Monday, September 12, 2016

[TT 'back in play'; Canada-Mongolia FIPA signed; MNT down 1% last week; Mongolian fluorspar bucks trend; and first medal won at Paralympics]

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Monday, September 12, 2016

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Int'l Market

TRQ closed -0.82% Friday to US$3.03.

Pentwater Capital Management Lowers stake in Turquoise Hill Resources

September 7 (The Market Digest) Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd (TRQ) : Pentwater Capital Management Lp reduced its stake in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd by 10.49% during the most recent quarter end. The investment management company now holds a total of 104,170,000 shares of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd which is valued at $326,052,100 after selling 12,214,300 shares in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd , the firm said in a disclosure report filed with the SEC on Aug 15, 2016.Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd makes up approximately 6.00% of Pentwater Capital Management Lp's portfolio.

Other Hedge Funds, Including , Parallax Volatility Advisers sold out all of its stake in TRQ during the most recent quarter. The investment firm sold 47,099 shares of TRQ which is valued $147,420. Engineers Gate Manager Lp added TRQ to its portfolio by purchasing 10,000 company shares during the most recent quarter which is valued at $31,300. Edmond De Rothschild Holding S.a. added TRQ to its portfolio by purchasing 70,000 company shares during the most recent quarter which is valued at $219,100. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd makes up approx 0.01% of Edmond De Rothschild Holding S.a.'s portfolio.Bnp Paribas Investment Partners S.a. reduced its stake in TRQ by selling 5,468 shares or 3.21% in the most recent quarter. The Hedge Fund company now holds 164,937 shares of TRQ which is valued at $529,448.

Link to article


TER trading flat this morning at A$0.027

TerraCom Appoints Executive Director

September 8 -- TerraCom Limited (TerraCom or the Company) (ASX: TER) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr David Stone, as an Executive Director. Mr Stone will continue to remain as Vice President – Operations at TerraCom Limited and his appointment to the board will add invaluable operational expertise to the board.

TerraCom Limited's Executive Chairman, Mr Cameron McRae, stated: "Mr Stone has been a highly successful leader in mining businesses for global corporations for over 20 years. He has progressed through the mining industry performing most roles including operations, technical and executive management and has been a valuable member of the TerraCom team."

David has a Bachelor of Mining Engineering, Diploma in Risk Management and a Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has progressed through the mining industry performing roles across, operations (open pit and underground), technical and management. David has been appointed to numerous government and industry committees and boards. He also holds a Mine Managers, Senior Site Executive and statutory qualifications. David has worked for majors MIM, Anglo American and Xstrata and held COO roles in several organizations.

He has also served on a number of key government and industry committees and boards including the Safety and Health Advisory Council (Queensland), Chairman- Queensland Resources Council Operators Committee and Xstrata's nominated representative on the Act Review Committee (Queensland).

David's other qualifications include: 1st Class Mine Managers Certificate of Competency, Senior Site Executive Competency (Qld) and a 2nd Class Mine Managers Certificate of Competency.

David joined TerraCom in May 2015.

Link to release


276 last traded HK$0.17

MEC: Passing Away of an Independent Non-Executive Director

September 9 -- The board of directors (the "Board") of Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (the "Company") with great sadness announces that Mr. Peter Pun OBE, JP ("Mr. Pun"), an independent non-executive director of the Company, a member of both the audit committee and the remuneration committee of the Company, passed away on 6 September 2016 due to illness. Mr. Pun had been an independent non-executive director of the Company since 1997. The Board would like to express its most sincere appreciation to Mr. Pun for his invaluable contribution to the Company during his tenure of service and convey its deepest condolences to his family.

Link to release


XAM trading -2.94% this morning at A$0.165

Xanadu Mines: Interim Report 2016

September 8, Xanadu Mines Ltd. (ASX:XAM) --

Link to report


Cash-strapped Mongolia puts giant coalmine back in play

* Estimated coking coal reserves of 7.5 bln tonnes

* $4 billion cost of development equivalent to third of GDP

* Nationalist sentiment blocked previous development bids

* Mining generated 67.8 pct of Mongolia's H1 industrial output

By Terrence Edwards

ULAANBAATAR, Sept 9 (Reuters) The long-delayed development of Mongolia's giant coal deposit at Tavan Tolgoi in the south Gobi desert is set to be revived as the North Asian country's new government looks for ways to stimulate its crisis-hit economy.

Recent attempts to develop the mine were stymied by nationalists in parliament worried about the involvement of foreign firms, but a financial crisis and a change of government in June have brought it back onto the agenda.

Slowing demand for coal and copper, Mongolia's chief exports, and a plunge in foreign investment have left the world's most sparsely populated sovereign country with soaring debts and a rapidly declining currency, forcing government to hike interest rates and slash spending.

Executives at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT), the state firm in charge of the project, say they are now actively evaluating bids to revive the coal mine, one of the world's most promising, with estimated coking coal reserves of 7.5 billion tonnes.

"Currently, we're calculating the (potential) profits for Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, and our lawyers are reviewing multiple proposals," said Samdandobji Ashidmunkh, chief economic development officer of the state firm in charge of the project.

"We are not ruling out any possibilities," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an investment conference in Ulaanbaatar. "If it's profitable for Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi and beneficial for the Mongolian economy, we're open to cooperate with anyone."

In 2014, the Hong Kong-listed Mongolian Mining Corp. (MMC) joined a consortium with Chinese state miner Shenhua Group and Japan's Sumitomo Corp. to develop Tavan Tolgoi, but though the deal was blocked by parliament last year amid hostility from nationalist backbenchers, another executive said the parties remained ready to revive it.

"The consortium still holds together," said Gotov Battsengel, chief executive officer of Energy Resources, an MMC unit that already extracts coal from a mine on the western edge of Tavan Tolgoi.

"I believe the offer is still on the table," he told the conference.

A spokesman for Sumitomo declined to say whether there were any new developments, but added: "We believe our preferential negotiating rights are still valid."

Ashidmunkh of ETT said it was "too early" to say whether this particular consortium represented the best deal.

The Shenhua Group did not respond to questions on the subject, and Mongolia's mining ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


About two thirds of industrial output in the first half of this year was generated by the mining industry, according to Mongolia's statistics bureau, and Tavan Tolgoi, along with the $4 billion investment required to develop it, could provide a huge boost to the $12 billion economy.

But development has been repeatedly delayed amid financing difficulties and concerns about the role played by foreign firms in the former Soviet satellite of 3 million people, which is wedged between China and Russia.

In 2011, the government awarded the project to a consortium involving Shenhua, U.S. miner Peabody and a team of little-known Russian and Mongolian firms, but it quickly scrapped the deal after unsuccessful bidders from Japan and South Korea complained that the process was not transparent.

The tender came in the middle of a mining boom that drove double-digit growth in GDP and encouraged politicians to seek more favourable terms with foreign investors. Mongolia also tried to renegotiate the 2009 investment agreement for its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, now run by Rio Tinto .

"Some policy mistakes were fuelled by nationalist sentiment," said Mongolia's new mining minister, Tsedev Dashdorj, at the conference on Thursday.

Legislators opposed to the Sumitomo-Shenhua consortium were voted out of parliament after a landslide election victory for the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) in June.

"The political dynamics in Mongolia have shifted very favorably for an ETT deal post election," said Nick Cousyn, chief operating officer for Ulaanbaatar-based brokerage BDSec, in a research note.

"With an MPP super-majority in Parliament and Mongolia in desperate need of investment, we see the odds of an ETT deal as being extremely high," he added. 

Link to article


Mongolia readies to revive its giant Tavan Tolgoi coal, September 9


Investors Flee Heavily Indebted Mongolia

Once a market darling, high-yielding, commodity-rich nation turns into pariah


September 11 (WSJ) There is nary a corner on Earth where investors won't journey to find extra yield. But the trip to Mongolia is proving treacherous.

Money managers piled into assets from the world's most sparsely populated country in past years on the prospects of vast untapped mines rich with copper and gold. Mongolian debt got an additional boost this year, soaring 6% in July, as raw-material prices picked up and investors sought alternatives to low and even negative bond yields in developed countries.

But in August, Mongolia's finance minister stunned global investors by saying that its government debt would reach 78% of the gross domestic product, far above the country's 55% target. The revelation triggered a selloff in Mongolia's markets, with the country's dollar-denominated debt tumbling 7.7% last month and the nation's currency falling the most among all its developing-economy peers, before rebounding slightly this month.

"Until recently, Mongolia was a darling of the markets and they couldn't do anything wrong," said Bejoy Das Gupta, chief economist for Asia/Pacific at the Institute of International Finance. "But when the hard landing happens, markets adjust very quickly."

Mongolia is among a handful of countries with once-bright futures that took on massive debt loads during a period of investor enthusiasm for frontier markets. In 2011, the nation was the world's fastest-growing economy, expanding at a 17% rate as prices of copper, gold and iron ore soared.

Foreign lenders handed over billions of dollars to the government, its banks and mining companies to help extract wealth from underground. Among the bonds' holders are BlackRock Inc., Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS Global Asset Management, according to the latest holder data from Thomson Reuters. Mongolia's debt levels swelled 264% in the five years ended 2015, the largest increase in the world during that period, according to Moody's Investors Service.

But the commodities bust that began in 2011 crimped the country's growth. Now, the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates, which could make bonds in developing economies less attractive, could worsen a troubled situation.

As of the first quarter, Mongolia's total debt owed to foreign creditors stood at $22.6 billion, compared with a still tiny $11.8 billion economy. Meanwhile, a $580 million Mongolian bond taken on to help finance a still-unfinished project to connect 21 provinces with roads comes due in 2017, part of $2 billion in maturing public- and private-sector debt in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Investors are pinning hopes on a vast gold and copper mine that is expected to lead to massive economic growth. In December 2015, the government approved a $4.4 billion financing deal for Rio Tinto PLC's second phase of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, believed to be the world's largest underdeveloped reserve of copper, concluding a four-year-long negotiation. But delays in the projects have been costly: During the wait, copper prices more than halved.

As the country's current financial woes deepened, the government resorted to emergency measures. In August, the government said it may soon stop paying its civil servants and the military and raised interest rates by 4.5 percentage points to combat capital outflows.

Moody's also lowered Mongolia's sovereign credit rating, sending it further into junk status. Standard & Poor's made a similar move.

If Mongolia turns to the International Monetary Fund for help, that could prop up investor confidence that it will be able to pay its debt, said Kevin Daly, a portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, with $9 billion in emerging-market debt under management, including Mongolian bonds. The IMF visited the country in August.

The selloff in Mongolia contrasts with the broad rally in emerging markets. Nearly $80 billion went into emerging markets during the first eight months of this year, the Institute of International Finance said. Emerging-market dollar-denominated debt returned 14.7% this year through August.

But if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, reducing liquidity in the global financial system, countries that rely on a single commodity or struggle with economic data transparency "represent the first level of risks," said Jim Barrineau, co-head of emerging markets debt at Schroder Investment Management Ltd., which has £343.8 billion ($456.19 billion) of assets under management.

Copper made up 49% of Mongolia's exports in 2015, according to the United Nations International Trade Statistics Yearbook.

"Given overall market conditions and the assumptions around the IMF, I think perhaps the investors would continue to give them the benefit of the doubt," said Kathryn Exum, a sovereign analyst at Gramercy Funds Management LLC. "But from an overall fundamental perspective, it's too expensive. Mongolia and some of the weaker credits will sell off much more significantly if a hawkish Fed returns."

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Local Market

MSE Weekly Report: Top 20 -0.92%, ALL -0.54%, Turnover 24.1 Billion, ₮589.8 Million T-Bills

September 9 (MSE) --

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USD/MNT historic high ₮2,265.28, set Aug 18. Reds are rates that set a new record at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Friday, September 9 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮2,225 Sell ₮2,240), TDB (Buy ₮2,224 Sell ₮2,240), Golomt (Buy ₮2,225 Sell ₮2,240), XacBank (Buy ₮2,228 Sell ₮2,244), State Bank (Buy ₮2,225 Sell ₮2,240)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 143 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -8.7% to ₮637 billion

September 9 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 143 billion at a weighted interest rate of 15.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM sells US$8m at 2,226.1, CNY19m at 334, accepts $36.4m MNT swap offers

September 8 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 8th, 2016, the BOM has received bid offers of USD34.3 million in a rate between MNT2218.22-2228.10 and CNY76.5 million in a rate between MNT331.18-334.25 from local commercial banks. The BOM has received bid offers of USD8.0 million in a rate of MNT2226.10 and CNY19.0 million in a rate of MNT334.00.

Swap and forward trade: The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD36.4 million and BOM accepted the offer.

Link to release


UB Housing Price Index Unchanged in August, Down 9.2% from 2015

September 9 (BoM) --


New Housing

Old Housing

Index change /from 2013.01 base/




From previous month




From year beginning




From previous year




Link to release (in Mongolian)


BoM buys 3 tons of gold in August, 11.7 tons YTD

July 2016 (BoM) --




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Link to data (in Mongolian)


Bank of Mongolia: Request for Expression of Interest (Consulting Service)

·         Payment System Modernization Project (PSMP), Loan No. 3072-MON

·         Specialist on Core Banking System / BOM General Ledger modernization

1. Background

The Bank of Mongolia (BOM) invites eligible consultants to express their interest in providing the consulting service to prepare technical requirements for the selection of the Core Banking System / Enterprise Resource Planning System (CBS/ERP) by BOM, including customization and localization.

2. Objectives

Link to release


Bank of Mongolia introduces members of Monetary Policy Council

Ulaanbaatar, September 8 (MONTSAME) On Monday, the new Council on Monetary Policy held its first meeting, and announced the official members, in accordance with the Resolution No 225 issued on August 29,2016. The council has 14 members, 10 of whom has been chosen from the Bank of Mongolia (Central bank) and the rest are researchers and independent economists.

The meeting also presented the measures to be taken in connection with the increase in policy rate by 4.5 points, and deliberated a package document of monetary policy for 2017.

The council resolved to call another meeting on the issue of submitting the draft document to the State Great Khural (Parliament) by October 1.

The members are: Governor of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) N.Bayartsaikhan, First Deputy Governor of BoM O.Erdembileg, Deputy Governor of BoM B.Lkhagvasuren, Head of Monetary Policy Department B.Bayardavaa, Head of Market Department B.Batdavaa, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Department N.Batsaikhan, Head of Research and Statistics Department Ts.Munkhbayar, Adviser to the President of Bank of Mongolia and Chief Economist at BoM D.Gan-Ochir and the Head of Currency Department R.Sarantsetseg; independent members: a former First Deputy Governor B.Enkhkhuyag, a professor at the Economics Department of the University of Finance and Economy Ts.Batsukh, a professor at the Economics Department of the School of Social Science of the National University of Mongolia (NUM) B.Erdenebat, a professor at the Business School of NUM Ch.Khashchuluun, and the President of "Mongolia Needs You" NGO B.Battushig.

Link to article


New BoM Monetary Policy Council Holds First Meeting

September 5 (Bank of Mongolia) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its first meeting on September 5, 2016.

The Monetary Policy Committee consists with 14 official members including 9 members from the Bank of Mongolia and 5 independent members who are expertise in the field of economics and monetary policy.
During the meeting, the Committee presented the measures to be taken in connection with the increase in policy interest rate by 4.5 percentage point.  Also, the Committee held the discussion on Monetary Policy Guidelines for 2017.

The Committee decided to call another meeting on finalizing the Monetary Policy Guidelines for 2017 to be submitted to the State Great Khural (Parliament) by October 1. 

For more information, please click here

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Politics & Legal

Economic Standing Committee Members Pay Visit to Bank of Mongolia

September 7 (Bank of Mongolia) The Parliament of Mongolia's Standing Committee on Economics members visited the Bank of Mongolia by its invitation.

At its meeting, members discussed the economic situation and exchanged their views. The Bank of Mongolia also introduced its proposal of Monetary Policy Guidelines for 2017 to the Members of the Parliament of Mongolia.

After the meeting, Committee members visited the State Treasury Exhibition at the Bank of Mongolia. 

Link to release


Families and children of politically repressed receive cash aid

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) On the occasion of the Memorial Day for Victims of Political Repression, honored every September 10, the State Commission on Rehabilitation Management have allocated cash aid to the families and children of 24 victims.

The Day has been marked over the past two decades. The municipal and district commissions have received over 4,000 petitions, complaints and proposals from 2005 to 2016. The State Commission has provided cash benefits of MNT 50-100 thousand to 421 people, and housing for the victims' spouses and children, who submitted requests.

Link to article


Yu.Tsedenbal's 100th birthday to be celebrated

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Mongolia is celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of late Tsedenbal Yumjaa, a former leader, the Hero and Marshall of the Republic of Mongolia, on September 23 and 24. He was born on September 17, 1916.

To his birthday ceremony, his son Ts.Zorig, some members of Parliament and 100 children from Russia have been invited.

In the margin, an academic conference, ceremonial parade, concerts, reception and a wrestling competition in the honor of Yu.Tsedenbal. Mongolian and Russian children will stage a concert, dedicated to Yu.Tsedenbal's late wife A.I.Ts.Filatova.

Also, an obelisk is being erected at his birthplace in Davst soum of Uvs Province.

Tsedenbal Yumjaa was the leader of socialist Mongolia between 1940 and 1984, serving as the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (former name of MPP). The years of his leadership are longer than that of King Batmunkh the Great, who ruled for 37 years.

Yu.Tsedenbal's wife Anastasiya Filatova has been a great philanthropist and launched the construction of important institutions of Mongolia, such as the Wedding Palace, Children's Palace and the International Children's Camp – Friendship, as well as many others including kindergartens, schools and hospitals.

Link to article


Minister D.Oyunkhorol touches on water pollution, eco-friendly mining practices and cost cuts

September 11 (UB Post) The following interview covers environment and tourism related issues with Member of Parliament D.Oyunkhorol, who has been appointed as the Minister of Environment and Tourism for the second time.

The media has been very interested in the environment and tourism sectors lately. What have you been doing since your appointment?

After becoming a minister, I assessed the current situation in the sector, set targets for the next four years, and started planning activities. It's my second time being assigned to this post. I will strive to ensure the continuity and consistency of the state policy and resume effective strategies while finding solution for urgent sectoral issues.

The economic difficulty and cash shortage are the biggest challenges in Mongolia right now. More and more people are trying to make a living by mining minerals and natural resources. We can't blame or stop them since the economy is in a pinch, and unemployment has increased. Even so, we can't destroy the nature just to provide jobs and wages. Promoting the proper use and protection of natural resources with public involvement has become our top priority.

Our government's action plan reflects increasing jobs and the need to find new income sources through the support for individuals, companies and organizations engaged in natural resource replenishment and restoration, as well as those working to improve environmental legal regulation.

There have been many complaints about companies polluting Orkhon River. Have any substantial results been seen in this issue?

What will the MET do for promoting environmentally friendly and responsible mining operations in the future?

Does the water pollution fee apply to Tuul River? What's the MET's plan for reducing pollution and increasing the water flow of Tuul River?

The MET inked the Paris Agreement (PA) on climate change on April 22, at the UN Headquarters, New York, USA. How is the agreement being implemented?

What's the current statistic on operations of the Mongolia-Kuwait Research Center? There are rumors implying that you embezzled from its funds. Can you comment on this?

Every sector is cutting costs to minimize economic difficulties. What is the MET doing in relation to this?

