OYU TOLGOI OPENS COMMUNITY INTERACTION CENTRE IN KHANBOGD SOUM

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A new Community Interaction Centre (CIC), funded by Oyu Tolgoi (OT), opened Monday in Khanbogd soum, Omnogobi aimag, the OT website published.

The CIC is designed to help local citizens, groups, NGOs, private entities, cooperatives, as well as OT, to organize public events, forums, conferences and training, creating an environment where people can gather in groups and meet in a pleasant environment. Ivan Vella – Chief Operating Officer, OT said: “It is our vision to support long lasting knowledge and skills, while delivering a safe and sustainable copper business. I have no doubt that the centre, equipped with the latest IT and internet connections and computer training facilities, will help young people in Khanbogd and the surrounding area to learn about the world from the Gobi.

At the same time, small businesses and herder cooperatives can use the venue to help their development,” Head of the Citizens’ Representative Khural of Khanbogd soum Nekhiit highlighted: “Today we have opened a place for us all to get involved. I’m delighted to note that OT has initiated and funded this centre. During the recent years, OT has done some great work in Khanbogd. This is a major development, and demonstrates OT’s commitment to community development. On behalf of the residents of Khanbogd, I would like thank the OT management team and the entire workforce.”

Constructed by a Mongolian company, the centre includes a 100-capacity conference hall and has state of the art security and safety systems. It will be managed by a joint steering committee representing soum citizens, the local administration and OT.

OT recently signed a jointly administered Cooperation Agreement with Omnogovi aimag and Khanbogd, Manlai, Bayan-Ovoo and Dalanzadgad soums. The agreement focuses on broad-

based economic development, social infrastructure, environmental protection and the promotion of cultural heritage.

OT continues to invest in sustainable long-term projects in the South Gobi. In the first quarter of 2015, OT has spent approximately US$280,000 in the areas of health and safety, community infrastructure, pastureland management and herder well rehabilitation programs.

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KHAN BANK RECOGNIZED AS BEST RETAIL BANK OF MONGOLIA

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Global Banking&Finance Review named Khan Bank as the Best Retail Bank Mongolia of 2015 acknowledging its reliable and solid financial position, programs and projects implemented in order to support its customers and offer wide access to variety of banking services, says the bank’s website Monday.

“Khan Bank’s customer base is composed of 98% retail clients and, accordingly, delivery of accessible and flexible financial service is a worthy contribution to the future development of the country. Bearing that in mind, Khan Bank disbursed 20 types of project loans worth a total of MNT 73.3 billion to 3,473 individual and company clients within the framework of governmental and international multilateral projects in 2014.

“Moreover, as a proof of its well-diversified business portfolio, Khan Bank has provided 60% of its loans to individuals and small and medium businesses demonstrating its firm support to improvements in the livelihood of people and sustainable growth of business.

“In addition, the banks said it has many developing countries have recognized that a legal regulation of pledging is an essential part of the market economy, Bayartsogt said.

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MONGOLIAN AND BRITISH ARMIES CLASH IN FRIENDLY BATTLE ON POLO PITCH

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The British Army’s polo team engaged with its Mongolian counterpart in a fierce but friendly polo tournament at an army base in Khentii aimag last weekend, reported the British Embassy in Ulaanbaatar on Thursday.

Armed only with the traditional ball and sticks, a thrilling display of tactics and horsemanship skills by both sides ended in a narrow win by the British team in the eastern Mongolia province where Chingis Khaan was born. But the Mongolian Army will have a chance to even the score when it visits the UK’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for a return match in July.

Polo is thought to have been invented by the horse-loving Mongolians, but the modern international form of the game is played by rules developed by the British.

Mongolia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Purevsuren awarded the prizes together with Vice Minister of Defence Battur and Andrew Allen, Charge D’Affaires at the British Embassy, who said:”The British Army polo team came to Mongolia for a week to train our Mongolian Army friends in the European version of this ancient game. While the resulting sport was great to see and while new bonds were formed between our militaries, I see this as part of our joint efforts to develop a broader and deeper relationship between our countries, going beyond trade and investment and into defence and security, culture, education and tourism. We look forward to the return match at Sandhurst, and to returning Mongolia’s warm and generous hospitality.”

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TAVAN TOLGOI AGREEMENT IS TO REFLECT EASTERN RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION ISSUE

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The working group, formed to issue a conclusion and come up with solutions to the controversial matters in the draft Tavan Tolgoi operations agreement, is discussing certain business offers. For instance, they considered suitable to include in the agreement a clause that tells about commercializing the 1,072 shares owned by every citizen and building an eastern railroad that connects Sainshand, Khoot, Choibalsan and Ereentsav.

The engineering drawings and general construction plan of the above 1,300 km railroad have been completed by Japan’s Nippon Koe Company. Currently, Samsung Corporation is executing the construction of the base structure of the 267-km southern railroad connecting Tavan Tolgoi deposit and Gashuunsukhait border checkpoint. The construction is funded by 200 million US dollars drawn from the Chingis bonds. The working group resolved to give obligation to the Cabinet to reach an agreement with the project-executors to settle the financing form with a condition to complete the mentioned railroad construction and cover the payments by coal.

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ASEM RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE APPROACHES

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Vice Minister of Energy O.Purevbaatar called a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to give information on the “ASEM: Mongolia-A

Country of Renewable Energy” international conference.

It will run this May 22-23 in Ulaanbaatar, he said, “it will be hosted by Mongolia as proposed by the head of Mongolian delegation that participated in the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting in April of 2014 in Brussel of Belgium”.

The conference is supposed to gather some 100 delegates comprising officials, experts and scholars from Asia-Europe Meeting’s member-countries and others. The action will become a platform for experts to share knowledge and experiences and to discuss ways to expand cooperation between Asian-European countries, he said.

In frames of such a vision, the conference will focus on improving the knowledge of main stakeholders including the Governments and the public in order to improve the legal environment on renewable energy. Other issues will be discussed, such as assessing a consumption of renewable energy in Asia and Europe, highlighting a necessity and efficiency of collaborating with other member-states in renewable energy sector; analyzing the pressing issues, obstacles as well as possibilities before promoting of the developing countries’ renewable energy usage, as well as about a development of national, sub-regional and regional policies, and a promotion for strategic adjustments.

The “ASEM: Mongolia-A Country of Renewable Energy” conference will be organized by the Ministries of Energy, of Foreign Affairs, of Environment Green Development and Tourism.

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OT LLC WELCOMES AGREEMENT TO ADVANCE UNDERGROUND MINE

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Oyu Tolgoi welcomes the agreement by its shareholders–the Government of Mongolia and Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto to move ahead with developing the underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi, reported OT on May 19.

The shareholders signed an Underground Development Plan that lays down the key outstanding shareholder issues and sets out an agreed basis for the funding of the project. With a new pathway to development of the underground agreed, the focus now shifts to finalizing the project finance, revising and approving the feasibility study, and securing all necessary permits so that the underground development can proceed.

G.Batsukh, the Chairman of Oyu Tolgoi’s Board of Directors, said:”This is an extremely positive development for Mongolia and all those involved with Oyu Tolgoi. I want to thank the negotiating teams, of both the Government of Mongolia and Rio Tinto, for the patience, respect, and professionalism shown with reaching this agreement.

This is a proud moment for the Oyu Tolgoi project, its shareholders, and the country. On behalf of the Board of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, I welcome today’s news.”

Andrew Woodley, the President and Chief Executive of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, said:”I am very pleased our shareholders have resolved the outstanding issues to progress with the development of the underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi.

With this agreement, further progress can now be made to unlock the large, high-grade ore body that lies well below the surface of our operation and is one of the best copper-gold ore bodies anywhere in the world. “Since taking up the position of President and Chief Executive late last year, I have been struck by the professional- ism and dedication of our hardworking Mongolian employees. I know that they will be very pleased with this news. “Of course, the open-pit phase of the mine continues to operate both safely and efficiently, with safety remaining our number one focus area. We continue to work hard on increasing productivity and reducing the cost base of our operation in order to ensure the long-term economic viability of the business.”

There have been significant developments this year for Oyu Tolgoi LLC which have set a solid foundation for progressing the underground development. In the first quarter, the business celebrated the one millionth tonne of concentrate shipped and signed a MoU with Erdenet in order to share best practice on health and safety. In April, a Cooperation Agreement with Omnogovi (the province where the Oyu Tolgoi mine is based in the South Gobi) was signed to ensure sustainable development on water, environment, pastureland management, cultural heritage, and local business development.

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WEATHER FORECAST UNTIL MAY 24

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Precipitation is not expected. Winds will get stronger in the Gobi and steppes on May 20, reaching 12-14 m/sec, and in most regions on May 23, temporarily reaching 16 m/sec of speed and forming dust storms.

In the mountainous areas of Khangai, Khovsgol and Khentii, and in the banks of Tuul and Terelj rivers, the nighttime temperature will be +3+8 Celsius, the daytime, +18+23.

In the banks of Orkhon and Selenge rivers, the nighttime temperature will be +11+16, and the daytime, +28+33.

In other regions, the nighttime temperature will be +8+13, and the daytime +24+29 Celsius.

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MONGOLIA HAS OVER 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE OF WORKFORCE

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ According to statistics of workforce by first quarter of this year, Mongolia has 1,205.5 thousand people of workforce aged above 15.

632.1 thousand or 52.4% of them are male, and 573.4 thousand or 47.6%–are female. 734.7 thousand or 60.9% of the economically active population live in urban areas, and 470.8 thousand or 39.1%–in localities.

By the first quarter of 2015, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) is 61.5% nationwide. It shows 55.4% in urban areas, and 74.5% in localities. In addition, the number of workers increased by 65.2 thousand or 6.2% against the previous year.

There are 88.6 thousand unemployed people at a national level in the first quarter of 2015. 53.6 thousand or 60.5% of them are male, and the rest or 35.0 thousand–female. In that time, the unemployment rate became 7.4%, declining by 2.0% against the previous year.

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STATE CEREMONIAL CONCERT FOR NAADAM TO BE GIVEN OUTSIDE

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During this year’s Naadam Festival to continue on July 4-15, 16 ceremonial events will take place, and the state concert of honor will be given outside for the first time on July 10.

Vice Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ya.Tomorbaatar reported it at a regular meeting of the organizing committee of the Naadam Festival ran Monday in the State House. This meeting approved a plan of works of sub-committees of the organizing committee.

Within the Festival, the Central Square of Ulaanbaatar will hold a concert of classic music, a children’s gala concert, festivals of dance for world Mongolians and Morin Khuur, the “Mongolians in Deel” festival, a concert of foreign famous groups and the “Ulaanbaatar’s Night” party. The “Horse Herder” festival will be organized as well, said Tomorbaatar.

At the meeting, the Deputy Premier and head of the organizing committee U.Khurelsukh obliged leaders of the sub-committees to fully ensure preparation of the annual festival.

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TRANSPORT STATISTICS

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ In the first four months of 2015, a total of 5659.6 thousand tons of freight and 927.9 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by railway transport. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the amount of carried freight decreased by 402.6 thousand tons or 6.6 percent and the number of carried passengers decreased by 155.5 thousand people or 14.4 percent.

The revenue from railway transport in the first 4 months of 2015 reached MNT 109.6 billion reflecting decrease of 12.5 billion Togrog or 10.3 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

As for air transport, it carried 812.1 tons of freight and 167.3 thousand passengers (double counting). Compared to the same period of the previous year, the amount of carried freight decreased by 269.5 tons or 24.9 percent and the number of carried passengers decreased by 36.1 thousand people or 17.7 percent.

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