China agreed to lend Mongolia US$500 million to develop the country’s mining, infrastructure and finance sectors, the AFP reported. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao signed a total of nine agreements with Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold during his stop in the landlocked country, part of his four-nation Asian tour. Other agreements included a preliminary plan between China’s National Nuclear Corporation and Mongolia’s Nuclear Energy Agency to cooperate on the development of radioactive materials and nuclear energy. Mongolia’s economy has struggled over the last two decades but it retains significant natural resources, including silver, copper, gold, uranium and oil. Last October Ulan Bator signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Canadian Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.NYSE) and Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto (RIO.ASX, RIO.LSE) to develop Mongolian copper deposits.
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