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EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY Transparency in mining sector licensing in Mongolia is measured

Funded by NRGI Mongolia, IRIM has conducted a policy research on open data in mining sector licensing. The research is aimed to measure transparency in allocation of mining licenses and develop recommendation and policy brief in Mongolian and English. The research lasted one month from December 5 to December 28. The findings of the research reveal that openness of data related to mining license can’t sufficiently adhere to standards and principles of EITI/Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative/ and E-governance, which is seen as the main guidance to eliminate the corruption and conflict of interest and strengthen good governance in Mongolia.  The research findings show that the data disclosed on the official websites www.mram.gov.mn , www.eitimongolia.mn, www.mne.mn aren’t user-friendly and easily accessible, and safety of the websites isn’t ensured, not being protected by safety systems. There is nothing set forth in the Minerals Law about the website design and its security.

      There are several government agencies and EITI Mongolia putting a great effort to fostering transparency and accountability of mining sector licensing. As set forth in the law, Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia takes the main responsibility of implementation of the Minerals Law and run the official website devoted to disclose mining related information, allocations of license in particular. Starting from 2010, Mongolia has achieved Compliance status of EITI, the global standard for improved transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism plays significant role in monitoring mining companies operation by checking implementation of their obligations governed by the Minerals law, having own  official website, which discloses information related to land held a special status,  Strictly protected areas, Special need areas, Natural Park, Strict and Nature reserve to name a few. Mineral Resource Authority is the primary database source of mining license, providing the public with vital information and transmitting the data to EITI.

      Comparison, in-depth interview, observation and desktop reviews are main methodologies used. We have conducted desktop reviews on available materials, including standards and principles of EITI and E-governance. The current situation of transparency in open data in mining sector licensing is revealed with interviewing with officials. Finally, the current situation is compared with the standards and principles promoted by EITI and E-governance.  

     In conclusion, even though Mongolia has made a lot of advancement since it adopted e-government and EITI principles and standards, there is still some improvements needed to foster transparency in open data in mining sector licensing.