“Mining and geology can’t be separated. But the Government paid much attention on mining sector, ignoring geology one” concluded participants of “The Mongolian Geology and Mineral Forum”. Representatives of 42 companies and scholars attended the Forum, jointly organized by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mineral resource Authority, The Mongolian Mining Geology Association, The Mongolian Geologists’ Association, The National University of Mongolia and Geology School of University of Science. During the forum the legal environment of mining sector was fiercely criticized by the participants.
Unstable legal environment negatively affect the foreign investment in the geology sector. 90% of total geology work is funded by the foreign investment. Due to the prohibition of geology and exploration work in the reserve areas forest and water, the latest change in the legal environment of mining sector, issued licenses are about to be cancelled and many foreign companies are pulling their investment, leaving many geologists unemployed. The participants think that it is wrong decision and also it is another example of irresponsibility that the compensation resource is still not clear to companies which lost their licenses.
Also geological researches and explorations are not sufficient enough as they were in the socialist time. Only 20% of 1:50.000 mapping was completed in Mongolia. This mapping should cover whole territory of Mongolia. The Government announces 6-7 tender bids each year to complete this task.
4 billion MNT is allocated in the budget to be spent for geology and general prospecting works and Mr. Todbileg.M, a senior officer of Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy has more.
Q: Can you briefly update the current situation of geology sector?
Todbileg: Geological studies and researches are being made in three levels. First, academic level, this work is conducted by the universities and its professors and students. Second, geological mapping and general prospecting works funded by the state budget. Third, geological works, funded by private investment, conducted by private companies. Last year, geological work of over 100 billion MNT was made.
Q: It was said that 1:50.000 mapping work is completed only 20% of total territory of Mongolia. Can you give us more detailed answer?
Todbileg: 1:200.000 mapping covered Mongolia 100%. 1:50.000 mapping work is made on only 27% of territory of Mongolia. It will continue in the future. The state pursues policy to increase its investment.
Over 1200 companies will lose their licenses.
Over 1200 companies will lose their licenses due to the prohibition of exploration works in the reserve areas of forest and water. Now, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is working on finalizing the list. Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs refused to comment on the necessity of amending the Mineral Law of Mongolia. Over 80 laws are under discussion to be amended and 2 – 3 of them are related to the mining sector.