Monday, March 24, 2014

Mongolia Brief March 24, 2014



President Attends Festival of Nowruz
Ulaanbaatar, March 23(MONTSAME) The President Ts.Elbegdorj attended a traditional festival called "Kara jorga" which took place on the Central Square on the eve of Nowruz--Lunar New Year of Kazakhs.

The event also attracted P.Tsagaan, a head of the Presidential Office; A.Ganbaatar and L.Erkhembayar, advisors to the President; and other officials. Together with others, they saw many events including a concert of Kazakhs and traditional costumes show.
The President addressed the festival, saying that Nowruz has become a celebration marked by Kazakhs together with all Mongolians, and that this year’s celebration is full of many good events. Many foremost Kazakhs were awarded state prizes on occasion of the Lunar New Year, he added.
The Kazakhs are living and working around the country, Bayan-Olgii aimag is doing well, and I am really happy to attend this festival," the President said and wished them all the best.
After this, the leader of Mongolia watched an exhibition mounted by brothers J.Oilan and J.Tolgau, and legged a Kazakh ger assembled on the Central Square. 


President Ts.Elbegdorj to have back surgery in Japan
March 24 (news.mn) President Ts.Elbegdorj left for Japan on Monday, March 24th. The President is expected to undergo back surgery in Japan.
President Ts.Elbegdorj previously commented that “Our bad habits such as sitting in the wrong way, standing, carrying water from young age or lifting heavy objects are likely to cause bad back pain. Soon I am scheduled to have back surgery in Japan.”
President Ts.Elbegdorj had back surgery twice prior to this instance in Mongolia.


Speaker in Bayan-Olgii
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME)The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold launched his working tour to Bayan-Olgiiaimag Friday.
Upon arrival he was welcomed with a guard of honor, by B.Lazatkhan, a head of the Citizens’ Representative Khural of Bayan-Olgii, and by Kh.Darmen, a governor of the province.
Bayan-Olgiiaimag’s has the population of 93 thousand people, where 93% are Kazakhs and the rest is  Dorvod, Uriankhai, Tuva and Khalkh people.
The Speaker watched a festival for Nowruz and attended a ceremonial meeting of the celebration opened by the aimag’s governor Darmen. The Speaker conveyed congratulations to the Kazakhs on their Lunar New Year.
After this, the Speaker granted the title of People’s Artist to B.Khaijamal, a senior artist from Olgiisoum, for 60-year work in the art sector of Mongolia. A title of State Honored Herdsman went to N.Bakhat, a herdsman from Bugatsoum.
The Speaker was accompanied by A.Bakei, a head of the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure; Lieutenant-General Ts.Byambajav, a head of the General Headquarters of Mongolian Armed Forces; Z.Narantuya, an advisor to the Speaker; and others. 


Speaker Z.Enkhbold and A.Bakei MP Give Interviews
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME)In frames a working tour, the Speaker of parliament Z.Enkhbold and a head of the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure A.Bakei Monday gave interviews to the Bayan-Olgii-based branch of the Mongolian National Public Television.
The dignitaries touched upon issues of the “Dayan-Ulaan-Uul” border checkpoint, the flight from Kazakhstan to Bayan-Olgii province, putting the “Asgat” silver deposit into an economic circulation and a matter of some “frozen” estates.
The TV asked the Speaker about the national developmental programme and talked about some proposals such as reducing consumer products prices. The local inhabitants asked the parliament head to solve a problem with crossing Russia-Kazakhstan border, saying it is always difficult to get visas of these countries. The Speaker replied Mongolia had talked with Russia about it but the answer has not been given to some reasons. The Speaker also said the legislative body will resolve soon a matter on constructing a kindergarten and dormitory, being “frozen” in the aimag.
Emphasizing an importance of putting the “Asgat” silver deposit into an economic circulation, A.Bakei said that a road has been tackled to reach this deposit, but parliament is now seeking ways of solving the investment, management and technological matters.
After the interviews, the Speaker and Standing committee head got acquainted with how Government Service Machine (GSM) is used in a central communication center of Bayan-Olgii. 


Prime Minister Introduces Projects to Start in 2014 in His Opening Remarks at Mongolia Economic Forum
March 24 (infomongolia.com) A two-day Mongolia Economic Forum has been commenced today in the Government House on March 24, 2014 that aims to provide a permanent venue for open discussion of policy issues and helping policy makers find consensus on development matters.
This is a fifth event organized under the auspices of the Prime Minister and supported by Presidential Office and State Great Khural (Parliament) to discuss economic development, its vital problems and ways to resolve, where the World Economic Forum’s project team has presented 'The Scenarios for Mongolia' today morning.
The opening remarks was delivered by Prime Minister and in his speech Premier N.Altankhuyag noted, “The last year’s Forum was themed under ‘Mongol Brand’ to determine and discuss what we can do or create, so this year we will focus on what we can do under ‘Let’s Create in Mongolia’. In fact, the end-products manufactured by Mongolians are few to count, where Mongolia imports 88% of its total consumer products, while the total export estimates for raw materials and counts for over 90%. We should fix this system immediately, otherwise to expect economic dilemma easily and the Government is to adhere consistent policy to support creative entrepreneurs by eliminating bureaucracy and barriers.
In 2014, the Government of Mongolia is to spend one trillion MNT (Tugrug) for industrialization and under the program to implement several projects to build plants in construction materials, woven cloths, food industry and mining. In 2013, over 20 thousand families were provided with housing and this year, it estimates to accomplish 30,000 housing program, also 1,000-apartment program will be commenced in each Aimag starting from this year.
Under the ‘Street’ Project, 'New Railway' and Khushigt Valley (new international airport) projects will be continued. Expansion works for Amgalan thermal power plant, Ulaanbaatar Power Plant No.III and No.IV will be completed. The 450 MW Power Plant Tavan Tolgoi Project will be started, moreover thermal stations, diagnostic centers and ‘Sample Sum' (Sum - administrative unit to an Aimag) projects in each Aimag will be started this year. Therefore, we should intergrate our power to successfully accomplish these projects and I am confident Mongolia to become a creator nation”.
Related:
PM at Economic ForumMontsame, March 24


P.Tsagaan Receives Kyrgyz Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, March 23(MONTSAME) On Friday, a head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan received Kyrgyzstan Osh city Council members led by Mr Ulan Primov.
MrTsagaan congratulated the delegation on Nowruz—the Lunar New Year. MrPrimov noted that the Mongolia-Kyrgyzstan relations have a long-year history, and then invited MrTsagaan to visit Osh city. He said the delegation wants to study experience of Mongolia in democracy and market economy. "The most important for us is to learn activities, functions and decision-making process of localities' Citizens Representative Khural," MrPrimov underlined.
Mentioning that the International Republican Institute (IRI) has been supporting Mongolia since the democratic revolution and has taught us the "ABC" of the democracy, Mr Tsagaan expressed a satisfaction with launching the collaboration between IRI and Kyrgyzstan. Then he invited Kyrgyzstan to the 5th Economic Forum that will take place in Ulaanbaatar.
Earlier, the Kyrgyz side had taken part in a consultation on court reforms and in the 4th Economic Forum of Mongolia to study experiences in Mongolia, Mr Tsagaan noted.
After the meeting Mr Tsagaan introduced to the Kyrgyz delegation activities of the Civil Hall at the President of Mongolia, and its principles.


FM meets SCO Secretary-General
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold Monday met visiting Mr D.F.Mezentsev, the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The Foreign Minister and the SCO Secretary exchanged views on the regional cooperation.
Invited by Mr Bold, the SCO Secretary-General started the visit on Sunday and will complete it March 26.


South African Deputy Minister Visits Mongolian Coal Mine
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) The South African delegation led by Mr Godfrey Oliphant, the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, visited “Shivee-Ovoo” Mongolian coal mine on Thursday.
The delegation witnessed the mine's operations and capacity and got au fait with its long-term goals.
Executive director of the mine O.Otgonbaatar met with the Deputy Minister to exchange views with him on ways of introducing the latest hi tech of S.Africa to our country and of cooperating in this field. The Deputy Minister said that his visit will be a start of a fruitful cooperation.
The mine, located 260 kms from the city, is the largest brown coal deposit providing 30 percent of domestic coal demand and 70 percent of coal demand of energy production for central region. 


‘11 11’ Center Reports
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME) Last week, the Government’s ’11 11’ Center received 828 requests, complaints and gratitude.
Some asked why attendees of the national program for qualified employees have not received the program scholarships yet. The Labor Ministry responded that it has been allotting the financing of the training to relevant educational institutions commencing March 18 of 2013.
People also made inquiries about the date to receive pension compensation payments, to which the Social Insurance Authority replied that the compensation will be granted after applicants submit the documents needed.
Responding to questions about the third semester holidays of schools, the Education Ministry said that pupils in Ulaanbaatar will go on holiday from March 29 to April 7, while those who study in provinces will have a longer school-break--from March 29 to April 13.


Kuwait’s Ambassador Attends Opening of Religious Department
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) Kuwait's Ambassador to Mongolia Khaled Al-Fadhli participated in an opening ceremony of a new headquarters of the religious affairs department society "Al-mufteyat" in Bayan-Olgii province last Saturday.
It was reported by kuna.net.kw–Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) last Sunday.
During this ceremony Mr Al-Fadli gave a speech, "tackling the deep-rooted religious ties between people of Kuwait and Kazakhs", pointing out that he will convey "their needs to the specialized authorities back in Kuwait".
Al-Fadhli presented a number of copies of the Holy Qur'an written in Kazakh language as a gift from Al Najat Charitable Society in Kuwait to MokhanAzatkhan, a head of the department.
MrAzatkhan expressed his gratitude to the Kuwaiti diplomat for his participation in the ceremony, which reflects "the great care he offers to the Muslims in Mongolia". He also thanked the AL-Najat Charitable Society and the Kuwaiti people for all the efforts they "exert to serve Muslims in Mongolia". 


