Thursday, June 12, 2014

[Modun raises A$400K, inflation rises as deficit falls, MAK bailout faces opposition, and GoM submits bills on economic amnesty]

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

Modun Resources Raises A$400,000 from Placements to Sophisticated Investor & Director

June 11 (Cover Mongolia) New issuance notice filed today reveals that Modun Resources Ltd. (ASX:MOU), a Mongolia-focused coal explorer that owns the Nuurst Thermal Coal Project in Tuv Aimag, issued 200 million shares at A$0.002 raising a total A$400,000. Half of that was to a sophisticated investor in an undisclosed placement for working capital, and the other half to Non-Executive Chairman Hugh David Warner, according to a director's interest notice filed on the same day.

Announcements were made after today's market close. MOU last traded yesterday at A$0.002, down 50% this year.

Link to article


Viking Mines Chairman Buys On-Market as Auminco Takeover Stalls  

June 11 (Cover Mongolia) According to a director's interest notice filed today, Viking Mines Ltd. (ASX:VKA) Non-Executive Chairman Mr. John William Gardner acquired 26,667 shares on the exchange at A$0.04 on June 5 for a total A$1,066.68 consideration.

The purchase comes amidst Viking Mines' ongoing takeover bid to acquire unlisted Auminco Mines, a Mongolia-focused exploration company, in share deal. The deal will make Auminco shareholders ending with 58% of the enlarged company. Takeover acceptance has surpassed 97% lelev as of May 15 but Viking has still not declared the offer final and therefore can still rescind the takeover bid, as the Offer Conditions has not been unfilled as of May 28, according to a filing.

Announcement was made after today's market close. VKA closed unchanged today at A$0.04.

Link to article


XAM last traded A$0.045 Tuesday, KCC last traded C$0.06 Friday

MIBG: Mongolia's Rejuvenation Is Beginning At The Drill Rigs

June 11 (MIBG) Despite the economic downturn Mongolia has begun boosting its mining activities. Along with the government's 100-day plan to increase foreign investment, the Ministry of Mining announced a list of objectives for 2014. This includes the planned development of the underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi and a strategy to increase profitability at Erdene's Tavan Tolgoi.

Further to the Government's initiatives, the private sector is also pulling its weight in trying to get the economy back on track. Such junior miners as Erdene Resources Development, Xanadu Mines Ltd, and others listed below have started exploration work across the country. The increase in these companies' activities demonstrates an ongoing need for foreign investment, allowing capital to be injected into the local market.

Below is a non-exhaustive list overview of those companies currently drilling in Mongolia:

Erdene Resource Development Corp's Altan Nar project has been pegged as one of the most prospective developments in Mongolia. The prospect has demonstrated intervals up to 20.2g/t of gold and 138g/t of silver along with significant amounts of near-surface mineralization. With the hopes of acquiring a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource report for Altan Nar, Erdene will continue exploration drilling throughout the remainder of the year.

Xanadu Mines Ltd has begun testing high-grade areas of mineralization at its Kharmgatai copper-gold porphyry project. The company plans to test the latency of its target zones through 10,000m of projected drilling over 45-planned drill holes.

Kincora Copper Ltd has announced it will advance exploration drilling at its flagship asset: Bronze Fox. The plan is to target and test mostly large-scale copper porphyry zones. Along with its focus on copper, Kincora has realized Bronze Fox's gold potential as well. A third of all holes drilled revealed intervals containing 1g/t of gold at the very least. In addition, included in Bronze Fox is a corridor named the Happy Geo Prospect that revealed high gold concentrations at shallow depths. Samples extracted from a 1km2 region of the prospect averaged 8.6 to 20.2g/t of gold; a very prospective find.

Additionally, Centerra Gold Inc has submitted a request to classify it's 100% owned Gatsuurt Exploration Property as strategically imperative to the Mongolian economy: allowing Centerra to begin mining.

The initiation of these potentially impressive drilling projects and the progress of current mining activities, displays the magnitude of which Mongolia depends on the mining industry. However, exploration is not enough on its own to keep the economy growing. In order to realize its full potential the Government of Mongolia must adapt the foreign-investment laws to become more receptive to investors. Current opinion in Government is inclining more heavily toward the acceptance of foreign investment, as it should.

Furthermore, the government should not only accept foreign investment but also work to regain the trust of foreign entities. By reaching out to once-repudiated and betrayed investors, and proposing additional freedom and flexibility in their operations, Mongolia will be able to recapture the favorable image it once displayed. With this encouraging new view, the Ministry of Mining is optimistic in its ability to attract billion-dollars worth of investment within the year. This increased injection of capital into the mining industry is the only viable feat that provides a long-term solution to the recently waned economy.

Link to article


CG closed +5.9% to C$4.31, +2.38% YTD

UPDATE 2-Kyrgyzstan OKs Centerra Gold's 2014 mine plan to avoid shutdown

(Adds comment from Centerra, stock price movement)

June 11 (Reuters) - The government of Kyrgyzstan said on Wednesday it had approved Centerra Gold's mine plan for 2014, rushing to meet a deadline set by the Canadian investor, which had threatened to shut operations at the country's largest gold deposit.

"We have signed a relevant order. The company receives the right to continue its work," Valery Dil, Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime minister in charge of economy and investment, told Reuters.

"We chose the most rational option ... to avoid the mothballing of the company's facilities and to avert unpredictable consequences for the economy and ecology."

But in a statement released shortly after midday on Wednesday, Toronto-based Centerra Gold said it did not yet have official approval for the mine plan in hand.

"The company reiterates ... that absent the receipt of such approvals by the close of business on (Friday) June 13, 2014, it intends to begin an orderly shutdown of operations at the Kumtor project," Centerra said.

Centerra's stock jumped 6.4 percent to trade at C$4.33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, ahead of its peers but off an earlier high of C$4.59.

Centerra has until Aug. 1 to coordinate its planned work at the Davydov Glacier at the site of its operations in the Tien Shan mountains, and register all the explored mineral reserves of its licence area, the Kyrgyz geology and mineral resources agency said.

The Kumtor mine, which lies near the Chinese border at an altitude of 4,000 metres (13,123 feet), has been a source of political tension in the impoverished Central Asian country, which has been trying to increase revenues from the project.

Kyrgyzstan's state environment agency said last week that after looking into Centerra's 2014 work plan for the mine, there were serious concerns that the plans could damage the glacier.

Centerra said last week that Kumtor had "significant geotechnical and other challenges," including instability in the wall of the open pit, water flows and ice movement from the Davydov Glacier. The company has said it has been trying to get its mine plan and related operating permits approved since late last year.

The Kumtor mine, which was discovered by Soviet geologists, is a key source of foreign exchange for the country of 5.5 million people. It is also the main taxpayer and biggest employer in Kyrgyzstan.

A shutdown would further aggravate the bitter dispute between Centerra and the government, which wants more revenue from the mine.

Under a draft agreement in December, Kyrgyzstan would swap its 32.7 percent stake in Centerra for half of the Kumtor mine, the company's main asset. But the deal has not been finalised.

Kumtor's gold production is expected to be about 550,000 to 600,000 ounces in full-year 2014.

Stressing Kumtor's role in the country's economy and signaling its willingness to reach a compromise with the strategic investor, an official at the state geology and mineral resources agency said last week that the authorities could amend the water code, "taking into account Kumtor's strategic position."

Link to article

Link to CG release

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Local Market

MSE News for June 10: Top 20 -3.66% to 14,997.25, Turnover 26.9 Million

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 13 thousand and 102 shares of 23 JSCs were traded costing MNT 26 million 909 thousand and 848.00.

