Friday, June 7, 2013

[MEC objects Khushuut becoming strategic, Xanadu amends buy terms on Forbes Manhattan Cu-Au project, and Mongolia unveiling Salkhit wind farm]

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Mogi: should catch up with events by Monday


Overseas Market

Xanadu Mines to acquire Oyut Ulaan copper-gold porphyry project in Mongolia

June 6 (Proactive Investors) Xanadu Mines (ASX: XAM) will pay less upfront for the acquisition of the Oyut Ulaan copper-gold porphyry project in Mongolia, in return for a modest cash payment, some shares and issuance of performance share options. 

Drilling by Xanadu has also intersected thick zones of gold-rich porphyry copper mineralisation from results released today.

The porphyry copper project covers a large district of around 40 square kilometres) comprising numerous mineralised porphyry centres.

The agreement struck with Temujin Mining Corp replaces an earlier agreement in May 2012 and its initial implementation which was delayed by changes in Mongolia's foreign investment law. 

The Mongolian Parliament recently approved amendments to the law allowing the acquisition to proceed.

The consideration for a 90% interest in the project located in the South Gobi region is now a payment of US$600,000, the issue of 5,000,000 Xanadu shares and the issue of performance share options once a JORC resource of 900,000 tonnes of contained copper equivalent is achieved at the project.

The Oyut Ulaan mining license has been granted and Xanadu has earned a 25% interest

The completion of the transaction is conditional upon approval by Xanadu's shareholders and the Government of Mongolia.

Drilling results

Reconnaissance drilling from four drill holes at the Oyut Ulaan project has intersected thick zones of gold-rich porphyry copper mineralisation from a 10 hole program which would provide significant encouragement given the widths and grades at surface.

Impressively, the results included 132.0 metres at 1.07% CuEq. from surface and 170.5 metres at 0.76% CuEq. from surface.

Link to article

Link to XAM acquisition release

Link to XAM exploration update

Link to Oyut Ulaan presentation



The Mongolian government has proposed to add the Khushuut Coal Mine into the list of Strategic Deposits for consideration by the Parliament of Mongolia. Whether and when the Khushuut Coal Mine will be ruled as a Strategic Deposit is not known for the time being as the Parliament of Mongolia makes the final decision. As we believe we do not fit within the selection criteria outlined by the Minerals Law, in our submission made to the Mongolian government, we have strongly objected our Khushuut Coal Mine to be put in the Strategic Deposit list. We will seek further legal advice and to take the appropriate measures as we deem fit for the benefits of the Group.

June 6 -- This announcement is made by Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (the "Company", and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group," HKEx: 276) pursuant to Rule 13.09 of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Listing Rules") and the Inside Information Provisions (as defined under the Listing Rules) under Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

The Company refers to its announcement dated 7 December 2012 (the "Announcement"). Capitalised terms used in this announcement have the same meanings as those defined in the Announcement, unless otherwise stated.

After the receipt of the letter from the Mining Ministry of Mongolia for requesting information of the Khushuut Coal Mine for the Strategic Deposit assessment, MoEnCo LLC ("MoEnCo") has duly submitted the requested information to the Mongolian government for consideration.

It came to our knowledge on 3 June 2013 that there were Mongolian news articles reporting the proposal regarding Strategic Deposits had been made by the Mongolian government. Upon our enquiries made with Mongolian legal adviser, we were informed that the Mongolia government has made the following progress recently:

"The government of Mongolia has decided to submit to the Parliament of Mongolia a draft resolution which will amend the attachments of the Parliament of Mongolia Resolution No. 27 dated 6 February 2010 regarding "Declaration of Certain Deposits as being Strategically Important". The resolution draft states that the deposits pertaining to the coal of Khushuut and Tsadamnuur, gold of Gatsuurt, and rare elements of Khalzanburgedei, Lugiin Gol, Mushgia Khudag and Khotgor are classified as mineral deposits of strategic importance".

Among the list of Strategic Deposits, the Mongolian government has proposed to add the Khushuut Coal Mine into the list for consideration by the Parliament of Mongolia.

The Minerals Law does not specify a timeframe in which the government must submit the proposal to the Parliament of Mongolia and to the best of our knowledge, no time table has been given in this regard. In this connection, whether and when the Khushuut Coal Mine will be ruled as a Strategic Deposit is not known for the time being as the Parliament of Mongolia makes the final decision.

The Minerals Law states that a mineral deposit is of strategic importance if a deposit may have a potential impact on national security, economic and/or social development of the country at regional and/or national levels, or that is capable of producing greater than 5% of the gross domestic product of any given year. Under the said Minerals Law, the size of the government participation is determined largely by the level of state funding which had been provided for the exploration and development of any deposit, with the government of Mongolia entitled to participate up to 50% in the event that there has been a state funding of such deposit and up to 34% if such deposit was discovered with private funds. In the event a Strategic Deposit is ruled, the Mongolian government will negotiate with the entity concerned as to the mode or percentage of the government's participation and it will depend on the results of individual negotiations. In worst case scenario, if Khushuut Coal Mine is ruled as a Strategic Deposit, the State of Mongolia may negotiate for up to 50% of its interest.

Further, even if the Khsuhuut Coal Mine is designated as a Strategic Deposit by the Parliament of Mongolia, such designation will not automatically grant the government to participate into the Mine or allot any shares of MoEnCo to the government, and the government will need to discuss with MoEnCo for the terms of the arrangement.

As we believe we do not fit within the selection criteria outlined by the Minerals Law, in our submission made to the Mongolian government, we have strongly objected our Khushuut Coal Mine to be put in the Strategic Deposit list. We have further drawn the government's attention that we have invested substantially on the development of the Khushuut Coal Mine and any negative ruling on us under this issue may have impact on investors' confidence in Mongolia. Since then, we have not received any direct feedback from the Mongolian government on the matter.

As the proposal has to be decided by the Parliament of Mongolia, we believe that the Mongolian Parliament will take into account each and every factor in reaching its decision. The extent of the impact to the Group cannot be ascertained at this stage subject to the decision of the Mongolian Parliament.

In the meantime, we will seek further legal advice and to take the appropriate measures as we deem fit for the benefits of the Group. We will keep the shareholders informed of the development.

Shareholders of the Company and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.

Link to release



This announcement is made by Mongolia Investment Group Limited (the "Company," HKEx: 402) pursuant to Rule 13.09 of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Listing Rules") and Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

June 6 -- The board of directors (the "Board") of the Company wishes to inform the shareholders of the Company and potential investors that it is expected that the consolidated results of the Company and its subsidiaries (collectively the "Group") for the year ended 31 March 2013 may experience a significant loss due to (i) an impairment loss on the valuation of the mining rights of the coal mine operated by Tugrugnuuriin Energy LLC (Mogi: if I'm not mistaken this property is part of Tsaidamnuur deposit which has been proposed to be classed strategic deposit to parliament), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, in Tugrug Valley, Mongolia (the "TNE Mine") is expected to be recognised. The impairment loss is subject to the results of valuation of the rights on the TNE Mine; (ii) imputed interest in respect of the outstanding convertible note issued by the Company in June 2010.

As the Company is still in the process of finalising the audited results of the Group for the year ended 31 March 2013, the information contained in this announcement is only a preliminary assessment of the management accounts of the Group as at 31 March 2013 by the Board and is not based on any figures or information audited or reviewed by the auditors of the Company.

Further details of the annual results of the Group will be disclosed as and when the annual results of the Group for the year ended 31 March 2013 are announced.

Shareholders of the Company and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in shares of the Company.

Link to release


CPS Securities & Indian Ocean Capital merger creates leading WA broker

June 4 (CPS Capital Group) --


      Prominent Western Australian stockbrokers CPS Securities and Indian Ocean Capital execute merger agreement,

      The merged firm, to be called CPS Capital Group, becomes Perth's 7th stockbroking firm,

      The new firm will offer stockbroking and corporate advisory services domestically and internationally,

      The firm is to have an advisory and marketing team of 29 persons, plus 13 additional administrative and compliance team members, with plans underway to immediately implement a proactive growth strategy, and

      Directors of the new firm will include CPS Securities Mr Jason Peterson and Tony Cunningham and Indian Ocean Capital's, Mr Gary Castledine, and Mr Andrew Wilson.