Stock Exchange Weekly Review
Ulaanbaatar, March 23 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange March 17-21, 2014.
In overall, 145 thousand and 938 shares were sold of 49 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 168 million 569 thousand and 082.15.
"State Department Store” /37 thousand and 441 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /30 thousand and 757 units/, "Olloo" /18 thousand and 472 units/, "Remikon” /17 thousand and 958 units/ and "Ereentsav" /12 thousand and 963 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Ereentsav" (MNT 41 million 481 thousand and 600), "UB hotel" (MNT 24 million and 380 thousand), "UB-BUK" /MNT 23 million and 147 thousand/, "State Department Store" /MNT 21 million 775 thousand and 220.00/ and "Gobi" (MNT seven million 182 thousand and 035).


Stock exchange news for March 24
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 11 thousand and 708 shares of 17 JSCs were traded costing MNT 10 million 533 thousand and 750.00.
"Remikon" /8,757 units/, "Hermes center" /1,025 units/, "Mongol savkhi” /630 units/, "Baganuur" /260 units/ and "Genco tour bureau" /210 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gutal" (MNT two million 322 thousand and 600), "Mongeo" (MNT one million 984 thousand and 500), "Remikon" (MNT one million 325 thousand and 064), "Baganuur" (MNT one million and 053 thousand) and "Tavantolgoi" (MNT 853 thousand and 440).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 660 billion 913 million 198 thousand and 380. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 16,472.87, decreasing by MNT 68.18 or 0.41% against the previous day.


Rule of Customs Tariff Council to Be Altered
Ulaanbaatar, March 23 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Friday obliged N.Batbayar, the Minister of Economic Development, and Ch.Ulaan, the Minister of Finance, to redraft the rules of the Customs Tariff Council (CTC) and to take a measure of approving it. The decision aims to ensure a sustainable condition of carrying out the CTC’s actions.
The CTC’s composition was approved again in 2012, but the officials have not been selected yet to serve as the CTC secretary. Due to this, the CTC is not working properly.
As the customs tariffs are one of the methods of the external trade policy, the cabinet considered as necessity to order the Ministry of Economic Development to take duties of the CTC secretary.


Mongolia Economic Forum 2014 begins
March 24 (news.mn) The 5th annual Mongolia Economic Forum organized by the "Mongolia Economic Forum" NGO begins today at Government House. The Mongolia Economic Forum 2014, where businesses and government leaders interested in discussing the economical and social issues affecting Mongolia gather, will be held for two days from 24th March to Tuesday 25th March.
The theme for the fifth edition of the Mongolia Economic Forum will be “Let`s create in Mongolia”. For the two day forum over 800 participants will attend to deliver discussions on 30 issues in every field.


Members of Chingeltei’s Khural Involved in Training
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME)A series of trainings on empowering members of Citizens’ Representative Khural (CRKh) and self-governance bodies of localities ran Friday in the UB city’s Chingeltei district.
The organizers say the training would play a vital role in making the CRKh activities more sustainable, in  ensuring the civil participation in decision-making level, in helping them work more creatively and more  responsible.
For the time being, the training has involved eight thous. members of the CRKh of localities and of the city districts. The training’s main objectives are to improve the responsibilities of local administrations and their services, to let work out a national training programme for local self-governance members, and to modify the legal environment of the local self-governance bodies. 


LGBT Dialogue Runs
Ulaanbaatar, March 23 (MONTSAME) The Mongolia National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Dialogue was held March 20-21 in the UN House in Ulaanbaatar.
The LGBT Dialogue brought together 80 representatives of various stakeholders, including Government officials, LGBT human rights advocates, civil society activists, researchers and academics. The Dialogue was organized as part of the regional ‘Being LGBT in Asia’ initiative being undertaken by UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre and USAID Regional Development Mission Asia, both based in Bangkok, Thailand.
In her opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator Ms Sezin Sinanoglu acknowledged the initiatives taken in Mongolia in the past years in protecting LGBT rights: the Pride Week and DemoCrazy Carnival organized in 2013 were innovative ways of raising awareness among the general public, while various research studies, including the study conducted by the NHRCM and submissions to UPR on LGBT rights, contributed to bringing LGBT issues to the attention of policymakers.
The Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism Ms Ts.Oyungerel shared the story about the legal registration of the first LGBT organization in Mongolia, and stressed that LGBT issues need to be mainstreamed in every sphere of human life, including culture, sports and tourism. She also highlighted that enhancing acceptance and understanding of family members and friends of LGBT persons is an issue of culture, which needs to be addressed.
Participants of the Dialogue discussed health, education, employment, family, media and culture related issues that LGBT people face, achievements, and opportunities to make positive changes in legal and social environment that promote human rights of LGBT people. For example, in the education sector, it is remarkable that younger generation now has much better sexuality education than the previous generations; however, teachers need more training to teach sexual orientation and gender identity. Health issues of transgender girls and women are not researched at all. Employers are reluctant to hire transgender women, simply because of their appearance.
The U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Ms Piper Anne Wind Campbell released the following statement before the Dialogue: "I commend Mongolia on hosting this National Dialogue promoting the human rights of LGBT persons. There are many in Mongolia who are committed to ensuring that LGBT people are able to exercise their human rights without interference. This dialogue is an important step in that process - to identify the challenges that the LGBT community faces and provide recommendations to improve the social and legal environment here in Mongolia.  President Obama has made it a diplomatic priority for the United States to promote and protect the human rights of people who are LGBT, and we at the U.S. Embassy are committed to working with the Mongolian government and the LGBT community to work towards a future without discrimination."
The dialogue will feed into a report on the situation of LGBT people in Mongolia. This report will then inform a regional dialogue on LGBT issues to be held in Thailand in June 2014.  It is also hoped that the dialogue and the report will better inform LGBT human rights programming in the future in Mongolia.