"Moninjbar" /5,000 units/, "Khokh gan" /3,006 units/, "APU" /1,718 units/, "Gobi" /944 units/ and "State Department Store" /777 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gobi" (MNT seven million 084 thousand and 740), "APU" (MNT six million 153 thousand and 560), "Talkh chikher" (MNT five million 112 thousand and 300), "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT one million and 891 thousand) and "Suu" (MNT one million and 568 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 524 billion 788 million 476 thousand and 066. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,997.25, decreasing by MNT 569.72 or 3.66% against the previous day.

Link to article


MSE News, June 11: Top 20 -0.65% to 14,899.81, Turnover 11.2 Million

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Wednesday, a total of 5,739 shares of 10 JSCs were traded costing MNT 11 million 209 thousand and 985.00.

"Khokh gan" /2,479 units/, "Mongolia Telecom" /2,000 units/, "Gobi" /757 units/, "State Department Store" /149 units/ and "Sharyn gol" /116 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gobi" (MNT five million 715 thousand and 350), "Mongolia Telecom" (MNT two million and 890 thousand), "Sharyn gol" (MNT 826 thousand and 200), "Material impex" (MNT 515 thousand and 500) and "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT 390 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 520 billion 418 million 463 thousand and 679. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,899.81, decreasing by MNT 97.44 or 0.65% against the previous day.

Link to article


Mogi: have a feeling this is not the first time something like this was signed.

FRC and Brokers' Association Sign MOU on Ensuring Sustainable Development of Securities Market

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) The Finance Regulatory Committee (FRC) and the Mongolian Association of Securities Traders (MAST) will cooperate in ensuring a sustainable development of securities market.

A memorandum on it was established on Tuesday. Furthermore, the sides will cooperate in granting permission for carrying out professional services and works at the market, working out and implementing a policy and action planning for the securities market, holding training for beginners and professionals and bringing their proper and close cooperation into a new level.

Link to article


Mogi: these numbers are 2012 numbers. 2013 numbers are out already. Not very good of Mongolian Economy. Total assets at end of 2013: ₮28.7 billion, net profit 2.2 billion, will distribute 112.6 million, according to MSE website.

MSE TOP 20 Profiles: Talkh Chikher JSC

June 10 (Mongolian Economy) Financial Statement:

Name: TalkhChikher
Assets: MNT 18 billion 
Operating cost: MNT 2.1 billion
Net profit: MNT 1.3 billion 
Distribution of dividends: in 2012, dividend of MNT 100 per share was distributed.
Debt: Received credit from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and repayment of the loan will be completed by November 2014.

Company name: established in 1984 with name called TalkhChikherCombinat and it was privatised and renamed TalkhChikhershareholding company in 1999. 
Stock ticker symbol: TCK
Number of shareholders: 4,200, of which 30 percent are small shareholders.  
Number of members of board of directors: 10 including the secretary. 
Number of independent members of board of directors: four
Number of board members trained: Half of the members took the training course and received the certificate. 
Number of employees: 670, of which 450 are factory workers.
Mission: to manufacture food products that meet the food security by using modern technology according; to create a new market; and to satisfy demand. 
Line of business: pastries including more than 60 types of bread, cookies, cake, biscuits and confectionaries. 
Advantage that differs from competitors: it produces digestive biscuits that are good for health; some 40 percent of overall products are organic and digestive biscuits. 
Food security: there are accredited microbiological and chemical laboratories that carry out tests and samples on every single process of the production 
Technological innovation: programme was launched in 2003. As a part of the programme, automatic production line to manufacture round bread loaves commenced operation in 2004. 

In 2006, the company created a variety of shapes of loaves. 
In 2008, German and Ukrainian trucks with the loading capacity of 20 tonnes were ordered and imported for the purpose of transporting Atar flour from the mill house.  
In 2011, the company introduced advanced technology to manufacture digestive biscuits and deliver this new product to the market. 
In 2012, conveyer line was installed to manufacture four types of oval-shaped loaves made of carrot, multi seeds and corn.
In 2013, automatic loaf-packing equipment was installed – the first of its kind in Mongolia. 
In March 2014, the company plans to completely renew the production lines for cakes and pastries. 
In all of the above renewals and installations, the company invested more than MNT 20 billion.

Mongolian Economy interviewed M. Bazar-Uugan, chief executive at TalkhChikher regarding its approach to corporate governance.

Does the company have any large-scale corporate governance frameworks?

As a part of our corporate governance, our company prefers to work in a healthy and clean workplace condition. The company is a member of the Non-Alcoholic Food Producers Association of Mongolia and has created a no-smoking and no-vodka environment in and around the factory. By the beginning of this year, we are planning to open a fitness centre for our workers. The fitness centre'sequipments, worth MNT 200 million, has been imported from China and maintenance worth MNT 100 million is taking place. 

Our working environment is quite hot and humid so we installed a ventilation solution worth MNT 800 million. We are also installing ventilation equipment that cost MNT 200 million for the pastry cooking section in March to provide convenient working conditions.

TalkhChikher builds an ice town each new year. How much does this cost?

Our company is located in the most populated and the worst equipped district – Songinokhairkhan. The company created an ice town along the main road besides the factory in 2012. We were happy to see that there were a number of guests including children from the district. We decided to build a bigger and nicer ice town in 2013. It cost more than MNT 50 million and involved hiring more than 10 sculptors.   

When was the last increase for employee wages?

The company has increased its employees' wages over four stages, from October 2013 to January 2014, by 20 to 25 percent because the prices of consumer goods have been increasing since June 2013, mainly due to the fluctuation in the FX rate. It is difficult to increase the wages of 670 workers. Now the wages of our employees average MNT 600,000.

What is your plan for raising your position in the pastry market of Mongolia?

We will try to advance our position in the market in 2014. The main contribution to this would be the renewal of the current production line with the automatic line. This will hopefully bring changes to flavour, quality and even the types of our products and will raise our competitiveness. TalkhChikher has the slogan "European Standard in Mongolia", in terms of technological innovation.  

Link to article

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BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, June 11 Close





































June MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:


Link to rates


BoM FX auction: US$13 million sold at 1,824, CNY30 million at 292.55, accepts $68 million MNT swap bids

June 10 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on June 10th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of CNY and 19.0 million USD from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 13.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1824.10 and 30.0 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 292.55.

On June 10th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 68.0 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.

See also:

·         FX Auction Statistics

Link to release


BoM issues 97.7 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -8.9% to 600.6 billion

June 11 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 97.7 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


GoM Treasury Auction: Announced 40 Billion 12-Week Bills Sold at Discount, Average Yield 9.41%, with 62.5 Billion Bids

June 11 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 40.0 billion MNT, each unit worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 40.0 billion /out of 62.5 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 9.41%.

Please find expanded information from Table.

Information of Government securities auction

Announced amount /by MNT/


Received amount /by MNT


Sold amount /by MNT/


Weighted average yield


Maximum yield of fulfilled bids


Minimum yield of fulfilled bids


Link to release


Mongolia Consumer Price Index Rises 1.4 Percentage Points to 13.7% Y/y in May

By Michael Kohn

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's consumer price index rose 13.7% y/y in May, the National Statistical Office says today in a statement.

·         CPI rose 1.5% m/m; 6.2% from the beginning of the year

·         Outstanding loans at end of May reached 12t tugrik, up 2.7%  m/m, and a rise of 46.5% y/y

·         In May, non-performing loans in the banking sector reached 620b tugrik, a 94.9% y/y increase

·         Trade in first 5 months of 2014:

·         Total external trade turnover reached $4.1b: $1.9 billion in exports and $2.1b in imports

·         Imports fell 13.6% y/y and exports rose 17.3%

·         $204m trade deficit compared to $824.7m deficit a yr earlier

(Bloomberg First Word)

Link to NSO information site (click Bulletin)


Mongolia Copper Concentrate Exports Rise 87% Y/y in Jan-May 2014

By Michael Kohn

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's copper concentrate exports in the first 5 months of 2014 jumped to 433,800 tons from 231,700 tons a year earlier, the National Statistical Office says in statement on its website.