      Unlike many broking firms that pay 40% to advisers and retain 60% for the house, CPS Capital Group pay advisors 67.5% and retain just 32.5%, higher splits than any other firm in Western Australia. CPS Capital Group advisers are paid higher percentages to avoid unnecessary client transactions, an expensive and common industry practice used by advisers to meet monthly targets.

Leading Western Australian based full service stockbroking firm's CPS Securities and Indian Ocean Capital have executed a merger agreement to create arguably Perth's leading boutique stockbroking securities and investment firm. The Merged entity will be rebranded CPS Capital Group.

The merger is effective immediately, with the merged entity to offer full stockbroking and corporate advisory services to clients domestically and internationally, as well as focussing on it's investment banking strategy.

CPS Capital Group will have an advisory and marketing team of 29 in Australia and overseas, together with an additional 13 administrative and compliance team members. It is expected to significantly grow its advisor team, both locally and nationally, in the coming months and also add a dedicated research offering. It will also build on the already strong affiliations the two firms have individually established in Mongolia, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, South America, Toronto and the United States of America.

Commenting on the merger and creation of CPS Capital Group, Managing Director, Mr Tony Cunningham, said, "It's a very exciting time for our clients and staff, as both companies bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, which when combined cement our position as a significant stockbroking and corporate advisory business in WA."

CPS Capital Group expects to use its increased scale and global reach to continue to access and supply capital to the resources and junior/mid cap sections of the market.

"CPS Capital Group will be focussed primarily on clients interested in and companies operating in the resources sector or in the junior to mid-cap space, a part of the market that in our view will see significant value creation in the future," Mr Cunningham added.

"In recent years the two firms have individually raised many hundreds of millions of dollars for resources and small to mid-cap companies, and we expect to support our corporate clients to similar levels under our merged entity moving forward."

Mr Castledine believes the merger of the two groups will bring together two businesses within very complimentary business practices, ideologies, and corporate clients.

 "The merger was agreed as both entities individually and collectively saw the opportunities being created in the current market, and given the synergies between the two firms saw that increased scale would enable them as a combined entity to take advantage of these opportunities," he said.

"We're looking at the bigger picture and have established a robust platform we can expand on moving forward".

Following the admission of CPS to being members of the NSX, CPS Capital Group will be one of the largest full service stockbrokers in Western Australia.

Link to release

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Local Market

NatSec MSE Daily Update: Top 20 +1.74%, Turnover ₮49.1 Million

June 5 (National Securities) The MSE TOP-20 index rose  +1.74% to 14,275.24. A total of 34,644 shares in 17 companies were traded with a value of MNT 49,092,413 (U$34K).

Today's top active company was tourist company Genco tour bureau with a volume one-fifths of the entire market at 7,530 shares traded. Coal mining companies, Sharyn Gol (SHG), Shivee Ovoo (SHV), Tavan Tolgoi (TTL) soared between +3.38% to +15%. Also Darkhan Khuns (DHU) was up +13.85% to 3,700 MNT on the B-board.

Please click here to see the detailed news.

Link to update


NatSec MSE Daily Update: Top 20 +3.37%, Turnover ₮82.4 Million

June 6 (National Securities) The Mongolian Stock Exchange on June 6, saw a total of 74,739 shares in 28 JSCs traded with a value of 82,409,536.95 MNT. Values of 15 shares increased, 9  shares decreased, of four were stable.

The total market capitalization moved to MNT 1.465  billion. The Top-20 Index moved up 3.37% to 14,756.20.

Mining companies shares were the most actively traded, particularly Aduunchuluun (ADL) gained +14.99% to 3,129 MNT, Tavan Tolgoi (TTL) +12.30% to 3,797 MNT and Baganuur (BAN) +7.61% to 4,950 MNT. In our view, there is further upside trading potential in the mining share space in the near-term. 

Please click here to see the detailed news

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BoM holds FX auction

June 6 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on June 6th, 2013 the BOM received from local commercial banks ask offer of 22.5 million USD as closing rate of 1438.28 and bid offers 52 million CNY as closing rate of 233.96 and BOM has refused all the bid and ask offers.

