Mongolia is a landlocked and sparsely populated nation in Central Asia, wedged between Russia and China. The country was a Soviet satellite state until 1990, when it began its transition towards democracy and a market economy. The first years of this transition were difficult for Mongolia; the country was dependant on Soviet financial assistance and its economy primarily based on animal husbandry and nomadic herding. Economic collapse saw rampant inflation, food rationing and widespread shortages.
The ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, launched by Xi Jingping, is more than an ambitious infrastructure project. It is perhaps the largest in history. It’s also the Chinese Premier’s legacy. With constitutional changes now permitting him to remain in office for life, there is an ever greater possibility of its delivery. Countries touched by it can look to consolidate trade with China, and benefit from the infrastructure dividend it brings. Here we set out four reasons why it could unleash Mongolia’s copper potential:
Mongolia’s gold industry is expected to see a major boost in 2018, with the Oyu Tolgoi mine set to double its output to between 240,000 to 280,000 ounces. As Oyu Tolgoi enters its later phases, higher grades and increased recovery will significantly enhance the projects capacity. This will further propel the recovery of the Mongolian economy.
In 2017, Mongolia’s coal deposits helped the country move to recovery. Often associated with toxic emissions- and in Mongolia’s case, chronic air pollution- it was instrumental in the delivery of growth exceeding 5%. The reasons are well documented and understandable. Even with more muted industrialisation, China is a key steel producer and relies on coal to power its mills. As my colleague recently reported, though, Xi Jingping and others are genuinely making green overtures, and this led to the closure of hundreds of mines in Inner Mongolia last year. Combined with a ban on North Korean imports, this placed Mongolia as a key exporter.
Mongolian Metals Corporation LLC (MMC) is a Mongolian mining company with a portfolio of exploration licenses representing significant deposits of copper, gold, molybdenum, coal and quartz across four aimags of Mongolia. The company also benefits from strong ongoing access to further license acquisition opportunities. MMC is a spin-off from Asia Pacific Investment Partners. MMC was founded in April 2008 and has to date acquired four exploration licenses in Mongolia. Aggregate investment into MMC since at 31st December 2008 totaled circa US$6.4 million. Investment into the business has to date been 100% financed by Asia Pacific Investment Partners Corporation Ltd (APIP).