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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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Int'l Market

Mongolia PM to Deliver Keynote Address at 19th Asian Investment Conference on Thursday

Investment opportunities in Mongolia

Thursday, April 7, 2016

12:30 - 13:50 | Ballroom JW Marriott

As one of the largest commodity exporting, developing countries in Asia Pacific, Mongolia is adapting to slowing growth in China, a downturn in the commodity cycle, and weaker global demand. The government has made progress on improving the business climate, advancing major mining, energy and transport infrastructure projects, and on developing other mega projects, which all are designed to lay the foundations for the short, medium and long-term economic development of the country. In a special address, Mongolia's Prime Minister, Saikhanbileg Chimed, will discuss how the government has implemented policies designed to recharge and diversify the Mongolian economy, and has opened up new opportunities to invest. 

Link to page


19th Asian Investment Conference Panel: Mongolia – why should investors pay attention? 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

16:00 - 16:50 | Ballroom 1

Once one of the world's fastest growing economies, Mongolia was a hotspot for foreign investment. But as a country that sends approximately 85% of its exports (primarily commodities) to China, the recent slowdown in its biggest market and the fall in commodity prices has caused investors to pause. Our panel of banking, investment and commodities leaders from Mongolia will discuss the country's prospects against the background of the recent drop in asset prices, and assess the future opportunities the country holds.


·         Naidansuren Zoljargal - Governor, Bank of Mongolia

·         Nanjid Munkhbat - CEO, Development Bank of Mongolia

·         Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan - CEO, Erdenes Mongol LLC

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TRQ closed -1.57% Tuesday to US$2.51, -1.18% YTD

The story of the discovery of Oyu Tolgoi

By BYAMBAJAV Dalaibuyan

April 4 (Mongolia Focus) --


"Friedland came out his helicopter. He had a red jumper and running shoes on. He kissed the land and run straight to the Oyu Tolgoi discovery site." A local elder told me this story. The date is not clear but he surely referred to the early 2000s when there was exploding excitement around the discovery of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit. The discovery was hailed by some people in Mongolia as the most important economic opportunity for the country's future prosperity. While being criticized by many, Robert Friedland, the then CEO of Ivanhoe Mines, was described by some people as a saviour whose audacious decisions led to the discovery of Oyu Tolgoi. The discovery, however, did not emerge overnight.

Several books have been written in Mongolia about different aspects of the Oyu Tolgoi project. Some of them contain interesting memoirs of the members of the Oyu Tolgoi exploration project. In particular, the memoirs of D.Garamjav and S.Sanjdorj, two senior Mongolian geoscientists who were instrumental in the discovery, are valuable information sources. In the following, a story of Oyu Tolgoi's discovery is outlined based on the reading of these and other sources (see, References).

Early Encounters

Russian explorers and geologists made the first geological observations in Mongolia during the late 19th century. After the 1917 Russian Communist revolution, the Soviet state paid significant attention to geology as an applied science to serve its industrial and military interests. Soviet geologists created the first general regional geological maps in Mongolia in the 1940s. One of these regional studies reported that the Oyu Tolgoi (Turquoise Hill) area had potential for copper deposits in 1957. The author of the report noted that advanced mineral exploration was suggested by local people who all knew about mineral occurrences in the area. What is now called Oyu Tolgoi was reported as the Bor Ovoo (Brown Hill) area in the report. This name was used in the geological maps created at the time. Although the report recommended further study, Bor Ovoo was not revisited until the early 1980s.

An interesting take on from the report is that local knowledge was important for helping focus geological study, especially in the initial geological prospecting and mapping projects in Mongolia. There are many hill and mountain names with prefixes such as 'precious' and 'rich' in Mongolia, indicating local histories and knowledge of mineral occurrences and their use. In the Oyu Tolgoi mine area, for example, small circular pits and minor copper smelting slag from the Bronze Age were discovered during the extensive mineral exploration stage. Another example is Erdenet, which was the largest mine in Mongolia until the discovery of Oyu Tolgoi. The Erdenet Ovoo (Precious Hill) copper-molybdenum deposit was discovered by Czech geologists in the early 1960s. As suggested by their Mongolian colleagues, they made a short visit to the area on their way to another exploration area. The samples they collected showed high values of copper and other minerals, which led in a short period of time to a joint Mongolia-Czech exploration project at Erdenet Ovoo.

It is worth noting that the subsequent development of the Erdenet project coincided with a positive commodities cycle. The exploration project was interrupted by the Prague Spring of 1968. The results by then however had attracted interest from Moscow, with the Soviet Union at the time a far smaller copper producer than leading producers such as the USA and Chile. The significant commodities boom that occurred in the early 1970s was apparently key to the Soviet Union's decision to invest in Erdenet and establish a joint venture with Mongolia.

Mongolian geologists carried out a preliminary geological and geochemical mapping study in the Oyu Tolgoi area in the 1980s. In his memoir, geologist D.Garamjav, who led the team that discovered the high-grade gold, copper and molybdenum surface zone at Oyu Tolgoi in 2001, noted that he had observed evidence of alteration and copper staining in the area when he did fieldwork in 1983. The area was subsequently covered by extensive geological mapping in the Mongolian Gobi region in the late 1980s, a period when geology was consolidated firmly as an applied science in Mongolia. Exploration and estimation of the nation's vast mineral reserves and economic deposits was a high priority for the state. Erdenet had become the major source of national export income by the mid-1980s as Mongolia like other Soviet bloc countries began to experience significant economic downturns.