On June 6th, 2013, The BOM did not make any Swap agreement with domestic commercial banks.

Link to release


Mongolia Opens $122 Million Wind Farm With Aim to Cut Pollution

June 6 (Bloomberg) Mongolia is scheduled to start operations at its first wind farm this month, a $122 million project that's the biggest power plant in 30 years and part of a government effort to cap pollution cloaking the capital city.

The 50-megawatt facility developed by Clean Energy LLC using 31 turbines from General Electric Co. (GE) is located on a wind-raked ridge about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Ulaanbaatar. Sengee Enkh-Amgalan, the company's chief executive officer, plans to officially start the plant on June 20.

Mongolia is seeking alternatives to fossil fuels such as coal that power its industry and mines. The government has set a target to get 20 percent to 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020, up from less than 2 percent currently. Coal supplies about 80 percent of the nation's energy.

"In order to meet the 20 percent goal, the government really has to support these kinds of enterprises," said Enkh-Amgalan, adding that he expects the government will subsidize the costs of wind power in order to make it affordable.

Smog from burning coal has choked the capital in recent months, causing the World Health Organization to name Ulaanbaatar the second-worst city for air quality behind Ahvaz in western Iran. Residents use coal to heat homes when winter temperatures plunge to minus 30 Fahrenheit.

Clean Energy says the wind park will save 122,000 tons of coal, 1.6 million tons of water and will eliminate 180,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Purchase Agreements

Clean Energy's parent company, Newcom Group, established Mongolia's first mobile phone operator, Mobicom, and helped revive the nation's airline industry by establishing Eznis Airways, according to its website.

The government agreed to a power purchase agreement with Clean Energy, which will receive 9.5 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from the wind for the lifetime of the project. The company expects to recoup its investment in 14 years.

Enkh-Amgalan says the power station can produce 140 million to 160 million kilowatt-hours per year, which gives the plant revenue of $15 million per year.

"We expect that by the end of next year tariff prices will be liberalized," said Enkh-Amgalan (Mogi: there's a parliament resolution stating electricity tariffs are to be liberated by 2014, but current prices are way off what the market price should be and up to this year it was being gradually increased I believe, until this year when Magnai, head of Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection put a freeze on this year's proposal for increase), a graduate of California's Monterrey Institute of International Studies. "We're not sure how it will be, but there is a certain commitment from the government that the tariffs will increase. This process is happening but slowly."

Turbines at the plant will last about 20 years, said Enkh-Amgalan, after which time the current 1.6-megawatt turbines may need to be replaced. By then, he expects turbines may generate as much as 7 megawatts each, which would triple the output.

Roads, Grid

The biggest challenge so far has been dealing with Mongolia's lack of infrastructure. A similar project in China would cost 30 percent less said Enkh-Amgalan, due to the vast distances and lack of roads in Mongolia, where most highways are little more than vague jeep tracks across the desert.

Clean Energy Asia and Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp. (9984) have 200,000 hectares of land in the Gobi Desert and plan to construct a wind park with a capacity of 200 megawatts to 300 megawatts, said Enkh-Amgalan.

Mining companies and towns in the region could draw power from the facilities, or the energy could be exported on an "Asia Super Grid" developers are sketching as a way to share power from Japan to India, he said.

Wind speeds in Salkhit average 8.2 meters per second, while Gobi Desert speeds exceed 9 meters per second. The Gobi has the potential to yield 11 gigawatts per year of solar energy and 300,000 megawatts of wind power, Enkh-Amgalan said.

Link to article


Mongolian mega-mine set to transform country

Huge project will boost GDP, but some are worried about its environmental impact.

Khanbogd, Mongolia, June 5 (Al Jazeera)The vast Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, in the wilderness of the Gobi Desert, is set to put this former communist nation on the international mining map.

Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto expects to begin commercial production this month and begin exporting copper-gold concentrate by the end of June - pending approval from the Mongolian government, which has a 34 percent stake in the project.

Oyu Tolgoi - which is Mongolian for "Turquoise Hill", and known simply as "OT" - is forecast to produce about 450,000 tonnes of copper and 330,000 ounces of gold a year once it reaches full production in 2020.

