|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Cabinet held a closed discussion during its regular session last week. Sources claim that the discussion covered the issues concerning Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) in connection to the sanction of London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on EMC’s operations. According to some sources, the related officials of EMC were ordered to negotiate terms with the Standard Bank of South Africa and seekopportunities to avoid debt obligations.
Earlier this week, Chairman of the Democratic Party Erdene Sodnomzundui submitted a questionnaire on LCIA’s decision, Government’s measures and involvement on the issue. Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry, has previously confirmed that EMC is obliged to pay monthly payment of USD 900 thousand.
On the other hand, Minister of Justice and Home Affairs Nyamdorj Tsend claimed that the dispute is between Standard Bank and EMC only and denied any involvement of Mongolian Government in the dispute, while Minister of Finance Khurelbaatar Chimed was clueless about the situation as he commented, “I do not have details on EMC.”
The Government has been obliged to repay a total of USD 102 million, including the legal costs, penalty and interest of the last decade.
According to a reliable source, LCIA has sanctioned the operations of EMC and suspended its financial accounts. The legal proceedings started about a decade ago after Batkhuu Sharavlamdan, CEO of Just Group, was accused of Loaning USD 140 million from Standard Bank of South Africa, collateralizing Mongolian Government’s 51 percent ownership of EMC.
HARBIN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday sent congratulatory messages to the opening ceremony of the years of China-Russia local cooperation and exchange.
Calling localities an important force for China-Russia all-round win-win cooperation, Xi said he and President Putin decided to hold years of China-Russia local cooperation and exchange in 2018 and 2019.
Xi voiced his hope that it would inspire enthusiasm for local bilateral cooperation, further tap cooperation potential and encourage more localities, enterprises and people to join the cause of China-Russia friendly cooperation and common development.
Both China and Russia are at an important period of national development and rejuvenation, Xi said in his message, adding the development plans of both countries enjoy a high degree of affinity, and bilateral local cooperation is promising.
He called on both sides to make the event a new spotlight in bilateral ties, and work together for a splendid future in relations.
Putin hailed the progress of Russia-China all-round partnership of strategic coordination, adding that the years of local cooperation and exchange would cement contact and cooperation between various Russian federal subjects and Chinese localities.
There will be more than 100 activities including an investment conference; trade, industry and agriculture exhibitions; seminars; art festivals; and exchange of visits.
Representatives of the two countries will meet at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Eastern Economic Forum and Russia-China Expo, Putin said, adding that he believes the years will fully exploit the potential for local cooperation.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang addressed the opening ceremony in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, together with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, also presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia.
They also hosted the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Cooperation of the Northeast China and the Far East and Baikal Region of Russia.
Wang hailed the progress of China-Russia local cooperation, citing rapid growth of trade between China and Russia's Far East, as well as enhanced investment cooperation and cultural exchanges, and progress in interconnectivity projects.
China appreciates Russia's new measures to promote development in the Far East and facilitate people-to-people exchanges, and expects these measures to have good outcomes, Wang said.
Calling China one of Russia's most important political and economic partners, Trutnev said Russia hopes to work closely with China to speed up infrastructure building, and boost local cooperation.
Jim Mee, 40, from York, completed the 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur, a lake in north west Mongolia www.dailymail.com.uk
A hardy British adventurer has become the first to ever ice skate across one of the world’s most barren and inhospitable landscapes - despite not having skated for about 20 years.
Jim Mee, 40, from York, said he meant to pack some skating in before Christmas in the run up to his epic challenge last week but he ran out of time.
Instead he blindly tackled an 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur in north-west Mongolia - the distance climbing to 100 miles when zig-zags to the edge of the lake to camp were taken into account - skating for nine hours a day for three days, in temperatures plunging to minus 47 degrees Celsius.
