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Key Mongolian railway gains government approval

World Coal,

The Mongolian government has approved a railway that will link Erdenet west with the Ovoot metallurgical coal project, and will travel onto the Russian border at Arts Suuri.

Aspire Mining announced that the new national rail policy paves the way for a rail solution connecting the Ovoot coal project with major international coal markets.

The government’s decision affirms recent agreements with Russia and China to deliver large-scale transport infrastructure.

The railway will form a critical link within a highly strategic network connecting the Ulug Khem coal basin in Russia’s south with the Trans-Mongolian railway through to China. The Ulug Khem basin is estimated to contain approximately 2.5 billion t of metallurgical coal reserves and, when combined with Aspire’s Ovoot coal project, could represent a major new long-term source of high-quality metallurgical coal. Exports from the 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 Mr David Paull commented “ 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 tpa, 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,” Paull said.

Written by Sam Dodson

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