Rocks in the Gobi Desert were smelted for copper in the 13th century during the reign of conqueror Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, which at one point stretched from the Sea of Japan to eastern Europe. Today, many in the sparsely populated country - which became a democracy after the country's Democratic Revolution ended communist rule in 1990 - hope OT and other new mines will help the developing nation rise again.

Economic output in the country, landlocked between Russia and China, has already been boosted by the initial phases of the mega-project. Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, the chairman of Mongolia's Business Council, cited OT as a reason for Mongolia's double-digit GDP growth rates in 2011 and 2012 - among the highest in the world.

Rio Tinto's Jack Sato, the chief operating officer of Oyu Tolgoi, said the mine was predicted to operate for at least 50 years. "Oyu Tolgoi is the largest factor in delivering the country's predicted double-digit growth over the coming years," Sato said. "And by 2020, OT is expected to account for a third of Mongolian GDP."

Mark Crosby, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne's business school, said the OT mine would likely account for three percent of global copper production. While the mine will likely not have major effects on global prices, Crosby described Oyu Tolgoi as "a very important mine for Mongolia".

Economic dynamo

The mine's operators have heralded Oyu Tolgoi as having the potential to transform Mongolia's economy.

Sato said OT had created 12,000 jobs for Mongolians during construction and was committed to a 90 percent Mongolian workforce during operations, which it expected to reach when commercial production began.

He added Oyu Tolgoi had paid the government more than $870m in taxes and other fees, spent more than $1.1bn on Mongolian suppliers, and had invested $126m in education and employment training programmes in Mongolia.

The mining project could spur infrastructure development, which remains a challenge for this developing country.

Byambasaikhan, the Business Council chairman, has advised Mongolia's president on transport and power supply issues and insists that revenues from the mine must be channelled into developing Mongolia's infrastructure. "OT will drive these things, but revenues coming from OT will help finance future infrastructure development," he said.

But transparency, Byambasaikhan said, will be the key to success for these projects, and he advised Mongolia to study what he described as Australia's transparent, highly successful public-private development partnerships.

'Litmus test'

How the mega-project is managed will also affect investors' willingness to pour money into Mongolia in the future.

"International investors are watching closely how the Mongolian government manages this particular project as a litmus test for considering investment in Mongolia," said Gary Gray, Australia's Minister for Resources and Energy.

Karr McCurdy, president and chief executive of mining industry advisor Behr Dolbear (Mogi: Behre Dolbear), said uncertainty over OT was a reason why Mongolia had slipped to 11th place in the minerals industry advisor's 2013 Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment. "Uncertainty impacts companies' ability to access international funds," McCurdy told Al Jazeera.

The country's volatile political climate, he said, has drastically affected the level of direct foreign investment. However, McCurdy added that investors have been reassured by recent government moves, such as passing an amendment in April to the Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law that lifted many limits on the stakes foreign investors can own in sectors such as mining.

"The government of Mongolia is becoming more concerned about the slowdown in DFI [direct foreign investment] and assuring people that once the investment agreements are entered into, they will be managed in a manner that's appropriate," McCurdy said.

Travis Hamilton, managing director of investment advisor Khan Investment Management, said after meetings with Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag and other officials, he had been reassured over government support for OT and amendments to foreign investment law.


Not all are optimistic that the mine will be a boon for Mongolia, though. Two official complaints have been lodged with the World Bank's Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the independent recourse and accountability mechanism for the organisation's private-sector arms.

The first complaint, supported by Mongolian non-government organisations OT Watch and Gobi Soil, raised concerns about the mine's impact on the livelihoods of nomadic herders, and is now in the dispute resolution process. The second complaint, which the CAO told Al Jazeera it was assessing, was raised by community members concerned about the mine's potential effects on the nearby Undai River.

Rio Tinto's Sato stressed the mine was committed to minimising the impact on surrounding communities, the environment, and heritage of the South Gobi area, noting its work was monitored by the government and international investors.

"We monitor local water levels in partnership with herders, and are committed to taking mitigating action should they change beyond the usual seasonal variations," Sato said.

He estimated that OT would use 20 percent of an underground saline aquifer, unconnected to local water supplies, adding that Rio Tinto recovered and reused about 80 percent of water used in its operations.