Mongol Studies Meeting to Be Held in Philadelphia
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) The American Center for Mongol Studies (ACMS) is planning to celebrate its 12th annual meeting in Philadelphia on March 28.
The annual meeting, along with the 10th anniversary of AMMS’ Ulaanbaatar office, includes a reception, cultural program, poster presentation and annual business meeting in Grand Salon L of the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia. The meeting is to be held in conjunction with the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) annual conference. The ACMS reception and cultural program are free and open to all interested parties.
According to the cultural program published on the website of ACMS, Mongolian music and food will be offered during the event that will be organized in conjunction with the Mongolia Cultural Center (MCC) in Washington, DC. A poster display highlighting academic research and cultural topics related to Mongolia will be mounted during the reception. The ACMS annual membership meeting will also include an update on ACMS operations and programs with reports by ACMS president Bill Fitzhugh of the Smithsonian, ACMS US Director, David Dettmann, and Ulaanbaatar Office Manager BaigalmaaBegzsuren.


Narrow Gauge Railway to Be Constructed Connecting Gashuun Sukhait and Gants Mod Border Ports
March 24 (infomongolia.com) At the regular Cabinet meeting held on March 21, 2014, it was resolved to establish "Gashuun Sukhait Railway" LLC in order to enhance foreign trade balance.
The Company will connect Gashuun Sukhait port, Umnugovi Aimag, Mongolia and Gants Mod (Ganqimaodu), China with a narrow gauge railway and the “Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi” JSC is also allowed to have certain amount of shares by investing.
According to joint venture shareholding agreement, the “Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi” JSC will own a total of 17% and in order to establish “Gashuun Sukhait Railway” LLC, companies shall to invest 500,000 USD at the first phase to form an equity fund and will have its dividends depending on investment volumes.
However in 2010, the State Great Khural (Parliament) resolved that Mongolia to have a broad track gauge following its StatePolicy on Railway Transportation, but in the case of direct export between ports, the Cabinet is authorized to submit the issuewhich gauge to use for Parliament approval.
Therefore, the latest decision to have a narrow gauge between Gashuun Sukhait and Gants Mod border ports would bediscussed at the Parliament-level.
Related:


Our Doctors Earn Master's Decree of Massey University
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME) Nine Mongolian medical doctors and specialists have completed master's course at the Massey University of New-Zealand. 
They have majored in "Veterinary-Bio-security" and "Health of Society-Bio security" fields.
The program ran in frames of "Competency building for fighting against new and re-spread infectious diseases" project of the European Union /EU/ and World Bank /WB/ together with the University.
The graduates received Thursday the master's diplomas from doctors and professors of the University. Present were at the ceremony, which ran in the UB city, were also L.Erkhembayar, an advisor to the President; N.Batsuuri, an advisor to the Deputy PM; P.Bolortuya, a vice director of the State Veterinary and Animal Breeding Department; officials from Health Ministry, Industry and Agriculture Ministry, WB, the World Health Organization, the EU and others. 


Journalists to Be Trained in USA
Ulaanbaatar, March 23 (MONTSAME) The Presidential Office of Mongolia has launched a registration of students who want to study English language and get involved in a journalism course within a training programme of the American Councils for International Education (ACIE) in Washington DC, USA.
This is the fourth involvement of journalists in the training, some 60 journalists have been trained there so far. The main objective of the training is to improve English language skills.
According to the ACIE profile on its website, the ACIE is is a premier, international nonprofit creating educational opportunities that prepare individuals and institutions to succeed in an interconnected and increasingly interdependent world.
Through academic exchanges, overseas language immersion, and educational development programs, American Councils designs and administers innovative programs that broaden individual perspectives, increase knowledge, and deepen understanding. After being immersed in other countries and cultures, our participants become culturally aware citizens of the world, contributing to mutual understanding and successful international collaboration.
From developing the first exchanges of Eurasian and American students and teachers in the 70s - to current initiatives supporting collaborative education between the U.S., Middle East, South America, Asia, and Africa - American Councils facilitates overseas experiences that create informed and empowered global citizens. Since 1974, American Councils has responded to the needs of the communities where we work with hundreds of robust, international education programs that include academic exchanges, language immersion, testing and assessment, professional training, community development, and scholarly research.


