Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 24, 2014 Part IV

New Acting CEO and Board of Directors of Mongolian Stock Exchange Appointed

June 24 (infomongolia.com) Following the Government Resolution No.152 dated from May 10, 2014, the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) JSC’s rights of shareholder and duties were transferred to the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia.

Accordingly, Mongolian Stock Exchange announced new members of the MSE Board of Directors following a shareholding meeting decision made on June 23, 2014.
Newly appointed Members of the Board of Directors are:
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Mr. Buyantogtokh NYAMAA, Director of Fiscal Policy and Debt Management Department at the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia
Board of Directors
- Mr. Bazarkhuu DAAJAMBA, Vice Chairman of Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia
- Mr. Batsukh SUKH-OCHIR, Director of Internal Audit, Monitoring and Evaluation Division at the Budget Control and Risk Management Department, Ministry of Finance of Mongolia
- Mr. Nanjid MUNKHBAT, Executive Director of Development Bank of Mongolia
- Mr. Nemekhbayar ENKHBAYAR, Director of Economics, Finance and Investment Policy Division at the Strategic Policy and Planning Department, Ministry of Mining of Mongolia
- Mr. Myagmarsuren BATGEREL, Director of Restructuring and Policy Implementation Department at the State Property Committee
On the same day, Mongolian Stock Exchange JSC’s Board of Directors held its meeting and issued a Resolution No.04 to exempt from duty an incumbent Acting CEO of MSE Mrs. Damdin BOLORMAA and to appoint Mr. Davaasuren ANGARAG as an Acting CEO of MSE.

Naadam Festival grand opening ticket price set

June 24 (UB Post) Tickets for the Naadam Festival grand opening at Central Stadium will be available to purchase starting July 1, at the cost of 16,000 MNT, 20,000 MNT and 24,000 MNT, depending on seat locations.
Ticket reservations for tourists are available for tourist agencies, however, stadium officials are reporting that the ticket quota might run short despite high demand, as the number of stadium seats hasn’t been increased.
Chief of the Social Development Policy Division of the Office of the Ulaanbaatar City Governor B.Otgonbayar said, “We have discussed issuing electronic tickets for the Naadam opening, but we can’t introduce a new ticketing system until next year’s Naadam.”

Erdenet Mining Corporation reduces operational costs and increases income

June 24 (UB Post) Speaker of Mongolian Parliament Z.Enkhbold became acquainted with the operations of Erdenet Mining Corporation’s ore processing factory last Saturday.
Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) is one of the biggest copper ore mining and processing factories in Asia. EMC was established in accordance with an agreement between the governments of Mongolia and the former Soviet Union in 1978.
EMC processes 26 million tons of ore per year, and produces around 530 thousand tons of copper concentrate and around 4.5 thousand tons of molybdenum concentrate annually. Since 2012, EMC has been manufacturing import substitution products for its facilities, such as spare parts, metal and rubber structures, and molded plastic products in its machinery repair plant.
Factory authorities reported that though EMC has been operating profitably since 2000, the change in market prices of non-ferrous metals due to the global economic and financial crisis has caused a decline in the company’s profit in recent years.
EMC introduced the Speaker of Parliament to projects worth 1.4 billion MNT being implemented in accordance with a five-year contract established in 2013 between EMC and Orkhon aimag. EMC is planning to transplant young birch and larch trees being destroyed by the factory’s operations to Bayan-Ondor sum, reopen Erdenet’s airport, repair and decorate the city’s children’s palace and summer camp, and implement the “Erdenet Factory – Apartment” project. Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold reminded EMC of the importance of implementing projects that will support the future economic growth and development of Orkhon aimag.
The Speaker of Parliament also visited the molybdenum processing plant of Shim Technology Ltd. Established in 2005, the plant employs 250 workers, processes 3,600 tons of molybdenum concentrate, and produces 2,500 tons of molybdenum technical oxide and 800 kg of products containing rhenium annually. In order to increase its efficiency, the plant invested 407,000 USD in maintenance. During his visit, the Speaker of Parliament spoke with plant authorities and workers.
Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag and Advisor to the Speaker of Parliament Ts.Buyantsogt accompanied Z.Enkhbold on his visit.

