1 MONGOLIA-CHINA AGREE TO COLLABORATE IN INCREASING MEAT EXPORT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      2 U.S. AND MONGOLIA SEEK TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WWW.STRTRADE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      3 MONGOLIA, U.S. LEADERS DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      4 BELT AND ROAD SIGNIFICANT TO MONGOLIA, PEOPLE AROUND WORLD -- ACADEMIC WWW.ENG.YIDAIYILU.GOV.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      5 PETRO MATAD UPDATES MONGOLIA EXPLORATION WWW.OGJ.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      6 RIO TINTO’S EXIT FROM COAL PAYS OFF, TO RETURN $3.2B FROM SALES PROCEEDS TO SHAREHOLDERS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      7 OPENING CEREMONY OF SAINSHAND SALKHIN PARK HELD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      8 ALIBABA’S MA SAYS TRUMP’S TRADE WAR ‘DESTROYED’ HIS PROMISE TO CREATE JOBS FOR 1MN AMERICANS WWW.RT.COM  PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      9 LEGAL DISPUTE OVER EMC OWNERSHIP COMES TO AN END WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      10 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      НУРАХ ДӨХСӨН БАЙРУУДЫГ ШИНЭЧЛЭХ КОМПАНИ ОЛДОХГҮЙ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛС ВАШИНГТОН, ПЁНЬЯНЫ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭЭРТ ЗУУЧЛАХАД БЭЛЭН ГЭДГЭЭ ЗАРЛАЛАА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УЛСЫН ХЭМЖЭЭНД 85.3 МЯНГАН ТОНН ТӨМС ХУРААН АВААД БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ЗГ: БУЦАЛТГҮЙ ТУСЛАМЖИЙГ УСНЫ НӨӨЦИЙГ САЙЖРУУЛАХ, ХЭРЭГЛЭСЭН УСЫГ БУЦААН АШИГЛАХАД ЗАРЦУУЛНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ҮСХ: УЛААНБААТАРТ АЖИЛЛАГЧДЫН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ЦАЛИН УЛСЫН ДУНДЖААС 121.7 МЯНГАН ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ИХ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ИХ ХУРАЛ, ЕВРОПЫН ПАРЛАМЕНТ ХООРОНДЫН XII УУЛЗАЛТААР ХАМТАРСАН МЭДЭГДЭЛ ГАРГАЛАА WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ТӨРИЙН АЛБАНЫ УДИРДАХ АЖИЛТНЫ УЛСЫН ЗӨВЛӨГӨӨН БОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     2019 ОНЫГ МОНГОЛ, АМЕРИКИЙН ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ЖИЛ БОЛГОНО WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УУРХАЙЧДЫН АЖЛЫН БАЙР НЭМЭГДЭЖ, ЦАЛИН ӨСЧ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     “ЭРДЭНЭТ”-ИЙН 49 ХУВИЙН ӨМЧЛӨЛ ТОЙРСОН ХУУЛЬ ЗҮЙН МАРГААН ЭЦЭС БОЛЛОО WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

64x64

Mongolia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016 www.opengovpartnership.org

In 2017, the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) published the end-of-term report for Mongolia’s first action plan. The report covers the full action plan implementation period of 2014 through 2016.

In Mongolia, the IRM researchers, Batbold Zagdragchaa and Tserenjav Demberel, summarize their report's findings below:

Mongolia’s first action plan was highly ambitious with nearly half of the plan’s commitments considered potentially transformative. By the end of its implementation, the government achieved important progress in environmental transparency, public access to budgetary information, and crime mapping. Nonetheless, most commitments remain unfulfilled. Mongolia’s second action plan presents an opportunity to complete pending commitments and expand open government to new areas such as education, health, and media.

Please review the full report in English and Mongolian on https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/mongolia-end-of-term-report-2014-2016 

...


64x64

How a group of Mongolian herders took on a mining giant — and won www.devex.com

WASHINGTON — Tending camels in the Gobi desert — moving them to fresh grazing pastures in the spring and summer, and to shelter in the winter — has been a way of life for families in Mongolia for thousands of years. But cycles of freezing winters and dry summers — a natural phenomenon which the herders call the “dzud” — are ravaging the already inhospitable terrain with increasing frequency as a result of climate change, leaving millions of livestock dead from cold or starvation.