An international meeting has been scheduled in October. How will it contribute in the development of Mongolia's tourism sector?

Link to interview

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Invest Mongolia: Looking back at institutional capacity

September 8 (Mongolian Economy) The 2016 Invest Mongolia forum concluded after two days of discussions on Mongolian finance, banking, real estate, infrastructure, mega-projects and the economy.

In the last panel session recapping the proceedings of the conference, participants agreed that there is one core issue from which all other issues tend to arise: the capacity of institutions.

In particular, panellists and participants said that state institutions and the parliament have issues that need to be addressed. D.Tsogbaatar MP said that decisions and legislative provisions have no precise assessment, and are often reached at the whim of authorities' minds, which they defend by claiming "national security," but in reality, contradicts with business and economic laws. In turn, this trend actually hurts Mongolia and its national security. "Some authorities say that they will serve you to get elected, but start to think themselves as some kind of boss after getting elected," he said. "They need to know their place."

Economist B.Tuvshintugs criticised the operational uncertainty of the government. "The government has no plan on how to improve the economy. We could have some sort of expectation if the government at least mentioned works it is going to do," he said.

In addition, he reiterated that the budget deficit is the foremost issue today as well as in the medium term. Three years of budget deficits until 2018 is likely to reach USD six billion, and steps such as taking additional loans and measures to increase income needs to be taken urgently, according to Tuvshintugs.

Former MP R.Amarjargal noted that he has participated in every session of the forum, stressed that the issues discussed during the two-day conference are similar to those discussed a decade ago. He said that these issues will continue to be the topic of discussion of institutional capacity would not improve.

CEO of Erdenes Mongol LLC, B.Byambasaikhan, noted that major developmental works in the energy and transportation sector is still yet to begin, even though permits have been issued. People, especially investors, view this as Mongolia's tendency for inconsistency, going back on its decisions. Thermal Power Plant V was mentioned as an example: issues concerning land have not been resolved to date. TPP-V is being hindered by other projects such as the expansion of Power Plant III which took the actual land allotted for TPP-V.

In order to improve institutional capacity, transparency must be ensured. In other words, decisions made need to be justified, stable and predictable, said forum participant D.Zorigt.

In addition, participants discussed the issue of laying off civil servants and appointing skilled personnel based on competition, independent of political parties' involvement. According to the advice of participant Michael Richmond, foreign investment flows into the private sector must be enhanced through measures to support the private sector, the engine of real economic growth. He reminded listeners that the private sector engages in strictly business relationships and implements asset management and corporate governance in healthier and more efficient ways.

Link to article


Investors are turning their attention to Mongolia

September 8 ( Three out of five economists consider that USD rate could be stabilized, if foreign direct investment is restored. Two of them consider that USD rate will be decreased, if commodity prices rise sharply. According to the Bank of Mongolia, official USD rate is at MNT 2213. Although tugrug (MNT) has declined since Sep, 2016 and the USD rate still remains high.  

Investors attending the 10th annual "Invest Mongolia-2016" international conference observed political stability and its opportunity and support offered to them. Also, they are in a stagnant mode to observe of any changes that newly formed Government to take in the mining sector, which makes up one-fourth of the budget revenue. However, policy makers and decision-making level participants have not attended the conference, which might disappoint investors greatly. 

As of second quarter of 2016, Mongolia`s foreign exchange reserves stand at USD 1.2 billion which will ensure 4.6 months of imports. Faced with economic difficulties, both foreign and domestic investors gathered in Ulaanbaatar city for two days. They wanted the Government to seek opportunities and keep policy succession. 

"Mongolia`s foreign exchange reserves once standing at USD 4.1 billion has been declining for three consecutive years due to instability in investment and collapse of commodity price. If investment environment in Mongolia stabilized, the investment could be restored in short and midterm", states Mr. Ts. Tumentsogt, Mongolian Permanent Representative of General Electric, International General Electrics.

10th annual "Invest Mongolia- 2016" international conference reports that Mongolia will keep attracting investors, if commodity prices outlook including copper, coal and iron ore remain positive. Masa Igata, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Frontier LLC mentioned that more than 800 delegates have attended this year`s conference. Number of participants have doubled compared to the previous year. On the other hand, increase in number of participants implies that investors are turning their attention to Mongolia. 


Energy demand of six countries located in North East Asia is expected to be doubled over 20 years than the world average. World's leading energy consumer countries, which are rich in oil, natural gas, coal and renewable energy, are located in this region. They make up one-fifth of the world economy. Energy supply is one of the issues world's leading economic players are facing: China, South Korea and Japan. 

Energy and Infrastructure Director of Newcom Group, D.Gankhuyag noted: "Growing energy use of region attracts attention of energy exporters and it becomes new hope to attract investment from foreign and domestic investors in the renewable energy sector". 

Mongolia is able to provide a specific part of the region's rapidly growing energy demand using its own renewable energy resources, said Shigeru Yamamura, a Senior Energy Specialist at ADB's East Asia Department.


New partners attending the conference have said goodbye to each other by saying above words and shaking hands. They have agreed to strengthen their business partnership established in Ulaanbaatar at Tokyo. Two-day conference will be continued in Tokyo on Dec, 2016. During the upcoming conference, the parties will discuss implementation of Mongol-Japan economic partnership agreement and strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries. 

Moreover, the next four-year action plan of the newly formed Government is to be introduced. Time is the most significant factor in business cooperation. "Good luck to foreign and domestic investors who can be defined as the busiest people, stated Masa Igata, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Frontier LLC.

Link to article


Discover Mongolia 2016 Underlines Sustainability

September 9 (UB Post) The 14th Discover Mongolia 2016 international mining investors' forum is being held from September 8 to 9, at the Corporate Convention Center, under the theme "For Sustainability".

Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Ts.Dashdorj and Minister of Environment and Toursim D.Oyunkhorol presented the opening remarks at the forum, which was chaired by the first President of Mongolia, P.Ochirbat.

The forum organizers underlined that for the first time in the past eight years, one political party now dominates the government. They believe that this change has the ability to provide a stable legal and regulatory environment for the mining industry.

In his speech, Minister Ts.Dashdorj said that the government will prioritize issuing exploration licenses with increased transparency. He said, "Firstly, exploration license applicants need to submit a request to the Mineral Resource Authority and register to get an electronic number. Afterwards, they send their requests to local mayors for review. But in most cases, local mayors and representatives from citizens' representative khurals don't issue permission. That's why we want to change the sequence of exploration license issuance procedure. We believe that first reaching agreements with local mayors is vital."

Minister Dashdorj reported that the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry is cooperating with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to bring the Law on Investment into compliance with other laws, and to create a legal environment on mine closure.

Chair of the forum, former President P.Ochirbat said, "The global economic situation has been difficult in the last three years. But in other countries, new technology, standards, and management are being introduced. The [economic] situation worsens when mining sector risk is added to state policy risk. As for Mongolia, the mining sector makes up around 80 percent of the nation's total exports, and receives a majority of its foreign direct investment."

P.Ochirbat underlined that there are many challenges related to infrastructure in the mining sector. "It's time for us to understand that we can't waste time by not establishing infrastructure. We've already lost over ten years. Mongolia now needs sustainable state policy. We are not able to utilize our Tavan Tolgoi mine given to us from God."

"The government said that it won't send Mongolian students abroad. This is all wrong. Even though technique is important, everything is made by people. Mongolia needs to focus on human resource development," P.Ochirbat emphasized.

"Social licensing is being touched upon these days. The state makes a decision, and then they tend to change their decision following public opposition. That's why before making any decisions, it is important for the state to receive a social license," Ochirbat noted.

Presenting a speech at the forum, Director of the Board of Oyu Tolgoi G.Batsukh emphasized that Oyu Tolgoi is a company with sixty years of history.

"Our company places great importance on safety. That's why we lead in safety among the companies of the Rio Tinto Group. We have worked for 200,000 hours since the mine's operations started. Our staff consists of 8,800 employees, around 6,000 of which are the staff of our sub-contractors. Around 93 percent of our staff are Mongolian," he stressed.

Batsukh said that Oyu Tolgoi spent 5.5 million USD on domestic procurement. "We have established a long-term cooperation agreement with Umnugovi's authorities. Oyu Tolgoi deposits five million USD every year to the Goviin Oyu Fund. Its expenditure is determined and decided after discussion in a joint council meeting. Previously, we were issuing donations for the Naadam Festival or for tournaments, but now we want to focus on far-sighted investments," Batsukh stressed.

He reported that the company is building a freshwater supply system for six million USD in Khanbogd soum, and constructed a road connecting Khanbogd soum to the Oyu Tolgoi mine. "Even though the prices of mining products on the international market are not good, we are paying attention to our social licensing," he pointed out.

Batsukh also said that Oyu Tolgoi's domestic procurement network is at 80 percent completion and is growing from year to year. "We are buying everything possible from domestic companies, and have signed cooperation agreements with 750 domestic businesses," he underlined.

He emphasized that Oyu Tolgoi has received the financing required for development of its underground mine. "We have the potential to become one of the biggest copper players in the world. If we commission our underground mine on time, our export will increase. In order to do this, we need a sustainable business environment. If we construct a railway, we will be able to conduct export to third [neighbor] countries," Batsukh stressed.

The Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, N.Enkhbayar, presented information about the nation's macroeconomic conditions. N.Enkhbayar stressed, "In recent days, budget amendments have been at the center of attention. But even though the budget is being amended, we are not able to fix the basis of the budget deficit."

Enkhbayar said that he expects the nation's economic conditions to improve by 2017.

Sub-meetings were held on the forum's first day on macro factors in mining, financial sector stability achievements, and catalyst projects.

Today, Discover Mongolia participants will discuss and exchange views on capacity building projects in the mining sector, state policy, mining sector development and productivity, efficiency, and cost reduction.

