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Korea boosts rare metal collaboration with resource-rich Mongolia 2023-11-21

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) held the first Korea-Mongolia Rare Metals Cooperation Joint Committee meeting on November 20 in Ulaanbaatar.

The committee is headed by Deputy Minister for Energy Policy Lee Ho-hyeon and the Mongolian delegation by Mongolia's Mining and Heavy Industry Minister Jambal Ganbaatar. The attendees discussed measures for bolstering cooperation in the supply chain of rare metals and other critical minerals.

The meeting was a follow-up to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on rare metals supply chain cooperation forged during the Mongolian Prime Minister's visit to Korea in February. Both countries agreed to strengthen their cooperation for a stable supply of rare metals and sustainable industrial competitiveness. They discussed rare metals and updates on major projects underway in Mongolia, and also engaged in in-depth talks over bilateral and multilateral cooperation in critical minerals and R&D. 

Mongolia is home to various rare metals, including molybdenum (world's 8th largest producer) and tin, and is believed to have significant deposits of rare earth elements, indicating potential for future collaboration in critical minerals. 

Deputy Minister Lee, in his speech at the inauguration ceremony of the rare metal cooperation center project as part of an official development assistance (ODA) initiative, expressed hope that the project would assist Mongolia in achieving high-value enhancement of its rare metals and help Korea strengthen its domestic supply chain. 

He also attended a meeting with Korean companies operating in Mongolia to hear their concerns and discussed with the Mongolian delegation strategies for diversifying the global critical mineral supply chain through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, such as trilateral cooperation among Korea, the U.S. and Mongolia.

Prior to the committee meeting, Deputy Minister Lee also thanked the Mongolian Minister for supporting Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo and asked for continued interest and support.