Mining in southern Mongolia is threatening the livelihoods of herders and straining water supplies, a report said recently, as foreign companies race to exploit the country’s rich mineral deposits. Mongolia has opened up it vast reserves of natural resources to foreign investors in the hope of pulling thousands out of poverty, but activist groups said herders, townspeople and the environment were paying a heavy price. In 2009, Mongolia sealed a long-awaited multi-billion dollar deal with Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines and Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto to develop Oyu Tolgoi, one of the world’s richest copper deposits and a key gold source.
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