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Chances and challenges of digitization in the mineral resources management in developing countries, examples from Mongolia

Mongolia is a sparsely populated, resource-rich country with a wide range of different mineral deposits and mining activities in size and quality of operation, distributed over a vast area of the territory. The wealth of mineral resources already being mined or developed for future exploitation, provide the country with a huge opportunity for its economic progress but also present challenges for a sustainable and effective state management of the mining sector.

Since the political change in Germany and Mongolia in the 1990s, the BGR (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources) has carried out various projects within the framework of the German-Mongolian development cooperation, together with different Mongolian government institutions responsible for the mineral resources sector. To support a transparent and efficient governance of a responsible and sustainable mining sector, the BGR-projects focused mainly on capacity development and elaboration of professional information and data at the geology and mining authorities. In recent years, the focus has been increasingly on supporting digital transformation processes in connection with more efficient mining inspection and supervision works, digital mining cadastre, the digital management of geological maps, as well as enhancing the digital data exchange between institutions. These digital instruments support a more transparent and efficient state management of the mining sector and, during the Covid-pandemic, enabled the continuation of administrative processes (licensing, permits, reporting). Yet, the continuous need for further refinement and maintenance of these digital systems presents a challenge for human and financial capacities of state authorities in developing countries


Thekla Abel1, Otgonbaatar Altanbasan2, Batbayar Jargalsaikhan2, Thomas Spehs3
1BGR, Germany; 2German-Mongolian Cooperation Project "Advisory Services for Sustainable Mineral Resources in Mongolia"; 3Spehs GbR
GeoBerlin 2023