A working group established by the Security and Foreign Policy Standing Committee of SGK has concluded its examination on Mardai group deposits. MP Z.Enkhbold, Chairman of the Committee, held press conference.
Q: Was illegal issuance of licenses revealed during the examination?
MP Z.Enkhbold: Uranium deposits located in the territory of Bayandun, Gurvanzagal and Dashbalbar soums of Dornodn aimag were explored between 1971-1974 and “Uranium exploitation Agreement in the Mongolian territory” was made between the Government of Mongolia and Soviet Union in December 23 1981. It mined 510.6 thousand tons of ore between 1988 – 1995.
But MRA issued mining and exploration licenses to “Emeelt Mines”, “Western Prospector Mongolia”, “Adamas Mining” companies in the previously mined areas, breaching provision 2.3 of article 17 and provision 1.4 of article 19 of the Mineral Law of Mongolia. It is illegal to issue exploration license in the previously mined areas. After Agreement of Concession was annulled in late 1989 and early 1990, all uranium properties returned to Mongolia. I would like to quote two examples to give you how big scale of work were underwent in the above – mentioned areas; over 40 kilometers of railway to transport small carriers was laid and three horizontal shafts were built. After the Agreement with Russia was annulled, all reports, findings, locations of ore, electrical supply lines and over 130 kilometers long railway was transferred to the Mongolian side free. Over 14 licenses were issued to 4 companies in the previously mined areas. It is much similar to issue an exploration license in the mining area of Erdenet copper and molybdenum mine and then to raise fund at the Canadian Stock Exchange.
Q: Who was included in the working group?
MP Z.Enkhbold: Six people: MP P.Altangerel, D.Odbayar, Ts.Shinebayar, all elected from Dornod aimag and other MPs D.Khayankhyarvaa, Kh.Jekei and me.
Q: Law on Nuclear Energy was adopted last year in order to exploit uranium under the state control. It said that it will clean the mess of issuing licenses.
MP Z.Enkhbold: SGK adopted Law on Nuclear Energy in order to halt these illegal activities. Nuclear Energy Authority shall impose control and monitoring on mining and exploitation of radioactive minerals within the limits of its power. Our working group expected such measures to taken and hoped to cancel these illegal licenses.
But it suspended two licenses only and left the others. MRA issued licenses of 4846Х, 4969Х, 4970Х, 4974Х, 7405Х, 7685Х, 6995Х, 7023Х, 9283Х, 9353Х, 9363Х, 3367Х to “Emeelt Mines”, “Western Prospector Mongolia”, “Adamas Mining” companies, breaching Mineral Law and Law on Nuclear Energy.
Q: Which licenses of what companies were suspended?
MP Z.Enkhbold: Two licenses of “Khan Resources” and “Adamas Mining” and we should cancel remaining 12 licenses also. The group made conclusion on the two suspended licenses to cancel and sent our conclusion to the Government.
Q: Can you give us details of your conclusion to the Government?
MP Z.Enkhbold: If compare drill log report in the areas of “Gurvanbulag”, “Mardain Gol” and “Dornod” deposits of Dornod aimag with the Russian exploration report, uranium grade was decreased and ore bodies with lower grade of uranium in the outreach areas of ore bodies were not included in the later reports. Therefore, re-evaluation on deposits, restore the infrastructure of the mine area and updated feasibility study are in need. Illegal exploration licenses in the areas of “Gurvanbulag”, “Mardain Gol” and “Dornod” deposits shall be cancelled and the responsible officials shall be called to court. The working group made conclusion to develop legal arrangements to return “Gurvanbulag”, “Mardain Gol” and “Dornod” deposits back to Mon-Atom LLC, a state owned company. Also annulations of the illegal privatization of railway part from “Chinggis’ Dam” station to Mardai mine site of railway between Ereentsav – Choibalsan.
Q: It said that the State Property Committee illegally privatized over 130 kilometers long railway. Was it truly out of use?
MP Z.Enkhbold: We visited the site. The railway can be used after fixing. The State Property Committee privatized the railway without authorization of the Government and SGK. I believe that this privatization shall be cancelled and the responsible official shall be filed. The railway will be important when the uranium deposits are under operation.