The Government said on Thursday it has shortlisted three bidders from a list of six vying to develop the Tavantolgoi coal mine and will announce the winners within the next few days. It did not give the names of the bidders who have been shortlisted. However, the Mongolian ambassador to China said separately in a press conference in Beijing that the government would consider the interests of its two neighbors, Russia and China, when deciding the winners and those groups including Chinese and Russian firms were still in the running.
ArcelorMittal, Vale, Xstrata, US Peabody and a consortium of Chinese energy firm Shenhua and Japan”s Mitsui & Co are among the six bidders originally shortlisted to develop the mine, which is touted as one of the world”s largest untapped coking coal deposits. Another consortium led by South Korean state body Korea Resources and including POSCO, utility KEPCO, trading firm LG Corp, Daewoo International, Russian Railways, and Japanese trading houses Itochu, Sumitomo, Marubeni and Sojitz, is also in the running.
The shortlisting comes after 18 rounds of talks with all six bidders over issues such as pre-payment, mine management and environmental concerns. Government officials had already said more than one winner may be picked to develop the project.