News Mongolia Business News

Leaked letter shows premier ready to accept OT phase II financing

Source: Mongolia Mining Journal
The Mongolian government has blinked and taken a step to resolve the impasse over the second phase of the Oyu Tolgoi project. Expressing the hope that this will “open a new chapter in our relationship,” Prime Minister Altankhuyag wrote a letter to Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh on 27 March, saying talks on financing the mine’s further development can be resumed without waiting for the completion of the feasibility study.


OT helps boost Mongolia copper concentrate exports by 53%

Source: Bloomberg, Cover Mongolia
Mongolia’s copper concentrate exports increased to 214,100 tons from 140,000 tons a year earlier, the National Statistical Office said on its website. The Oyu Tolgoi mine began commercial production of copper concentrate in July.
Mongolia exported 3.74 million tons of coal in the first three months compared to 3.44 million tons a year earlier, according to the agency. Mongolia exported 908,600 tons of iron ore in first three months compared to 1.12m tons a year earlier, according to the agency. Gold exports rose to 2.2 tons in the first three months compared to one ton in the same period a year earlier, according to the statement. Total exports reached USD 986.9 million in the first three months compared to USD 809.1 a year earlier, according to the agency.

Altankhuyag submits economic stimulus bill

Source: Undesnii Shuudan
Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag presented a new economic stimulus bill that would streamline projects deemed essential to the economy.
This week the government will have to revise the parliamentary decree to stimulate the economy and create a strategy for how to best complete projects with significance to the economy in a timely fashion.


Rio’s Turquoise Hill Says Parties to Seek OT Funding Extension

Source: Bloomberg
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., the miner controlled by Rio Tinto Group, said all parties in the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine agreed to seek a funding extension for the underground expansion amid talks with the government.
Requests to extend the funding commitments to 30 September will be sent to lenders, Kay Priestly, chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill, said in a statement yesterday. Mongolia’s government and Rio Tinto have been in talks over disputes related to the mine including cost overruns and the financing conditions. Rio laid off 1,700 workers and put the underground tunneling on care and maintenance mode in August.
“All parties remain committed to the underground development of Oyu Tolgoi and to resolving the outstanding shareholder issues,” Turquoise Hill’s Priestly said. “Constructive discussions between all parties have resulted in significant progress being made in resolving the issues, and those discussions are continuing.”

МIАТ plans IPO

MIAT Mongolian Airlines is reportedly pursuing an economic evaluation ahead of a planned public offering for this year. MIAT will sell 49 percent interest later this year on the Hong Kong Exchange, according to a government privatization plan.


Source: Sant Maral Foundation
The Sant Maral Foundation has posted the results of the March 2014 Politbarometer survey, which measures the political attitudes of Mongolian voters.
The survey, conducted from 17 to 30 March, took a sample of 1,200 respondents in Ulaanbaatar as well as Bayankhongor, Bulgan, Zavkhan, Selenge, Umnugobi, and Sukhbaatar Aimags (split proportionally by four regional divisions and Ulaanbaatar). Tabulations are sorted by “capital,” "countryside" and “nationwide” when relevant. 
Read the full report here.

Copper miners look past present pain to future gain

Source: Financial Time
These are tough times in the copper world. Prices have fallen nearly 10 percent in 2014, testing 4-year lows. Meanwhile, the long-awaited global surplus of refined metal is mounting. So why is the gloom lifting among miners?
“Short term pain, long-term gain?” the title of one of the main presentations at the annual copper conference in Chile offered a hint: better days surely lie ahead. Several key reasons to be positive emerged from Cesco week in Santiago. First, the plunge in prices is no disaster. Some small, high cost producers may be struggling, but the industry’s healthy margins mean larger miners and producers remain comfortable.
Perspective is also needed about the surplus.


China's Shenhua to invest in cross-border rail link from Mongolia

Source: Reuters
Shenhua Group, China's top coal producer, will form a joint venture with partners in Mongolia to build a cross-border rail link that will help ship coal to China, the company confirmed on Wednesday.
The deal marks a change in attitude in Mongolia, which has long sought to keep its powerful neighbor at arm's length amid fears about China's political and economic hegemony in the region. China buys more than 90 percent of Mongolia's exports and has sought big stakes in the country's strategic assets. A signing ceremony for the new rail joint venture was held in Ulaanbaatar on Monday.