First Deputy Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag was interviewed regarding the Tavantolgoi Investment agreement with the foreign investor consortiums.
Q: Many are wanting the Tavantolgoi Investment Agreement to go through soon during the time of the coalition government. The draft proposal was discussed by the Government and passed on to the National Security council and what are your comments regarding the IA?
N.Altankhuyag: Tavantolgoi mining deposit is being operated by a state owned company. The operation has already started and the coal is being exported. The 39th Resolution of the Parliament also states that foreign investor consortium must be picked through open tender bid. 15 companies or consortiums took part in the tender bid and we are now negotiating with the 6 shortlisted consortiums or companies. The draft proposal is made by the Government and presented to the National Security council and they said that some information are needed to be confirmed. That is the process at the moment.
Q: Does that mean the IA is not stalled because of Political interests?
N.Altankhuyag: I do not think so. We should have good understanding with our two neighbors because the coal needs to be exported through the two neighbors and reach the destination where it can be sold for market price. We also need to negotiate with possible coal buyers Japan, South Korea and USA. Some people think that TT is divided and some will be owned by foreign investors. That is not the case and the whole of TT will be state owned.
Q: MPs from your Party and MPP made complains that the IA draft is not in accordance with the Resolution No39. What is your view on this matter?
N.Altankhuyag: The government implemented the IA draft in accordance with the Resolution No39 but the Political Parties have different views regarding the Resolution No39. Some thinks that TT and its licenses are divided but in actual case all the licenses will be transfered from “Erdenes MGL” to Erdenes Tavantolgoi. If the Parties have different views and understanding they should sit down and reach mutual understandings.
Q: There is little time left for this session of the Parliament to approve TT agreement because the Parliament also need to discuss Law on election and law on budget etc. As a Deputy Prime Minister can you promise that the TT IA will go through and be approved by the Parliament during this Autumn Session?
N.Altankhuyag: We are working very hard to make it in time but we also need to work very carefully. The coalition government was established to start big mining projects and Oyutolgoi and Tavantolgoi projects started to move forward. The TT project is not stalled it is actually moving forward by working with foreign consortiums because then we will have better technologies, better knowledge and sell our coal for higher price as they will provide cheaper transportation.