Although mining is an unsustainable industry for some people due to the potential damage it can cause to the environment, it remains an option to sustain the national economy. Such is the case with Mongolia, the land-locked Asian country renowned for some of the largest mining projects in the world. Anything such as gold, copper, and coal, as well as kaolin in Mongolia, has been used to quite an extent to drive the nation’s economic development.
Mining Industry in Mongolia
In 2011, it was projected that Mongolia had 0.2% of the total amount of coal worldwide, contributing significantly to its economy. To date, mineral products such as coal, copper, tin, tungsten, and gold are the mainstay mineral commodity of Mongolia.
However, kaolin hasn’t reached the level of mining compared to its ilk in Mongolia. Despite being close to the Inner Mongolian region of China, which is renowned for its kaolin deposits, kaolin in Mongolia hasn’t caught the attention of mining companies, both domestically and abroad.
Kaolin Mines and Deposits in Mongolia
Currently, kaolin mines and deposits in Mongolia are embedded with other mines. At the moment, kaolin and kaolinite deposits and mines have been discovered in the following regions:
- Bayan-Ölgii Province (Tolbonus ore cluster, Ulaankhus District)
- Bayankhongor Province (Bayasn Khundii)
- Dornod Province (Chubu Pb-Zn-Ag deposit, Saerxite Pb-Zn-Ag deposit)
- Dornogovi Province (Erdene District, Khatanbulag District, Tsagaan Suvarga ore field)
- Ömnögovi Province (Oyu Tolgoi Cu-Au ore field, Shuteen Cu-Au deposit)
- Orkhon Province (Erdenet Mine)
- Töv Province (Bayan Uul Mine, Janchivlan complex)
- Zavkhan Province (Zost Tolgoi Cu deposit)
Apart from kaolin and kaolinite products, these mines also contain other forms of mineral products that have been procured firsthand by the miners.
Business Activities and Prospects
Despite the small population number of Mongolia, it is evident that Mongolia requires kaolin to produce papers and other kaolin-derived products to sustain its society. The following are some of the popular uses of kaolin in Mongolia factories.
1. Paper industry
As Mongolia is looking forward to developing its economy more independently than before, the paper industry is becoming more necessary in Mongolia. Paper-related products such as paper filling, paper coating, paper boards, and many more are seen consistently in demand as these products are important for daily life.
2. Cement industry
Mongolia is slowly founding companies that specialize in the production of cement to sustain national development. Kaolin has been used by several Mongolian cement companies, such as Central Asian Cement LLC, Erel Cement Company, Hermes Gakhiur LLC, Khutul Cement & Lime Co., Lian He Cement Corporation, Mongolyn Alt (MAK) Corporation, and many other companies.
3. Cosmetics industry
Cosmetics are currently being produced locally to an extent by Mongolian manufacturers. They rely on kaolin (both from local or imported sources) to produce cosmetic products that are being steadily produced by local manufacturers.
4. Porcelain industry
Porcelain products in Mongolia are some of the oldest products in Mongolia currently still in production by local manufacturers. In modern times, kaolin is now included as a material necessary to improve the quality of such products.
Despite the growing number of kaolin uses in Mongolia, reliable data on the exact number of kaolin uses remains elusive. Unlike its ilks, such as gold and copper, that have been steadily procured and used for export purposes to sustain Mongolia’s economy, kaolin deposits in Mongolia are relatively less abundant than the ones in China’s neighboring Inner Mongolia region.
Several potential deposits of kaolin in Mongolia, such as in Southeastern Mongolia, remain untouched due to the lack of necessary infrastructure to dig them. It makes it hard for the industry of kaolin in Mongolia to take off to such an extent.
However, many of such deposits will be able to enter a state of productivity should the Mongolian government solve the infrastructure issue to better discover its untapped kaolin deposits. With how the cosmetics industry is projected to have growth by 4.51% from 2023-2027, for example, it is with high hopes that Mongolian kaolin deposits will play a significant role in boosting the industry and many others.
Despite the slow economic growth in Mongolia, which hampers the true potential of kaolin in Mongolia, their potential should not be underestimated any time soon. In this regard, Yukami, one of Indonesia’s leading kaolin manufacturer companies, should advance Mongolia’s kaolin industry to improve its economy and beyond.