As life for the camel herders becomes more challenging, they face a further threat in the form of Mongolia’s booming mining industry, which the families argue is putting their livelihoods, health and culture at risk.

But the herders are fighting to defend their way of life. In May, they won a landmark agreement with the operators of one of the world’s largest copper mines — the World Bank-backed Oyu Tolgoi — dedicated to improving the lives of their families, their animals and their environment. Constituting more than 50 separate commitments on the part of Oyu Tolgoi LLC and the Mongolian government, a co-owner of the mine, activists have described the victory as “rare” and “historic” — the culmination of four years of negotiations mediated by the World Bank’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman in one of the few successful cases of its kind.

“Agreements like these … are rare in our field. The size and scope of the agreements is testament to the hard work that all parties have put into the dispute resolution process,” said Caitlin Daniel, an attorney with the NGO Accountability Counsel, which supported the herders through the complaint process with legal advice and negotiation training.

The case serves as a model for how marginalized communities can hold companies and their institutional investors to account, and for how corporations can settle conflicts and ensure they are operating in a socially and environmentally conscious way, Daniel said.

Inside the campaign to support communities harmed by development

When safeguards fail, development finance can sometimes cause harm to the same communities it aims to help. A growing number of civil society organizations are leading the campaign for redress.

The agreement still needs to be implemented. Battsengel Lkhamdoorov, who was elected by his fellow herders to represent them during the negotiations, believes that their complaints are “starting to be addressed in a serious way,” but said that “we will continue to be vigilant and make sure what has been agreed to is actually accomplished.” Nonetheless, the agreement itself remains a landmark achievement.

How was it reached — and what does it mean for other communities affected by these issues?

Mongolia’s hidden treasure

The Oyu Tolgoi mining site, which means “turquoise hill,” is widely thought to be one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world. Located in a remote area of the south Gobi desert, much hope is pinned on it. Once complete, it is expected to boost Mongolia’s gross domestic product by up to 30 percent.

Mongolia has made huge strides in its social and economic development over the past 25 years — tripling its GDP, decreasing maternal and child mortality levels and improving school enrolments. But the economy has taken a downturn in recent years, in part due to falling commodity prices. The country was forced to ask the International Monetary Fund for a $5.5 billion rescue package earlier this year.

As a result, the success of the Oyu Tolgoi project is a priority for the government. Predicting an economic rebound for Mongolia in 2019, the World Bank points to it as a key factor in the country’s hoped-for recovery.

Part of the Oyu Tolgoi mining site. Photo by: Brücke-Osteuropa
It is thought that the mine was first discovered by the Russians in the 1950s, and has changed hands many times since then. It is now jointly owned by the Mongolian government, which has a 34 percent share, and Canadian mining company Turquoise Hill Resources, which is predominantly owned by British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. It is operated by Oyu Tolgoi LLC.

Fearing it would be difficult to attract foreign investment into the formerly Communist country, in 2010 Oyu Tolgoi’s owners approached the International Finance Corporation — the private sector arm of the World Bank — and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to request financing to develop the site, which includes an underground mine as well as an open pit operation.

A financing package was eventually agreed, with the development finance institutions putting up $4.4 billion between them. That included $400 million in direct financing from the IFC, as well as syndicated loans with 15 other commercial lenders worth $820 million, and guarantees from the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

The mine is currently partially operational, with the final work set to be completed by 2025.

‘A forced change of lifestyle’

More than a third of Mongolians are herders of some kind, making a living by moving their animals to different pastures depending on the season. With this way of life increasingly under threat, mining activities can also pose a problem because of conflicts over land rights and the impact on the environment.

The Oyu Tolgoi site, which spans 250 square kilometers of desert, was no exception.

By 2012, the situation had deteriorated far enough that, with the aid of two Mongolian NGOs — Gobi Soil and Oyu Tolgoi Watch — a group of herders filed a complaint with the CAO, the body tasked with resolving disputes with local communities affected by IFC investments, claiming that the development of the mine was threatening their livelihoods, health and culture.

Before the IFC had even approved financing for the mine, the herders claimed that 11 herding households were unfairly pressured into relocating their winter camps and signing unfair compensation packages. As a result, many had lost animals during the harsh winter because they were forced onto inferior plots of land.

