenging with many issues over ten years. Why does it always catch on fire at dawn? Authorities of market say that the fire occur due to gas and Chinese electric wire. The market has 6-7 guards. But none of them noticed the fire when its started to occur. 

The food section of Narantuul market was caught on fire in 2013. 

Police Department is now investigating the cause of fire. In this regard, Narantuul international market will be closed for three days. 

Link to article


Narantuul market – night, March 3


Narantuul boss: "I know who started the fire"

March 3 ( "Narantuul" market will be closed for three days following the fire which took place this morning at 03.00am. The director of the trading center, Sh.Saikhansambuu, believes that the fire was started deliberately. On his twitter account, he has written: "If you want to attack me, just face me directly. Don't play with the people, who are laboring to make a living to support their children and families". Mr Saikhansambuu is clearly angry that this is the third time Narantuul has been set on fire.

Mr Saikhansambuu has also written: "Narantuul is not only mine. It is a place, where lots of people work to make an honest living. I know who started the fire".

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Mogi: lol. Don't drag us into this stupidity, please

Russians recycle fake Ukraine Mongol claim

Pro-Kremlin media in Russia have run dozens of bogus stories about Ukraine in the past couple of years. Now they appear to be to recycling old ones.

March 3 (BBC Monitoring) Last May, Russia's privately owned REN TV ran a story on its website claiming that the Ukrainian parliament was demanding compensation from the Mongolian government for the "genocide of the Ukrainian people" carried out by the 13th-century ruler Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis.

It was quickly exposed as fake by the Ukrainian fact-checking site Stop Fake, but also by some Russian media.

As the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV reported, the story was based on a spoof article by the Infox news agency, which now appears to have been taken down.

"No joke"

Nearly a year later, the story is back in the headlines.

"Here is another pieces of news, which the world news agencies originally took to be a joke, but which has turned out to be serious," news anchor Ernest Matskyavichus declared during the main evening news on official channel Rossiya 1 on 1 March.

After giving details of the supposed compensation claim, he told viewers that the speaker of the Mongolian parliament had responded to it by saying his country would only compensate the actual victims of Batu Khan and members of their family.

Matskyavichus said the Mongolian speaker's comments had been made earlier that day.

But they were suspiciously similar to the words attributed to him in the version of the spoof Infox article quoted by Zvezda.

The cue for the resurfacing of the fake was an interview given to Russian state radio station Vesti FM by Lhagvasuren Namsray on 29 February, the press attache of the Mongolian embassy in Moscow.

In it, Lhagvasuren Namsray repeated parts of the story in such a way as to give the impression that it might be real.

"I thought it was a joke, but it turns out to be true," laughed Vesti FM presenter Petr Fedorov.

The press attache did not contradict him.


The story quickly did the rounds of the pro-Kremlin media.

Apart from Rossiya 1, it was repeated by state news channel Rossiya 24, Moscow-government-owned Centre TV, the St Petersburg-based Channel 5, the broadsheet newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, state news agency RIA Novosti and numerous websites.

It was also briefly a trending topic among Russian users on Twitter.

The general tone was one of mockery and derision.

Matskyavichus made a deadpan joke about the Ukrainians claming compensation for the Biblical flood. "I wonder what reply they will get," he quipped.

The website Svobodnaya Pressa was equally sarcastic. Kiev has found an "original way of seeking unimaginable riches in the depths of history", it said.

Centre TV suggested the money from the Mongolian compensation claim would come in handy given Kiev's difficulties with the IMF.

But once again, it turned out to be a complete fake.

"No, no, no. I said it was something I had read on the internet. I did not confirm anything," Lhagvasuren Namsray told state news agency RIA Novosti on 1 March.

RIA Novosti published this report just over an hour before Matskyavichus covered the story on Rossiya 1.

Meanwhile, versions of the fake continue to be widely shared by Russian internet users.

Link to article


Mogi: here's the fake news:

Embassy Of Mongolia Confirms Demand From Kiev For Reparations

March 1 (Fort Russ) The press attaché of the Embassy of Mongolia in Russia, Lhagvasuren Namsrai, has confirmed the information about the country's Parliament receiving an official letter from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the requirement to pay compensation for the destruction of Kiev by the troops of Batu Khan.

"The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine wrote an official letter to the State Great Khural (our Parliament) that said in the thirteenth century Batu Khan (Golden Horde, the grandson of Genghis Khan) organized the genocide of the Ukrainian people. Ukrainians demand the payment of compensation. Both Russian and Mongolian websites have written about it", said Namsrai on the 29th February in an interview with radio station "Vesti FM".

"Then our correspondent asked our Chairman of the State Great Hural: the letter is factual? And our Chairman of the State Great Hural replied that, generally, in the history of the Middle ages it was the Kievan Rus, the Ukrainian State did not exist then. But if the Verkhovna Rada writes all the names of the Ukrainian citizens who died as a result of genocide, and their families, we will be ready to pay", — said the press attaché.

As a reminder, in May of 2015, the TV channels "Ren TV", "Star" and several other news agencies reported that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the resolution "On the genocide of the Ukrainian people in the 13th century by the criminal regime of the Mongol Empire" and sent to the Mongolian authorities the requirement to pay compensation for the destruction of Kiev. Meanwhile some agencies reported the announcement as a prank.

The Chairman of the Khural, Zandaahuugiyn Enkhbold, called the resolution of the Ukrainian Parliament "a propaganda cliche of Ukraine concerning Mongolia". "The world did not know and never heard about any Ukrainian nation, especially in the era of the heirs of the Great Temujin, he said. — Millions of dead Ukrainians in the thirteenth century is the fruit of an unhealthy imagination of Ukrainian deputies".

Enkhbold added that "Mongolia is ready to pay damages in the capture of Kiev by Batu Khan, but only to the victims or their families". "We look forward to announcing the full list of victims", — said the Chairman of the Khural.

Link to article


Mongolia and India have 'great chance' of cooperation in coking coal sphere

Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) On March 1, Minister of Mining R.Jigjid addressed the Mongolian-Indian Mining Meeting. He started his speech thanking the organizers–Ambassador of the Republic of India to Mongolia Mr Somnat Gosh and officials of the Indian embassy.

The Minister expressed his belief that this meeting would make its own unique contribution in extending of the friendship of the two nations in the minerals' sector. He highlighted the new opportunities of cooperation for Mongolia and India in mining, by reminding that the Indian PM Narendra Modi, during his state visit to Mongolia last May, proposed studying possibilities of exporting uranium to India, and expressed a willingness to collaborate in developments of uranium and coking coal processing facilities.

"This jointly organized event, should address the above cooperation fields, which are also a focus of Mongolian projects that will be presented today", he said.  

Link to article


Mongolian FM addresses regular session of UNHRC

Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren Wednesday delivered a speech at a high-level discussion of the 31st regular session of the Human Rights Council, which kicked off February 29 in Geneva of Switzerland.

Purevsuren thanked the UN members for voting for Mongolia to become a member of the UNHRC, and underlined that Mongolia wants to put all efforts to protect and support human rights at international level, within the office term.

He said the priorities will be an ensuring of the gender equality, protecting rights of the disabled, children and women, combating human trafficking and racial discrimination, and backing of the freedom of expressing views and associations.

He also pointed out that Mongolia gained achievements in working out and approving of legal documents on ensuring human rights in frames of the legal reforms launched in 2012, for example, Mongolia has fully abolished the capital punishment through the new law on crime.

During the UNHRC session, the FM met with Mr Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Purevsuren said Mongolia wants to make closer the cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). "It is a big responsibility to be a member of the UNHRC, Mongolia is ready to contribute to the formation of the democracy and human rights in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan, and to share its experiences with them".

Mr Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein congratulated Mongolia on being elected the member of the UNHRC and said the UNHRC aspires to collaborate with Mongolia in protecting and cherishing human rights.

Link to article


Poland to reopen embassy in Mongolia, PM to attend ASEM 11

Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) During the 31st regular session of the Human Rights Council, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren held Wednesday a meeting with his Polish colleague Mr Witold Waszczykowski at the UN Office in Geneva.