Western Interest

Mongolia underwent severe economic recession after its transition to market-based economy and multiparty democracy in 1990. The national income shrunk substantially as the aid Mongolia had received from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, that constituted one third of GDP, was abruptly discontinued. All sectors of the economy were affected by the crisis, including geological surveying and the mining industry. Hundreds of geologists became unemployed as the government curtailed funding for geological fieldwork.

Mongolian political leaders tried different ways to attract foreign aid and business interest. In 1994, the then CEO of the state-owned Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) Sh.Otgonbileg contacted the US-based Magma Copper Company (MCC), which was at the time one of the largest producers of copper in the world. After declining EMC's two separate proposals on investment in the Erdenet Mine and a joint copper production complex, MCC proposed to run a joint copper-targeted mineral exploration project in Mongolia. As a result, the joint venture company Erdenet-Magma was established in 1995 under a contract between EMC and MCC. S.Diyakov, a Ukrainian-born, multi-lingual (including Russian) geologist from MCC, was appointed as the project lead. The company recruited several Mongolian senior geologists experienced in copper mineralisation, including D.Garamjav.

By 1997, more than 80% of Mongolia has been mapped at a scale of 1:200,000 and 15% at a scale of 1:50,000. Geological mapping, geochemical sampling and airborne geophysical surveys over portions of the country had generated a good database since the 1960s. Most of the geological information was in Mongolian or Russian language. The Erdenet-Magma team reviewed all existing reports on copper mineralisation in Mongolia and selected over 20 areas to carry out geological field study.

Two geological teams were established to explore selected areas in in Western and Central Mongolia in 1995. The teams visited 73 of the deemed most promising mineral occurrences in Mongolia and selected the best four for more detailed evaluation and exploration. These were in Zavkhan, Bayankhongor and Umnugovi aimags. The Central Mongolian team visited several areas in the Gobi region and although D.Garamjav, mentioned earlier, suggested visiting the Oyu Tolgoi area, the team decided to visit another area instead.

As one of the first exploration projects involving Mongolian and Western geologists and Soviet and Western methods, the fieldwork was a learning and inter-cultural process. Besides technical exchange, cultural understanding and learning occurred. D.Garamjav tells an interesting story in his memoir. The exploration crew stopped for an overnight camp near a herder household somewhere in the Gobi and began to erect their tents. The leader of the crew, a geologist from USA, complained about the odour of a nearby animal shelter and dung, and asked to find a better place. The translation was made literally. This angered the Mongolian crew members, especially senior geologists. A strange division occurred, whereby the Mongolian and foreign members erected their tents at a distance to each other. The incident ended well with mutual understanding when the crew leader called a meeting in the evening and apologized for his behaviour.

The Salience of Local Expertise

In 1996, MCC was acquired by BHP (now BHP Billiton). Under new ownership, the exploration team at the insistence of D. Garamjav visited the Oyu Tolgoi area for the first time in September 1996. The company's regional reconnaissance program in Dornod and Sukhbaatar aimags had not found any significant copper targets, and only two days were enough for the team to decide that Oyu Tolgoi was a promising copper deposit and apply for an exploration concession.

In 1997, Magma-Erdenet was dissolved because EMC's failed to the contract terms in co-funding the joint venture, and the CEO of ECC was involved in series of political and corruption scandals at the time. BHP Billiton decided to establish a branch office in Ulaanbaatar in 1997. A new liberal Mineral Law adopted by the Mongolian parliament served as an important incentive for the company to launch an expensive exploration program of its own. BHP began detailed exploration at Oyu Tolgoi as part of a regional reconnaissance program of the South Gobi region during the 1997 field season.

In 1997-1998, the BHP Billiton team at Oyu Tolgoi completed 23 diamond drill holes. Although the first phase showed encouraging results, the second and third phases of drilling failed to identify significant ore grade mineralization. In 1999, the new CEO of BHP, Paul Anderson, commenced company-wide restructuring, cutting exploration budgets and jobs. The company decided to close the Mongolia office, and its exploration tenements, including the Oyu Tolgoi exploration concession, were offered for joint venture. A presentation of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit was given at the PDAC meeting in Toronto in March 1999.

Ivanhoe's Breakthrough

Ivanhoe Mines, a Vancouver-based exploration company that had launched exploration programs in Mongolia after the introduction of the 1997 Minerals Law, signed an option agreement with BHP Billiton to earn a 100% interest in the Oyu Tolgoi Concession in May 2000. The company completed 109 drill holes by September 2000, with encouraging results. Ivanhoe subsequently opened a major office in Ulaanbaatar under the name of Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia Inc (IMMI).

However, 149 drill holes were completed before the project's 'eureka' discovery hole, OTD-150, was drilled in in Southwest zone of the Oyu Tolgoi area in July 2001. D.Garamjav was central to deciding the location of the hole. According to the Mongolian project members, the project was running out of funding. D.Garamjav was invited to choose the location of OTD-150, one of three deep drill holes that the project could afford. The discovery drill had a depth of 590 metres, and it penetrated a new zone of porphyry mineralisation containing high-grade gold, copper and molybdenum. As a result, more drill rigs were added to speed up evaluation of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit. The results demonstrate the benefits of using local expertise and knowledge in conjunction with international good practice.

