On Wednesday, the Mining Ministry held its regularly scheduled Transparent Mining meeting, and Minister R.Jigjid reported on the sector’s latest news, providing information about mining industry issues.
The ministry reported that as of the first three months of this year, Mongolia explored 5.2 million tons of coal, 305,200 tons of oil, and 1.8 tons of gold; and produced 37,300 tons of fluorspar concentrate, 379,900 tons of copper ore concentrate, 133,900 tons of iron ore concentrate, and 21,800 tons of zinc concentrate. A total of 412,800 tons of copper concentrate, 991,700 tons of iron ore concentrate, 2.9 tons of gold, 3.3 million tons of coal was exported in the first three months of 2016.
The ministry underlined that the Minerals Policy Council is discussing and working on a draft amendment to the Law on Mineral Resources. Under the amendments, an integrated regulation for the mining sector’s safety and health will be applied and enforced. Officials also stressed that the amendment contains some changes that will help in addressing some of challenges faced by entities and local governors in issuing new exploration licenses. The Minerals Policy Council said that it also reviewed the progress of new exploration license issuance, and decided that it is appropriate to review suggestions from local government administrative bodies before accepting applications for special exploration licenses. They included the suggestion in the draft amendment and other changes that the council believes will regulate other license issuing matters directly, as well as help resolve problems when an exploration area being applied for partially overlaps with another exploration area.
During the meeting, the ministry reported that the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia has signed production sharing contracts for oil exploration in the Dariganga XXIV area with Haicheng Petroleum Machinery Manufacture Group. Haicheng will invest 25 million USD over the next four years for exploration, and will provide more investment depending on exploration results according to the contract.
The ministry said a total of 3,915 electronic application numbers for exploration licenses have been issued, but 1,580 applications were not delivered on time. The Mining Ministry processed applications for 2,335 licenses. Currently, the issuance of electronic application numbers for special exploration licenses is temporarily suspended.
Representatives from the ministry emphasized that in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, it has successfully implemented a project introducing the electronic data system of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to the Mongolian mining industry, and highlighted that all information related to the mining sector, including special licenses, production, sales, tax payments, donations, and support, are now centralized and available to the public at Eitimongolia.mn.
During the Transparent Mining meeting, Minister Jigjid highlighted that the Central Geological Laboratory has introduced three accredited international standards that will make it possible to establish a laboratory that will resolve disputes in the mineral analysis sector.
It was reported that a total of 34.4 billion MNT has been generated for the state budget through income from the Mining Ministry’s portfolio in the first three months of the year, while the Mineral Resources Authority generated 7.4 billion MNT, and the Petroleum Authority contributed 27 billion MNT to the state budget