Changes afoot in Mongolia

IVANHOE Mines' ownership of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposit in Mongolia will reportedly be unaffected by proposed changes to the country's mineral law that will allow state participation in a
Changes afoot in Mongolia Changes afoot in Mongolia Changes afoot in Mongolia Changes afoot in Mongolia Changes afoot in Mongolia

Outcrop sampling in Mongolia

Michael Quinn

The discoveries where the government could potentially take a stake were undisclosed, with the level of participation to be equivalent in value to the amount of the state funds that had been spent, and, subject to negotiation with any private owner.

However the Mongolian Government won't seek a stake in any mineral deposits discovered in the future by privately funded exploration and mining companies, according to a statement by Ivanhoe.

Other changes to Mongolia's Mineral Law include the adoption of a public auction system to allocate ground dropped by previous licence holders or where the government has carried out geological investigation.

Ivanhoe also has coal interests in the country, hoping to kick-off a pre-feasibility study at its Nariin Sukhhait coal deposit in southern Mongolia.

If negotiations with the Mongolian Government are successful and the issue of a mining licence is timely, initial production from the Ivanhoe properties, located about 40km from the Chinese border, could start as early as the second half of 2006.