Mongolia to introduce two new bills to boost its mining industry

21 April 2014 (Last Updated April 21st, 2014 18:30)

Mongolia plans to introduce two new bills in parliament to enable the growth of its mining industry and boost investment in the country.

Mongolia plans to introduce two new bills in parliament to enable the growth of its mining industry and boost investment in the country.

One bill proposes to override a June 2010 law that suspends the new exploration licenses, therefore allowing companies to explore deposits such as coal, copper and gold, reported Bloomberg.

The second bill would modify the guidelines of the July 2009 law on rivers and forests, allowing companies to undertake mining activities in areas that were previously prohibited due to environmental issues.

"The latest amendments are expected to improve economic conditions in the country, where foreign investment has been down by 54%."

Changes in the law regarding access to forests and rivers would also re-validate licences given to companies prior to 2009, however, the government said that despite changes in the guidelines, companies should follow the rules to protect the environment.

The latest amendments are expected to improve economic conditions in the country, where foreign investment has been down by 54% in 2013 and economic growth fell from 12.4% in 2012 to 11.7% last year.

Foreign investment was also affected due to laws legislated during the mining boom of 2009 to 2011 to curb environmental damages, and issues between the government and Rio Tinto Group regarding the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposits.

Both bills are expected to be passed by the parliament by the middle of May.