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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Dissolution of consortium suspends Fifth Thermal Power Plant construction www.zgm.mn

Minister of Energy Davaasuren Tserenpil announced 2019 as the year for smart energy and disclosed the current situation of certain energy projects, including the constructions of the fifth thermal power plant and hydropower plants during a press conference yesterday.

Mr. Davaasuren addressed, “I, hereby, announce this year as the year for Smart Energy System. The entire world is adapting to the usage of a smart system. We have to follow this practice. This will allow us to settle various issues. In doing so, we will involve top-notch programmers, technicians, and engineers, as well as all the government bodies in the energy sector.”

Within the frame, electricity and heat measurement instruments will be installed in power plants, which will drastically reduce the risks of accidents and delays. For instance, the ministry is planning to cooperate with the Russian Federation to install a smart system in turbine generators. The cost is currently unidentified and will be set soon as the ministry assigned tasks to the boards of implementing companies.

According to the ministry, the construction of the Fifth Thermal Power Plant has been suspended due to the dissolution of the consortium. Therefore, the ministry plans to increase the capacities of currently existing power plants. For example, the feasibility study of expanding the capacity of the Second Thermal Powerplant to 300MW has been completed. Additionally, Mr. Davaasuren noted that the night-time electricity discount will further continue in 2019- 2020.

As for the Erdeneburen Hydropower Plant, the ministry has reportedly settled the project financing and is planning to commence the construction this year. However, the Egiin Gol Hydroelectricity project is on a hold-up due to environmental issues. The minister highlighted that the completion of these two hydropower plants will create a fully independent electrical system.

On the air pollution reduction actions, the ministry announced to install a 4 kWh heating equipment in 42,000 households in Ulaanbaatar city.

ENERGY SECTOR FACES MNT 20 BILLION LOSS ANNUALLY

According to the Director General of the Energy Regulatory Commission Tleikhan Almalik, the base electric charge did not change since 2015. Currently, Mongolia is purchasing electricity at MNT 32,000 per kWh and is selling them to private entities at MNT 9,000 per kWh. The annual loss of the energy sector is currently over MNT 20 billion. With the exception of coal, all the materials and equipment are imported, and due to the increase in foreign exchange rates, the deficit has further piled up. Therefore, the commission is planning to revise the base charge this year.

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China copper imports hit record high in 2018 www.mining.com

BEIJING – China's unwrought copper imports rose 12.9 percent to a record annual high of 5.3 million tonnes in 2018, customs data showed on Monday, boosted by the country's crackdown on scrap metal shipments.

For December, imports fell 4.7 percent from the previous month to 429,000 tonnes from a revised figure of 450,000 tonnes in Novemeber, the General Administration of Customs said. December was also down 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago.

Annual imports of unwrought copper – which topped the previous record of 4.94 million tonnes set in 2016 – were buoyed by China's crackdown on scrap copper in 2018, part of efforts to combat pollution.

There's certainly continuing tightening pressure on China's imports of lower quality scrap so it's not a terrible surprise that China is importing more metal
Imports of Category 7 copper scrap, such as coiled copper cable and waste motors, were down sharply from 2017 and have been banned completely in 2019, while China in August slapped a 25 percent tariff on imports of scrap material from the United States, one of its top suppliers.

This has left consumers seeking more of the metal in other forms.

"There's certainly continuing tightening pressure on China's imports of lower quality scrap so it's not a terrible surprise that China is importing more metal," said Lachlan Shaw, a commodities strategist at UBS in Melbourne.

Importers are "getting less copper units from scrap, and more from concentrate and metal," he added, noting that China's overall scrap crackdown looked set to continue with additional restrictions to come into force in July.

Annual copper concentrate imports rose 13.7 percent in 2018 year-on-year to a record 19.72 million tonnes, although December imports fell by 13.4 percent from November to 1.46 million tonnes, the lowest since February 2018.

(By Tom Daly and Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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Russia’s trade with China surges to more than $107 billion www.rt.com

Trade turnover between Russia and China soared by nearly 30 percent in 2018, reaching a record number of $107.06 billion, according to the latest report released by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The agency noted that last year Russian imports of Chinese goods increased by 12 percent to $47.98 billion. At the same time, China’s imports from Russia grew by 42.7 percent, reaching $59.08 billion. In December alone, the volume of trade between the neighboring countries reportedly totaled $9.8 billion.

Russia-China trade turnover has grown significantly over recent years. In 2017, mutual trade amounted to $84.07 billion demonstrating a growth of 20.8 percent. In 2016, the trade turnover grew by 2.2 percent in annual terms to $69.52 billion.

