A couple of days ago I participated in a workshop hosted by the Ministry of Mines, and David and I made presentations to an audience of Ministrty officials as well as representatives of the various donors involved in the mining sector here: World Bank (who pay our own bills), German BGR, AusTrade (representing AusAID), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the Canadian embassy. There was also representation from Anglo American and the World Economic Forum. All in all, a quite high-level group, and then it is always a bit challenging to start talking about principle and policy matters.
David spoke about functional organisation in general, and also about the functions one expects to see in mining sector public institutions. My own presentation was about mining governance in general, illustrated by examples from various African and other countries, where things have not necessarily always worked well.
Afterwards, there were good questions and discussions. There is a natural hunger for more detailed, more developed recommendations, but it was important for us to start with a description of the basic principles and objectives of mining governance. Our next report provides preliminary recommendations and the final report will provide more detail, including suggestions for specific steps to be taken.
Yesterday evening we had a very pleasant dinner with the Director-General of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ministry of Mines, and accompanied by the very capable and friendly ladies who are assisting in our project and the MSISTAP programme.
Early today I departed for home again, this time not via Beijing, but via Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where I am posting this blog entry. Back to Ulaanbaatar on 1st July, to continue work on this very interesting project.