Support for miners at Selenge ASM conference

An “Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining” conference in Selenge aimag on 27 of March, which provided support for the organisation of ASM miners and information on current ASM government policies and legislation.

The conference, held in Sukhbaatar city and attended by participants from the Citizens’ Representative Khural, local government agencies and the ASM miners, enabled the sharing of experiences and good practices, and the establishment of a steering committee.

In March 2018, eight Selenge aimag NGOs were registered with the ASM National Federation and 1259 people were registered as ASM miners. Forty-eight partnerships and 416 miners have been organised in Mandal soum, 12 partnerships and 120 miners in Orkhontuul soum, one partnership and 60 miners in Khuder soum, 14 partnerships and 58 miners in Bayangol soum, and 121 partnerships and 605 miners in Yeruu soum.

“From 2015 to 2016, 88 ha of land were allocated to 51 partnerships, and 87 ha of land were returned,” said D. Erdenechimeg, Head of the Bayan Selenge Undraga NGO in Bugant soum. “We also maximised the local soum’s budget. We have made an investment and a development that is valued about MNT 60 million.”

Selenge aimag governor Sh. Orgil said authorisations would be issued to people and partnerships who met the requirements and who received permission from the soum governor.

“We must go with one consolidated rule and procedure,” he said. “We will not accept those who run small-scale mining operations and who enter into a contract with a soum but do not obtain a permit from the aimag. More than 90 percent of the land which is going to be reserved for special use by the aimag is already damaged. Once you dig or mine land, you must be responsible for its rehabilitation, irrespective of minerals being found or not found. The aimag will supervise this, and we will not discuss it again if no rehabilitation work is done.”

G. Byambaa, Chairman of aimag Citizens’ Representative Khural, said: “We will support all activities unless there is a breach of the law. Many people can be provided with workplaces.”