They discussed issues of the Mongolia-Poland relations and cooperation, regional and international matters. Mr Waszczykowski officially stated that the Polish government decided to re-open its Embassy in Mongolia, and said that a delegation led by the Polish PM will take part in the 11th ASEM Summit this July in Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia and Poland established the diplomatic relations April 14 of 1950. Poland opened its Embassy in Mongolia in 1960 and closed it in 2009.  

Link to article


Bhutan PM thanks Mongolia for training doctors in tradition medicine

March 3 (Kuensel) Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay met with the ambassadors of Myanmar, Mongolia, Slovenia and Serbia, yesterday.

Speaking with the first ambassador of Myanmar to Bhutan, U Aung Khin Soe, Lyonchoen expressed gratitude towards Myanmar for sending doctors to work in Bhutan. A total of 71 doctors have been sent so far.

Lyonchoen visited Myanmar in 2014 in the first bilateral visit by the head of government.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries was established in 2012.

In his meeting with the Mongolian ambassador, Gonchig Ganbold, also the central Asian country's first ambassador to Bhutan,  Lyonchoen thanked Mongolia for allowing Bhutanese doctors to undergo higher studies in traditional medicines there. So far, seven doctors have already been trained and two are currently studying there.

Lyonchoen and the ambassador also discussed United Nations peacekeeping. The ambassador informed Lyonchoen that Mongolia is the highest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping and that Mongolia will be happy to share their lessons. Accepting the support and guidance, Lyonchoen informed the ambassador that Bhutan is young in this area and said that more people need to participate in peacekeeping to ensure peace and rule of law.

Lyonchoen discussed several areas with the ambassador of Slovenia and Serbia, including farm tourism, hydropower, culture, agriculture, and sports, among others.

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Health, Education

New Territory for Long-Term Snow Leopard Study in Mongolia

March 3 (Snow Leopard Trust) A 1,500-square-kilometer area of Mongolia's Gurvansaikhan Mountains is home to multiple snow leopards and young, according to a first glance at photographs from last spring's research cameras.

Expanding into Gurvansaikhan has effectively tripled the area we're able to survey as part of our long-term snow leopard study in Mongolia's South Gobi province, to a total of 4.500 square kilometers.

When we started our long-term study, we focused on a core area of 1,500 square kilometers in the Tost-Tosonbumba Mountains. The snow leopard population there was thought to be isolated due to the flat, open steppe that surrounded the mountain range. But data from satellite tracking collars and research cameras soon showed three snow leopards crossing wide stretches of inhospitable landscape and migrating to neighboring mountain ranges.

So now we are doing camera surveys in multiple mountain ranges to estimate snow leopard populations, study population trends, and look for evidence of snow leopard migration.

In 2013, we expanded our camera surveys north into the Nemegt Mountains and east into the Noyon range. Last year, the invaluable help of local rangers and biologists who made it possible for us to set up and retrieve cameras in record time meant that we could place 34 cameras in Gurvansaikhan as well.

When we retrieve the cameras from a new area like Gurvansaikhan we are particularly excited to look at the photographs. How many individual snow leopards will we see? Will there be mothers with young? Will we recognize any cats from other areas? Thus far, we know they include at least one family (see photo). With further analysis, we hope to find some "old friends" from Tost among the Gurvansaikhan snow leopard photographs, too.

Our long-term study is a joint project of Snow Leopard Trust and Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation in cooperation with the Mongolia Ministry of Nature, Environmental and Tourism, and the Mongolia Academy of Sciences.

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Steamboat Mountain School students experience Greece, Mongolia and Tanzania

March 3 (Steamboat Today) While most students were staring at chalkboards last spring, Steamboat Mountain School students were sea kayaking in Greece, riding horses with Mongolian nomads and hunting with Hadzabe tribesmen in Tanzania. It's all part of the school's Global Immersion Studies program, which each year takes students abroad to broaden their cultural understanding.

"It fosters an enlightened perspective and enhances personal growth," says program director Margi Missling Root, adding the school has visited 55 countries so far. "It encourages students to become active citizens of the world."

Students prepare by participating in the school's outdoor program, which includes climbing 14ers, paddling trips, mountain biking, hut trips and more. "The school's founder, Lowell Whiteman, considered 'wholesome adventure' important to assert the values of personal growth, responsibility, tough-mindedness, appreciation of nature and cooperation," says Missling Root, adding that service projects and youth exchanges are also important components of each trip. The students also adhere to responsible adventure travel principles, from Leave No Trace ethics to supporting local businesses, volunteering and more.



SMS students learned there's more to Mongolia than mutton on their 20-day trip to the Land of the Blue Sky last April.

Focusing on home stays and community service, the trip started in Ulaanbaatar before the group flew to the westernmost aimag of Bayan Olgii. There the community work began, teaching English to Khazakh secondary school children while staying with nomadic families in their gers (yurts), tending their flocks and learning the art of Mongolian horseback riding. Next came a visit to the Tuvan throat singers, a service project at Altai Tavan Bodg National Park, and bird watching and horseback riding at Gun Galuut National Reserve, all the while learning such customs as walking left around stoves; not burping or touching people's heads; not touching horses without explicit permission; and honoring guests by serving them a boiled sheep's head on a plate.

A final tour of Karakorum — Mongolia's ancient capital, founded by Genghis Khan — and its world-famous cashmere factory completed the excursion.

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Culture, Society

Disaster looms for nomadic herders in Mongolia

By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC

February 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) On the vast Mongolian grasslands, livestock are dying in the thousands due to an ever worsening winter 'Dzud'. Extreme temperatures, snow storms and heavy snowfall, and in many areas a thick layer of ice are preventing livestock from grazing efficiently. These current conditions have been compounded by the effects of last summer's drought which has left pastures in a very bad condition. Millions of animals are likely to die from starvation in the coming weeks and months, depriving vulnerable herder families of their only livelihood.

"The situation is becoming truly alarming, and Red Cross is planning to launch an emergency appeal this month to attract international support so that we can help the most vulnerable herders," says Madame Nordov Bolormaa, Secretary General of the Mongolian Red Cross Society. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)  has already released funds from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)  and is now preparing the distribution of food parcels and cash to more than 1,500 vulnerable herder families. The planned emergency appeal will be targeting several thousand households.

"The temperatures have dropped to -55 degrees and some of our animals froze to death where they stood," recounted Oyanbat, an elderly herder in Teshig Soum, Bulgan Province when he was visited by a Red Cross assessment team.  He still owns 20 animals but that is all he has to support himself and his sister. If he loses what is left of his livestock he will have no livelihood at all. Finally the elderly siblings may have no choice but to abandon their home on the grasslands in order to survive.

The prospect of losing all his animals and being forced to leave is truly daunting for Oyanbat, who has not visited his own district centre for 10 years, even if it is only 30 km away. He pointed towards his sister who is physically and mentally disabled and in need of constant care.

"I cannot leave her alone in the house except for a few hours at the time, which makes it difficult for me even to take proper care of the animals, not to speak of going to the district centre," he said.

"One of the biggest problems is the extremely low market prices for any animal products," said Madame Bolormaa. "This is because many families with small herds are forced to sell their animals for next to nothing, either because they desperately need cash to buy vital necessities, or because they know that their animals will die in the Dzud".

As so many other poor herders facing this terrifying dilemma, Oyanbat has no other choice but to wait for spring and hope that a part of his little herd will survive and that he will still have a livelihood in the summer. "Without our animals we have no life on the grasslands," he said as he reflected on his impossible situation. He is grateful for the food that the Red Cross team gave him, but realizes all too well that it is no substitute for a steady income.

While food and cash will ensure the immediate survival of the most affected herders, thousands of families are expected to lose their livelihood in this year's Dzud. Some will be able to get a job herding other people's animals for a minimum salary, but others will have to rebuild their lives from scratch, which usually means moving to the so-called "Ger districts." These are big slums in the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar and other urban centres where people still live in traditional herder tents, mostly in extreme poverty.  

"For former herders who have no professional skills it is very hard to earn a living in the city, and without assistance many families will be doomed to extreme poverty," said IFRC Programme Manager Dr Enkhjin Garid. "This is why vocational training and small business development are such an important part of our emergency appeal. It is not enough just to keep people alive for a few months, we also need to ensure that the herders have a secure livelihood in the future."

