Rare earth elements to be newly discovered

ZGM DAILY

2018-02-09 09:01 GMT+8
The Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren

The Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren has indicated that Mongolia has several undiscovered deposits of gold, copper, uranium, other rare earth elements, lithium, cobalt and graphite. Experts expect soar in demand for core components of modern technology, such as copper, uranium, lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite and other rare earth elements, with growth in the development of renewable energy and production of cutting-edge technology and electric cars. Accordingly, the officials are planning to conduct mineral exploration on over 20 percent of the country, covering a total of 30 million hectares of lands. 

Mongolia has potential to sustainably supply minerals to global commodity market 

Currently, a total of 57 million tons of copper reserves, 2,500 tons of gold, 37.2 billion tons of coal, 197 thousand tons of uranium reserves have been discovered around the country. These numbers are expected to grow in the future with the upcoming explorations. “Looking at the mineral resources, processing, supply, production and recycling as a whole, Mongolia has the potential to sustainably supply minerals to the global commodity market,” remarked the minister.

The Government is planning to build several preparation plants including an oil refinery, synthetic natural gas plant, metallurgical plant and copper smelter with an aim to develop transparency and responsibility in the mining and heavy industry, increase the country’s wealth fund and developing a balanced, multi-pillar economic structure.

These plants will apply modern and advanced technologies that are environmentally friendly and low emission. For example, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, some companies are producing cathode copper from ore stockpile of the copper-molybdenum deposit that is not suitable for ore processing by applying advanced technology, known as “Solventextraction- electrolysis”. As demand for some minerals grow, prices increase and income rises there will be definite opportunities for the Government of Mongolia to develop and finance production that is directed towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is environmentally friendly.

So the officials are deeply aware of the fact that the future development of the country depends on the proper management of wealth accumulated during global boom periods. As a result, some ministers have been studying Norway and Kazakhstan, countries that have years of experience and expertise in wealth fund management, governance and transparency before they attend Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, Switzerland.

As of 2017, mining sector makes up 86 percent of Mongolia’s total exports, 71 percent of the total industrial output and almost 30 percent of total state budget revenues.

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