Russia became China’s number one partner when it comes to trade growth dynamics, according to the GAC spokesman Li Kuiwen. The spokesman added that China had mostly exported electromechanical goods to Russia, while purchased oil, coal, and wood.

Last week, the Chinese commerce ministry said that mutual trade between the countries in December reached $100 billion for the first time ever. Russia is currently ranked as China’s tenth biggest trade partner. Beijing remained a major importer of Russian produce, accounting for 15 percent of the country’s international trade as of 2017.

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Mongolia to Deploy Blockchain Payment System in Partnership with Stablecoin Startup Terra www.cryptovest.com

Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar has partnered with South Korean stablecoin startup Terra to launch a new blockchain-based payment system, Asian tech media platform e27 reported on Friday.

The program is scheduled to pilot within the next six months in Ulaanbaatar’s Nalaikh District, with plans to expand citywide. The initiative will offer blockchain-powered mobile payments and instant peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers among users of different banks.

Reportedly, the project aims to eventually replace the current payment methods for utility bills and government subsidies with the Terra stablecoin. This will, in effect, reform the largely cash-based Mongolia infrastructure and power the next-generation payment network using blockchain as the driving technology.

“Facilitating P2P and recurring utility payments with Terra are important first steps towards building a blockchain-based financial infrastructure in Mongolia,” said Terra’s co-founder Daniel Shin. “From there, we will build out a wider range of financial services, reforming the remittance, loan, and overall banking industry.”

Nalaikh District governor Radnaabazar Choijinsambuu also commented on the initiative:

“We believe this pilot programme with Terra will reform how the people of Nalaikh City make everyday payments. It will contribute to the development and enrichment of the nation’s digital payment infrastructure, while creating a new online platform to easily share information and offering great opportunities to connect with our citizens through advanced technology,” said Radnaabazar Choijinsambuu, Governor, Nalaikh District of the Capital City.

Back in August 2018, Terra closed a $32 million funding round to support its stablecoin project. The venture, led by South Korean e-commerce marketplace Ticket Monster, won the backing of four of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges — Binance, OKEx, Huobi and Upbit’s parent company Dunamu.

Last year, the Central Bank of Mongolia approved crypto-friendly legislation and gave permission to Mobicom, the country's largest telecoms operator, to issue its own cryptocurrency, dubbed Candy, whose value is pegged to Mongolia’s fiat currency, the tugrik.

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Mongolia to hold Spring Golden Eagle Festival in March to boost tourism www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia will hold a traditional festival called "The Spring Golden Eagle Festival" on March 3-4 near the capital city of Ulan Bator, a senior Mongolian official said Monday.

"The festival aims to promote the ethnic Kazakh tradition of hunting with eagles internationally and boost the country's tourism," Tsend Enkhtuvshin, deputy head of Ulan Bator's tourism department, told Xinhua.

More than 20 eagle hunters are expected to compete in the 12th edition of the festival to catch small animals, such as foxes and hares, with specially trained golden eagles, showing off the skills of both the birds and their trainers.

"The festival is one of the most popular tourism activities in our country. The number of domestic and foreign tourists who visit the festival has been rising year after year," Enkhtuvshin said, expressing his hope for more tourists in this year's festival.

Last year's Spring Golden Eagle Festival attracted around 4,000 domestic and foreign tourists, he said.

Mongolia is home to the thousand year-old tradition of hunting with trained Golden Eagles. This unique tradition has been passed from generation to generation among the Kazakh nomads.

The Golden Eagle Festival is held twice a year in the spring and autumn season in Mongolia. The autumn festival is held in western Bayan-Ulgii Province.

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Remembering Mongolia’s first fatal Mi8 accident www.news.mn

Exactly 18 years ago (14 January, 2001) an MI-8 helicopter carrying Mongolian government officials, United Nations staff, journalists and the flight crew crashed in Uvs province, killing over twenty. The people on board were flying by Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) flight JU1025 to assess damages and disaster due to winter drought in Uvs Province crashed tragically. They had planned to fly back to Ulaanbaatar the next day, but they never returned. They were on an official humanitarian mission to determine how the world could help the many Mongolians affected by the ‘dzud’ of 2001.

The crew departed from Ulaangom on the morning of 14 January and tried to land on the winter grazing land of herder Zandan, which was located at the foot of Mount Bayankhairkhan, 2,275 meters above sea level, and 15 kilometers southeast of Malchin soum in Uvs Province. However, the Russian-made MI-8 helicopter spun out of control about 50 meters (165 feet) off the ground, crashed and exploded in flames.

