Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek

Firebird Management's Die-Hard Mongolia Bull

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    James Passin has at least $130 million in three funds that he oversees for his employer, Firebird Management, a Manhattan firm that specializes in emerging markets. His placements make Firebird one of Mongolia’s largest and most diversified foreign private equity funds. In 2011 the country had the fastest-growing economy in the world. Coal, iron, copper, uranium, silver, fluorite, and many other minerals are in abundance. The estimated value of it all runs into the trillions of dollars.

    Pictured, Passin atop a giant statue of Genghis Khan.

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    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    People take pictures with a vulture in front of the giant statue of Genghis Khan some 50 kilometers east of Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Gers, traditional Mongolian portable homes, are still largely used both in cities and rural areas.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    The southern outskirts of Ulaanbaatar.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Sükhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar with new construction, including the Blue Sky Tower.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    The Mongolian Stock Exchange, which formerly housed a children’s movie theater.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A security checkpoint at Sharyn Gol coal mine near the Russian border.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    From left: Sharyn Gol Chief Operating Officer Jim Goldie, CEO Graham Chapman, James Passin, and Chairman Batmunkh Batkhuu near a driller in the open-pit mine.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    The Sharyn Gol mine.

    Photograph by Max Sher for Bloomberg Businessweek