ABU DHABI, UAE, May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments is the Largest UAE Investor in Mongolia through Gobi Coal & Energy
H.E. Prime Minister Ch. Saikhanbileg of Mongolia concludes a two-day working visit to the UAE today following an official meeting yesterday with H.Н. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.
Only two days earlier, a landmark mining deal was achieved by Prime Minister Saikhanbileg between the Government of Mongolia, Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources, and Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi regarding the multibillion dollar development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-moly-gold mine, which is expected to be the third largest copper mine in the world following its planned expansion. This demonstrates a substantial improvement in the prospects for renewed investment in Mongolia.
The Government of Mongolia under its new Prime Minister has been working successfully to reposition the country as an attractive and welcoming economy for foreign investors. Mongolia was recently home to one of the world's fastest growing economies, with real GDP growth of more than 17% in 2011, and the country's government is confident that it can once again be a global leader in terms of economic growth.
Aabar Investments PJS has been the largest UAE investor in Mongolia since 2011 through its investment into Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd. Gobi Coal, led by principals who were involved earlier in the discovery of the massive Oyu Tolgoi project, has been active in Mongolia for more than a decade. Its two main projects, located in southwest Mongolia, contain a combined total of 318 million tonnes of high grade semi-soft coking coal JORC resources.
Gobi Coal is led by its Chairman, Mr. Mohammed (Mo) Munshi who has more than 25 years of mining investment and development experience, including 15 years of activity in Mongolia. Prior to co-founding Gobi Coal, Chairman Munshi was part of the senior management team of Ivanhoe Mines, now known as Turquoise Hill Resources, which is the company that discovered the Oyu Tolgoi deposit in Mongolia. Chairman Munshi later discovered the Gobi Coal deposits and successfully attracted 9 rounds of equity investment capital, including securing a major investment from Aabar Investments in 2011, leading to the production ready phase of the coal mine. Aabar Investments remains highly supportive of Gobi Coal today and has been actively involved in assisting the Government of Mongolia and Gobi Coal in developing a broad coal sector and energy development strategy as discussed in meetings with Prime Minister Saikhanbileg earlier this year.
Chairman Munshi stated that "Having what we consider to be one of the best coking coal assets in Mongolia, our strategy in 2011 was to complete an Initial Public Offering for Gobi Coal on the Toronto Stock Exchange when public markets and coal prices were near their peak values and to grow the company in Mongolia." Following the rapid decline in public markets and coal prices only months later in 2012, Gobi Coal was one of the most successful companies in Mongolia by conserving its cash to enable the company to pursue a broad coal consolidation strategy in and around Mongolia. "Gobi Coal has considered more than 20 different strategic and high value coal companies for consolidation and is currently focusing on 4 of high interest with the support and advice of its major shareholder Aabar Investments," according to the Chairman.
Guided by the extensive experience and expertise of Chairman Munshi in the Mongolian mining sector, Gobi Coal provides Aabar with a strong platform for evaluation and consolidation of attractive mining projects in a country that has been endowed with some of the richest mineral deposits in the world. With the Government of Mongolia again signaling that the country is "open for business", Aabar Investments and Gobi Coal are the best positioned to create value on investments in Mongolia with a focus on consolidation of the Mongolia coal sector.
SOURCE Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd