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Mining and Exploration Licenses

The Mineral Resource Petroleum Agency of Mongolia grants mining and exploration licences and monitors the operations of licence holders. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism approves environmental protection plans for mining and exploration licence holders. Without this approval, the licence may be subject to termination or suspension.

There are two types of mineral related licences:

Under the current Minerals Law, only legal entities incorporated in Mongolia are able to apply for and hold exploration and mining licences.

Exploration licenses are granted for up to three years with the possibility of three times extensions for period of three years. The size of an exploration area shall not be less than 25 hectares and shall not exceed 150,000 hectares.

The license holder of the exploration license has a right to submit a request to hold mining license for the MRPAM. Mining licenses are granted for an initial term of 30 years and can be extended twice for additional 20-year periods. Licenses for minerals with radioactivity are subject to a different regime.

As of 2022, Mongolia has 2,544 active mining and exploration licenses.



Source: MRPAM


After Mongolia re-enacted its Minerals Law in 1997, the issuance of exploration licenses increased dramatically. 2004 saw the largest number of valid exploration licenses, 2,024, covering 16.4% of Mongolia’s territory.

In 2014, the Minerals Law was amended to provide for the issuance of exploration licenses through applications and tenders. Thus, changing the pretext of investors choosing their own land for exploration, now investors apply for exploration licenses only in areas designated by the government.

However, starting from 2017, licenses will be issued only on a tender basis.

Regulations on exploration license issuance

Source: The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia

Investment in mineral exploration activities

Exploration licensing status (2015-2021)

Source: The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia


Source: The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia

Summary of submitted and approved mining reports and plans

Mining licenses can be granted by way of tender or by request of an exploration license holder. If an exploration license holder meets the relevant requirements and applies for a mining license for the relevant area with the exploration licence, the MRPAM should in principle grant a mining licence on a priority basis. If the licence applied for is not covered by an existing valid exploration licence, the MRPAM may grant a mining licence by way of an open tender.

Exploration licenses are granted by way of tender organised by the MRPAM. When a tender is announced, eligible interested parties submit their bids together with the required document and pay a bid fee to the MRPAM. The MRPAM will then evaluate the technical and financial proposals of the applicants and will choose the best among them.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the Government of Mongolia has embarked on a campaign to digitize all public services. This also includes the application and renewals process, as well as issuance, termination, and return of exploration licenses. The relevant government agencies are also working to bring online the entire license granting and bidding process.

System digitization & modernization


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