Last week, 40-year-old Jim Mee from York completed the 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur, a lake located 362 miles north west of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, which freezes solid in winter with the ice reaching up to one-metre-thick +15
Last week, 40-year-old Jim Mee from York completed the 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur, a lake located 362 miles north west of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, which freezes solid in winter with the ice reaching up to one-metre-thick
Braving bone-shattering winds and temperatures around minus 47 degrees Celsius, Mee skated for nine hours a day for three days with a support team on hand. He is now the first person ever to skate the lake¿s entire length +15
Braving bone-shattering winds and temperatures around minus 47 degrees Celsius, Mee skated for nine hours a day for three days with a support team on hand. He is now the first person ever to skate the lake’s entire length
Luckily his experience on skis served him well and he completed the frigid traverse unscathed.
Mee is now the first person to ever to skate the lake’s entire length. Talking about his accomplishment, the gutsy globetrotter said: 'Skating across the lake posed [lots of] unique difficulties.
'I was nervous it couldn’t be done. I wasn’t sure if the surface of the lake would be smooth enough to accommodate skating. But this method actually proved to be something of a revelation.
'I skated from dawn ’til dusk, nine hours a day, for three days. It’s a very similar motion to cross-country skiing, where you hit a rhythm and just keep going.
But Mee said the pain was all worth it, as the rewards were immense.
He continued: 'There’s no precipitation in this region so the skies are always clear, meaning the sunrises and sunsets were incredible spectacles.
'And just spending so long in such a bizarre, otherworldly landscape was surreal.
Talking about his accomplishment, Mee said: 'Skating across the lake posed [lots of] unique difficulties. I was nervous it couldn¿t be done. I wasn¿t sure if the surface of the lake would be smooth enough to accommodate skating. But this method actually proved to be something of a revelation' +15
Talking about his accomplishment, Mee said: 'Skating across the lake posed [lots of] unique difficulties. I was nervous it couldn’t be done. I wasn’t sure if the surface of the lake would be smooth enough to accommodate skating. But this method actually proved to be something of a revelation'
Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE:RIO), the world’s No.2 mining company, showed investors Wednesday how well it has ridden the wave of higher commodity prices by announcing a record dividend on the back of a big surge in annual profit and its cost cutting drive.
The company, which admitted is hunting for acquisitions, including in new commodities such as lithium, handed shareholders $1.80 per stock, taking its payout for 2017 to $2.90. The figure is the highest in Rio’s history and almost 71% more than the one it paid last year. As a result, cash returns to investors for 2017 totalled $9.7 billion.
Net profit for the year rose 90% (you read that right) to $8.8 billion, compared to the $4.6bn recorded in 2016. Underlying net profit after tax, in turn, was $8.62bn, up from $5.1bn in 2016, slightly ahead of market forecasts. Analysts expected the company to report $8.5bn.
Rio's largest division, iron ore, delivered the lion's share of revenue, as prices have recovered and remained relatively stable — trading around $75 a tonne — in the past year.
The record results are the first annual report for chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who took over from former boss Sam Walsh in July 2016.
Under Jacques, Rio has focused on cutting costs, generating cash and returning as much of it as possible to investors through dividends and share buybacks.
"I'm very proud of what the team has achieved. Biggest dividend ever in the 125-year history of the company and we believe that we’ll be able to generate a lot of cash again this year,”Jacques told reporters on an earnings call.
With net debt below $4 billion, Rio Tinto is once again in a position to look for fresh opportunities and projects. But analysts, including Investec’s mining expert Hunter Hillcoat, believe Rio is unlikely to embark on any “multibillion-dollar expansions” to chase mergers and acquisitions or pay a premium for other commodities, such as copper, given the industry’s history of overspending.
“The only way to rebalance their portfolio is to take on additional growth in other commodities like copper, either through acquisitions where they’ll have to pay a premium or through expansion, but they don’t really have too many meaningful growth options there,” Hillcoat told Bloomberg News.
Despite the positive results, the company is still battling reputational damage brought by a series of incidents, including a probe into a questionable payment made to an external consultant over the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.
It is also facing fraud charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s top securities regulator, related to the miner's and two former executive’s alleged covered-up of multi-billion-dollar losses on a coal investment in Mozambique, allegations which the two men and the company deny.
Rio has also been recently accused of dodging $700 million in taxes at its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia....
The Mongolian government has approved a new cashmere programme to be implemented in two stages over four years. It will help keep the exisiting 5500 jobs in the cashmere sector and to create over 3600 new ones. Regarding the manufacturing capacity of fully processed cashmere, this will be increased final by 5.7 times.