* NOTE: Oyu Tolgoi mine began commercial production of copper concentrate in July 2013

* Value of copper concentrate exports rose to $718.3m from $337.8m a yr earlier

* Coal exports rose to 7.25m tons in the first five months compared to 6.33m tons in the same period a year earlier; Value of coal exports fell to $355.3m from $448.6m

* Mongolia exported 1.93m tons of iron ore in the first five months compared to 2.32m tons a yr earlier; Value of iron ore exports fell to $154m from $262.4m

* Gold exports were 2.5 tons in the first five months compared to 3 tons in the same period a year earlier; Value of gold exports fell to $89.8m from $126.2m

* Mongolia exported 2,482 tons of raw cashmere in the first five months compared to 1,957 tons in same period a yr earlier; Value of raw cashmere exports rose to $138.3m from $92.9m

* Crude oil exports rose to 2.6m barrels in the first five months compared to 1.8m barrels in the same period a yr earlier

* China received 90% of Mongolia's exports in the first five months and United Kingdom took 5%

(Bloomberg First Word)


"Mongolian Coins and Banknotes" exhibition opens at State Palace on 90th Anniversary of Bank of Mongolia

June 11 ( An exhibition of "Mongolian Coins and Banknotes" is opening at the Mongolian State History Museum at the State Palace in Ulaanbaatar, for the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Bank of Mongolia and the banking system in Mongolia.

The curator of the exhibition is the Bank of Mongolia and the Mongolian Association of Numismatics.

At the exhibition, works by "Tort Eus Khaadin San" (Төрт Ёс Хаадын Сан), images of the Great Khans of the Mongol Empire, who were descendants of Chinggis Khaan`s Golden Family, will be displayed for the first time.

Golden, silver and copper coins from the Mongol Empire XIII-XIV centuries are considered to be unique subject of research because of their exclusive designs, popularity, metal, weight, size and engravings in International Numismatic Studies.

Recently there are more and more collectors of ancient Mongol Empire coins. As coins were engraved with the names and honors of its rulers, city, location and dates, coins can tell us a lot about history.

Each coin from the ancient Mongol Empire is a most precious source of historical research about Mongolia in XIII-XIV century.

Link to article

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June 11 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) According to official Parliament information, during initial debate by Parliament's Economic Committee on bill on state stake on MAK's TS project (~150 km away from OT) today, upon introduction of proposal of a task taskforce headed by MP D.Ganbat (DP) that state stake at TS is not required, majority of the Committee has voted in support of proposal of no requirement for state stake in TS project. The committee also supported changing name of the bill. The committee's voting  results and conclusion is to be transferred to the floor of Parliament. According to Parliament official website, opposition MPP holds only 3 seats in the committee and  the rest of seats are held by ruling coalition parties and two independents.

Mongolian internet portal has reported that taskforce has viewed that state stake is not required after two meetings because:

·         "TS deposit is smaller than Erdenet..and OT.... By feasibility study approved by Minerals Council revenues are ..about 4 % of GDP and insufficient for 5% of GDP threshold for strategic deposits"

·         "debt ceiling for Mongolia is 40% of GDP and possibility for GoM to issue bond for investment for 34% stake is limited"

·         "the company has fully refunded in 2005 to budget previous exploration expenses funded by budget according to effective at that time Law of Minerals of 1997"

·         "during total duration of mining TS deposit, total of MNT3.2T revenues are to be paid to state and local budget, MNT179B per year and depending on copper price there is an upside to that"

·         "It is viewed that thus it would comply with state policy in minerals sector which instructs for state regulation to be improved at registration and supervision level and have state participation in minerals exploration at proper level"

Draft resolution submitted by Mining Minister in last May proposed

·         "Based on clause of the Law on Minerals that state can possess shares equal to 34 per cent of capital invested in a strategic deposit discovered without state budget funds and that state stake amount will be determined by agreement considering size of state investment, the draft resolution proposes for state to acquire possession of 34 per cent shares by investing 34 per cent of total investment of US$1B equal to US$350M  "

·         " it is proposed for funding for US$350M to be resolved by issuing Government bond in second quarter of 2014. The shares are to be owned by Erdenes MGL and JV is to be established with licence possessor company"

·         According to the EBRD in October 2012 "EBRD is raising the standards in the country's mining industry with a US$ 250 million loan for the development of the Tsagaan Suvarga copper mine.. 

Through the project the Bank is aiming to help develop a sustainable mining sector in Mongolia. The project also has a strong demonstration effect, as it introduces high environmental and social standards in the Mongolian copper industry, as well as supporting the further growth of a domestically grown company. Another US$ 100 million is expected to be syndicated by the EBRD on the international market.

Mongolian-owned mining company Mongolyn Alt (MAK) and the EBRD have been established business partners since 2007." 

·         Mongolian media reported previously financial difficulty encountered by MAK resulting in curtailing activities at TS since last October and inability to pay salaries and the company lobbying the Government to get funding for the project from Chingghis bonds, support by state stake and tax policy

·         During high-profile visit to TS by GoM in April , according to media , the company briefed that it invested US$1.3B into TS project.

Link to Parliament official information:

Link to report:

Link to IMMMR


President's Office Submits Redrafted "Glass Account" Bill on Budget Transparency to Parliament

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) Head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan Monday submitted to parliament a draft law on "glass account" to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold.

This bill has been formulated in accordance with a recommendation of the National Security Council (NSC) on realizing the President's "From Big to Smart Government" initiative, Tsagaan said.

Some of the goals of the bill are to introduce the "glass account" system in Mongolia, which has been reflected in both middle- and long-term national policy document on decentralization through the direct democracy and civil participation.

Current budgetary management system is wholly dependent on the government and is fully centralized. Rural governors are relatively higher than the Citizens' Councils in terms of authority, which impairs the monitoring process over the local administrations from people. Thus, the bill has been worked out to create the legal system for putting control over the budgetary actions with tax payers' money by promoting the system of civil monitoring.

If the law is passed, all incomes and expenditures of the state and local budgets, and information and decisions regarding debts, credit, guarantee, spending of capitals will become transparent to the public, therefore, people can control the spending of the tax payers' money.

Link to article


Bills submitted on ensuring economic transparency and tax amnesty

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice Kh.Temuujin MP Monday submitted to the Speaker bills on backing the economic transparency and on tax amnesty.

The draft initiator said the first bill aims to disclose hidden sources of capitals and incomes and to impose on them taxes and to eliminate forged financial and tax reports but without any fines or punishment.

In conjunction with it, the draft on granting the tax amnesty has been worked out. This amnesty is considered as one of the popular measures in many countries to support the economic transparency and to decrease the "hidden" economy. It provides tax payers with a favourable condition to pay their taxes in due times, causing no criminal case and legal punishment, he said.

The tax amnesty bill aims also to regulate the relations in sanctions at the administrative responsibility law and in exemption of punishment at the criminal law.

Link to article


Finance Minister Outlines Government Tax Reform Agenda

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) The main purpose of the tax reform is to form a sustainable internationally-accepted tax system which is understandable and simple, ensured a equal principle and supported economy and investments.