In August, another discovery hole, OTD-159, was completed in the Southwest zone, confirming the massive economic potential of the deposit. IMMI launched an extensive drilling program to expand the resources. Consequently, Ivanhoe Mines drilled a hole (OTD-270) in the far northern portion of the Oyu Tolgoi area, which resulted in the discovery of another massive deposit at depth (subsequently named after Hugo Dummett, Vice President of exploration at BHP Billiton and Ivanhoe Mines), one of the world's largest and highest-grade gold/copper deposits. By mid-2003, Oyu Tolgoi had become one of the biggest mining exploration projects in the world, with 18 exploration drill rigs operating. While a number of Mongolian drilling companies were hired during the early stages of exploration at Oyu Tolgoi, international companies with more advanced technical and human expertise began to lead the advanced exploration drilling. Like Erdenet, further development of the Oyu Tolgoi project coincided with a commodities boom that began in 2002.

Concluding Remarks

The discovery of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit, and the Erdenet deposit, shows how development momentum can result from the dynamic interface of global and local factors, and especially the influence of international or transnational political and economic events on a small, landlocked state. Mining legislation that provides certainty over tenement rights and protection for explorers is vital to encourage mineral discoveries. BHP Billiton's extensive exploration project and Ivanhoe's takeover were encouraged by the 1997 Minerals Law that was praised as the most investment-friendly minerals law in the world at the time.

The discovery history of Oyu Tolgoi is a vivid example of the volatile nature of mineral exploration. It shows how a range of factors such as geological endowment, local knowledge, market trends, commodity price and legal environment can shape the progress and results of exploration projects. Tapping into local expertise and knowledge is crucial for international developers. Strategic, patient and respectful relationships between local and international expertise and experience can yield positive outcomes.


Link to post


XAM closed +0.5c to A$0.17 Tuesday, +70% YoY

Xanadu Mines: Notice of Annual General Meeting, 6 May

April 6, Xanadu Mines Ltd. (ASX:XAM) --

Link to release


Shares suspended since November

CIC Gold Appoints Graham Fyfe as Non-Executive Director

April 5 -- CIC Gold (LSE: CICG) is pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr. Graham Fyfe as Non-Executive Director from 31 March 2016.

The Board

Mr. Fyfe is a Non-Executive Director and a key technical member of the board. Mr. Fyfe has Bachelors degree in  Chemical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and has MBA in Finance, Accounting, Organisational Behaviour and Negotiation from Heriott Watt University. 

Mr. Fyfe over 25 years of international experience in the mining sector has been engaged by blue chip companies such as such as Fluor, Rio Tinto, Murray & Roberts Engineering Solutions South Africa and De Beers. Since 2008, following many years in the role of engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) engineer and project manager in diverse mining projects, took on  an executive owner's representative role in the UK AIM listed Bellzone Mining Plc and Dragonlight Resources. 

With extensive experience as owner and EPCM consultant, Mr. Fyfe has developed a unique set of technical and managerial skills across the mining and minerals value chain from mineral resource development through to project valuation and marketing of commodities including, diamonds, gold, copper, iron ore, vanadium and rare earths.  As an owner representative Mr. Fyfe has extensive experience with the listing, fund raising process and UK regulatory compliance.

Mr. Fyfe has holds no directorship positions other than with the Company.

Link to release


Centerra Gold Announces US$150 Million Project Financing Facility for the Oksut Project

TORONTO, ON --(Marketwired - April 05, 2016) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) announced today that its wholly-owned Turkish subsidiary Öksüt Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. ("OMAS") has entered into a project financing term loan facility for its Öksüt Project in Turkey (the "Facility"). The Facility is secured by the Öksüt assets and is non-recourse to Centerra. The 5.75-year term facility of up to $150 million is fully underwritten by UniCredit Bank AG as sole mandated lead arranger and bookrunner. The interest rate is LIBOR plus 2.65% to 2.95% (dependent on project completion status) with no mandatory gold hedging requirements. Advances under the Facility are subject to customary conditions precedent including receipt of applicable project permits and approvals.

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.55%, ALL +0.14%, Turnover 20.2 Million Shares

April 5 (MSE) --

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Historic low 2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, April 5 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,030 Sell ₮2,042), Khan (₮2,030 Sell ₮2,046), Golomt (Buy ₮2,036 Sell ₮2,048), XacBank (Buy ₮2,034 Sell ₮2,044), State Bank (Buy ₮2,030 Sell ₮2,046)

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

Link to rates


Mongolia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall to $1.2B at End-Feb.

By Michael Kohn

April 1 (Bloomberg) -- FX reserves down 12.12% at the end of Feb. versus the same period yr ago, according to data posted on Bank of Mongolia website.

* Reserves decline 9.54% m/m



BoM FX auction: USD bid, CNY ask, bid offers declined, accepts US$3.5m MNT swap offers

April 5 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on April 5th, 2016 the BOM has received selling bid offers of USD 33.0 million in a rate between MNT 2045.00-2047.17, buying bid offers of CNY 2.7 million in a rate between MNT 314.55-314.65 and selling bid offers of CNY 4.3 million in a rate between MNT 315.97-315.99 respectively. The BOM did not accept any bid offers.

On April 5th, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 3.5 million and USD swap agreement selling bid offers of USD 20.0 million from local commercial banks and the BOM accepted the MNT swap agreement buying bid offers of USD 3.5 million.

