Mongolia to lift ban on mining exploration licences

5 March 2014 (Last Updated March 5th, 2014 18:30)

The Mongolian Government may lift the ban on mining exploration licences in an attempt to aid industrial development.

The Mongolian Government may lift the ban on mining exploration licences in an attempt to aid industrial development.

Mongolia has coal, copper and gold principal reserves, and mining is important to the national economy. Several gold mines are located about 110km north of Ulaanbaatar, such as Boroo gold mine and Gatsuurt gold mine.

In June 2010, the ban on the issuing and processing of licences was put in place, leaving many projects in a state of limbo.

"The ban on mining could be lifted during the parliament's spring session."

Mongolia Mines minister Gankhuyag Davaajav told Reuters that the ban on mining could be lifted during the parliament's spring session.

Over the past two years, foreign direct investment in Mongolia has plunged. The decline coincided with the government's string of actions discouraging interests in copper and coal.

Following this, in November 2013, parliament passed an investment law that treats foreign and local investors equally, in an attempt to retrieve investors.

Mongolia Energy, a mining and energy company operating in Mongolia and Xinjiang, and joint Mongolian-Russian venture, Erdenet Mining, account for a large percentage of the mining in the country. Anglo-American companies such as Rio Tinto and Canadian companies such as Turquoise Hill Resources are active in the country and have agreements with the government.

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