Mongolian Mining Journal: Decision on industrial units cannot be hurried
Ts.Davaatseren, Head of the Mining and Research Department at MRAM, explains why many aspects have to be carefully studied before beginning work on setting up factories.
The Minerals Resources Agency of Mongolia and the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy have been jointly studying the best location for copper smelters. How is it going?
Parliament has approved in principle a proposal to construct a smelter and that is why the MRAM and the Ministry are evaluating the choices of location, as also the right time to begin building, what infrastructure will be needed, and marketing strategies and sales opportunities. Nothing is final as yet, but at the moment, we are focusing on three options
The Ministry of Construction and Urban Development has published its guidelines for building an industrial complex in Sainshand, Donorgobi which will include a smelter. However, if a number of large factories are to come up in Sainshand, water supply and energy issues have to be resolved first. The Water Authority does not know if there is any water reserve in Sainshand to meet such increased demands. There has been no decision on what the capacity of the smelter will be, but whatever is decided, assured water supply is a basic issue.
How realistic are suggestions to bring water to the Sainshand complex through a canal from the Kherlen river?
There are political imperatives that stand in the way. There is an agreement with the Chinese whereby they will build a big power station near the Shivee Ovoo coal mine. Work on that has not yet begun because of the same water supply problem. Several studies were made on digging canals from the Kherlen to Shivee Ovoo, but politics has stalled the work. In such a situation, the proposed canals do seem unlikely.
Editorial note: This dangerous water diversion project encountered»obstacles» many times since its inception decades ago. For the most part these were serious concerns over fragile nature of Kherlen River and Dalai Lake it feeds. It is interesting that mining official calls current obstacles»political».