Centuries after its “golden hordes” descended on most of central Asia Mongolia is discovering the reverse of what it was like then. This time around, the world”s mining community is descending on Mongolia, looking to take advantage of the tiny state”s mostly untapped mineral wealth – not to mention its convenient proximity to China“s voracious resources maw, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Its Prime Minister has proposed listing separate companies on international markets, somewhat like China did in the last decade, with one holding mining assets, another the energy assets, and the third infrastructure. That last would be interesting, because Mongolia“s infrastructure is largely under construction. It still sources some of its electricity requirements from Russia, and most of its oil, and has a very limited rail network once you get outside the capital.
There have been confident predictions that over the next decade Mongolia will become Central Asia”s version of Dubai in GDP terms. A lot of that hyperbole has, perhaps unsurprisingly, sprung from the lips of Mongolian bank chiefs, but there is little doubt the blood is up amid stories of China looking to secure sources of coking coal and Mongolia theoretically having sufficient resources to meet those demands. As such, deals are starting to emerge among Australian exploration juniors, eager to have some of the gloss of Mongolia rub off on them.