Australian miners jockey for position in Mongolia
AUSTRALIAN miners are set to emerge with a strong presence in the new mining province of Mongolia.
PricewaterhouseCoopers global head of mining Tim Goldsmith, in Mongolia last week for the Discover Mongolia mining conference, said several Australian miners were reviewing options to diversify into the prospective country.
Mongolia has long been seen as having good resources that have been underexplored and it has long been identified as a nation to contend with, particularly given its proximity to China.
"There were a heap of Canadian and Australian companies at the conference, looking at new opportunities or discussing taking their existing assets further," Mr Goldsmith said.
"It"s clearly an underexplored location, with lots of riches to be found and with the exception of Rio Tinto, none of the big players are there in any substance at this stage and as certainty grows in the country, big diversified miners will look there."
Mr Goldsmith said plenty of juniors would also be vying for a position in Mongolia. "Australian companies are nothing if not entrepreneurial and there will always be someone taking a new frontier that others haven"t.
"Several of those companies were in Mongolia last week looking at new options."
Mr Goldsmith said the drama around the mineral resources rent tax, which was a watered-down version of the controversial resource super-profits tax, continued to be discussed in international circles, and it was raised at the Mongolian conference.
"There is no doubt the mining tax discussion has not boosted Australian credibility," he said.