Dear Mr. Bernardino Regazzoni, Ambassador of Switzerland to Mongolia
Dear Mrs Franziska Freiburghaus, Head of Cooperation of SDC
Dear aimag and soum governors, management of government ministries and implementing agencies, partners, artisanal miners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning and thank you very much for coming to the Responsible Artisanal Mining Forum!
On behalf of the Forum participants, please allow me to express a heartfelt gratitude to the SDC and SAM project team for the financial and technical assistance provided to Mongolia since 2005 in establishing an enabling legal and regulatory framework, organizing and formalizing the small-scale artisanal mining sector in Mongolia.
The Government of Mongolia has incorporated the small-scale artisanal mining aspects in relevant legislation of Mongolia, for instance, in the State Policy Framework of Minerals Sector (2015), the Law on Minerals (2014), the Government Action Plan 2016 – 2020, and other medium and long-term policy documents. The amended version of the Artisanal Mining Regulation No. 151 was adopted in 2017. Within the scope of implementation of this Resolution, a joint ministerial order of the Minister of Labor and Social Protection and the Minister of Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry has been issued to approve an occupation safety regulation for artisanal miners. Series of meetings and discussions with stakeholders were organized in order to improve the regulation documents. Again, I would like to extend our appreciation to the project team for providing assistance in organizing these events.
Another joint ministerial order of the Minister of Environment and Tourism and Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry was issued to approve a frugal rehabilitation method in 2017. I express my gratitude to SDC for providing assistance in developing and piloting this method.
Although the legal framework for small-scale artisanal mining is in place, illegal mining practices persist and some stakeholders misuse the legal framework in place. Therefore, we need to regulate the sector and eventually discontinue such illegal practices in collaboration with relevant parties.
We will continue efforts of the former government in establishing and assisting responsible artisanal mining sector and further improve an associated legal framework. Together with relevant stakeholders, we will find solutions to current problems of the ASM sector. We acknowledge that ASM issues have much wider implications and thus, the mining sector alone is unable to resolve these issues. Challenges of ASM sector have impact on livelihood, health, employment and social protection of small-scale miners and rural communities. Issues related to human rights and environmental protection also arise from ASM sector. Therefore, we need to take a comprehensive approach in finding the most optimal solutions.
The presentations and discussions of this Forum have been prepared for the purpose of triggering constructive dialogue on topics concerning ASM legal framework, further formalization of the sector, efficient enforcement of the laws and regulations, put an end to illegal mining practices, establishment of an effective legal channels for ASM mineral supply chains. I hope that you will openly share your valuable ideas and suggestions during this Forum. We are together for responsible artisanal and small-scale mining!
I wish success to this Forum.
Mr. D. Zadgjav, Deputy Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry