Artisanal miners benefit from the launch of rural One-Stop Service centres
The establishment of two One-Stop Service (OSS) centres in Darkhan-Uul and Bayankhongor aimags to assay and buy gold will allow local miners to save time, money and the stress of long-distance travels to Ulaanbaatar.
The OSS centres - jointly established by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project, the Bank of Mongolia and the Precious Metals Assay Inspection Department of the Mongolian Agency for Standardization and Metrology - also hve the potential to make the gold supply chain formal and more transparent, improve gold traceability and enable the Bank of Mongolia to have better control of the volume of extracted gold .
The gold production accounts for 9.1% of Mongolia’s export benefits, and in the first eight months of 2018 the Bank of Mongolia had purchased 12.2 tons, 54% of which originated from individual miners or gold traders. It is expected that the creation of local OSSs will reduce the illegal gold sale and smuggling and allow miners to get a fair price for their efforts, as OSSs will apply the set international rates.
“It is a good opportunity to sell our gold directly to the new One-Stop Service centres without middlemen,” said Tsetsgee Magnai, head of Bayankhongor aimag’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Federation. “Moreover, we will be able to get the official information on how many tons of gold are extracted and on the taxes paid by artisanal miners”
To establish the two new OSS centres, SDC and the Bank of Mongolia invested MNT 790 million (312 thousand USD) in laboratory equipment, while the government will fund the operational and staffing costs. The Darkhan-Uul and Bayankhongor aimag governments also provided financial support from their Local Development Funds to refurbish the premises.
Confident in the value of this initiative, the he Bank of Mongolia and PMAID plan to open two more service centres in different locations in 2019.