The victims included Sh.Otgonbileg, Member of Parliament of Mongolia; Sabine Metzner-Strack from Germany, United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team leader and head of the Asia & Pacific Desk Disaster Response Branch in OCHA; Gerard Le Claire from Jersey, United Kingdom, UNDAC team member and Director of Environmental Services of the Jersey Planning & Environmental Department; Matthew Girvin from the United States of America, Programme Officer of the UNICEF office in Mongolia; Batchuluun Bayarmaa from Mongolia, Programme Officer of the UNFPA office in Mongolia; Tsevegmid Batzorig, photographer from Mongolia’s Gamma Agency; Takahiro Kato, reporter for NHK Japan; Minoru Masaki, cameraman for NHK Japan; and D.Otgon, the helicopter’s technician.

On July 21, a 2.5 meter marble sculpture was built close to the accident site. The sculpture is carved with the words “On January 14, 2001 people on a humanitarian mission were lost. They will never be forgotten.” The names of deceased are also on the sculpture. The Bayarmaa Foundation, named after B.Bayarmaa, was established and a monument dedicated to Sh.Otgonbileg was unveiled in the city of Erdenet.

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Mongolia ranked 12th by average IQ www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Using the number of Nobel Prizes won, current average IQ and educational attainment, Vouchercloud website revealed the smartest 25 countries in the world.

In the list of the countries with the highest average IQ, Mongolia was ranked 12th with an average IQ of 100. Forbes highlighted it is surprising to see Mongolia in 12th place while the US doesn’t even make the top 25. With an average IQ of 107.1, Singapore topped the list.

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China's exports shrink most in 2 years, raising risks for global economy www.reuters.com

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s exports unexpectedly fell the most in two years in December and imports also contracted, pointing to further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand.

Adding to policymakers’ worries, data on Monday also showed China posted its biggest trade surplus with the United States on record in 2018, which could prompt President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their cantankerous trade dispute.

Softening demand in China is already being felt around the world, with slowing sales of goods ranging from iPhones to automobiles prompting profit warnings from the likes of Apple and Jaguar Land Rover.

The dismal December trade readings suggest China’s economy may have lost more momentum late in the year than earlier thought, despite a slew of growth boosting measures in recent months ranging from higher infrastructure spending to tax cuts.

Some analysts had already speculated that Beijing may have to speed up and intensify its policy easing and stimulus measures this year after factory activity shrank in December.

Exports in December unexpectedly fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier, with demand in most of its major markets weakening. Imports also saw a shock drop, falling 7.6 percent in their biggest decline since July 2016.

“Export growth dropped more than anticipated as global growth softened and the drag from U.S. tariffs intensified. Import growth also fell sharply in the face of cooling domestic demand. We expect both to remain weak in the coming quarters,” Capital Economics said in a note.

“Meanwhile, with policy easing unlikely to put a floor beneath domestic economic activity until the second half of this year, import growth is likely to remain subdued.”

HIGHER TRADE SURPLUS WITH U.S.
China’s politically-sensitive surplus with the U.S. rose 17.2 percent to $323.32 billion last year, the highest on record going back to 2006, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data.

That compared with about $275.81 billion in 2017.

China’s large trade surplus with the United States has long been a sore point with Washington, which has demanded Beijing should take steps to reduce it.

Washington imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods last year and has threatened further action if Beijing does not change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own.

However, Beijing’s export data had been surprisingly resilient to tariffs for much of 2018, possibly because companies ramped up shipments before broader and stiffer U.S. duties went into effect.

China’s total global exports rose 9.9 percent in 2018, its strongest trade performance in seven years, while imports increased 15.8 percent last year.

But December’s gloomy data seemed to suggest the U.S. front-loading effect has tapered off, and after several months of falling factory orders a further weakening in China’s exports is widely expected in coming months.

Many U.S. warehouses are already packed to the rafters with Chinese goods that American retailers rushed in ahead of higher tariffs.

China exports to the U.S. declined 3.5 percent in December while its imports from the U.S. were down 35.8 percent for the month.

The higher tariffs China levied on U.S. supplies also hit the country’s overall import growth. For all of 2018, soybean, the second largest imports from the U.S., fell for the first time since 2011.

Even if Washington and Beijing reach a trade deal in their current round of talks, it would be no panacea for China’s slowing economy, analysts say.

Sources told Reuters last week that Beijing is planning to lower its economic growth target to 6-6.5 percent this year after an expected 6.6 percent in 2018, the slowest pace in 28 years.