Link to release


Subsidized Mortgage Report: 43.4 Billion Issued at 5%, ₮104 Billion at 8%, 22.5 Billion Transferred to 5%

April 5 (Bank of Mongolia) As of April 4 banks received ₮205.9 billion (₮202.6 billion as of April 1) mortgage requests of 3,392 citizens (3,341 as of April 1), of which ₮43.4 billion (₮42.9 billion as of April 1) of 924 citizens (916 as of April 1) have been approved at 5%, ₮104 billion (₮101.9 billion as of April 1) of 1,603 citizens (1,575 as of April 1) at 8%.

Also, ₮22.5 billion mortgages (₮22.4 billion as of April 1) of 547 borrowers (545 as of April 1) who bought housing in Ulaanbaatar ger area redevelopment zones, satellite districts Baganuur, Bagankhangai, and Nalaikh, new capital housing zones, and 21 aimags have been transferred to 5%.

Link to release (in Mongolian)

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Politics & Legal

Speaker opens last session of 2012 parliament with Tavan Tolgoi

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) This session started at 9.25 am Tuesday with a 52.6% of parliamentarians. Present were also Ts.Elbegdorj, the President of Mongolia; Ministers; authorities bodies under administration of the State Great Khural; representatives of political parties; and heads of diplomatic missions in Mongolia.

The Chairman of the State Great Khural Z.Enkhbold made the opening remarks. He underlined that  this is the last session of the current parliament in its tenure, and mentioned agendas that will be discussed by this session.

"Roughly one year ago, at its opening the parliamentary session expressed a position of opposing an investment contract on exploitation of the Tavan tolgoi deposit, which does not comply with interests of Mongolia, and considering as necessity to resolve this contract by parliament. The Speaker and his Deputies had the same position over the matter, and, then, a parliamentary working group supervised the contract and issued an evaluation," Enkhbold said.

According to this evaluation, the company willing to exploit the deposit has fallen in financial trouble, and it was not possible for this company to invest in the deposit. It has been proven by announcement the company made about its insolvency, the Speaker said.

It has been revealed that under the name of establishing investment contracts, the Mongolia Mining Corporation (MMC) and the Energy Resource Company attempted to pay off their huge debts to international financial organizations. Mongolian parliament never will let the companies abolish their debts with state-owned mineral deposit.

"It is not possible to approve such contract which devalues shares of the Erdenes Tavantolgoi company owned by all citizens of Mongolia and 553 enterprisers," he stressed.

"If we did not stop this illicit contract, the Tavan tolgoi's deposit owned by people would be assets in ownership foreign companies, transmitted through the MMC and Energy Resource by debts. To conclude, the parliamentary decision oversaw a future of the country, cherishing interests of Mongolia," he said.

Concerning a right and fruitful exploitation of the Tavan tolgoi deposit, the Speaker said Mongolia will sell coke coal of Tavan tolgoi with a price of the world market. In order to do so, it is necessary to complete a construction of railways in Ukhaa khudag--Gashuunsukhait and Tavan tolgoi--Sainshand directions

The Speaker also said Mongolia is negotiating with parties on providing the UB city residents with smoke-free fuels and on producing raw materials for plastic goods after making natural gas from fossil coal, and on exporting the products to Japan and other markets. These ways of the deposit exploitation will be the most fruitful for Mongolians, the Speaker emphasized.

Apart from the Tavan tolgoi issue, the Speaker reported that external debts of Mongolia have reached over 20 billion US dollars by the 2014's International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Following the opening, factions of the political parties and Standing committees will meet.

Link to article


Speaker Approves Agenda for Spring Session

April 5 (GoGo Mongolia) Spring session of the State Great Khural also considered as the final session of the Parliament established by the 2012 parliamentary election was opened today at 9am with 52.6% of attendance.  

Speaker of the Parliament issued an order on agenda of spring session;

1.    Draft resolution of State Great Khural on declaration of parliament and the city council elections

2.    Draft resolution of State Great Khural on approval of regulation to organize public hearing 

3.    Implementation of main direction for 2015 on developing the economy and social situation of Mongolia 

4.    Draft resolution of State Great Khural on approval of main direction for 2017 on developing the economy and social situation of Mongolia 

5.    2017 budget framework report, draft law on 2018-2019 budget perception 

6.    Draft resolution of State Great Khural on approval of 2015 budget implementation, Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Mongolia 2015

7.    Draft resolution of State Great Khural on approval of budget for parliament and ciy council elections

8.    Draft resolution of State Great Khural on approval of national program on against corruption and strengthening the justice 

9.    Draft law on family, amendments to draft law on family 

10.  Draft law on state orders

11.  Draft law on trade 

12.  Other      

Link to article


Government to grant 50 billion emergency financing to farmers for spring cultivation

April 5 ( Government approved short term programme for stabilizing agriculture sector and settled necessary funding source to implement the programme.

Mongolian government allowed Development Bank Board to operate in a way that agriculturists and agriculture business entities can take loans up to 2 years through commercial banks.

In regards to this, Development Bank will initially grant 50 billion MNT to agriculturists for loan purpose with 2 year period and 12.5 percent interest rate.

This loan is dedicated only for this spring cultivation and Ministry of Agriculture compiled and delivered a list of some 1500 citizens, entities and company names to Development Bank.

Commercial banks such as TDB, Khaan, Golomt will grant loans and citizens, entities will have to gather required materials and contact any of the above mentioned banks.

