Mongolia is set to become a major mining powerhouse, thanks to China's hunger for energy and metals and the introduction of friendlier policies towards foreign investors, reports the South China Morning Post.
Citing data from Singapore-based Eurasia Capital, which specialises in stockbroking and investment banking in Central Asia, the Post reveals that Mongolia has some of the world's largest untapped gold and copper resources. The two metals account for 80% of the nation's exports.
The Post says that the Mongolian government, in its bid to help narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, has amended four mining laws, the most important one being the removal of a 68% tax on copper and gold mining revenues from January 1, 2011. Under the new law, the state can acquire up to a 34% interest in a deposit "of strategic importance" where mineral discoveries have been made using private funds.
Bidders from Australia, the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and India have reportedly been shortlisted to compete early next year for the project 250 kilometres from the Chinese border, says the Post.