Mongolia seeks to diversify mining investors

By a program of privatisations during 2010 - including licences to develop Tavan Tolgoi, a state-owned deposit that contains more than 6 Bt of coking coal, Mongolia’s government is attempting to attract fresh foreign mining investors to balance applications of Chinese and Russian companies.

According to William MacNamara in the Financial Times, companies from the USA, India, South Korea and elsewhere represent the "commercial corollary" of Mongolia's “third neighbour” foreign policy.

The government has been expecting an investment boom since last October, when it agreed a crucial mining contract with Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto, joint venture partners. The Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement, named after the Mongolian copper-gold deposit that Rio calls the world’s best untapped copper resource, had been under negotiation since 2004.

On 23 November, Sukhbataar Batbold, prime minister, said his government will prepare state-owned enterprises owning strategic assets for IPOs on international exchanges.