The Minister of Finance Ch.Ulaan said it at the "Let's reform and resolve-222" weekly meeting on Tuesday which was attended by authorities and experts from the Ministry of Finance, the Customs Office and the Tax Office; and representatives from the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), professional associations and tax payers.

The Minister said parliament has passed some laws initiated by the cabinet in frames of the 100 days for intensifying the national economy, and these laws are the first step for the tax reforms. In addition, the cabinet has submitted to parliament a draft amendment to the law on VAT, which reflects a clause on augmenting the VAT threshold to up to MNT 50 million. The cabinet also submitted to parliament a draft amendment to the law on income excise tax of enterprisers, and it is being discussed at the parliamentary session, the Minister said.

Obtaining some clarifications on the adopted and discussed drafts, the business delegates expressed their satisfaction with these amendments, but some of them spoke proposals and complaints over tax payment and reporting process, saying that there is a requirement to upgrade the tax laws in terms of policy and to update the laws' implementation and tax services.

In response, head of the Tax Office T.Batmagnai said a policy is being maintained to simplify the tax payment and reporting process by introducing a proper solution of IT.

Link to article


Draft Amendment Submitted to Allow Townships to Form Own Rules

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture G.Bayarsaikhan Tuesday submitted to the Speaker a draft amendment to the law on the legal status of city and settlements.

The current law came into force 20 years ago, but cities and settlements have been lack of own developmental guidelines and rules on possibility to development independently because of a poor realization of the law.

Thus, it is urgent to alter the law, Bayarsaikhan said, adding that the draft has been formulated, introducing international experiences harmonized with Mongolian features.

In accordance with the draft amendment, a city and settlement must have own rules and these shall be approved by their residents. Moreover, state and municipal classifications will be fixed in the city and its districts, Bayarsaikhan said.  

Link to article


RETRACTION: "Surveys hiding the truth"

June 10 (UB Post) Due to insufficient fact-checking, article published "Surveys hiding the truth", on June 9, 2014, has been retracted in full. The UB Post apologizes to our readers and will make every effort to avoid this in future. The retraction will also be published in tomorrow's print edition. – Editors

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Mining Ministry Lists 10 Objectives for 2014: OT, TT, Tsagaan Suvarga, Gatsuurt, Asgat, SNG, Oil Plant, 106 Licenses, …

June 10 ( The Ministry of Mining announced 10 objectives for 2014 at its monthly "Transparent Mining' press conference held on May 28th, according to Info Mongolia. The objectives include:

1.    Acceleration of underground development of Oyu Tolgoi project

2.    Increase of profitability of state-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC and improvement of its competitiveness by attracting investments to the company from local and international marketsmost likely with initial public offerings on stock exchanges of London, Hong Kong, and Ulaanbaatar.

3.    Implementation of "Coal Gasification Project", a joint project with China's Sinopec Group with an estimated value of US$30bn. The Ministry of mining plans to prepare the Feasibility Study by mid- August of 2014 and start the construction works within 2014.

4.    Selection of location for an Oil Processing plant.

5.    Increase the production at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi's licensed deposits and launch production of the Tsagaan Suvraga, Gachuurt (Mogi: it's Gatsuurt, not Gachuurt) and Asgat mines.

6.    Intensification of activities of Petroleum Authorities.

7.    Completion of the study on rare earth elements, fluorspar, coal, zinc, gold and other mixed metals and start construction of copper smelter and steel plants.

8.    Resolve litigation of suspended 106 exploration licenses.

9.    Improvement of mining industry development with more extensive geological mapping

10.  Strengthen the mining industry as a whole with greater participation of mining firms on the stock exchange for fund raising.

Link to article


Customs, Excise Tax Exemption on Equipment Imports for SMEs Extended to End of 2016

Ulaanbaatar, June 10(MONTSAME) The law on exempting facilities, equipment and tools of small- and middle-sized enterprises from the customs excise tax and customs VAT has been prolonged until December 31 of 2016.

It was passed by the parliamentary session last week in order to support the SME, said the "Economic Intensifying" council at the PM on Monday.

Some 66 thousand enterprises run business in Mongolia, 92% of them are considered the SME with up to 20 employees. Some 80% of these entities urgently need their facilities update,"that's why the law has been prolonged", said the council's secretary B.Byambasaikhan.

By the law's amendment, the kinds of imported equipment and facilities to enjoy the tax exemption are added, in addition, the cabinet is authorized to fix a term for the SMEs for paying the taxes by installments, Byambasaikhan said. Now the enterprises will have no pressure when taking part in the great construction, he added. 

Link to article


Justice Minister Submits Revision Bills Allowing Movable Properties as Collateral, Easing Company Registrations

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice Kh.Temuujin MP Monday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold draft new wordings of the laws on pledge of movable properties and non-material capitals and on state registration of legal subjects.

The first bill aims to create a legal environment for putting movable and non-material properties into the economic circulation by pledging them, "which would accelerate the national economic growth and augment investment and credit financing". All kinds of stocks, shares, designs of products, trademarks, all creative works of sciences, arts and movable properties can be items to pledge, Mr. Temuujin said.

The second new wording makes clear a legal basis for introducing an online system of E-registration network, and let people obtain information and make registration through online, "which eliminates many obstacles in sharing information about the registration", says the Minister. 

Link to article


Germany-Mongolia JV Coal-to-Liquid Plant Project Needs Financing from International Organizations – BB Potsdam

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) On Tuesday, the Speaker of parliament received Raimund Foerster, director of the "BB Potsdam" German company; Joahan Frumhan, the company's executive director; and B.Monkhtuya, director of the "Germon gas" Mongolian company.

At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on implementing a project on erecting a big factory of petroleum by liquefying coal, which was discussed between the President of Mongolia and the Chancellor of Germany in 2011.

It is difficult to allot money from the both countries for realizing the project, so it is planned to take a financing from international financial organizations, Mr Foerster said, and noted the project costs 1.5-2 billion US dollars. It is vital to conduct a thorough feasibility on the project, and the two countries are projected to allot money of USD 8 million, he said, adding that the factory is expected to be put into use by 2017.

The Speaker said that this project is one of the strategic important projects for a development of Mongolia, and underlined it will open a new chapter in the Mongolia-Germany economic cooperation and bring it into a new volume. He proposed to accelerate the project in order to put the factory into use prior to the scheduled period.

Moreover, the Speaker expressed a satisfaction with a successful implementation of a project on establishment of the Mongolia-Germany joint Mining and Technological Institute which opened on September 25 of 2013.

Present at the meeting were D.Terbishdagva, Deputy Prime Minister; R.Burmaa, head of the Mongolia-Germany inter-parliamentary group; and other officials.       

Link to article


Hunnu Air arrives in Europe (Paris to be precise)

Hunnu Air of Mongolia celebrated the launch of its first long-haul service from Ulaanbaatar's Chinggis Khaan International Airport to Paris CDG with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on 9 June. Those present included airline executives, and the former French ambassador to the country, Yves Delaunay.

June 11 ( Hunnu Air, the new name for Mongolian Airlines, launched its first European service last week, with the introduction on 9 June of flights from Ulaanbator (ULN) to Paris CDG (CDG). The twice-weekly flights on the 7,040-kilometre route requires the airline's A319 to make a technical stop in Ekaterinburg in Russia. The airline is planning to acquire an A330 to enable the service to operate non-stop from 2015. No other carrier currently operates this route.

Link to article


Mongolia-India Business Forum at Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, June 12

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) A Mongolia-India business forum is scheduled to run in the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.

Organized by the commerce chambers of Mongolia and India, the forum will discuss cooperation development with India, and tendencies in imports and exports between the two countries, within goals to broaden economic, commercial and business relationship between Mongolia and India.