Last year, Mongolia produced 5413 tonnes of washed cashmere, 509 tonnes of combed cashmere and 915 thousand of goods made from the wool.
If Mongolia can produce processed cashmere domestically, the country would be able to export to19.8 million textile goods annuall
There has been news in social media that the Government of Mongolia intends to issue a ‘Panda’ bond of CHY 800 million on the Chinese market. The news source said that Mongolian Government is discussing issuing a five year bond three months after it successfully raised the ‘Gerege’ bond.
Evidently, this is 'fake news'. The Finance Ministry confirmed that the Government of Mongolia will not issue any bonds in the near future. Under the IMF programme, Mongolia's credit rating has increased and the economy is much recovered; the government intends to focus on positive performances.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia N.Tserenbat held a meeting with companies that introduced efficient water utilization technologies to hear their opinions and initiatives and to present the ministry's works in this field.
During the meeting, the state policy for water conservation, proper use and wastewater recycling and reuse and the introduction of future works were presented by Sh.Myagmar, head of the Land Management and Integrated Water Policy Coordination Department. “A bill to Amendments to the Law on Water Pollution Payment are ready for Parliamentary discussion. The backbone of the bill is to encourage enterprises with state policy to reuse water. The policy of the Minister N.Tserenbat is to make technological renovations in companies so that they reuse water as much as possible through providing soft loans to them” he said.
The representatives of the companies exchanged views on the water saving, water reuse projects and advanced technologies they introduced.
ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) - Mongolian lawmakers have proposed a new immigration cap, looking to protect domestic workers, even as citizens increasingly seek opportunities abroad.
A parliamentary panel this week approved a proposal to limit to just 100 each year the number of new resident permits granted to foreign or stateless people over the period from 2018 to 2020, with just 30 each from China and Russia, legislator Tsend Nyamdorj said.
The measure will now be considered by parliament.
"If the standing committee approves the bill, it makes it very likely the parliament would have no problem passing it," said Mogi Badral Bontoi, chief executive of market intelligence group Cover Mongolia.
Although open to foreign trade, the former communist, one-party state has been careful to prevent an influx of foreign labour.
Mongolians especially mistrust Chinese workers, not only because of long-standing geopolitical tension with their giant neighbour, but also because they can be hired cheaper and work longer hours.
Unemployment in Mongolia stands at 9.1 percent, the National Statistics Office says.
The strain with China can be traced back to centuries of subjugation, with Mongolia only achieving formal independence in 1921. The Soviet satellite state served as a buffer between China and the Soviet Union until 1990, when it peacefully transitioned to democracy.
Rapid economic growth, driven by immense resource wealth, has prompted interest from foreign nationals. Though foreigners now make up less than 0.4 percent of the population, Ulaanbaatar has used high fees and quotas to rein in immigration.
Last year, Mongolia cut its foreign workforce in half, and sent home about 1,200 North Korean workers to comply with the sanctions.
The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, run by mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, has also been under scrutiny for its use of Chinese labourers.
About 93 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi workforce is Mongolian, exceeding a lower limit of 90 percent set in a 2009 investment pact. During construction, no more than 40 percent of workers could come from overseas.
After an inspection of Oyu Tolgoi last month, immigration officials deported foreign contractors with Australian engineering firm Hofmann Engineering for visa violations.
With just 3.1 million people in an area almost the size of Alaska, Mongolia is the world's least densely populated country.
Many Mongolians are leaving home for work and education elsewhere, including China, and South Korea has eased their pathway to jobs.
"More Mongolians are leaving to work abroad, which means fewer people in the local labour pool," said Bontoi.
"Mongolia capping foreign labour seems very paradoxical."
(Reporting by Terrence EdwardsEditing by David Stanway andClarence Fernandez)
CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – The images of large yellow mine trucks flashed across the big screen at this year’s Mining Indaba looked pretty ordinary. But that misperception was quickly cut short when Rio Tinto CE Energy and Minerals Bold Baatar told the full-house audience: "What you're watching are robots on wheels. They’re fully automated driverless trucks,” he said, adding their unassuming emergence beat the current obsession with driverless cars by a good decade, illustrating once again that mining has led human progress for millions of years.