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Premier J.Erdenebat meets Liebherr President

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Prime Minister J.Erdenebat welcomed at his office the President of the Board of Directors of Liebherr International AG, Willi Liebherr and the accompanying delegation on September 8. The latter mentioned that Liebherr has over 130 branches in 50 countries, and noted that it has been supplying mining and construction equipment to Mongolia since 2002.

The Premier stated the Government is attaching greater importance to attracting foreign investment and intends to launch programs with focus on this issue.

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Presentations: Frontier Securities' Invest Mongolia 2016 Conference

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Mongolian acidspar contract prices buck trend

September 9 (Industrial Minerals) Mongolia producers have managed to secure 2017 annual contracts at relatively high price levels, however market participants contend that the trend is unlikely to be repeated in other locations with other markets more tightly linked to the prevailing weak demand-side picture.

As global negotiations begin for 2017 annual contracts ahead of the winter closure season, Mongolia has managed to retain higher price levels for acid grade fluorspar (acidspar) despite the industry facing five-year price lows.

One of the major Mongolian acidspar suppliers has managed to secure deals at the price...

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Mine Closure Mongolia 2016 Focuses on Social License

September 9 (UB Post) The 11th Mine Closure Mongolia forum was organized on September 7, under the theme of "Social License", at Blue Sky Tower, to discuss social license issues that mining companies encounter, present best practices, and to identify and discuss issues that are confronting mining companies.

Deputy Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Kh.Badamsuren opened this year's forum and said, "Mine closure has always been understood as reclamation. Just as a mine has an opening day, a day will come when those mines will be closed. Discussing the importance of social license and of all sides coming to an agreement is a good thing."

The Deputy Minister highlighted that when closing mines, it is vital to account for all of the sectors involved in mining. In the next four years, the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry plans to build petroleum, copper, and iron processing factories. The Ministry plans to set a market price for exported natural resources to prevent domestic mines from driving down prices in order to improve their competitiveness.

Head of the Mining Policy Department at the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry I.Bold stated that a working group has been assigned with drafting an independent legal document on the closure of mines. Drafting this document will set a precedent for Mongolia to plan and execute the closure of mines in a manner meeting international standards. I.Bold underlined that the current legislation on mine closures is insufficient.

Speaking at the forum, Head of the Natural Resource Department at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism D.Davaasamba reported that four hectares of land in 15 provinces and 56 soums has become eroded and damaged by mining. Eighty billion to 100 billion MNT is required to rehabilitate the land, compared to the 10.5 billion MNT currently in the government's land reclamation fund.

There are 392 companies with reclamation licenses, 20 of which are operating currently. The Ministry of Mining and Tourism will start an inquiry into the licensing of these companies and revoke licenses that are not being used. The forum attendees claimed that some companies with reclamation licenses misuse them for the exploration of natural resources. Seven companies with reclamation licenses were found to have engaged in exploration activities that led to the pollution of the Orkhon River. In the afternoon session of the forum, public participation, professional inspection, environmental assessment, technical research, and reclamation were discussed.

At the end of the forum, recommendations drafted during the course of the forum were introduced for eventual submission to the Government of Mongolia.

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Quiptel Powers Advanced OTT TV Services in Mongolia with Mobicom

September 9 -- Quiptel is extremely pleased to announce that they have deployed their QMP solution with the number 1 telco provider in Mongolia – MobiCom, to power their mobiPLAY TV and Video platform, delivering a wide range of services to mobile devices across the country. 

Sandip Sarda, Chief Executive Officer of Quiptel HK Ltd, said: "We are delighted that MobiCom chose Quiptel and we are extremely glad to be working with their exceptional team. The Quiptel solution is designed to work in the most diverse network conditions, with no compromises on either QoS or QoE with all the advanced features you can expect from a next generation OTT software platform." 

David Holliday, CEO of MobiCom Corporation said "In Mongolia's dynamic telecommunications sector, it's all about getting things right: getting the right people, the right technologies and products, at the right time and with the right cost. We chose Quiptel as they have made a strong commitment to partner with us to provide our customers with the latest range of advanced media services to make their lives easier and more enjoyable."

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Several projects to be implemented with soft-loan from Hungary

Ulaanbaatar, September 8 (MONTSAME) Deputy Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city for infrastructure development affairs P.Bayarkhuu met Thursday Balint Tombor, advisor to the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary; and Akos Madari, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to Mongolia.

Pursuant to a cooperation memorandum between the countries, the Hungarian side will give to Mongolia a soft-loan of EUR 25 million for funding projects on reconstructing the capital city's sewage treatment and building a new one, on establishing a bus-assembling factory, on a smart business center, on organic foods and on constructing smart bus-stations.

Noting that the bilateral relations and cooperation have progressed into a new level, Balint Tombor pointed out his country intends to accelerate the launch of the projects. The financing of EUR 25 million will be granted through the Exim Bank of Hungary.

The Deputy Mayor said he is thankful to Bagdy Gabor, the Deputy Mayor of Budapest city for attending the Forum of Mayors of Northeast Asian Countries held last August in Ulaanbaatar. During Bagdy Gabor's visit here, the parties concurred to renovate the sewage treatment of UB and constructing a new one with technical assistance of Hungary, Bayarkhuu said. He said the Administration of City will take immediate actions to commence the projects.

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Ulaanbaatar and Hohhot to boost ties

Ulaanbaatar, September 8 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the Citizens' Representatives Khural of Ulaanbaatar, Mr Ts.Sandui and the Chairman of the Standing committee of the People's Representatives House of Hohhot of Chinese Inner Mongolia, Mr Yong Gonghe signed a Memorandum of Understanding on expanding cooperation, on September 5.

This year is marking the 25th anniversary of sisterhood ties between the two cities. In accordance with the MoU, the cities will upgrade ties in economy, education, culture, tourism and other fields.

Recalling the attendance of the Mayor of Hohhot at the Northeast Asian Mayors' Forum, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mr Ts.Sandui confirmed the UB Mayor S.Batbold is paying a visit to Hohhot this year.

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Mongolia eyes enhanced investment ties with Canada

September 9 (Xinhua) Canadian House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan on Friday concluded his two-day visit to Mongolia, with agreement reached between the two sides on promoting two-way investment

During his visit, Regan has expressed his belief that the trip would contribute to taking bilateral relation of the two countries to a new level. 

"Canada and Mongolia have many similarities...both economies are hit by global commodity market price ups and downs," he said. 

Mongolian officials stressed during Regan's visit that foreign investment, including those from Canada, will be encouraged and protected in Mongolia

Mongolian Parliament Speaker Mieygombo Enkhbold told Regan that his visit was important in bringing the relations of the two countries to a new stage. 

"Despite the economic difficulty, the Mongolian government is focused on not creating burden for citizens and we consider that foreign investment is essential in improving the economic condition," Enkhbold said. 

"Therefore, we will place special emphasis on encouraging, supporting and protecting investment made by our neighboring countries and other countries," Enkhbold added. 

Enkhbold stressed that foreign investment in the land-locked country will be protected, adding "it is the duty of the Mongolian government to protect the safety of foreign investors in Mongolia and the government is taking concrete steps in this regard."

The Mongolian parliament speaker also expressed interest in uplifting the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive partnership level. 

During the visit, representatives from the Mongolian and Canadian governments signed a "Mongolian and Canadian intergovernmental agreement on encouraging and mutual protection of investment." 

Regan also met with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat during the visit.

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President meets Canadian SpeakerMontsame, September 9

Geoff Regan visits kindergarten in suburban areaMontsame, September 9

"Mongolia is attracting foreign investments and reviving its economy"Montsame, September 8

Foreign Minister meets Canadian SpeakerMontsame, September 8

Mongolia wants to bring ties with Canada into new levelMontsame, September 8


Justice Minister talks expanding security ties with Russian Ambassador

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) S.Byambatsogt, the Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs received Friday I.K.Azizov, the Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Mongolia.

The parties have exchanged views on the Mongolia-Russia relations and cooperation.

Pointing out that the Mongolian Ministry of Justice and International Affairs intends to make the cooperation with the Russian ministry closer, Byambatsogt noted about the 4th Conference of intellectual property authorities of Mongolia, Russia and China, held Wednesday in Ulaanbaatar. He also emphasized a requirement for progressing the traditional ties between the law enforcement bodies in the scopes of the long-year cooperation between the Ministries.

S.Byambatsogt added that he will as  the Minister focus his attention to issues of maximizing a frequency of high-level mutual visits and bringing the cooperation into a new volume ahead of an upcoming visit of the State Secretary of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs to Mongolia. He also talked about collaborating in ensuring safety of Mongolians travelling Russia, especially Ulan-Ude and Irkutsk cities and requirements for tackling the real estate matters which have been debated for a long time.

In turn, the Russian Ambassador supported an idea of co-organizing the meeting of the Ministries of Justice and Internal Affair. He hopes that training for officials and staff of the Mongolian Ministry  in Russia will expand further.

Emphasizing that the number of Russian tourists to Mongolia doubled since the countries established the visa free agreement, the Ambassador agreed with the requirement for enhancing safety for travelers of the both countries.

The Ambassador said Russia intends to boost fruitful cooperation with Mongolia in increasing the capacity of border checkpoints and facilitating services at borders, and added that his country is ready to foster the cooperation in law enforcement.

The sides also shared views on ongoing works being done within the 95th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations.

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Turkey wants to expand civil aviation ties with Mongolia says ambassador

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat received Friday Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Mongolia Murat Karagoz, to discuss about the bilateral ties in transportation.

Both sides noted that the longstanding traditional relations have been prospering in all sectors, including politics, economy and culture.

The cooperation in road and transport has remained an important element of the bilateral ties, and the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has been realizing projects and reaching tangible results in Mongolia since 1994.

The Minister shared his intention to make profound reforms in the transportation sector through exploiting the possibilities of cooperation with Turkey not only in land and air travels, but also in the maritime transports. Mongolia wishes to learn from Turkish practices and expertise. Although Mongolia is a landlocked country, it has many large lakes and rivers, which have capacity of domestic water transport and tourism.

He also mentioned that the incumbent Prime Minister of Turkey had served as the Minister of Transport for 13 years. The Ambassador praised the latest achievement in the Mongolia-Turkey transports ties such as the visa waiver agreement and the launch of direct flights, and wished the Mongolian authorities to welcome Turkey's cooperation proposals for civil aviation.

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Mongolia seeks Czech support in upgrading standards in transportation

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) B.Tsogtgerel, the Vice Minister of Road and Transportation Development met Thursday a delegation led by Oldrzych Zaychek, the first secretary of the Czech Embassy in Mongolia.

The sides exchanged views on upgrading Mongolian auto transport logistics by using Czech practices and on European standard projects for improving the auto traffic control.

At the meeting, the Vice Minister said Mongolia intends to cooperate with the Czech Republic in bringing the road and transportation sectors into a new level in frames of certain projects on traffic control stations accorded with European standards and on establishing mobile laboratories of technical examination facilities and tools.

The Czech delegation appreciated outcomes of a visit to the Czech Republic paid by authorities of the National Center for Auto Road, and hopes that the above projects will be realized successfully within the cooperation.

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Mongolia asks Macedonia to join agreement on establishment of Int'l Think Tank for Landlocked Countries

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Ts.Monkh-Orgil, the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, met Friday Ilija Isailovsky, the Non-Resident Ambassador of Macedonia to Mongolia in connection with the completion of his diplomatic mission.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Foreign Minister congratulated Ilija Isailovsky on being appointed the Vice Foreign Minister of Macedonia, and exchanged views with him on boosting the Mongolia-Macedonia relations in frames of the multilateral and bilateral cooperation. The Mongolian side also urged Macedonia to join the multilateral agreement on establishment of the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries.

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Health, Education

Healthy breakfast menu released for Mongolians

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) The Public Health Institute have issued the customized breakfast menu, suited for Mongolians. It includes three oat cookies, an apple and a glass of boiled milk, which has total of 404.5 kcal.

The institute designates that average adult's energy intake should be around 2,100-2,500 kcal a day, of which 20-25% must be taken from breakfast, 10-15% from brunch, 35-40% at lunch and 15-20% must be at dinner.

Advantages of having breakfast improves focus, strengthens mental power, increases learning and adaptation skills and immunity from negative factors of the environment.

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Bicycle sales increase 90 times

September 2 ( There has been a sharp rise in the sale of bicycles in Mongolia. This increase has been attributed to the "Cycling Ulaanbaatar" first initiated by the Mongolian Youth Federation (MYF) four years ago. During the summer months the MYF organizes various events.  According to dealers, bicycle sales have increased 90 times and the number of cyclists has risen seven times. Four years ago, there were around 2000 cyclists in Ulaanbaatar; now, this figure has increased to more than 14 thousand. During the same period, a total of 70 km of cycle paths and lanes have been built.

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Young Mongols: Education

September 6 (Young Mongols) How do you achieve a near-100% literacy when a third of your population is Nomadic? And, what are students in Mongolian schools being taught? 

Join Batjin of Tomujin Academy, Bolorsaikhan of Education for all, and Khaliun, a high school student, to learn what education in Mongolia is like.

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Culture, Society

UNFPA approves Mongolia Country Program

September 9 (UB Post) Mongolia's Country Program document to be implemented between 2017 and 2021 was approved on September 6, at the second regular session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations, S.Sukhbold, presented a speech at the executive board session, which closed earlier today at UN Headquarters in New York City. He noted that the previous five country programs of the UNFPA launched in Mongolia contributed greatly to supporting population development, maternal and child health, and the health of young people.

The focus of the sixth country program is on adolescents in Mongolia, and on gender equality and women's empowerment, which are consistent with Mongolia's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, S.Sukhbold noted.

The 2017-2021 Country Program hopes to amplify priority on adolescents, especially on very young adolescent girls, in national development policies and programs by increasing the availability of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health. It also aims to advance gender equality, women's and girls' empowerment, and reproductive rights, including for the country's most vulnerable and marginalized women, adolescents, and youth.

In addition to Mongolia, the UNFPA approved Country Programs for 19 countries, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Laos, Morocco, Thailand, and Vietnam.

See the full version of the Mongolia country program document via the following link:

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CWA District groups meet in Bulahdelah for Mongolian Day

September 8 (Myall Coast News of the Area) IT WAS Mongolian Day at the District CWA meeting held at Bulahdelah Bowling Club last week.

More than 75 CWA members from 18 branches came from as far away as Nambucca Heads to enjoy lunch together and share their studies of Mongolia.

Mid-North Coast International Officer Penny Britton said CWA NSW selects a country each year to study with displays and research projects completed and shared between members.

"The luncheon is the finale of the study, it is here where all the research is presented and displayed," Ms Britton said.

"This year we also had displays relating to a 1960s theme, which included additional research projects and memorabilia."

The luncheon tables were decorated with Mongolian Flags and CWA members stood for the singing of the Mongolian National Anthem.

Although Mongolian food didn't feature in this year's luncheon, Ms Britton said members from many branches had sampled traditional foods as part of their study.

"One CWA group had buffalo milk ice cream, which was the closest they could get to yak's milk," Ms Britton told News Of The Area.

Entertainment during the day was provided by students from Bulahdelah Central School and St Joseph's Primary School. St Joseph's Principal Joanne Trotter said her students danced and sang to' Little Red Rocking Hood.'

"The ladies were thrilled with the performance of the children and presented our school with a beautiful book for our library," Mrs Trotter said.

"I think the children had nearly as much fun performing as the audience had watching."

Ms Britton said the CWA members "had a fabulous day" and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with friends.

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Making Mongolia HOME


September 8 (UB Post) Five years ago, Jeanett Melboe decided to leave her home country and go back to the last place where she felt happy. Today she lives with her husband and two kids in Terelj National Park outside of Ulaanbaatar and runs a popular ger-camp.

A few days before Jeanett Melboe was leaving Norway to spend a year on a working holiday in Australia, she went to her local book shop. The first book that got her attention was the "Mongolia" Lonely Planet book. It had been her dream for years and years to visit the beautiful land of Mongolia, with its beautiful nature and people.

The day she was leaving for the land down under, she put the book in the bottom of her bag. Jeanett spent a year in Australia working and traveling, but when it was about time to go home to Norway, she wasn't quite ready yet. She started traveling up throughout Asia. One day when she was sitting in Thailand. she found the "Mongolia" book in her suitcase. She started looking at a map and said to herself, "Mongolia, isn't that far away, is it?"

From Thailand, she jumped on a plane and finally landed in the land of her dreams – Mongolia. It was 2011 and Jeanett spent a month traveling around the country.

At a tourist ger-camp where she volunteered, she met a charming Mongolian called Puujee. He didn't speak much English but every time he saw her he said something like "hi, hello" and smiled.

After some time back home in Norway with her family, Jeanett realized that she needed a change in her life. She decided to sell her apartment and move away. She wanted to go back to the last place where she felt happy.

Jeanett landed a job teaching English in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Her boss came to pick her up at the airport when she landed in October the same year. Also waiting at the airport was Puujee, who clearly had a good eye to the beautiful Norwegian girl arriving to stay long-term in Mongolia.

"It was adorable, but it was also kind of awkward since my boss was there," Jeanett says. Her boss on the other hand just laughed and told her to go with her friend.

Jeanett started working at Success Language School in Ulaanbaatar. Already a month after arriving, she and Puujee were in a relationship. In May, Jeanett brought him home to Norway to meet her family. They spent three months in northern Norway, where Jeanett originally comes from.

After some time living and teaching in Ulaanbaatar, Jeanett got quite sick. They had two options; move out in the country side or move out of the country. The choice was easy to make, and today the couple runs a popular ger-camp called Dream Adventure in Terelj National Park.

They bought their first ger, along with five horses, in 2012. They had just enough visitors to make it the first season and the visitors were mainly expats living in Ulaanbaatar. Today they have expanded the camp and they also have a sauna and several horses.

Three years ago at a local hospital, Jeanett gave birth to their first child. Storm is a blond, energetic Mongolian constantly running around at their camp, always playing with something. He already knows how to ride a horse and he speaks three languages; Mongolian, English and Norwegian. Their daughter, Savannah, was born in Norway eight months ago.

The couple have talked a lot about moving to Norway, but Jeanett says that Mongolia is their home.

"We have our job and our home here, in Norway we have nothing that's 'ours'," she says. They are hoping to earn more money so that they can go to Norway and visit more frequently.

Norway has one of the longest coastlines in the world and is among the richer countries in the world. As a result, the Norwegian lifestyle is quite different from that of the Mongolian, but Jeanett has adapted very well.

"I like living in a ger, it's great when it's summer and I love having the family in one room instead of spread out throughout a house," she says. "It's also very nice during winter when we light the fire and the candles inside, but it does get a little too cold. It's also impossible to keep Storm inside for long," she laughs.

Every year during winter, the family goes to Norway. Jeanett works while her husband goes to a Norwegian school four days a week. Puujee speaks quite well Norwegian, and every day, he comes home from school and says that the language is so easy to learn. Jeanett won't say the same about Mongolian. According to her, she speaks more Caveman-Mongolian than anything.

"The grammar is extremely hard," she says. She also thinks that Norwegians use too much electricity and water.

Even though they spend winters in Norway, Jeanett says she prefers the Mongolian winter. Jeanett comes from northern Norway where it's dark all day during winter.

"The Norwegian winter is so dark and depressing. Even though the Mongolian winter is freezing, you can play outside in the sun even though it's minus 30°C," she says.

Next year already, Jeanett and Puujee will start tutoring Storm from home next. Jeanett says they can't afford the international schools and it is too long to drive four hours every day to bring the kids to school. Jeanett also feels that it's better to keep Storm at home, where he is the only student, instead of being lost in the mass in a classroom.

What Jeanett loves the most about Mongolia is the openness, both in the landscape and the people.

"I love that you can go over to your neighbor without knowing them, and they'll invite you in for tea," she says, "I also love the nature, even though Norway is renowned for its beautiful nature, there's something captivating about the Mongolian nature, I love how the animals are so free here."

"I also have a love-hate relationship with the fact that everybody here is so relaxed. People here live by the idea 'why do today what you can put off until tomorrow'," she says. In her home country, Norway, everybody lives by the opposite saying; "never put off until tomorrow what you can do today", so that can sometimes be a challenge.

Every now and then Jeanett arranges clothing deliveries from Norway, which she gives to local people who needs them more. Together with her husband she also has a dream to start a day-care center for children. They already have all the teaching material and furniture they need, but they need sponsors and money to run it.

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Nature, Environment

This Paleontologist Is on a Mission to Teach Mongolians About Their Own Dinosaurs

While Mongolia holds the world's richest dinosaur fossil finds, its children know little about them.

September 9 (National Geographic) Bolortsetseg "Bolor" Minjin inherited a fascination for dinosaurs from her father, a paleontologist, and became the first Mongolian woman ever to earn a Ph.D. in paleontology.

Now, Minjin is encouraging a new generation of homegrown fossil hunters with the planned launch of several regional dinosaur museums.

There's plenty to put on display. Mongolia's Gobi desert is the world's richest fossil area, overlying vast lakes and rivers that were a prehistoric paradise for plant life and dinosaurs. Desert sands buried some of the most complete skeletons ever found, along with large caches of dinosaur eggs.

Yet Minjin, who has worked the Gobi for the last 20 years, notes that few of her country's children have the knowledge or fascination for dinosaurs typical of kids elsewhere.

"Despite so many fossils in their backyard, dinosaurs are more of a mythical creature to kids in my country, because there have been no resources to learn about them,'' says Minjin, a 2010 National Geographic emerging explorer.

After receiving her doctorate from the City University of New York in 2007, Minjin established the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs in Ulaanbaatar, her hometown and Mongolia's capital. When she learned that the American Museum of Natural History was willing to donate a mobile dinosaur museum used in metropolitan New York City, she raised $30,000 through an Indiegogo campaign and private donations to cover shipping costs to Mongolia. The retrofitted, 10-year-old recreational vehicle began outreach programs to nomadic tribes in the Gobi and towns in western Mongolia last summer.

The bus recently left Ulaanbaatar for a monthlong tour of the Gobi and western Mongolia. But in a predominantly poor, rural country more than twice the size of Texas, Minjin hopes to establish more lasting solutions.

"It's challenging driving the bus,'' says Minjin, who spent several weeks just trying to find tires. She ultimately spent $3,500 to buy and ship them from New York.

That helps explain why she's trying to raise money to fund seven permanent dinosaur museums—one for each region where fossils have been found—by 2018. Some costs could be borne by host communities.

"We don't want people thinking of these only in terms of a price tag,'' Minjin says. "Local communities need to realize the educational and economic benefits a museum could bring. Tourism. Knowledge. Opening the door of science to kids."

The first is planned near the Gobi's Flaming Cliffs site, in southern Mongolia, where the first dinosaur eggs were discovered in the 1920s by American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews.

While educating future generations of potential paleontologists and encouraging tourism, Minjin hopes the museums will also inspire local communities to combat fossil poaching and black market sales, a decades-old problem.

Despite efforts to criminalize illegal sales, "there's a market still out there for fossils that won't disappear,'' she says. "It's important that fossils be repatriated because they are part of our natural and cultural heritage."

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Conference of Asian Scientists on green development to round up

Ulaanbaatar, September 8 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia is hosting the "Role of Scientific Field in the Green Growth" international scientific conference these days at the Ministry's Hall of Consensus. The meeting is being organized on Wednesday in Ulaanbaatar, by the Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA), Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sciences and Sports.

The Association affiliates 34 scientific institutions of more than 30 countries. It was established in 2012 to promote cooperation between scholars and scientists.

The Mongolian Academy of Sciences is an active member of this association, having its president as the member of Board of AASSA.

The scientific conference is to bring together over 60 scholars from Mongolia, South Korea, Russia, China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Iran, and will consider 15 scientific papers. 

The meeting will complete today.

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Mongolia takes center stage at local crane festival

September 9 (Steamboat Today) Yampa Valley Crane Festival's 2016 keynote speaker is Nyambayar "Nyamba" Batbayar, director of the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia and a research associate at the International Crane Foundation based in Wisconsin.

Since the early 1990s, the International Crane Foundation has been working in a trans-boundary area between Mongolia, Russia and China, focusing primarily on the preservation of the globally threatened White-naped cranes.

During his free talk, "Mongolia – Land of Blue Sky and Cranes," at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 in Library Hall, Batbayar will give an account of crane conservation and research activities by Mongolian biologists and conservationists and bring the audience up to date with some cultural hints.

In addition, Batbayar will talk about cinereous vultures during a free talk, "Mongolia – Safe Haven for Largest Birds of Prey in the Old World," at noon Friday in Library Hall. Batbayar will talk about how the centuries-old traditional nomadic lifestyle benefits this species.

Also on topic with Mongolia, Denver Zoo curator of birds John Azuz looks at success in Mongolia's Ikh Nart Nature Reserve during a free talk at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 in Library Hall entitled "A Mongolian Community's Approach to Conserving the Lesser Kestrel."

Looking to Mongolia's neighbor, Liz Schnackenberg,a USDA Forest Service hydrologist based in Steamboat Springs, shares updates and insight about wildlife and habitat in the Ruoergai Native Reserve in China, where she has been working on research projects related to wetlands and Black-necked crane conservation. Her free talk, "Cranes, Yaks and Floating Sedge Mats" is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 in Library Hall.

Visit for the full Yampa Valley Crane Festival schedule.

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New strain of parasite responsible for dourine identified by researchers

September 8 ( Researchers have identified a new strain of the parasitic protozoan organism responsible for the sexually transmitted disease, dourine, in horses.

The case was diagnosed in a stallion in Mongolia.

Dourine, also known as covering sickness, is caused by Trypanosoma equiperdum, which belongs to an important genus of parasitic protozoa. It is the only member of the Trypanosoma genus that is spread through sexual intercourse rather than insect vectors.

Dourine is a notifiable disease in the European Union.

Noboru Inoue and his colleagues, writing in Parasites & Vectors, said the organisms, known as trypanosomes, were isolated from the urethral tract of a stallion suspected to have dourine.

They were cultivated under laboratory conditions and subjected to genetic analysis, which indicated it was a new strain.

"We concluded that our isolated trypanosome was the first confirmed case of T. equiperdum in Mongolia and named it "T. equiperdum IVM-t1".

The study team noted that many of the T. equiperdum strains were first isolated over 50 years ago, and it was hypothesized that some of the isolates were actually misclassified T. evansi strains.

Some new T. equiperdum strains were recently isolated in Italy and Ethiopia from horses with suspected dourine infections, the researchers noted.

"However, these T. equiperdum strains were not directly isolated from the genital mucosa – the primary site of infectious lesions of T. equiperdum. Instead, they were isolated from udder secretion samples or jugular venous blood.

"Thus, new T. equiperdum strains that are directly isolated from the infectious lesions of horses with clinically- and parasitologically-confirmed dourine have long been needed for further studies on T. equiperdum and dourine."

Previous reports have shown that the prevalence in horses of trypanosomosis – that is, disease caused by protozoan pathogens of the genus Trypanosoma – was 6–8 % in Mongolia and 16.8% in Kazakhstan.

"However, these reports did not identify the causative species because it is very difficult to distinguish T. equiperdum from T. evansi using serological diagnostic techniques."

The researchers said their ongoing epidemiological research suggested a high prevalence of trypanosomoses in horses in Mongolia.

Inoue was joined in the research by Keisuke Suganuma, Sandagdorj Narantsatsral, Banzragch Battur, Shino Yamasaki, Davaajav Otgonsuren, Simon Peter Musinguzi, Batdorj Davaasuren and Badgar Battsetseg.

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B.Uugankhuu wins Mongolia's first medal at Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics

September 9 (MONTSAME) Mongolian athlete B.Uugankhuu has seized a bronze medal in the men's -60 kg contest of judo in the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics started on Thursday.

In the first round, the Mongolian defeated his Brazilian rival Rayfran Mesquita Pontes by ippon. In the second bout, he was defeated by Japanese judoka Hirose Makoto who later grabbed silver medal of the contest.

In the repechage round, Uugankhuu beat Lee Minjae from South Korea and also defeated Azerbaijani judoka Ramin Ibrahimov, who is gold and silver medalist of the Paralympics.

Born 1991 in Dornogobi aimag, Uugankhuu Bolormaa was qualified to compete in the Summer Paralympics after being ranked at 11th in the world. He is visually impaired, so he competed in the Paralympics in B3 classification of disabilities.

Coached by Ch.Bazarsuren and B.Narantuya, the judoka grabbed silver medal in the Incheon 2014 Para Asian Games.

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G.Tsogtgerel finishes 5th in women's shot put Paralympics

Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Mongolian athlete G.Tsogtgerel has taken fifth place in the women's shot put at the ongoing Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At the contest of F57 disability classification (wheelchair) held among 12 athletes on Thursday, Tsogtgerel threw the shot to 8 meters and 59 cm, setting her personal record. The previous  her record was 7 meters and 56 cm.

In accordance with a schedule of competitions, she will compete in the discus throw contest on September 15.

Born 1974 in Omnogobi aimag, G.Tsogtgerel won bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games and silver medal in the Beijing 2016 Asian Paralympic Grand Prix tournament.

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Mongolia finishes 2nd in Asian Body Building Tournament

Ulaanbaatar, September 8 (MONTSAME) Mongolian bodybuilding and fitness athletes successfully competed in the 50th Asian Body Building Tournament concluded Wednesday in Thimphu, Bhutan.

On the first day of the tournament, G.Gansaruul and G.Ugalztsetseg won gold medals in the Women's Athletic Physique contests of up to 160 cm (+1 kg) and over 160 cm (+2 kg) categories, respectively. Other athletes, A.Ichinnorov, B.Gereltsetseg (women's model physique), and D.Enkh-Erdene (men's athletic physique) grabbed silver medals. Another athlete N.Tuvshinbayar claimed a bronze medal in the contest of men's sport physique for up to 170 cm category.

As the team results, the national team of Mongolia took second place in the competitions.

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The Hardest Mountain Biking Race on Earth

September 9 (Outside Magazine) The Mongolia Bike Challenge may be the most demanding mountain-bike race on earth. Started in 2010 as a ten-day event with multiple stage lengths in excess of 100 miles, the route takes riders through remote and mountainous terrain teeming with wild horses and with little in the way of course marshals—it's each racer's responsibility to carry a GPS tracking device.

On August 20, 65 starters toed the line for what is now a six-day race with a long stage of 82 miles. The favorites included the defending champion, Italian World Cup racer Nicholas Pettina; Cory Wallace, a Canadian who won three straight years before Pettina and is arguably the top stage racer in the world; and Payson McElveen, a 23-year-old pro and first-time entrant from Austin, Texas, now living in Durango, Colorado. The week was a dogfight, with the top trio attacking each other from the first stage to the final 15-mile time trial. Ultimately McElveen came away with the win.

Barcelona-based Italian photographer Paolo Martelli documented the race. "Mongolia, to me, is about getting far, far away to try to get closer to yourself," he says.

Photo: "We saw kids on horses running around all the time," McElveen says. "Those people live on horses. You'd see five- or six-year-olds on big horses sometimes, but a lot of time they seemed to have horses their size."

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Leeds pals' Mongolian mission in truck

September 8 (Yorkshire Evening Post) A group of pals dodged camels and narrowly avoided a coup to complete a 10,000 mile mission from Yorkshire to Mongolia.

Twin brothers Matt and Will Wild, Olly Hayes and Megan Hampton embarked on the 2016 Mongolia Charity Rally to deliver a 4x4 to be used as an off-road ambulance to charity Go Help in Ulaanbaatar.

The friends, who met at Ilkley Grammar School, faced mechanical challenges, soaring temperatures and high winds during the pan-continental road-trip.

Olly, 23, said: "Not everything went quite to plan; as we entered Istanbul our truck started to leak brake fluid. It's not easy to drive in Istanbul at the best of times, even with working brakes, so we were very relieved to find some local mechanics keen to help."

After following the Black Sea through Turkey, narrowly missing the coup, the team headed to the Caspian Sea.

Matt, 24, said: "We crossed the sea on an old German cargo ship, however due to high winds the 14 hour crossing in fact took three days."

Once in Turkmenistan the team followed the old Silk Road through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Megan, 23, said: "As we headed east the temperature climbed above 40°C whilst the quality of roads and driving declined fast. By Turkmenistan camels and goats were among the latest obstacles in the road."

The truck will now begin its next adventure, providing access to primary healthcare for some of the poorest communities in rural Mongolia.

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20th Mongolia Steppe Marathon concludes

September 8 (UB Post) The 20th Steppe of Mongolia international marathon was held on September 4 in Khui Doloon Khudag, Tuv Province.

The Mongolia Athletic Federation, Embassy of Japan to Mongolia, Governor's Office of Tuv Province, and other related organizations jointly organized this year's marathon.

Over 2,500 amateur and professional runners from foreign countries, embassies in Mongolia, and diplomatic representatives participated in three distance categories at the marathon: 3, 5, 10 and 21 km marathons.

During the marathon, President of the Mongolian Athletic Federation L.Bold said, "Steppe of Mongolia international marathon made valuable contribution to Mongolia's physical training, sport development and athletic sports. This is the biggest event to promote Mongolia."

Winners of the marathon were awarded rights to compete in the Fujisan Marathon, which will be held in Japan in November, and travel expense will be covered by Japan.

The marathon aims to develop athletic sports, and promote Mongolia's nature, culture, lifestyle, and traditions.

Mobicom Corporation and Khaan Bank sponsored the marathon.

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Art, Entertainment

Burn Your Maps review: if the kid from Room wants to be Mongolian, let him

Jacob Tremblay and Vera Farmiga (as his understanding mother) are irresistible in this strange tale, premiering at Toronto, of a young boy with goats on the brain – it's just a shame the film isn't as interested in the locals as they are

September 9 (The Guardian) Few actors working in Hollywood today have a more expressive face than Vera Farmiga. With a crooked smile or a slightly tilted head, she has the uncanny ability to convey complex emotions in even the briefest reaction shot. Lucky we are, then, that this newest film, Burn Your Maps, offers a rich character, roiled in tumult, and plopped in an extraordinary setting. This isn't to say this movie is a masterpiece, but it's one that doesn't just tug on the heartstrings it yanks on them like a streetcar passenger afraid he'll miss his stop.

We open in suburban Chicago, where young Wes (Jacob Tremblay) has for some reason become fascinated with everything Mongolian. He watches YouTube videos, is teaching himself the language, listens to throat-singing and takes his older sister's Uggs and makes them into shepherd's boots. It's all very cute, and images of him riding around on his bicycle with goats and eagles made from toilet paper are adorable.

Our first glimpse of Wes' parents Alise (Vera Farmiga) and Connor (Marton Csokas) is in a brutal couples' therapy session. They are still shellshocked from the loss of their infant daughter, and it's here where writer-director Jordan Roberts (screenwriter behind Big Hero 6 and March of the Penguins) makes a gutsy choice. Despite eventual triumphant sequences of a euphoric boy riding a horse at magic hour, this isn't an average kids' film; the first scene of dialogue involves a conversation about oral gratification, but in a non-lascivious way. I'm no child psychologist, but I think the way it's done here is perfectly okay.

Wes's infatuation with Mongolia reaches the point where he only feels comfortable in traditional nomadic garb. (A later zing comes when we learn most working goat herders on the Steppes actually wear jeans and ballcaps.) He begins referring to Mongolia as "home" and soon Connor, always in a suit and tie, decides to put an end to this foolishness. Alise, who teaches English as a second language to immigrants, is just happy to see the boy excited about something. Soon Wes befriends one of Alise's students, Ismail (Suraj Sharma), who has aspirations to be a documentary film-maker. One taped testimonial later and surreptitious crowdfunding scheme later and Ismail, Alise and Wes are off to Mongolia for a "return".

Burn Your Maps, despite the best intentions, is as orientalist as it comes. While respectful of Mongolian customs and beliefs, it is undeniable that it exploits everything about the country and uses it to help a group of well-off white people get their groove back. For some, this will make the film altogether off-putting, and it is hard to argue against that. For a long stretch in Mongolia they don't even meet any Mongolians! Their coterie includes a "retired" nun (Virginia Madsen) and a driver/guide who is a self-described Puerto Rican from New York (Ramón Rodríguez) who plays salsa music as they ride through the very photogenic locations.

We can debate if Burn Your Maps merely fetishises a different culture or holds it in true reverence, but I'd like to give it the benefit of the doubt. If nothing else, the performances are terrific all around. Jacob Tremblay is just the sweetest kid there is and Farmiga is in superior form as a grieving mother who wants nothing more than for her surviving children to be happy. Csokas, ostensibly the villain, is still quite sympathetic, wanting so much to reconnect with the wife who just wants him to leave her alone. The family counselling sessions (led by a very funny Valerie Planche) are some of the more intriguing I've seen in quite some time, and, let's be honest, this is usually just a screenwriting crutch to get exposition out.

Mental health jargon bleeds over into every day family life, and the family is upfront about everything except, naturally, the root of their pain. A life-affirming journey to a far off land may be a bit far-fetched, but this is the movies. We'll take any kind of healing we can get.

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Seo In Guk treated for exhaustion on 'Law of the Jungle' in Mongolia

September 10 (allkpop) Singer Seo In Guk was treated for exhaustion on the September 9th episode of SBS' 'Law of the Jungle' in Mongolia.

Seo In Guk and the tribe headed out into the Gobi Desert to complete a mission, and they ended up eating a meal of grilled frogs. He stated, "To be honest, it was difficult to eat." The singer wasn't able to keep the frogs down, and he broke into a cold sweat and started coughing.

When the medical staff took a look at him, the doctor found Seo In Guk was suffering from severe fatigue as well as lack of nutrition, and he was given a saline drip. 

He commented, "I didn't get sick because I came here. It's because I came right after filming a drama (MBC's 'Shopping King Louie'). I didn't rest, and I was physically exhausted when I came.

Hopefully, Seo In Guk feels better soon.

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Int'l Long Song Competition attracts 200 contestants

Ulaanbaatar, September 8 (MONTSAME) Mongolia is hosting these days an International Long Song (Urtyn Duu) Competition, dedicated to the 85th birth anniversary of the renowned singer N.Norovbanzad, the Hero of Labor, State Prize Winner (awarded titles) and Fukuoka Asian Culture Award Winner.

The organizers are the University of Arts and Culture of Mongolia, Administration of Dundgovi province, Norovbanzad Foundation, and the Mongolian Association for Long Song. It is supported by Khanbank and the Inner Mongolia Training University.

This year's competition attracted 201 contestants, which is double the number of the previous competition. Besides Mongolian artists, Japanese, Korean and Russian singers are taking part in the amateur category, whereas many singers from China is participating in the professional category.

The youngest contestant is an eight-year-old girl from the Dundgovi province, the birthplace of N.Norovbamzad, and the oldest is 86 years old.

The prizes will be handed to the competition's winners at the "Long Song Feast" to be held at ASEM Villa on September 9. The event will incorporate an opening of a book named "The Queen of Long Song" and a concert for Norovbanzad's 85th birthday.

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Mongolian contortionists seize Silver Cup at Moscow International Circus Festival

September 8 (UB Post) The contortionist of the Mongolian Circus Development Center brought Silver Cup from the 15th Moscow International Circus Festival, which took place in Moscow, Russia from September 2 to 5.

The 15th circus festival was dedicated to the 95th birth anniversary of famous Russian actor Yuri Nikulin.

Five contortionists, coached by State Prize Winner of Buryatia and Cultural Merit Worker Ts.Selenge, performed their "Avatar" show at the festival. This was the first time performing on an international stage for four of the contortionists.

Their performance "Avatar" was inspired by the film "Avatar". The Mongolian contortionists returned home on September 7.

Contortionists from more than 20 countries, including North Korea, China and Russia, took part in the festival.

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Exhibition of diecast model collectors opens at Porsche

September 8 ( We have visited the must-see exhibition for those who collect diecast models and lovers. Five collectors are exhibiting their more than 500 diecast models at Porsche showroom, enabling visitors to see diecast models of the most expensive cars including Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Maybach, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Audi.

Diecast model collector Ch.Ganbat has collecting modelcars since 1986. Currently, he has more than 1000 diecast models and he is the first collector of the country. 

The most expensive diecast model of Ch.Ganbat is MNT 3 million and the cheapest model is MNT 20,000. 

The founder of Facebook group named "Modelcar collectors" Ch.Och is also showing his diecast models at the exhibition. He has been collecting diecast models for 11 years and now he has 170 modelcars. 

He has several diecast models of limited produced hyper cars. Compared to the other modelcars, modelcars of limited produced cars with special licenses are priced high. Ch.Od bought his diecast models of limited produced hyper cars by MNT 1 million to 4 million.

"Mongolia has no store selling modelcars. Therefore, I have planned to open diecasr model store within this year. I want to develop diecast model hobby in Mongolia", said Ch.Och. 

11 years ago, he bought his first diecast model by MNT 60,000. Lately, he bought hyper diecast car five days ago.

The exhibition is open to the public at Porsche exhibition hall, located under Peace bridge, until Sep 11th during 10AM-7PM. Note that the exhibition is free of charge. 

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The Eagle Huntress review – Kazakh falconry was never so family-friendly

A rite-of-passage movie about a girl's dreams of being the first female to enter the Golden Eagle competition is pleasantly feelgood, plus it's narrated by Star Wars' Daisy Ridley

September (The Guardian) OK, I'll come clean: I didn't know that much about the nomad Kazakh minority living in Mongolia before I saw this documentary. Their facial features are east Asian, their writing is Cyrillic and their language is peppered with the inshallahs of other Muslims. The snowy, rocky terrain of the Altai mountains is gorgeous and inviting, but also treacherous. Most fascinating is their working relationship with the magnificent golden eagles of the region. Captured at just the right moment of growth – old enough to fly, but still young enough to get yanked from a nest – they are trained to aid in foxhunting, but only for seven years, before they are returned to the wild. It is a noble tradition, but, as with traditions of many cultures, certain aspects of it can use a rethink.

Enter Aisholpan, a rosy-cheeked, exuberant 13-year-old daughter of an eagle hunter with a natural propensity to follow in her father's footsteps. Despite some allowances for modernity (solar panels on their yurts), there are certain things the elders will not allow. Girls cannot eagle-hunt.

In a montage in which these nasty crypt-keepers may as well be twirling their moustaches, they fold their arms and say things like "women get cold!" and "she'll have to get married soon anyway!" The Eagle Huntress is here to prove these coots wrong. What's more, Aisholpan completes her training with a look of such glee it's a miracle she didn't melt the ice from the highest peak in Mongolia.

First, she must find and wrest an eagle away from its mother. The eagle-napping involves climbing down the side of a cliff, and it's here where it becomes evident that director Otto Bell isn't too worried about mixing in re-creations with his footage. But even if Aisholpan's training – which includes hoodwinking, responding to calls, dragging dead foxes and other hallmarks of falconry – is for the camera, it doesn't make it any less extraordinary. Especially in this remarkable environment, captured in breathtakingly crisp digital video.

The movie needs a centerpiece, though, so Aisholpan ends up entering the community's annual Golden Eagle competition. Despite some raised eyebrows, she is allowed to compete: she's not only the first female, but the youngest entrant. Does she do well? Does her majestic eagle swoop down from the top of a mountain when she whistles, grabbing on to her protected forearm with cinematic gusto? I'll let you figure that one out.

In addition to the feelgood, family-friendly aspects (along with Daisy Ridley, Star Wars' Rey, narrating), there are wonderful glimpses of this unique society's non-ornithological customs. Even the villains, those nasty jerks trying to keep a young girl from her dreams when she so clearly has a natural gift, are elegantly framed, with dazzling decor in their traditional dwellings. The Kazakh nomads may not have many material things, but what they do have doesn't want for style.

The closing theme from Sia, with the refrain "you can do anything" sung over and over, is perhaps a bit literal, but some aspects of the film are more nuanced. There's also just enough red in tooth and claw in the foxhunting moments to claim verisimilitude, but not so much that children will be vomiting into their popcorn. The Eagle Huntress will glide into awards season nicely.

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British adventurer, 53, is feared murdered by robbers as he attempted to hike and paraglide across Mongolia 

·         Steve Nash, 53, set off to hike and paraglide across remote Mongolia

·         The experienced adventurer continued alone after friend was injured

·         He was reportedly robbed and murdered by assailants on August 31

·         Friends have paid tribute to 'a true gent and amazing pilot' online 

September 11 (Daily Mail) A British adventurer is feared to have been murdered during an expedition across Mongolia.

Steve Nash, an experienced paraglider pilot, was robbed of his passport and wallet before he was killed in a senseless attack, his friend claimed.

The 53-year-old, from Helsby, Cheshire, was hiking and paragliding across remote terrain with his friend and fellow pilot Gareth Aston when he was reportedly targeted by assailants.

Local authorities are said to be investigating the incident

Speaking to Cross Country Magazine, friend Malcolm Grace said that Mr Nash's wife Shirley first became concerned when his satellite tracking device stopped updating his route online. 

He said: 'There was no end-of-day "OK" message. The last track-point showed him stopped in the middle of a valley.

'Some hours later we got the devastating news from Gareth that Steve had been killed and robbed. His passport and his money were missing. Everything else was still there, including his paraglider - packed in his backpack.' 

Mr Nash is believed to have flown in Mongolia before and had returned to traverse the Khangai Nuruu mountain range. 

According to a post on the 'Spiralling the Steppes 2' expedition Facebook page, Mr Aston was forced to leave the trip early on August 31 due to injury and Mr Nash chose to continue on his own. 

The alarm was raised just hours after Mr Aston was collected by a local adventure company.

Mr Nash had twice competed in the Red Bull X-Alps race, considered to be one of the world's toughest adventure races. Participants must complete a 1,000km route across the mountain range by foot or paraglider. 

He was also a member of the Nova Paragliding Team.

Friends paid tribute on Mr Nash's JustGiving page for the Red Bull X-Alps race, remembering 'a true gent and amazing pilot'. 

One wrote: 'Steve was a true inspiration, happy to share his knowledge, skills & adventures in the most enthusiastic of ways. Nicest guy you would ever want to me. Thoughts are with you Shirley & Family.

Another posted: 'RIP Steve, you were a friend to everyone in the sport and always happy to share your skills and knowledge. Such sad news. Condolences to Shirley, your family and friends.' 

Mr Nash's family have asked that donations in Steve's memory be made to the Wings for Life - Spinal Cord Research Foundation, and the Llanberis and Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Teams in Snowdonia, Wales. 

A Foreign Office spokesman speaking on behalf of the British embassy in Ulaanbaatar said: 'We are in contact with Mongolian authorities regarding the death of a British national, and are providing support and advice to the family at this difficult time.' 

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'SENSELESS CRUEL WASTE' British paraglider killed for his passport and wallet while hiking through Mongolia remembered as 'the nicest guy you could ever meet'The Sun, September 11


9 Affordable Shoulder Season Destinations Worth Planning a Trip Around

Escape large crowds – and high prices – in coveted destinations across the globe.

September 9 (U.S. News) Labor Day may have come and gone, but if you're dreaming of skipping town for a relaxing getaway, don't give up yet. With pleasant temperatures and lower rates, autumn is an ideal time to snap up stellar deals without battling throngs of tourists. "Less crowds are a big draw for travelers during the shoulder season. You can truly experience a place like a local when there are fewer travelers," explains Andrea Leich, National Geographic Travel's digital director. So, if you're longing to embrace harvest-season traditions, prices and thinner crowds, or jet-set to an exciting far-out locale, head to these off-season destinations this September, October and November – before the winter holiday rush.


To experience vibrant fall foliage in a far-flung location, consider Mongolia. While the Gobi Desert experiences extreme conditions in winter and summer, autumn (from September to October) marks an ideal time to visit, Leich says. "Peak autumn colors display in the verdant forest in northern Mongolia," she adds. You can admire ornate temples in Ulaanbaatar or get off the grid at Three Camel Lodge, a rustic ger (or round tent) camp in the Gobi Desert. Best of all, while getting to Mongolia will cost you, reputable tour outfitters like G Adventures offer all-inclusive tours at a reasonable rate; an eight-day itinerary in September starts at $1,099.

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