The herders also claimed that compensation packages offered to 89 other households whose pastures and water wells were impacted by the development of the mine failed to meet their needs. They asked for revised compensation and a comprehensive training program to help the herders develop new skills to “address the pressures of a forced change of lifestyle.”

Five months later, in February 2013, the herders filed a second complaint — this time, about the diversion of sections of two rivers running through the area to make way for the construction of roads and other infrastructure linked to the mine. According to the herders, these diversions caused wells and springs to dry up, leading to a scarcity of drinking water and the deterioration of pasture land.

Water has long been the biggest cause of tension between mining companies and local communities. Between 2010 and 2017, nearly 60 percent of all mining complaints lodged with the IFC centered around it. The south Gobi desert may be rich in minerals but it is poor in water — already the driest part of Mongolia, mining activities there mean that resources are being stretched further.

Despite the complaints being lodged with the CAO, IFC financing for the mine went ahead.

The mediator

The CAO was set up in 1999 to review complaints from communities who claim to have been negatively impacted by companies funded directly or indirectly by the World Bank’s private sector financiers — the IFC and MIGA. It came as part of the World Bank’s drive to become more socially and environmentally conscious, after a number of highly controversial infrastructure projects — such as the Polonoroeste project, designed to build a highway into the Amazon — sparked international outcry.

In a majority of cases handled by the CAO, no agreement was reached, nor was a compliance investigation undertaken. Within cases of dispute resolution, only around a third resulted in an agreement.

The CAO has two modes of working — mediating and negotiating between companies and communities to resolve disputes; or it can launch a compliance investigation to determine whether a company has adhered to the bank’s environmental and social safety policies.

The success of the CAO is disputed. As of 2016, the ombudsman had handled 160 cases in 49 countries — but accusations of social and environmental harm caused by IFC and MIGA-backed projects have continued. A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley, looking at 71 CAO cases found that in a majority of them no agreement was reached, nor was a compliance investigation undertaken. Within cases of dispute resolution, only around a third resulted in an agreement.

The camel herders were among the lucky ones.

The negotiations

After receiving the first complaint, a team from the CAO flew to Mongolia to meet with the herders and the mine’s operator. Both groups chose to pursue a dispute resolution through the CAO — a voluntary process which either party can withdraw from at any point. Other options open to the herders would have been litigation, direct negotiation without a mediator, and media campaigns and protests.

The Accountability Counsel’s Daniel said the herders initially struggled to overcome the “significant power imbalance at play.”

“At the beginning it was a hard process — there was a lot of tension and emotional outbursts,” she said. “But the herders became more empowered over time to represent themselves at the table.”

Everyone Devex spoke to agreed that the formation of a Tripartite Council, known as the TPC, in 2015, to act as an independent, freestanding forum through which to resolve the complaints and deal with any future issues, was key to the success of the negotiations. It is expected that the TPC — which includes representatives from the herders, Oyu Tolgoi, and the government — will continue to meet regularly during the life of the project.

Battsengel Lkhamdoorov, a member of the Elected Herder Team that negotiated with Oyu Tolgoi and the local government. Photo by: Accountability Counsel
Daniel described the TPC as a “very significant achievement” for the herders, while Neil Pereira, principal investment officer at IFC for the Oyu Tolgoi project, said he had sat in meetings and seen first hand the council’s effectiveness.

A spokesperson for Oyu Tolgoi said the TPC created a “level playing field where stakeholders participate equitably in a process of consensual negotiation; building capacity to engage constructively and move forward.”

The mining company also praised the CAO for the training, facilitation and conflict resolution services it provided to TPC members throughout the process.

A number of smaller agreements were reached early on. For example, Oyu Tolgoi agreed to let herders graze their animals on the project site and visit the mine. But reaching agreement on the bigger social and environmental impacts of the mine proved more difficult.

As a result, two independent experts were appointed jointly by the herders and Oyu Tolgoi to investigate. The final reports were submitted at the beginning of 2017: The experts broadly supported the herders’ claims and criticized the company’s compensation processes and environmental assessment and monitoring practices. They also found that the mine had created conflict among the herders themselves, as they competed for land and water.

