Sharyn Gol coalfield was discovered in the 1930’s, but it wasn’t until 1958 that a joint venture between Mongolian and Russian exploration teams recognized its economic potential. Exploration was conducted up until 1961, culminating in mine construction commencing in 1962, with first production achieved in 1965.
By 1975, the mine was producing 1.1 Million tons per annum (Mtpa) before expansion to a design capacity of 2.5Mtpa, between 1976 and 1980. For an extended period into the mid 1980’s, the mine achieved its nameplate design capacity. However, due to the withdrawal of Soviet financial support and management expertise, production was unable to keep pace and a gradual reduction in coal production was experienced in the 1990’s.
Following privatization in 2003, the mine has produced an average of 600 KTPA.
Sharyn Gol coal mine is located 215km north of Ulaanbaatar and 45km south east of the city of Darkhan. The mine is accessed by a sealed bitumen road from Ulaanbaatar to the Sharyn Gol turn off, with the remaining 41km unsealed. Access is good with travel time from the capital taking approximately three hours by car, irrespective of season.
The township of Sharyn Gol (population 8,000) lies adjacent to the mine. The township was originally established to service the mine. Currently the majority of the mine’s 380 employees reside in the town. The town provides local amenities including a bank, a hospital, a post office, shops, schools, and sporting and recreational facilities.