Link to article


Mongolia-Inner Mongolia Investment Forum 2014 Takes Place in Ulaanbaatar

June 10 (InfoMongolia) The Invest Mongolia Agency, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), and Sub-Council of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, affiliated the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), are jointly organizing the Mongolia-Inner Mongolia Investment Forum 2014 at the MNCCI facility in Ulaanbaatar on July 02-04, 2014.

The Forum anticipates over 200 investors and businesses from China, where projects and programs require investments will be introduced and seek opportunities to collaborate in the following areas:

- Energy

- Road Transportation

- Construction

- Mining

- Food and Agriculture

- Communication

- Commerce

- Bank and Finance

- Natural Environment

Link to article


B2B Meeting between Mongolian and South Korean Entrepreneurs to Be Organized by KOTRA Ulaanbaatar

June 11 ( The KOTRA Ulaanbaatar Business Center is hosting a Business-to-Business Meeting between Mongolian and South Korean entrepreneurs at the Chinggis Khaan Hotel in Ulaanbaatar on July 03, 2014.

At this В2В meeting, 8 enterprises from Korea are claimed to participate to promote and introduce their products and services to Mongolian market.

These companies are:

1. Kumho Co.,Ltd - Ansimine Fruit & Vegetable Cleaner

2. Postech Co., Ltd - Welding machine & monitoring system refrigeration-air conditioning training system

3. BNP Co.,Ltd - Inorganic Mortar Surface Composite Insulation Technology

4. HyunDae Meditech Co., Ltd - Meso-Pri Secret Line

5. Cyber Factory - cyber-defense technology

6. Neo Dr. Inc - Thread

7. Jonhun Trade - heavy equipment

8. Yang Yang Trading Co.,Ltd - heavy equipment

In April 2014, the KOTRA Ulaanbaatar in collaboration with Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry had also organized a "One-to-One" meeting between business representatives from Mongolia and South Korea.

Link to article


Invest Mongolia present at Workshop Eurasia Int'l Business Forum in Rome

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) Director of Division for Investment Promotion and Consultancy Services at Invest Mongolia Agency D.Irmuun made a presentation at the Workshop Eurasia international business forum in Rome, Italy, on Monday.

Organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce, the event aims to inform European countries of the business opportunities offered by the dynamic development of Asian economies. The initiative allows institutions and companies to shape their strategies in order to establish new relations between European and Asian countries or to consolidate existing business relationships.

The two-day event includes four sessions themed as "East Asia: Geo-economic framework and development models", "Investing in Asian markets, attracting capital in Europe", "Europe and Asia, allies to growth–Media and communication to evolve: Unlocking value in global market" and "Southeast Asia: Challenges, opportunities and emerging economies".

The speakers include investment officials from Mongolia, China, Japan, S.Korea, Bangladesh and Azerbaijan.

Link to article


Mongolia Signs Deal to Import 600 Cattle from Slovakia

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) The first shift of 165 Simmental cows out of a total  600 heads is to come to Mongolia this July.

The contract of the export of these gestating three-year old cows is signed by Ambassador of Mongolia to the Slovak Republic D.Zumberellkham on June 5 in Bratislava, upon an invitation of Ms Magdalena Lacko-Bartosova, the State Secretary with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic.

Under the contract, Isokman Trading of Slovakia will supply the cows to Govi Khurakh LLC of Mongolia.

Mrв Zumberellkham thanked Msв Lacko-Bartosova for the attention to implementation of mutually beneficial projects and programs between the two countries, and underlined some cooperation offers to boost agriculture and intensive farming in Mongolia. He noted that traditional relationship of the two countries has been developing with political and economic cooperation in recent years.

After sharing opinions on opportunities to develop the agricultural cooperation with new contents, the parties agreed to actively collaborate further.

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Mongolian pres. eyes Japan visit in July, Abe to discuss abduction

June 9 (Kyodo) Japan and Mongolia are in talks on setting up a meeting between their leaders in late July in Tokyo, Japanese government officials said Monday.

If realized, it will be Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj's second visit to Japan this year following one in April, as Tokyo aims to strengthen relations with Ulan Bator in a bid to resolve the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals.

Mongolia, unlike Japan, has diplomatic ties with North Korea.

Abe plans to explain to Elbegdorj about the agreement reached between Tokyo and Pyongyang during recent intergovernmental talks in Stockholm to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, the officials said.

Mongolia acted as a go-between for Japan and North Korea to materialize the first-ever meeting in Ulan Bator in March between the parents of Megumi Yokota, a symbolic figure among abduction victims, and her daughter, who lives in North Korea.

Yokota went missing on her way home from school in 1977 when she was 13. In 2002, Pyongyang admitted to having abducted Japanese to North Korea, including Yokota, who it says committed suicide in 1994 after giving birth to a daughter.

Japan is looking for further cooperation from Mongolia regarding the abduction issue as it believes in the need of international calls for positive action by North Korea in its reinvestigation.

During Elbegdorj's upcoming visit, Japan and Mongolia are also expected to agree to accelerate talks toward an early conclusion of their free trade agreement, according to the officials.

The Mongolian president is considering visiting Japan to attend a business seminar to be held jointly by the country's government and the Japan Business Federation, Japan's most powerful business lobby known as Keidanren, on July 22 in Tokyo, the officials said.

Link to article


Mongolia plans to stage international conference on Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) Mongolia plans to organize an international conference in frames of the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on security in Northeast Asia.

This is the first international scientific conference to run in frames of the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, initiated by the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj during the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies (CoD) last year in Mongolia.

It is expected that the conference will bring together some 100 scholars and researchers of Northeast Asian countries (Mongolia, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and North Korea), USA and EU countries. Mongolia intends to introduce the UB Dialogue and its importance to the related sides, to provide them with relevant information and to take necessary advice and recommendations.

Link to article              


Mongolia, Brazil reach preliminary agreement on mutual visa waivers for all passports

Ulaanbaatar, June 10 (MONTSAME) A Foreign Ministries consultative meeting of Mongolia and Brazil ran Monday in Brasilia, during a visit of Deputy FM D.Gankhuyag to this country.

Organized by D.Gankhuyag and his Brazilian counterpart Mr Jose Alfredo Grasa Lima, the meeting was attended by UN permanent representative of Mongolia O.Och, the Foreign Ministry's America-Africa Department chief B.Chuluunkhuu, together with officials of the Brazilian Ministries.

The sides shared opinions on the importance of suggested intergovernmental treaties on cooperation in sports and education, and on mutual visa waiver for passport holders of all kinds, and agreed to sign these documents in near time, once issues regarding law and regulations of Brazil are solved.

They also emphasized a mutual readiness to support the ties between the ministries for mining, agriculture and defense of the two countries, to hold reciprocal visits and to exchange related to all this experiences, and decided to further cooperate for strengthening their traditional support to each other on the fields of international organizations.

The visit of the Deputy FM will continue on Tuesday with meetings with members of the Brazil-Mongolia group in the National Congress of Brazil, and a visit to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation affiliated to the Agriculture Ministry.

Link to article


Mongolian Citizens to No Longer Pay CNY 5 Fee to Enter Erlian

June 11 ( The State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia ratified a Law on Border Port during the last autumn plenary sessions and in the scope of effectiveness of the new law (from April 01, 2014), it cites "A border port with international status is to have an administration organ".

Accordingly, an administrative organ is set up at Zamyn-Uud border port and has been operating since June 01, 2014.

Newly opened Zamyn-Uud Border Port Administration authorities accomplished its first work negotiating with China part (Erlian Border Port) to annul entrance fee of 5 CNY per traveler from Mongolian citizens, which is effective from June 10, 2014.