Based on this, two key agreements were reached through the TPC, and signed in May 2017.

The agreements included dozens of commitments made by the mining company and also the government, including constructing new wells and maintaining existing ones; developing a pasture management plan; and better monitoring the environmental impacts of the mine’s operations.

Oyu Tolgoi also agreed to review its compensation packages and expand the eligibility criteria to include more herders. It pledged a number of initiatives to boost the economic sustainability of the herders’ traditional livelihoods, including developing a local market and supply chain for animal products, building a slaughterhouse, and introducing a fodder planting program.

They will also work to improve health services for herders and set up a scholarship program to help children explore alternative livelihoods.

Significantly, a participatory monitoring program will be designed in consultation with the herders that will include training and employment for many of them.

While the final agreement represents a “historic” victory for the herders, their supporters stressed that ongoing support will be needed to ensure it is properly implemented.

“It is critical [the herders] still have this Tripartite Council and that the CAO is engaged,” Daniel said.

Critics of the CAO say it lacks teeth to enforce the agreements it helps to mediate, which are voluntary. But it will at least monitor the implementation of the agreement for 12 months, and close the case if progress is satisfactory.

Oyu Tolgoi told Devex in an email that it is “fully committed to implement agreed actions under the agreements.”

‘Healthy respect’ for the CAO process

The ombudsman has often struggled to hold the IFC itself to account. The World Bank’s private sector arm dismissed the CAO’s most recent audit report, which criticized it for inadequate monitoring of investments in financial intermediaries, with officers describing the report as “misleading and inaccurate.”

“A project of this size will always have issues … it’s the nature of the business. We don’t want anyone to be adversely affected but we would be naive to think you can build a project of this scale and not have issues.”
— Neil Pereira, principal investment officer at IFC for the Oyu Tolgoi project
But IFC’s Pereira said he has a “healthy respect” for the CAO process, and that the outcome of the herders’ case demonstrates it is fulfilling its function as a “check and balance” on the IFC and MIGA. He added that the IFC had been “fully involved and supportive” of the process.

“A lot of good has come out of this process, we’ve been able to interact with people and understand their specific issues and I think for the most part their issues have been addressed … That’s what [the] IFC wants,” he said.

Pereira also explained that while the IFC’s board knew about the pending CAO case when it voted to approve financing for the mine in 2013, the clear potential upsides and the Mongolian government’s strong support for the project meant it went ahead.

IFC estimates that more than 18,000 jobs either have been or will be created by the mine, with about 90 percent going to local staff. In addition, the project contributed more than $1 billion in taxes and other payments to the government between 2010 and 2015, and local spending associated with the mine was about $4 billion at the end of 2015, according to IFC data.

For Pereira, the IFC’s involvement presented an opportunity to set a good standard for mining projects in Mongolia, which only relatively recently entered the market economy system, and help ensure that future activities were carried out in an “appropriate manner.”

“A project of this size will always have issues … it’s the nature of the business,” he said. “We don’t want anyone to be adversely affected but we would be naive to think you can build a project of this scale and not have issues.”

“While we do our best to mitigate this, when problems do come up we try and address them, and the CAO can help us [do this],” he added.

Pereira described Rio Tinto as a “very good partner and we’ve been very happy with their involvement.” He is confident that the company is “committed to doing the right thing” by the herders. Devex contacted Rio Tinto for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Transparent communication and the value of involving communities throughout the design, implementation, monitoring and maintenance phases of a mining project emerged as recurring themes throughout the dispute resolution process, according to Daniel. In fact, the case might never been brought forward if communication between the company and the herders had been better from the start, she said.

“Often, issues are so frightening for herders because they are still not really seeing the type of regular updates, or information disclosure you would want to see … They [Oyu Tolgoi] could have done that to begin with — so there is still [a] lot that could be done on the front end to avoid the need for these [formal complaints] in the first place,” she said.

IFC appears to have taken this lesson on board, as well as the need to pay special attention to water use by mining companies. Motivated by the Mongolia case, it brokered a voluntary code of practice on water management with eight mining companies in 2016, which calls for signatories to be more transparent, to develop participatory monitoring programs for communities living close to mining sites and to measure and monitor water resources.

The parties “have come a long way in building trust with each other” since the first complaint was lodged in 2012, Daniel said. Now, Oyu Tolgoi will “need to maintain that trust and implement the agreements well to truly resolve the dispute.”

...


64x64

Kincora closes $4.52m in new equity raise for Tier 1 copper porphyry targets www.kincoracopper.com

Vancouver, BC— August 8th, 2017
Kincora Copper Ltd. (the “Company”, “Kincora”) (TSXV:KCC) is pleased to announce that it has closed the previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $4,524,687 through the issuance of 13,711,174 Units at a price of C$0.33 per Unit. Each Unit is comprised of one common share (the “Shares”) and one-half of a share purchase warrant with each whole warrant (the “Warrants”) entitling the holder to acquire a further Share at C$0.445 for a period of two years. The private placement is subject to final TSX-V approval.
Proceeds from the offering will accelerate Kincora’s exploration and expansion strategy. In 2016, Kincora surpassed Rio Tinto, and related entities, to become the dominant landholder along the Devonian copper-gold belt (100% ownership of 1437 km2). Kincora will shortly initiate an extensive two-phase drill program at the East Tsagaan Suvarga and Bayan Tal targets for up to
16,000 metres (up to 8,000 metres at both targets), while advancing its district scale multitarget, multi-stage pipeline up the value curve.
All Units issued are subject to a four-month hold period expiring four months and one day from the date of issuance.
Sam Spring, President & CEO, commented: “We are encouraged by the support received from new and existing investors despite a challenging market for junior explorers, with many new groups having undertaken detailed due diligence providing validation of our exciting dual exploration and expansion strategy.
This is testament to the quality of Kincora’s targets and the strategic value of our dominant position in this highly mineralized but vastly underexplored Devonian belt, which we are shortly looking to drill test for the first time by any explorer since 2012. This new equity will significantly strengthen Kincora's ability to test a number of Tier 1 copper porphyry targets while enabling the Company to further enhance its holdings on the belt.
The copper price remains favourable, with prices increasing 50% since we secured the IBEX transaction, and with multiple value add work streams now funded we plan to shortly
increase awareness for what is effectively a new copper junior to the wider public markets.”
800–1199 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 3T5 Phone +1 604 283 1722 Fax +1 888 241 5996

Further details are provided in an updated presentation on the Kincora website:
http://kincoracopper.com/investors/corporate-presentation
The Company paid finder’s fees of $120,613 and issued 365,493 broker warrants in connection with the offering. Each broker warrant entitles the holder to acquire a further Share at C$0.445 for a period of one year.
Post the aforementioned offering Kincora has 64,445,068 issued shares with a total of 10,168,579 warrants outstanding.

...


64x64

MCAA first deputy-director meets DPRK delegation www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ B.Altantsom, First Deputy-Director of the Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA), received Wednesday a delegation headed by Mr Ri Yong Son, Vice Head of the Civil Aviation Authority of North Korea, who is participating in the 54th DGCA Conference in Ulaanbaatar.

At the meeting, the North Korean side expressed its willingness to upgrade the 1978 bilateral aviation agreement, to train aviation staffs and experts in Mongolia and to receive technical assistance. Mr Ri Yong Son also said his country aspires to learn a possibility to open a direct flight between Pyongyang and Ulaanbaatar.

...


64x64

Mongolian academy of sciences to cooperate with Irkutsk State Technical University www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolian Academy of Sciences established an agreement with Irkutsk State Technical University to cooperate in the science, education and innovation spheres on August 7.

The agreement was signed by D.Regdel, President of MAS, and M.V.Kornyakov, Rector of ISTU.

The sides will be strengthening creative cooperation between Mongolia and Russia, as well as contribute to science and technology development.

...


64x64

China marks 70 years of Inner Mongolia's founding, activist complains of curbs www.reuters.com

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Tuesday celebrated 70 years since the founding of Inner Mongolia, its first self-proclaimed region run by ethnic minorities, as a leading Mongol activist said her communications had been interrupted and the police were following her.

China's Communists set up Inner Mongolia in 1947, two years before seizing power at the end of the country's civil war. It has served as a model for other "autonomous regions" with large minority populations, like Tibet and Xinjiang.