Link to article


Cabinet approves targeted program to support small businesses

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) Adopted on Monday by the cabinet meeting, this program on backing of small-sized business has been worked out in accordance with an amendment to the law on employment support. 

By the program, it has been aimed to support the small-sized business with financial services, to augment a flow of cash, and to increase sales of small- and middle-sized business. 

Within the Market and Pasture Management Development Project by international fund for agricultural development of the FAO, the program has been focused on delivering nationwide experiences of 454 business groups dominated by women in 50 soums of five provinces, on augmenting people's income by providing local business with loans and credit services, on creating jobs, and on forming all conditions for transmitting into organizational structure.

Link to article


Cabinet exempts materials for renewable energy facilities from import duty

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday approved of a list of equipment, facilities and accessories, used in renewable energy production and scientific works, that will be exempted from customs tax and VAT.

As of present, the whole capability of all energy providers in Mongolia is estimated at 967 MWatt, and only its four percent generated by renewable energy sources. The Regulatory Committee of Energy (RCE) has given permissions to five projects on wind farm and six projects on solar energy. 

In near future, a capacity of the renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro energy is expected to increase, and a size of investments to this energy industry will reach USD one billion.

It is considered that Mongolia needs to support productions of solar energy and to exempt the necessary materials for renewable energy productions from taxes.

Link to article


Mongolia to sign TTPP investment agreement with Marubeni in May

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Mongolia M.Enkhsaikhan Tuesday met with Mr Takenori Shimizu, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia.

The sides shared views on a course of talks with Japan's Marubeni Corporation that has been selected the investor in a project on a power station of the Tavan tolgoi mine. As expected, the government of Mongolia will establish an investment deal with this company for the project in May of this year, Enkhsaikhan said.

The Ambassador emphasized his country's full support for the project on the Tavan tolgoi's power station because it has significance for the bilateral economic relations.

Link to article


Mogi: little old but …

Mongolian president denies link with S. Korean religious group

ULAN BATOR, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj denied any links with South Korean religious group Unification Church on Thursday.

Elbegdorj said he and other Mongolian politicians had attended events organized by the church, but he had never participated in such events or met with the organization's leader after becoming president.

Video recordings of Elbegdorj with Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon went viral on Mongolian social media recently, allegedly leaked by a source close to the president.

The South Korean religious group is highly controversial in Mongolia, as it was accused of trying to edit textbook contents in its favor. An Education Ministry official resigned after coming under fire for joining the church.

The Unification Church was founded by South Korean businessman Sun Myung Moon in 1954. It is active in South Korea, Japan, Mongolia and several other South East Asian countries.

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From steppe to catwalk: The Mongolian co-ops protecting a way of life

April 5 (Co-operative News) In the steppes of Mongolia, the nomadic herders' way of life and indeed the landscape itself is under threat. But herder co-operatives, fronted by a new London-based fashion brand, have ambitious plans to reverse this.

Tengri aims to protect the Mongolian landscape and herders' livelihoods from rapid industrialisation and land degradation. It is turning co- operatively traded yak wool into high fashion knitwear using a team of expert knitwear makers in Hawick, Scotland – a town famous for knitwear since the 18th century.

The wool is sourced directly from two co-ops representing 1,500 nomadic herder families in Mongolia's Arkhangai province. Hand-combed from semi-wild animals living in the steppes, the fibres are robust, breathable and hypo-allergenic.

Because Mongolian yaks live at high altitudes and endure extreme weather, their wool is 10-15°C warmer than merino wool.

The brand is the brainchild of Nancy Johnston, who has witnessed first-hand the challenges threatening the herders and their culture. "As a kid, I saw a picture of Mongolia and the images fascinated me," she explains. "The epic landscapes, nomadic way of life and the delicate and interconnected relationship between herders, the land and animals all really captivated me.

"In 2013, I finally made it to Mongolia, fulfilling a life-long dream. It was there, in the vast steppes, that I lived with a nomadic yak herder family for the first time and fell in love with the yaks and the delicate, yet harsh, nomadic way of life.

"I was also able to experience first hand the challenges the family faced. They had a young daughter and were desperately trying to save money for her education."

But Nancy knew the family would never be able to offer their daughter the opportunities she had had. "I was a lucky refugee baby born in the USA, the first child in my family born outside of Asian soil. I saw myself in that little girl and couldn't stop thinking about what could be done to help her and her family."

Nancy, a social worker specialising in programmes that deliver systemic change and social impact, discovered that the herders' livelihoods were threatened by rapid industrialisation and land erosion. According to Conservation Biology, 95% of forage across the Tibetan plateau, Mongolia and northern India has been consumed by cashmere goats, leaving just 5% for wild animals to graze.

Mongolia, with a population of just three million, is the second- largest global supplier of premium fibres, supplying the world's top luxury fashion brands.

For more information, visit

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Dongwha Pharm to Export Digestive Drink 'Mi In Whal Myung Su' to Mongolia

April 5 (Business Korea) Dongwha Pharm Co. signed a contract with Monsobayan Co., food and medicine supplier in Mongolia, to export "Mi In Whal Myung Su" through the Pharm Fair of the Bio Korea 2016.

With the latest deal, the company expects to tap into the Mongolian drug market in earnest. In addition to the exportation of the Mi In Whal Myung Su, it is releasing the "Pancold-S Oral Liquid" and "Silmazin 1% Cream."

