Jan 19, 2021

AMEP contributes to Mongolia’s Exploration Licencing System Reform

According to the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia, Mongolia has issued 933 exploration and over 1,692 mining licences. The total area of these valid licences covers 6250 hectares of land.  This means 3.9% of Mongolia’s territory is covered by exploration licences compared to 8.2% for Ecuador and 25% in Australia.  There have been multiple, non-transparent licencing systems since 2010 and problems of land banking and licence flipping persist. An undeclared but effective moratorium on issuing exploration licences has been in place since August 2019.  Investors at a roundtable with the former Minister in 2020 summed up the current legislative environment as failing to issue ground and incapable of encouraging actual exploration activities or capturing exploration data.

AMEP is pleased to provide technical assistance to the MMHI and inform a working group that is to be set up to review the current tender-based licencing system and recommend changes to the Minerals Law’s reform process. AMEP plans to introduce international licencing good practices by producing a report on licencing systems in Australia, Canada, and Russia and considering the relationship between geo-science data and methods for allocating licences as the ministry is interested in introducing an on-line system for licence application and approval.
This work signals to the investment community that Mongolia is serious about reforms to make it more competitive and open for business.