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Nature, Environment

Livestock death count reaches 249 thousand from dzud

March 3 ( National Emergency Management Agency reports that as of Mar 01, total of 248.910 heads of livestock dead in 205 soums of 20 aimags. 34764 of which were large cattle (horses, cows, camels) and 214.146 of which were small cattle (sheep, goats).

Snow covered the 70 percent of total territory. 98 soums of 18 aimags are facing blizzard condition and 113 soums are in a difficult situation.  

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Over 248 thousand livestock lost in dzudMontsame, March 3


Wife of Mongolian Democratic Revolution leader S.Zorig in prison for 3 months

March 3 ( Almost three months have passed, since the arrest of B.Bulgan, better known as the wife of S.Zorig, who was one of the leaders of Mongolia's 1990 Democratic Revolution. The authorities have still not given a reason of this action. Currently, B.Bulgan is in prison under investigation in the Tuv Province.

In the meantime, Bulgan's mother, D.Baigalmaa has given several press interviews in which she has expressed concern about her daughter's life. She has also suggested to the Standing Committee for Appeals to examine whether the human rights of her daughter are being violated or not.

Subsequently, J.Batzandan the director of the Standing Committee for Appeals on the instructions of the City Prosecutor has visited B.Bulgan in prison and studied the conditions and human rights issues.

The conclusions of the working team are expected to be publically released within 1-2 days.

B.Bulgan's husband S.Zorig was an immensely important public and political figure. Born in 1962, he did much to end one-party rule and introduce true democracy to Mongolia. On the eve of being appointed as prime minister he was brutally murdered in his home in Ulaanbaatar's Zaisan District on 2nd October 1998 under very mysterious circumstances.

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Art, Entertainment

Philadelphia Orchestra to visit Mongolia, first step to a residency

March 3 ( The Philadelphia Orchestra has seen many firsts, but few could have imagined this one. In June 2017, the well-traveled ensemble will touch down at Genghis Khan International Airport in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar for concerts that may well be attended by nomads on horseback.

"Or in Jaguars and Cadillacs," said Bulgaa Altangerel, the Mongolian ambassador to the United States.

Such is 21st-century Mongolia, whose urban population constitutes one of the fastest-growing Asian economies. Mongolian officials have been eying the Philadelphia Orchestra's residencies in China - which include concerts as well as street-level interaction with the public - and want a residency for their own country.

A memorandum of understanding with the government of Mongolia was scheduled to be announced today at the Capitol in Washington. The agreement also enhances diplomatic relations that have existed with now-democratic Mongolia for more 30 years.

Altangerel echoed what Chinese officials have often said of China: Mongolia wants the best, and the Philadelphia Orchestra has that kind of international brand.

"This is a great opportunity for us," said Altangerel. "It's a big event for classical music ties with the U.S., but also a big promotion in relation to other fields."

The June 5-9 visit - part of a larger Asian tour - will include one traditional concert but also a range of outreach activities, including a side-by-side concert with local musicians.

Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct. He reportedly has a special interest in Mongolia. Perhaps no country the Philadelphia Orchestra has visited has had one foot so firmly planted in ancient times. Roughly 30 percent of the people are still nomadic herders. Children are traditionally on horseback by the age of 3. But this nation of three million people also has four million cellphones.

Such contrasts are highlighted by the Washington event on Thursday, which will include a performance on horse-head fiddle (a stringed instrument with a carved horse on its neck) as well as one by home-grown opera singer Saran Erdenebat.

Western classical music isn't foreign - Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar took the top prize at last year's Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia. The Mongolian State Philharmonic Orchestra has been in existence since 1957. It is extremely unusual, however, for foreign ensembles to visit Mongolia; one of Philadelphia's calibre is possibly unprecedented.

Having visited Ulaanbaatar recently, Craig Hamilton, the orchestra's vice president of global initiatives, described the city as charming but also full of cranes for under-construction luxury hotels. None of the city's venues are what Westerners would call a traditional concert hall. "We have yet to determine," he said, "what theater we will actually perform in."

Such spadework can be challenging. The orchestra's 2014 visit to Changsha in China took place amid circumstances in which music-making was barely possible.

"The government of Mongolia is incredibly enthusiastic about this and is willing to do whatever will ensure its success," said Ryan Fleur, the orchestra's vice president of advancement. "But, as you know, we travel with six-and-a-half tons of stuff . . . and not every day do they get that kind of cargo related to a single event."