Meanwhile, Dongwha Pharm launched the "Baraboom," "Alps-D -2000," "Saeng Saeng Tone," and "Vita 1000 Plus" in Mongolia in 2015 and recorded over 10 percent of share in the energy drink market in the first year. The company is expected to secure a 20 percent share in the market in the next three years. 

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Mongolian Properties Real Estate Guide 2016

Mongolian Properties LLC is celebrating its 15th anniversary and we are proud to present our annual Real Estate Guide 2016! The guide contains an in-depth analysis of Ulaanbaatar's real estate market, district-by-district analysis and most importantly it shows current available properties' price details (i.e.: apartment, house, townhouse, office, commercial, warehouse, etc) for sales and rentals. Also, it features Quick Facts about Mongolia, Step-by-Step guide to Purchase an Apartment in UB, Top 10 Restaurants, Bars, Cultural Sights in UB, and more. Combined with Mongolian Properties' unique market insight, this property guide serves as an ideal guide for those interested in Ulaanbaatar's burgeoning property market.

To get your free copy of our Mongolian Real Estate Guide 2016, enter your details into the form below. Should you wish to get a hardy copy, please contact your closest Mongolian Properties and/or APIP offices.

Link to download page


Talk with Me: Enkhzaya Bat-Orgil, CEO, Rosewood

April 4 (Star TV Mongolia) --

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Khan Bank Begins Its Nationwide E-Banking Campaign

April 5 (Khan Bank) Khan Bank is kicking off its E-Banking Campaign throughout the nation on April 4. The campaign will continue until June 30, 2016, to encourage customers to learn about the advantages of Khan Bank's E-Banking services, and to help them experience the ease of using E-Banking in their daily life, without having to visit the branches of the bank.

Khan Bank makes constant improvements to its E-banking products and services, and has introduced numerous products to provide comprehensive banking services accessed by web-enabled devices, such as home and office computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

As part of the campaign, customers will earn one entry in a special drawing for every 5 E-Banking transactions made, including Mobile Banking, Smart Banking, Telephone Banking, Express Banking, and the use of payment cards. Newly registered E-Billing customers will also receive one entry in our drawing.  

Six lucky E-Banking customers will be selected every 14 days to win a travel voucher to Tokyo (1 winner), an iPhone 6s (1 winner), an iPad (1 winner), a notebook (1 winner), or a desktop computer (2 winners).     

We would like to invite you to join our campaign by using time-saving E-Banking services, with banking services provided in 5 minutes or less, and earning the chance to win great prizes.

Spend less time on banking and more time on life!

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Hospitality industry competes at annual HoReCA 2016

April 5 (MONTSAME) In the frames of the "Friendly Ulaanbaatar" program, a championship among accommodation service providers has started in an exhibition hall of the "Misheel Expo" center.

Co-organized by the Mongolian Union of Hotels, the Union of Restaurants and Catering and the Union of Mongolian Cooks, the 10th championship with two stages has attracted competitors from Buryatia Republic of the Russian Federation and Manchuria of China. The final stage will select 3managers, 4 cooks, 7 receptionists, 8 room attendants, 4 cleaning workers and 4 barmen.

While the competition is running on a stage in front of juries by the competition's schedule, presentations about hotel, restaurants, foods and souvenirs under a theme "HOREKA-2016" on every corner of the venue are attracting attention of guests. They are enjoying food samples, adverts and services offered from the competitors.

An opening ceremony was witnessed by a Deputy Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Enkhtsengel; representatives and officials from Russian Buryatia Republic and China's Manchuria.

The event is also displaying souvenirs, menu of restaurants and café that will be served during the forthcoming 11th ASEM Summit to be held in this July in Ulaanbaatar.

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MFA holds weekly press briefing

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday ran its "Media Hour" weekly meeting about current works in the foreign relations.

The Ministry's representatives spoke about official visits of the FM L.Purevsuren to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain; the 6th meeting of the Mongolia-Bulgaria intergovernmental commission for trade, economy, science and technical cooperation, which is continuing in Sofia; results of the 2nd consultative meeting of the Mongolian and Australian Foreign Ministries held March 24 in Canberra; and the results of the 2nd consultative meeting of the Mongolia and New Zealand FMs held March 23 in Canberra.

Reports were also given about implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Mongolia and Japan; and interests of Mongolian citizens residing abroad.

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Mogi: interesting delegation

Mongolia to participate in Eurasian Economic Summit

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian delegation has headed for Turkey to take part in the 19th Eurasian Economic Summit, which will kick off this Wednesday in Istanbul.

The delegation of Mongolia has Mr N.Bagabandi, a former president of Mongolia; D.Zagdjav, a president of the Mongolian Organization for Peace and Friendship; and J.Gurragchaa, a cosmonaut and a vice president of the organization.

This year's summit themed "The Silk Road economy, energy, forced migration and terrorism" will bring together delegates of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Moldavia, Romania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Slovenia, Kosovo, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The gathered are supposed to touch upon issues of conditions of SMEs; investment tools of future; production economy to information economy transmission; economic growth or economic development; can global economy product labor force; variety in human sources; countries' enrichment models; future of construction sector; what's the economic price of new global instability to countries: fluctuations in China's market and affections to economy; and global economical affections of FED's interests to OPEC petroleum prices.

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Bulgarian-Mongolian intergovt commission on economic cooperation to hold 6th sitting

Sofia, April 5 (Focus News) Sixth session of the Bulgarian-Mongolian Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade and Scientific-Technical Cooperation will be held in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The Council of Ministers approved the line-up of the Bulgarian delegation and was introduced to the preparations for the session, the press service of the Government announced.

