AS well as providing employment opportunities for the communities in Zavkhan province of western Mongolia through its gold mine, Bayan Airag Exploration LLC is supporting the same communities by keeping them informed of its activities and supporting social programs.

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The workers’ camp at the Bayan Airag Gold Project in western Mongolia.

Bayan Airag became the first operating mine in the province west when it began commercial production in 2015 and its CEO William Colvin says that it also supports the region through training as well as the taxes and revenues it pays to all levels of government in Mongolia.

Bayan Airag Exploration is the Mongolian subsidiary of Hong Kong based private investment holding company, Kerry Holdings.

William Colvin says Bayan Airag Exploration works closely with locals and regularly attends the Citizen’s Representative Khurals and Bagh Citizens Public Khurals in order to present the company’s policies and operations to residents and provide information on the company’s activity plan. The regular meetings also enable company representatives to consider requests and concerns raised by the locals.

For instance, in January 2016 the company attended Bagh Citizens Public Khurals at Buga, Buural, Onts, Tavantolgoi and Tsogt to present its annual operational report and discuss the company’s plans for 2016. Around 300 citizens participated in these meetings which resulted in formation of cooperatives to meet regularly with company management about opportunities for cooperation.

The company also holds annual ‘open day’ events to report on operational progress as well as its human resources, finance, environment, health, safety and training programs. In late 2015 it held open days in Durvuljin and Erdenekhairkhan. The first attracted more than 100 citizens and the second more than 170. The latter also resulted in the company donated toys worth about 1 million tugrug to the soum’s kindergarten

The most common questions from citizens concerned environmental issues, open vacancies, salaries, camp living conditions, processing quantities, chemical use and its control, water usage and its control or inspection, tax, implementation of cooperation agreements and investment.

In early 2016 the company also supported the region’s inaugural camel festival, which had the purpose of increasing awareness of two-humped camels in Durvuljin soum, promoting winter tourism and encouraging local herders to share their experiences. It included a camel parade, camel racing and other traditional competitions.

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