Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Mongolia: Parliament Urges Mining Plan

(Dec. 11, 2008) On December 4, 2008, Mongolia's parliament passed a resolution asking President Nambaryn Enkhbayar to report by February 2009 on progress in negotiations over development of two mining sites. The action gave approval to re-opening talks with companies interested in copper and gold mines at Oyu Tolgoi and a coal mine at Tavan Tolgoi. Disputes over the copper and gold deposits have led to negotiations lasting more than seven years. Under Mongolia's Minerals Law, the state has the right to grant licenses for mining of mineral resources. (Art. 5, Minerals Law, June 5, 1997, MONGOLIA-WEB, July 27, 2007, available at Under other laws, the government may own 34 to 50 percent of a mine. (Parliament Seeks to Speed Oyu Tolgoi, Tavan Tolgoi Mining Agreements, MONGOLIA-WEB, Dec. 5, 2008, available at

Oyu Tolgoi is said to have the most important undeveloped copper and gold deposits in the world. Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto, the two companies interested in the site, have expressed concern that since the talks have gone on for so long, they may not be able to raise the financing for the project. (Id.)