Four Mongolian stocks to watch in 2014----Coal Industry
March 24 (Mongolian Economy) Frontier Security has identified four stocks to watch in Mongolia for the remainder of the year. This includes Mongolian Mining Corporation and Prophecy Coal. An explanation of these companies and their catalysts for growth is explained in this article. Please click here to know more detail
Company profile
Mongolian Mining Corporation (MMC; SEHK Stock Code: 975) is a high-quality coking coal producer and exporter in Mongolia. The Company owns and operates two open-pit coking coal mines – UkhaaKhudag and BaruunNaran, both located in Southern Gobi province of Mongolia. MMC’s operations have grown rapidly from a green-field project in 2009 to a world-standard mining complex to date. With its premium quality coal products, international standard project development and effective management practices, the Company has already secured its position as the largest producer and exporter of washed coal in Mongolia. In 2010, after only one year of fast-paced operations, the Company was successfully listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, making it the first Mongolian company to offer its shares internationally.
With integrated coal mining operations combined with leading edge technologies, MMC was able to reach the fastest increase of mining operations in the country, based on the best international practices. Located adjacent to the Chinese border and the target market region, MMC has a competitive cost structure and a strategic advantage to compete at the world market.
While strengthening its position as a reliable supplier of high-quality coking coal products and boosting its competitiveness in the international market, MMC is successfully building a fully-integrated coking coal mining, processing, and transportation and marketing platform.
The financial result of 2013 
MMC reported 25% increase of EBITDA for the year ended 31 December of US$111 million, compared to a profit of US$74 million, prior year. The increase of EBITDA was generated as a result of actions taken to control costs and boost productivities when revenue decreased to US$437 million from US$475 million, due to a 15% decrease in the average selling price of HCC compared with previous year. For the year ended 31 December 2013, the Group's production reached record levels of output in its mining, processing, transportation and sales activities.
Outlook for 2014 and ahead
We believe the environment for the coal industry in Mongolia deserves caution given the oversupply situation of the industry in China and the world. Therefore, the coal price may be under pressure for the remainder of the year.  However, MMC is well positioned among Mongolian coal with 31% market share of coal export. In addition, with module three was successfully commissioned in 2013, its total installed processing capacity has reached 15Mtpa (million tonnes per annum). 
Also, the further efforts to reduce the costs this year especially in transportation and processing area will significantly impact to improve the cost competitiveness of the company. Therefore, even with the stagnant coal market, MMC will probably be able to generate cash flow to pay back debt. However, the amount of the debt is quite big compared with the cash flow currently generated. So, further efforts by the company to reduce costs are encouraged. Having said that, we believe MMC will continue to be a leader in Mongolia’s coal industry and is well positioned among Mongolian coal producers when the coal market enters into a recovery phase. 
Prophecy Coal is an international company focused on developing its Ulan Ovoo coal project and Chandgana 600 MW mine mouth power plant project in Mongolia. The company’s stock trades on the TSX Exchange, OTCQX and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Current market capitalization of the company is about $20 million.
Ulaan Ovoo project
The Ulaan Ovoo mine is located in the Selenge province of northern Mongolia. It is just 17km from the Mongolian-Russian border and less than 140km west of the Trans-Mongolian Railway which links Russia and China. The total resources of the Ulaan Ovoo mine are over 200 million tonnes of high quality thermal coal with an average calorific value of 5,000 kcal/kg, low ash (10%) and low sulfur (0.5%). The company invested over $60 million into development of Ulaan Ovoo which includes mine equipment, infrastructure, roads and bridges.
The Ulaan Ovoo mine is currently producing about 40,000 tonnes per month and supplying Mongolian industrial customers such as cement factories, metallurgical plants, direct reduced iron plants, railway etc. As per the Company, coal price trends and demand in Mongolia are very encouraging resulting in strong margins.
Prophecy is projecting significant ramp up of coal sales and production from Ulaan Ovoo in 2014 – 2015. The company plans to penetrate the residential coal market in Mongolia and coal market in Buryat Republic, Russia. Residential coal consumption in Mongolia (coal used to heat gers) currently exceeds 1 million tonnes per year. Prophecy is installing drying and briquetting equipment to supply desired coal quality to this market and plans to start sales in major residential areas such as Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan and Erdenet from September 2014. 
Another area of coal sales increase is Buryatia, Russia which consumes about 5-6 million tonnes of coal per year. Due to the proximity of Ulaan Ovoo mine to Russia and high quality of the coal, the company can competitively supply coal to the region. The company made a test shipment to Buryatia in February 2014 and the feedback from the customers has been positive. Initial coal delivery route to Buryatia is by trucking coal to Sukhbaatar rail station and transporting from Sukhbaatar by rail to Buryatia’s various districts and its capital Ulan Ude. In the near future, company is planning to open a Mongolian-Russian border crossing at Zeltura (located just 17 km from the mine) and supply coal through Zeltura which shall significantly reduce Ulan Ovoo coal delivery costs to Buryatia.  The company plans to start coal sales to Russia from end of March 2014.
Chandgana 600 MW mine mouth power plant project
Chandgana 600 MW power plant project is advanced, fully licensed green field mine mouth project. Prophecy is planning to develop the power plant project in 2 phases: phase 1 300MW and phase 2 300MW. The proposed power plant will be located close to Chandgana coal resources (100% owned by Prophecy Coal) which hosts over 1 billion tonnes of resources. 
Prophecy Power Generation (PPG), 100% owned subsidiary of Prophecy Coal, is developing the power plant project. The project has secured all major licenses including approved detailed environmental impact assessment for power plant and transmission lines, power plant construction license, land use approval, water and power supplies during construction permits, coal supply agreement and EPC contract. 
Prophecy submitted Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Electricity Tariff Proposal to Mongolian Ministry of Energy (MOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in 2013. In December 2013, application for concession agreement was submitted to the Ministry of Economic Development (MOED). Prophecy is currently negotiating with the MOED, MOE and ERC on the concession agreement, PPA and tariff proposal. The company’s plan is to supply electricity to the central system which powers the capital and major enterprises located in central Mongolia. However, the company is also negotiating supplying power to large industrial customers located in Southern Mongolia.
Coal to the power plant will be supplied from Chandgana Coal project (100% owned by Prophecy) which hosts over 1 billion tonnes of resources.  PPG secured the coal supply for 25 years from the start of power plant operations by signing binding coal supply agreement with Chandgana Coal project in June 2013. Chandgana Coal project has secured all major permits such as coal mining license and approved detailed environmental impact assessment, and will be developed in parallel to the power plant development. 
Prophecy intends to retain 100% ownership in Chandgana Coal project and partner with strategic investors on power plant project. Several major power generation groups from Asia has paid multiple visits to  Prophecy’s power plant project including site visits, and carried out extensive technical, financial and commercial due diligence of the project. Prophecy has received strong interest from these groups to participate in the project and is currently working on the joint-venture formation.
Separately, the Company received an indicative term sheet from a major international bank for the proposed loan in favour of Prophecy Coal to fund the development and construction of the power plant Project. The proceeds of the loan will be used to finance up to 85% of the total value of the EPC contract. Prophecy Coal has also received a non-binding letter of intent respecting an equity investment of up to 20% in the power plant project from a qualified EPC contractor who is on the Company’s final list of EPC bidders.
Milestones:
2010 Environmental Impact Assessment Approved, Mining License Received
2011 600MW Power Plant Construction License Received; Tendering Process on EPC, and Discussion on PPA
2012 Mongolian election, Tariff and PPA application Submission
2013 Received Land Use Rights & All major permits to start mobilisation; submitted concession application to the Ministry of Economic Development (Dec 2013)    
2014 Expects to finalize EPC, PPA, Concession Agreement, Project Financing. Start Construction
2018 Operation (Conditional on achieving 2014 targets)
Currently Mongolia’s power sector has installed generation capacity of about 800MW and available capacity of 650MW. Power demand significantly exceeds power supply in the country, with estimated power shortage of 100MW in winter 2012-2013. According to various experts, the power shortage is expected to reach 500MW in 2015 – 2016. Domestic electricity prices have been increasing on average at 10% per year and expected to continue to increase due to persistent power shortage. To fill the shortage of power supply, the country is currently importing electricity from Russia and China at significantly higher electricity prices than domestic prices.
In our opinion the following events can cause the market to re-rate the company valuation:
1.         Announcement of strong margins for existing coal sales to Mongolian industrial customers;
2.         Successful entry into coal market in Buryatia, Russia;
3.         Successful entry into coal market of Mongolia residential areas; 
4.         Seaborne coal price increases;
5.         Opening of Mongolian-Russian border crossing Zeltura;
6.         Approval from Mongolian Government of the concession agreement, PPA and tariff proposal;
7.         Signing of the PPA with significant industrial customer in Mongolian;
8.         Formation of the joint-venture with strategic investors; 
9.         Progress with the power plant project financing;
10.       Start of power plant construction.


