Local residents and Tavan Tolgoi miners to sign MoU on road use
Today is the deadline set by Deputy Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh for state owned company Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Tavan Tolgoi area residents, and Energy Resources LLC to sign a memorandum of understanding on the use of local roads for coal transport.
For the last several years, there has been debate about the devastation of Gobi soil and the natural environment by mining exploration projects being carried out and the use of transport vehicles with capacity of up to 100 tons, but proper solutions have yet to be found.
The state bought a paved road from Tavan Tolgoi to Gashuunsukhait built and financed by Energy Resources LLC. Companies operating at the Tavan Tolgoi mine pay fees to transport their coal using this road.
Industry officials spoke to Minister U.Khurelsukh about the different fees being applied to particular companies and asked him to resolve the issue. Due to high road use fees, coal transport vehicles belonging to Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi and other companies drive off-road along dirt paths and stir up dust and threaten the Gobi ecosystem.
Energy Resources vehicles pay fees equal to 0.75 cent per ton to use the paved road, while other companies are asked to pay a fee of 1.5 USD per ton.
Responsibility for resolving this issue, prohibiting the transport of coal using dirt roads, and establishing a set road fee at 1 USD per ton has been given to the State Secretary of the Ministry of Roads and Transportation, Head of the General Agency for Specialized Agency of Mongolia, management of state owned Erdenes Mongol, and related officials.