Mongolia. In a difficult economic crisis, Mongolia sought
new foreign investors at the beginning of the year by
opening large land areas for mining exploitation. Following
the new supply, close to one fifth of the country's surface
is open for mining, an area larger than Norrland. The
country is estimated to have gold, copper, iron and other
ore assets worth $ 1.5 trillion.
COUNTRYAAH, copper, coal, iron, oil and gold account for about 85% of
exports, but the fall in commodity prices and conflicts
around foreign ownership had reduced foreign investment in
Mongolia by about 80% in one year. Although GDP growth was
around 8%, it had halved since 2011, and the currency's rye
had fallen sharply in value.
In May, Mongolia agreed with British-Australian mining
group Rio Tinto on an extension of the copper and gold mine
Oyu Tolgoi to underground mining. The conflict had been
going on for years and hampered the country's economy. The
expansion of the giant mine is expected to increase
Mongolia's GDP by a third. At the same time, there have been
protests against the damage to the environment and the many
poor Mongols getting so little of the mining wealth.
Parallel to reduced mining income, Mongolia suffered
severe drought during the summer. Most of the wheat crop was
knocked out and the livestock feed reserves shrank when the
worst winter of years was expected. The government planned
to ban the export of wheat and meat before the winter to
save domestic supply, but it was still expected that a lot
of livestock must be slaughtered.
Mongolia blames climate change for the uncertain weather
caused by high global greenhouse gas emissions. Although
Mongolia itself has relatively low emissions, the country
has experienced a temperature increase of just over 2
degrees in seven decades, three times faster than the global
In August, the six Mongolian People's Ministers were
dismissed by Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg, who
nevertheless had a majority in Parliament with his own
Democratic Party. By breaking up the government well in
advance of the 2016 election, the two major parties were
given the opportunity to conduct an election campaign
separately after cooperating with the important decision on
the Oyu Tolgoi mine.