Mongolia’s Tavan Tolgoi Seeking State Loan, CEO Says

Mongolia’s Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC, the country’s largest state-owned coal company, is seeking a $400 million to $500 million government loan to repay debt and build infrastructure, its chief executive officer said.

“Our financial situation is very complicated at the moment and we have to cover our debts and finance all our infrastructure projects and operations,” Yaichil Batsuuri, a former member of Parliament who has led Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi since October, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, which signed a $250 million contract in July 2011 to supply coal to companies including Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., gave about 300 billion tugrik ($214 million) to the government’s Human Development Fund in 2011 and 2012, the UB Post newspaper reported in September, citing the company’s then chief executive Baasangombo Enebish. The fund hands out cash to Mongolian citizens as part of a government effort to redistribute the nation’s mining wealth.

The mining company is developing Mongolia’s Tavan Tolgoi area, the nation’s largest coal field, with 6.4 billion metric tons of reserves. It’s also preparing for an initial public offering overseas, which has been postponed at least twice because of market conditions and a lack of laws to regulate its equity offering.

Mongolia’s government has promised every citizen 1,072 shares of common stock in the company.