Exploration licenses decline by 20 percent yoy www.zgm.mn
The number of licenses valid in Mongolia declined by 9 percent in 2019 from a year earlier, reaching 2,796. Operational licenses have decreased by three, while exploration licenses have dropped by 20 percent to 1,126, according to the Minerals Resources and Petroleum Authority (MRPAM). Moreover, valid exploration licenses cover 3.8 percent of the whole territory of Mongolia. The industry experts have been criticizing the Government’s decision to halt issuing a new exploration license for one year. Of the operating licenses, 31.8 percent are gold, 17.8 percent are coal, 11.2 percent are fluoride and 4.6 percent are limestone. To note, Mongolia is the third-largest supplier of fluoride in the world after China and Mexico. In the meantime, the number of fluoride projects is increasing as well. The Mineral Resources Council has approved feasibility studies for 53 new mining projects in 2019-2020, of which 22.6 percent or 12 are for fluoride. In terms of the structure of the license owners, 14.5 percent of the total license holders are 100 percent foreign-invested and 6 percent are Mongolian and foreign joint ventures. China, the Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, and Singapore are dominating among foreign-invested companies.