Gobi Marks World Water Day
Ulaanbaatar, March 23(MONTSAME) As countries across the globe mark World Water Day on March 22, Mongolia's Gobi desert remains part of a global debate about water use and protection.
World Water Day calls on nations around the world to outline their actions in 2014 and beyond to promote sustainable practices to protect and save water.
The Gobi is home to Oyu Tolgoi, the largest mining project in Mongolia so the impact of mining operations on humans and animals in the surrounding area is a crucial issue for mining operations and local people alike. Regular monitoring of the quality of water and the level of sub-surface and underground water is essential.
OT's extensive monitoring programme includes a participatory scheme, involving both local residents and the local government. Every effort is also made to improve water access for local herders for whom a sustainable future to a large measure depends on the quality and availability of water.
In the last three years, substantial time and funds have been invested, together with local herders and government agencies, in sinking new wells and improving and repairing the existing artisan wells in Khanbogd, Manlai and Bayan Ovoo soums situated close to OT mine.
Community relations officer at OT Pandiisamba Bold said: "Two years ago, we began by repairing wells in Khanbogd soum but the latest work involves sinking and repairing wells in Manlai and Bayan Ovoo soums as well. We're focusing on watering points used by animals and herders in the pastoral areas."
When herders identify a need for improvements to water supplies, they make their request through their community leaders. Once the work is completed, they take responsibility for ongoing maintenance.
A herder from Manlai soum said D.Amgalan:"Anyone who needs to draw water from this well is free to do so. Herders appreciate the work that has been done." B.Bayarmaa from the local government office which oversees pasture and farming issues said:"We receive a lot of complaints from herders that they have no wells to provide water for their animals. The support being given by OT to address the water shortage in the Gobi is appreciated."
According to L.Olziijargal, CEO of Bolor Us LLC, one of the several local companies contracted by Oyu Tolgoi to build and repair wells, new water points with ferro-concrete linings have a life of at least 50 years.
A total of 40 wells in Khanbogd, Manlai and Bayan Ovoo soums have been improved, leading herders to feel reassured about water supplies when they are on the move in search of pastureland for their animals.
While World Water Day is a global event, it is important for each and every person on earth. Local action, by individuals or organizations, can make a difference to how the world deals with this crucial issue.


