On February 6, 2021, President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa worked in Dornogobi aimag and visited the Salkhit gold and silver mine. 

In compliance with Constitution of Mongolia, which pronounces the principle of natural resources belonging to the people of Mongolia, special licenses for the Salkhit gold and silver deposit that had been effective until 2043 and 2047, were revoked in 2018 and the deposit was taken under state ownership. 

In 2019, the special mining licenses were transferred to the state-owned Erdenes Solver Resources LLC, subsidiary of Erdenes Mongol LLC, and mining activities have been launched without any investment from the government budget. 

The commercialization of the Salkhit deposit in such way, which allowed one-time pension-backed loan forgiveness to seniors is a true and good example of how Mongolia appropriately distributed benefits from natural wealth to its people for the first time in its history, reports the Office of the President of Mongolia. 

During the President’s working trip, T.Munkhbayar, CEO of Erdenes Silver Resource LLC introduced that MNT 105 billion or USD 37 million will be funded to the Bank of Mongolia /on February 8, Monday/ to distribute MNT 1 million to each pensioner, who had not taken out pension-secured loans in 2019 and were not benefited from the law on one-time cancellation of pension-backed loan debts. About 194,000 seniors are expected to receive around MNT 210 billion in total within May 2021. 

With a view to strengthen public-private partnership, the Erdenes Silver Resource LLC is contracting domestic business entities for the development of the Salkhit deposit. Moreover, an ore concentrate with capacity twice as high as the current concentrate with an annual capacity of producing 300,000 tons of ore is scheduled to be commissioned in May 2021. 

While on the visit to the deposit, President Battulga reminded that the deposits’ production capacity, output and revenue must be enhanced so that the Mongolian people are able to reap the benefits from natural wealth and support their livelihoods. “Small and large scale mines in 21 aimags across the country, including the Kharmagtai gold deposit, should learn from the example of the Salkhit silver and gold deposit, and by bearing the responsibility of their own management, without obtaining loans or budget support and with the help of Mongolian workforce and engineers. 

The Salkhit deposit covers a total area of 2,887.85 hectares in Gurvansaikhan soum of Dornogobi aimag and according to a feasibility study made in May 2020, the deposit has reserves of 808.3 tons of silver and 1117.1 tons of gold and the resources are likely to double or triple by intensifying exploration works.