The regions are meant to have a high degree of self-government, but dissidents and rights groups say in practice the majority Han Chinese run the show, keeping a tight rein, fearful of unrest in the strategic border locations.

The "glorious achievements" of the past 70 years resulted from the correct leadership of the ruling Communist Party, said Yu Zhengsheng, its fourth-ranked leader.

"Ethnic unity is the lifeline for all our country's nationalities, and strengthening ethnic unity is a strategic, basic and long-term task," Yu said during a live broadcast of celebrations in the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot.

Conditions must be created for different ethnic groups to live, study, work and be happy together, he told the audience in an outdoor stadium where the festivities were held.

Inner Mongolia, China's largest coal producing region, has seen sporadic unrest since 2011, when it was rocked by protests after an ethnic Mongol herder was killed by a truck after taking part in demonstrations against pollution caused by a coal mine.

Some Mongols, who make up less than a fifth of the 24 million population of Inner Mongolia, say their grazing lands have been ruined by mining and desertification and the government has forced them to resettle in permanent houses.

Xinna, the wife of China's best-known Mongol dissident, Hada, told Reuters that plainclothes police officers had parked outside her Hohhot home, followed her when she tried to go out and her internet access had been interrupted ahead of the anniversary.

"Today is not a day to be happy but to be depressed," she added.

Many Mongols in China go by a single name.

Hada, who had been one of China's longest-serving political prisoners, was freed in 2014 after being jailed in 1996 for separatism and spying, charges his family say were punishment for speaking out about the threatened Mongol culture.

"He can't really speak much any more. His faculties won't come back," Xinna, herself deeply involved in Mongol causes, said of her husband, who is still kept under close watch by police. "It's the natural result of all his years in jail."

The government in Inner Mongolia did not answer telephone calls to seek comment. Hohhot police declined comment.

(This version of the story has been refiled to remove extraneous word "government" in final paragraph)

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

...


64x64

Nissan Selling Battery Business to GSR for $1 Billion www.bloomberg.com

Nissan Motor Co. is selling its battery business to Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital for about $1 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said, as the Japanese carmaker seeks ways to improve competitiveness of its Leaf electric cars while reining in costs.

The deal covers Nissan’s battery subsidiary Automotive Energy Supply Corp. as well as manufacturing operations in Japan, the U.S. and U.K., Nissan said in a statement Tuesday, which didn’t disclose financial terms. Assets sold to GSR will also include part of Nissan’s Japanese battery development and engineering operations in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama.

The sale marks the end of Nissan’s long search for a buyer for the battery unit, which was established jointly with NEC Corp. in 2007, more than three years ahead of the Leaf’s introduction. Buying the business will allow GSR to take advantage of global automakers’ pursuit of sales in China, the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market. The Chinese government has required EV producers to choose from a list of approved battery vendors, all domestic makers, to receive subsidies.

Nissan has established a supplier relationship with the new owner of the battery company and the purpose of this is for Nissan to procure high-spec lithium-ion batteries at a low cost to expand its EV line-up, Nick Maxfield, a spokesman for Nissan, said in an emailed statement.

Nissan shares were little changed at 1,090.5 yen in Tokyo trading on Tuesday. The stock has declined 7.2 percent this year.

‘Bloody, Cutthroat’

“The battery business alone will not make money, you have to have scale, you have to have the supply chain,” said GSR Chairman Sonny Wu in an interview in Hong Kong. “It’s a bloody, cutthroat game. The auto OEMs will lock you in for five years.”

The battery-making company under GSR will continue to be the exclusive supplier for the Leaf EV, Wu said. It will also handle development of cell modules and Nissan will do the development and production of battery packs, which goes hand in hand with automotive design, Maxfield said.

Nissan said it would take over NEC’s 49 percent stake in the battery venture and then sell the business to GSR. NEC will book about 10 billion yen ($90 million) in non-operating income from the sale, the company said in a separate press release.

Representatives for GSR Capital, Nissan and NEC declined to comment on the financial terms. Barclays Plc advised Nissan on the sale.

GSR will further invest in R&D, expand existing production capacity in the U.S., U.K. and Japan, and also establish new facilities in China and Europe, Wu said. GSR plans investments in production facilities to increase capacity to 30 gigawatt-hours in China by 2020, according to Wu.