Presidential elections

On June 26 Mongolians will go to the polls to choose a new president, and analysts expect OT to be a key issue. (Mogi: haven't heard any of the candidates making OT a major issue)

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, the incumbent, is expected to win. The former Colorado School of Mines student (Mogi: his website makes no mention of Colorado School of Mines, first I've heard of this, let me know if I'm wrong) won the previous election after campaigning to distribute a greater share of Mongolia's mineral wealth to individual Mongolians. (Mogi: hmmm, doesn't sounds accurate)

The Democratic Party leader (Mogi: no, he's not the leader of DP, by law he must tender party membership when president) , who rose from humble nomadic beginnings to become prime minister twice, is an influential figure respected in Mongolia for his fight against corruption and campaigning for the environment and women's rights.

He has accused Rio Tinto in April of allowing costs to run over by $10bn, a charge the mining giant has denied. Elbegdorj was cheered by parliamentarians when he said: "The time has come for the Mongolian government to take Oyu Tolgoi matters into its own hands."

Elbegdorj's election rivals include wrestling champion Badmaanyambuu Bat-Erdene of the Mongolian People's Party, a critic of the mine deal; and Natsag Udval of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party representative, the first woman to run for the country's top office.

Link to article

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Presidential Election Platforms

[This post was researched and co-written by Brian White at The Mongolist blog.]

June 5 (Julian Dierkes, Mongolia Focus) A cursory examination of the platforms of all three presidential candidates (incumbent Ts Elbegdorj, Member of Parliament B Bat-Erdene, and Minister of Health N Udval) gives the impression of considerable overlap in policy positions.

All the candidates intend to fight corruption, reform the judiciary, reduce partisan influence and improve services in governance, protect the environment, make effective use of natural resources, reduce alcoholism, promote investment in schools and hospitals, and continue a foreign policy of good relations with Russia and China and an active courting of "third neighbours."

Note that of these general topics, it is only the areas of the judicial system and foreign relations that fall under the direct powers of the president, while the other policy areas frequently mentioned are areas where the president has at most persuasive powers.

There is so much overlap between the published platforms that it makes it difficult to pick out how these campaigns are different. But, examining the platforms point-by-point, they are not exactly the same. Each candidate emphasizes some areas more than others producing a distinct tone for each platform.

In terms of tone, Elbegdorj's platform can be summed up by paraphrasing his opening campaign remarks with "we have done a lot, and we have much more to do." It does not come across as negative or scary, and it is outward looking and future-oriented. This, obviously, is the campaign pitch of an incumbent who has had a relatively successful four years in office, not suffering any major scandals, and seeing his own party win the 2012 parliamentary election.

Bat-Erdene and Udval both start their platforms by outlining the many problems and dangers facing Mongolia. Minister Udval goes as far as outlining "five dangers" she'll address as president. In general, both of the two challengers see uneven economic development, insidious foreign influence, corruption, a deteriorating environment, and social degradation as dangers to the future of the country.

It is easier to conceptualize the platforms by thinking of them as arranged on a spectrum from the most positive about the current state of affairs to Mongolia, to a more critical assessment. Elbegdorj is enjoying the benefits of incumbency by employing high-minded and positive (yet not terribly specific) rhetoric intended to inspire on one end. Bat-Erdene is then a few paces down the spectrum. He is using his public persona and status as a sports celebrity to express an inspiring message in safe policy areas like national pride but also employing a darker, scarier tone for more controversial policy areas such as the environment and mining. Udval is then at the other end predominantly focusing on the challenges and failures of the country and framing the future as full of dangers.

The considerable overlap in policy positions lends credence to arguments that the election will hinge on personality and perceptions of leadership ability. President Elbegdorj has the advantage of incumbency with a record of experience in national leadership positions. Mr. Bat-Erdene has much less experience, but has the advantage of personal charisma and celebrity. Minister Udval has much more professional and managerial experience than Mr. Bat-Erdene having served multiple times as a cabinet minister and the head of national organizations, but she lacks the benefit of President Elbegdorj's incumbency and Mr. Bat-Erdene's personal charisma and celebrity.

