1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Vale evacuates 200 people from town near its Mar Azul mine www.mining.com

Brazilian mining giant Vale (NYSE:VALE) issued a statement on Saturday saying that it had ordered the evacuation of some 200 people residing or working in 49 buildings that are located near its Mar Azul mine, in Nova Lima, Minas Gerais.

This is the same Brazilian state where a tailings dam breach killed at least 166 people in late January and where over a hundred people are still missing.

According to Vale, the decision to evacuate the town was made following the escalation to Level 2 of the Emergency Action Plan for Mining Dams for the B3/B4 dam at Mar Azul. The climb in the alert system was prompted after company experts reviewed data from analysis reports provided to them by specialized advisory firms.

The facility at the iron ore mine, however, is inactive so the miner said the exit measure is precautionary.

The company also said that the evacuees are being assisted and registered at a community centre, where they will receive additional information and support until the situation stabilizes. They will also be placed in hotels in the region.

On February 8, some 700 people were evacuated as well in Minas Gerais due to the risk of another tailings pond failure. Of those, 500 people were asked to flee a rural town near Vale’s Gongo Soco mine’s dam, while a 200-person community situated downstream of ArcelorMittal’s dormant Serra Azul tailing dam was also relocated.

Mining dams are coming under increasing scrutiny and vigilance both from companies and authorities in Brazil following the collapse at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Brumadinho last month, the second such incident involving the same company in about three years.

This most recent accident prompted the arrest of 13 Vale employees, including two executives and two engineers working on behalf of the company, as well as four people from the German consulting group Tüv Süd, which certified the safety of the dam that collapsed.

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Tooth plaque shows drinking milk goes back 3,000 years in Mongolia www.sciencenews.org

WASHINGTON — Ancient people living in what’s now Mongolia drank milk from cows, yaks and sheep — even though, as adults, they couldn’t digest lactose. That finding comes from the humblest of sources: ancient dental plaque.

Modern Mongolians are big on dairy, milking seven different animal species, including cows, yaks and camels. But how far into the past that dairying tradition extends is difficult to glean from the usual archaeological evidence: Nomadic lifestyles mean no kitchen trash heaps preserving ancient pots with lingering traces of milk fats. So molecular anthropologist Christina Warinner and her colleagues turned to the skeletons found in 22 burial mounds belonging to the Deer Stone culture, a people who lived in Mongolia’s eastern steppes around about 1300 B.C.

The hardened dental plaque, or tartar, on the teeth of the skeletons contained traces of milk proteins, Warinner, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, said February 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Those proteins showed that the people drank milk from cows, yaks, goats and sheep, but not from camels or reindeer, which modern day Mongolians milk today.
Ancient Mongolians’ DNA also revealed that they weren’t able to digest lactose as adults. Instead, the Deer Stone people, like modern Mongolians, may have relied on bacteria within the gut, known as the gut microbiome, to break down the lactose, Warinner said.

Warinner’s team had first detected milk proteins in the tooth tartar of European Bronze Age skeletons dating back to 3000 B.C. (SN: 10/14/17; p. 18). The hardened plaque preserves tiny evidence of all sorts of events in a person’s lifetime, from drinking milk to inhaling pollen to working in a dusty artistic working environment (SN: 2/2/19, p. 14).

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Increasing number of China-Europe freight trains supports Mongolia's economy: official www.xinhuanet.com

The number of China-Europe freight trains traveling through Mongolia increased by well over 50 percent in 2018, benefiting the landlocked country's economy, a senior foreign ministry official said Saturday.

"The China-Europe freight rail service network is a crucial part of China's Belt and Road Initiative. We believe that the service is a 'realistic step' that supports the development of trade and economy of countries along the Belt and Road," Tuvshintugs Battsetseg, deputy director of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, told Xinhua.

"We are happy that the number of the China-Europe freight trains via Mongolia has been dramatically increasing year by year. As the service expands, its contribution to the Mongolian economy has been increasing," Battsetseg said.

There were 556 China-Europe freight trains traveling through Mongolia in 2017 and the number reached 856 in 2018, according to the official.

"Our country's relevant departments, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Road and Transport Development, have been paying special attention to creating favorable conditions for China-Europe freight trains for traveling through the Mongolian territory without any obstacles," she said.

