This video says about itself:
Mongolia‘s entire way of life under threat from mining
The Big Dig, 2012 – Mongolia‘s mining boom is now in full swing, but not everyone is happy with the various consequences and shady business deals.
Mongolia is the new frontier in a massive, break-neck speed resources rush. But as it races to take advantage of Chinese demand, helped along by Rio Tinto, what is it getting from digging up the steppes?
Genghis Khan must be rolling in his grave as foreigners arrive in Mongolia to plunder his once mighty domain. Australian miner Rio Tinto is about to open one of the biggest copper mines on the planet in Mongolia, which will soon account for more than 30% of the country’s entire GDP. “Some of the optimistic geologists we have say that this business could run for up to 100 years”, Cameron McRae from Rio Tinto explains.
But the company only cedes the Mongolian government a 34% stake, provoking worries about where the benefits of Mongolia’s resource wealth will go. There’s concerns the government is ill-equipped to strike complex mining deals in the national interest. “The deal is a financial transaction and whether it’s really beneficial to Mongolia, I have many doubts about that”, argues Dorjdari from the Responsible Mining Initiative.
Environmentalists also worry that the mining push has come so fast and so aggressively that proper checks and balances are not in place. “Most tourists come to Mongolia because they want to see that pristine open space blue sky, but what if we couldn’t offer it anymore?”
Produced by ABC Australia.
From Associated Press:
Thousands Rally in Mongolia Over Foreign Mining Concessions
By Ganbat Namjilsangarav, Associated Press
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — Mar 30, 2016, 6:57 AM ET
A rare public protest in Mongolia’s capital on Wednesday drew thousands of demonstrators who criticized foreign mining concessions and demanded action to prop up the tottering economy.
More than 2,000 demonstrators in Ulaanbaatar’s Freedom Square also called for parliament to be dissolved and a new government formed over alleged corruption and the economic crisis battering the vast, landlocked nation.
Protesters say the mineral wealth that accounts for 94 percent of the nation’s exports has been exploited by foreign companies, with few benefits going to Mongolia’s 3 million people, one-third of whom live in poverty.
“Our wealth is shipped outside of the country. Where is that money going?” former wrestler and opposition lawmaker Battulga Khaltmaa asked the crowd assembled by an umbrella group of small political parties and civil society organizations known as Ethical Mongol.
Battulga was particularly critical of the terms extended to Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto PLC to develop the $5.4 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. Talks on expanding the mine have bogged down over the government’s demand for more revenue.
Battulga and others also criticized efforts to revive the Tavan Tolgoi coal project, alleging that members of around two dozen influential families with ties to both ruling Mongolian Democratic Party and opposition Mongolian People’s Party stand to benefit the most from the deal through their ownership of shares in the Hong Kong-listed Mongolian Mining Corp.
“This business-political group … has already swallowed its brother, democracy,” said Erdenechimeg Luvsan, a Democratic Party lawmaker.
Protesters carried banners reading “Tavan Tolgoi is public property” and “Whatever happened to democracy?”