Mongolia restricts SouthGobi assets in licence divestment probe

Mongolia’s anti-corruption agency has placed restriction on some of SouthGobi Resources’ assets in the country as a probe into the divestment of some of the miner’s licences continues.

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The assets include its local bank accounts.

“While the orders restrict the use of in-country funds pending the outcome of the investigation, they are not expected to have any material impact on the company’s activities,” the coking coal miner said on Thursday February 7.

The Mongolian Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) last year started investigating the divestment of certain SouthGobi licences to third parties and the involvement of government officials.

In December, the IAAC said SouthGobi’s chief legal counsel Sarah Armstrong was no longer a suspect in the investigation.

Last month, former mining authority chief D. Batkhuyag was reportedly convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to 6.5 years’ imprisonment.

SouthGobi said neither itself nor any of its employees have been charged with any wrongdoing.

“SouthGobi is reviewing the legal process under which the orders were imposed and intends to take all necessary steps to protect its ability to continue to conduct its business activities in the ordinary course,” its statement read.