Thus, a citizen of Mongolia is authorized not paying any fees to enter Erlian (Erenhot or Ereen) City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China and according to data, Mongolian nationals used to pay about 12 million CNY or 2 million USD annually, which were collected from only 5 CNY entrance fee per person.

Link to article


International Development Law Organization invites Mongolia to join as member

Ulaanbaatar, June 10(MOINTSAME) Chief of Staff of the President of Mongolia P.Tsagaan met Monday with Mr B.Paton, a special envoy of the International Development Law Organization /IDLO/, and Mr K.R.Eskudero, a permanent representative of the IDLO in Mongolia.

The sides focused on matters such as Mongolian President's initiative on a court reform and advanced training for judges and lawyers.

Mr Paton said the IDLO is open for Mongolia to join as a member-country.

The IDLO has been running projects such as judges training program together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Development Bank from 2012 and a reconciliation project from 2013 in our country.

Link to article


Deputy Premier D.Terbishdagva meets visiting Kyrgyz counterpart

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) The Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia D.Terbishdagva Wednesday met with visiting his counterpart of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Mr T.D.Sarpashev.

The Deputy Premier expressed thanks to Mr Sarpashev for visiting Mongolia, and then mentioned that Mongolia has become one of the leading countries with the highest economic growth. He said the countries are possible to develop their cooperation in the economy, agriculture, industry, tourism and trade sectors.

At the meeting, the parties discussed a present socio-economic situation in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, the bilateral relations and cooperation, and issues of registration bodies.

Mr Sarpashev noted that some 20 years passed since the countries established the diplomatic relations as well the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation, and emphasized the Mongolia-Kyrgyzstan cooperation has been intensifying in many spheres.

The visit of the delegation led by Mr Sarpashev will continue until Thursday. Within the visit, they will leg the General Election Commission (GEC), the State Registration Agency (SRA) and organizations of health.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Mongolia and ILO Sign MOU on Cooperation at 103rd International Labour Conference

June 10 ( Mongolian delegates led by Prime Minister Mr. Norov ALTANKHUYAG are participating in the 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference hosted by International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland on May 28-June 12,2014.

Over 5,000 workers, employers and government officials from the ILO's 185 member states are attending to tackle a wide range of issues, including labor migration and employment strategies, ways out of informality and strengthening ILO Convention 29on forced labor.

In the frameworks of the World of Work Summit themed "Developing with Jobs – The World of Work in 2014" held at the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations on Monday, June 09, Prime Minister of Mongolia delivered a speech, where Mongolia is participating in this Conference for the first time at Premier-level.

In his remarks, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag stressed, "Mongolia joined the International Labour Organization as a member state in 1968 and since then has been fulfilling its duties having positive results. In the last three years, Mongolia's economic growth is being measured in a two-digit number and the Government of Mongolia is working and focusing to create an employed and paid Mongolian citizen".

During the visit, Premier N.Altankhuyag held a meeting with the ILO Director-General, Mr. Guy Ryder, where parties exchanged views on the Organization's implementing programs aimed to develop competitive and responsible productivities. Besides, Prime Minister asked the Director-General to include Mongolia in the ILO's Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification (STED) Program.

Moreover, an accompanying Minister for Labor of Mongolia Mr. Yadamsuren SANJMYATAV and Director of Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Mr. Yoshiteru Uramoto have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Government of Mongolia and the International Labour Organization.

The 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference

Key issues raised in the ILO World of Work Report 2014 entitled "Developing with Jobs" will be discussed, including:

- How can working conditions be improved and exploitation and modern slavery eliminated in the world today?

- What can be done to generate an enabling environment for business that stimulates the creation of decent jobs?

- What works in terms of achieving social protection, economic development and socially inclusive growth at the same time?

- What role can social dialogue play in promoting a "developing with jobs" agenda?

Exceptionally, the Conference will celebrate today the World Day Against Child Labor, where the annual meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) will be held today from 01:00 to03:00 pm by local time at the Palais de Nations on June 10, 2014.

Link to article


9th Asian Science Park Association Leaders Meeting, June 19-21 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

June 11 ( The 9th Asian Science Park Association Leaders Meeting & Business Meeting themed "Best Practices of Asian Science Parks" will be taking place in Ulaanbaatar at the National Information Technology Park on June 19-21, 2014.

The 9th Meeting is organized by Asian Science Park Association (ASPA), where over 30 delegates from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam along with representatives from Mongolian entities, companies, NGOs and Universities are to gather, which aims to facilitate the exchange of experience and to regularly upgrade the knowledge of leadership or future managers of science and technology parks on the development of science park and technology business incubator.

This meeting provides various programs so that members of ASPA can exchange information about their experience. This meeting is open to not only the ASPA members, but also the entrepreneurs, who are related with high-tech industries.

During the Leaders Meeting, presentations will be performed including Japanese Model (Kanagawa Science Park), Korean Model (Korea Technopark Association) and Taiwanese Model (Central Taiwan Science Park) as well.

At the Business Meeting Asian leading electronics, technology, vehicle and IT companies will share their experiences and discuss opportunities for further cooperation.

National Information Technology Park of Mongolia joined the ASPA in 2012.

Link to article


ACMS: This Month in Mongolian Studies, June 2014

This is a monthly listing of selected academic activities and resources related to Mongolia. This list is based on information the ACMS has received and is presented as a service to its members. If you would like to submit information to be included in next month's issue please contact the ACMS at and/or the editor, Marissa Smith, at

This publication is supported in part by memberships.  Please consider becoming a member of the ACMS, or renewing your membership by visiting our website at Thank you!

Upcoming ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events

Speaker Series

The Speaker Series are formal presentations given by leading academics, experts and community leaders on a wide variety of topics related to Mongolia. Each session has a 30-45 minute formal lecture followed by a 30 minute Q&A session. All presentations are held in the American Corner presentation room of the Natsagdorj Library in Ulaanbaatar. We invite all researchers visiting Mongolia and who are interested in presenting to contact us at their earliest convenience.

June 10th Speaker Series – Dr. Bradley Rappa

Living sustainably is nearly impossible for most people living in industrialized market economies. In fact, the more people rely on the so-called conveniences of consumer culture, the more they lose their connection to the natural environment and the imperatives of maintaining ecological biodiversity. Brad will present selections of his most recent work that documents the many traditionally sustainable pastoral families in Mongolia that are being forced to leave this lifestyle behind due to the privatization of land, the detrimental impacts of open pit mining, and the effects of the changing climate on the environment and social structures. His goal in making the documentary is to inspire his audiences to renew their relationships with the natural world and consider how every choice they make will impact the environment for future generations.

June  27th Speaker Series – Sas Carey

Since 1994 Sas Carey has been using her expertise as a registered nurse to promote the health of rural Mongolians through her organization Nomadicare.   In 2010, Nomadicare provided diagnostic and treatment capabilities to all 14 sum (county) hospitals of South Gobi Aimag (Province). In 2012, the organization continued the program for 24 sum clinic/hospitals in Khovsgol Aimag. By training 50 doctors and health care professionals from these two provinces, Nomadicare has made an impact on the health care of 175,000 nomadic herders.

To chronicle her experience, she has written a book about her exploits with the Reindeer herders and will be launching the Mongolian version of this book at this speaker series. For more information on Nomadicare go to

Scholar's Corner

The Scholars Corner is an informal gathering aimed at providing an opportunity for visiting academics, resident scholars and interested individuals to meet, discuss their research and exchange ideas. 

June Scholars Corner – Welcome for Summer Fellows

June is the beginning of our busy summer research season and we'd like to invite all scholars, researchers students and interested visitors to join us for this networking opportunity and chance to share ideas and tips.  The event will be held starting at 6 pm on the 7th floor patio of the Blue Sky Hotel.  Hope to see you all there.  Cash bar will be available.