“Since the time of our ancestors here in Africa, the Cradle of Humankind, three-and-a-half million years ago, human progress has been interlinked with mining,” Baatar emphasised.
What’s more, the oldest known mine, which is some 43 000 years of age, is located in neighbouring Swaziland, where ancestors of the San people mined red pigment for rock painting, and in East Africa, people produced steel more than 2 500 years ago, a development that only took place in Europe in the 1700s.
“So, mining has been essential to human progress since the dawn of time,” Mongolian-born Baatar told the Mining Indaba, which is being attended by Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.
Mining is understood to be an economic bedrock in countries like Chile and Australia, underpinning gross domestic product and tax revenues, and Africa has its own success stories like Botswana, which was one of the poorest countries 50 years ago and now has a mining-linked sovereign wealth fund that benefits education, infrastructure and future generations.
“So, mining can be inclusive and bring on the sustainable development to the host communities in countries that change,” he said.
Common attributes of successful governments are good governance, good resource management and the rule of law.
“However, a key element that can make a difference for mining companies is the level of transparency, accountability, understanding and trust that are required for the partners to thrive,” he said.
“But the challenge is the mining sector is misunderstood where expectations are misaligned.”
He outlined how mining was made up of artisanal miners, who had a role to play, but who brought with them certain consequences; entrepreneurs, who pursued high-risk investment in the short-term; junior minor companies, which had the role of funding and discovering resources; and then the operator mining companies, which were small to large and brought on the operations.
If any of these participants did not behave responsibly, it cast a dark cloud over the whole sector.
For Rio Tinto, the key challenge was the misalignment of expectations, particularly around mineral wealth.
A common cause of misalignment was the calculation of the scale of mineral wealth by multiplying the resource size by the current mineral price.
Using copper as an example, a one-million-tonne resource multiplied by $7 000 becomes referred to as a $7-billion mineral resource.
The flaw of such analysis was that the investment and the costs are completely ignored in the equation.
Using $2-billion as the upfront investment, $1-billion paid in taxes, another $2-billion of operating expenses etcetera, left investors with $2-billion with which to cover debt interest and shareholder returns, which inflation would lower still further.
What should also be kept in mind was that the entire mine ecosystem of supply chain and mining services multiplied economic activity fourfold, with mining services generating more employment than mining itself.
It was important to maximise the local content of the supply chain, which was also a significant source of taxation revenue.
“It is not uncommon for the operators like us to see a very limited return on capital for a number of years,” Baatar calculated.
Returning to the driverless trucks, assuming each carried 250 t of material at the industry-average copper grade of 1%, that material would result in a mere 2.5 t of copper, with 99% of the material carried by the truck – some 247.5 t – having no mineral wealth in it whatsoever.
But the 250 t also has to be crushed and ground into a fine dust that was at times more refined than flour.
Then the copper was separated out of that through flotation, a bubble process not dissimilar from the brewing process.
There is more regrinding, dewatering and thickening and only after the smelting process, does the operating mining company end up with the 2.5 t of copper concentrate.
“So, we go from a massive large truck full to a little two-and-a-half tonnes of copper through a lot of hard work and energy usage,” he said, adding that his simplified example highlighted the central truth about mining: “It costs a lot of money to extract minerals, involves significant financial and execution risk and it is technically difficult work, particularly when done responsibly.”
EDITED BY: Creamer Media Reporter...
Pyongyang, February 6 (KCNA) -- Talks between DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Mongolian Foreign Minister D. Tsogtbaatar were held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Monday.
At the talks both sides exchanged views on the issue of continuing to develop the long-standing friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries in several fields and the issues of mutual concern and reached a consensus.
The DPRK foreign minister stressed the need to continue to develop the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries forged and developed by President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il with the preceding leaders of Mongolia irrespective of the changing situation.
The Mongolian foreign minister, saying that this year serves as an important occasion in developing the bilateral relations as it marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, underlined the need to develop on good terms the Mongolia-DPRK relations of friendship with a long history and tradition. -0-