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Tax revenue increases by 33.7 percent www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ In January 2019, total equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget amounted to MNT 690.6 billion and total expenditure and net lending amounted to MNT 558.2 billion, resulting a surplus of MNT 132.3 billion in the equilibrated balance.

Equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget increased by MNT 160.2 billion or 30.2 percent and total expenditure and net lending by MNT 142.0 billion or 34.1 percent from the same period previous year.

Tax revenue reached MNT 626.3 billion, increased by MNT 157.7 billion or 33.7 percent compared with the same period of the previous year. This growth was mainly affected by increases of MNT 47.6 billion or 76.2 percent in other tax, MNT 42.6 billion or 54.1 percent in value added taxes, MNT 26.9 billion or 43.1 percent excise taxes, MNT 24.5 billion or 24.2 percent in social security revenue, MNT 17.5 billion or 43.3 percent in revenue of foreign activities and MNT 0.7 billion or 0.6 percent in income tax. However, there was a decrease in property taxes by MNT 3.2 billion or 69.3 percent.

General Government revenue was comprised of 73.8 percent of tax revenue, 7.6 percent of non-tax revenue, 18.6 percent of the future heritage fund.

In January 2019, total expenditure and net lending of the General Government Budget amounted to MNT 558.2 billion, increased by MNT 142.1 billion or 34.1 percent compared with the same period of previous year. This decline was mainly affected by increases in capital expenditure by MNT 23.9 billion or 4.6 times more and current expenditure by MNT 112.3 billion or 27.1 percent. However, there was a decrease in interest expenditure by MNT 41.8 billion or 94.3 percent.

General Government Budget expenditure and net lending was comprised of 94.3 percent of current expenditure, 5.5 percent of capital expenditure and 0.2 percent of net lending.

Source: National Statistics Office of Mongolia

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Copper miner's $10B bet comes to life in Panama jungle www.mining.com

The world’s largest new copper mine rumbled to a start this week in the Panamanian jungle, poised to supply a global market that’s tipping into deficit and gives First Quantum Minerals Ltd. a chance to prove its $10 billion investment was worth all the trouble.

Cobre Panama, a vast mining and processing complex near Panama’s Atlantic coast, processed its first ore on Monday, a half century after the deposit was discovered. At full production in 2021, it will turn Vancouver-based First Quantum into a top copper producer alongside giants like Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and BHP Group.

It’s been a long time coming. For 50 years the deposit had remained tantalizingly but steadfastly out of reach.
For Panama, it’s the biggest investment ever outside the canal and makes the Central American country a key supplier to a copper market facing labor unrest and governments grasping for greater takes. The $6.3 billion project will be able to ship its concentrate, thanks to the Panama Canal, to just about any smelter in the world.

“This establishes a new jurisdiction for mining,” Tristan Pascall, the project’s general manager, said in an interview at the facility shortly before the first ore passed through its mills. “There aren’t many projects coming on.”

Past failures
It’s been a long time coming. For 50 years the deposit had remained tantalizingly but steadfastly out of reach.

“Possibly vast beds could rival Panama Canal as economic asset to country,” the Star & Herald, a local English-language newspaper, trumpeted on the front page of its May 1, 1968 edition after a United Nations survey team discovered the deposit.

Past attempts to develop it all met with failure. The terrain undulates like an egg carton — impossible to navigate for colossal mining equipment. When it rains, as it often does, the soil turns into a maddening toothpaste-like clay. A Japanese consortium of seven companies and Teck Resources Ltd. abandoned it. In 2013, First Quantum took it on after a C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) takeover of Canadian rival Inmet Mining Corp., which had spent two decades on the project with little to show for it. Most in the mining industry had written off Cobre Panama.

‘Too-hard box’
“It was a project that all the major mining companies had put in the too-hard box,” says Clive Newall, co-founder and president of First Quantum.

It seems they were wrong.

In the six years since, the Canadian miner has managed to level the daunting terrain, at times filling in trenches 60 meters deep. It built a deep-water port where mining trucks the size of a suburban house can roll in fully assembled off ships. It built a coal-fired power plant and Panama’s third road connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Kjell Anzelius, 85, the only surviving member of the original U.N. survey team, began seeing stories about the mine in the news last year. When he realized that the deposit he’d helped discover was on the cusp of production, he hopped on a plane from his home in Sweden.

