Aspire Mining is pleased to announce that a new National Rail Policy has been approved by a strong majority at a recent sitting of the Mongolian Parliament. The new policy includes the extension of rail from Erdenet to Ovoot and on to the Russian border at Arts Suuri.

This represents a new important rail connection between Russia, Mongolia and through the Trans-Mongolian Railway to China. The Mongolian Government is now empowered to negotiate a concession agreement for the railway between Erdenet to Ovoot as the first stage of the Northern Rail Line. The rail policy also stipulates the required rail gauges for specific rail lines in Mongolia’s south.

This policy decision follows the recent addition of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway onto the Mongolian Government’s Concession List of Approved Projects.

In the medium term, the Erdenet to Ovoot railway is positioned to form a critical link within a highly strategic rail network connecting the Ulug Khem coking coal basin in Russia’s south with the Trans-Mongolian Railway through to China.

The Ulug Khem coking coal basin is estimated to contain about 2.5 billion tonnes of metallurgical coal reserves and when combined with Aspire’s wholly-owned Ovoot Coking Coal Project, will represent a major new long-term source of high quality coking coal. Exports from this very large coal basin in Russia to China are expected to provide substantial transit freight volumes for both the Erdenet to Ovoot railway and the Trans-Mongolian Railway.

Aspire’s managing director David Paull says, “We are very pleased that the Erdenet – Ovoot – Arts Suuri Rail Line has now been added to Mongolia’s National Rail Policy. The Mongolian Parliament’s decision provides the rail solution to unlock the value of the Ovoot Project.

“We expect that this railway, along with the current expansion of the Trans-Mongolian Railway towards 100 million tonnes/annum, will have a dramatic effect on the competitiveness of northern Mongolian coal in both the Chinese and seaborne coking coal markets. In addition, this new railway will bring major economic and social benefits to the Northern Mongolian provinces as economic development and regional integration is fast-tracked.

“Aspire’s dedicated rail subsidiary, Northern Railways LLC, looks forward to the opportunity to provide a tender proposal for the concession agreement in the near term.”

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