Mongolia|opinion & analysis|May 7, 2016 / 01:09 PM
Thousands of illegal Mongolian miners joined golden rush on frozen steppes

AKIPRESS.COM - Thousands of illegal Mongolian miners, known locally as ninjas, have joined the rush to strip the steppes of its gold wealth because even the few grams a day their rudimentary methods yield provides them a better living than traditional herding. 

Ninjas are looking for a gold in Zaamar, a central Mongolian town of unpaved roads and wooden houses. At 40 degrees Celsius below zero, the mercury would freeze. But that doesn't really matter, because, regardless of the temperature, the "ninjas" don't rest, said The World Weekly its in article published on May 5.

Various studies claim that up to 300,000 people, 10 per cent of the population living in a country, have at some point in their lives been involved in the search for gold, reads the article.

Currently, the government estimates, about 100,000 Mongolians illegally mine up to five tonnes of gold each year.
Ganzorig, who prefers not to give his full name, is one of them. 

The struggle for gold in what some dub "Minegolia" is expected to be long and bloody, in part because the prize is a sweet one. The importance of the mining sector has exploded since Mongolia abandoned communism in 1990. Today, mining represents about 20 per cent of the country's gross domestic product and provides 70 per cent of its economic growth.

However, the falling prices of most raw materials have slowed the increase in GDP from a rate of 17.5 per cent in 2011, a speed that made the land of Genghis Khan one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Nevertheless, the World Bank states that the poverty rate in Mongolia fell from 27.4 per cent to 21.6 per cent between 2012 and 2014.

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