Mongolia’s Mining Boom Has Environmental Costs

Mongolia’s economy subsequently would increasingly turn its untouched mineral riches, close to both industrialized Russia and resource hungry China. The nation is essentially empty, with its 2.8 million citizens producing an average population density of just over 1 person per sq. km., one of the lowest rates in the world. Mongolia’s mining sector has some of the world’s richest deposits of gold and copper, uranium, coal, fluorspar as well as rare earth elements (RREs) such as tantalum, niobium, thorium, yttrium and zircon. According to a 2009 estimation by the U.S. Geological Survey, Mongolia has 31 million tons of rare earth reserves, or 16.77 percent of the world’s total, exceeded only by China.

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