Mongolia and Kazakhstan agree to construct gold and silver refinery

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More than 200 entrepreneurs, policymakers and relevant stakeholders attended the Mongolian-Kazakh Business Forum, held at Astana International Financial Center in Kazakhstan last Friday.

The forum was a huge success, concluding with eight documents worth 200 million USD signed between the two countries, including a project to build a gold and silver refinery.

A delegation led by Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh joined the forum aimed to boost investment cooperation, particularly in mining, transportation and logistics, construction, and agriculture. Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh delivered opening remarks, emphasizing that his state visit and the business forum are a door to deepen bilateral relations and cooperation.

“Mongolia and Kazakhstan both have long history and are similar in many ways. We both have large territories that have abundant mineral resources. In this sense, the two countries have immense opportunities to learn from each other’s successful practices and develop a mutually beneficial economic partnership in mining and heavy industry,” he said.

The most significant deal made at the forum was the agreement between Erdenes Alt Resource LLC and Symbat Engineering LLP aimed to construct a gold and silver refinery. The Kazakh side agreed to give their 30 million USD patent for the refinery for free of charge to Mongolia as well as provide human resources. This project will be the first significant technology investment in Kazakhstan in Mongolia. “The refinery, costing 81.7 million USD, will be capable of processing 25 tons of gold and 50 tons of silver annually in addition to outputs of seven to eight different elements,” noted Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry D.Sumiyabazar during the forum. “Our country gets its mined gold refined abroad. However, our jewelry producers buy their raw materials from abroad. We’re preparing to submit a bill on precious stones and metals around the time the new refinery is put into operation.”

The minister added that Mongolia has the potential to mine 40 tons of gold per year and yet, only 20 or so tons of gold is submitted to the central bank. He suggested that the country could be losing the remaining resources to other countries before underlining the need to revise the Law on Precious Stones and Metals. He also noted the importance of supporting local jewelry producers.

Looking into halal meat cooperation

Regarding Mongolia and Kazakhstan’s partnership in agriculture, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Ch.Ulaan sees an opportunity for Mongolia to reach out to and supply meat to Middle Eastern markets through Kazakhstan.
“In the future, we can process and export not only horse meat but mutton and beef to the Middle East through Kazakhstan. There’s also a large market southeast of our country,” Ch.Ulaan stated. “Kazakhstan has eight million cows through which it meets its domestic demand. Now, it’s moving to exportation. Kazakhstan also has 18 million sheep but is unable to meet local demand. Our country has four million cows and 30 million sheep. We could cover for each other and mutually benefit. Like so, our two countries can work together to reach out to third-party markets.”
The minister mentioned ongoing projects in Mongolia to create healthy zones not requiring vaccines for livestock in the western part of the country by 2021. He also shared plans to process halal meat in Mongolia to export to Kazakhstan and the Middle East.
The Kazakh side is interested in joint livestock and meat processing projects. The veterinary services of Mongolia and Kazakhstan are working closely together and have signed a memorandum of understanding on the production of veterinary drugs, the establishment of training centers for veterinarians, and bilateral export operations of veterinary immunobiological preparations.
Mongolian and Kazakhstani businesses discussed meat processing projects on the basis of the Semipalatinsk meat processing plant and “Steppe Sheep” sheep-breeding cluster of Karaganda region.

The following agreements were signed during the forum.

  1. Agreement between Erdenes Alt Resource LLC and Symbat Engineering LLPon the construction of a gold and silver refinery by the Kazakhstani side in Mongolia and its commissioning
  2. Agreement between the RSE National Center for the Integrated Processing of Mineral Raw Materials of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Mongolian Koeus Consulting on the creation of a joint venture for the construction of an Innovative Ferrosilikoaluminium Alloy Production Plant
  3. Memorandum of cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce of Kazakhstan and the National Chamber of Commerce of Mongolia
  4. Memorandum between SCAT Airlines and Mongolian Airways Cargo LLC on aviation maintenance, training of flight crews and ground handling specialists
  5. Memoranda between the Kazakhstan Research-Production Enterprise Antigen LLP and Mongolia’s Global Business Link on the development of bilateral export operations of veterinary immunobiological preparations and diagnostic tests 
  6. Memorandum between Kazakhstan Research-Production Enterprise Antigen LLP and Ashigt Feed LLC on joint investments in the production of veterinary drugs and the establishment of training centers for veterinarians
  7. Agreement between the Republican Center for Certification of Management Systems LLP and IPM Mon Sertf LLC on cooperation in the certification of management systems based on international standards
  8. Agreement between DOSFARM LLP and Mongol Em Impex LLC on cooperation in the field of registration, sale, and promotion of medicines in Mongolia

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan