Mongolian Copper Corp says to fight government stake repurchase – by Barbara Lewis and Terrence Edwards (Reuters U.S. – January 9, 2018)

LONDON/ULAANBAATAR, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Mongolian Copper Corporation (MCC) said on Tuesday it will fight a decision by the Mongolian government to repurchase its stake in one of Asia’s biggest copper mines for about $400 million after a failed attempt to nationalise it.

Earlier on Tuesday, the government passed a resolution to buy the 49 percent holding, giving Mongolia full state control of the Erdenet mine, following a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court in December against the nationalisation decided by parliament in February 2017.

MCC said no agreement had been reached with the government and it would fight the decision legally.“We will protect our legal ownership rights locally and internationally,” MCC’s Chairman Munkhbaatar Myagmar told Reuters on Tuesday in London. He was is in the city for talks with law firm Omnia Strategy, which is representing the company.

The signal Mongolia’s government was giving to potential foreign investors, which can help it meet the terms of an IMF bailout agreed last year, was negative, he said. “If this kind of thing happens again, no-one will come to Mongolia,” he said.

Erdenet is one of the region’s largest copper mines, producing 530,000 tonnes of copper concentrate annually.

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