Tavan Tolgoi

Anglo American is planning to join a group of companies that are keen to develop the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine in Mongolia.

The company is seeking to work on the Mongolian coal field in partnership with state-owned company Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, which holds the license to develop the field.

Anglo chief representative and president Graeme Hancock told Bloomberg that the Tavan Tolgoi project will fit the company’s criteria but it will have to prove to the government and to Erdenes that it will be an ideal partner.

Other bidders seeking to develop the project include Peabody Energy and China Shenhua Energy.

Tavan Tolgoi, which has one of the largest deposits of unexploited coking and thermal coal, comprises 6.4 billion tonnes of reserves, and has the potential to produce 40 million tonnes of coal a year.

An earlier deal to develop the coal field was terminated in 2011 following arguments from Japan and South Korea that the bidding process was unfair, and the National Security Council of Mongolia, which evaluates large foreign investment projects, rejected the plan.

The Mongolian government had selected Peabody, Shenhua and a group of companies led by Russian Railways to jointly develop Tavan Tolgoi’s west Tsankhi area of the field, which has 1.8 billion tonnes of coal.

The West Tsankhi section has been in operation since 1967 and started exporting coal to China in August 2011.

Mongolia is home to some of the biggest untapped mineral reserves in the world, including Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi.

Image: Tavan Tolgoi has the potential to produce 40 million tonnes of coal a year. Photo: Brücke-Osteuropa.

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