Debt concerns
“It took me two days to find them,” he said of the First Quantum office in Panama City. But once he met the country manager, he found himself on a helicopter ride to the site where once impenetrable jungle he’d hacked with a chainsaw had been converted into a state-of-the-art complex.

“I’m more surprised than anything else,” he said by phone from Sweden. “I always had a feeling it would cost too much money to establish a mine there.”

It’s a remarkable milestone for a company that less than three years ago had more debt trading at distressed levels than any other metal or mining company. First Quantum expects Cobre Panama to produce 150,000 tons this year and ramp up to as much as 350,000 in 2021. That would bring its global production (including other mines in Zambia, Turkey, Mauritania and Finland) to about 900,000 tons per year.

“Every company’s preferred route is to start relatively small, but this one, you needed scale out of the gate.”
“They have a very attractive portfolio of assets,” says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Richard Bourke, noting the company’s enterprise value of $15 billion doesn’t yet reflect that a $6 billion project is starting up. “Seven, eight years ago, at the start of the super cycle, people were spending a lot more for assets that were definitely more speculative than this one.”

‘Needed scale’
First Quantum’s approach at Cobre Panama (cobre is Spanish for copper) has been an all-in bet. In part, that’s because the deposit’s low grade meant it couldn’t be developed more cautiously piecemeal. “Every company’s preferred route is to start relatively small,” Newall said. “But this one, you needed scale out of the gate.”

The company built the world’s biggest processing complex in a single location, which will ramp up to a capacity of 85 million tons a year. It’s spending more upfront on costly electrification, calculating that over the 40-year project life, it’ll recoup the investment in savings: the massive trucks used to haul rock uphill normally consume 400 liters an hour of diesel. Yet hitched to an electric trolley system like an urban streetcar, each will use only 40 liters an hour at double the speed, and require 30 percent less maintenance, Pascall says.

Trade tensions
Those are long-term calculations that dispense with short-term uncertainties — of which the company faces several. First Quantum still shoulders a hefty debt burden after nearly defaulting on loans in 2016. It’s locked in a $7.9 billion tax dispute with the government in Zambia. The company’s share price is still down more than 50 percent from its 2011 peak.

More broadly, U.S.-China trade tensions threaten to upend copper’s otherwise bullish outlook. While the metal’s fundamentals are strong — inventories are near their lowest since January 2015 and the pipeline of projects is at its weakest in decades, according to Wood Mackenzie — a trade war could depress industrial activity and the demand for copper.

Any disruption to Cobre Panama’s output could deepen supply shortages. CRU Group analyst Robert Edwards estimated in November that global production will trail consumption by over 200,000 tons in 2021 and the deficit could widen to more than 300,000 tons by 2023.

‘Difficult place’
“The world is a difficult place right now,” Newall says. The company is hedging its copper production until Cobre Panama reaches full production. “Three years ago, we probably would not have been hedging — we’d be quite confident that the world would keep spinning on the same axis around the sun.”

(By Natalie Obiko Pearson)

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Trade Unions request PM to focus on interest rate cut www.zgm.mn

Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and the Minister of Labor and Social Protection Chinzorig Sodnom received the representatives of the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) yesterday. The CMTU officials requested the PM to focus on lowering the interest rate.

After highlighting the fact that the economy grew by 6.4 percent and the improving budget balance under the Extended Fund Facility program of the International Monetary Fund, the PM noted to focus on distributing the benefits of the economic growth to the public by increasing wage and pension. He addressed, “The average salary of the public sector reached MNT 916,000, a 27.5 percent growth since 2016. Under the trilateral agreement, the minimum wage has been set at MNT 320,000. This raised the salaries of about 100,000 workers by 33.3 percent. Furthermore, the Cabinet has acknowledged the CMTU suggestion on setting minimum pension age in line with the life expectancy and lowered it to 60 for men and 55 for women, from the initial plan of 65 for men and 60 for women. The Government is prioritizing to strengthen social justice, improve accountability and discipline of the public sector, and economic growth.”