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants

Calls for Papers, Conferences, and Workshops

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants


Other News and Events

Recent Publications

Link to full newsletter


Mongolian Cyclists Begin 4000km Mongolia-Russia Tour

June 10 ( Cyclists of Shiliin Bogd Cycling Club commence their 4000 km "Friendship - 2014" tour through Mongolia and Russia from Chinggis Khaan Square on Tuesday June 10th. The cycling tour begins in Baruun-Urt sum in Sukhbaatar aimag. Cyclists stayed in Ulaanbaatar to take part in a cycling parade during the Ulaanbaatar Marathon that was held on Saturday.

The Cycling tour is a part of a project "Cycling in Ulaanbaatar". The tour by cyclists of Shiliin Bogd Cycling Club will travel to Baruun-Urt, Ulaanbaatar to Khatgal, Khankh, Mondy, Baykalsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita, Aginskoe, and back to Ereentsav, Dornod for over two months. The Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, the Mongolian National Olympic Committee, Mongolian Adventure Travel Association, The Governor`s Office, Local Representative Khural in Sukhbaatar province, and Shiliin Bogd Cycling Club are supporting the  "Friendship - 2014" cycling tour.

Link to article


Mongolian asylum seeker detained in UK after crossing the English Channel

(DINGHY DO WELL: The blue rubber dinghy the Mongolian migrant travelled 12 miles across the Channel in. Picture by @Kent_999s)

June 9 (Dover Express) THE Mongolian asylum seeker towed to Dover in his blue rubber dinghy has been detained by the Border Force.

The 36-year-old crossed 12 miles of the English Channel from Calais on Friday afternoon before being picked up by Dover Lifeboat.

The illegal immigrant was located eight miles south of the port in the world's busiest shipping lane at around 2.30pm.

Dover Lifeboat deputy launching authority Pete Legg said: "He wasn't really in any difficulty but he was getting tired."

The RNLI volunteers handed the man over to the Port of Dover Police and Border Force when they arrived back at the harbour.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "A 36-year-old man from Mongolia remains in Home Office detention.

"Where someone is found to have no right to remain in the UK we will take action to remove them."

Last month, Afghan migrant Asif Hussein Khai, 23, tried to reach the UK on a raft made of planks of wood and a bedsheet

Khai was spotted floating near Calais by P&O's 47,000-tonne Spirit of Britain and picked up by the French Coastguard.

Link to article


First Person with Wayne Shepherd: Interview with Young Christian Leader in Mongolia, Batjargal Tuvshintengel

June 7 (First Person with Wayne Shepherd) Wayne Shepherd talks with a young, Christian leader in the country of Mongolia. Batjargal Tuvshintengel is the Director Far East Broadcasting Company's radio station in Mongolia, Radio Wind, reaching his country with Christian radio and helping the church to grow.

Link to interview


Mogi: a blast from the past, an interesting read

Mongolia a Jewish hotbed?

MOSCOW, Jan. 23, 2003 (JTA) — There have never been many Jews in Mongolia. But the land of Genghis Khan now has its own Jewish-interest group.

The first project of the new organization, known as Mongol-Jewish Cooperation, will be launching a Web site devoted to Jewish and Israeli topics, according to Sumati Luvsandendev, the group's leader. "I want to start an information portal where Mongolian citizens could find information on Jews and Israel in the Mongolian language," he told JTA in a telephone interview from Ulan Bator, Mongolia's capital city.

One Jewish organization has touted the creation of the new group as a step toward a full-fledged Jewish community in Mongolia. "Jewish communities are being revived even in those countries where no Jew seems to have ever set foot," Alexander Mashkevich, president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, said in a statement released in Moscow earlier this month. "The Jews of Mongolia have their own, though still little-known, history," Mashkevich said.

Mikhail Chlenov, general secretary of the EAJC, recalled that when he first met Sumati Luvsandendev at the EAJC's founding congress last spring, Sumati — most Mongolians use only their first name — believed he was the only Jew in his country. When they spoke again a few months later, Sumati told him he had found other Jews living in Mongolia. Sumati told JTA there are too few Jews in his country to call the Jewish presence in Mongolia a Jewish community. "There are enough fingers on two hands to count all Jews who live here," he says.

The 47-year-old Sumati is the son of a Mongolian father and a Jewish mother. His parents met in Leningrad while attending a university there. His mother was originally from Latvia, and he also has Jewish roots in Belarus. Sumati is well-known in his own country and abroad — and not because of his Jewish activities. A specialist in applied mathematics and artificial intelligence with a degree from the Moscow State University, he has recently become Mongolia's most respected pollster, running a public polling firm called the Sant Maral Foundation. He is also chairman of the board of the Mongolian chapter of the foundation linked to philanthropist George Soros.

When asked about his personal background, Sumati refers English-speakers to a major article on Mongolia in a 2001 issue of The New Yorker that featured his personal story in great detail.

Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia is a sparsely populated country of 2.7 million people spread over a territory more than twice as big as Texas. Mongolia's greatest historical figure, Genghis Khan, expanded his empire to encompass vast territories in Asia and Eastern Europe. But more recently, the country was controlled by foreign powers: A Chinese dynasty ruled Mongolia for more than two centuries, and in the early 1920s the country became a satellite of the Soviet Union. Since communism collapsed, Mongolia has achieved remarkable success on its way toward democracy — a process alleviated by massive foreign aid from Western democracies and foundations.

Despite Soviet-era efforts to industrialize this nation, and the subsequent transition to a free-market economy, about one-half of the population is still nomadic — and livestock outnumber people by a 12-1 ratio. Jewish merchants and engineers from Russia and other countries worked in Mongolia sporadically throughout the last century. According to historical records, a small community of mainly Ashkenazi Jews who lived in Urga, as Mongolia's main city was then known, fell victim to Russian anti-Bolshevik forces that retreated into Mongolia in the early 1920s following a defeat in Central Asia.

Throughout Mongolia's Communist history, Jews were a rarity — as was anti-Semitism. "There hardly was any anti-Semitism," Sumati said. "No one, in fact, knew exactly what it means." After the collapse of Communism in Mongolia, a number of Mongolians sought better economic opportunities abroad and some made it to Israel, taking advantage of a visa-free agreement between the two countries.

Recently, Israel introduced visas for Mongolian citizens after a significant number of Mongols were discovered to be working illegally in the Jewish state. But there are also examples of people moving in the opposite direction. Hundreds of Israeli tourists come to Mongolia each summer — mostly seeking adventure in the Gobi Desert. And most of the Jews who live permanently in Mongolia these days are Israeli citizens. One Israeli family runs a laundry chain in Ulan Bator. But it is mainly native-born Mongols who have joined the new Jewish-interest group. "Ours is not a Jewish organization as such," Sumati says. "This is, rather, a mixed organization that includes citizens of Mongolia who sympathize with the Jewish people."

Link to article


Video: Mongolia - A Different Time

February 16 (Aviad Elgez) A summary video of my trip to Mongolia in the summer of 2013 - captured on my DSLR in 1080p.

Mongolia is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever traveled to - if you ever get the opportunity to travel there, I highly recommend you make the trip happen.

Music: "A Different Time" By Phaeleh
Lens: Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor
DSLR: Nikon D7000

I was listening to this song everywhere while traveling in Mongolia and I don't think I could have found a better soundtrack to match the vastness and awe of the Mongolian landscape, along with its amazing people and animals.