"Water and Sustainable Development" Discussion to Run
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME) The discussion is to run at the State House on March 26.
It has been organized by the parliamentary Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture. 
The action will be addressed by G.Bayarsaikhan, a chairman of this Standing Committee. Lectures will be delivered themed “Legal system of water sector, its resource, usage, present situation of protection and difficulties”, "Water conservation and technology matters” and “Water supply and sustainable development”.
All the reports are to be discussed later.


Mongolia to Sign “Sources of Amur” Agreement
Ulaanbaatar, March 24(MONTSAME) A Mongolia and Russia agreement on trans-boundary reservation "Sources of Amur" was recently signed by the Russian PM D.Medvedev, reports  int.rgo.ru--a website of Russian Geographical Society on March 18.
Draft of the document was prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia. The agreement will come into effect on the date of signature by the Mongolian part.
New specially protected natural site includes national park "Onon-Balj" of Mongolia, along with state nature biosphere reserve "Sokhondinsky" in Russia’s ZabaykalskyKrai.
Along the territory of the Sokhondinsky nature reserve, off from Mongolia, lies the national park “Onon-Balj”. Another Mongolian strictly protected area--“Khan Khentii”--neighbors with recently established national park “Chikoy” in ZabaykalskyKrai of Russia. That way, first two strictly protected areas preserve sources of the Amur River and the latter two preserve sources of rivers feeding Lake Baikal.
Since the earliest times, friendly peoples and unique animal species--the snow leopard, the white-naped crane, the bustard, the taimen, the Amur sturgeon and many more--have inhabited this land. Ecologists note that the two countries’ decision of joint protection of natural riches is rational and well-timed.
Minister of nature resources and ecology of Russia Donskoysaid:"We can provide biological and landscape preservation of the Southern Transbaikal in the sources of the Amur River only by joining together efforts of the two countries. Establishment of the trans-boundary reservation 'Sources of Amur' is an effective measure targeted towards completing the task”.


Arkhangai province will create sewage building
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) A sewage building is planned to be erected in Tsetserleg, a center of Arkhangai aimag.
Some eight billion togrog has been allotted for this object which will be constructed eight kilometers far from the center.
Related officials say, its construction is expected to start within this year and it will be put into use from next year.

Exhibition on Cosmology Opens
Ulaanbaatar, March 23(MONTSAME) On occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the first space flight of the Mongolian, an exhibition on cosmology opened Saturday in the Mongolian Military Museum.
Co-organized by the “Sansar” foundation and the Mongolian Association of Philatelists (MAPh), the exhibition is displaying related to the theme creative works and also private collections of a reserved Colonel Ya.Davaasambuu, an executive director of the “Sansar” foundation; a reserved Captain N.Chinbat, a member of the MAPh; and of B.Altangerel, a director of the Board of the Mongolian Association of Phone Card Collectors.
N.Chinbat has won five bronze and one silver medals in the world’s and continental exhibitions, whereas B.Altangerel has captured ten medals in many international exhibitions. 


Kakuryu Wins First Title and Likely Promotion to Yokozuna
March 23 (Asahi Shimbun) Ozeki Kakuryu handily won his final match and his first championship title at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on March 23, putting him in line for promotion to yokozuna, reported on asahi.com website, same day.
He is expected to join Mongolian compatriots Hakuho and Harumafuji at the top of the sumo pyramid come May.
One of the keys to Kakuryu's recent success has been his face-off--calm and focused. Against Kotoshogiku, Kakuryu put that new attack on display, absorbing his opponent's onslaught and keeping his cool as the ozeki wiggled in for the belt. With his head down and his feet moving, Kakuryu took the best the injured Kotoshogiku (8-7) could offer and drove him over the edge in a fine display of talent and strength.
"I have finally won. I'm so happy," Kakuryu said. "I will do my best."
Kakuryu's only loss was to Okinoumi on the third day of the tournament, and he defeated both yokozuna on his way to the title. He also came close to winning the championship in January, losing only to Hakuho. Sumo association officials indicated that Kakuryu is likely to be formally installed as yokozuna when the promotion committee has its next meeting.
"All I wanted was to go all the way through the end," Kakuryu said. "My experience over the years is starting to bring results."
Though neither had a chance of winning the title, Hakuho and Harumafuji had a hard-fought and evenly matched bout to close out the tournament. After grappling to the edge, Harumafuji launched a throw that had both wrestlers airborne.
Harumafuji was ruled the winner by the referee, but the judges called a huddle after watching the video of the match, which showed Harumafuji's hand touching out first.
They called a rematch, which Harumafuji won easily. Hakuho, knowing he had no chance of getting his 29th title, didn't seem to have it in him to fight twice just to be second best. The yokozuna duo both finished at 12-3.
In other final-day action, local favorite sekiwake Goeido used an aggressive face-off to topple ozeki Kisenosato and seal his 12th win of the tournament. Goeido, a perennial at sekiwake, has been fighting a much more powerful and offense-oriented style than normal, and it is paying off greatly for him. With his finish in Osaka, he can now start a run for promotion, but he has to perform well again in May.
Kisenosato had nine wins.
Sekiwake Tochiozan, who will be retaining his rank in May, plunged forward and fell on his belly, but only after No. 7 maegashira Chiyotairyu had stepped out of the ring in an effort to keep from being completely knocked over. Tochiozan garnered nine wins, and Chiyotairyu also closed with a 9-6 record.
Losing his 10th bout, komusubi Toyonoshima was unable to budge No. 5 maegashira Chiyootori, a very hefty up-and-comer, and was pushed out before he could retaliate.
Komusubi Shohozan lost his final bout and goes home a loser, also at 5-10. Top maegashira Tamawashi, who also only managed five wins, broke down Shohozan's defenses and thrust him out.
Shohozan and Toyonoshima can both expect a demotion back into the rank and file in May.
Top maegashira Endo fell onto his back after a tough thrusting match with No. 4 maegashira Yoshikaze, who won 10 matches and can claim the fighting spirit award for his effort.
Yoshikaze suffered a blow to his eye in an earlier match, and it was swollen almost completely shut. But he said that didn't bother him.
"Everybody has pain to deal with," he said, laughing.
Endo still has a bright future ahead of him, but his inexperience showed in this tournament as he is trying to recalibrate his skills against more senior wrestlers than he had been previously pitted against. He had to settle for a 6-9 record.
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Mongolian Ice Hockey Team Wins Bronze Medal in 2014 Challenge Cup of Asia
March 24 (infomongolia.com) The 2014 Challenge Cup of Asia was successfully organized in Abu Dhabi, theUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) on March 15-22, 2014, where Mongolian ice hockeyteam has been participating since 2009 and for the second time wins Bronze medalin the 2014 edition.
We have reported the first two games’ results and on March 19, Mongolian team hadits third game against the team of Kuwait winning by 3:1, on the following day, March20, our team secured Bronze medal winning over the team of Thailand by 8:2.
In the Silver medal contest held on March 22, Mongolian team played against thehost nation UAE, however the teams tied with a score of 1:1 after second period, butour players missed two goals in the last period.
The team of Chinese Taipei defended their Championship title and the UAE team with 3 wins becomes runner up in the 2014Challenge Cup of Asia, where six teams of Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Kuwait, Thailand and the United ArabEmirates have competed in round-robin system.
Related:
Our Hockey Team Grabs Bronze MedalMontsame, March 24


B.Batgerel Wins Bronze Medal from Judo Grand Prix, Tbilisi 2014
March 24 (infomongolia.com) On March 21-23, 2014, the Judo Grand Prix 2014 was held in Tbilisi, Georgia, where117 Men and 75 Women judokas from 24 nations have competed.
Representing Mongolia, 3 Men and 6 Women athletes have participated and in theMen’s 66 kg B.Batgerel won a Bronze medal, while A.Batzul (Women’s 57 kg) stoodin the 5th place.
The Judo Grand Prix 2014 under the management of International Judo Federation isone of the larger events on the international calendar, where all participantsattempting to pick up ranking points for the 2016 Olympics.
The next Judo Grand Prix 2014 is scheduled to take place in Samsun, Turkey on March 28-30, 2014. According to nearestevents, the Judo Grand Prix, Havana 2014 will be held on June 06-08, followed by Judo Grand Prix, Budapest 2014 on June21-22, and Judo Grand Prix, Ulaanbaatar 2014 on July 04-06, 2014.
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Mongolian to attend Gymnastics World Cup
Ulaanbaatar, March 24 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian G.Erdenebold is to attend 2014 World Gymnastics Cup events in Doha, Qatar, on March 26-28.
Together with the Mongolian first timer, competitors from some thirty countries such as Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Romania, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey will face fierce rivalries in qualification (March 26), vault, uneven bars (March 27), balance beam and floor exercise (March 28) events.
G.Erdenebold placed 19th in the world championship, he has bronze and silver medals from Asian children and youth championships.

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