Mongolia prefers to own Tavan Tolgoi coal project

Mongolia's prime minister, Sukhbaatar Batbold, doesn't rule out foreign ownership of the $2 billion Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit but prefers state ownership. His government is looking for a contractor to help develop the project rather than selling a stake in the project to foreign companies. "We have not ruled out foreign mining companies having a stake but our preferred option is complete state control. Ownership and investment of all the big projects will be decided on a case by case basis," he said, as quoted by China Daily.

Mongolia has fifteen large strategic deposits of metals and coal reserves and is seeking $25 billion in overseas investment over five years to develop some of them.

Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines Limited and Rio Tinto have already signed an agreement for the $4 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper gold project starting in 2013.