Topics from the main fields of bilateral cooperation – trade, agriculture, tourism, transport, information and communication technologies, and others will be discussed at the event.

It is expected the commission will outline coordinated measures to expand cooperation and business connections between the two countries in various fields of mutual interest.

The possibilities for expansion of investment cooperation as well as the signing of a memorandum to encourage it will be discussed.

The Bulgarian side will propose a draft bilateral agreement on cooperation in the field of accreditation is discussed and coordinated.

Mongolia is among the richest in mineral resources countries worldwide and this has served as the basis for its being one of the fastest-developing economies in the world in the past several years.

It has a relatively well-developed light and food industry.

The country is a potential market for a number of Bulgarian products – medications, canned foods, perfumery and cosmetic products, wines, tobacco products, and others.

Bilateral merchandise exchange is mainly based on Bulgarian exports to Mongolia.

The Bulgarian Government was also introduced to the results from the fifth sitting of the Bulgarian-Georgian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade and Scientific-Technical Cooperation.

The sitting was held on February 2-3, 2016 in the capital Tbilisi.

The event was chaired by Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski and Dimitry Kumsishvili, Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development.

Topics in main fields of bilateral partnership, such as bilateral trade, transport, information technologies, agriculture, energy, tourism, and others were discussed.

The commission outlined coordinated measures for the expansion of cooperation and business connections between the two countries in the fields of mutual interest.

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Mogi: formerly Saikhanbileg chief advisor, formerly Amb. to Singapore, formerly MP, formerly …

New Ambassador to Russia meets member of Federal Council

Ulaanbaatar, April 5 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Russian Federation B.Delgermaa met last week with A.G.Varfolomeev, a member of the Federation Council of Russia in Moscow.

A delegation led by Mr Varfolomeev will take part in the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP9) that will run this April 21-23 in Ulaanbaatar.

At the meeting, the Ambassador spoke about a preparation for the ASEP9 and the 11th ASEM Summit which will also run in Ulaanbaatar this summer.

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Seminar on Democratic Transitions in Asia gathers participants from 10 Asian countries in Mongolia

April 1 (International IDEA) On 21-22 March 2016, the Mongolian Government hosted a seminar on "Democratic Transitions in Asia: Lessons Learned from Transitional Elections". The seminar hosted participants from 10 Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste, who shared their first-hand experiences of different types of transitions. The seminar focused on different dimensions of democratic transitions, including the timing of elections, voter education, campaign conditions and the importance of the election "after". International IDEA's Regional Director for Asia Pacific Leena Rikkila Tamang moderated sessions on the role of the media and voter education. The seminar was opened by Mongolia's State Secretary for Justice, Bagartsetseg and International IDEA Secretary-General Yves Leterme. State Secretary Bagartsetseg referred to the democratic transition of Mongolia, while Leterme provided an overview of lessons learned from democratic transitions around the world, documented in International IDEA's publication on Democratic Transitions: Conversations with World Leaders, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. The book presents personal reflections of 13 former presidents from nine countries. Each of these leaders played a key role in political processes that resulted in the end of authoritarian rule, and a transition to democracy. The book draws a number of lessons from successful transitions to democracy that may be of value to countries that have undergone or are undergoing similar changes.

Following the seminar, the delegates of the conference had a meeting with the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and the Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs Purevsuren. The President shared Mongolian experiences and said that "Mongolia is well placed to bring Central and other Asian countries together, given its neutrality and aim to share, not to teach, what Mongolia has done right and what were the mistakes to learn from." He also put great emphasis on citizen participation as a balancing factor in consolidating democracy; "we cannot make everyone happy but we need to protect everyone's right to express their discontent".

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Culture, Society

American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia successfully organizes the first Annual AmCham Service Day

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, April 5 (AmCham Mongolia) – The American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia (AmCham) organized its first Annual AmCham Service Day 2016 on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 in cooperation with the Veloo Foundation's Children of Peak Sanctuary located in the Songino-Khairkhan district in Ulaanbaatar. Over 20 volunteers consisting of AmCham's members spent the day volunteering with the students at the kindergarten and assembling a new library for the Sanctuary, which will serve as literacy center for the kindergarten and a resource center for children and adults from the community, offering access to computers with Internet, books, and various programs.

AmCham's Vice Chairman Magnai Ganzorig, the Governor of Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar City His Excellency Bat-Uul Erdene and the Chairman of Citizen Representative Council of the Songinokhairkhan district Mr. Kh.Nyambaatar delivered keynote remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

AmCham Mongolia strives to be a socially responsible organization and AmCham's members are some of the most socially conscientious companies in Mongolia. AmCham Service Day 2016 was made possible thanks to the generous support from our sponsors MahoneyLiotta LLP, Oriflame Corporation, Mr. T. Gansuld as well as our media sponsor MongolTV. Fellow AmCham members Wagner Asia Equipment LLC, G-Mobile, and Crown Worldwide Group joined the sponsors for a full day of volunteering.

The Veloo Foundation's Children of Peak Sanctuary schools over 120 impoverished children and works to alleviate the suffering and neglect of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in an Ulaanbaatar neighborhood whose residents make a living and feed and clothe their families with items scavenged from the rubbish dump.

