Aspire Mining, through its rail subsidiary Northern Railways LLC, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MTGT LLC, the owner of the Huren Chuulut Iron Ore Project. The MoU concerns MTGT’s use and involvement in the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway in northern Mongolia.
Huren Chuulut is a large iron ore deposit approximately 50km to the northwest of the Khuvsgul capital of Moron and 60km north of the approved rail alignment for the railway. The project needs rail to Erdenet to be able to connect to customers in China. Mongolia currently exports iron ore to Chinese customers along the Trans Mongolian Railway.
The MoU covers the sharing of development progress, mutual support in funding activities and the provisional allocation of 5 million tonnes of annual freight capacity as soon as the rail line has been extended to the proposed connection point approximately two thirds along the total 549km Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.
It focuses on sharing information and coordinate planning to lay the groundwork for a formal rail haulage services agreement.
Huren Chuulut is potentially the first major user of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway as it could access the rail line before construction is completed through to Aspire's Ovoot Coking Coal Project.
It is expected that the Northern Rail Corridor will see significant annual demand for its freight capacity of at least 15 million tonnes, growing to 30 million in the long term.
Aspire’s managing director David Paull says this MoU demonstrates that the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway will not only benefit Mongolia’s coking coal industry. "Once completed, the Northern Rail Corridor, of which the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway is an important part, will see transport of a range of resources, agriculture and manufactured goods.”