Reporting by Yawen Chen, Stella Qiu, Lusha Zhang and Martin Pollard; Editing by Kim Coghill

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Russia’s coal exports, production hit 5-year high in 2018 www.rt.com

Russia’s production and exports of coal hit last year their highest levels since 2013, according to S&P Global Platts estimates of data from Russia’s Energy Ministry.
Russian coal exports increased last year by 3.4 percent compared to 2017, to reach 191 million mt—the highest level since S&P Global Platts started collecting data on Russia’s coal industry in 2013.

Coal production also reached its highest level since 2013—at 431.76 million mt, Russia’s production increased by six percent in 2018 compared to 2017.

According to Platts estimates and to thermal coal traders who spoke to Platts, Russian producers continue to seek domination on the European market and have been putting in a lot of effort to grab more market shares on the Asian markets such as South Korea and Taiwan.

Last year, the average free on board (FOB) coal prices for the Atlantic and Pacific markets were both higher compared to 2017, which could be a big incentive for Russia to continue producing and exporting more coal to seaborne destinations, according to Platts.

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak briefed on Thursday President Vladimir Putin on the Russian energy sector production in 2018, saying that the coal production of around 433 million tons was planned to be reached in 2020. Russia plans to invest around $22.4 billion (1.5 trillion Russian rubles) in its coal industry and port infrastructure, Novak told Putin. 
Due to the OPEC+ production cuts, Russia’s crude oil production in 2019 could be lower than originally planned—at 552 million tons, or 11.085 million bpd, Novak said last month after the new OPEC/non-OPEC deal was struck. Originally, plans for next year were for Russia’s oil production to stand at 555 million tons-556 million tons, or 11.145 million bpd-11.165 million bpd, according to Novak.

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Hitachi to decide on fate of UK nuclear plant www.bbc.com

The UK government's nuclear policy is under renewed scrutiny as the firm behind a £20bn reactor in Wales looks set to halt construction.

Japanese media reports say Hitachi will suspend on its Horizon division's Wylfa Newydd plant this week.

The company says no formal decision has yet been made.

But if the project is scrapped, it will cost 400 jobs and leave the Hinkley Point power station in Somerset as the only new UK reactor still being built.

In November, plans to build a nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria were halted after Toshiba announced it was winding up its NuGeneration subsidiary, which was behind the project.

The government continues to stress that it is still in talks with Hitachi about Wylfa.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: "Negotiations with Hitachi on agreeing a deal that provides value for money for consumers and taxpayers on the Wylfa project are ongoing.

"They are commercially sensitive and we do not comment on speculation."

The latest developments are likely to force the government to sweeten future nuclear plant deals for potential investors, in what one expert has called a "desperate leap in the dark".

Energy Secretary Greg Clark has already suggested that regulated asset base (RAB) funding could be used for nuclear projects in future.

The method, which has already been used for other infrastructure schemes including the £4.2bn Thames Tideway "super-sewer", allows investors to receive returns before the projects have been completed.

It also allows the Treasury to keep the costs off its books by recouping the investment from consumers' bills rather than through direct taxation.

A BEIS spokesperson said on Sunday that it remained the government's objective in the longer term that new nuclear projects like other energy infrastructure should be financed by the private sector.

The spokesperson added: "Alongside our discussions with developers, we will be reviewing the viability of a regulated asset base model as a sustainable funding model based on private finance for future projects beyond Wylfa, which could deliver the government's objectives in terms of value for money, fiscal responsibility and decarbonisation."

Technically complex
One economist, Prof Dieter Helm of Oxford University, says this could work if it is properly regulated.

In an analysis of the model, he wrote: "The RAB approach is in a first, best world probably inferior to the direct procurement route, but the latter is ruled out by the Treasury-imposed constraints.

"The RAB model is a second-best, but much better than the Hinkley-style contract."

However, energy expert Prof Paul Dorfman, of the Energy Institute at University College London, is more sceptical.

He told the BBC that nuclear power plants could not be built without "vast" public subsidies and that RAB funding was merely "a fiscally dextrous form of subsidy".

He added: "It's never been tried for projects as technically complex as nuclear power that take about a decade to build.

"It really looks as if the government are flailing. It's a last desperate leap in the dark."

Both Prof Helm and Prof Dorfman take the view that the UK has various possible ways of satisfying its future energy needs.

Prof Helm says that nuclear faces "deep challenges", adding: "It is for society to decide whether it wants new nuclear or not. The market cannot decide."

For Prof Dorfman, renewable energy is now "cost-competitive with fossil fuels" and offers "a cheaper and better way forward".

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