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Agreement signed to develop Mongolian railway

World Coal,

The Mongolian Ministry of Roads and Transportation has signed an agreement with JSC Russian Railways to modernise and extend Mongolia’s rail network.

The agreements were signed during a weeks visit to Mongolia by Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Along with modernising and expanding the operations and capabilities of Ulaanbaatar Railways, it was also agreed to investigate the expansion of railway in northern Mongolia from Erdenet past Aspire Mining’s Ovoot coal project to the Russian border at Arts Suuri.

Russia and Mongolia are hoping to improve Russian transit freight to China through Mongolia’s rail network – increasing it from a relatively nominal amount at present to 20 million tpa by 2020.

The priority in modernising and expanding the railway is to develop the dual tracking of the main trans-Mongolian railway, which will increase rail capacity to 100 million tpa. The two parties will also examine the feasibility of electrifying this line.

Aspire Mining noted that the agreement could have significant implications for its Ovoot metallurgical coal project – linking the mine into the Russian rail system to encourage transit freight from Russia.

Aspire’s managing director, David Paull, said “Aspire and our subsidiary, Northern Railways, welcomes this important new rail agreement between Russia and Mongolia that explicitly recognizes the Ovoot coking coal project as a key user of this new rail transit corridor. This agreement officially puts rail in the north of Mongolia on the map.”

“Northern Railways continues to be in close contact with UBTZ with regards to working together through the next steps and a joint development of the Erdenet to Ovoot (Northern Rail Line) section,” Paull added. 

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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