Thursday, January 10, 2008

Canada starts talks on foreign investment protection agreement with Mongolia

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - Canada opened talks with Mongolia Wednesday on an agreement to promote and protect foreign investments in the gold-rich country where Canadian mining companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Minister of International Trade, David Emerson, made the announcement during a visit to Mongolia - the first by a senior Canadian minister in a decade.

Canada is the second largest investor in Mongolia and the federal government estimates Canadian companies, led by more than 20 mining and exploration firms, have approximately $400 million in assets in Mongolia.

Emerson met with his Mongolian counterpart as well as with the country's president and prime minister.

One of the issues Emerson discussed with the Mongolian officials was a copper project by Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) and its partner, Rio Tinto, currently under government review.

Ivanhoe Mines CEO John Macken said Tuesday he had received assurances from Mongolian Prime Minister Sanjaa Bayar that his government supported foreign investment and the construction of the company's copper project.


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