Prime Minister Julia Gillard has welcomed closer ties with Mongolia as Australian mining continues in country.
Following a recent forum on Australia mining within Mongolia, Gillard welcomed Mongolian Prime Minister Sükhbaataryn Batbold and the increased relations between the two nations.
Batbold noted the increased interest of the Australian mining industry and its involvement in the nation, in particular its provision of expertise in geological, drilling, mining software, environmental management, financial, legal and training sectors to develop Mongolia’s minerals and energy sector.
The two heads of state participated in a number of memorandums to expand Australia’s mining presence in the country, in particular a Memorandum of Understanding on vocational education co-operation designed at helping Mongolia build its mining work force.
They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Academy of Science and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences to promote the exchange of ideas and the review of studies in common interest areas, such as geology.
Australian companies such as Rio Tinto (through Ivanhoe Mines) and its Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, and Xanadu Mines with its coal projects, have been working in the steppe nation for some time.
This increased relationship with Mongolia comes after the country was highlighted by Rio Tinto’s Tom Albanese as a threat the Australia’s coal mining industry due to it proximity to China.
Rio recently spent $12 billion on Oyu Tolgoi and Riversdale.
To find out more about the Mongolian Mining conference, catch the April edition of Australian Mining.