In turn, the President of the CMTU Amgalanbaatar Khayankhyarvaa requested the PM to further raise wage and implement social partnership in provinces and rural areas as agreement on the 2019-2020 Labor and Social Consensus. He then asked the PM to promote employment and cut the interest rate.

Later on, a spokesperson of the trade union of Uvs province suggested the PM to conduct a study on a 5-10 year intensified development and highlighted the importance of non-collateral discounted loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Trade Union of EMC suggests employee stock option

A spokesperson of the trade union of the Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) suggested granting the 10 percent of the company’s stake as stock options to employees in order to boost productivity and set an example for both stateowned enterprises and private entities.

• CMTU President requests the PM to further raise salaries.

• Trade union of Uvs province suggested the PM to conduct a study on a 5-10 year intensified development and highlighted the importance of non-collateral discounted loans for SMEs.

• PM expresses to further study the suggestions and make effort in implementing them.

PM Khurelsukh responded, “Unless we move away from the heavy dependence on the mining sector, Mongolia could face another economic crisis. Therefore, the Cabinet is prioritizing the development of SMEs, animal husbandry, and farming. The biggest challenge is unemployment. The State will support business entities. It is important that we govern our natural resources. Thus, we will nationalize the illegally privatized assets. Establishment of the oil refinery will help reduce the foreign exchange outflow and cut domestic oil prices. As for all your suggestions, we will further study these matters and make effort in implementing them.”

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Mongolia’s hourly wage to reach USD 1 www.news.mn

Mongolia has raised its monthly minimum wage to MNT 320,000 (129.8 U.S. dollars); this came into effect from 1 January, 2019. The monthly wages of more than 100 thousand people were increased by 33.3 percent.

Earlier today (14 February), Prime Ministry U.Khurelsuhk noted that there is possibility of increasing monthly minimum wage to MNT 420,000 from 2020. This means Mongolia’s hourly minimum wage will reach one US dollar.

Currently, a total of 1.1 million people are employed in the country, of whom about 8 percent receive minimum-wage salaries, according to data released by the National Statistical Office.

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US narcotics by post to Mongolia! Three arrested www.news.mn

The Mongolian police arrested three people on Tuesday in the middle of a criminal operation to transport a large amount of narcotics in Ulaanbaatar.

Two men and a woman aged 19-32 were detained in the Sukhbaatar district in central UB. Police officers seized methamphetamine worth around MNT 500 million (about 190,000 U.S. dollars) on the spot. The drugs had been transported through the postal service from the United States.

These latest arrests bring the number of people arrested for drug trafficking in the country so far this year to 59.

According to Mongolian law, the person who is found guilty of trafficking drugs will be punished by imprisonment of at least two years.

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Writer D.Uriankhai nominated for the Nobel Prize www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) has received an invitation to nominate a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 from the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy.

Following to the invitation, Institute of Language and Literature at the MAS and other relevant professional organizations discussed and resolved to nominate poet and novelist D.Uriankhai, winner of Bolor Tsom (Golden Goblet) festival, member of the World Academy of Art and Science and Doctor of Literature.

D.Uriankhai was born in 1941 in Unit soum of Bulgan aimag. His works have been translated in English, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Macedonian languages.

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Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor benefits all sides: official www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor is beneficial for all three parties, a senior Mongolian official has said.

"The trilateral economic corridor is an important part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)," Tuvshintugs Battsetseg, deputy director of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Battsetseg said more efforts are needed to "intensify the establishment of the Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor," expressing confidence that the economic corridor adopted by the three countries in 2016 will make significant contributions to the development of trilateral cooperation not only in the economic sector but also in fields including transportation and tourism.

The three countries have agreed to implement 32 projects under the framework of establishing the economic corridor, she said.

The official said joint feasibility study is underway for reforming the central railway corridor, which is one of the three major projects under the construction of the tripartite economic corridor.

Mongolia has been supporting the BRI from the onset and actively participated in it, said Battsetseg, adding that her country has been focusing on "integrating its Development Road Initiative with the BRI."

China has been one of the biggest trading partners and key investors of Mongolia for many years, she said, noting that Mongolia is interested in attracting foreign investment to its non-mining sectors.

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