AmCham Mongolia is an independent membership-driven organization that seeks to build, strengthen, and protect business between the United States and Mongolia and to actively promote Mongolia as a destination for American investment. AmCham Mongolia is the official local office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, largest business federation in the world with over 3 million member companies and located in Washington, DC. AmCham Mongolia is also a member of the Asia Pacific Council of American Chamber of Commerce, consisting of 29 American Chambers of Commerce in the Asia Pacific Region.

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Nature, Environment

Investigation on World Bank support for Mongolia mining project deferred


The Inspection Panel has deferred a decision to investigate a complaint regarding environmental, social and economic damage related to a World Bank funded mining project in Mongolia.

April 5 (Bretton Woods Project) In February 2015, community representatives and local organisations in Mongolia and Russia filed a complaint with the World Bank's accountability mechanism, the Inspection Panel (IPN), regarding the World Bank's $25 million Mining Infrastructure Investment Support project (MINIS), providing technical assistance aimed at facilitating infrastructure investments to support mining operations in Mongolia.

MINIS finances sub-project assessment studies, including for the Shuren hydropower plant (see Update 83). The complaint raised concerns regarding potential irreversible environmental, social and economic impacts on the Selenga river basin and Lake Baikal, a World Heritage site, related to the project. Quoting "multiple engagements" with World Bank staff over two years, the complainants noted "we do not find that their responses have resulted in acceptable resolutions to our procedural and substantive issues with the project including the lack of disclosure of project documents, poor quality of design and practices of stakeholder consultations, weak assessment of risks, questionable criteria for sub-project selection, and lack of assessment of viable alternatives."They concluded: "we are deeply concerned that the Bank's involvement in these preparatory studies will serve as the launching pad for investments in the actual physical infrastructure in the future."

In a July 2015 statement, the IPN admitted that project-related activities could violate Bank policies , but deferred a decision on a potential investigation, concluding that "the next stages in project implementation provide ample opportunities to address the requesters' concerns and to introduce the necessary corrective measures." It stated that it will revisit the case in a years' time after assessing the progress of the environmental and social impact assessment "as well as a determination regarding the quality of the consultation process at that time."

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US hands over looted dinosaur fossils to Mongolia

New York, April 6 (AFP) - The United States on Tuesday handed back to Mongolia fossil remains of six species of dinosaur smuggled out of the country and impounded by agents in New York and Utah.

The largest item was the skull of an Alioramus, an exceptionally rare dinosaur believed to have roamed the Gobi Desert 66 to 70 million years ago.

A relative of the more widely known Tyrannosaurus, only two specimens are reported in scientific literature, both of them from Mongolia. US authorities described the fossil as the most complete Alioramus skull yet discovered.

The skull was confiscated by customs after being shipped from France with false papers claiming it was a cheap replica, US authorities said. The shipper later submitted forged Mongolian export documents, officials added.

Mongolia determined that fossils are national property in 1924, and their export is strictly forbidden.

Tuesday's ceremony, hosted by the US attorney for Brooklyn, is the latest in a series of returns of fossils to Mongolia in recent years, including a Tarbosaurus bataar dating back 70 million years.

"We are proud of our role in restoring this rich paleontological heritage to the Mongolian people and taking these cultural treasures from the hands of looters and smugglers," said Robert Capers, US attorney for Brooklyn.

Before Tuesday, 23 dinosaur fossils had been repatriated to Mongolia from the United States in the last three years, said Mongolia's ambassador to the United States, Altangerel Bulgaa.

Mongolia paleontologist Bolortsetseg Minjin described the Alioramus as an extremely rare dinosaur and said only two specimens reported in the scientific literature, and both from Mongolia.

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Borussia Dortmund: Partnership Agreement Signed with MIAT Mongolian Airlines

April 4 -- Borussia Dortmund, UEFA Champions League winners in 1997 and eight-time German champions have secured a further regional partner on the international market to compliment existing co-operation with Japanese company HiS and Lawson. In doing so, Dortmund have achieved a real first. From 1 July 2016 onwards, BVB will work together Mongolian Airlines on the Mongolian market. This marks the first time a company from Mongolia has agreed a partnership with a European football club 

Representatives from Mongolian Airlines spent time in Dortmund several weeks ago to savour the unique atmosphere in the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, which has boasted the highest average attendance in Europe for several years and was crowned "best stadium in the world" by The Times and The Sunday Times newspaper of London.

As a regional partner, Mongolian Airlines has, amongst other benefits, acquired the right to use the BVB logo for commercial purposes in its home market. The partnership will span an initial three-year period.

"The fact we are always able to attract new international partners fills all of us with pride. Furthermore, we are currently involved in promising talks with further big-name companies. The intense exchange between our office in Singapore and our headquarters in Dortmund is bearing more and more fruit," said Carsten Cramer, director of sales, marketing and business development at Borussia Dortmund.

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Art, Entertainment

Inspired by Zaya - N.Altaihuu, Singer "Astro"

April 5 ( …

We are delivering the next episode of the Inspired by Zaya talk show hosted entirely in English language, encouraging and inspiring the future of Mongolia to commit to learning English language and enhance possibilities in life. I meet and interview with many nice people.

This episode features N.Altaihuu also known as singer Astro. He is a TV journalist by profession. He started to sing according to his interest but now he decided to take break from music. N.Altaihuu is definitely one of the young representatives Mongolia should be proud of. Also he is good father, good husband and good businessman. We talked about future goals, plans as well as he shared his view. 

For the full episode please click here.

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