Soros Foundation releases Mongolian mining, exploration license statistics

Jul 31 • Business, Economy, Mining • 788 Views • No Comments on Soros Foundation releases Mongolian mining, exploration license statistics

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Author: Dorothy Kosich

Local companies have a distinct advantage in acquiring exploration licenses in Mongolia a survey by a Soros Foundation subsidiary has determined in a recent report.

The Soros Foundation’s Open Society Forum reported Thursday that exploration and mining licenses now cover 28% or 43.81 million hectares of the land in Mongolia.

Of the 4,644 mining licenses that were considered valid of as May 9, 2008, 22.8 percent or 1,060 are for mining while the remaining 3,584 are for exploration.

Out of the 43.8 million hectares of land now under all licenses, 43.4 million belong to exploration licenses.

The largest number of mining licenses was found in the Central, East Gobi, Selenge and South Gobi aimags (provinces), while Gobi-Summer and Orkhon were the aimags with the lowest concentration of licenses. Mongolia’s Geology Department of the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority holds licenses for the largest area for 55 licenses covering 5.2 million hectares of land. Ivanhoe Mines and Gobi Coal & Energy are the leading companies in terms of the size of an area under exploration licenses holding over 2 million hectares each.

Among the Mongolia companies holding the largest land areas under exploration licenses include Bulgan Gold and Sodgazar.

Coal companies, including Broad, Energy Resources, Ouayshiyou, Morinluu, South Gobi Sands, and Baganuur held the largest land areas under mining licenses. Mongolian companies with the largest land holdings under mining licenses include Energy Resources, Gatsuurt, Mongolyn Alt MAK, Baganuur, and Erdenes MGL.

The highest concentration of gold production can be found in the Selenge, Central, Bayankhongor and Darkhan-Uul provinces. The local companies with the largest number of gold mining licenses include Gatsuurt, Jump, Datsan Trade, Buurgent and Mongol Gazar.

Open Forum found that companies holding mineral licenses in Mongolia represent 30 countries. The overwhelming majority of 3,092 licenses represent Mongolian companies. The registered companies of China, the British Virgin Islands, and the Russian Federation own the largest number of foreign-held licenses. “It is also noticeable that companies registered to an island country which is considered as a tax haven own about 12 percent.”

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