Mongolia’s mining industry is celebrating its centenary. 25 December each year is a day for celebration for the mining industry and miners. Following the victory of the People’s Revolution and the establishment of a new government, the country’s leaders, declared that underground resources were “the property of all the people”. They appointed a government representative to Nalaikh who announced that the mine had become a “state enterprise” on that historic day. Subsequently, the leaders of the National Congress of the Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR) issued a decree about celebrating 25 December as the “Day of Mongolian miners” and D. Davaajav, of the Nalaikh mine, was awarded the title of the first Labor Hero of Mongolia in 1957. That is how this day became a day making respect and celebrating many generations of miners. The successes and failures of the mining industry over the past century cannot be fully described in a page or even in dozens of books. Nevertheless, we have published an overview of 100 years of history and how the industry has come such a long way. You will read the views of industry experts on the last 100 years of development and how the mining industry could evolve over the next century. We cannot help but mention that mining was not only the foundation of Mongolia’s industrialization in the last century, but also created modern cities such as Erdenet, Darkhan, Baganuur and Bor-Undur. It has become the backbone of our socioeconomic development.
The Mongolian Mining Journal, a professional mining and economics magazine, has been recording the history of the new era of geology and mining since its inception in 2008, and summarizing events and developments over the past 14 years. That is why our magazine was included in the work plan for the 100th anniversary of the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, and we decided to prepare an anniversary issue. Throughout the year, the magazine’s editorial team enjoyed running the “Celebrity of the Century” column, dedicated to historical figures who have made valuable contributions to the industry.
The year 2022 was full of special events as the mining industry celebrated its 100th anniversary. Activities included in the government’s long-term and medium-term development policy, such as Vision 2050 and the New Revival Policy, started to be implemented. Extensive construction and development took place, the months-long dispute over the Oyu Tolgoi project between the government and investors was resolved, and underground mining began on the 100th anniversary. It is commendable that foreign investors who had lost hope and had begun leaving Mongolia regained their confidence after the success of the Oyu Tolgoi project. Major mining infrastructure such as the Tavantolgoi-Gashuunsukhait and Zuunbayan-Khangi railways have been completed, thereby creating greater opportunity for mineral exports.
Legal reforms in the sector continue as part of the government’s “From Extraction to Processing” policy. For example, the sector ministry prepared draft amendments to the Law on the National Resource Fund, the Law on Mining Products and the Minerals Law and is ready to submit them to the government and Parliament for consideration. As far as industrialization is concerned, many projects are being successfully implemented. For example, implementation of the enrichment plant project of Erdenes Tavantolgoi JSC has reached 20%, construction of the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine is 90% complete, construction work on the Tsagaansuvarga copper-molybdenum deposit is 69% done, and construction and installation of non-technological buildings and facilities of the oil refinery project is 75.0% finished. In addition, the “Mongolian Steel Complex 1” project of Darkhan Metallurgical Industry LLC and “Altanshireet Industrial Park” project of Boldtumur Yeroo Gol LLC are being implemented.
The “Mongolian Mining Week 2022” conference was one of the main events as part of the 100th anniversary of the mining industry. During the grand event, mining issues were discussed openly and from different angles. In addition, the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) decided to issue mineral exploration licences, which had been suspended in recent years, for 25 sites through a selection process. When announcing this, it was decided to follow the principle of not increasing the total number of special licences but, instead, only adding a number equal to the number of cancelled or invalid licences. In addition, the government approved procedures for Erdenes Tavantolgoi JSC to trade coal on the electronic exchange during the first quarter of 2023. In this way, the coal trade will become open and transparent, and the “coal theft” case, which has agitated the public for the past few days, should go away.
The celebration of any historical anniversary provides an opportunity to travel along the chronological chain of events, contemplating the past while anticipating remarkable future development journeys.
The team of The Mongolian Mining Journal congratulates all of you on your honourable contributions towards the development of our mining industry, and wishes you every future success in promoting responsible and sustainable mining.