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Glogex digs deeper

Interview - March 21, 2014
Established in 2008, Glogex is one of the top geology and mining firms in Mongolia and was certified by the Mongolian Minister of Mining as ‘Best Mining Consultancy Company’ in the country. Batzorig Gantumur, Executive Director of Glogex, speaks to United World
We would like to know something about your professional background and how you became the executive director of this company. 

I am a mining utility engineer. I graduated in 2002 from the University of Science and Technology in Mongolia. In 2012, I was qualified as a professional engineer of mining. My overall experience in the mining sector has already been of 13 years. Our company doesn't conduct any business in production or mining extraction. We provide an engineering service purely based on the Mongolian employees. We don’t have any expensive mining machines.

But skillful and well-educated engineers are the most valuable asset and our competitive advantage. We provide an advertising and blueprint service to geology and mining companies. We make resource estimations and execute feasibility studies of deposits. In relation to this, we also execute a mining-related waste planning and its construction works. And we also do a detailed feasibility study and make a blueprint of the concentration factory.

The main purpose of our service is to unlock the way to extract the mine deposits as much as possible with as little waste as possible. In other words, based on scientific grounds, we optimize how to extract the resources in an environmentally friendly way starting from exploration, resource estimation, technology utilization and rehabilitation. By doing this, the economic benefits of the mine can be estimated. 
The company was established in 2008 and the Minister of Mining has already certified it as the “Best mining consulting company” in the country. It is a quick story of success. How did you make it possible? 

Glogex is a 100% locally invested company. The company reached today’s point through our management’s research and policies.

The initial idea was very simple: to introduce and implement western technology, including software and advance all mining procedures to international standards. In order to achieve that, company shareholders worked closely with the company management and branded Glogex in such a short period of time. Nowadays, everyone related to the mining sector knows Glogex as s mining engineering and advisory company. What we have done is highly valued by the Ministry of Mining and we have been awarded the best mining consulting company.

The project quality is to have skillful engineers using quality software. We got our reputation by being responsible with our feasibility studies and blueprints to our shareholders. Finally, the company pays lots of attention to its human resources and strives for it to be highly qualified. The company always sends its employees to attend related training and educational projects.
You said that the company uses the world’s best software. How do you stay up to date with technology? Where do you get the software from? 

 We use western technology in our operations, such as Surpac, Minex, Whitlle and Vulcan for our mining geology. Comfar Expert, Sherpa and other internationally well known programs are used in financial projections. Generally, we always try to use the most modern and internationally approved software in mining blueprints and financial deposit valuation. So far, we have the following ways to purchase these pieces of software. 
First, some software is bought through a representative office in Mongolia. The second is to conduct research concerning any particular software developer directly and get more detailed information about the software. We also receive offers from software developers. Thus, software companies also approach us.

The Company only employs Mongolian engineers. The company definitely contributes to the growth of Mongolian human capital. I would like to know what your policy is in this matter. 

It is time that the world starts to recognize the skills of Mongolian engineers. From my point of view, Mongolian engineers are very well educated and probably way better than the global average. Furthermore, Mongolian engineers know the field and the local soil better than all the many other highly skilled engineers coming from foreign countries.

Mongolian companies are able to provide consulting services with such a high quality that can be compared to international standard. As per Glogex, we intend to continuously train our employees. When necessary, we hire consultants from foreign companies in order to train them.
Oyu Tolgoi hired your services and then mentioned you as “The best supplier of the month”. One of your main competitors is SRK. What differentiates you from your competitors? How do you stand out? 

 I’m aware of the fact that SRK has representatives in Mongolia and that they provide high quality services. But our main advantage is that we are 100% Mongolian, and this is necessary in a country like ours. The company knows how to handle any situation and how to work out any documents within the law without any miscalculations. SRK is an internationally recognized company, whilst engineers of Glogex LLC are highly educated and experienced in the field. Glogex is the number one local company in mining consultancy. We are the only company valued with an “A” degree by the Ministry of Finance attestation. 

Can, being a Mongolian company, represent a competitive advantage when it comes to dealing with the licenses issued and removed by the government? 

Mining sector policy has been discussed and approved by the parliament. In the process of drafting the policy, a number of open discussions were organized. Also, opinions of mining sector related associations have been reflected in the policy, thus I think this document is very important. The investment law was amended. Thus a legal environment of Mongolia is getting more favorable to the investors.

I think foreign investors are waiting for the stability in the legal environment of Mongolia. I hope that the fact that the government is taking necessary steps in order to introduce this law to the international standard will attract investors to Mongolia. In relation to the law to prohibit mining exploration and mining operation at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forested areas, a number of licenses have been suspended. From my point of view, we have to look back at a number of certain articles from the law. Of course we participate and express our opinions in an open discussion of the law. 
Oyu Tolgoi is one of your clients. Could you share with us a successful story of a foreign client that you had? 

Of course we cooperate with foreign-invested companies. For example, we successfully worked as a mining consultant to foreign-invested large scale companies from Australia, Japan, China, Korea, USA and Russia. We have been highly valued by our cooperating companies and they named Glogex the most reliable business partner and we were awarded by some of them. We were awarded a golden award from the Business Initiative Directors in 2013, which will officially take place in April, 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany. As far as I know, there are only two companies, which have gotten this award, and Glogex will be the third one. 
Glogex provides their clients with a package of services, economic market research, and auditing and bankable feasibility study. How do you create added value to your client? 

The main stage of the collaboration starts with the discussion of the client’s project and future plan. Exploration work must be done with strict standards in order to avoid risk in projects. It is essential to estimate the resources in detail as mountain work will be based on this. Once the resources are estimated, we use the most optimal variation of technology utilization based on environmentally friendliness, safety and economically sound in order to estimate the feasibility studies of the mountain work. Once the extraction technology is chosen, we also estimate what technology will be used for extraction. Going through such step by step and science based research, our final document is prepared.

We consult to our investors and shareholders in mining on a cooperation with the government, public and legal environment and work on minimizing the risk and stabilizing the operations for exploration and extraction license owners and focus heavily on our client’s reputation and increased project value. Our clients are greatly satisfied that Glogex provides all types of quality services.
Glogex operates in the most important sector in Mongolia. The mining sector is key for the development of the country. The company is proudly 100% Mongolian and firmly intends to remain Mongolian. The company provides the best service with best engineers and best software. How would you define the contribution of Glogex to Mongolian development? 

Our company’s main purpose is very simple, to solve issues in mining projects of local and foreign companies operating in Mongolia on how to extract resources with minimal waste, environmentally friendly, economically sound and using efficient technology and maintaining the balance between project profitability and economic and social benefit to Mongolia, using scientific grounds in the framework of laws effective in Mongolia. By doing that, I think our client’s company reputation and value increase and at the same time it brings benefits to the economic and social development of Mongolia.

In the future, we strive to provide a professional mining consultancy service to all the mining companies in Mongolia. Certainly as Glogex LLC is planning to be recognized in the international market, we are actively seeking to promote a relationship with foreign companies.