Government ministers attended the Mongolian Business Summit

June 24 (UB Post) Government ministers made a statement to foreign investors and attendees of the Mongolian Business Summit, a hallmark event organized by the Mongolian Economic Forum NGO in cooperation with the Economic Council in the scope of the government’s “100-day action plan to stimulate economic growth”.
The government’s public relations and social media office reported the following statements:
Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag stated that an objective to make the legal environment for the mining industry (which plays a major role in the Mongolian economy, culture and budget) more sustainable and understandable in the long term is being implemented. Parliament agreed to pass mining industry policy to adhere to until 2025. Investors’ proposals to support private sector investment, not to differentiate between investors based on property types or as foreign versus domestic investors, and to sustain the legal environment were included in the policy. Parliament will discuss the draft bill to make amendments to the Minerals Law starting next week. He highlighted that the draft bill includes goals to legalize objectives set in mineral industry policy, attract investment to the exploration sector, and develop responsible mining.
Several draft bills to improve the legal environment were submitted to the State Great Khural by the Ministry of Finance. Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar said that objectives to create favorable conditions for investors, make the tax law more flexible, and make running enterprises easier and more efficient are included in the draft bills.
Minister for Foreign Affairs L.Bold said that Mongolia will keep consistently implementing policy to strengthen its position in regional and global economic integration, and the relationship with its two neighboring countries. Allowing the citizens of 42 countries to travel to Mongolia visa-free opens up broad opportunities to develop further international cooperation, improve investment, and support the tourism industry of Mongolia.
Minister of Energy M.Sodnompil stated that the 50 MW expansion project for the Third Thermal Power Plant in Ulaanbaatar was accomplished in a short time. The nation’s energy demands will be met by expanding old power plants without posing any difficulty to economic industries, and the development of large energy resources requiring investment are being planned.

G.Jamsrandorj: It’s essential to make official estimates of mineral reserves

June 24 (UB Post) Mongolian miners and geologists met up last month to established a nongovernmental organization named Mongolian Institution of Geology and Mining (MIGM). G.Jamsrandorj, Ph.D. of geological science, engineer and board member of the NGO, clarified some important function and purpose of MIGM.
Why was it necessary to establish this institution?
We can say that presently all countries of the world are included in a unified economic network. Mongolia is also included in this network. Seeing that countries may face difficulties and misunderstandings without developing the mining sector with integrated standards, criterion and investments, countries united to establish an international template for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and mineral reserves. The standard code for reporting mineral reserves is convertible and adaptable to each member country, and authorized people who estimate reserves are acknowledged in every country.
A branch of this international template should be established in countries that exploresand mine minerals. Mongolia didn’t have a branch. For the last ten years, Mongolian geologists and miners debated and exchanged ideas to make resources internationally accepted, and finally, we came to an agreement. Miners and geologists were divided into three groups: those who wanted to translate, copy and implement the international standard code in Mongolia straight away, those who thought it wasn’t the time yet, and those who wanted to create the standard themselves. By establishing MIGM, we established the foundation for a national branch of the international template.
What sort of NGO is MIGM?
MIGM is different from the ten thousand NGOs already established in Mongolia. More than protecting the interests of the people, it gives more importance to the nation’s interests, respects ethics and professional skills of Mongolian geologists and miners, and takes responsibilities both domestically and internationally.
Since it’s only the beginning for the national branch, does this mean that Mongolia hasn’t joined the international template?
Mongolia hasn’t joined yet. The abbreviated name for the international template for reporting mineral reserves is CRIRSCO. The USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, South Africa and European Union have joined it. Mongolia is pre-negotiating and doing preparation work to join CRIRSCO in October. MIGM is one proof of how active Mongolia is.
What does Mongolia have to do to join? Is there any terms and conditions?
Of course, there is. First of all, we established an NGO for it. It’s required to have official mineral reserves and resource classification, which are commensurate with the international classification, and have a regulation and standard for reporting mineral reserves. We’re now developing both of these requirements. All of these regulations and changes were included in the draft law to make amends to the Mineral Law.
You said Mongolia is to join CRIRSCO in October, can you clarify that?
The work to join CRIRSCO started in 2012. Relevant government agencies mutually agreed and according to the conclusion of agreements, a meeting of CRIRSCO will be held in Mongolia in October.  CRIRSCO experts used to frequently visit Mongolia to overview our work, give professional advice and introduce international standards, criterion and experience. This is a form of cooperation and agreement.
What are the requirements set for Mongolian specialists for this sector?
For qualifications and experience, specialists of this sector must reach and be acceptable at international levels. Mongolia has many people who meet this qualification. There are several geologists in Mongolia with certificates from internationally approved agencies for reporting mineral reserves of other countries. For instance, the Managing Director of MIGM B.Oyungerel. Identifying and training people of these capabilities is one of our institution’s objectives. The most important aspect is ethics issues of specialists.
When determining resources, what could be the reasons for professional mistakes? Do they lack skills and capacity or do they deliberately make mistakes?
It’s common for license holders of deposits to exaggerate the amount of a deposit in order to sell and profit. This is to raise deposit prices higher. Sometimes, it may be the opposite. They may try to understate the amount of resources. For example, in Mongolia, the government deems coal deposits of more than 100 million tons of strategic importance. When deposits are classified like so, license holders have to give up 34 percent of their revenue to the government. Therefore, license holders try to set the amount of resource lesser than it actually is. Due to these sorts of issues, investors bring authorized experts from abroad and get them to determine resource amounts. Furthermore, Mongolia doesn’t have a national standard code for reporting mineral reserves. If Mongolia joins CRIRSCO and stock exchanges are able to trust national specialists to make reserve estimates at international level, the above issue will gradually be eliminated.
What exactly are reserve estimates?
After being estimated through surveys, minerals and mineral concentrations of sufficient amount and acceptable mineral quality for mining can be explored. If reserves are beneficial for mining, it’s considered as deposit. For example, if phosphorus and sulfur content in iron ores exceed relevant requirements (thresholds set by factories) the deposit isn’t appropriate to use because its iron resources content isn’t sufficient.
Then what is resource classification?
Resource classification is basically a complex set of requirements set for doing mineral explorations. Overall, it’s a general requirement or a standard to resolve all issues related to future mining, including determining distance between drillings depending on mineral types, which mineral should take up how much percentage of total resource, how a certain percentage of a mineral should be extracted in order to mine and such. Reserves are assessed and drilled to some decree, whereas, resources are minerals that haven’t been completely assessed and are at estimation stage. Since it’s only being estimated, it may not necessarily be there.
In order to get specialists that reach international levels and to increase their number, what does Mongolia need to do?
I’m sure MIGM will eventually give trainings and advices to geologists and miners to increase their professionalism. It’ll be better if the training is not done for academic purposes like it is now, but to increase their professionalism through practical work and by giving them work experience. We have every necessary condition to do this in Mongolia. We can exchange experience and ideas with foreign specialists. We can organize practical work at mines in the country or in foreign countries, and then, give out special certificates. We’ll consider both their professional capacity and ethics. These people will determine mineral reserves and resources and their decision will contribute in deciding whether to mine that deposit. This means that investments will be possible as soon as they estimate resources and say it’s ready to mine, without any external interference. Currently, the Minerals Council of Mongolia (MCM) is carrying out duties to approve and register mineral resources. If we train specialists in this profession, the MCM will no longer need to participate in estimating reserves.
Will the MCM become unemployed in a few years?
I assume that this work will start in two to three years. During this period, our NGO will cooperate with the Mongolia Stock Exchange, Ministry of Mining, Mineral Resources Authority and banks to establish a committee for reporting mineral reserves. This organization will become a member of the international organization, CRIRSCO, and work with them. A member of MIGM and an authorized person will be responsible for determining mineral reserves. The MCM will probably have nothing to do. Their obligation to discuss and register mineral reserves will be transferred to others and they’ll be left with only accepting geological works that are financed through the state budget.
Who will pay specialist to determine mineral reserves?
According to current practices, companies doing mineral explorations contribute a certain amount for giving salaries to experts who review estimates and write up reports as well as for having reserves discussed by the MCM, have it registered in the registry, and to conduct technical and economic feasibility studies. If international regulations are adopted, I assume a specialized person can do all of these works just once and get the same amount of salary.  However, it’s not certain at the moment.
Many procedures and bureaucracy will decrease by having one person do all of these works. With the current practice, there are many procedures related to mineral reserves. Just to do feasibility study for reserves, one or more years are required and after transferring the issue to many different organizations and people, a special mining license is approved. These procedures waste much time and effort of many people. However, by making a specific group responsible for this work, these procedures will be simplified and the amount will be reduced drastically.

A.Baskhuu nominated for FILA Hall of Fame

June 24 (UB Post) The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) decided during its Bureau meeting on June 14, to induct State Honored Coach of Mongolia A.Baskhuu in their International Wrestling Hall of Fame this year.
FILA announced that it will finance all required expenses for the induction ceremony for A.Baskhuu , who will be the ninth referee to join the Hall of Fame. The exact date of the ceremony has not been announced yet.
A.Baskhuu is the chief coach of all national wrestling teams of the Sports Training Center of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and is the only Mongolian to serve as a referee in six Olympics, 30 world championships, four world cups and 45 European and Asian championships.
He was awarded the “Golden Whistle” at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and has also received the prestigious FILA Gold Star, the highest honor awarded by the International Wrestling Federation in recognition of brilliant referee skills and contributions to the sport.

O.Gundegmaa displays top form at ISSF World Cup

June 24 (UB Post) After a lengthy break, Mongolia’s top female shooter O.Gundegmaa has shown that’s she’s on top form at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) 2014 World Cup Rifle / Pistol  in Maribor, Slovenia, with a silver medal in the 25 meter pistol category.
She also ranked sixth in the 10 meter pistol with 114.5 points, out of 82 shooters in the World Cup. She qualified from the preliminaries to the final round with 384 points in total. Mongolian International Master of Sports E.Davaakhuu competed in the men’s 10 meter pistol and ranked 15th with 578 points, out of 85 shooters.
O.Gundegmaa and E.Davaakhuu returned on Saturday and many of their supporters welcomed them home and congratulated their achievements at the airport.

President of 2014 Incheon Asian Games visits Mongolia

June 24 (UB Post) The President of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee Kim Youngsoo and other delegates are discussing collaborative projects and the Asian Games with the Mongolian National Olympic Committee, as part of their official visit to Ulaanbaatar ending tomorrow.
The 17th Asian Games will kick off on September 19 and will challenge athletes until October 4, in the third largest city in South Korea, Incheon.
Athletes from 45 Asian countries are preparing themselves to compete at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games in 38 sports categories. South Korea previously hosted the Asian Games in Seoul in 1986 and in Busan in 2002.
Mongolian athletes have participated in the Asian Games nine times since 1974. This time, Mongolia is sending 340 athletes to vie for medals in 25 sports, according to a preliminary statement addressed to the organizing committee.
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