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Ovoot railway included in Northern Rail Corridor

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World Coal,

The presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia have agreed a trilateral programme to develop an economic corridor between the three countries, including the establishments of a new Northern Rail Corridor connecting China with Russia through Mongolia.

The proposed Northern Rail Corridor will be a continuous railway connecting Tianjin Port on China’s east coast through Beijing, Erlian, Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet to Ovoot, Arts Suuri to Kyzyl, connecting to the Trans-Siberian Railway at Kuragino.

About 2100 km of this rail link already exists, while Aspire Mining subsidiary, Northern Railways, has been awarded a concession by the Mongolian government to build, operate and transfer a new 547 km section of the rail corridor to link Erdenet to Aspir’s Ovoot metallurgical coal project.

In total a further 1414 km of new track will be required to complete the rail link.

“The establishment of this Northern Rail Corridor confirms that the Erdenet-to-Ovoot Railway has developed from being a rail connection to a large coking coal project to now being part of an important new trade infrastructure route,” said Aspire Mining in a press release.

Inclusion of the Erdenet-to-Ovoot railway in the Northern Rail Corridor project also opens up funding for the project from China’s Policy Banks, Sinosure, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and funds, such as the Silk Road Fund.

“It is very significant news that the Erdenet-to-Ovoot Railway is now recognized as a key part of a new rail trade route between Russia and China through Mongolia,” said Aspire Mining Managing Director David Paull.

“This new corridor will be of significant long-term value to the people of Mongolia. The Erdenet-to-Ovoot railway has now officially moved from a rail extension to service a world-class coking coal deposit, to a strategic piece of rail infrastructure to facilitate China’s Silk Road Initiative and Mongolia’s Step Road trade initiative.”

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