Platforms, of course, exist on paper, and each candidate's position and areas of emphasis may evolve in the course of the campaign as they challenge each other publicly on specific issues. It is also important to remember that the president's constitutional power is limited, and a candidate's support of or opposition to issues in policy areas does not necessarily imply (s)he would have any ability to act on those preferences as president. The platforms are interesting reflections of the candidates' personalities and the political parties' priorities, but their effectiveness as a guide to how each will govern is arguably weak.

The candidate's platforms are available here:

·         Ts Elbegdorj –мөрийн-хөтөлбөр-2013-2017/

·         B Bat-Erdene –

·         N Udval –

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UAF Professors Collaborate to Develop Engineering School in Mongolia

Fairbanks, AK, June 6 (KUAC) - A group of University of Alaska, Fairbanks Professors will develop an engineering school in Mongolia over the next few years.  UAF signed a contract this spring with the American University of Mongolia in that country's capital, where the new school will be based.


A team of seven professors from UAF are developing curriculum and designing classroom space for an engineering school at a newly formed American University of Mongolia.  Rajive Ganguli is heading up the project.  He's the chairman of the Mining and Geological Engineering program at UAF.  "For me and my team it is very exciting," says Ganguli.  "It is wild to think you're going to engineering school from scratch.  So the good things, the stuff we like about the education system here and the stuff we hate, we get to remedy it.  So what we will do is review engineering education in some of the top universities and we have our own ideas and we'll steal from the best," he says.

Ganguli says Mongolia and Alaska are natural partners when it comes to mining in the far north.

I think that our cold climate engineering expertise is very relative to Mongolia and they can benefit from it and so we have academic agreements with Mongolia institute of science technology and with Erdenet Mining Corporation."  There is no federal funding going toward the effort.  Ganguli doesn't have a solid dollar amount on what development of the school will cost, but he expects it will be in the tens of millions of dollars.  He says nearly all of it will come from private sector mining companies in Mongolia. "Mining has been booming in Mongolia for a few years," says Ganguli.  "Their economy is taking off.  They're one of the fastest growing economies in the world at about 17 percent and so when you grow that fast, you need lots of good employees especially in engineering given their investment in infrastructure and mines etcetera," he says.  Officials with American University of Mongolia hope to admit the first engineering students within two years.

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Social, Environmental and Other

UN official urges Mongolia to go green

ULAN BATOR, June 6 (Xinhua) -- UN Under-Secretary General Achim Steiner urged Mongolia to develop on a greener path during events marking the World Environment Day.

World Environment Day activities are taking place throughout the year but culminate on June 5.

This year, Mongolia was named to host the event under the theme "Think.Eat. Save. Reduce Your Footprint," aimed at reducing food waste.

Reportedly, at least a third of everything grown on this planet is lost between the field and the consumer.

However, Mongolia is not wasteful as far as food concerned. Actually its traditional nomadic life give some answers to the problems of food waste in modern society.

"Through hosting WED, Mongolia has opened its doors to the world and proudly put its development plans into the global spotlight of international scrutiny," Steiner said.

Steiner said that if Mongolia can hold onto its ancient traditions in a rapidly changing world and combine them with modern policies, its future should be bright and green.

Link to article


Mongolia hosts World Environment Day celebrationsXinhua, June 5

UN chief urges reduction in food wasteXinhua, June 5

Mongolia's first wind farm operational this monthXinhua, June 4


Mongolia probes ways to protect snow leopards

ULAN BATOR, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian Ministry for Nature, Environment and Green Development (Mogi: just Ministry of Environment and Green Development will do) held a seminar Thursday to discuss ways to further strengthen snow leopard conservation.

More than 30 experts, scholars and officials from Mongolia's environmental protection departments, the World Environment Foundation, the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation and other institutes discussed conservation measures and shared experience from other countries.

Experts said that, due to habitat loss, poaching, conflicts with humans and other reasons in recent years, the snow leopard had been listed as endangered species.

Snow leopards are targeted by hunters for its beautiful fur. Mongolia's southern Gobi region is implementing a project to protect the species. Snow Leopard is mainly distributed in China's Xinjiang region, Mongolia and other countries in the Central Asia plateau.

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