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Mongolia: Extension of Temporary Suspension of Granting of Mineral Exploration Licenses

(Feb. 17, 2011) It was reported on February 11, 2011, that the Mongolian Parliament has approved legislation on mining, initiated by the country's President, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, extending the term of application of the law on temporary suspension of new mineral exploration licenses for another couple of months, to April 30, 2011. A draft version of the law had initially proposed an extension until July 15, 2011. (No Mineral Exploration License Issuance Till April 30, THE UB POST (Feb. 15, 2011),
.) The temporary measures are being applied until a new law on the issuance of mining licenses in Mongolia is adopted. (See Wendy Zeldin, Mongolia: Issuance of Mining Licenses Temporarily Suspended Pending Adoption of New Law, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (May 18, 2010), //

Since the 1990s, the country's Mineral Resources Authority has reportedly issued some 4,000 exploration licenses and 1,000 mining licenses, but despite the high number of the former, Mongolia has only about a dozen large mining operations. Civic groups have called on the government to regulate mining activities more tightly to combat environmental degradation; as a result, the authorities are cracking down on illegal ventures, and the Mongolian Parliament may adopt a stricter licensing law. The National Statistical Office of Mongolia is quoted as stating that in 2010, 98% of the country's total exports were from the mining sector. (Mongolia Passes Law Temporarily Banning Mining Exploration Permit, CHINA DAILY (Feb. 14, 2011),