"It's very different from anything we've done," said Hamilton, who began talks with Mongolian officials last spring around the orchestra's concert at the Kennedy Center. "They have a very clear idea as to how they want to be represented to the rest of the world."

And the exchange isn't one-way.

"We'll be working with Mongolian throat-singers and dancers," Hamilton said. "This is what we look for in a partner." Another potential point of exchange: cashmere wool, which is quite inexpensive in Mongolia.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Government of Mongolia Announce New Cultural Partnership - The Philadelphia Orchestra, March 3


Troupe Nomuna from Mongolia Wins First Place at 2016 Figueres International Circus Festival

Barcelona, March 3 (Catalan News Agency).- The 2016 5th edition of the Figueres International Circus Festival broke box office records with a novel 30,504 attendees: all the performances were nearly sold out. The first prize of the competition, a Dali-inspired surrealist golden elephant statuette, were Chinese acts 'Qin Warriors' (performed by the WuQiao Arts School of China) and 'Fan Dance' (interpreted by the Sheyang Acrobatic Troupe of China). Also recipients of first place were the acrobatic tumbling 'Troupe Nomuna' from Mongolia, while second place was awarded to performers from diverse countries such as Canada, Russia, Italy, and Spain. Third place bronze trophies found a place with acts from Russia and the Ukraine. Figueres, a town near the French border and the Costa Brava, plans to become an even bigger international circus mecca, already having made a name for itself as the second biggest after that of Monte-Carlo. 

After five days, the 5th annual Figueres International Circus Festival has drawn to a close, and the balancing acts 'Quin Warriors' and 'Fan Dance' (from China) and the acrobatics of Troupe Nomuna (from Mongolia) have taken home the first place awards.  The three performances were presented with the Golden Elephant trophy, a statuette inspired by Salvador Dali´s long-legged elephant, during the award ceremony that ended this edition of the festival. This year, the festival's box office record was broken: as many as 30,504 spectators attended the event at the fairground big top, a number which very nearly meant a full house for the ten performances open to the general public.

Spotlight on China and Mongolia

The two countries in the spotlight during the 2016 awards were China and Mongolia. China was represented by the balancing acts of ´Qin Warriors,´ performed by the WuQiao Arts School of China, and the ´Fan Dance,´ carried out by the Sheyang Acrobatic Troupe of China.  Mongolia showcased its talents through the acrobatic tumbling act of the ´Troupe Nomuna.´ All three acts were the recipients of the ´Elefants d´Or´ (the Golden Elephant Awards).

The Chinese ´Qin Warrios´ performance, during which the acrobats perform a balancing act on a unicycle, was also a crowd favorite. As well as the Golden Elephant first prize, it received the ´Premi del Public´ (´Audience Award´), which is decided by each member who has attended the nine semifinal acts (known as the Blue and Red performances).

Among other winning performances, was the Canadian duo 2-Zen-0 with its double aerial hoop act, which received the ´Elefant de Plata´ (the Silver Elephant). Other Silver Elephant recipients were the Russian clown Vladimir Deryankin, the aerial silk act Golden Dream (a duo composed of Italian Ambra Faggioni and Spaniard Yves Olivares). The bronze statuette was presented to aerial hula hoop performance of the Russian Alexandra Levitskaya, to the contortionism and equilibrium fusion act by Duo Miracle, from the Ukraine, as well as the aerial acts of the Russian duo Miracle.

As well as the infamous elephant trophies, an international panel of expert judges gave out additional awards during the festival, which featured as many as fourteen attractions. The Swan Lake Mongolian contortionist act was presented with the ´Image Award,´ and the ´Critics´ Award´ was given to the Ukranian acrobats, the Zhygaltsov Brothers.

This year, the festival reaped the benefits of its more than half a million euro budget (592,000 to be exact). The Figueres International Circus Festival has big plans for the future: it also "plans to become the Word Circus Capital by 2018, coinciding with the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the circus in Spain." Additionally, the festival´s director, Genís Matabosch, states that the event "acts as a platform to promote unknown attractions and further the careers of young artists from around the world."

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