Nissan has been selling stakes in businesses including parts manufacturer Calsonic Kansei Corp. and forklift truck maker UniCarriers Corp. to focus on developing technology including electric powertrains and autonomous driving. Nissan is also looking to push into Southeast Asia with its purchase of a stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

...


64x64

Copper price jumps to highest since 2014 www.mining.com

Copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York advanced for a third session on Tuesday after a rebound in imports by top consumer China.

In brisk volumes copper for delivery in September jumped to a high of 2.9455 a pound ($6,494 per tonne) in lunchtime trade, up more than 1% on Friday's close to the highest since mid-December 2014.

Copper's 2017 year to date gains in percentage terms now top 16% and the red metal has recovered more than 50% in value after falling to six-year lows below $2.00 a pound in January last year.

Chinese imports of refined copper increased 8.3% in July from a year ago, but cargoes remain down 15% over the first seven months of 2017 to 2.62m tonnes. Shipments of copper concentrate were unchanged in July from the month before and up 2.2% from July last year to 1.4m tonnes.

Year to date Chinese concentrate imports total 9.7m tonnes, not far off last year's pace despite supply disruptions at some of the world's biggest mines including BHP's Escondida mine in Chile earlier this year and ongoing strike action at Freeport McMoRan's Grasberg operations in Indonesia.

Workers at Grasberg have extended their strike for a fourth month to end August. Freeport's temporary exporting licence is coming up for renewal in October, a bargaining chip used by Jakarta as it negotiates with the Phoenix-based company about divesting a majority stake in its Indonesian subsidiary.

2016 was a banner year for concentrate imports with volumes gaining 28% over 2015 hitting an all-time high of 16.96 million tonnes for the full year. Chinese imports compare to global mined production of an estimated 20.5 million tonnes per year.

Bart Melek, head of commodities strategy at TD Securities quoted by CNBC last week said copper could continue to rally but it could run out of steam later in the year:

"If we break through the current levels here, there's a very robust resistance at $2.96," he said. Melek said under the right circumstances, it could go to $3.2745."

 
 
 
...


64x64

Mongolia to increase meat exports to Vietnam www.news.mn

The 16th meeting of the Mongolian and Vietnamese intergovernmental commission was held on 8th of August. The agriculture ministers of the two countries participated in the meeting which aims to increase cooperation in trade, the economy, agriculture, health and education.

According to Mongolian statistics, the volume of trade with Vietnam amounted for USD 43.0 million in 2016, USD 2.9 million of which were exports and USD 40.1 million were imports.

Under the cooperation agreement, the two sides plan to increase the volume of trade to USD 70 million in 2020. Furthermore, Mongolia is planning to export meat, leathers, and cashmere to Vietnam as well as to import fish, clothes and other items.

...


64x64

FAA and International Leadership in Mongolia www.faa.gov

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta, speaking at an Asia-Pacific civil aviation conference in Mongolia today, said that the FAA and its Asia-Pacific counterparts must continue to work together to promote oversight operations and certification systems that will ensure the safety of passengers around the world as demand increases.  

The FAA projects that within 20 years, the total number of passengers traveling between the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. alone will increase by 120 percent.
“By sharing data and best practices with each other, we’ve proven that safety has no borders,” said Huerta. “It is imperative that we work together to meet this increased demand and deliver the level of safety and service consumers and businesses on both sides of the Pacific expect.”
Aviation leaders gathered at the Asia-Pacific Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference to discuss the future of civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. has collaborated with the region since establishing a civil aviation office in Tokyo in 1947.
In cooperation with forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), FAA is working to improve air traffic efficiency in the region. For example, through engagement with ASEAN, FAA is working to emphasize the operational value of cross-border data information sharing between Asian states.
With APEC, the FAA is standardizing and implementing innovative traffic flow management technologies and best practices to allow for separation reductions and smoother traffic flow. The FAA also is supporting regional initiatives to implement more Performance-Based Navigation (PDF) procedures, which shorten flight routes, save time, and reduce emissions.  
Leaders of both regions committed to improving the efficiency of each nation’s aviation systems in a time when new technologies continue to reshape traditional aircraft and air traffic operations.

...