Link to vimeo


Video: Mongolia - Gobi Desert    

June 8 (Aviad Elgez)  My second video of my trip to Mongolia. This time looking at all the good times we had during the 8 day Gobi desert road trip we took. Met some great people there and had an amazing time!

Song: "Mountain Sound" by "Of Monsters and Men.

Lens: Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor
DSLR: Nikon D7000

Link to vimeo


Mongolian Band to Stage 'Pink Floyd' Cover Concert on June 27 at State Philharmonic

Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian rock group named 'Jokers Wild' is planning to cover hit songs of a legendary English rock band 'Pink Floyd' on June 27 in Ulaanbaatar.

At the concert called 'Echoes: Pink Floyd Tribute', the Mongolian band will song fourteen songs of Pink Floyd including 'Marooned', 'Keep Talking', 'Sorrow', 'Hey You', 'Echoes' and 'One of These Days' together with Bayanmongol ensemble in the background. The performance will take place in the Concert Hall of State Philharmonic Theater.

Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and musically influential groups in the history of popular music.

Pink Floyd were one of the most commercially successful and influential rock bands of all time. They have sold more than 250 million records worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States, and 37.9 million albums sold in the US since 1993. The Sunday Times Rich List, Music Millionaires 2013 (UK), ranked Waters at number 12 with an estimated fortune of £150 million, Gilmour at number 27 with £85 million and Mason at number 37 with £50 million.

Link to article


Stopping the Million-Dollar Fossil Thieves: Illegal Trade Meets World of Insatiable Research

June 11 (The Daily Beast) After the successful prosecution of Eric Prokopi, a 'one-man black market in prehistoric fossils,' paleontologists debate the best, legal ways to continue fossil preservation and recording.

The skeleton was, according to the Heritage Auctions catalogue for its May 2012 auction of fossils, meteorites, crystals, and petrified wood, a "museum-quality specimen of one of the most emblematic dinosaurs ever to have stalked this earth."

The preservation quality of the fossil, a near-complete Tyrannosaurus bataar dug up from the southern wastes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert, was rhapsodized as "superb, with wonderful bone texture and delightfully mottled greyish bone color." In striking contrast are those deadly teeth, long and frightfully robust, in a warm woody brown color, the fearsome, bristling mouth and monstrous jaws leaving one in no doubt as to how the creature came to rule its food chain." The Texas-based auction house placed the opening bid at $875,000.

Rule, the Tyrannosaurus bataar did. The Asiatic cousin of the T. rex roamed the humid floodplains of modern-day Mongolia during the late Cretaceous Period, a 40-foot-long apex predator that prayed on hadrosaurs and sauropods, tearing them apart with 64 three-inch razor-like teeth. But in the case of U.S. v. Eric Prokopi, the Tyrannosaurus bataar has become the victim—of kidnapping.

Prokopi, a "commercial paleontologist" who prosecutors labeled a "one-man black market in prehistoric fossils," was sentenced last week to three months in prison for smuggling the fossil out of its native Mongolia. The black market trade in fossils stolen from the richest Cretaceous fossil locality in the world has prompted a crackdown.

Under Mongolian law, any fossil specimen found in the Gobi Desert must stay in the possession of a Mongolian institution. Given that T. bataar fossils are only found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China, both of which ban their export, noted members of the paleontological community immediately voiced suspicion.

Dr. Mark Norell, chairman and curator-in-charge of the paleontology department of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was one of the first to question the fossil's provenance. "When I saw that the auction was going to be in New York, I sent an open letter around, and it was noticed by people in the Mongolian government, as well as the U.S. government. Then the president of Mongolia got involved."

Dr. Norell, who has been co-directing a team of American and Mongolian paleontologists in the Gobi Desert for 25 years, may be the most qualified person on the planet in determining the origins of the skeleton. His and other calls to examine the fossil's chain of custody and the legality of the auction prompted the Mongolian government to order an investigation into the origin of the fossil. "Under Article 175 of Mongolian criminal law, the export of dinosaur bones and fossils is a criminal offense," the government's lawsuit said.

The suit came too late to prevent the auction from going forward—the fossil went to Coleman Burke, a Manhattan real-estate developer, lawyer, and dinosaur enthusiast for $1.05 million with commission—although the sale was halted before the T. bataar traded hands and disappeared into the often murky world of private collections.

"The market isn't mature enough to know whether privately collected fossils will ever resurface," according to Dr. Norell, who points to the record sale of "Sue," aT. rex skeleton that sold at auction for $8.36 million in 1997, as the turning point for the commercial fossil industry. "Once that happened, it started to look a lot more lucrative."

The temptation of discovering a million-dollar fossil, illegal though the sale of those fossils may be, is often too great in the fossil-rich and everything-else-poor areas of the Gobi Desert, Brazil's Araripe Basin, or Morocco's Atlas Mountains. Illegal fossil trade apologists often cite the fact that the market offers impoverished people a livelihood as justification for the practice. The practice becomes less charitable once the fossils are sold, however.

According to Dr. Norell, the American Museum of Natural History has a strict policy regarding suspect fossils. "We have a very, very strict collection policy. People have come in to my office and offered me amazing stuff, but [if it has been illegally collected] not only am I not allowed to put it on display or work on it, scientifically, I'm not even allowed to have it on the premises." Occasionally, however, other unsuspecting or unscrupulous museums will purchase an illegal fossil, allowing scientists to study them—although whether that study is useful is questionable, according to Dr. Norell. "Illegal collecting is much more likely to damage specimens, and the lack of contextual field data makes studying [the fossils] nearly useless."

And if the fossils go to a private collector, they are effectively lost to paleontology and the public for good. At some gem and mineral shows, prospective buyers who successfully ingratiate themselves with fossil dealers can get their hands on museum-quality specimens, many of them illegal. Nicolas Cage, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford—yes, Indiana Jones himself—are rumored to have impressive collections.

Once the case of Prokopi's purloined skeleton came to light, the trade in Mongolia's fossils plummeted. "Since this story broke, I haven't seen a single Mongolian piece," says Dr. Norell. "We started knowing that these fossils were going to be the property of the Mongolian government. They may come to New York for study, but they return to Mongolia."

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, a group composed of fossil enthusiasts, has come out against nativist bans on fossil exports like those in place in Mongolia. According to the society, there are too few professional paleontologists to collect and preserve fossils currently exposed to the elements, and that private collection is a necessity, if only for the sake of the preservation of the fossil record.

Dr. Norell is split on the issue of private collection. "A lot of things that happened in [the T. bataar] case vilified the commercial trade in fossils. There is a totally legal trade in this stuff that isn't against the laws." As a paleontologist, he obviously understands the public fascination with dinosaurs and their remains. "Do I think that paleontologists have an exclusive right to fossils? No. As long as laws are carefully followed, these people are not bad people."

As for Prokopi, his arrest proved to be a coup for federal authorities on the hunt for illegal fossils. After an initial public statement proclaiming his innocence and citing the "total financial ruin" the accusations meant for his family, Prokopi pleaded guilty for his involvement in illegally importing fossils. According to Prokopi, he knew "just about all of the people involved in the business of Central Asian fossils, and could offer ideas and help to make permanent changes that would nearly eliminate the black market."

Reflecting on Prokopi's cooperation with investigations that helped net thousands of illegal fossils, the presiding judge handed down a three-month prison sentence—more than the probation the defense argued for, but considerably less than the 17-year maximum. According to the judge: "[Prokopi's] clearly not a bad person, but he's done a bad thing."

Once sentenced, Prokopi apologized to the court for his actions, saying it cost him his marriage, business, self-respect and left him bankrupt and "six figures" in debt.

He also told the judge he hoped to return to the commercial fossil trade someday. "I sincerely love fossils."

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